‘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

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy March 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Oh Wow, how cool is that.


Angela March 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Ah, it is so lovely! great tutorial. :)


Amanda Elizabeth March 22, 2011 at 12:50 am

this is SO cute Nova!!!! eeep!!!


Erin March 22, 2011 at 1:48 am

Oh Nova you outdid yourself! This is amazing! I love it. :]


Karen March 22, 2011 at 2:04 am

Brilliant tute! I’m desperate to have a go but am nursing a poorly boy :o( So happy the madness has begun.


Laine March 22, 2011 at 5:06 am

Very very cute! I need to make this one right away. i LOVE tea!


ImperaMagna March 22, 2011 at 5:07 am

How cute… I love the “tea” on one side and the teacup on the other! What a great idea…


Amy - Amy's Creative Side March 22, 2011 at 5:23 am

Adorable Nova! Thanks for sharing your fab technique!


Marge March 22, 2011 at 5:42 am

I love how you made it double sided. Thanks for a great tutorial.


Kate March 22, 2011 at 6:49 am

Lovely rug and fantastic tut!


Suzanne March 22, 2011 at 6:53 am

Thanks for sharing your talent!


liveacolorfullife March 22, 2011 at 6:56 am

This is so cute. I think I might try the raw edge applique!


Chris K March 22, 2011 at 7:42 am


thanks so much for your mug rug tutorial…I made my first one at Xmas time for a craft group gift…so easy….

Enjoyimg your mug rug as I am a tea drinker through and through.

Kind regards from Downunder…New Zealand
Chris K Wellington NZ … :)


erica March 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

Woe, that strawberry kettle is the best thing ever, -I want it! x


Viv March 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

Oh, this is wonderful! I think I will make one for my tea-drinking mum for Mother’s Day. Thanks for the tute. And that kettle is sooooooooo fab!


Jan March 22, 2011 at 8:25 am

My favourite things – teacups, tea and typography – thanks for this great design!


Joanna March 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

Sweet design. I love the teacup and saucer. Thanks so much for the pattern.


Lori Genovario March 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Really cool mug rug. Love the color.


Brie March 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I’m totally making that tonight!


Billie March 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Wonderful tutorial! I love that it is reversible. I’ve never done a raw edge machine applique, I want to try. Thank you for the pattern, your design is fantastic!


Megan March 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I looooove this so much! that reminds me, I was just going to make some tea……:)


anna March 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

love these, all the wonderful details make it such a cool project.


Ann Flowers March 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial for Mug Rug madness. You made me feel so much more at ease to make a mug rug. I am in a swap and have been having a horrible time trying to use binding, something I have never done before. You example is something I KNOW I can do. Thank you so much:)


Eileen March 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm

okay..Single Girl’s going to get stood up while I make a cup of tea..oops..cuppa! :) So cute, Nova!


Amelia March 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Thanks for the tutorial Nova, I love it!! I haven’t made a mug rug yet but it’s definately on my to do list


jen excell March 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi, I just found your blog from mug rug madness. I love your tutorial! I just started a sign up list for an international mug rug swap, and I’d be really grateful if you’d pass it on to your readers. If you want to join us that would be really awesome too!
Thank you!


Donna March 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm

This is so cute. I thank you for the tutorial. This will be my first Mug Rug.
Keep up the good work. It looks great.


Justine March 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Fab tutorial – I’ll def. be making this one!!


Leanne March 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Lovely! Great tutorial too. Thanks.


Knitterbocker March 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm

What a wonderful tutorial – I have just whipped up one using Authentic from Sweetwater and loved it, thank you for inspiring!


Hazle March 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm

What fun! Something new to try. Thank you for such a clear tute! :-)



De March 23, 2011 at 12:19 am

I am such a “tea” girl and I LOVE this! Going to make it for my first mug rug!! Thanks for a great tutorial!!


Ruby March 23, 2011 at 2:29 am

Thanks for sharing. I love this Mug Rug.


Sherry Edwards March 23, 2011 at 2:41 am

Thanks for sharing your tutorial. Your mug rug looks great, I love your choice of fabrics too.


Jacque March 23, 2011 at 3:34 am

Oh, I love this! I’m a big tea drinker (take lots of abuse for it, from the coffee drinkers around here!!) and I just love this mugrug! You did such a nice job on the photos and the instructions were nice and clear. Thanks very much! I am inspired to make one of these!


Meg March 23, 2011 at 4:15 am

Lovely, lovely tutorial! I love the versatility with the two sides!


Michelle McCray March 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm

LOVE you mug rug! I have printed the templates and will hopefully have time tomorrow to get started :0) My newly created (read still under construction) blog is a basket of strawberrypi . . . I LOVE, love, love strawberries. So, I really love you tea kettle :0)


Tracy aka madquilter March 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Great mug rug and fabulous tutorial. There’s always time for tea here too


Pétra(Creative Mom) March 24, 2011 at 5:44 am

Love the bold letters. Great tutorial thank you!


GeeGee March 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Adorable! Thanks for the tutorial, so sweet of you to take the time to create it.


Sharon Joyner Griffith March 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

This was a wonderful pattern, thank you! I will be back.


mathea March 25, 2011 at 6:17 am

I love your mug rug, Nova! – Great colours, beautiful fabrics, typography AND it’s reversible – what more could we want? :-)


Geraldine March 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm

These are So Sew cute.


Stitches March 26, 2011 at 12:43 am

Cool, really cool tutorial. I like the reversible mug rug and I’ll be making one of those soon. I just love this MugRug Madness!! Thanks for doing it.


Angela March 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm

That is such a cutie! I love tea so this is on my my to do list – in case I do not win?


Roxanne March 29, 2011 at 6:54 am

Adorable! Thanks for sharing your tutorial.


daisy March 29, 2011 at 11:09 am

Hi Nova – great mug rug – I love how I keep finding you in different places – your work is so cool – I’m going to make this one for my mum for mother’s day – thanks


debra March 30, 2011 at 6:47 am

this is beautiful Nova…i want to make it now!! Do i have to go to work today….x


Pamela May 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I know I’m a little late commenting, but I just found the Rug Mug Madness posts. Great tutorial! I am a tea fanatic (as I see you are!) so I was quite happy to see this mug rug!



Dalya November 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this! It’s so cute and immediately put a smile on my face thinking of my tea obsessed friends! I will be making several of these and will make a list to share them on the flickr group.
I’d like to note, I didn’t use Vliesofix! I used some really stiff and thin fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric and then cut the letters out :) I just didn’t want to deal with floppy letters, sliding around, and fraying. I just thought I’d share!
Thanks again!
– Dalya


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