Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Improvisational Pieced Mug Rug Tutorial

Mug rugs are so big right now! As I've said before, these uber mini quilts are great for trying out new techniques, and in this case, perfect for using up scraps and orphan blocks. All you need to make this mug rug is a big ole handful of scraps, your sewing machine, and your rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.

Improvisational piecing is just that: improvised. You'll learn things as you go, and discover new ways to add to your piece. It's all straight-line sewing, but remember you can sew at crazy/steep angles, or on normal vertical/horizontal paths. Every time you add on a new piece of fabric, cut a new straight line for yourself. I think you'll see what I mean in the photos.

I'll wait for you to get your things gathered.

pile 'o scraps


Ok, here goes:

How To Make an Improvisational, Pieced Mug Rug

1. Pick a scrap. Any scrap.

2. Sew another piece of fabric to the first scrap.

3. Sew on a third piece. This time, I stitched the new piece of fabric across the main unit at an angle.

4. Press the new piece of fabric open, and then trim your the fabrics to create continuous straight edges.

5. Repeat until your mug rug is the size your want. Sew a scrap onto the main unit and trim a new straight edge. Also try piecing fabrics together before adding them to the main unit. See what I mean below:

Sew two pieces together before joining them with the main unit.

Sew orphan blocks (like the hour glass block here) to more scraps, and then to the base unit.
 6. Trim your mug rug top to the size you want (rule of thumb: about the size of a hardback book). Make your quilt sandwich as normal and baste together.

7. Quilt that bad boy up! I did some seriously wacky straight line quilting on this one, following the shapes of the scraps.

8. Add binding as normal. I pieced together some scrap binding I had laying around to keep the scrap theme going. Don't throw that stuff out!


9. Add a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy your new mug rug!

Happy Stitching,



Needled Mom said...

Lovely. Thanks for the tutorial!

Carrie P. said...

Well done.

Cherilyn said...

Hi Kelly,

I just presented the "Liebster Award" to you! Check out my latest post for details!


Kelly said...

Thanks for the nice comments! And Cherilyn, thank you for the award - absolutely made my day!!! :-)

Andie said...


Richard Healey said...

I love what you did. Love the quilting and the diffident shapes and sizes.


Kelly said...

Thanks, Richard! :-)

Angel said...

I LOVE your mug rug. I just learned about these little guys yesterday. Can you believe that?! I'm going to be making these like crazy!

Thank you so much for posting! Stop by when you get a chance...

Kelly said...

Thanks, Angel! I hope you have fun making a bunch of mug rugs - they're pretty addictive, I"ll admit! :-) Thanks for stopping by!