Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tea for Tuesday - Easy Egg Mug Mat

All the fun of decorating Easter eggs without the mess...

I found this card online at Shoregirl's Creations, through a blog hop.  I love the simplicity of it.  If you are new to cardmaking, this is a great project for you to try your hand at.  If you are an experienced cardmaker, you will love the little details that make it so special.  She also has some AMAZING cards and crochet projects on her site, so be sure to go check it out when you are done with today's project!

I also thought it would translate to a different medium really well.  Wow - that sounds so technical!  In plain English - I could make it into/out of something else.  And I did.  I give you today's mug mat!

So here's how you take something you see as a card, a pillow, a whatever you see that you really like, and make it into or out of something else.  We'll start with the inspiration card.  This is a print out of the photo.

What drew my eye to this card?  I love the patterned background with the plain egg.  Usually you see a plain background with a jazzed up egg.  The big $10 word for that is juxtaposition.  Isn't that cool to say?!  Use it sometime to amaze and impress your friends!  I love the feminine touch of the lace and bow.  Makes it kind of vintage-looking, too.  I love how the egg is decorated with flowers.  Usually, eggs have stripes or dots - something more geometric.  The flowers also make it so much more Spring-y.  Since today is our Tea for Tuesday, and I'm on this total mug mat addiction trip lately, I thought the shape of the card in general would also make for a good re-do.  Mug mats can be any shape, but commonly they are rectangles.  Most importantly, it is a VERY simple design.  These are the BEST and EASIEST kind of designs to make into something else!

When you want to re-make something into something else, these are the things you should keep in mind, too.  In addition, think about the new version.  Can I make (THIS) out of (THAT)?  This would probably not make a very good woodworking project.  It could, however, work well with fabric.  In fact, in the inspiration piece, there is hand-drawn stitching around both the egg and the main body of the card, so that was a big tip-off.

So here's what you'll need today:
Scraps of a plain-ish fabric and a print.  My "solid" isn't really solid - it has a mottled appearance.  This type of fabric is usually called a texture, because it adds visual texture to a piece.
Scrap of cotton batting
Thread - choose matching, coordinating or contrasting (it's your egg)
Assorted trims - again your choice (use up what's in your scrap basket)
You can see that I'm keeping the floral element I like by using a floral background fabric and a floral trim.  The trim also mimics the lace.  The yellow centers of the flowers are also a great way to bring out the flowers on the background fabric that have yellow centers.

Press your fabrics, then cut:
1     6 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle of the patterned fabric
1     6 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectange from the batting
2     6 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangles from the solid/texture fabric

Also, you will need to print out the egg template (link up here, then click template).  I copied it, brought it into PowerPoint, and made my egg about 4 1/2" wide at the fattest part x 6" long.  You can do the same thing, and make your egg however big or small you'd like.

Print the egg (if you plan to make a bunch of these, I HIGHLY SUGGEST printing it on cardstock  or tracing your original onto the back of a piece of cereal box - it'll be sturdier), cut it out, and trace it onto the back of one of the solid rectangles.  You can use a pencil or fabric marker for this.

Cut the egg from the solid fabric. Place it face up onto the center of your print rectangle.  You can pin this with a safety pin in the center of your egg if you wish.  Stitch around the edge of your egg to secure.  I used a buttonhole stitch.  You can use a zigzag, a straight stitch, a decorative stitch - whatever you'd like.  It just has to hold the egg in place, it's not like a patch on a pair of jeans for a little boy who plays football.

Mine got a little puckery - I should have test-stitched and adjusted my tension on my machine.  If yours is a gift for someone special, you should test-stitch, too.

Now let's decorate our eggs.  I added the flower trim.
There are little spacers between each of the flowers.  I used the same buttonhole stitch to attach the flowers by stitching over the spacers on the outline of the egg.  This made the ends hide in plain sight when they were trimmed, and made them more secure.  I added another row of flowers, and then added a little bit of lace in the middle.  Be sure to audition your trims BEFORE you sew, and remember the rule that less is often more.  With a patterned background, if you add too many embellishments, your egg will get lost in all the visual chaos.

Make a mini-quilt sandwich.  Place the remaining solid rectangle face down, then put the batting on top of it. Put the egg layer on, face up.  Pin through all the layers, and do a straight stitch all the way around.  I used a 1/2" seam.

I then went around one more time with the buttonhole stitch, right up next to the straight stitching.

Trim the edges of the fabric close to BUT NOT THROUGH the buttonhole stitching.  This gives your piece a serged edge finish.  If you have a serger, you can just use that instead.

So let's have some fun with our egg.  Thread paint plain fabric for the background.  Or thread paint the egg. Quilt the background.  Quilt the egg.  Quilt the background one way and the egg another.  Use trims on the background.  Or on the border.  Use highly contrasting colors.  Use different stitches.  Make your mug mat egg-shaped instead of rectangular.  Hand stitch a name or initial on the egg to make it personalized.  Make a second egg from the solid fabric, fold it in half and stitch it onto the egg to make a pocket, and tuck in some goodies like tea bags, or a few stems of small, real flowers.  Use a different shape applique instead of an egg, like a flower.  That would have been awesome on this fabric!  Do the same with the main motif (i.e.,  picture or shape) on your patterned fabric.

This would be a great little gift for a Sunday school teacher, or a mother/sister-in-law.  Or the neighbor who always takes in your mail for you or watches your guinea pig while you are on vacation during spring break.

Play with your scraps today, and enjoy!



LeahLyndell said...

Cute - a great project for scraps too.

Just wanted to stop by to say thanks for following my blog - I look forward to reading along with yours as well!

Esther Asbury said...

Oh Wow -- I never would have thought of making this design into a mug mat -- but yours is truly beautiful!
I guess it stands to reason that if we can draw inspiration for our cards out of non-card things...than we can get inspiration for our "other things" for cards!
Great idea and a simply adorable little mug mat!

Melanna said...

such a good idea to use a card design for a mug rug. Now I'm going to have to go through all my old card designs (the ones my MIL and SIL make are amazing...) and use them as inspiration for projects.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comments about my easter baskets. Thought I'd come check out your little corner of blogland. Cute place you have here!

Katmom said...

That is 'sew' cute!

juliehallfeldhaus said...

cute mug mat I have yet to make one! I better put that on my list:) Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll be back!

Katie @ Creatively Living said...

So creative! Just perfect for Easter dinner!

Thanks for linking up @ Creatively Living!

Farmgirl Heidi said...

That's the cutest mug mat I've ever seen Ann. You are so crafty and have a wonderful imagination. I think you could make just about anything. Thank you for your submissions to the April UFO ROll Call hop. Please send me your mailing info so I can get a little Thank you gift out in the mail. My email is hgonzales8@bak.rr.com.