Friday, October 30, 2015

Holiday Initial Mug Rug Tutorial

It's time to start thinking about quick holiday gifts. This initial mug rug is fast and very easy to make. It isn't apparent from this picture but it is an "initial" mug rug because there is an initial quilted into the large square.

The parts you need to make the front are one 6 1/2 inch square, one 2 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch rectangle, and one 1 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch rectangle.

Before sewing them together, you need to draw your initial on the 6 1/2 inch square. To find a letter I wanted to use, I opened up my word processing software and started looking through the available fonts. It is important to use something fairly simple so that the letter does not get lost in the quilting.

The font I chose is "Georgia". It is a common serif font and usually available on most word processors. I suppose I should have printed the page and taped it to a window to be able to see it. Since I was making this after dark, I did the next best thing and traced it straight off the computer screen.

Yes, I used tape and taped it directly to the screen. A blue, water soluble marker did the trick for the tracing.

Next, stitch the three pieces together to form the top using a 1/4 inch seam. Cut batting and backing at least 7 inches by 10 inches. Layer the top with batting and backing and quilt in any way you desire. To make the letter stand out, use dense quilting to fill the background. I used a small meander stitch in matching thread and I also stitched directly on the lines that form the letter. In the small red rectangle on the right, I free motion stitched a back and forth horizontal(ish) line. I switched to my walking foot for the light accent fabric and stitched vertical lines about 3/8 inch apart.

Here it is from the back. There were a few tension issues, but not horrible.

If you wanted to skip the initial in this project, you could easily choose three pretty prints and do some simple all over quilting. I am hoping to make quite a few of these to use as gifts for my office mates. The initial personalizes it and makes it special just for them.

I wasn't sure if I wanted traditional binding or if I wanted to do a sew and turn method for this project. I'm glad I went with binding. I like the way it frames up the project.

There are so many variations that can be made with this project. For the light accent fabric, you could stitch together some smaller scraps to make an improv stripe. You could choose to quilt in a motif instead of an initial, like a snowflake or holly leaves. If we push past Christmas, wouldn't this be cute in Valentine's Day fabric with a heart quilted in the big square. The possibilities are endless.

Other posts that feature gift ideas:

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