Sunday, March 20, 2011

My first mug rug (and all the ugly truth!)

Oh, boy...this post is difficult to share because it shows all my flaws, but I will share because we're all learning and sharing together, right?!?  Please remember that this is the first time I've ever created a mug rug and it was created right out of the air - no pattern!

(Big breath & a sigh...)  OK, here we go....

I had an idea! 

I wanted to use 1/4 of a fat quarter, so I cut out two from my favorite "chocolate" fabrics.  I found a small piece of white felt at a thrift store for 25 cents, so I decided to use that to make my little mini quilt sandwich.  Then I thought that straight-line quilting diagonally one direction and then across the other direction to make "diamonds" would be a look I would like, so I got out Harriet Hargrave's 'Heirloom Machine Quilting" book and read through the stitch in the ditch techniques...

After spending 45 minutes to an hour figuring out (with assistance from my DH) how to properly attach and use the walking foot made for my Janome Jem Gold 3 and spending another 30 minutes trying various types of threads from nylon to embroidery, I went back to my Prescencia 60/3 because I'm accustomed to using it. I decided why try TWO new techniques at once (requiring a change in tension settings), when I can use the thread and tension I'm most comfortable with while trying out a new foot.  Ivory is the only Prescencia thread color choice I have, so ivory it is....
and here's my wonky beginning....
(Harriet reminds us that a little bit of inferior work shows up ALOT, 
but that a LOT of inferior quilting doesn't show up as much, so
as we work along, we'll see if her theory is correct....)

Here's my walking foot with the guide attached.
The guide helps keep the sewed rows the same width apart.

Can you see the guide on the right?
It's on top of the left row of stitches...

After sewing in all the diagonals in one direction, it was obviously wonky,
so after adding all the diagonals in the other direction to
create a "diamond" effect,
was Harriet' theory correct?
Let your eyes be the judge:

The wonkiness of my quilting lines are now not nearly as obvious...
thank you once again, Harriet!

Note to self:
If you use thread the same color as the main color in your fabric,
your wonky seams won't show up nearly so badly, either!
I'm beginning to feel better now :-)

OK, that happy moment is over because....
(dreadful intro music DA-Dut-DAH!)
It's time for the dreaded binding...
(which I have never, ever used before!)
So, of course I cheat a little and use store-made binding.

I decided to clean up the edges first is a good idea...

The name of this fabric line is "Chocolat" by Linda March for SPX Fabrics...

I'm not going to show my so-called binding "technique" because I have none, so please don't mistake this for being properly done!  Nonetheless, I do learn, as all others do, from my mistakes.
So, it's not perfect, but it's pretty darn nice anyway!
And now Impera_Magna can smile because
she's been waiting for weeks to see 
my first mug rug come into being!

I chose the fabric because of the very cute sayings...
how do you like these?
(Since the fabric designer had a sense of humor,
I might as well, too!)

Here's what's in the box:
(on the back)

So, here it is in all its "glory" very first mug rug!
I plan to use it often
enjoy it, errors and all!

Have you tried a mug rug yet?
It was a challenge, but now
that I'm through the first one,
I'm ready to try another!
Won't you join me?


  1. I love your mug rug... esp the fabric! Too cool! Isn't it fun having such a (relatively) quick finish?

    I use blue painter's tape for the first stitching line... it sticks well to fabric and repositions easily. Especially nice when you start getting fancier with your quilting...

    Good job!

  2. I think it is adorable...perfect for some drinking chocolate. ;)

  3. Thanks, gals! You made me feel better about it and I appreciate the post you placed on your wall, Angie! Time to break out the hot chocolate and some of the chocolate chip cheesecake my DD made this afternoon :-)

    The blue painter's tape for lining up the first stitching line is a great idea - thanks again! I've got to get some...WalMart?

  4. I love it! I think you did a fantastic job. I just made my first mug rug too and now I never want to stop.

    AND ontop of doing an awesome job the fabirc is just so cute and it makes me want to eat MORE chocolate...hrm LOL

    Impera...painters tape...I will give that a shot too!

  5. Good job! And I love the fabric!!! Perfect for a mug rug!


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