A Mug Rug Tutorial

Here's a tutorial on one way that I make my mug rugs. If you make one using this tutorial, send me some pictures, I'd love to see them :-)



First I like to sketch the design onto a piece of paper.


I generally try to stick to a 6" x 10" border.

Trace your designs onto some double sided fusible paper (such as vliesofix or applifix).  Remember to seperate all segments of the design (ie the bird body and the wing are seperate) .


Cut around the shape leaving approx 1/4" around each. You will trim this down later.


Cut a piece of fabricfor your background. It should be about 1/2" larger, all around, than your intended final size. This will give you room to trim and add binding later on. I use Kona Cotton in white.


Now the fun big begins. Go through your scrap tub and look for bits and pieces which will work well with your design.

Fuse onto the back of your fabric with a hot, dry iron.

If you're drawing a bird or something which is directional, and you really want it to stay facing that way, you need to reverse your design before transferring it onto your fusible paper.

Now you can either fuse all of them or cut and position them onto your backing fabric as you go.

Either put it together on your ironing board, or onto a hard flat surface which you can easily transport to your ironing board. There's nothing worse than having it all arranged just 'so' and then trying to pick it all up and take it to your ironing board and your pieces fluttering away.

My 9.5" ruler comes in handy for this
Once you have it arranged just as you'd like, remove the backing paper and fuse onto the background fabric.


Now you need to sandwich some batting and an another piece of fabric - I use calico. I've tried to use just batting but it doesn't run very smoothly when I'm appliqueing or quilting it.

Use a pin to hold it in place


Drop down your feed dogs, attach your free motion foot and sew around your shapes carefully, as close to the edge as you're comfortable with, but not going over onto the white background.

I use a charcoal thread when outlining my shapes

Sew in the eye - or attach a nice bead

Change your thread in the machine to match your background fabric and get ready to quilt it.


In this mug rug I went with some swirls and shadow quilting, but you can do however you like. 


Trim it down, remembering that you'll be adding a binding, so make sure you leave enough room around the edges so as not to cover up your flowers etc.

Choose some backing fabric (to cover up all of your stitches) which is 1" larger than your rug. The extra inch will be used for your binding.


Fold your back fabric edge to the edge of the rug, and then over again to make the binding. Sew it down as close to the edge as you can.


The corners are a little bit more tricky, but you just need to fold the corner at an angle and then over again.


And there you have it, a mug rug all ready to use or give as a gift.

I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial. If you see anything that needs clearing up or changing, please let me know... and don't forget to send me a picture of your rug :-)


55 comments

barb's creations said...

Love your tutorial it's very clear and concise,another one to add to my to-do list.... :) Barb.

Quiltjane said...

Fabulous tutorial. I am all ready for the Mug Rug Swap. Why don't you make a whole quilt out of free form appliqued squares?

Quiltjane said...

Oops, forgot to say - applique will in reverse when you copy from original drawing and instead of calico I use a light weight interfacing to stabilise applique and cover wadding so fluff does not get in feed dogs. Does this make sense?

Suzanne said...

Love the tutorial! I will have to give it a go. BTW I love the re-vamp of your sewing room!

Shelley said...

Great tutorial! I wish free-hand drawing was easier for me, but this technique would work great from things like clip art, too, for the drawing-challenged. :)

Oops-Lah said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for the effort! This would make a terrific gift for a good friend. Vreni x

Melody said...

A gorgeous mug rug and a fabulous tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing.

RobynLouise said...

Great tutorial.

Katie Ringo said...

Do you use any Fray Check on your edges of your applique?

Terri's Place said...

Gorgeous mug rug and excellent tutorial. Very inspirational ... another 'to do'. Thank you :D

Leti said...

Que bonito es...¡¡¡

tengo muchas ganas de hacerlo, me puedes enviar el patron¡¡¡

gracias.

leticia0018@gmail.com

un beso

Anonymous said...

That is beautiful! How creative you are!! Lovely :O)

Teresa F. said...

Great tutorial.Lots of pictures and easy instructions.Thank you.

Elke said...

Thank you for your tutorial.

Nita said...

Great tutorial! I suppose you could do the final quilting through to the backing fabric also? I want to try this as I picked up some Visoflix for a 'try it and see project' like this.

Jess @ Scrappy n Happy said...

Great tutorial! Your mug rugs are so beautiful!
I like how you stitch around in a dark thread, how you do the backing and binding in one and I really liked the little owl flower centre!

Cheryll said...

Well presented tutorial. Good job! Love the mug rug too. :)

carol said...

You could have just quit with your background quilting and just put a binding on it. That works wonderfully too and then you wouldn't have machine stitches on the front of your mug rug binding.

nono said...

Oh my goodness, I love this! I'm so afraid to try applique. Maybe now is the time.

edyB said...

This is a wonderful tutorial! Thank you for sharing.

Rachaeldaisy said...

A great tutorial!! I love your mug rugs, they're so sweet and happy!

Angie said...

Cute mug rug! Very pretty :)

Anonymous said...

Oh! Thank you for sharing with us...I love your process...I have always wondered HOW...and now I know! =) I'll definitely send a pic if I make one!

Penny said...

It's gorgeous! May I copy your design? I love it!

J said...

I love it!

Anonymous said...

I am so going to try this, it is totally adorable!

Ivana said...

Thank you for the excellent tutorial. Your works are wonderful and original!

Lucky-1 said...

I so adore you mug rugs, they are so bright and always make me smile:)

Canadian Kristin said...

I would add magnets and hang that cheery sunshiney piece of happiness art on my fridge and stare at it every day! Amazing!!!!!

Laurie in Maine said...

Too pretty to put a drippy mug on!

Dusted (& oiled!) my sewing machine off a few months ago. Mug rugs are a new concept to me. They look to be the size of Fabric Postcards - which I have been doing for years.

(Wonders why "rugs" are twice as big as mug?)

Unknown said...

This is soooooo cute and such a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing at totally tutorials!! It's so great!! :-)

The creative Muslimah @ www.thecreativemuslimah.blogspot.com

Varga Györgyi said...

This tutorial is sooo lovely. I must do this kind of mug rug! Thanks for sharing your technique.

Staci said...

This just made me smile - it's so cute! I love your design.

Sherry said...

Fantastic tutorial, thanks so much for sharing. Your design is simply beautiful!

Teresa aka Tess said...

I loved your mug rug design. Great tutorial

Maria said...

Love your Mug Rug. A great tutorial.

petitange said...

I like your tutorial very much! :)

texmex said...

Verry Good I love it!!!!!!

Marika said...

Hello thank you, for the nice Mug Rug
creative regards Marika

Gabi said...

Oh, this is an absolutely cute mug rug! Thank you for this tutorial. I will definitely make it!

Susan said...

I love your mug rug! Making one, is on my list of things to do! Thanks for sharing!

Marie C. said...

WOW, that is the cutest mug rug I've ever seen! I just started learning about mug rugs and am participating in a swap in May. Thanks for the inspiration!! I'm now following your blog. :-)

http://educatorssoliloquy.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-heck-is-mug-rug.html

Caroline said...

This is absolutely adorable, thank you so much for sharing. New follower after finding this on tutorial blogs. X

Claudia/Ompompali said...

Thank you so much - this is just what I was looking for! Greetings from Germany

dmdflyer said...

My girlfriend and I love making these Mug Mats. We like to use leftover quilt blocks to make larger mats for the counter, near the coffee pot. They really help to keep the sugar and drips from going all over the counter.

Anonymous said...

I from Brasil, sorry my Englis, but I love your rug mug. God bles you.

Sue said...

I LOVE your mug rug...you have given me an idea for the binding!
Many thanks!

Wee Little Birds said...

Just found this tut. It is so CUTE, but then I am a sucker for anything with birds on it.
It is my job to hunt down small projects for our Thursday sewing group. This one just has to go on my list of musts.
Cheers Tanya

katesnanna said...

I love this mug rug.It's just soooo cute.

Cookie Gaynor said...

Very clear directions and it is an adorable project. Thank you for sharing! Cookie

Joy said...

I tried a similar pattern inspired by your mug rug. My first attempt at free motion quilting on my domestic sewing machine. It left a little to be desired, so I used it as a panel and attached to a commercial market tote. It looks great there and won't get so much close scrutiny there. Thanks for the tutorial.

Donna Taylor said...

I just love your work and your instructions are perfect. Thanks so much.
Donna, in Barrie, Ontario

P11otter said...

Love this very much . Thanks for the inspiration. I like free motion quilting. And your design is beautiful !

joma said...

Ola, adorei seu blog muitos trabalhos maravilhosos, já estou te seguindo e a convido a conhecer meu blog e se tornar minha seguidora, obrigada por compartilhar o pap

Cackleberries said...

I love it! I usually make mine without a binding, but now that I have found your blog, I believe I will try it. Thanks for sharing. I've posted my pictures and tutorial here: http://jillywillywonka.blogspot.com/
I'd love for you to stop by. Please feel free to comment with your blog as to send my readers back here. I think they would enjoy yours too!