Monday Mug Rug {Mini Tutorial}

Happy Monday!
It is indeed an *extra* good day to be an American isn’t it?

Given that I was born on an Air Force Base, I can’t help but make mention of the history made yesterday. And to say yet again, thank you to the men & women who serve to protect us and the country they {and I} so love.

{I hope your flag is waving it’s stripes & stars.}

Today’s post is a follow up to the third post in a three part series I recently wrote for Tip Junkie. The series was a ‘How to’ written to encourage new or beginning sewers.

The last post focused on how to use your sewing machine and I walked through the steps of basic straight stitching and encouraged practice, practice, practice.

My sample fabric was a small patchwork which I explained could be turned into a ‘mug rug‘ with a few more steps.

Here are those steps …

Mini Tutorial:: Turning Patchwork Scraps into a Mug Rug

Finished Size: Approx. 10″x5″

(1) Backing Piece 8″x13″
(1) Front {Patchwork Scrap} Piece 5″x10″
(1) Batting Piece 5″x10″
Coordinating thread

{Two patchwork pieces are shown, you only need one for this tutorial.}

1. Trim your patchwork piece to 5″x10″. Pick a coordinating Fat Quarter (18″x22″) or large scrap of fabric for your backing piece.

2. Cut all pieces to correct sizes.

3. Make your ‘quilt sandwich’. Iron front piece to batting and then center them on the backing piece. Pin in place.

4. Using straight stitching {I used my walking foot to make this easier to keep layers from shifting} and stitch 1/4″ on each side of each seam. I increase my stitch length to about 3. Only stitch on the front/batting piece. Do not stitch on your extra backing.

5. Clip threads and iron entire piece. Using a ruler and rotary cutter, trim your backing piece to an even 1″ on each side.

6. I follow Rae’s “cheater binding” method to finish my mug rug binding. To get nice flat corner miters, I’ve found that when you fold over your corners on your long edges {step 6 of Rae’s tutorial}, don’t quite fold it even with the edge {see picture above}. Then you’ll fold the long edge in half and then fold it up and onto the top piece, making a lovely corner {step 7&8 of Rae’s tutorial / see my pictures below}. Finish per Rae’s tutorial.

Whaaa-laaa! A mug rug … that even a beginner can do. A great mini project to get really good at those straight stitches!!

Other Tip Junkie Posts::
How to Thread a Sewing Machine
The Needle and Thread Guide

Coming Soon in June to Tip Junkie:: Simple Quilt Tutorial {and a chance to win the fabric to make your own}


Thirty Hand Made Days


  1. Thanks for sharing this!! Looks like even I could handle it 😉

  2. These are so cute!And Ive always loved using up my stash. I hate wasting fabric.
    Have a great day!

  3. You make it look so easy! My granny is a quilter, and I think she wishes I would start…I always say I don’t have the patience. Maybe I should start with something small like this!

  4. I just love mine! Thanks for sharing your scraps with us, I look at my cute mug rug every morning and smile as my friend, coffee, sits on it next to me.

  5. are you going to carry these in your shop? cuz, basically i want one, but i’m too lazy to make it. :)

  6. CUTE!! Thanks for linking up to my tutorial, girl! 😉

  7. Anonymous says:

    i am a quilter, but for a small project like this your binding is so much faster; great idea- i will definitely use it!!!

  8. This is is genius! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  9. beautiful! I’ve tried it before, but I failed to sew the back to the top layers prior to folding and sewing it into a “binding”. LOL

  10. Oh my word. I am so thankful for your binding tips. That is the part that makes or breaks my blankets (granted, I have only made 3). I am so excited to go back to an abandoned project with your tips at hand! THANK YOU!

  11. Very useful tutorial. I hope now it will be easier to sew similar projects. And corners are really beautiful.

  12. Ineke Conijn says:

    Saves a lot of trouble!!!! Thanks!

  13. Can’t wait to try this! I’ve been quilting for 14 years, and I love innovative ideas!

  14. Luliejay says:

    Great tute. Thx! Just to let you know, wah lava is actually a French word : voila. Sounds like vwah lah. :)

  15. Lindy says:

    Love it

  16. For a mug rug or other small household piece, the “cheater” binding method works, otherwise, I do NOT recommend for actual quilts, and here’s why: This method IS easier, especially for a beginner; but for long-term durability, a classic double French-fold binding, doubly stitched on by machine is better. I’ve been quilting for 30 years, and make my quilts to last as heirlooms. Also, for the next generations to use your handmade quilt, a separate binding can be replaced if damaged or worn, versus trying to repair a backing that’s turned at edges into binding.

  17. Looks like a fun project and a great way to use up scraps. The binding looks clean and simple, I’ll have to give this method a try.

  18. Rayma Cathey says:

    What was the foot that you used?

  19. Where was this last night as I was fighting a corner that didn’t want to miter??? LOL Thanks for the tip.

    • I’ve also wondered about putting a scrap of plastic tablecloth fabric in the middle of the sandwich for when you use it for a cold drink. They really absorb the condensation from the glass.

  20. Christine Perkins says:

    Brilliant! Thank you so much! From one Air Force brat to another, I salute you!

  21. Dorothy Smith. says:

    You have made me happy and to have so much more fun with quilting, I’ll be back after Christmas.

  22. Dolores says:

    I love this method thank you made my sewing faster and easier

  23. Denise says:

    Wow thanks, so lovely and generous to show instructions….

  24. Shirley says:

    I am going to start on my first quilt next week and I will need all the help I can get


  1. […] has a ‘professional’ looking finish. You can read Rae’s full tutorial and this post of mine for some helpful tips. Use quilt binding clips {which look like hair clips} to hold your binding in […]

  2. […] on all sides {i.e. your back fabric will be 1″ bigger on all sides then your front fabric}. These two tutorials walk you through the cheater binding method to finish your […]

  3. […] Finish table runner using a cheater binding method {my tutorial found here}. […]

  4. […] Read More Source: – virginiainva […]

  5. […] turn it into this cheerful mug rug follow the step-by-step instructions over on my […]

  6. […] beautifully. I gave a quick visual guide above, but you can read Rae’s full tutorial and this post of mine for some helpful tips. Use quilt binding clips {which look like hair clips} to hold your binding in […]

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