Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My First Mug Rugs

On Saturday, the day before Mother's Day, I decided I should make gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law.  They would be more meaningful than anything I could buy, right?  (The day before was not the best timing, but it all worked in the end.  Sleep is overrated, right?!)

Bird and birdhouse sketched in a 6 x 7 inch rectangle for mug rug pattern.
I felt a bit like a child again, drawing a picture for Mother's Day.  I just took the picture to a new level this time.

Now, I must admit, I have been a bit fascinated by the concept of a Mug Rug. They are larger than a coaster, but smaller than a place mat - making them perfect for a beverage and a snack.  So, I decided to make mug rugs.

After looking up several tutorials and sketches of birds and birdhouses, I decided to draw my own picture and to take ideas I liked from several mug rug tutorials. (I did not reverse the pattern when I cut my applique pieces out, as I did not mind if the bird sat on the left or the right.)

Blue Birdhouse Mug Rug by Renee
I do not trust my sewing skills, so I made three mug rugs.  This allowed me to work the quirks out with the one for our household, instead of on the gifts.

I liked the way the mug rug at SameliasMum.com outlined the applique with charcoal thread.  I only had black, and liked the way it turned out.
Pink Birdhouse Mug Rug by Renee
As you may recall, my boys insist my mother's gifts are pink, soft, and fluffy.  This passed their inspection.

Red Birdhouse Mug Rug by Renee
I used more of the poppy fabric for my mother-in-law's gift, as it is her favorite flower.

To bind the mug rugs, I chose the 2-fold method shared at The Patchsmith.  Using the slip stitch in the back took me quite some time, but I made dramatic improvements with that stitch!

I had so much fun making these, I would not be surprised to see a "sane" quilt make it to a To Do List shared on a WIPW post one of these days!

Blue mug rug by Renee with a cup of cocoa in an M&M mug.
I do have a question for those of you with more quilting experience.  Is there a secret to machine quilting to avoid loops in the top thread?  I imagine it was a tension issue, but I could not quite manage to solve the problem with changes I made.  Any tips or advice are most welcome!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


My Garden Diaries said...

Fantastic!!!! You did such a great job on these!

Renee said...

Thank you! It was fun to watch them come together.

MarneyMay said...

Great design, I am sure they will get lots of use. When I am machine quilting I make sure I use the same thread top and bottom and make the stitch slightly bigger. I also use a bigger or denim needle because of the three layers, All the layers may be thin but they make one thick layer. A walking foot helps. Happy quilting
Cheers Pauline

Pamela said...

These are really cute. What a great idea!

StitchinByTheLake said...

These are darling - and I bet they loved them! Loops? Hmmm, not sure what that means but if you're doing straight line quilting try a walking foot and be sure your presser foot tension is adjusted for the thickness you're sewing through. Also the weight of the thread on the top and bottom should match. Some threads work better for quilting than others - it's an experiment to find the right one for your machine. blessings, marlene

Annet said...

Great mugrugs! I made a few of these a long time ago for my quilting friends, but never made one just for me. Sorry, I cannot help you with machine quilting, I always quilt by hand.

Renee said...

Thank you so much for the tips! My manual says to use the zigzag foot. I will definitely play around with larger stitches and the walking foot!

Renee said...

Thank you! I had great fun making them. :)

Renee said...

Thank you for the tips! I will certainly be trying the walking foot. It did not occur to me threads would work differently, but it makes complete sense! (I really am a novice - lol!)

Renee said...

I imagine your quilting friends loved their mug rugs! I contemplated hand quilting, but I really did not leave myself enough time. I do want to try that someday.

Wendy said...

they are so pretty! I love the addition of the embroidery and buttons

Anonymous said...

Love the mug rugs!

Renee said...

Thank you, Wendy!

Renee said...

Thank you, Michelle!