Thursday, March 15, 2012

BONUS OYW - Mini Quilt Mug Mat

Our schedule got a little off kilter with the TV appearance, so here's a BONUS One Yard Wednesday - something else to do with those little tiny scraps plus two new techniques...

I found some wonderful fun greens and the orange plaid in the scrap bucket.  Orange, white and green are the colors of the Irish flag, and what better way to add some St. Paddy's flair to your morning cuppa Joe?!

So grab those leftover tidbits of jelly roll strips, or border pieces, or other oddments that you have, some leftover cotton batting.  The batting MUST be cotton (you'll see why in just a bit) - if you don't have any, use a piece of an old towel.  You will also need a piece of plain fabric to put your pieces onto.  You can use muslin or other scrap fabric.  I used a bit of that green sheet I still have left over.  I am beginning to think I will be sewing with that sheet until the end of time, but I digress...

Press your scraps.  Then, cut your backing fabric, your batting and your base fabric into a 6" x 9" rectangle.

Layer these with your backing fabric face down (wrong side up), then batting, then the base fabric.

Now the fun really begins!  On top of your fabric sandwich, place one of your strips right side up.  Place another strip on top of the first, matching the side edges, face down (right sides facing).  This is first of the new techniques - it's called quilt as you go, and it's another real time saver.  Pin through all layers.

Using a 1/4" seam, stitch the two strips together  - yes, through all the layers.  You have now not only started your mug mat, but you are in the process of finishing it, too.  You are quilting as you go.  See how this works?!  Pretty cool, huh?!

And this is why you need cotton batting.  Open the fabric strips and press the seam.  If you used polyester batting, it would melt.  After pressing, add the third strip.
You'll notice this time I didn't line up my edges.  That's ok.  This doesn't have to be super precise.  Again, stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance, and press.

Repeat until you use up all your strips.
Trim everything up, and make sure to square up your edges.  You can stop right now if you want, and add some binding.  Your mug mat is already quilted.  Feel free to play a bit more, though, and have some fun.  This is one of the few occasions that I actually use matching thread in the bobbin (usually I just use white).  I wanted green thread on the back so it would look nice, like the front.  Use a thread that matches or contrasts the backing fabric - whichever you want.

I used a stipple stitch on the multi-color dot fabric section - to me it makes the dots look like confetti.  Then, I just did a simple S pattern on the dark green.  I did "stitch in the ditch" on the green squares (you stitch in the space where the seam is sewn), then went back and added the horizontal lines.  For the green and white dot, I just lined up my presser foot to go between the rows of dots, and went both directions to get the cross-grid pattern.  Here's how that turned out:
Remember, you can add this stitching to the fabric first (thread painting), if you want the pattern but you don't want your quilting to look that way.  If I had it to do again, I would not have quilted the dark green section.  Or I would have used a dark green.  Either way, you can see that you can quilt your mug mat in many different ways.

Here's the quilting on the back.
I could easily have used a yellow or darker green thread, but I think the bright green blended into the fabric better.  Sometimes, you just get lucky that way.

So let's finish this baby off, shall we?

When you make a quilt, you need some way to finish off the raw edges on the sides.  In this case, we'll use binding.  We've made binding before, for another mug mat, back in January.  We're going to do things just a bit different this time, but the principle will be the same.

You will need two strips of fabric.  I cut mine at 1 1/2".  Each piece was also 22" long.  Remember when we measured our fabric scraps yesterday for the table runner?  Also, we're going to do some more geometry to get the perimeter of our mug mat, to be sure we have enough fabric to go all the way around the little thing.  A 6" x 9" mug mat has a perimeter of 30".  I'm safe with my two strips at 22" long.  I just seamed them together (matching the plaid), with a 1/4" seam.  I pressed the seam open.  Then I folded this new long strip in half and pressed it.
Now, normally, on quilt binding, you would fold the raw edges into the middle and press again.  I didn't want to do that in this case.  I liked the casual, folk art element a raw edge added to my mug mat.  Fold or don't fold - you decide.  To apply the binding to your mug mat, on one of the short edges, fold the end under about 1/4".  Slide your little quilt in between the layers of fabric of the binding.  Pin the beginning of the binding to the quilt.
So here's the next new technique today:  a mitered corner.  About 1/4" from the corner, pleat your binding, so it makes a slight angle.  Like the mitered corner on a picture frame.  Pin.
If you are using a plaid, try to get your lines to match up.  That's one of those little details that makes the difference between homemade and handcrafted.  It's hard to see, but the little blue line actually does match up.  Repeat mitering and pinning all the way around.  When you get back to your starting place, leave a bit of a tail to overlap, and cut the loose binding.
Again, I made sure to match my plaid.  Fold the end under about 1/4" and pin to secure.  You can see in the photo that I had already started to stitch my way around.  This was purely to give you a better picture sans pins.  After you get your binding secure all the way around, THEN start stitching.  You know the drill - straight, zigzag, decorative - all your choice.  Thread - matching or contrasting - all your choice.  I used the same bright green and a cute cross-stitch.

Let's play the options game again!  YAY - it's one of my favorites.  It's a chance to show you how far outside the box you can actually go and still have something turn out well.  Let's start with fabrics.  I did greens and the orange/green plaid for St. Pat's Day.  You can use themed fabrics for any holiday.  Or traditional holiday colors.  Use someone's favorite colors for a special occasion (think mother/sister-in-law, neighbor).  How about school colors for a new high school grad heading off to college?  Embellish a corner with a monogram.  Or a cute button.  Just be sure to leave a space for the mug!

What about shape?  How about squares instead of rectangles.  Use them for coasters.

What about size?  Use the quilt-as-you-go technique on placemats.  Or a table runner.  Or a wall hanging.  Or even a baby quilt.  The technique works best with straight-edged geometric shapes and strip piecing.  But there are no rules that say your strips have to be exactly rectangular.  Give your piece a real modern flair by using those "wonky" bits of fabric.  Or use a quilt block that has a circle in the center, then strip piece around that block.  Overlap pieces, but leave raw edges.  Wow, now you're really walking on the wild side!

What about repurposing?  I mentioned using old towels for batting above.  But what about using old blue jeans for the quilt piecing.  Or cotton dress shirts.  Any cotton fabric will work.

Play with your scraps today, and have FUN!



Little City Farm said...

I must learn how to quilt. These are adorable and the perfect use for just a bit of material. Thanks so much for sharing at our party this week. (p.s. if you're moderating anyway, would you consider getting rid of the word verification - I'm seldom smart enough for it lol).

Farmgirl Heidi said...

Adorable and what a fantastic use for scraps. Thanks Ann.

Katmom said...

I luv 'mug rugs',,, I'll have to give this one a try...

Truly Myrtle said...

Really cute - i see you've mastered bias binding : )
Got to have another go!!!

Trish - Mom On Timeout said...

I would love to learn how to quilt - this looks so cute! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!