Monday 7 December 2020

Happy Hanukkah Mug Rug

Hanukkah starts this Thursday, 10th December 2020 and I have the perfect mug rug for this special occasion – my Celebration Candles mug rug.

I like this night-time version, which makes the light from the candles seem even brighter:

But the menorah candles shine all day too:

And if you are looking to undertake a project during this period of reflection and gratitude then you could always hand-stitch your own version ready for 2021:

Happy Hanukkah to everybody across the world.

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Late Summer Mug Rug

Quilt-As-You-Go 'Late Summer' Mug Rug

It is officially the first day of Autumn today so I pulled out my Halloween and Thanksgiving mug rug pattern book with a view to making something season.

Halloween and Thanksgiving Mug Rug Pattern Book
(also available in paperback via Amazon)

But then the sun came out and the sky turned bright blue and it seemed too early to contemplate autumnal themes.  Thankfully, every one of my mug rug pattern books comes with a pattern that can be used all year round.  In my Halloween and Thanksgiving book it is the ‘Quilt-as-You-Go’ pattern.

Halloween Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) Mug Rug

This pattern is designed to use up spare charm squares (5” fabric squares) so I pulled a selection of some of my favourite summer fabrics.

Summery Charms Squares and Scraps 

I lay them out to decide which seven fabrics worked well together before cutting the pieces.

Cut and ready for stitching

Then it was a simple case of laying them onto batting and backing and stitching them together as detailed in the pattern.

Stitch the scraps together onto batting

And hey presto - in just over an hour I have a mug rug that spans two seasons – the Late Summer mug rug.

 Late Summer Mug Rug

Until next time.

Thursday 13 August 2020

Tea and Books Mug Rug Tutorial

In these uncertain times saving money is something we can all do and that is where mug rug making comes into its own.  You can update your table or create a gift with little more than scraps of fabric left over from other projects.

And one pattern I particularly like is my Tea and Books Mug Rug pattern.  It uses every last scrap of fabric – right down to the printed selvage edges that are normally thrown away.  The pattern is available individually HERE or you can find it in my Hobby & Fun Mug Rug pattern book available in PDF from Etsy or in paperback via Amazon.

Here is how this lovely little pattern goes together …..

I started out with this selection but things change....

You start with some scraps - the pattern tells you exactly how big these need to be.  Don't take too long -
 you can always change your mind as you put the mug rug together.

I changed the book fabrics to be more book-like!

Once you have your mug rug background patched you can then start playing around with the applique.  For me this is the fun bit.

One of many selections of 'book titles'
The book titles are created using the printed selvage edge of fabric.  Once you start looking you will see lots of interesting names that will work well here.

A Christmas Selection of Titles'

To create the book titles, trace the ‘title’ rectangles from the pattern, onto fusible webbing.  Cut out roughly leaving 1/8”-1/4” all around

'Fuse the webbing rectangle over the part of the selvage you want as the book title.

Next decide which parts of the selvage you want for your title.  Here I want “Bee in my Bonnet”, so I fused the rectangle onto the back of the printed selvage edge, ensuring that the main part of the rectangle covers the bit of the print that I want.  I then trimmed along the top and bottom of the selvage, turned the selvage over so that the print is facing up and finished trimming the ends to create the exact book title I wanted. 

Trim the print but cutting the ends to create the exact title you want.

Here are the finished four book titles all trimmed and ready to fuse into place:

Here are my finished four titles.

You then need to decide which title will go on which book. 

Titles are allocated to their respective book spines.

Peel the paper from the fusible webbing and fuse in place but remember, when fusing the book on the left-hand side, you need to allow for binding so you should leave ½” between the title and the edge of the mug rug as shown below.

Once fused you can stitch the titles in place using any stitch you like.  I used a machine blanket stitch as my machine has such a neat one.

Bookshelf section of the Tea and Books mug rug

Bookshelf done – time to move onto the mug.  Follow the pattern and you can’t go wrong.  One tip – I add the steam spirals and teabag cord prior to quilting so I mark my mug rug using a Frixion pen and simply stitch over the markings.  When done, a warm iron will get rid of the marks totally.

Marking steam with an erasable marker prior to embroidery

 And, as they say, from there is it nearly all over.  

Subtle steam!

Quilt and bind your mug rug as detailed in the pattern. 

Scrappilicious Tea and Books Mug Rug

These would make great gifts for teachers or book-club readers.  Until next time ……. 

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Bee Patriotic Sew Along Table Topper and Runner

Bee Patriotic Table Topper

There are twelve blocks in the Bee Patriotic Sew Along.  Enough to make a quilt if you patch the 12” blocks or a nice wall hanging if you patch the 6” blocks.  In my usual style I am doing neither.
Bee Patriotic Table Runner in progress

I am making a table topper and matching table runner for my lounge using ten 6” blocks from this sew-along.  Which means I have only needed six more blocks:

Cozy Star Block

Glimmer Block

Holly and Ivy Block

Pinwheel Block

Shine Block

And finally, to put my own stamp on this sew-along I have added my Stained Glass Cross block from my Sampler pattern book. 

Stained Glass Cross Block from
The Patchsmith's Sampler Pattern Book

I am busy finishing these projects so that my lounge will look very patriotic for July 4th.

Until next time ......

Thursday 4 June 2020

Bee Patriotic Sew Along

Are you joining in the Lori Holt Bee Patriotic Sew-Along?  For the month of June we are making 12 blocks from Lori's Vintage Christmas Book. 

I need a new summer table runner and table topper so I am joining in by making the 6" blocks using scraps from my stash.  I think the selection will go together well:
A pretty patriotic palette of scraps don't you think?

Block 1 - Cozy Star Block.
A simple block of rectangles, squares and half-square triangles which will look good even if your seams don't match exactly!

Block 2 - Christmas Star
You may know this block by a lot of other names as it is a traditional patchwork block.

Block 3 - Glimmer Block
Simple squares, rectangles and half-triangles.  Neat.

Week one done.  Jump on board - you can find all the details HERE.

Until next week....

Monday 18 May 2020

The Patchsmith's Rainbow Mug Rug

The Patchsmith's Rainbow Mug Rug

In these uncertain times, here in England the sign of hope and thankfulness is a rainbow.  So I thought it might be fun to share some hope with you in the form of my Rainbow Mug Rug pattern.

This is an easy pattern made up of a little bit of patchwork and a little bit of quick-fuse applique.  You can find lots of information and guidance on quick-fuse applique and so much more in the ‘Mug Rug Basics’ tab above.  

And to add a bit of sunshine I thought I would share this pattern and some hints-and tips as well.   First you need the pattern ......

Then you will need to choose some fabric scraps - the rainbow section can be made from left-over binding scraps or charm squares.  Make it as pretty or plain as you like.
Choosing fabrics is so much fun.  

Once you have stitched the strips together to create the ‘rainbow’ section of the mug rug you can add the sky rectangle.  

Then you are ready to add a little bit of sunshine.  Trace the sun shapes onto the smooth side of a square of fusible webbing.  
It doesn't matter if you position the sky section on the left or right of the rainbow patch.  The sun applique works for both.

Next fuse the tracing onto the WRONG side of your sun fabric. 
As you can see from the photo above I have fused an additional square of muslin to the back of my sun fabric to ensure the bright turquoise background doesn’t show through.

I always peel back a corner of the fusible webbing tracing before I cut the shapes out.  This helps when peeling the backing paper away from the individual shapes.

Once the shapes are fused and cut you are ready to place them onto the sky section of the mug rug.  
Can you see the turned back corner - it makes peeling paper so easy.

Line up the straight edges of the sun with the straight edges of the mug rug before placing your three sun rays.  When placing the sun rays you need to leave enough space for binding so make sure the rays are approximately ½” from the edge of the mug rug.  Once you are happy with their placement fuse them in place.

You can stitch the shapes in place by hand or machine .

And to finish just quilt and bind your little Rainbow Mug Rug - the details are in the pattern (you will find printable instructions on binding methods HERE). 

And there you have it - a little mug rug to give to a care worker, child or friend.  Just remember to observe some rules when sending small fabric gifts through the post.

So what are you waiting for?  Join with me and share a little sunshine.  And if you like this pattern then you are sure to like the Quilt As You Go Flip & Quilt mug rug pattern too.

Flip And Quilt (QAYG) Mug Rug Pattern

Until next time ....

Saturday 28 March 2020

Quilted Gift Giving and Coronavirus

Sending gifts through the post at this time can be both a blessing and a curse.  On the positive side it is the perfect time to let somebody know they are cared for and loved.  However, if care isn’t taken you may end up giving the recipient more than just a quilted gift.
So I thought I would share some simple steps I am taking when sending one of my little mug rugs to a friend in these worrying times.

1.         Once I have made the quilt I leave it untouched for seven days before packing and posting it.  I call this the quilt quarantine period.

Spring Chicken Mug Rug (from my Animal & Pets Book)

2.         After the quilt quarantine period is over I use clean gloves and pack the mini quilt in a plastic bag.  I try to use a bag that can be opened and the mini quilt simply tipped out. This allows the recipient to only touch the plastic bag – they can then wash their hands before touching the quilt.  Alternatively the recipient may wish to wipe down the plastic bag before taking the quilt out.

3.         If I am including a small packet of cookies or a chocolate bar I make sure it is wiped down with a disinfectant wipe before including it with the mug rug.
Butterfly Pocket Mug Rug Pattern

4.         The plastic bag is then popped into an envelope, addressed and taken to the post office whilst adhering to the strict social distancing measures that are in place.

5.         I let the recipient know a small gift is going to arrive and I put my address on the back of the package so that they can identify it when it arrives.  Many of my older relatives (myself included) leave the post on the doormat for at least 4 hours before picking it up.
Beach Huts Mug Rug Pattern

6.         If I think the recipient might be concerned at all about the safety of the gift I include a note or card letting them know the measures I have taken.  I also let them know that the gift is washable and can be washed before use.  In these worrying times I do not want to add to their stress with my handmade gift.  

7.         And finally, I do not seal any envelopes by licking them.  Obvious but habitual!

Summer Birdhouse Mug Rug pattern

Nobody can be sure about anything at the moment.  All we can do is minimize risk and keep showing one another how very important they are.

Please feel free to share any safety tips you have put in place - in the comments below.

Keep safe everybody.  Until next time ........