It's time for the newest in my monthly Mug Mat series! This one was inspired by a hairstyle I love, but was never able to master - the French braid.
I've almost always had long hair, and I really wanted to be able to do it, but it always turned out looking like it had been done by a toddler after a cupcake binge. Not in a fashionably messy way either. Fortunately, when it comes to fabric, I've got this.
To make this mug mat, you'll need:
fourteen 1 1/2 x 7" strips, cut from 7 different fabrics
fusible fleece (at least 13 x 8 1/2" - we'll cut it later)
fabric for the backing (at least 6 1/2 x 8 1/2" - we'll cut it later)
Lay out the strips with the ends alternating as shown here. You can grab them as you go if you prefer a more random pattern. I planned mine out because I like to sleep at night, and random is HARD.
Grab the top two strips, numbers 1 and 2. Line up the bottom edge of strip 1 with the far left top edge of strip 2, with right sides together. They will be perpendicular to each other. Stitch 1/4" from the edge of strip 1.
Press strip 1 away.
Lay strip 3 over strip 1 and lined up with the bottom left edge of strip 2. Stitch 1/4" from the lower edge.
Press strip 3 away.
Repeat on the right side with strip 4.
Continue sewing on strips in the same manner, alternating sides, until all the strips are attached. Be sure to press each strip before adding the next.
Trim the sides 4" from the center on each side. At the end, I'll show you what I did with those sides, along with all the other bits I cut off.
Your piece should be 8" across.
Trim the bottom across, even with the lowest point on the side.
Trim across the top even with the upper corner of the first seam.
At this point you should have a rectangle that measures something like 5 7/8 x 8". If your measurements vary a little don't worry about it. We're cutting the other pieces to match this one, so there's wiggle room.
Press well. Use the top as a pattern to cut out two pieces of fusible fleece and one backing.
Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the top and the backing. Pin the two right sides together. Stitch 1/4" from the edge, leaving 2 1/2" open at the bottom. Clip the corners.
Turn right side out. Press, turning in the opening.
Stitch all the way around, close to the edge.
You'll notice this braid runs top to bottom when the mat is horizontal.
If you'd like yours to be vertical, use 17 strips instead of 14 and trim appropriately.
Now, about those pieces I trimmed off earlier. I also saved the extra strips I'd cut but didn't use and the bits from the vertical braid. It was kind of a puzzle. I just turned and lined up until I had something resembling a rectangle. I sewed them together, trimmed them, and cut the guts and backing to fit. Mug mat #3!