Slice & Stitch 2021, FREE Last Minute Mug Rug Tutorial

Oct 22, 2021

Hello and welcome to another Slice & Stitch challenge! I’ve participated in this challenge for the last three years. I love coming up with fun new projects to share with you. If you’d like to see my previous Slice & Stitch finishes, you can view them for 2019 and 2020.

Now onto this year’s project! As an OLFA Expert I was provided with products from both OLFA and Aurifil Thread for the challenge. I pulled inspiration from the color palette of the thread provided to make my project from my scrap bins.


Last Minute Mug Rug

This project is all about a quick make - something you can whip up in no time for those last minute gifts for teachers, co-workers, friends, etc. And that's how I came up with the Last Minute Mug Rug! Before I get into all the details let's look at the products I used from OLFA and Aurifil. 
  • OLFA 1 ½ “ x 12” Frosted Advantage Ruler 
  • OLFA 9 ½ ” Frosted Advantage Ruler 
  • OLFA 28 mm Rotary Cutter 
  • OLFA 45 mm Splash Rotary Cutter 
  • Aurifil Earth Views Collection by Karen Nyberg

Aurifil 50 weight is my all time favorite thread. It's great for piecing and quilting, and has a beautiful defined finish without the fuzz some other brands can have.The earthy tones in the Earth Views thread collection inspired me to pick similar toned fabric for this mug rug, which by the way, you can finish really quickly if you’re in a pinch.

So, what is a Mug Rug?

Mug rugs are small to medium sized quilted placemats specifically meant to keep your surfaces clean and free of crumbs and spills. They’re sized to fit any size coffee mug (or other drink) with a little room on the side for a snack, spoon for stirring your drink, etc.

These little quilts are actually one of my favorite gifts to give to teachers, and because most of your non-sewing friends won’t have any idea what a mug rug is, I’ve also provided a free sheet of printable gift tags. Just a note: this project requires basic knowledge of foundation paper piecing, however you can use any quilt block in place of the one I have provided if that is not something you’re familiar with.


Making a Last Minute Mug Rug

Start by printing the FREE Pattern Sheet and Tags and gathering your fabrics. If you’re making the exact mug rug from this post, you’ll need the following:

  • One foundation paper pieced block from Page 1 of the PDF
           - or any 6” quilt block you want (6 ½” unfinished). 
  • One accent fabric 3” x 6 ½” 
  • Backing and batting 11” x 8” each 
  • 40” in length of quilt binding or bias binding 

Start by making the foundation paper pieced block provided in the PDF. I used pieces from my scrap bin, anywhere from 3” square to 6 ½” square and cut them to fit the pattern.

When finished, trim it down to the ¼” seam allowance (dashed lines) then attach your 3” x 6 ½” accent fabric to the right side of the block. The OLFA 1 ½” x 12” ruler is perfect paper piecing thanks to the ¼” marking and how long and skinny it is.

Don’t forget to remove the paper from the back. Press well.


Now it’s time to sandwich your mug rug and quilt it! Place the batting between the top and backing. Quilt as desired. I chose 4 of the Aurifil Earth Views spools for my quilting. I did a litle mix of echo quilting on the paper pieced block and some matchstick quilting on the accent piece.

When you’re finished, trim the edges off of the sandwich and square up the mug rug so each edge is straight. After doing this, I chose to round the corners of my mug rug as well - doing that is totally a personal choice, you don't have to. If you do, you’ll want to use bias binding instead of quilt binding.

Once your mug rug is quilted and trimmed, apply your binding, a tag and you’re done!

My favorite thing to gift with these mug rugs is a coffee mug or some pre-packaged snacks. This gift is not only a quick make, but also a crowd pleaser. 

If you make a Last Minute Mug Rug using this tutorial I'd love to see it! Please tag me on Instagram @amistabaker and use the hashtag #lastminutemugrug.


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