This is the mug rug that we are going to make. It features a Cornishware mug and I have used red/white/blue fabrics as I am linking in with Laura's Mug Rug World Tour so has a little of Southwest Britain in its theme! (PS I will be giving it away too, but more of that another day)
In this tutorial we are going to piece the mug and saucer section using freezer paper piecing. I think of it as a jigsaw technique, we will be joining lots of little pieces of fabric together into sections and then joining these sections together to make the mug rug front. It is a versatile technique which gives you a lot of control but with all the small bits of fabric, it is fiddly. The preparation of the pattern pieces takes a while but is worth it as it will make life easier when you sew.
You will need to print the Mug PDF- (section A), which is here.
You will also need:
Scraps of blue, cream, red, and grey cotton fabric-10 inch square pieces would be ample.
Background fabric- plain or a busy print- e.g ditsy floral, little dots- not a large print or stripes. A fat eighth will be plenty!
Backing fabric 7x9 inches
Binding fabric- binding will be 1.25 inches x 40 inches.
Usual sewing notions, scissors, rotary cutter, pins etc.
Fine line waterproof fade proof pigment marker
Your PDF print out is your reference map as you piece the mug. You also need to trace this on to the papery side of the freezer paper. I have traced on to the waxy side before but that is a technique for another day. I wanted to start with something straight forward and intuitive. I use washi or masking tape to fix the freezer paper over the pattern, a quilting ruler and a fine line waterproof fade proof pigment marker 0.1 or 0.2 mm. The numbers are the order in which you will cut and sew each piece so transfer them on to the freezer paper and it also helps to put an arrow on each piece. I can see I forgot mine on piece 1 I added it in later! This helps you to use the right grain of the fabric later on and to orientate your piecing. You now need to add little tic lines where any sections join. These only need to be small but they are essential- they help you match up your seams and points. It should look like this
Now you can have a break and get your rotary cutter out.
Cut 2 blue strips 1.5 x 3.75 inches
Cut 1 blue strip 1.25 x 3.75 inches
Cut 2 cream strips 1.125 (one inch and one eighth) x 3.75 inches.
Join them together so that the widest blue strips are top and bottom and the narrower blue strip is in the middle. Use a quarter inch seam and I am using a fine piecing thread throughout the mug piecing.
Press your seams away from the cream stripes.
From your freezer paper pattern cut out the mug section- piece 1 and pieces 2-10. Never cut all the paper pieces out in one go- you will only lose them! Have a plastic pocket or a CD plastic sleeve ready to put the pieces in that you will use later. Keep only piece 1 out.
Place the waxy side of the pattern piece 1 onto the right side of your blue/cream stripes, spacing the stripes evenly and with the arrow following the grain of the fabric. With a hot iron, press and fix the freezer paper to the fabric. A small iron helps as some of the pattern pieces will be very small and can get lost with a large iron. If your iron is not hot enough the paper will fall off, too hot and it will singe little! Freezer paper can take a fair amount of heat.
Use your rotary cutter and quilting rule to add a generous quarter inch seam allowance all around the pattern piece. Not sure what a generous seam allowance looks like? See below where the ruler lies before I rotary trim the fabric; see how the quarter inch line is just over the pattern piece rather than on it. Cutting a generous seam like this allows for the space your machine seam stitches will take up and will give you more accurate piecing.
Put to one side somewhere safe. Now take freezer paper pieces 2-7. You will need to iron pieces 2,6, 7 onto your background fabric and pieces 3,4,5 onto your cream fabric. Space your pieces out on the fabrics; adding seam allowances, especially diagonals can take up more fabric than your would think. You can rough cut your pieces out with scissors if you like but remember they will need to be trimmed down with the extra quarter inch all round so be generous if you haven't done this before. It helps to lay your pieces out matching your reference diagram. The pieces join in number sequence order so start with pieces 2 and 3.
Hold right sides together, peep underneath to check your tic marks match, place a pin along the seam just to steady it whilst it goes under the machine foot. You will be stitching with a small stitch-1.5 or 1.8mm so you will not need to secure each end- just sew straight across, quarter inch. The generous seam allowance should mean that you stitches are next to the freezer paper pieces rather than through them. You can slide the pin out as you are sewing. Press the seam and then open the fabric out and press to one side. Which direction the seams lie is up to you. Different effects are created with the seams going one way or the other- pressing seams away will make the adjoinng piece recede and pressing towards will make it pop out with a relief type effect. Sometimes the bulk of the fabric means a seam can only lie comfortably in one direction. There are no hard and fast rules here, apart from press after each you add each piece!
Leave the freezer paper pieces stuck on the fabric; you will need to keep matching the tic marks and it will keep your work in shape and more accurate. Now add piece 4 to the bottom of piece 2. You have a mini section that you can now add piece 5 to and then piece 6. Add piece 7 along the top of the completed section so far.
piece 8 joins at the diagonal seam at the bottom.
Next you will join the tiny piece 9 to the bottom left hand corner of the mug. Here is a close up of how to match the tics up.
I pinned at an angle for this seam as it was so tiny!
Now add piece 10 to the left hand edge of the mug.
You can see how mine looks on the reverse and how I have chosen to press my seams.
From the remainder of your freezer paper pattern cut out pieces 11, 12 and 13. Iron piece 11 on to the red fabric for the saucer. Iron pieces 12 and 13 onto your background fabric. Trim adding the quarter inch seam allowance as before. Join pieces 12 and 13 to the left and right of piece 11. You can now sew the saucer piece to the mug. Yay! Time to celebrate, section A, the mug, is finished. I didn't say it would be easy but I hope it is logical and that you are happy with the result so far.
The spoon is next and we will be using a different technique, foundation paper piecing. Click here to go to part 2 spoon instructions. And here for part 3- finishing off instructions
If you have a question, please ask in a comment and I will answer there so others can read it.
I hope it has been a helpful tutorial. This method of freezer paper piecing is my favourite way of creating picture type blocks so I'd like others to try it too! Should you make this mug block or mug rug I would love it if you added it to my Flickr group!