Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Selvage Mug Rug

Wikipedia defines a selvage (US English) or selvedge (British English) as a self-finished edge of fabric. Normally, these are cut off and discarded in the process of making a quilt (or any fabric article), but I've been saving mine for just this kind of project.
Selvage mug rug
A mug rug is a little mini-quilt, larger than a coaster, smaller than a placemat, that you can place your cup and a snack on without it taking up too much space. The beauty of these ones are that they are a great example of making something beautiful out of what otherwise would be trash. 
Selvage mug rug in blue
 First, you need to save your selvages. I cut mine with about 1/2" of the main fabric attached. You'll see why when we start sewing them onto the mug rug. This will give you about 1/4" of the main fabric showing after sewing, so if you want more or less fabric showing, cut your fabric selvages accordingly.
Cutting your selvages
 Next, cut a backing fabric and a piece of batting just a bit larger than you want the final mug rug to be. I like my mug rugs to finish at about 7" x 9", so I cut my backing and batting 8" x 10". This is also a great way to use up those batting scraps that aren't big enough for anything else.
Preparing the backing & batting
 Lay your first selvage strip across the diagonal. Take a second selvage strip and lay it parallel on top with the selvage edge about 1/4" overlapping the raw cut edge of the first strip. Using a matching thread and a straight stitch (or a decorative thread and decorative stitch - anything goes, really!), sew just a little inside the selvage edge through all layers. This will quilt your mug rug as you go and when the top is done, all you will have left to do is the binding.
Starting to add strips
 Continue stitching until half of your mug rug is complete and then carry on and do the other half, remembering that you will be slipping the raw edge under the selvage edge on this half.
Top stitch at edge of selvage
 This is what your project should look like - roughly the shape you want and with as much or as little fabric showing as you prefer. Play around with colours and the amount of fabric vs selvage showing - it's only scraps that would otherwise end up in the landfill!
Pieced, quilted and ready to trim!
If you are like me, you will want to make more than one of these cute mug rugs, and to make this step easier, you can use painter's tape to mark the  finished size you want on your ruler. You can see that I've marked my ruler at 7" x 9". Place over your pieced strips, and cut the first two sides square. (I've cut from the back for this photo as it's easier to see than with the stripped side.)
Trimming the mug rug
 Turn your piece 180 degrees, line up your painters tape on the cuts you made in the previous step and cut the remaining two sides square.

Trimming the mug rug
And here's your mug rug, pieced, quilted and ready for binding. 
Trimmed and ready for binding
There is a definite up and down to these mug rugs because of the text on the selvage edges, so if you are making a matching set, watch how you place that first strip so they all angle the same direction.
Blue selvage mug rug (slant top left to bottom right)
Blue selvage mug rug (slant bottom left to top right)
Add binding using whatever method suits you best - google "how to bind a quilt" if you are unsure and voila! You are finished!

Keep the mug rug for yourself or package it up with a mug, some coffee/tea/hot cocoa, a package of cookies and give as a gift to someone special!

Until next time!
--Ann

PS. I apologize for the crazy inconsistent fonts! Sometimes technology baffles me!

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