I've been itching to get a little bit of hand-stitching in since I finished up Christmas gifts, but I've had enough quilty irons in the fire that I decided to start a new knit sweater instead of picking up the thimble! I finally couldn't ignore the itch, so I picked up some scraps from my patchwork-cutting frenzy and started this simple heart-themed mug rug.
Speed was of the utmost importance, as I still needed to tend those irons, so OUT! with the binding and OUT! with the quilting! But the hour or so it took me to baste and applique the hearts was a calming break from everything else. And how cute is this seersucker/Rifle Paper Co. combo!? Like I mentioned, I was raiding some pretty teeny scraps, so I had to piece the seersucker hearts, but it doesn't complicate the applique too much.
I used a couple different quilting techniques in the interest of saving time with this mug rug. First, I flipped or "bagged" it, which is a way of finishing a quilt that doesn't require a formal binding. I think it's a fun and modern way of finishing smaller items (like my snuggles!), but I'm not sure I'd use it for something much larger than maybe 2 feet square. Instead of making your quiltburger the normal way with backing face-down, batting, and top face-up and then quilting and binding the whole thing, you follow these steps:
- Make a quiltburger by laying the batting down first, and then line the top face-up and the backing face-down (top and backing are right sides together) on top. All pieces are the same size.
- Note- if you want to quilt the top, just quilt the top and the batting. Keep the backing out of it!
- Sew a 1/4" seam around the outside, leaving one 3-4" opening on one side.
- If you want, or if you are flipping something that will be washed or used heavily (think baby quilt), reinforce the corners by backstitching a few lines that meet each corner at a 45o angle. Then you can clip just outside the line to reduce bulk and get nice sturdy, square corners!
- Reach between the top and backing fabric, and pull the quilt right-side out, using a knitting needle or chopstick to help square up the corners. This is exactly like flipping a lined pouch!
- Iron the quilt flat, paying special attention to folding the unsewn edges of the gap in by 1/4" and pinning if necessary. Topstitch an 1/8' in around the whole top to secure the loose edges and give a nice finish.
And that's all there is to it! No basting (at least for something like this), no binding... It's a super fast way to finish a mini quilt. If you need pictures, Quilts by Jen has a good pictorial.
My other time-saving secret is that I tied this quilt instead of quilting it. I used a fingering-weight yarn, and was able to use a sturdy needle to pop it through the middle. Then just tie a simple knot and trim the yarn! I just did one in the middle, but having contrasting ties in the middle of each heart would be really cute too.
This pattern is free to download right here, so take the couple bucks it might have cost and buy a cute new mug (and maybe some chocolate) to go with it!