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?