Stitching Times serves up stories, examples and tutorials about needlework related crafts, especially quilting and crochet. Almost all of the projects shown have been designed by Kay Stephenson

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mug Rug Madness

Somehow I've managed to miss being caught up in the mug rug craze that has swept through the quilting world for the past few years. What's a mug rug you ask? Well it's part oversized coaster, part undersized place mat, and mostly an excuse for quilters to use up scraps and make small quilted objects to share like trading cards.

No, not those kind of trading cards, though I will point out that the Atlanta Braves reported for the start of spring training today.

Artist Trading Cards (ATC's for short) are the size of baseball cards (2 ½ x 3 ½ inches) but are handmade works of art. The only real rule is the size and they are often traded in craft clubs - especially among scrapbook folks.

Enter the mug rug. Here there really are no rules. Sewists and quilters have been snipping, stitching, and sharing these small treasures for about three years. I was a bit late to the party, but used the idea to make a fabric birthday card for a special little boy back in March 2011. I had a new machine and was playing with stitches. Not too impressive that. But wait...

Don't you love men that know the roses
don't always have to be red?

If I missed the party, why do I find myself with a table full of them now. Last month a new modern quilt guild was born in Atlanta.  The West Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild held their first meeting in January and decided to swap mug rugs at the next meeting. So here I am making tiny quilts on which to rest a cup and a little piece of something - a piece of candy, a cookie, certainly nothing as healthy as a piece of fruit.

I've played with appliqued hexies

strategic positioning

Small scale wonky log cabin

Embroidery to echo the design in one fabric... too bad that french knot unraveled on me.

They certainly make great practice pieces for machine quilting. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't quilt curvy lines on an old Singer 15-91 (circa 1955) with a walking foot.

I think it might be time to start drawing on the fabric before I quilt it. I have some luscious Copic Markers and a little stack of white, red, and pink scraps that are calling to me from the studio, so I'm off. 

Happy Valentines day everybody!


Quick and dirty. Lame job on the machine quilting and the binding isn't even finished (just pinned in back) but can't you imagine some fun projects with this. I have an idea for a twelve block quilt with one block for each month of the year. Each block would feature something that is blooming in my garden that month. I think a combination of applique, these markers, and thread painting could make some really striking images. Can't wait to get started!

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