You are viewing this site in staging mode. Click in this bar to return to normal site.

Mug Rug

09 October 2014 15:25


Do you own a mug rug?  

          Have you ever used one?  

                    Have you made one?  

                              Do you even know what a mug rug is?

Basically, a mug rug is an overgrown coaster - or a mini quilt.  They are usually quilted and between 15cmsx10cms and 25cmsx15cms in size – just big enough to hold your coffee mug and a chocolate digestive – or whatever snack takes your fancy.

As many of you know, we've had a few printing issues recently, so I have amassed a pile of scraps of fabric, where printing has failed or had to be aborted. We can't send them out, but they're OK to use where small pieces are needed, so I decided to make a Mug Rug. (The rest of the pieces will go to a psychiatric hospital for use in occupational therapy.)

I used this one for inspiration. 

There are lots of lovely ideas on Pinterest (you can see some on my Pinterest boards Crafty Sewing Ideas and Christmas) but many of them need specific colours, or you need to buy a pattern. This one is based on strips round a central square.  (OK, it's off-centre, but you get the idea.)

For my square, I used part of Sarah Summers' aptly named Time for Tea design. I wanted to stick with the beige and an aqua, so I ended up using just Sarah's prints.


Do you know what QAYG stands for? No, neither did I! It stands for Quilt As You Go.  As I understand it, it means that, instead of piecing your quilt and then quilting it, you stitch the pieces together on top of the wadding, so that when you finish piecing, your quilt is already quilted. Quite a few of the mug rugs I looked at suggested this method. It's quick and makes sense for a small project.

I couldn't see a sensible way of using this method for the whole of my design, so I used it where I could. 

This is how I made my mug rug

1. Cut your fabric. I started with my tea cup square and cut strips to go round it. My rug ended up a bit wider and not so tall as I planned, but the nice thing about mug rugs generally and this design in particular is that it doesn't matter. As long as it all fits together, your pieces can be wider or narrower, longer or shorter.

    I used:   a 10cm square

                 2 strips 25cms x 3.5cms (That was the plan; in fact, these strips ended up about 27.5cms - some dodgy measuring somewhere!)

                 2 strips 10cms x 3.5cms

                 3 strips 15cms x 3.5cms

2. Join the 3 15cm strips along their long edges, using a narrow (1/4” or less) seam. The short edge of this piece (the 3 strips joined together) should be 10cms (the same length as the square.) Press seams to one side.

3. Join 1 x 10cm strip, the square, the 3 15cm strips and the other 10cm strip by their 10cm sides. Press seams.

4. Now place 1 25cm strip face up along the edge of the wadding. Place your completed block face down on top of it, so that the edges to be stitched line up. Stitch the seam, through both strips and the wadding. Press seam.

5. Add the last strip in the same way.

You should now have a completed top with wadding attached a little way in along the 2 long edges.

At this point, you can add the backing, but I decided to do a bit of hand-stitched quilting on the square and one of the strips.

Now I added the backing.  You can, if you prefer, add this at the same time as the wadding, stitching all the layers together at once.  You can cut the backing the same size as the mug rug and add a binding all round.  I continued the theme of using the quick method, and added the backing and binding in one.

6. Cut your backing fabric about 2-3 cms bigger all round than your mug rug.

7. Place the backing on the table, wrong side up.  Position your top-and-wadding on top, right side up, leaving a border all round.  Stitch about 1/4" in from the edge of the mug rug.

 8. Fold the edge of the backing over about 1/4" (you may need to trim your backing at this point; you don't want the binding on the front to be too deep) and bring it over the edge of your mat, onto the front.  Pin in place.  Make sure it covers the machine stitches and fits snugly against the wadding.

9. Work along the edge till you get near to the corner.  There are a number of ways to mitre the corner.  Lollyquiltz uses the 'covering a book' method; Knitty Bitties folds the corner across and a third one, which I can't find at the moment - I'll add it if I find it again! - uses a sort of rolling technique to persuade the mitre into place.  All of these tutorials are on my Pinterest Crafty Sewing Ideas board.  It doesn't matter which you use, as long as no raw edges can peep out at the corner!

10. Slip stitch the binding in place. or machine close to the edge, making sure the corner is stitched down and can't escape!

Tada!  One mug rug, mostly made with scraps and in one evening.

If you make your own mug rug - this design or any other - we'd love to see it.