SATURDAY SEWING: Quick and easy “bite-sized” project: quilted mug rug

Call them mug rugs…..or coasters ……or even mini placemats? Whatever you call them, they remain quick and easy to make so the results are achievable even if you think you don’t have a lot of sewing or quilting skills.

The rewards?  learn and master a new technique or think about making some quick projects for your home or as gifts for family and friends.

This part is just show….. not so much tell……. as I’d like to concentrate on the making of a mug rug from project scraps leftover from the projects below.  I have brief instructions below (scroll down).

And when these mug rugs are done, I will have matching items for my refreshed living room decor.

The kist or chest is solid Burmese teak made for me by my late father as a 21st birthday gift. I will treasure it forever. And some of my herd of carved wooden elephants came to play on my new runner. Five inch charm squares sewed together with 1/4 in seams and simple diagonal + ditch quilting. Quick, easy and big on brightness….which we need in our lives ….. right?

Grey seemed like a good practical colour for our relatively new sofas. But drab soon became the word. Now brightened up with patchwork pillows and a sofa runner. And yes, when guests are able to visit again, we will remove all those pillows so they can sit down!

And my coffee table topper. The same theme as above. All runners and toppers were bound using the Janome Continental M7 and the Janome Quilt Binder. Fabric (100% cotton) was purchased at Haus of Stitches in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. 
And, no, those are not cookies on the table….they are rather lovely wooden coasters that family visiting from Australia gave to us. All made from indigenous Australian gum bark.

Saturday sewing today is offering a project with the express purpose of using up scraps in your stash. I recently brightened up my living room  with some sofa runners, pillows and table toppers (above). Spending so much time at home during the pandemic pretty much mandated I brighten up our living space. Mug rugs seemed to be a good option for the left over fabric.

  • 5 inch squares not used in the above projects were sewed together in somewhat random sets of 4 squares.  These were pressed and then  sandwiched with batting and backing fabric.

For the quilting I set up the machine as described below and selected Acufeed flex plus and pivot function – yellow icons

  • The quilting was then done: I continued the theme with simple diagonal straight stitching using the amazing Acufeed flex plus feature on the Janome M7. For this I used the HP2 foot and HP needle plate.

  • I then made sure I switched to the Acufeed Flex foot VD and switched ON the manual dual feed setting in the Function menu for the decorative ditch stitching . If you don’t own the Janome M7, you can use the Acufeed flex walking foot or white walking foot for your particular Janome machine.  See this link for an EXCELLENT post on the Manual dual feed setting. 

I used the single/narrow Acufeed flex foot holder with VD sole plate here but I could just as easily have used the dual feed SD ditch quilting foot. Or a white walking foot on a different Janome sewing machine.

Close up of the Serpentine stitching in the ditch. This could have been a different dec. sticth or it could also have been a straight stitch – your mug rug – your choice!

  • Next up was to trim each block and prepare the binding.
  • I could have bound the mug rugs using the same method as on my runners but I’m not actually a fan of that for mug rugs. It makes a ridge around the edge and more than once we have had a coffee mug or wine glass topple over so I’d rather play safe and show you a different edge finish technique. It is yarn couching.

Use a thickish yarn which is butted right up against the trimmed mug rug. Start on one of the sides, not at a corner. Select a zig-zag stitch and adjust to a min of 6 -7mm wide. Stitch with the zig in the fabric mug rug and the zag off to the right of the yarn. This way it couches the yarn up against the mug rug with a neat finish

To turn the corner: STOP as close to the corner as possible with the zig, LEFT swing of the needle in the fabric.

Pivot and gently pull the yarn up against the needle now to the left of the yarn. Start slowly so you don’t get  bunching at the corner.

Continue around all 4 sides until you get back to where you started with the zig-zag couching. Stop and trim off the starting tail of yarn right up against the fabric and where you started stitching.

Continue over the beginning couching for maybe 1/2 an inch. Stop and do a lock stitch.

Cut that little tail away close to the stitching.

Voila……time for tea!

What’s under your needle today? 




About Janome Canada

For over 100 years, Janome has been the brand of choice for sewing, embroidery, longarm quilting, sergers, coverhem machines - and MORE! Our Janome Canada head office; our Janome HQ, is the Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Be sure to follow us here on Janome Life blog, as well as our other Janome Canada social media so you get the most from your Janome machine! @janomehq @janomecanada Janome HQ Facebook, Janome Canada Facebook Janome HQ You Tube channel, Janome Life You Tube channel
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4 Responses to SATURDAY SEWING: Quick and easy “bite-sized” project: quilted mug rug

  1. Darrene Harrison says:

    Thank you for this basic project that can be done on all machines. It lets me learn something new and interesting. I am a new sewer/quilter but not gutsy enough to tackle a large project yet.


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Darrene,

      You are so welcome. Have fun sewing and creating something similar. We have been trying to offer projects that almost everyone can make if they wish to do so. I made this on our Janome Continental M7 but while I was sewing the runners, I had the Janome Sewist 740DC at home to make some videos, and I used that model. These simple projects really can be done with many different machines.



  2. Annette Schultz says:

    Under my needle today…. finishing up a couple Christmas runners. These are also the left over pieces from making multiple runners a couple years ago. They will make nice hostess gifts at holiday time.
    Stay safe Liz


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Annette

      You too. We sure all missed out this year with no conference. Could not be helped, of course, but we have missed the chance to catch up and sew together. Glad we are both using up those scraps!

      Janome Canada


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