Jan 07

Now that is a Mug Rug

Learn how to make an adorable mug rug at wowilikethat.com








Now this is a mug rug.  Something cute and sweet to sit your cup of deliciousness. These little mug rugs use snippets of fabric and are a breeze to make.  This is a great beginning sewing or quilting project since anything goes and you really can’t go wrong. There are also great to make as a gift.  Pair one with a new coffee mug and some flavored creamer for a little hostess gift.  Or pair several with a little sign (Tutorial coming soon so sign up for email notification so you don’t miss.) and they make an adorable housewarming gift for next to no money.  I have also made this for a craft show and they were good sellers.  I paired 4 with a sign and sold them for $25.00.  I had no cost involved since I used scraps and old fabric and my time per mug is about 5 minutes once my fabric is cut.

So here is how you can make your own.

How to make an adorable mug rug at wowilikethat.com







Pick some scraps.  I started with some fabric I had left over from this quilt.  The black fabric I bought last week at the thrift store.  I got 12 yards for $.99.  Yea! Once I started making my squares, I wanted even more random looks so I picked and found some snippets here and there and added them too.  There are no rules. Just sew a snippet here or there and then cut out your squares.

Easy, quick sewing project. Make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







I am fortunate enough to have the Go Baby.  I got the Go Baby because when I wanted to quilt but my cutting skills weren’t the best. I am however getting better at it. Cut four 2-1/2 inch squares for each mug rug.

How to make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







I cut enough squares to make six mug rugs. Lay all your squares out little puzzle pieces and match together sets that you like.  Make a stack of your squares. Two top pieces, two bottom pieces, two top pieces, two bottom pieces, etc. Take them to your sewing machine.

How to make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







When I start sewing small thin pieces of fabric, without fail my machine will try and eat the first piece.  To prevent this, start sewing on a scrap piece of paper. The paper rips right off when done.

Place your two top pieces right sides together and stitch a quarter-inch seam. When you get close to the end, place your two bottom pieces, right sides together up to the edge and keep stitching.  This will chain all your pieces together and stop the machine from eating your fabric.  It also makes it quicker by not stopping your stitching flow.  No need to back-stitch.  When done, snip the connecting threads and you have sets of two squares. Press seams flat, then press all seams open.

If your pieces got mixed up, lay them all back out and make your sets of mug rugs.  Place 2 sewn top pieces to 2 sewn bottom pieces right sides together.  Make another stack and go back to your sewing machine.  Same process. If needed, use paper to start and continue stitching and chaining your pieces together.  Match your center seam when placing them together.  I didn’t pin  but you could or when your iron is hot, place a small drop of white school glue on the seam and press, it will hold the fabric enough so you don’t need to pin. It washes right out too.  When done stitching, snip connecting threads and you have 4 pieces sewn together for a 4-1/2 square.  Press all seams flat  then press all seams open.

Make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







For every mug rug you need one 4-1/2 piece of backing fabric and one 4-1/2 piece of batting.  If you don’t have  batting, a piece of flannel works too.  If you have the GO Baby with the square dies, the 4-1/2″ die is included.

Make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







Place pieces together. Batting, backing fabric-right side up, pieced square -wrong side up.  See above.  It is a bit hard to tell on the backing but you want the fabric right sides together and the backing behind.

To make the cup, make a pattern from a piece of 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ paper.  Fold square in half and trim the corners on one side only.  See example above.  This is now the pattern.  Put pattern on top of your stack of fabric (batting, backing right side up, stitched square right side down) and trace the corners and cut on your marking line.

Make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







Cut a 4-1/2 inch piece of 1″ wide ribbon for each cup handle.

Make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







Remove the pieced top piece. (They are place altogether and cut so that the pieces match up when sewing).  With batting on the bottom and backing face up, measure 3/4″ from top of cup – one side only.  Place the top of the ribbon against this marked line.  Stitch using narrower than the regular 1/4″ seam.  Making sure the same side of the ribbon is facing up, give some space for the handle and stitch the other side down.

Mug Rug @ wowilikethat.com







Pin the pieced side on top of the backing and batting.  This needs pinned down as the ribbon makes it too hard to stay in place otherwise.  I prefer to leave the top open, but you can always leave a 3″ opening on the side opposite of the handle for turning.

Stitch using a 1/4″ seam. Be sure to leave either the top open or a space for turning.  Clip the curves.  Turn & Press.

Make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







That is it.  When giving the final press, turn under the opening and press too.  You can either top stitch to close or do like I and do a quick little hand stitch.

5 minutes.  Super duper cute gift.

Make a mug rug @ wowilikethat.com







Any questions, ask.

See you next time.




Jun 16

Simple Stuff on Sunday – Sewing Tips

Simple Stuff on Sunday.  Simple sewing tips. 

  • Templates – Clean once, clean twice, maybe three times but after you do the plastic insert from packages of bacon are the perfect thickness to use for cutting out your quilting templates. 
  • Recycle – reuse.  If you use dryer sheets in your dryer.  Save when done.  Not only are the sheets perfect for dusting in the sewing room, they grab little snippets of thread.  They also work great, after a quick press, for stabilizer.
  • I was recently making a drawstring bag and didn’t have any cording.  I found a bag of athlete shoe strings that I bought at a garage sale.  Once threaded through the bag, I cut off the tips and knotted.  It worked perfectly and looked as good if not better than the cording.  Cheaper too.
  • I have a difficult time when cutting long pieces of bias strips with my rotary cutter.  As hard as I try, my fabric slips and pieces end up crooked.  If I need nice straight bias strips, I now simply remove the thread from the needles of my serger and run the fabric through using the measurement guide.  The cutting knife does all the work for me.  Perfect strips every time.
  • Did you ever think you were oh so lucky that you matched your thread so perfectly to your fabric?  Eek only to make a mistake and now you can’t see the thread to rip out the pucker you just made.  The easy solution is to rub a piece of contrasting chalk over the seam.  This will highlight your stitches making them easy to see and rip out.
  • When sewing pillows don’t pivot at the corners.  Sew all the way off the fabric.  When you are done, cut just above the meeting point and also trim each side a little so that it looks like a point.  Press open the best you can before turning.  This eliminates any creases and ensure the pillow tips are nice and pointy.
  • When make a pillow sometimes it is hard to get the opening finished so that it looks seamless and invisible.  To fix this, close the opening with fusible web tape.

Happy sewing.  See you next time.


Jun 02

Simple Stuff Sunday – Cleaning your sewing room floor

Granted, the best sewing room would have a nice smooth wood or linoleum floor, something that is easy to sweep and clean but that is not always the case.  I live in a northern state and if my floor was bare it would be too cold in the winter months.  Also I embroider and use industrial machines and carpeting in a room helps keep vibration down and noise level at bay.

If you sew in a carpeted room, here are some tips and tricks to help rid you of the mess of embedded threads and pins.

  • Toilet brush – Obviously get a new one.  I duct tape my toilet brush to the end of an old broom handle and sweep it over my carpeted sewing room floor.  It works like magic.  All thread pieces – even little ones will stick to the brush.  If you don’t pick up your threads and simply run the sweeper over them, you will constantly be replacing your sweeper belt.  Ask me how I know this.
  • If you sew on hardwood or linoleum floors, an old swifter mop covered with a piece of polar fleece works better than a broom.  The threads stick to the fleece and not flying around like they can do with a broom.  Simply throw the polar fleece piece in the wash, the threads will come off and get picked up in the dryer trap. Although I’ve been doing this for years without a pattern. I just cut pieces of fleece and tuck them in the holes of the mop. If you want more directions, I found a pattern for a fleece cover here.
  • Save the scraps from your fusible interfacing.  The tacky surface on the interfacing easily grabs thread and fuzz from the corners in my room.  I also use this to clean the fuzz from my cutting table and mat and my sewing machine and scissors.
  • Number one tip for not stepping on pins – wear shoes or slippers with a hard bottom.
  • If you don’t like to wear shoes in your sewing room, use flower top pins or pins with a large colorful head.  Being able to see the pins makes it easier to find to pick up.


  • If you have a serious problem with pins in your carpet, invest in a nail sweep.  They are about $40.  You can buy them from Amazon or your local Home Depot or Lowes store. You sweep that over the carpet and even lodged in pins come out.

Enjoy your Sunday.  It is ok to sew but not to clean. Sunday is a day for worship and rest.  Clean tomorrow.