Sunday, June 26, 2011

My first Mug Rug!

I have been doing a ton of internet research on mug rugs lately and I have to say there are so many creative sewers out there! Oh - what is a mug rug you ask?  Its a mini quilt that is between the size of a coaster and a placemat. The perfect size for a cup of  coffee, tea or soda and a snack. Everybody needs several of these in their house!  The one in this tutorial will sit by my sewing machines, it's about time!
The material I used I recently bought at Sew Much More here in Austin and have been waiting to find the perfect project for them and this is it.

When I started making it I thought I would do a quick tutorial and share it with everyone.So, here we go!

Flowers & dots mug rug tutorial
Finished product approx 9.5" x 6.25"
Material I used is from Benartex Habitat collection using the Small flower aqua, geometric - aqua/brown/taupe, and Dots Brown.

Supply list:
3-4 fat quarters with complimentary colors/designs
Backing fabric - approx 8" x 10" - depends on the final size of your front
If you want a neutral color surrounding the strips approx 8" x 10"
Matching thread for construction and contrasting thread (I used Madeira Rayon embroidery threads) for quilting
Fusible fleece 
Normal sewing supplies - sewing machine, ruler, cutting mat, rotary cutter, small scissors if you fussy cut

Definitions -  RST - right sides together
All seams are 1/4" unless specified

- Iron your fabric before cutting. Cut strips 2 inches wide by the width you want the mug rug to be.  I used the whole length of the fat quarter so I could make multiple mug rugs with these. (Most mug rugs seem to be about 6-8 inches wide)
  - lay out your strips next to each other and decide which design you like the best.  As you can see in mine I decided to only have one strip of the flora print in the center with the other two colors mirroring each other on either side of the floral print.

Once you decide how you want it to look then take the end strip (on either side) and lay it RST on top of the 2nd strip and use a few pins to secure it. If  any of your strips have a directional design be sure you sew it together with this in mind!

  - Now sew the strips together and press the seams open
 - Now do the same with the remaining strips in the order you laid them out being sure to take any design direction into consideration.

 - Press all seams open then turn it over and press the front too. Take care not to twist the iron too much or you may stretch the design out of whack.

 - Trim the short ends and try to make it square with the long sides
 - Since I used the whole length of the fat quarters I cut my strips into thirds giving me 3 mug rug tops!
 - Next I added a plain white cotton strip around each side - my strips were 1" wide. I sewed a scant 1/4" seam on these strips.
Trim the extra ends on all four strips

Press seams open on the back and press the front as well

-  The next step isn't as important as others but I simply did it to square up the mug rug top. I went around and evened out the white strips I just sewed on all the way around. I used the ruler and lined up the decorative fabrics on one line and trimmed off any excess white left over on the top of the ruler. 
(see how little there was)

- Now you can measure the mug rug top and cut your fusible fleece and backing fabric the same size.
- Lay the fleece on the back of the mug rug top with shiny bumpy side down onto the back. Iron per the instructions that came with the fusible fleece.

- After fusing the fleece lay the backing fabric RST on the mug rug up and pin to secure. Using a marking pencil make a mark in the middle of one short side about 2 inches in and again 3 inches later.  I also place a pin at each mark to remind me NOT to sew in this 3 inch section because this is where you will be turning it inside out after sewing the other sides.  
- Start sewing at one of the marks and sew around the mug rug until you come back around to the other mark/pin and back stitch. I usually secure both ends with back stitching.

Don't pay any attention to the fact I didn't start sewing the front & back together at the correct place - I did give correct instructions above!
- Turn it inside out and push out the corners - I use the best tool ever - the Crystal Point Turner by Crystal Press - it makes turning corners so easy and it never pokes through the fabric!
- Press the whole mug rug front and back paying special attention to the open section. I suggest folding the opening edges over to match what was already sewn and press well.

- Sew down the edges about 1/4" from the edge all around the top. Then go around again about 1/4" inside the first round of stitching. 

- Now for the quilting and decorating the plain vanilla back!
Here is my layout of the back side using some fussy cut flowers from the floral fabric on the front. I moved them around until I was satisfied with the design.and you can see I started sewing down the fussy cut flowers.
  Then I spray basted the flowers onto the back. IF I was thinking ahead I would of used Wonder Under and fused that on before fussy cutting so I could easily fuse them down - now you don't have to make that mistake!
 I used my open free motion foot to sew around the edges of all flowers and leaves. Some of them I went around twice to give it a hand drawn look. I then went to the center and did that as well so the design that came out on the front would look more like a flower.  This is an easy way to get a quilt design on the front without using stencils or drawing it.

I chose to make the back more of a shabby chic look. (Don't pay any attention to the line of holes..... that was another design I decided I rather not use. This is my mug rug so I won't bother complaining!)

This is what the front looks like after sewing the flowers down on the back.  Pretty darned cool if I say so myself!
I think I may add a few more of the edge flowers on the back - who knows!

That is the Flowers & Dots mug rug!  If you have any questions just click on the contact me button and I will gladly answer!  

P.S. This tutorial is for personal use only, thanks for understanding!

Ciao for now!
Michele My Belle

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