Not too long ago, one of the blogs I read had a very popular comment string where quilter’s were being asked to “vent” and say out loud things they might not normally admit to – predominantly about quilting. There were several people on there who commented on the "mug rug movement" and expressed that they didn't get why it was such a popular thing to do. They couldn’t understand why anyone would be interested in making a glorified coaster.
For me, mug rugs are little quilts. Little quilts which require the same skills and processes as large quilts. I see them as an opportunity to try different techniques and end with a finished product rather than a mismatched UFO square to add to a growing pile.
When completing a mug rug, I go through the entire quilt making process, but in a much shorter period of time than that required by a larger quilt. With a mug rug, I still have to make color choices, design choices, quilting motif choices, binding, etc. No part of the process is skipped.
Another thing I like about mug rugs, is that it is also an opportunity to try out new tools. Whether they be marking tools, quilt design tools, cutting tools……..most can be used on a mug rug.
Don’t get me wrong, I know mug rugs aren’t for everyone, but don’t close your eyes to them just because you don’t get their size! Look at them as a growth opportunity in your quilting life! Grow as a quilter - this is what I had in mind when I made this week's mug rug entitled "Grow."
A few things that I have on my list of skills to work on are free-motion writing on quilts, free motion embroidery, black outlining and perfecting my binding techniques.
For this quilt, there is no patter per se, but rather a process to follow. You will be designing your own flower motif. Start by cutting a solid background fabric approximately 7 inches by 10 inches (this will later trim down to 6.5 inches by 9.5 inches. Pick out your flower fabric and you leaf fabric. It may be harder than you think.....I had a difficult time finding just the right green to go with my orange/red graded fabric.
Using a pencil, draw your flower onto the paper side of a light-weight double fusible stabilizer. I used "wonder-under." Note I said draw and not trace - no there is not a pattern - part of the process is to be brave and draw your own flower! Do a rough cut out of the stabilizer and iron it onto the back of your flower fabric. Now is the time to cut on the lines you have drawn. Repeat this process with several leaves. Remove the paper backing from your pieces.
Next play with the general placement of your applique pieces. Once you have decided on your placement, iron the pieces to the background fabric.
Make your quilt sandwich and baste the layers together.
Next comes the free motion embroidery which brings details to the flowers and leaves. Then, sew your word.....you can cheat here and write the word with a water soluble marker first and "trace" it with your sewing stitches. Use a word that will inspire you! If you wish to add any more quilting, now is the time to do that.
Trim your quilt to 6.5 inches by 9.5 inches and bind. Now aren't you proud of yourself! I can understand why no one would want to put a coffee and cookie on it! Hang it on a wall if you like!
Whether you use this mug rug idea or any of my other free mug rug patterns, don't forget I would love to see your completed creations, so please send them to me. I also would love to hear what you are learning in the process of quilting! I won't post your photos without your permission.
Until next time -