Let’s get started!
As always, use ¼” seams unless otherwise stated. Read all directions fully before beginning to ensure a smooth process. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments. And please remember to share photos of your finished projects on Bluprint — we LOVE to see your creations!
This design will feature the following techniques: using charm packs, making folded flying geese units, sewing partial seams and using a pillowcase binding. That’s a lot of information for one little mug rug — it’ll be fun!
You can choose a charm pack of your choice or use 5″ squares of scraps.
For this mug rug you will need:
- One charm square for the center
- Two charm squares for the folded flying geese
- Two charm squares for the backgrounds
- Two charm squares for the corner triangles
- Four charm squares for the backing
- One 9″ square of batting
- Center fabric (my green fabric) – Cut one 2 1/2” square.
- Folded flying geese fabrics (blue and gray) – Cut the charms in half to make two 2 1/2″ x 5″ strips.
- Background fabrics (whites) – Cut the charms in half both directions to make four 2 1/2″ squares.
- Corner triangle fabrics (pink) – Cut two charms in half diagonally once for a total of four large triangles.
Part 1: Creating the folded flying geese units
Fold the strips in half with the wrong sides together and press a seam across the middle. They should now be 2 1/2″ square, folded.
Sandwich a folded strip in between two background squares. These squares will be facing right sides toward the folded strip. The fold should be across the top; you will stitch along the side with four raw edges. Notice that the folded unit in the photo above is 1/4″ offset from the two background squares. This will create a 1/4″ seam allowance once the unit is pressed open.
Once the seam is sewn, unfold the unit and press it open with the pressed line from the strip directly on top of the stitching line. The 1/4″ seam allowance at the top of the point will be important later. The bottom edge of the unit will have extra fabric that will be trimmed off later.
Sew four of these units and press them all in the same manner. It may be helpful to insert the tip of the iron into the folded unit to get the fabric to lay flat.
On the back of the folded flying geese units, press the seams open.
Once all four units are sewn and pressed, trim the edges along the bottom so that each unit is 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.
Part 2: Sewing the block
Lay out the folded flying geese units around the center square as shown above. Notice that the construction of this block will require a partial seam to complete the block.
Layer the first flying geese unit on top of the center square, right sides together. Take care to line up the top two corners as shown. Begin sewing the pieces together, making sure the folded unit does not shift. Stop sewing approximately halfway to the next seam, as shown above. Back stitch 2-3 stitches to secure the seam.
Press the seams away from the folded flying geese unit. Sew the next folded flying geese unit to the center square unit as shown above. Repeat this with the next unit as well. Always press the seam away from the flying geese units.
When adding the last flying geese unit, simply fold the first one out of the way, taking care not to catch it in the seam.
Pin the first seam that was left unfinished. The seams will line up with the last unit sewn. Start sewing a few stitches before the first seam ends and continue in the same manner as all of the other seams. Press the block.
The folded flying geese block is now complete. You will be able to lift the folded edges of the units, but all of the raw edges will be securely sewn in place. This extra layer of fabric will add insulation to your mug rug without making it lumpy. This block should be 6 1/2″ square.
Part 3: Adding the corner triangles
Arrange the corner triangles and shown and sew one to each of the opposite sides of the block. Press the seams toward the pink fabric. Repeat with the opposite two sides.
Trim the block to 8 1/2″ square after it is pressed.
Part 4: Sew the backing
Sew the the four charms for the backing into a four patch. Pinwheel press the seams (for more information on pinwheel pressing, check out this Bluprint blog post).
Part 5: Assembling the mug rug
Layer the front, the backing and the batting, and trim them to an 8 1/2″ square. Take care to center the backing so that the seams line up with the points on the front.
Now, we’ll move on to our pillowcase binding. Notice that the front and the backing are right sides together with the batting on the bottom.
Sew 1/4″ away from the edge all the way around the mug rug. Leave a 3″ opening on one side for turning. This method of closing the edges of a quilted project is called a pillowcase binding because it is finished and can be turned inside out like a pillowcase.
After sewing along the edges, snip the corners, being careful not to clip the stitches. This will reduce bulk in the corners. Turn the mug rug right-side out.
Once the mug rug is turned right-side out, press it flat. Then, press the open seams under 1/4″ as shown. You can stitch this opening closed by hand, or you can just stitch it closed with the first line of quilting as I did. An additional line of machine quilting was added around the center square as well as around the pieced unit.
This is what the quilted mug rug looks like from the back after the threads have been clipped.
And this is the front of the finished mug rug!
I hope you had fun using up some charm squares, making folded flying geese, sewing partial seams and using a pillowcase binding method. Now you can go pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy your cute new mug rug!
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