Friday, April 22, 2011

1,000,000 Pillowcase Challenge

These photos are the pictures of the 60 pillow cases that were delivered to a local women's shelter here in Spokane to be included in the Easter baskets the women and children will be given Easter morning.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mug Rug Tutorial

As requested this is going to be a step by step tutorial on how to make a fast and easy mug rug. You will need a piece of focus fabric mine is 7X9" here and a piece of batting the same size. I am using a scrap of cotton batting for the demo. You start by laying your focus fabric face down and positioning the batting on top of it.

 I am using selvages from another project to strip piece the back of the mug rug. I am overlapping the strips by about 1/8th inch and stitching it down to the batting and focus fabric. I prefer a diagonal placement but you could do horizontal or vertical placement if you prefer.

 Once I have stitched all the selvages down I turn the piece over and stitch around the edge of the focus fabric about 1/8th inch inside the edge. I then trim the excess to the edge of the focus fabric.

 I then go to the ironing board (where you can see that I spilled my coffee because I wasn't using a mug rug!) and I take a square of focus fabric that I have turned down 3/4" at the top. With my steam iron I fold up tiny corners of the bottom 2 corners and press.

 Then I fold the sides in appx. 1/4" and press them down well.
 Then fold the bottom up appx 1/4" and press well.
 At this time I cut a full length of fabric on the straight of the grain 2" wide and I press it in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. This becomes the binding for the mug rug in a later step.

 Back at the machine I position the pocket on the right side of the mug rug and stitch it into place with a scant  seam that catches the folded edge on the sides and bottom. In this example I used a 5" square to create the pocket. I also stop at the beginning and end of the pocket and backstitch to help re-enforce the pocket at the stress point.
Now we are ready to stitch on the binding! I start by fold back the first half inch of fabric to the inside of the binding to create a finished edge for the binding.
 You start the binding on the bottom edge and stitch it down 1/4th inch in from the edge. You stop at 1/4" from the corner. Lift the needle and presser foot and take the piece out just enough you can fold the binding to a right angle.
 Now you fold the binding over the top and square it up with the corner of the mug rug. Then you start stitching from the edge down to within 1/4 inch of the next corner. Repeat these steps until all four corners are completed.

 After doing your last mitered corner you lay the binding down and cut it off about 1.5 " after the start of the binding strip.
 Then shift this binging to the right so that as you cross the start of the binding it is 1/4" shorter than the beginning. This will allow the beginning to fold over the end without distorting the binding at this point..
 Now use you ruler and trim the binding it 1/4" from the seam you just sewed it down with. It is helpful if you snip the corners diagonally at this point but don't snip the stitching. You are just taking some of the bulk out of the corner so you have perfect mitered corners.
 Now turn your binding to the back and pin it in place. At the corners let it got to the edge and then folded the corner for a mitered look that mirrors the front.
 I use a running blind stitch to sew down the binding making sure not to catch the front so that the stitches show. I start where I finished sewing it on and stitch it around to the beginning of the binding and then I burry my thread tails in the back of the piece along the binding.

And there you have a simple mug rug that is very pretty and ready to save your clean fresh ironing board cover from a nasty coffee stain.

If you have any questions email me at and I will try to help. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mug Rugs Crazy

I have been working on large projects that needed more time to complete and got to the point I felt I wasn't accomplishing anything. So I took the day off to make Mug Rugs. Now for those of you who don't know Mug Rugs are larger than coasters but not a big as hot pads. They are to catch the condensation on a hot cup of tea or mug of hot cocoa or even the sweat from a glass of iced lemonade. They aren't anything too big just big enough to set a mug on. Sometimes they have a pocket for a tea bag or cookie and sometimes they even have a pocket for a spoon. I created mine so you could stick you tea bag and sweetener in the pocket fold the mug rug over the pocket and tuck it into your purse for work. The backs are just selvages from fabric I have been working with. I made 5 in one day and now I am doing a demonstration for this blog of step by step how I made them.