Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Mug Rug Swap (2018)

I've mentioned the quilting group on Ravelry that I'm a part of, Quilters Knitting. This summer they organized a mug rug swap and I jumped on board. Sign ups were closed June 15 and the mug rug had to be delivered by August 15. (In their hands, not in the mail.) One person organized it so that we were all given a person to send to and someone else would send to us.

The last week of July, I received this beauty:
Isn't it so wonderful?! Here is the back, nicely "signed":
And here are some detail shots of the quilting.
She said she is new to free motion quilting and pieces like this are great to practice on.
She did a great job.

Meanwhile, I had already been working on my mug rug. I had bought a pack of english paper piecing papers on sale when the local quilt shop closed earlier this year. I knew I'd do something with them!

June 9: The papers were small diamonds for making a star pattern. I pulled out some fabrics, covered some papers, and started playing with a design.
Soon I had the design laid out,
except I needed to make special pieces to make a straight edge. I simply took the three pieces needed to fill the space (bottom of picture below) and taped them together to make one piece (upper piece in picture below).
Then I could cover that one piece with fabric and save myself a bit of sewing. There was no need to make all those pieces separate.

By the end of the day, I had pieced together the centre star with the background pieces.
Isn't it so cute!?

June 10: All the pieces are sewn together and it is time to take out the papers:
Even though the diamonds were very small, I still punched a hole in the middle to make it easier to pull them out. After loosening the glue holding the fabric to the paper, I insert the seam ripper under that paper through the hole and pop the paper out. This is not only easier but saves a bit of wear and tear on the edges of the fabric.

Once all the papers are out, the pieces looks a little ragged,
but nothing that a session with an iron won't fix.
Look at all those furled intersections! I love it. This happens automatically, as long as you wrap your fabric around all the papers in the same direction.

This was a nice trial to see if ironing the fabric before washing out the glue would harm the iron or cause any other problems. It all worked fine and now I know I can do this on my Lucy Boston blocks if needed.

I did, however, go ahead and soak the piece to get out the glue before proceeding. After drying and ironing, everything looked neat and trim:

Next stage is to layer it with batting and a backing.
June 11: The quilting is done. I hand quilted it, outlining the individual pieces in thread that matched the colour of the front.
I had enough of one of the blues to use for the binding. It was a small piece, however, so I had to use a few short cuts of fabric.
The first time I tried to sew it on, I got a seam of the binding in the corner three times. So I took off the binding and started in a different place so the seams would land in the middle of a side instead.

Here is the backing that I chose to go with the binding:
It was a beautiful piece of orange and blue batik. I only had a small piece, but it was enough for this.

Here you can see some of the design made on the back by the different colour threads:
And here is the finished piece.
A mug rug in three days. I was done in plenty of time for the deadline, but then I decided to enter it in the county fair. So my poor recipient was forced to wait. On the good side, it did get a blue ribbon! :)
I mailed it yesterday and my recipient should have it by Thursday (August 9 - so plenty of time before the deadline!) I really loved making this piece and the final result, so I hope she likes it. I know she really likes stars in quilts, so I think I'm safe.

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