Friday, March 27, 2015

An Easter Mug Rug - from jeans and scraps.

This was a super simple project using up part of an old pair of jeans and some of my scraps.

I didn't really plan the project - but here's how it took shape.

I cut 2 pieces of denim fabric from a leg of a left over pair of jeans.

I added a rectangle from an old t-shirt for the batting in the middle of the mug rug. My rectangles were 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8").

I then got out the scraps of fabric with fusible webbing on - I always save the left over parts of this after my applique projects - these were mostly scraps from making these pencil cases.

I cut out basic rabbit silhouettes - sometimes I had to cut the body, head or ears separately to get them out of the scraps I had left.
I arranged these on one of the denim rectangles and peeled the back paper off them.

I ironed the bunnies into place with a damp cloth,

Then stitched around the edges to secure them using the applique setting on my machine.

Next, I pinned then stitched the 2 denim pieces together - right sides facing outwards with the t-shirt batting in between. I stitched all the way around the outside to hold the layers together and trimmed the edges to neaten them up.

Next came the problem of quilting through the 3 layers. I didn't want to stitch through the bunnies, so how was I to quilt in between them?

Here's where I decided to experiment. I've not done much quilting, but have heard of and seen a little 'free motion quilting' which, I understand to be, free style stitching in any design you like. 
This seemed the perfect answer for my little bunny mug rug. Unfortunately I don't have a walking foot and have never tried free motion quilting before. After a little Google searching, I decided to just jump in and try stitching in swirls with my regular sewing foot!

It seems to have turned out OK- and it was fun to just swirl around in the gaps!

Next came the binding. I found a long strip of pink gingham in my pink scrap box and cut it to about 5 cm wide (2") and as long as I had - which fortunately happened to be longer than the 4 sides of the mug rug.
Then I ironed it in half, then the edges to the centre and in half again:

Leaving me with my own long strip of binding.

I then attached the binding using this tutorial. I still need a lot of practice with binding - mine still doesn't look that neat yet!

 And there you have one finished Easter Bunny Mug Rug from jeans and scraps!

As for my experiment with free motion quilting, my elder daughter came home from school and saw my mug rug. She looked at the swirls of stitching between the bunny rabbits and asked if it was a mistake!

She likes order and patterns - random is not to her liking!

What do you think?
Does it just look like a random mess - or can I call it artistic swirls? It is a bit puckered in places I admit, but I quite like the overall look of it!

For the free downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

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  1. I'm guessing your daughter is at least I think they are cute. I wanted to make bunny placemats for easter but my to-do list is way too big right now. I really like them and the random stitching in fine.

    1. Ha, yes my daughter is just about to turn 12!! :) Thanks for the vote of confidence for my random stitching!


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