Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fast Pieced Mug Rugs

Here's another really quick tutorial.  I like making mug rugs--but I want to make them FAST because I'm often putting them in the Swap Quilt package that has to go in the mail in the morning.

Here's a tutorial--I didn't invent this.  I've seen different versions of this process in a lot of places, including on an episode of one of the TV quilt shows last year.

Step 1: Cut 4  squares of fabric measuring 6-1/2 inches.  I like large mug rugs so I start with larger squares.  sometimes, I use 4 different colors or fabrics.  In this example, I used 2 fabrics.
Fold these squares into triangles and set them aside.

Step 2:  Cut one square of fabric measuring 7 inches and a piece of batting slightly larger. I use cotton batting but you can use anything you like.  This fabric will be your backing.  Then, quilt these two layers.  I use my walking foot and sew random straight lines or free hand curves.  Because it's a mug rug, I take about 2 minutes to do the quilting--nothing fancy!!  After quilting, trim down to 6-1/2 inches.

Step 3:
Layer your 4 triangles with the RIGHT SIDE of the back facing UP.  You'll be turning this inside out eventually so the backing will be on the back of the mug rug.
Add first yellow triangle

Add first blue triangle

Add 2nd yellow triangle

The 2nd blue triangle is added and is on the top left.

FOLD THE two triangles back and then put the blue UNDER the yellow.  Your triangles are now interwoven.  Pin them to hold them together for the next step.

Step 4:  Sew a straight stitch seam around all four sides.  I use a quarter inch seam.  Sew straight from one end to the other.  In the photo below, you can see my seams.  I clipped a bit off each corner to help me turn the mug rug inside out. You can just see the backing inside.  I'll use the wooden point turner to help me get the corners shaped up.  Turn the mug rug inside out!
 Step #5:  Turn it inside out and use something sharp to poke out those corners.
Poking the corners to get the mug rug  square.

Finished mug rug.  

I press them very flat with steam.  You may notice that the upper right corner is a tiny bit off.  I probably didn't line up the tip of that yellow triangle properly when I pinned the triangles before I sewed the edges in Step 4.  I can easily fix this by turning it inside out again, and re-sewing that one side.  (But I probably won't....I'll just use it at home and make more!)


Add more quilting--As an option, you can add more quilting by machine or hand after you turn it inside out.  But remember that the back of the mug rug will be quilted. Sometimes I quilt a circle, spiral or small square right in the center.

Make bigger mug rugs!  I've used this same process to make a larger rug for my teapot to sit on--I'm a tea drinker! 

Use a pieced square instead of the triangles.  Sometimes I use improvisational pieced blocks as the back OR the front or BOTH.  If I don't use the triangles, then I leave ONE side partially open when I sew around the edge in step 4.  Then, I turn it inside out like a pillow case and stitch the 4th side closed by sewing around all 4 sides with a decorative stitch.  

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