Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My First Mug Rugs

I have enjoyed seeing all the mug rugs popping up on the internet - if you haven't heard about it yet, a mug rug is somewhere in between a large coaster and a quilted trivet - designed to hold a mug and a snack, or whatever else you want.  They are also a great way to play around with different fabric combinations and quilt designs without the commitment of a larger project.  Both to try things out and because they seemed like they would be handy to have around (especially for resting a pot of tea), I made some up with green and grey scraps.

I started out by making a few zig zag designs - I sewed long strips together and then cut on the diagonal (with half angled one way and half angled the other way) and pieced together.  I had been wanting to try this technique so it was fun to play around with.  The one on the right is the first one I made and the one on the left was made with scraps from the first - which I staggered a bit to get a rectangle, but I actually really like the way that it looks! 

I quilted these to emphasize the zig zags and the borders and then bound them using Kerry of Very Kerry Berry's great single binding tutorial... but I sewed the back on via machine rather than hand.  It turned out OK but certainly not perfect - I don't mind too much since I am keeping these and it's on the back, but I don't think I would do it this way for something I was giving away.

I made another two mug rugs out of pieced strips, one with a kind of rail fence pattern and one with just slices of the strips surrounded by sashing (is there a name for this kind of block?).  I like these two better actually because I think the border fabrics I chose for them work better.

I did very simple quilting on the one on the right, and then practiced my free-motion quilting/stippling on the one on the left.  I did the same kind of binding but this time took the time to hand-sew it down on the back and it does look much neater and nicer I think. 

They are a great size for a small teapot, like this porcelain teapot that I made last year (it has a celadon glaze - love how that glaze looks on porcelain).

They also work great as mug rugs, with space for a mug and a snack.  The colors of the mug rugs go really well with a lot of my homemade mugs.  I hand-carved the patterns in both of these mugs, and I love how they feel a bit like a linoleum print.

How about you - have you tried your hand at making mug rugs or other mini-quilts yet?


  1. fabulous! love the color combination.

  2. So cute! I love all the variations. Your pottery is so cool too! Haven't made any mug rugs yet. Guess I should put that on my list!

  3. Hi Kate! First of all, I love the mug rugs! The sliced up one is my favorite, I love the little bits of color. I can't believe I still haven't made one of these yet! It looks like such a fun little project. Second, your pottery looks great! I spent a number of years in the ceramics studio, too, and have bowls and dishes and mugs all crammed in my cupboards as a result. I haven't shared any on my blog yet, but a mug rug might be a good excuse to break some out! I never made a teapot, but I wish I had-- yours is gorgeous :)

  4. psssst...i think there is a little surprise for you over on the blog:


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