Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mug Rug Madness!

Couple of things before you start reading...

*First, I took the Process Pledge (see the button on the left), so this post will be...lengthy.
**Second, I'm going to mention more about this at the end of the post, but since most of you probably don't care about my particular processes, and I don't think you'll make it that far down, check out Erin's Mug Rug Madness (also see the button on the left...I'm getting too many buttons!).

For the past month or so, I've been in a mug rug kind of mood. I love making them, and they make perfect gifts! Plus, I love the freedom you have with them - they're so small, so you can try out new techniques, or just have fun with it!

First up, I actually made this one several weeks ago, but just never got around to sending it until a few days ago. It's for my friend, Cheri. She's super, uber-crafty, and really, she's the one who originally got me sewing to begin with. A few years ago, before I even owned a sewing machine, I would see some of the stuff she would make and I thought, "Hey, I could do that!" Well, I couldn't...then, at least. I still can't really do the things that she does, and my main focus is quilts now. But she's the reason I bought a sewing machine to begin with.

At the end of last year, she suggested that we do our own swap, and she specifically asked me to make her a mug rug. I asked her what colors she likes, and she said greens and blues. So I got the fabric I wanted at Sew Modern, but I still didn't know what I was going to do with it all. Cheri happened to read this blog post about when I went to Sew Modern the day it opened, and she somehow saw a whale fabric in one of the pictures. So one night, on Facebook chat, she said she really wanted that whale fabric because she loves whales. Little did she know that I already got fabric for her mug rug (not the whale fabric, though), and that gave me an idea! So I began my search to fulfill that idea.

I found what was actually an embroidery pattern here, and used that as a stencil for my whale. Appliqued that little guy on a kind of sky/sea scene, embroidered the spout spray, free-motioned some clouds in the "sky," and did a little wavy line quilting in the "sea." I kept the back simple, because Cheri likes things simple, so I really held back.

Next up is the one I did for Marybeth.  Did you see the Pay it Forward 2011 thing that was going around Facebook at the beginning of the year?  I'm doing that, and Marybeth is on my list, and she also requested a mug rug (see, these things are in high-demand!).  Originally she said she wanted blues and greens, too, but when I talked with her further about it, she said she'd like something yellow, because she's about to repaint her kitchen yellow.  I used a bunch of yellow scraps I had, and then bought this great Robert Kaufman print for the back.  And remember that plus pillow I made for Valentine's Day using Melissa & Co.'s pattern?  Well, I kind of did that with this mug rug, except I didn't actually look at the pattern, so I messed it up a little (but I only figured that out when I was piecing it.  It's not an obvious mistake).  And of course, it's way scaled down.  I really love the way this one turned out. 

Next is Michelle's.  I wanted to make something for Michelle, just because she's a good friend.  And then I realized it was her birthday (this was back in February).  So, I had to get on the ball.  She loves the Beatles, so I found some Beatles fabric on Etsy, but it came in way after her birthday, so I gave her the warning that I was working on something for her, but it would be late.  I had wanted to do a Union Jack for the front of the mug rug, but I could.not. get it to look right.  So I gave up.  One of these days I'll try it again, and actually use a tutorial!  So I finally broke down and asked her what colors she liked.  She gave me a few options, one of them being blue and yellow, since her and her husband are UCLA grads.  So I kind of used this tutorial for a starburst block, but stopped piecing when I thought it was big enough for the size I was going for.  That's why I say I kind of used the tute, because I didn't go through the whole thing.  After it was all said and done, I thought it kind of looked like spotlights, like at Hollywood?  Which was kind of cool, too, since we live in LA, and Michelle and I just recently had a Hollywood adventure (I really need to blog about that!).  The back, obviously, I just left simple with the Beatles fabric, and I did some herringbone quilting.  I figured this one is really a reversible mug rug - if she's feeling some Bruins love, she can have the blue and yellow spotlight side up.  If she's feeling more Beatlesy that day, she can have the Beatles side up.

Last, but not least, is for my dear friend, Melissa.  Melissa's awesome, and she's done some pretty thoughtful things for me in the short time we've known each other (see this post), so I wanted to make something for her.  She moved away back in November, but she was going to be coming in town, so I wanted to have it done for her when she got here.  She loves color spectrums, and what do you know, I won a color spectrum fabric bundle at the last LAMQG meeting!  Even before I got that though, I knew I wanted to do something rainbow-ish for her mug rug.  I found this great Kokka fabric for the back on etsy totally randomly, so after I won that bundle, I was set!  She also loves hexagons, so I just kind of went with that and came up with this design.  And of course, I used Liz's machine-piecing hexagons tutorial, because it's the best. To go with the rainbow-theme, I quilted in an arch pattern.  Come to find out, the day before she came in town was her birthday, so it was kind of good timing on my part to have already had this made.

This past Saturday, I had a little sew day at my house, and Katy came over.  She coined the term "March Mug Rug Madness" for our sew day - the boys have their basketball and mustaches, we have our mug rugs.  She actually started and finished a mug rug while she was here!  I was so proud.  She won my giveaway back in February, and since she's the one who won, I threw in a few Bliss hexagons for her, because she loves her some Bliss.  I had already pieced most of those hexagons, but she did a couple, then put the whole thing together.  Go Katy!

I think that's enough mug rugs for me - for now at least!  If you still can't get enough, you'll have to check out Erin's blog March 21-31, for her Mug Rug Madness!  She'll have tutorials and GIVEAWAYS!  So check it out.


  1. i can't believe you bought a sewing machine because of little ol' ME! i love it!! oh and seriously, i love that little whale mug rug and i'm SO going to craft you some awesomness once the upstairs is finito. i'm patiently waiting for a little craft room to call home.

  2. What beautiful little rugs of happiness. Someday I will copy that black and yellow one because I do love it so. I'm still loving my hexagon-turned-houses mug rug too and so glad you took the time to help me with that! Slowly but surely I'm gaining confidence and understanding in this crazy quilting world!

  3. They are all beautiful! You are doing a fabulous thing with the sewing, and being such a blessing to all us recipients! Love and blessings!