A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

Not quite a Mug Rug


I’m waiting impatiently for my new cutting equipment, which UPS seem to have lost. While I’m waiting, I thought I’d have a go at a small project and I’d seen just the thing on Oh Sew Tempting. I think I liked the name as much as the project. Mug Rug sounds so much better than coaster, don’t you think?

I’ve got some cheap fabric that I bought on holiday when we went to Joanns. I raided their clearance section and got jelly rolls and fat quarter bundles for $6 each.


I may have gone a bit mad, but I thought they’d be great for practising with, and if I managed to make anything decent with them, it’d be a bonus.

I used some of the plain blue for my Mug Rug. If it went pear shaped, it wouldn’t matter and if it worked, it’d look good in the living room to put my coffee on. I wanted to try the quilt as you go technique and I thought it’d be a great way to try doing some binding as I hadn’t had a go at that yet.

The instructions on the blog are brilliant and I was doing great up until I got to the binding. I made the binding ok, using instructions from another website, and I was pleased with that, but as I really dislike doing hand sewing, I decided to do the binding differently to how it was shown on the Oh Sew Tempting. I used the same technique but attaching it at the back first and then machine sewing it at the front. I read how to do that on a different blog somewhere.

It might have gone ok but my sewing machine objected strongly to the thickness of all the layers so it all went a bit wonky. I don’t know if that’s because I was doing something very wrong or because my machine is a very, very cheap one.

This is how it turned out.


I don’t think I’ll bother with any close-ups, eh? I think you can see how much my sewing machine didn’t like it. I’ve decided it’s not worthy of the living room so it’s going to be used as an Iron Rug as I did need something in my craft room to sit the iron on. It does the job nicely.


I liked the quilt as you go technique very much, but I do need to figure out why my machine wouldn’t cope with the binding. Preferably before attempting an actual quilt…


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

19 thoughts on “Not quite a Mug Rug

  1. You did a great job! Thank you so much for the link. I actually love hand sewing the binding. It’s my favourite part of making a quilt 🙂 I’ve had terrible problems machine sewing binding in the past but your second mug rug is wonderful! Avis x


  2. I think it looks great – especially for your first go at quilt as you go The problem with the binding – it might be because you are not using a walking foot. I don’t know if they make one for the machine that you have but it’s a very common foot to use when sewing lots of layers together like in quilts. What it does is to help guide the layers through and under the foot. My machines have a built in thingy so I can use any of my feet in this way. It might be worth checking it out if you’re going to do lots of quilty projects. They’re not just useful for the binding, they’re also good for doing actual quilting with – not free motion quilting of course but quilting in the ditch and in a straight line.


    • I was using the walking foot but there doesn’t seem to be much room underneath it and the top still puckers up when I use it for quilting. I’ve been eyeing up better machines but that isn’t going to happen any time soon. Sigh.
      Thanks though 🙂


      • Did you baste your layers together? You can either tack or use a fabric spray glue – I like the glue, it’s quick!


        • I don’t have the patience for tacking, I’m afraid and I’m concerned about using the glue in case of odours. (possible migraine trigger). I’ve got some of those curved safety pins, which I used when I quilted my cushion and that actually went ok. I only stuck a couple of straight pins in the mug rug, so perhaps that was where I was going wrong with the quilting side of it. They do distort it more than the safety pins do.

          Does the glue have an odour to it? If it doesn’t, I’ll try it 🙂


  3. Caro e, I nominated you for the ABC Award. Go to my blog and read the latest post for instructions


  4. Well, I’m happy that you found my tutorial because I LOVE this binding method for small projects. I of course prefer the look of a hand sewn binding and use it on my larger quilts and such. I’m also super Type A about machine stitching my binding and want it to look PERFECT. The cheater binding is a happy balance of the two :). Enjoy!!


  5. This is the year I am going to learn how to sew on my sewing machine, and I have a really cheap sewing machine, too. I will have to keep this in mind when I get to the point of sewing bulky things, thanks for sharing.


    • It’s a bit daunting trying to figure it all out, isn’t it. Especially for me as my machine’s instructions are very obviously translated and are a bit odd in places. Satisfying when you work it out though and manage to sew something. I’ll enjoy watching how you get on with your machine 🙂


      • Luckily my daughter took FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) in middle school, and she can show me how to use the machine. I won’t have to read the instructions! I feel like I can do this relatively easily, but I will need some help with the whole threading thing. We’ll find out soon, I am sure, 🙂


  6. Perhaps you can try the “cheater binding” method as shown here, that should reduce the bulk somewhat: http://knittybittiessews.com/2011/03/tutorial-spring-mug-rug.html
    I always bind by hand because I prefer that look (and I suck at doing the top stitching by machine). On the first quilt that took ages but now that I’ve done it more often I’ve become quite fast.


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