and secondly the Russian Doll pattern to celebrate traditional Russian crafts.
Both patterns are suitable for beginner and experienced sewists alike and I thought I might give some hints and tips to make them even easier. But before I do a reminder to print the patterns to ‘exact size’. There is a print-check-box on each applique sheet to make it easy for you to check your print out and you will find details of how to download and print here.
So let’s make a start - there is much to talk about .....
Fabric choices. The fabrics that you choose will have the most influence on how your mug rugs turn out and the choice of fabric will determine whether the finished mug rug is ‘modern’ or ‘traditional’ or ‘country’. Play around with your choices – lay the fabrics together, turn away and then look back at them. Do they work? Do they contrast with the background? Most importantly – do you like them? I know, I know, you are giving these mug rugs away but I would urge you to make something you like because, in so doing, you are sharing your tastes and choices with another - you are giving away a glimpse of who you are – connecting with another over fabric, fun and friendship.
For the Winter Dove mug rugs I used a plain white fabric for the bird .......
and a two-tone white from Kate Spain’s ‘In From the Cold’ range .......
Whenever it comes to using a plain white I tend to use a thicker white cotton than normal quilting cotton to avoid the background showing through. In fact I use fabric cut from a plain white tablecloth especially for this purpose – it is 100% cotton and I know it will wash well. But do not worry if you only have quilter’s cotton and you think the background may show through – you can fuse two pieces together using fusible webbing and treat it as one piece. This technique works well - I have used it many times. Another option is to use felt.
|This Ghostly Duo are created from two layers of fused white fabric |
ensuring the dark background doesn't show through.
For the red Russian Doll I used a selection of fabrics from a Moda ‘Red Robin’ charm pack but there is no need to buy fabric specifically for this swap – use something you already have in your stash or scrap box.
|Complementary quilting detail|
|Thanksgiving Wreath Mug Rug (from my Special Days pattern book)|
The leaf detail is created using black sewing thread.
You do not need to add any additional stitching if you prefer a simpler look. The Russian Doll looks just as good with a fussy-cut tummy panel as she does with a heart emblem.
|Simple stitching brings a smile to my face.|
For the eyes use five straight stitches, close to each other. Try to make them all the same size. There is no need to attempt to make the eyes appear rounded – they will look just fine. As for the mouth – yet again use small, even, straight stitches. I used four on the Russian Dolls but five would also work. I used a running stitch with a small gap between each but use whatever stitch you are comfortable with.
|Permanent black marker (thin) was used to create this smile.|
Of course you could always use a thin, permanent fabric marker and draw the face onto the fabric. I did this with my Gingerbread mug rug and it worked perfectly. Remember to test the marker on a scrap of the fabric before use and I would strongly urge you to draw the face prior to stitching it in position – just in case your hand slips or you make a mistake!
|Simple Patched Sidebar - no matching of seams here!|
Remember - these are your mug rugs that you are giving – my pattern is just a template – play with stitches, colour and pattern, try different techniques but more than anything else, enjoy yourself. Join in, have fun, make friends and share a little of who you are with another.
Sew until next time ....................
p.s. I will post this page in the ‘Mug Rug Basics’ section of this blog where you will find lots more hints and tips on quick fuse applique, binding and mug-rug-swap etiquette - just click on the link or the tab above.