International mug rug swap winter olympics theme
International mug rug swap winter olympics theme

Mug rugs are small, fun and useful projects.

Handy gift ideas for Nanna or Pop, (“What do we get Mum for Christmas this year? They have everything they need!) Well how about a mug rug.

They are a relatively small project and great for using up bits out of the scrap box, the same scrap box that no matter how many bits are taken out it never seems to get any less! But we can try.

To keep with our ‘beautiful and practical’ theme I have designed some Aussie mug rugs, these would also be great ideas for your overseas friends and relatives.

So…. Decide on the size you want for your mug rug. I like them to be about 9 – 9½” x 6 – 6½“.

Raylee and I have done an international mug rug swap and this size seems to be the most popular, large enough for a mug and a biscuit or two.  You can see some of Barbara’s mug rugs  in the pictures above and below.


international mug rug swap spring theme
international mug rug swap spring theme

Complete your stitchery, pieced block or applique panel, press and trim. Measure and record the width and height.

Don’t forget to allow ¼“seam allowance in all your calculations.


Now … decide the placement of your stitched panel.

Do you want it to the left, to the right, smack bang in the centre or to the left or right of centre? Sometimes the size of the design will help with making this decision.


Okay… you have decided where to place the stitchery, so now to complete the top. Sew squares of fabric used in the applique down one side, down both sides, down both side and across the bottom. Strips on one side, strips on both sides, one big piece on the left or the right. Decisions, decisions. There are many and varied ways to complete your mug rug and each pattern will have a few ideas and in time there will be more pictures in the photo gallery. Your aim at this point is to make the piece large enough unless of course the whole front is in one piece.


International mug rug swap house design
International mug rug swap house design

Now you are up to the quilting stage, layer the pieces the same as for a quilt, the backing, thin wadding (parlon or pellon) and the top. Machine or hand quilt as desired. Press and trim to the edge of the top.

I hand quilt so I prefer thin wadding, and it is after all to hold a coffee cup not a casserole dish!


Binding… I like a thin binding so I cut mine 1 5/8“ and sew a scant ¼“ seam but once again it is your choice, you may prefer a wider binding.


If your mug rug is the size mentioned above one strip the width of the fabric is enough to complete the binding. Need a hand with the binding? Raylee has done a very detailed tutorial ‘Perfect Binding Every Time’ in the tutorial section, which will take you through the process with ease.


Happy Mug Rug creating.

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