Thursday, February 19, 2015

swappin' mug rugs

Recently, I developed an interest in creating mug rugs. This is a smaller version of a miniature quilt or doll quilt. I made a lot of miniature quilts over the last two years and was in a doll quilt swap. I decided to op out, because because of my own commitment to our Pillow Swap Four Seasons. But I still have a need to "create with a theme." I love to be challenged and think!! When I discovered a mug rug swap that was upcoming and not already full, I jumped all over it! It is now full but check it out for an array of beautiful mug rug inspiration at Forth Worth Fabric Studio.

For me it is still unclear how big a mug rug is supposed to be, but I think between 4 x 6 and 6 x 8 inches. Sometimes I go a little overboard and make it a little larger. I just change the name to a mini-placemat or an XL mug rug. No matter what you call it, I think it would be used AND appreciated. Sometimes I wonder about the miniature doll quilts if anyone really does something with it. Oh, sorry, a tangent...back to my post.

My challenge, create a "spring" mug rug. That's pretty simple. I first worked on my swarm of bees! I love the paper pieced bee, but the colors of yellow, gray, black aren't very springy! I love the color palette, but not very springy, is it?

So I remembered I wanted to try out the Dresden plates featured throughout my lastest edition of the Quiltmaker. I have never made Dresdens and wanted to try out the technique. I also found a QAL featured by McCalls Quilting featuring something really Dresdens!! I love minis!! In the background you can see my freshly (sometimes) ironed and folded laundry. My sewing space doubles as the family laundry mart. ;-)

I cut enough scraps using the Dainty Dresden template from Lesson 8 (great for 1½ inch strips and scraps) and 12 plates of the larger Dresden template (Template C from Dancing Dresdens) from 2½ inch scraps. I had a lot of fun going through my scraps too. I de-stashed a lot of the darker colors and had a great mix of colorful fabrics to choose from. I tried to stay in a turquoise/yellow/pink/green colorway.

After you get the little cuties cut out, you sew them together on the longer side, RST. I chain pieced in a snap using a smaller stitch length, backstitching at the start and stop. It is worth the extra time. The pieces are really dainty, but I find it relaxing to take my time. 

Then you snip the bulk off the tips where you will turn them right side out and press. Just take your time and don't stress. They go together very easily.

Now the watch them shrink in size! Sew them all together! The little ones make three inch Dresdens! How cute! You know I am a sucker for anything mini! I think the larger ones make five inch Dresdens. I didn't measure.

I had the idea of making flowers with them. I wanted to use all of them, but there simply wasn't enough room on the 6 x 8 inch backing fabric. I would have to use the smaller ones or...let one jump right out of the mug rug!! That's a great idea, Karen! The challenge was the binding. I would have to construct it, so the flower would not be disturbed by the binding. I decided to make my binding as border strips and pull to the backside. It worked! I also hand sewed a backing fabric onto the petal the extruded over the mug rug.

I added one of my mini stickers with "easypatchwork" to the yellow petal. I thought about adding more text, but just a hint is also good. I am really pleased with it. It is bright and cheery! I am also looking forward to seeing what my swap partner comes up with. I love swappin'!

What did I learn this week? Don't short cut your binding. I prefer single fold or double-fold binding, not border strips. ;-) They were a headache for me and didn't really turn out the way I wanted them to.

Are you looking forward to spring? What are you making that is springy? I'd like to hear from you!


  1. Karen, this Dresden mug rug is beyond cute! I love making mini dresdens, but have never make anything as cute as this!

  2. So sweet and really calls for spring!

  3. I like mug rugs (or "microquilts") to exercise new techniques and patterns :-)
    Your MiniDresden is really cute!
    Liebe Grüße,

  4. I agree - the dresden flowers are absolutely fabulous!

  5. Da hattest Du eine richtig gute Idee, die große Blume sieht Klasse aus.

  6. Karen, der ist einfach super! Ich liebe diese kleinen Dresden-Teile und Dein Mug Rug mit den Blumen ist so wunderschön! Die Idee mit der Blume über den Rand hinaus ist genial. Jetzt hätte ich den Mug Rug nur gerne noch von hinten gesehen :-), das klang spannend, wie Du das gemacht hast!
    LG, Sandra

  7. Mini Dresden plate is so cute!!!!! I want sew this :)

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Thank you, Crafty Tokyo Mama! Sorry I deleted your comment. My fingers are too big for an Ipad! ;-)

  9. Karen you really made a super cute mugrug! That big flower is just super, hanging over the side!!!
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

  10. Einfach nur zauberhaft Dein Mug Rug liebe Karen!
    GLG, Deborah

  11. So beautiful! What's a border strip for binding?

    1. What is a border strip for binding? Good question! This is when you use straight grain strips of fabric that you usally use for borders. You add your border strips and then fold them to the back (or front depending on where you sewed them) as you normally would binding. It saves you a step of adding binding. ;-)


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