Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mug Rug - Amy Butler Style


Howdy doody sewing friends. Got a question for you. Have you ever heard of a mug rug? Of course you have. Because you know. Maybe you sew and quilt and keep up with the trends or at least have seen these lovelies around. But ... I didn't know. And if you didn't know either, brace yourself. Life may change.


Mug Rug - Amy Butler Style

Mug rug. A mini-quilt you have permission to eat off! Think fudge, cookies, muffins, brownies or other snacky delights served up on a little fabric treasure bright and cheery.

A mini-quilt that is meant to soak up a drip here and there! That drip may be from a Tim Horton's French Vanilla Capuccino, a glass of wine, a vodka paralyzer or a hot cuppa tea, oh yeah! 

A mini-quilt that is smaller than a placemat, but still meant to function like one and be a pop of colour at the same time, to brighten your day. Hello day!

These have got to be the cutest most wonderful and incredibly fun little projects a girl can sew. They sew up fast and you don't need a pattern just a little courage to give it a go. Oh yes!! And they are so practical too! Because see, I have this largish end-table in my living room. Its for books, flowers, a lamp, and of course, our drinks. But I'm always careful to put a cloth or book under our hot mugs so as not to damage the table. I don't own coasters and doubt I ever will. Please don't ask. 

Oh Mug Rug. How long have I waited for thee. 

Interested in a few details and links?

My mom, who used to do pottery, made these mugs. But I bet now she will be sewing mug rugs. Right mom?

Definitely check out a series of Mug Rug Madness blog posts by Erin of Two More Seconds. This will give you the low-down and has lots of links to flickr pools for inspiration. This was the most comprehensive series I found online.

My mug rugs were inspired by two things. First, this VERY complete tutorial including a great method of binding, by Sara at The Split Stitch. Wow, is it ever good. I love the patchwork look of her sample and will definitely incorporate linen in my next set. 

Second, this photo from flickr, also saved to my  Pinterest. I really love the look of the large flower motif and the fresh colors of her fabrics. J'adore. 

However, I didn't want to piece and appliqué together a large flower. Too much work. Wait, Amy Butler fabric lives and breathes in my basement. Including some large-scale motif fabric ... so I fussy cut a few motifs to play with and a mug rug was born.  Well, two mug rugs. 

The term mug rug always makes me think of toupees. For some reason. Anyhoo, its late.

The flower motifs were stitched down 1/8" from the edge all around when making the quilt top. Then, after layering batting and backing, the motifs were quilted through all three layers. Yes, this will leave a raw edge, similar to a frayed edge quilt. I really like this look. But you could satin stitch your motif if you wanted.

I'm so delighted with how they turned out. I will need a few more ... one for my sewing area, one for my computer area, one on my bedside table ... everywhere I eat and drink (which is everywhere!). So fun to think about.

But mostly, the mug rug is an extra touch of not just loveliness, but love. In my home. Its got a little of me in the making of it, kind of like a reflection. I want my family to feel and know their home is a special place and the atmosphere I try to create is purposeful. 

So, what about you, have you ever made any? And do you just love them? 

My mug rugs sewed up in an afternoon, which means there was ample time to do some reading. A friend asked me if I owned a book about Catholic unschoolers which got me interested in the book. I downloaded A Little Way of Homeschooling by Suzie Andres to my handy dandy kindle and am really enjoying it. 
It's one of those feel-good collections chronicling the experience of several Catholic families who unschool. There's lots of interesting tidbits in here. I've learned that unschooling isn't "ignore the kids." In fact, based on what I read, its a very intuitive approach that honors the child's natural ability to learn while providing ample inspiration to do so. In that way, its similar to the Leadership Education model that I love. All good stuff.

God bless all your sewing and reading adventures. 

Edited to add that I'm linking to Elizabeth's needle and thREAD post which just went up. So pop by and see what's going on over there.

And then go make some mug rugs.


  1. Very cute! A few thoughts for your mug rugs...Christmas gift exchange and fuzzy pickles!

    1. LOL!!! OH yes. They are PERFECT for fuzzy pickles. LOL!!! I hope I get your name :)

  2. OOhh,those placemats are bright and summery. Lovely work :)

  3. Ohhh these are gorgeous. I love making mugrugs, they are like little splashes of sunshine in a room, I have them all over. I love how you did those flowers!!!!


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