[Edited on January 13, 2020]
Everyone loves to receive a handmade gift. These quilted mug rugs will make your friends happy and will use up your stash. Because these mug rugs have no binding they are fast to make.
Remember those leftover blocks you did not know how to use? Forget potholders! Enjoy their beauty every day in your studio, office, or by the couch after you transform them into mug rugs.
Mug rugs absorb water, prevent spills, and add color to your day. As you read my previous posts you will see I am a big fan of them. I hope my friends are, too, because I made these for them this Christmas.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to make mug rugs without binding:
Look in your stash for orphan blocks.
The four-patch above was made with 2-1/2″ squares a while ago. Find a block in your stash… I kept it because I like these fabrics and the colorway and hoped someday I could use it. Today!
For mug rugs, we need blocks that measure 6-1/2″ unfunished, at the most, because we still may want to add narrow borders to them. They will not take up a lot of space on the desk or on the side table. You will also need a square of coordinating fabric for the backing.
Add narrow borders to complement the design.
Add borders to sides then top and bottom (these borders are 1-1/2″ wide). This way, you set off the block while having complementing the design with contrasting or coordinating colors.
The border fabrics will ensure the center block stays intact when you stitch the side seams.
Make the ‘quilt sandwich’.
Layer the quilt sandwich: the top of the mug rug with right side facing up, add the backing fabric with its right side facing down, and finally, place the batting on top. Pin the layers.
This order is important because, once you are done stitching, you will turn the mug rug inside out and the batting will be hiding in between the top and the back of it. That is how I can make mug rugs without binding – by stitching the quilt sandwich and then turning it inside out.
Stitch the layers together.
Sew a 1/4″ seam around the mug rug leaving a 2″ opening (I backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam so when I turn the mug rug inside out the seam will not rip). Trim the corners to avoid bulk.
Turn the mug rugs inside out.
After clipping the corners, turn the mugs inside out and use chopsticks or something else to push the corners out so they will look good. Give it a good press so the edges are crisp, and pin the opening shut. I hand-stitched with the whipstitch using Aurifil monofilament thread to hide the opening, but you can also topstitch all around.
I can give them away as a set or give one to each friend. Either way, I love having handmade items I can just pick up, wrap, and gift. It beats rushing out at the last minute and, whatever you grab at the store may or may not please the recipient. But something you made has a special meaning. With these mug rugs without binding, you put only a little bit of time into the project yet the results are super cool and more personal.
Quilt the mug rug.
As you can see, the quilting is very simple. I used the walking foot because it handles the thickness of the layers very well.
I chose two more blocks from my stash and made 5 mug rugs. The top two blocks are from the Farmer’s Wife book – I gave up that project after making these two blocks… (yep, call me chicken).
Skipping the binding is a good idea when you use blocks from projects you made a while ago. You may not have anything that would look OK as binding at this point. Plus, it is a way to whip up a project in no time at all, a good thing when you forgot you needed a gift for your friend or family member. Plus, you made it!
There you have it. I used this same no binding method to finish small and large quilts (I made a two-sided flannel quilt and finished it the same way). Give it a try!
Enjoy your day,