Tutorial: Appliqué Christmas Tree Mug Rug

Applique Christmas tree mug rug by Very Berry Handmade

Mug rugs are such cute little projects and make lovely gifts. If you’re not a quilter, you might not have encountered them before – the idea is that they are larger than a coaster and smaller than a place mat – ideal for a cuppa and a side order of festive treats…! If you are gifting a mug rug, I love the idea of including a label with a bit of explanation of what it is – something like this perhaps, although probably with some washing instructions too.

Applique Christmas Tree mug rug

‘Mug rugs’ make really nice wall art too – in fact I’d say that quite often there’s a very fine line between quilted postcard and mini-quilt and that line goes straight through the middle of a mug rug..!

I developed this pattern for my Christmas stitchy club, and even the beginners finished their mug rugs with in the 2 and a half hours we had available, so I’d say this is a nice quick project (especially if you are already good with patchwork, Bondaweb etc.) and also very achievable for a new stitcher.

Pattern notes

  • This is a self-binding project, so the backing will also form the binding – make sure that the fabric you choose for the back will work well as a binding on the front.
  • The finished mug rug is 6.5 inches by 8.5 inches.
  • The seam allowance is 0.25in throughout.

You will need

  • Strips of fabric at least 1.5in by 7in for the tree and the patchwork
  • At least 6.5in square of background fabric (the dotty fabric on my mug rug)
  • At least 8.5in by 10.5in fabric suitable for the backing and binding
  • Small piece of Bondaweb (at least 4.5 inches square).
  • Spray baste (optional)

Cutting list

  • For the patchwork strip and the appliqué tree cut 6 strips measuring 7 inches by 1.5 inches.
  • For the appliqué background and side strip cut one piece measuring 5in by 6.5in and one piece measuring 1.5in by 6.5in.
  • For the back and binding cut a piece of fabric measuring 10.5in by 8.5in.
  • Cut a piece of batting measuring 8.5 by 6.5 inches.

Make the patchwork strip and appliqué tree

Stitch the six 7in by 1.5in strips together and press the seams open:

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 2

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 1
Cut this patchwork piece into 2 sections measuring 3 inches by 6.5 inches and 4 inches by 6.5 inches.

Draw an isosceles triangle measuring 4 inches high and 3.5 inches across the base on the paper side of the Bondaweb piece and cut out roughly.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 3Iron the Bondaweb triangle onto the back of the 4in by 6.5in piece of patchwork.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 4

You can position the Bondaweb however you like, but avoid having any very narrow strips at the top or bottom of the tree. Cut out the tree shape:

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 5

From the left-over fabric cut out a small rectangle to form the tree trunk/pot and back with Bondaweb.

Making the mug rug top

Decide which way up you want the patchwork strip to be. Pin the 5in by 6.5in piece of background fabric right sides together with the left hand long edge of the patchwork strip.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 6

Stitch (you don’t need to reverse stitch), then press the seam towards the patchwork strip.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 7

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 8

Repeat the above with the 1.5 inch by 6.5 inch piece of background fabric to the other side of the patchwork strip:

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 9

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 10

Peel the backing paper from the Bondaweb and position the appliqué pieces centrally on the larger piece of background fabric and iron into position.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 11

Square up the mug rug top, making sure that the edges are nice and straight and you have 90 degree angles at the corners.

Quilting

Apply a light coating of spray baste to one side of the batting and lay the completed mug rug top onto it. Spray baste the back of batting and place centrally on the large piece of backing fabric. If you don’t have spray baste, just pin the 3 layers together, making sure the backing fabric is 1 inch bigger all round.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 12Remember that the ends of your quilting will be visible on the back of the mug rug – you can’t hide them in the binding, so finish off stitching by burying the knot, or with a bit of discreet back/reverse stitching.

Adjust the stitch length on your machine to 2.8mm and quilt round the edge of the tree (actually on the tree itself) – leave long threads at the start and finish. Pull the threads to the back and knot, then bury the knots between the layers of fabric.

Quilt either side of the patchwork strip on the background fabric – reverse stitch at the beginning and the end of the stitching to secure it.

Binding

Starting on one of the longer edges, fold the edge of the binding in to meet the edge of the mug rug top.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 13

Fold over again to create a binding on the mug rug top, and pin into position. I found a glue pen and lots of pins/clips to be very helpful with this.
When you reach the corner, fold the fabric at a 45 degree angle, so that it forms a triangle. The fold in the fabric needs to align with the adjacent edge of the mug rug:

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 14

Fold the next section of binding down over the triangle, so it touches the edge of the mug rug, as before:

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 15
Then fold the binding over the front of the mug rug, making sure you create a nice neat mitred corner. Pin to hold the mitred corner in place.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 16
Continue all round until the binding is all folded into position:

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 17

You can now choose whether to hand stitch the binding down with a blind hem stitch, or machine stitch it into position.
If you choose to machine stitch, make sure that the fabric at the corners stays in position as you stitch – you might find it helpful to use an awl, a long needle or a Hera tool to hold the fabric in position as you stitch.

Christmas Tree Mug Rug Step 18
You can also choose to either leave long threads at the beginning and end of your stitching, knot them and bury the knots in the binding, or you can do a little bit of reverse stitching in an inconspicuous place to secure the machine stitching.

Applique Christmas Tree mug rug Very Berry blog

Hope you enjoy the tutorial, as always I’d love to hear how you get on with it.

Support my blogging, free tutorials and swap hosting

If you have enjoyed and used this tutorial, please consider making a small donation so that I can keep on providing great free resources on my blog, without advertising (it costs nearly £40 per year to keep Very Berry ad free) and affiliates. Many thanks!

Make a donation

If you’d like to support me and my work providing free tutorials here at Very Berry and keeping my blog advert and affiliate-free – please do feel free to make a donation! It’s set for £1, but you can increase the numbers of ££ in the little box, if you are feeling generous. I really appreciate all your support – thank you!

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Support Your Favourite Small Business!

I shared this little graphic (by the fabulous Isadora Zeferino) on Facebook the other day and it got a lot of positive reaction.
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I thought I’d share it again with you lovely blog readers today because it’s Small Business Saturday – a good positive thing to celebrate after all the full-on consumer madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday…! It’s a really good reminder that although it is brilliant when people spend money in my Etsy shop (10% off 2-3 December!), make a donation to my blogging efforts or book up for one of my sewing workshops, it’s also (almost as) wonderful when you share my blog, leave a comment, say hi on Facebook, or drop by and click a heart on Instagram. Sometimes, when I’m feeling gloomy, a kind word makes all the difference!

I’d also really appreciate your votes in the quilting category of  2018 British Craft Awards. I’m so delighted to be nominated again.

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And if you have money to spend – here are just some of the goodies I have for sale over in the shop – 10% off right now!

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Tutorial: Appliqué Christmas cards

DSCF7005

Here’s a little project I wrote for my Christmas stitchers club at Hollies Haberdashery. I liked it too much (as did my stitchers!) not to share. Hope you enjoy it too.

Applique Christmas cards tutorial for IG

You will need:

The quantities listed here are for the seven cards.

  • 5 scraps of colourful fabric measuring  at least 1 by 8 inches for the appliqué trees.
  • Scraps of white/cream fabric measuring at least 2.75 by 3.75 inches (you will need 7 of these) to back the trees.
  • Scraps of medium-weight iron-on interfacing measuring at least 2.75 by 3.75 inches (you will need 7 of these).
  • Scraps of fabric measuring at least 3.5 by 4.75 inches to use for the colourful background fabric – I found two-colour fabrics with small print sized (e.g. polka-dots) worked really well for this.
  • Bondaweb (at least 2.5 by 8 inches)
  • A4 card (at least 4 sheets)
  • Glue stick

Applique Christmas cards tutorial by Very Berry Handmade

Make the strip patchwork piece:

From the colourful fabric strips cut 2 strips measuring 0.75 by 8 inches, and 3 strips measuring 1 by 8 inches. Stitch them together along the long edges with a 1/4 inch seam. The 3 wider pieces need to be in the middle, and the narrow strips on either side. Don’t worry about which way up the strips are:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 1

And it definitely doesn’t matter if things go a bit wonky:

applique-christmas-cards-tutorial-step-2.jpg

Press the seams of the patchwork open – they will nearly meet in the middle, don’t worry about this:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 3

Make the appliqué pieces:

Cut a piece of Bondaweb measuring 2.5 by 8 inches and iron it onto the back of the patchwork piece. I find that the easiest way to do this is to lay a piece of baking parchment on my ironing board, then put the pieced fabric, wrong side facing, on top, then the Bondaweb, glue side down, on top, like this:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 4

Cut out the Christmas trees:

Mark 2 inch intervals along the bottom edge of the patchwork piece (on the Bondaweb side). On the top edge, measure 1 inch along, then mark the next three 2 inch intervals:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 5

Use a ruler and the marks you’ve made to cut out triangles:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 6

You’ll get 7 triangles from the fabric strip:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 7

Apply the appliqué

Cut a piece of plain fabric measuring approximately 2.75 by 3.75 inches and back with a similar sized piece of iron-on interfacing (this isn’t essential, but I found it gave more structure to the cards and also stopped the backing fabric from showing through quite so much).

Peel the back off the Bondaweb and position the appliqué on the fabric and iron into place on the white fabric.

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 8

Cut a small rectangle of fabric (whatever size you like, it’s fun to mix it up) for the ‘trunk’ of the tree and apply some Bondaweb to that too. I like to do this piece by piece, but you can cut a strip of fabric about 1/2 inch wide, back it with Bondaweb, and cut a few at a time.  

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 9

Cut another piece of fabric (a small print is a great choice for this) about 3 1/2 inches by 4 3/4 inches, and place the tree appliqué, on its white backing, in the centre:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 10

Now you can stitch the appliqué in place – using ordinary stitching, or free motion embroidery. Leave long threads when you start and finish:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 11

 Pull the threads through to the back off the fabric and tie to secure:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 12

If your machine has the option, you can add decorative stitches to your card, if you like. Stitch round the edge of the white fabric, leaving long threads and pulling them through to the back as before:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 13

Cut a piece of A4 card (cardstock) in half widthways and then fold to make two cards. Glue the finished appliqué to one of the folded pieces of card.

I made another patchwork strip in exactly the same way and cut out stockings (using a template) to mix it up a bit:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial by Very Berry

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Enjoyed this Christmassy project? You might like to try making some festive stars

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Support my blogging, free tutorials and swap hosting

If you have enjoyed and used this tutorial, please consider making a small donation so that I can keep on providing great free resources on my blog, without advertising (it costs nearly £40 per year to keep Very Berry ad free) and affiliates. Many thanks!

Make a donation

If you’d like to support me and my work providing free tutorials here at Very Berry and keeping my blog advert and affiliate-free – please do feel free to make a donation! It’s set for £1, but you can increase the numbers of ££ in the little box, if you are feeling generous. I really appreciate all your support – thank you!

£1.00