Isabella's Whimsy

handmade with love

Mug Rugs – Fiestaware – How To Make It

You may or may not have heard of mug rugs before.  They are small mats to set your mug of coffee/tea/cocoa on with a nice little place for a muffin/bagle/cookie/toast. They are all the rage! 🙂

My friend’s daughter is getting married and has selected Fiestaware dishes.  So to add a whimsical touch I made her two little mug rugs with printed fabric versions of her colors: ivory, lemongrass, peacock, paprika, tangerine, scarlet, and cobalt blue.  They are 8.5″ X 5″.

Fiestaware inspired Mug Rugs; 8.5" X 5"

Fiestaware inspired Mug Rugs; 8.5″ X 5″

Fiestaware Mug Rug Back

Fiestaware Mug Rug Back

I think that what follows might be called a tutorial, but there aren’t a lot of pics because I didn’t think ahead when I made the mug rugs.

The construction was pretty straightforward.  I found an online image of the type of Fiestaware mug in the bride’s selection, adjusted the size by zooming in and out and around (that was kind of fun), then traced it onto tissue paper.  I included the little design lines around the handle and added some lines for the rim of the mug. I traced the lines with a fine tip permanent marker and traced the patterns onto the fusible web, with one cup reversed to the other. I do NOT suggest saving a step and tracing the design from the computer monitor onto the tissue paper with the permanent marker.  I haven’t tried it, but doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

Each strip was cut at 1.75″ then sewn together one after the other.  Once the stripes were sewn I pressed the seams all one direction. I added a block of black fabric to one side or the other of the striped blocks, then fused the mugs onto the black blocks. I used a small zigzag stitch the outline the mug and handle, then used a straight stitch to add some details like the rim and the Fiestaware design.

Here you can see the applique, detail, and quilted lines.

Here you can see the applique, detail, and quilted lines.

I laid out the backing piece large enough to hold both mug rug tops, layered in the poly/cotton batting, and then the little quilt tops.  Next I cut them into separate quilts, pinned here and there, then stitched a line on each side of the seam between the two blocks.  Then the quilts were secure enough to machine quilt a line on each of the stripes. I learned from my last project to sew each line of quilting in the same direction. (If you change directions the fabric gets a bit wonky, which turned out okay last time because the little quilt top was a checkerboard; actually added a nice touch, but not what I wanted for this project!)

You can see the two vertical lines on either side of the seam between the blocks and the lines on each colored stripe.  These lines were all sewn through the 3 layers of the quilt.

You can see the two vertical lines on either side of the seam between the blocks and the lines on each colored stripe. These lines were all sewn through the 3 layers of the quilt.

Following the examples of other quilters and a friend’s suggestion, I wanted to show steam.  I used yellow perle cotton thread and freehand stitched the little lines beginning inside the mug and then, as steam does, rising up.

I handstitched the steam first then added the "wallpaper" lines. It just worked out that the wallpaper didn't directly hit any of the steam stitches.  Wallpaper lines could be sewn in before the steam lines...but then you miss the tension of wondering if there will be a hit!

I hand stitched the steam first then added the “wallpaper” lines. It just worked out that the wallpaper didn’t directly hit any of the steam stitches. Wallpaper lines could be sewn in before the steam lines…but then you miss the tension of wondering if there will be a hit!

Brain storm! How to make the black more interesting…. add red lines of stitching to look like wallpaper? OK! You know, it’s not easy to stitch straight lines (at one time I was told my eyes were crooked, so you can imagine straight lines are tricky for me), so I did my best (even redid a couple) and decided, “Eh, walls aren’t always straight, so that’s prob’ly why my lines aren’t perfectly straight.”

Finally I trimmed the quilts and added the binding…which was not as lacking in adventure as I make it sound here. There was a matter of sewing on the binding before trimming the mat, then trimming off part of the binding, so that all had to be taken out, a new fabric strip cut and pressed and resewn.  I made double fold binding (cut at 1.75″) and blind stitched it to the back. Another thing, I didn’t have any solid cobalt blue fabric, so I used the wrong side of the star fabric.

Didn’t set out to write a tutorial, and maybe it isn’t really one, but let’s call it one.

Thanks for reading!

~ Isabella

2 Comments »

Table Runner Completed

Some of you might have imagined seeing a pic of a little runner racing across a table of some kind, but no, this is another quilted project that is a long, narrow mat that lies (not runs) across a table.

This table runner is of fall colors and measure approximately 40″ X 14″.  I used the quilt-as-you-go method, then added some free motion quilting with a decorative bamboo design that was created by Leah Day, my online FMQ teacher.  If you are interested in Free Motion Quilting I recommend checking out her website, the Free Motion Quilting Project, and also consider taking a class from her through Craftsy(dot)com.  She will add more to your life than just quilting information.

Let’s have a look at the photo collection:

Fall Colors Table Runner

Fall Colors Table Runner

40" long X 14" wide

40″ long X 14″ wide

green on green backing and binding

green on green backing and binding

Bamboo Design for Quilting

Bamboo Design for Quilting

Bamboo Design for Quilting

Bamboo Design for Quilting

Fall Colors Table Runner with Bamboo FMQ Design

Fall Colors Table Runner with Bamboo FMQ Design

There you have it…another completed project, and the wedding of the couple receiving this was just 6 or 7 weeks ago.

In case you are wondering why I show it to you across a couch instead of a table, well, here’s why:

Sewing/Dining Table

🙂

~Isabella

2 Comments »

Cowboy Quilt Continues

Early in spring I started this cowboy quilt but decided to put it aside until I could learn a few things about Free Motion Quilting (FMQ).

So, today after spraying water on the water soluble quilt marking pen lines and waiting for the Bethlehem Star to dry out, I picked up the Cowboy and made some stitches.

The cowboy is bewildered as to how to begin getting these broncos ready to ride.

The cowboy is bewildered as to how to begin getting these broncos ready to ride.

I started with stitch-in-the-ditch around the center bottom block called Grass and Water

Grass and Water block

Grass and Water block

You can see I added Xs in each of the grass squares

Just an X

Just an X

Then I free motioned a spiral in each of the water squares

Spiral in, Spiral out

Spiral in, Spiral out

kind of funny, I think, but funny is good!

What you haven’t seen is the back…

Nest and loops and loose tension...oh my!

Nest and loops and loose tension…oh my!

Let’s just say, I am going to continue learning!

~Happily yours, Isabella

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: