Sunday 3 June 2012

Mug Rug Swap

There is a new girl at work who sits next to me, Beverley - she is very positive, energised and inspiring.  So as a 'welcome-to-our-team' gift, I made her a little coaster for her coffee cup.  But, every time I passed her desk her mug was on the table and the coaster unused.  "I don't want to ruin it," was her answer when I enquired.  So I lifted her mug and placed it on the coaster whilst telling her "it will wash and even if it gets ruined, I will just make another".  I still, two weeks later, have to put her coffee cup directly on the coaster when I pass!!  (I will post the applique sheet for this coaster later, along with a heart, hand and moon option so come back soon.)
Well now I know how she feels!; following on from the Zakka mug rug project, I was invited to swap mug rugs with a lovely lady, Amy of 'eamylove', from America.  I jumped at the chance and designed a mug rug which reflected her tastes (I hope) and my location.  Today I received her gift to me - two mug rugs and a lovely sample pack of Moda 'Gypsy Rose' fabrics. 
Amy has given me two mugs rugs thinking I could part with one for my sister - that is never gonna happen - they are just both so lovely and very different there is no way I can possibly choose - I just can't do it.  Instead, I will keep them both on my workdesk so my sister can use the one of her choice when she comes over.  That is only, and that should be a huge ONLY, if I can watch without grimacing as she or I put a coffee cup on these beautiful pieces of work.  I will let you know how I get on with that.

I love the pretty turquoise and floral mug rug - it is so fresh and summery.  But, I am (very nearly, almost, quite possibly) decided that my favourite is the green and black mug rug - the 'unlock your dreams' theme says it all.  Also this mug rug has a block of fabric featuring crowns which, as I have received it on Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee, will always remind me of the day that I received my first mug rug swap.  How very clever of Amy. 

But what they both show me is how professional Amy's work is - the binding and quilting is immaculate.   No wonder she sells her work - she is so skilled (click here for her Etsy shop).  I am going to spend some time learning how to bind and quilt so neatly and, as Laurraine kindly told me from Patchwork Pottery, I will practise, practise, practise.   Also, Amy must have a huge stash of different fabrics - check out Amy's work here to see the prints and colours she uses?    I have quite a bit of fabric but can a quilter ever have too much?  I don't think so.  A sample pack is an excellent way to add variation to your stash and you can try different styles, patterns and colours that you wouldn't normally use without wasting fabric.  I shall indulge in more sample packs in the future.

Finally, Amy hasn't used batting in her mug rugs and this seems to be so obvious that I wonder why I didn't think of it.  Interfacing is a much better choice as it means there is less 'rocking' of the mug as the rug lays flatter on the table.  I am finishing off a summer table runner which I will show you another day - I have used batting in this but I am now thinking that even with table toppers and table runners interfacing is a good alternative. 

But for now, from a cloudy England celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee I have received a smile from across the Atlantic - a smile that will last a very long time.

1 comment:

  1. Well, Amanda - I think I will have a headache soon from all the swelling, but it will be worth it! I'm sooooo glad you love your mug rugs! The crowns and the Jubilee connection took my breath away - that was pure coincidence! I hope to post a mini-tutorial on machine binding soon...before I forget how I did it! Don't forget - you can always flip the mug rugs over, if there's a spot on the front! ;)