Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and I will be at an all day meeting and I decided (yesterday) that I was going to make something for everyone at the meeting. Fortunately it isn’t a big meeting! I wanted something quick, relatively easy, of course quilted and usable. So I decided that I was going to make Mug Rugs or Coasters!
I took photos of the process to show you how I did it and I hope that you can use these instructions to make some Mug Rugs for yourself or for others. They make GREAT gifts and in an afternoon you can make a bunch of them and save them for future events and gifts.
The photo at the left shows both the circle and square Mug Rugs that I made.
Note: This is a photo intense post. The photos are shown in a small format. Please click on any photo for a larger view.
I started out with a half yard of backing fabric and a half yard of washed, white muslin and put them on the quilting machine with a thin-ish batting. The batting was a left over piece of (I think) Quilters Dream Poly. I put the selvage edges of the fabrics to the leaders.
Square Mug Rugs
I drew horizontal and vertical lines to make 4-1/2 inch squares along the top of my fabric. I used a Crayola Washable Marker (CWM -my favorite marking tool) but later on realized I could have used a permanent marker. These markings are the cutting lines and will be cut apart or under the binding when the Mug Rug is finished. Note: My first square is only 4 inches wide. That’s all right, it will work out.
Now take a marker (CWM) and draw lines 1/2 inch from the first drawn lines. These lines indicate where I want the edges of my feathers to be. If I take my feathers out to the “edges” of the square, they will be covered by the binding – which I don’t want. After these lines are drawn, stitch a wavy line close to the first drawn lines. These wavy lines of stitching will hold the layers togehter when the Mug Rugs are cut apart and you put the binding on. Notice that I stitched one line across the top of the blocks. Then I stitched another line starting at the top left, going down the left side, across the bottom , up along the drawn cutting line and then down again. This line of stitching starts at the left edge and goes all the way to the right edge!
To make the heart shape, Click on the highlighted text for a pdf file of the mug-rug-shapes need for this project. Print out this page, trace the shapes onto piecing template plastic and cut out. Position the shape where indicate and draw around.
Start at the bottom point of the heart and stitch along one side of the drawn heart shape and make a swirl at the top of the heart. Come back to the bottom of the heart along the previous line of stitching. Don’t worry if you are not exactly on the first line of stitching. This is called a double spine line and, I feel, this is gives more “character” to your quilting. Do the same thing for the other half of the heart. See photo at the left.
At the top of the heart and along the center line, stitch a loop up to the drawn line. From here, begin making feathers along one side of the heart down towards the bottom point of the heart. Keep the tops of your feathers even with the drawn lines of the square. Follow along the fist line of stitching and get back to the top of the heart. See the photo at the left. Your feathers don’t have to be “perfect.” Just do the best you can!
Now begin making feathers on the other side of the heart until the outer area is filled with feathers! When you are at the bottom of the heart, make another “double swirl” heart in the bottom of the inside of the heart shape.
See the photo at the left of the completed feathered heart!
I want my quilting to show and I used a red variegated cotton thread for the quilting.
For those who are a little bold and daring, draw the center lines in the block on the diagonal and position the heart shape on the diagonal. Then quilt the feathered heart on the diagonal! This is the same design but it looks different!
Circle Mug Rugs
Draw the 4-1/2 diameter circles, then center the 3-1/2 circles inside. Draw the center lines, position the heart shape and draw around it.
Quilt the feathered heart in the same way you quilted the square one, keeping the tops of the feathers even with the 3-1/2 inch diameter drawn line.
Make as many of the square and /or circle Mug Rugs on your fabric as you want. Because I used the Crayola Washable Markers, I had to wash my finished “quilt” in warm water with detergent – to remove the marker – before cutting the Mug Rugs apart and finishing them.
I finished the edges of the circle Mug Rugs with a Satin Stitch and then trimmed the excess fabric close to the Satin Stitching. If you have some, you might want to put some water soluble or tear away embroidery stabilizer under the circle Mug Rug before Satin Stitching. This sometimes helps keep the curved (bias) edges from stretching. I also ran a line of Fray Check along the edge of the Satin Stitching. This will keep the fabrics from fraying and will keep the Satin Stitching from coming apart.
On one circle Mug Rug I experimented with putting a turned “facing” on the back. If you want to do this, that is fine. I felt it was a little too “fiddly” for me.
I put “regular” quilt binding on the square Mug Rugs and stitched everything in place with my home sewing machine.
When I got finished quilting my square and circle Mug Rugs, I realized that I had a bunch of un-quilted fabric, especially around the circle shapes. So I did some quilting in this area with a Ribbon Stipple.
In the un-quilted area at the bottom of my fabrics, I did Spiral Squares. I’m not quite sure what I am going to do with this new quilted fabric, but I’m sure I will think of something! More Mug Rugs maybe???
I hope you have fun making some of these Mug Rugs for Valentine’s Day, or any holiday or special occasion.
If you make any Mug Rugs, please send some photos and I’ll post them here.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!