Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quilting...The Mug Rug

So, you know my "Sewing on Saturday" posts?

Well, if you've been wondering why I've been so quiet lately, it's because I've been doing a bit of sewing on more than just Saturdays... every single day of the week.  And if I know that I have a particularly busy day ahead with personal commitments or shuttling kiddos to and fro, I make it my business to get up between 5 and 5:30 AM just to get in some sewing!

I know...I think I've lost my marbles, too!

I've become quite addicted to quilting.  I've started small and been practicing a ton with lots of little "mug rug" projects.

What's a "mug rug"?

Well, it's sort of a mini place mat that can hold a cup of joe or your favorite hot tea mug and perhaps a sweet treat or two!  Mine measure about 6.5 X 9 inches, and I've been experimenting with all sorts of fun fabrics and designs.

The little mug rugs I am sharing today are more "modern" in appearance.  To me that means the fabrics are a bit edgier/funkier/brighter than traditional fabric designs and colors.  But to be honest, I love all types of fabric from vintage to modern, solids to prints, muted to bright.

My neighbor has been giving me some private quilt lessons and she is amazing.  She started quilting about two years ago and you can catch a glimpse of her work here! (And I just love the name of her blog, "I Don't Do Dishes" because I can totally relate!  One can get so caught up in creativity that those ever-important household chores get pushed aside.)  :)

So, without further ado, I present my "Mug Rugs".

The series of above photos illustrate my FIRST-EVER quilting project.  Although I am highly embarrassed by my seams and "quilting" (for non-quilters that is the actual stitching design you make on the three-layer quilt "sandwich"...and yes, it really is called a "sandwich"!) I wanted to show you my new found love of modern fabrics.  In the past, I probably would have shied away from the bright green chartreuse geometric print, but I think it really complements the hot pink floral fabric.  I also love the bright red polka dot fabric that my neighbor encouraged me to use for the backing.

Unfortunately, I was so nervous about my sandwich bunching up under the needle that I kept pulling the fabric taut which led to the stretching and misshapen look.  Lesson learned!

This 2nd series of photos show project #2, a little mug rug using blues and greens.  I especially love the dragonfly print!

And finally, this last series of photos show project #3.  Now, I know it's crazy to be thinking about Halloween 2012, but these fun little Halloween fabrics were in a "stash" of 25 "fat eighth" pieces ( 9 x 21), and I thought they might be fun for a little mug rug project.  (Think Fall with a steaming hot mug of apple cider and a slice of pumpkin bread!)

As you can see, each time I create a  mug rug, my seams look better and the actual "quilting" gets better, too.

These next couple of photos show a totally finished project.  That means that after I created my quilted sandwich, I made the finished edge or "binding".  Making binding and mitering corners did take some practice for me, but it seems to be the actual hand sewing of the binding to the quilt sandwich that is causing me the most trouble. 

Because I have too much pride, I am not sharing my first two attempts at binding...but I will share #3.  I think the top of the mug rug turned out great for a newbie quilter...the back not so much.  I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to see all those hand stitches.  I've watched a zillion You Tube videos on hand binding, but really just need my neighbor to give me the one-on-one tutorial...again. (It takes me a few about "visual" learner...)

Here it is completed...

Sadly, for me, I will be giving this mug rug away.  Tonight, I am going with my neighbor to my first-ever quilt guild meeting.  I decided to jump in with both feet and participate in the mug rug swap that they are doing at the meeting.  While a bit of anxiety is setting in over my imperfections, I'm fairly confident that most creative types are forgiving and encouraging of novices.  We've all been there when trying a new endeavor...right?!!!

Finally, I have created a "quilting/sewing blog" dedicated solely to my new hobby.  Feel free to visit me over at Wrapped in Love .  I plan to add a link to my sidebar soon!



  1. Don't be so hard on yourself! Show the "bad" stuff too. It'll be good for posterity :), when you look back in a year it will be good to see all the hairy details and marvel at how far you've come!

  2. I'm bringing you a package tonight, my dear. :) Love your mug rugs. You're doing a great job. Binding is my least favorite chore. Seriously. I make my mom do it when she is in town. I'm getting better and faster at it, though, since my mom hasn't been here to visit for a while...

  3. You are ddoing great. Love the finished product and so will someone else. So cute!!

    Break is coming up-want to get together?


  4. Valerie, they are so pretty! Those bright colors just make me smile!! Congrats to you for learning how to quilt1 I would love to myself some day!

    By the way, Jennifer from Crafolic is offering a giveaway on my blog of her new Journey's End Game. If you're interested, you should comment.

  5. I've received a few requests to open up “Pay It Forward” to posts from a bloggers own blog. I thought I'd give it a try. Although the original idea was to share what you've seen elsewhere on the internet, I recognize that each time we post something on our own blogs we are also sharing Good News, great tips, wonderful prayers, fabulous photos, scrumptious recipes, hilarious humor, unbelievable books, stories of goodwill, or good things that have knocked our socks off. I hope you’ll post something from your blog.

    I'll leave the March linky open until March 14th. (Entered links will appear in two posts.) I can't wait to see what gets posted!

  6. I really like this idea. It looks like a quiltling project that even I (a non-quilter) might try.

    Also, what a beautiful blog, and a beautiful family! I love reading blogs by Catholic mothers and wives. My sister and I actually recently joined the community of Catholic-mommy bloggers, and it is exciting to find that we are in such great company. I will continue to follow your blog, and please feel free to visit ours,

  7. Good for you! I've always wanted to try quilting - its still on my bucket list. :) How fortunate you have a neighbor veteran quilter as a resource. Oh, and those little spiders are adorable!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."