Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Rain Cloud Mug Rug

Zakka Style Sew-Along - Week 7

I was actually going to skip this Zakka Style project because I have 2 mug rugs already and the design did not really interest me. However after spending hours cutting up fabrics, I needed to do some sewing.

This project was made with all scrap fabrics, mostly leftover from what Denyse Schmidt and Kona fabrics I had been cutting earlier that day.

It is a simple pattern and design and really you can pour as much creativity into this project as your imagination and time allows. Perhaps the original's simplicity of design and material best highlights the Zakka style.

Some Tips 

Hold your book up to a window to trace the applique design to your 'cloud' fabric. 
You don't need to do hand stitched 'needle turn' applique to attach the rain cloud. A close stitch width and length zig zag will do the job just as nicely. 
It may be a good idea to use fusible interfacing to keep it in place.
I used a blanket stitch for mine.
If you are going to machine quilt the 'wind' lines, I suggest you clearly mark them on your work with a water soluble marker. I drew mine by hand.
 If you have a darning foot, attach this and drop the feed-dogs.
Then warm up your free-motion skills by doing a few practice swirls. I made the mistake of doing this cold and so it looks very tentative.
 This 5" charm was a scrap sent with an Etsy order so I used some leftover scraps of Kona Ash from cutting the Katie Jump Kites solid that morning. This bumped it out to about 6" square. 
I have added quite a few colours to my stash since hand quilting the Fussy Fairytales quilt and thought that I might put them to some use. I tossed up using only reds and pinks but decided upon the 7 colours of the rainbow instead.
My front was slightly larger than the back but I spray basted them together and cut the front down to match.

Binding the Mug Rugs
Now here's where the pattern becomes too vague for non-quilters. It tells you to bind the quilt with a 1/4" seam allowance and using the single fold binding directions on page 25. However, these directions are for a straight piece and DO NOT explain what to do at each corner. Here's where quilters would do what's known as a Mitred corner. There is a tutorial here to help those who do not. 
Sew the binding down on 3 sides and leave the ends unsewn with a 3" gap.
Fold one of the strips back on itself and lay the opposing strip over the top and stitch over the top with a back stitch.
Trim the excess 'tails' of binding off and then fold the binding over to the back and pin.
Turn the binding up under itself at the back and pin down with pins. I use bobby pins.
Flip the mug rug back to the front and then stitch in the ditch between the fabric and the binding being sure to catch the binding at the back. A normal foot is fine for single-fold binding rather than the usual 'walking foot' used in double-fold binding. You may want to read up on binding techniques at Red Pepper Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts or Cass the Coolest.
Set the kettle boiling and pour yourself a cup of tea, throw in a treat and enjoy your mug rug.
How are you going on the Zakka Style Sew-Along? Such lovely ladies on the Flickr page and I have one Quilt Club Australia friend join this week. Nice!

Linking up with...
Zakka Style Sew Along

Sew Happy Geek


  1. Gah, too cute. I'm not usually a fan of mug rugs, but this could turn me.

  2. Definitely the best looking Zakka mug rug in the blogosphere! Love it. Just for my curiosity (and to extend my sewing knowledge), this may be an ignorant question but - is there any reason you would chose to do single-fold over double fold? It's just that double fold is so much easier to make!

  3. Yours looks so darn cute, maybe I do need another mug rug!

  4. Hey Lara...I would normally do the quilting double fold binding on a mug rug, but the pattern called for a single-fold binding. Plus I was using scraps and I had a 1.25" long strip leftover from the DS fat quarter that I had been cutting. Not wide enough for double fold and just 1/4" narrower than what the pattern required but I thought I would use it anyway. How are you going with you Zakka projects? You realise that you are the QCA friend I mentioned above? hehehe

  5. That looks great! I love the rainbow rain =D

  6. Oh, I love the rainbow rain you use! Lovely. I hand stiched the cloud but the round areas did not work out so well but I'm fine with it.

  7. How cute is that? Thanks for sharing your tutorial.

  8. Such creative stitching for the rainbow rain...I love it! Your tips are all very good, too.

  9. Gorgeous work Fiona, as always.

    Just to spice things up, I am nominating you for a Leibster Blog Award! I had to google to find out what it was.

    You are an inspiration, and love catching up with a cuppa on your blog.

    Caz, The Accidental Quilter XX

  10. Excellent blog and I love your mug rug. That scrap of background fabric is stunning also - so it looks superb front and back. Nicely done.

  11. Love the rainbow idea Fiona!

  12. Aw you ladies are so encouraging...I'd like to have you all around for a cup of tea and a chin wag (that's means 'chat' to the non-Aussies). I would nearly have enough english tea sets to go around now...new ones coming in the mail this week from the UK so stay tuned for a 'post' about them.

  13. Very cute! I love the idea of rainbow raindrops!


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