Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Mug Rug Production

It's almost that time again! This year, since I didn't have to create the guild newsletter and post it etc., I've had so much extra time to actually quilt. What a treat! I decided to make a little something for my friends and colleagues for the holiday season. Since mug rugs are all the rage this year, I thought I would give those a try.

I am very happy to say that I have a nice little stash of Christmas fabrics collected over the years. Just enough fabrics to have a decent variety. This year, at Quilty Pleasures, I bought two little bundles of 2 1/2 inch charm packs of Moda Christmas fabrics. With those squares mixed in with some of my own fabrics, I made quite a few small 9 patch blocks with borders. They made really nice mug rugs.
Mug rug using Moda squares
These are all little Moda squares

Three 9 patch mug rugs
The block in the middle mug rug was made years ago!
I also had quite a few blocks that I had made years ago, so they got incorporated into the mug rug production.

Three fabric mug rugs
Three fabric mug rugs
After researching on the internet, I found that many mug rugs were made of three panels of fabric. Here are a few of those models.  I found it difficult to put all of these printed fabrics together, but I think most came out ok.

Appliquéd tree
Appliquéd tree
The tree on the mug rug above was made of strips of fabric and appliquéd. That was a lot of fun.

These were also great little projects to practice my free motion quilting. Some came out better than others, but that's what practicing is all about!

Lovely penguin fabric
Lovely penguin fabric
I made this mug rug to highlight the penguin fabric. Aren't they cute!

I bought a couple of e-patterns for mug rugs. The mug and gingerbread man was one of them. My version doesn't really do it justice. The one with the different border looks better though.

mug rug
Mug and Gingerbread Man 
Glitzy mug rugs
Same mug rug with a different border
 I also created a few glitzy mug rugs. The two below will be in the mail today for Denmark, one for my brother and sister-in-law and the other for her mother. I hope they get there on time!

Bandit in the stash
Bandit nesting in my Christmas stash!

I spent many evenings making these. One night, Bandit decided to keep me company. He moved around some of the fabrics in the box and made himself at home.

What I learned:

  • Having a dozen or so small projects on the go is more than I can handle. At one point, I felt very scattered. I think that it's best if I make a few and finish them before moving on.
  • Sometimes it's important to review things that you think you know! I was having a very hard time at the beginning with the binding. I thought I wasn't stopping early enough at each corner (that 1/4 inch) but it turns out, after reviewing directions for making those corners that I wasn't folding the fabric properly. After that, my corners were much more respectable.
  • I found it hard to choose the different fabrics that would go together on a mug rug. After I made the Mug and Gingerbread Man above, I realised that having a different fabric for the binding can be a very good thing to emphasize the project.

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