Like most quilters we have a mountain of scraps that we can’t part with. So here is a quick sewing project that will help you to use up some of your fabric scraps.
What You Need
- An assortment of scraps
- A piece of batting – measuring 5″ x 5″
- A piece of backing fabric – measuring 5″ x 5″
What Are We Making?
We are going to be making a mug rug. These are so quick and easy to make and they make great gifts. Make a few and tie them together with a ribbon or a piece of pretty lace and gift them with a mug or cup and saucer set. A set of pretty mug rugs would even make a lovely gift just by themselves.
Watch the Step-by-Step Video Below or Scroll Down for the Written Instructions
How to Make a Scrappy Mug Rug
You have two options on how to do this. You can just go for it and not care about picking and choosing specific fabrics or you can audition different colour combinations and find one that’s pleasing to you. You can see the different colour combinations we tested out below.
It’s definitely a lot faster if you are spontaneous and not so picky about what you go with. And just going with random strips can look really interesting.
In fact thinking about it too much can often block the creative process. So don’t waste too much time on this part. Anyone who has been sewing and quilting for a while will tell you that once you sew two strips of fabric together they invariably always end up looking great.
Preparing the Fabric
Once you have decided on which strips you want to work with, it’s best to give them a press first just ensure they are wrinkle free.
You might want to trim them back a bit if they are super long. You don’t have to but we just found it easier to work with shorter strips. Just be careful not to cut them back too much. The strips need to be long enough to cover the batting.
You can also trim them to make them thinner. We went with strips that were about an inch and a half wide or smaller. You can make them the width you prefer. The beauty of this process is it’s all up to what you want.
GETTING READY TO SEW
Once you have pressed the strips we are ready to assemble our piece and start sewing.
- Take the first strip and lay it face up in the middle of the batting piece.
- Take the second strip and lay it face down on top of the first strip.
- We want to make sure that the strip is going to cover the batting, so just turn it back so that you can see that it is going to do this.
- Now turn it back over and line up the edges of the two strips and sew along the edge with a quarter inch seam.
Now we need to fold back that strip. You can press the seam open but using an iron at this point may stretch the batting. So I am just going to finger press it down.
Place the second strip in the same way and sew it again with a quarter inch seam.
Keep adding strips in the same way until you have completely covered one half of the batting and then flip and continue with the other side. Keep going until you have completely covered the batting.
Now that you have all the strips sewn onto the batting you can give the piece a press just to smooth everything down.
Trimming the Mug Rug
Now this is the fun part. We are going to trim back the excess fabric and have the big reveal on how your mug rug is going to look
- Turn the piece upside down so that the batting is facing upwards.
- Line up your ruler along each side of the batting and trim of the excess fabric.
Now don’t throw out those scraps. They can be used for other scrap projects and for crumb quilting. Here is a link to our crumb quilting video, if you ‘re not sure what crumb quilting is all about. It’s an excellent way to use up teeny tiny scraps and turn them into usable fabric pieces.
Turn the piece over and marvel at your creation.
Add the Backing
We haven’t quite finished yet. Now we need to add some backing fabric as our finishing touch.
Take a piece of fabric that measures 5” x 5” and place it face down on top of your masterpiece.
And we want to sew around the edge with a quarter inch seam. Make sure to leave a gap on one side so that we can turn it through.
I did start and end with a backstitch as this helps to keep the stitches in place when you’re turning it through.
When I sew around the piece you will notice that I have sewn right off the edge of each row of stitching. I haven’t pivoted at the corners.
Here is a photo of what that looks like. You can see where I have left the opening and also how I have sewn off the edges.
Trimming the Corners
Once you have finished sewing it’s time to trim the corners. Trimming the corners helps to reduce the bulk.
And now we need to turn it through, and that is why we left that gap at the top.
After you have turned it through, do your best to poke out the corners. I use an apple corer to help with this, but you can use the blunt end of a skewer or your scissors. However, if you use scissors be very careful not to push to hard as you may end up tearing through your fabric.
Now its time to give it a final press. Make sure that the opening at the top is lined up nicely. To do this you want to fold in the edges so they line up and then give it a press. Take your time with this as this will make it neater and easier for the final sewing step.
Sew Around the Edge
For the finishing step we just need to top stitch around the edge of the mug rug. This will seal the opening and give the mug rug a nice finish.
I generally sew around the edge with about an eight of an inch seam. Start and end with a small backstitch and we pivot at the corners. So we aren’t going to sew off the edge this time.
And there you have it, another great scrap busting project. And as I said at the beginning, why not make a few and tie them together with a pretty ribbon or piece of lace. They make great little gifts,