As I looked through my blog from the last year, the thing that became clear to me is that it needs one thing - more sewing! For a variety of reasons, there just weren't many sewing tutorials last year and I really miss it. What better way to make sure that happens than to center my "Of the Month" for 2018 around a sewing project? This year, that's going to be Mug Mats!
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What's a mug mat? It's typically a small fabric mat, also known as a mug rug. It's smaller than a place mat, but larger than a coaster. It's meant to have room for a mug of your favorite drink and a treat on the side. It usually has batting, InsulBright or some other sort of padding between two layers of fabric. I've made a few of them in the past. They're pretty quick and easy because of their size, and a fun way to try out a new design or technique without making an entire quilt.
To start out this series, I decided to go with a design I've been wanting to make in a large quilt or tablecloth. Buffalo check has been on my wish list for years, but haven't had time to tackle it. Perfect for a mug mat!
To make this you'll need:
- 12 - 1 1/2" black cotton fabric squares
- 17 - 1 1/2" grey cotton fabric squares
- 6 - 1 1/2" white cotton fabric squares
- 5 1/2 x 7 1/2" cotton fabric for the back
- 5 1/2 x 7 1/2" batting (I used two layers of fusible fleece because it's thin)
- 3 1/2" square pink cotton fabric
- 2" wide heart pattern of your choice, or download here, printed on paper
- freezer paper
- craft floss
- spray starch
Trace the heart onto the dull side of a piece of freezer paper.
Cut out loosely and iron that onto a second piece. It will stick to the iron board, but peel up easily. My thanks to Suppose Create Delight for that tip for making the paper a bit thicker, which helps in this project.
Cut out the heart and iron it onto the wrong side of the pink fabric. Cut out, about 3/8 - 1/4" from the edge of the paper.
Snip the fabric at the top center of the heart, just shy of the paper, and around both the curves.
Spray a bit of the starch into a small container and using a paintbrush or q-tip, dab it onto the fabric outside of the paper as you turn it to the inside and press. I'd recommend a cloth underneath to catch the excess starch.
After you've turned all the edges in, give it one more good press.
Carefully remove the paper from the inside and press again, spraying on a bit more starch if it seems to need it for crisp edges.
Set the heart aside.
This is the pattern you'll be stitching your squares into:
Start by sewing the squares into rows. I used a 1/4" seam allowance on everything here.
Press the seams toward the grey so you'll have alternating seams. Sew the rows together, matching up the corners. Some of mine didn't quite get there, but I decided they weren't seam-ripper-worthy.
Press well. Choose a location for the heart and pin it in place. You can either use a tiny hidden stitch along the edge for traditional applique, or sew it with craft floss on top as I did.
If you went with the fusible fleece, as I did, apply one piece to the back of the checked rectangle and one to the back of the backing fabric.
Pin with the fabrics right sides together. If you used regular fleece add that on top. Stitch around, leaving a 3" opening. Clip the corners, turn right side out and press, turning in the opening. Topstitch near the edge. I added a second row near the first. It's a little wobbly, but I still kinda like it.
Because this one is small and I used fusible fleece, it doesn't need any actual quilting, but you could certainly add it if you'd like. You could also bind the edge instead of using the turning method.
Wouldn't this make a great little Valentine's Day gift - maybe with a coffee shop gift card?
I hope you'll join me for this series every month this year!