‘time for tea’ mug rug tutorial

by Nova on March 21, 2011

Erin’s Mug Rug Madness is off & running! Yay! If you love all things mug ruggy you’re in for a treat with 10 days of tutorials, tips, techniques & giveaways!

When my bloggy friend  Erin of Two More Seconds & one half of the brains behind the The Sewing Summit contacted me a couple of weeks ago inviting me to play along in her Mug Rug Madness,how could I resist?  I love me a mug rug!

Do keep checking in on Erin’s blog over the next 10 days as she shares all things Mug Rug with 10 days of all Mug Rugs all the time! She’ll have instructional posts, informative posts, and links to the who, what, when, where and why of Mug Rugs & will point you to the next tutorial each day. There will be a master list on her blog and in the flickr group so you won’t get lost and like a pot of gold tea at the end of the rainbow of tutorials she’ll be hosting a big giveaway with a chance for you to win the mug rugs from all the featured mug rug tutorials around blogland from  her Mug Rug Madness! Hurrah!

So without further ado, here’s my mug rug tutorial just for you…

‘time for tea’ mug rug tutorial

I don’t know about you, but it’s always time for tea around here ;)

I love typography & wanted to make a mug rug with ‘tea’ spelt out loud & clear!

I find it very satisfying  to sew from the scrap bin & this little project is all from scraps, gotta love that :)

I wanted an unfussy look & for the words to be the focus , so decided against going for the ‘bound’ look of a quilt and instead used simple top stitching to secure it all together.

… & you know me… I can’t resist a few hand stitches!  But feel free to let your imagination run wild with machine or hand quilting ~ put your own stamp on it :) I’d love to see if you make a mug rug inspired by my ‘time for tea’ one :) You can post pics of this or any of the mug rugs you might make from the upcoming tutorials in the Mug Rug Madness Flickr group ~ we’d all love to see :)

oh! did I mention it’s reversible too?!

What you’ll need

  • Assorted fabric scraps (prints & solids)
  • 2 pieces scrap batting measuring approx 9” x 5 ½”
  • Vliesofix or similar paper backed, double sided iron on adhesive web stuff
  • 1 piece of solid (or print) fabric for reverse of mug rug 8 ½” x 5”
  • Needle & thread for hand quilting (optional)
  • tea template
  • cup & saucer template

Finished Size: 8” x 4 ½”

Use ¼” seam unless otherwise stated.

Step 1

From your assorted scraps cut 7 strips all measuring 5” in length & the following widths ::

1 x ¾”

2 x 1”

2 x 1 ¼ “

1 x 1 ½”

1 x 1 ¾”

Sew these all together & press seams open to avoid too much bulk for the appliqué stage. I sewed mine in the following order but feel free to mix it up ::

: 1 ¼” : 1 ¾” : 1” : 1 ½” : ¾” : 1 ¼” : 1” :

Step 2

Using the templates provided trace the backward letters t,e & a onto the papery side of the Vliesofix and roughly cut out ( they will be the right way around when we finish ;) ) . Iron these onto the wrong side of your solid of choice I used Kona Charcoal) and cut out neatly around the design.

Remove the paper from the back of the letters. Position them onto your pieced strips and iron in place. It’s a good idea to remove the paper first before you position them, that way you can press them into place as soon as you are happy with the layout,  without having to pick them up, take the paper off, then reposition them again.

Using a contrast or matching thread ( depending on the look you are after), raw edge machine appliqué the letters.

I learnt to raw edge machine appliqué using this brill tute by Kajsa of Syko fame.

Step 3

Using the templates provided for the cup & saucer applique (or you might prefer to draw your own) ; repeat the method from step 2 to transfer the design to Vliesofix to your fabric scraps.

Position these onto the 8 ½” x 5” piece of fabric using the image below as a guide. Iron in place.

Raw edge appliqué the design using your machine. You will need to add the lines to define the top of the cup, the swirly tea & the saucer edge. You can do these by eye, free style, or if you prefer you can mark them first with a pencil or fabric pen.

Some of the lines I sewed over several times to create a more defined look.

Step 4

Place the front & back pieces of your mug rug on top of the pieces of scrap batting.

Secure with pins and add some quilting stitches, either by hand or machine. I hand quilted with 3 strands of floss. You might prefer to quilt before you applique, this is just the way I prefer to do it for the hand stitches.

Trim the excess batting.

Step 5


Place your front & back mug rug pieces right sides together & secure with pins.

Using your walking foot, sew around all sides leaving a gap of approx 3” along the bottom edge. Back stitch at beginning and end.

Clip corners and carefully trim excess batting from the seam allowance (to reduce bulk)

Turn right side out, making sure the corners are carefully pushed out (use a turning tool or a wooden knitting needle or similar). Press the seams of the gap towards the inside  and pin together. Press all the other seams.

With your walking foot, keep quite close to the edge,  top stitch around all the sides.

& you’re all done!

Time to put the kettle on!


*** for a chance to WIN my ‘time for tea’ mug rug you will need to visit Erin’s giveaway post & leave a comment there to enter the random draw :)  good luck!*** giveaway is now closed

I’d love to see if you make something with one of my tutorials, please add a pic of your project  to the ‘a cuppa and a catch up’ flickr group if you like :) thanks so much!  x

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