Mug Rugs, the Quickest Quilts

A friend at work was curious about the mug rug on my desk and I explained how it’s really just a mini placemat that fits a mug and muffin. It’s also a good place for a half-eaten apple when I need both hands to type. “Would you make one for me?” he asked. Well, I didn’t have to be asked twice. The only guideline was that the style should be “low key”.

At the time I had no mug rugs (MR) ready to go, not even a quilted orphan block. So I cut down my Mosaic Tile piece and quilted it. Funny how the two pictures show wonkiness in different places. Must be the camera angle 🙂

Front and back of the Mosaic Tile mug.

Front and back of the Mosaic Tile mug rug.

I was reluctant to deliver just one MR because I didn’t want my colleague to feel he had no choice but to accept it. I wanted to provide options. So I grabbed some fabric and sewed a bunch of half-square triangles. After trying a variety of layouts I decided on this:

Front and back of the Diamond mug rug.

Front and back of the Diamond mug rug.

My friend chose the Mosaic Tile design, figuring it wouldn’t show stains and dirt as much as the other. I guess this means I get to keep the Diamond MR, and so far I haven’t decided whether I’ll use it or just admire it. You see, I like the pattern so much I’m considering doing the same for a real quilt.

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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