A Mug Rug At Last

design wall mosaic IMG_1209After I started building my mosaic tiles blocks  (described here) at the modern guild’s sew-in in January, there was more sewing to do at home.  Rather than unpack, I decided to leave my Bernina in its travel case and sew on my older machine, a Husqvarna. I played with it just a little and measured and remeasured my seams to be sure I was getting 1/4″. Sounds good, right? Who thought to compare this to the finished seam width of the squares made on the Bernina? Not me. (Cue music that foreshadows doom.)

Coloured squares IMG_1175

After stitching the black strips around the batik squares and getting ready to slice them up, I discovered these squares were easily 1/4″ smaller than the batch I made at the sew in. Since I didn’t want to have to fudge the seam allowance on the resulting cuts, and there was no way I was going to unsew the black strips, I decided to repurpose the squares. The squares were intended for a mug rug and a mug rug they shall be.

With the 9-patch alone being too small, I dug into my box of previously stitched pieces and attached the purple and pink section that I rejected from my second Jean Wells intuitive art project.

Mug rug in progess

Not bad, but still not long enough. A bit more batik and the front was done. Some quick quilting and voilà!

Finished mug rug. Approx. 9" x 6"

Finished mug rug. Approx. 9″ x 6″

Clearly, this is not a tidy or accurate little quilt, but so far neither the coffee nor cookies have complained.

Mug & cookies IMG_1198


A Black Tile Affair

Our city has a modern quilt guild (so lucky I know!) that launched last September. And most months the guild holds a “sew in”, where from 10 until 4 on the chosen day a dozen or so members get together to sew and gab and check out each other’s projects and tools. It’s lots of fun. 

Batik scraps

Batik scraps

At our last sewing day I wanted to make a mug rug (a mini placement to use like a coaster, that is big enough to accommodate both a mug and snack) and I had no design in mind other than to pull from a bag of batik scraps and solid black scraps. Although it’s not part of the modern esthetic to use much black, I was reluctant to use light colours for a mat that might see any number of spills and stains. 

At the sew in Katy, who blogs over at LethargicLass, was working on a pillow cover and the design was wonderful. Such tiny pieces and so much work. I was in awe. Then she told me the secret and I knew I had found the perfect pattern for my mug rug. Katy’s Mosaic Tile Tutorial is part of a Mosaic Tile Quilt Along. So if this pattern captures your imagination hurry and give it a whirl and submit your output here by February 14. There’s a draw for some generous prizes of books and fabric.

1. The component parts: black strips and coloured squares. 2. Framed squares. 3. After slicing and dicing.

1. The component parts: black strips and coloured squares. 2. Framed squares. 3. After slicing and dicing.

Although I can’t exactly say it was fun to make the framed squares, it was very cool to watch the piece come together. For some reason I thought a mug rug should finish to 7″ x 10″, but at that size it feels too big and clunky. 

Mosaic Tile in black. 7.5" x 10.5"

Mosaic Tiles in Black. 7.5″ x 10.5″ (unfinished size)

Decisions, decisions. Since I like this little quilt top so much I don’t know that I want to trim it to a more manageable size. Nor am I sure about making it bigger when I have no need for a larger piece like a doll quilt or little wall hanging. 

Keeping in mind that it can be a mistake for me to rush to finish things, I’ll let this percolate a little and hope genius strikes soon.