Patchwork Mug Rugs – a quick tutorial

In preparation for the Two Ways to Build a Log Cabin workshop I thought I’d have a go at a third Log Cabin technique: Wonky Log Cabin blocks.

Guided by Jackie White’s instructions in her chapter of the book ‘I love Log Cabins‘ I set to; diving into my boxes of fabric strips (I know! More scrap fabrics!). The boxes were stuffed so full that taking the lids off was like activating a Jack-In-The-Box 😀

It took about twelve strips of fabrics ranging from 1″ to 3″ wide to make each of the blocks. Here they are before I trimmed them……

….. and after I trimmed them to 6¼” square…

I used the no-binding method to make the blocks into mug rugs:

First layer a quilt sandwich:

  • Place the batting on a flat surface. (I used two pieces of cotton batting so the mug rugs would give a bit of protection to table tops, you could of course use an insulating batting).
  • Onto the batting lay the backing fabric, right side facing up (I found some cotton flannel to use as backing).
  • Then lay the patchwork block on top of the backing, right side facing down.
  • Smooth the fabrics flat and use a few basting pins to stop the layers shifting as you sew.

Next stitch the layers together:

  • Using good quality thread stitch a seam ¼” inside the edge of the patchwork block.
  • Leave a gap in the seam about 2½” wide. Strengthen the seam either side of the gap with backing stitches.
Sorry it’s a bit hard to see.. The seam is stitched on the light blue fabric and the threads show the gap in the seam.
  • Cut away the excess backing and wadding fabrics up to the edge of the patchwork block. Tip: I leave about ¼” of excess fabric alongside the gap in the seam – this makes it easier to tuck the fabrics in when it comes to stitching the gap closed. Cut across the corners being careful not to snip the stitching.

  • Use the gap in the seam to turn the Mug Rug layers inside out. Push out the corners with a blunt tool.

Finishing the Mug Rug:

  • Close the gap in the seam by hand stitching or by machine.
  • Roll the edges of the Mug Rug with your fingers to flatten them and then pin.
  • Stitch a line of quilting stitches about ¼” – ½” from the edge of the Mug Rug to keep the layers in place.
  • Add further quilting as desired.

I had time to test out a Mug Rug before packing it and the other four along with my class notes and demonstration materials ready for the workshop tomorrow. 🙂

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers and Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday.

Allison

Piecing Orange Peel Blocks – a photo tutorial

Last Friday I took the short walk to our local Hobbycraft. There were several reasons – I needed some fresh air; I needed to stretch my legs; my Craft Group needed supplies; I was on the look out for a quilt magazine; and, hep-hem, I didn’t half fancy a bar of chocolate for lunch 😀 It was a beautiful day, I felt a lot better for the walk, I made some purchases for Craft Group and treated myself to a copy of Today’s Quilter and a bar of Cadbury’s finest 🙂

The free gift on the front of the magazine caught my eye: a set of templates designed for making Orange Peel blocks.

Today's Quilter Orange Peel templates

Of course, I had to have a go … And I was pleased with this first attempt at piecing an Orange Peel block – no wrinkles in the seams and smooth looking curves 🙂 There is a page in the magazine giving a few instructions, hints and tips as to how to use the templates. Yesterday I took the templates, my background fabric and some fabrics from my stash to the monthly sewing day at Brown Candover. Several happy hours were spent creating Orange Peel blocks in the gentle company of friends.

If you are curious about curved piecing here is a little photo tutorial of how I made the Orange Peel blocks along with some of the handy tips I picked up along the way.

Read morePiecing Orange Peel Blocks – a photo tutorial