Tag Archives: mug rug

Tu-Na Quilts: Can It Get Any Smaller Than This?

Welcome to Day One of the Small, Smaller, Smallest Blog Hop


This blog hop is hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt. Thanks, Carol, for including me. Your hops are always so fun.

You’ll find the list of talented makers to visit at the end of this post. 

The Mission

Our mission is to create something that is small, smaller, or even smallest. Sounds challenging. It is! Let me know if I succeeded.

The Problem

Tu-Na Helper and I are still using the mug rugs that I made for Valentines Day. You can read more about them here and here. It’s March already! 

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The coffee cup pattern (Mug o’ Love) designed by Sewhooked can be found here. The rose pattern designed by Jitka Designs can be found here.

The Solution

This hop is a perfect opportunity to satisfy that problem. Even though Tu-Na Helper and I are not of  Irish heritage, I think some new St. Patrick’s Day mug rugs would be perfect. After checking my Craftsy pattern library (no affiliation) and finding a couple of interesting patterns that I had previously downloaded, I decided to print out the pattern pieces. Janeen at Quilt Art Designs designed both of these patterns. The Shamrock pattern is still available here.  However, I was not able to find the exact Leprechaun Hat pattern listed on Craftsy anymore. I emailed Janeen and if she has it listed somewhere else, I’ll come on back and update this post with the info. Just in case you want to challenge yourself. (Update: Janeen has a similar  (but larger) hat pattern listed for sale here. It looks easier).

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Both of these mug rugs are 5 .5″ square.

The Implementation

Size Matters

Our Valentine’s Day mug rugs are 5.5″ counting the binding and I want the new ones to be the same size. The Leprechaun Hat pattern is the right size to match the others. However, the Shamrock pattern was too small; it was only 4″ unfinished. No problem; I just sized it to print at 125% and it was perfect. This quilt math problem was easy.

Putting It All Together

After looking at both of these patterns, I decided to tackle the shamrock first. After all, if I got stuck on making the hat one, I’d still have something to show you. It sewed together rather easily.

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I’m always impressed by the backs.

After sandwiching with some leftover Warm and Natural, I quilted a diagonal crosshatch in both directions using green thread. A 1 1/8″ single binding finished the edge. 

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Now Things Got Interesting

After printing and then cutting out the Leprechaun hat pattern, I found the pieces were indeed small. And there were a lot of them.

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12 Pieces to be exact. I used color pencils to color in the fabric colors so I wouldn’t get confused. I finished the buckle part first. Not as bad as I thought it might be.

So I chose three of the hardest ones to do first. This way if I couldn’t figure them out, I wouldn’t have wasted my time doing all the easy ones first. In other words, I could still walk away and no one would know I tried.

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My magnifying glass came in handy. These pieces were too small to color code with color pencils.

I haven’t done a lot of paper piecing but enough to know the basics and to have lost count of how many blocks I’ve actually paper pieced.

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I stapled swatches of the fabric to the color sheet so I would be able to pick the right one. It got quite confusing with those small pieces. 

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I’ve learned a few tips along the way. I use a piece of card stock (it was an advertising postcard that came in the mail) in the fold line and the add-a-quarter ruler to cut the seam allowance.

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Another tip is not to press on the paper side but only on the fabric side. This is to prevent the ink from transferring onto your fabric. I also use a dry iron (no steam) and wait to spray with Best Press (no affiliation) until after I’ve removed the papers).

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I also use a tweezers to help remove the papers after I’ve sewn a seam. Once the seam is sewn, I remove the paper from behind it leaving the rest of it intact. This way it doesn’t get sewn into the next seam and become impossible to remove.

I still make a fair amount of mistakes, usually in my first couple of pieces. But then I develop a rhythm and can’t stop.

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The back is amazing. This pattern sewed together very well. Hats off to Janeen!

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Doesn’t it look fantastic! Tu-Na Helper likes his new mug rug.

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The back is “Lucky Me!” by Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass & Co.

The Celebration

Join these talented makers this week as we celebrate Small, Smaller, and Smallest:

March 5

 Kris Loves Fabric

Creative Blonde

Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats Thanks for stopping by.

Lily Patch Quilts

Needled Mom

Quilt Fabrication

Sew Many Yarns

Meanderings Along Lizard Creek

Melva Loves Scraps

 March 6


Vroomans Quilts

Creatin’ in the Sticks


Quilt Doodle Designs

Den syende himmel


Quilt Taffy

Hazel’s Daughter

  1. I do love a challenge.
  2. This challenge almost got the best of me. But I succeeded.
  3. I must now be an intermediate paper-piecer. The Leprechaun Hat pattern stated it was on an intermediate level.
  4. Tu-Na Helper thinks I’m making new mug rugs for each season and holiday. Hmmm. I guess it’s beginning to look a little like I am. No promises, though.
  5. Life’s too short not to celebrate something everyday.
 Question: What do you do for St. Patrick’s Day? It’s fun to celebrate…anything. So we take this opportunity to wear some green, eat some corned beef and cabbage if we eat out, and just have some fun. Maybe I’ll get time to make a new outside wall hanging for the day, too.

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and would like to receive notifications when I publish more posts, follow me using email, WordPress, or Bloglovin. You can read more about me here and about my first quilt and the whopping amount I sold it for here.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again. 

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quiltfabrication


Tu-Na Quilts: Happy Valentine’s Day Finishes

I finished the Valentine’s Day wall-hanging I made for the Put a Little Love in Your Quilt Blog Hop last week. You can read more about it here.

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 I hung it outside and it’s been greeting our guests ever since.

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I wanted something that says “A Quilter Lives Here.” 

I used a darker scrappy pink binding to frame out the hanging. It’s under a nice covered patio and is out of the sun. Hopefully, it’ll be protected enough to last a few seasons. Now, I will have to think of the next holiday and get something made to replace it, maybe something for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter or spring. 

Last week I also baked a batch of cookies—heart shaped ones.

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And decorated them all fancy. It was a large batch so we took them to a couple of community dinners to share. They were a hit and I should have made more.

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I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe found here and decorator frosting to pipe the borders and some sayings from conversation heart candies. I only have 5 decorating tips and should look for more or bring my extras down with me next year.

This week, I finished Tu-Na Helper’s Mug Rug. You can read more about his mug rug and find the link to the free pattern here

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I chose some Chocolate Love by Audrey Jeanne Roberts for Studio e fabrics. 

I also made a mug rug for me using the free paper pieced rose pattern found here. I reduced the size and then trimmed it to 5.5″ so it would be the same size as the cup one. The rose sewed up easily.

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I quilted a diagonal crosshatch about 1/4″ apart. I used painter’s tape to mark my first diagonal lines in each direction and then my seam guide for the rest of the lines.

I made the center of the rose darker. The next couple of rows of petals were a bit lighter, and the last couple or rows of petals were the lightest.

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I used three different fabrics for the rose but could have used more as the petals are lost by all the quilting.

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I used a 1 1/8″ strip to bind them. It didn’t need a bulky double binding.  Each mug rug finishes at 5.5 inches.

I gave Tu-Na Helper his Mug Rug this morning for Valentine’s Day

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and he gave me…

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a dozen long-stemmed roses!

* Update: That’s not all he gave me! I posted Tu-Na Quilts: The Rest of the Story here.*

What I Learned Today:

  1. I sew slowly. I was at a class this afternoon and am the furthest behind with that project.
  2. Being slow isn’t all bad. I didn’t have to rip out as much as some of the others.
  3. My seam ripper is rather dull. It’s time to get a new one.
  4. Completing the Valentine Wall Hanging was Goal #10 on my post Tu-Na Quilts: My Three Month Plan for the 2018 Finish-A-Long.
  5. I’ve still got 9 other goals to complete. 
  6. I might have to speed up the sewing to get more of my goals completed.

Question: What do you do special for Valentine’s Day? When the kids were little, I would make and decorate each of them a giant heart-shape cookie.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again.

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She