When I closed Strawberry Patches and moved to Kansas I doubted that I'd ever sew again. I had absolutely no interest in setting up a sewing room here and regrettably I closed my Typepad blog account that contained the more than 70 tutorials and years of wonderful memories.
About two years after the move the strangest thing happened. I think my heart had finally healed enough after the closing of the store because once we were settled and rested I slowly started to think about sewing again.
That's about the time ADORNit put out a call on social media for ambassadors who were willing to exchange product for projects made with their merchandise. Feeling the nudge to share again I applied, not as a sewist but as a paper crafter (ha...really?? I guess I still wasn't healed enough to want to get out my machine). After I was miraculously accepted, I wrote ADORNit to tell them that I knew how to sew and that I thought maybe my friends on social media would enjoy seeing their cute fabric made up into some simple projects.
You guys, I was scared, but decided to show up, put myself out there and share.
Well, we can blame thank ADORNit for the inspiration, motivation and the push I needed for all this sharing. I'm a show off at heart - I know that and I own it. Thank you ADORNit for awakening that part of my personality that was dormant for so long.
There is just one thing more I want to say before we get started with the tutorial. At this point in my life I want to focus on being open to opportunities that come along and to discover how I might best use my gift to bless others. I can't say I've always felt this way since my sewing in the past had a motive; it was mostly intended to sell product. My goal now is to hopefully inspire and encourage others to be creative and find the joy that being creative can bring. I also hope to occasionally gift my friends with little things that I make along the way so they know that they are loved. My projects are simple and can be completed in little time. That's what I like, so that's what I do. If that's what you like then welcome, I'd like to think that you feel like you are at the right place.
Anyway, a blog reader asked me to repost my years old tutorial for Mug Rugs but since it was long gone I had to rack my brain on how I did it. Yikes, you guys. It took me three days to get it right. Let's just say I may need a new seam ripper, but thankfully I think the instructions are better than ever. So without further ado...here's my tutorial...
These first three photos are from my original post (I fortunately had them saved on my computer).
I had fun making these for holidays. They were just big enough for a hot drink and a small snack.
I used mine at my computer or next to my favorite chair.
Somehow a hot beverage on fun fabrics just makes me so happy.
During the humid summer months here in the Midwest condensation on glasses is a real problem so I wanted to show you that Rug Mugs don't have to be just for hot drinks. I was racking my brain for a clever name for them. You know like, Moisture Mat or Sweat Catcher when I learned of some difficulties a friend was having. So with the help of ADORNits Sunshine Girls fabric I added some inspirational words to some mats and I'm calling them my Bless You Mats.
I said a prayer for my friend as I tied each of the little French knots and my hope is that it will cheer her and remind her that she is loved and in my prayers.
You know me and my buttons...just keep them to the side so they don't cause your glass to tip.
I'll show you how to machine or hand stitch the words and embellishments before you sew the mat together in part two. It can be tricky - kind of like rubbing your stomach while patting your head. The placement of those words and that rick rack is what caused me all the trouble, but the problems are worked out. You'll be good to go. You are welcome.
The pockets that are created with the overlapping fabrics are the perfect places for a word of encouragement or a treat.
This Sunshine Girl fabric can be found here. I just cut out the inspirational words and raw edge appliqued them before constructing the mat. * more about that in part two
Here's what you will need to get started:
6 - 10" squares of fabric. They can be all different or you can used two of each of three different fabrics (left over layer cakes are perfect for this)
1 - 10" square of needle punch batting or what I used, Soft and Stable found here
1 yard of medium ric rac
A nine inch plate or Lori Holt's round circular template (it measures 9" across and is perfect for 10" squares) found here
Sewing machine, thread and optional embellishments
6 - 10" squares or use precut Layer Cakes
Fold and press four of the squares in half, right side out. These will be the top of you mat. The additional two squares will be the lining (won't show) and back side of your mat.
You will also need one 10" square of low loft batting or Soft and Stable (preferred)
Place one of the unfolded squares face down (this will be your lining), then put the batting or Soft and Stable on top of that and top it with the other unfolded square (backing), right side up as shown below. Match raw edges and set aside.
Place one of the folded pieces on your cutting board, folded edge toward the center.
Place the second folded fabric at a ninety degree angle as shown below - fold toward the center.
The third folded piece
and the fourth. Tuck in the lower half of the last piece so it looks like so...
Now pin all the four folded pieces all the way around.
You are now looking at the WRONG SIDE of your mat top. None of this will show so don't put labels or words on this side 'cause nobody ain't gonna see em. More on that in part two.
TURN YOUR PINNED MAT OVER.
With your plate or this handy dandy template mark a circle on the RIGHT SIDE of your mat.
This template is great because:
a. you can see through it
b. you can easily line it up with the center of the folds
c. you can check the folds to make sure they are straight by lining them up to the marked lines
d. helps with placement of embellishments
Take your fabric to the machine and sew the rick rack on top of the drawn line. You will be sewing on the RIGHT SIDE of your mat fabrics. You will not be sewing through the lining, batting or backing at this time - just the four folded top fabrics.
Notice I've sewn to the outside edge of the rick rack (not down the middle) with matching thread to the rick rack.
I just overlaped the two ends slightly and ran the raw ends off the edge of the stitching line as shown below.
Turn this top piece over and pin it to the stack of lining, batting and backing. Your rick rack stitching line will show you where to sew next.
Now sew through all layers just to the inside of the previously sewn circle. Sew all the way around. Do not leave an opening.
Trim seam allowance 1/4" around the sewn circle then turn inside out through that little hole in the center of your folded fabrics.
If you've layered everything correctly, you will see your rick rack peaking out from the edge of the circle. (It's always a relief when I see that).
Reach through the center opening and run your fingers around the inside seam to poke out the rick rack. Press and topstitch 1/4" from the edge (I like to using light colored matching thread for the topstitching so as not to call attention to my stitches 'cause they aren't always perfect).
I added the buttons and label by hand on this one after the mat was completely done but next time I'll show you how to do the sewing before constructing the Mug Rug. I prefer doing the embellishing first, but that's the stomach rubbing - head patting part and since I'm sure I've probably lost most of you by now I'll save it for later. If you are one of my blog readers that bought a circular attachment for your machine I'll show you how that can work for this project next time too.
Love you more than vintage labels and Halloween candy.
Encourage one another,
I apologize that I never did part two of this post, but I will - I promise. Give me a minute to get the basement decorated for Christmas and I'll get the sewing machine out and humming.