Make an Easy Paper Pieced Valentine’s Day Mug Rug

Mug Rug

Vanessa demonstrates her paper piecing technique to make a quilted Valentine’s mug rug or coaster using “Sweetheart” charm packs by Michael Miller Fabrics, Paper Solvy (water soluble stabilizer), yardage, batting, and an Add-a-Quarter ruler.

Get the supplies needed here:

Video Transcript: 

Hey it’s Vanessa for Crafty Gemini Creates. I’m here with a fun tutorial for you. This is my Valentine Mug Rug. A real simple and easy project to make. But we are going to tackle a different technique that maybe you haven’t tried before. We’re going to do some foundation paper piecing to make these three little hearts and everything else is just some straight stitching and some strips that you’re going to cut out. So let’s get started.

The fabric collection that I’m using for this project is called Sweetheart. And this is just a five inch square pack. It’s by Michael Miller Fabrics. And remember that there’s always a link in the description box below this video where you can find all the materials and supplies that I’ll be using to create this project. Aside from that you are probably going to want to gather up a At-A-Quarter-inch ruler. This is just a six inch length. It also comes in a longer one if you’re working with bigger blocks but you’ll see we’re going to use this one for our little heart blocks here. I also like to save this little cardboard part that comes in the back of your little five inch square pack here. So go ahead and grab that because you’ll need it as well. Then we have some yardage. As you can see here in the, the borders and the sashing, we’ve used some solid just white fabric that coordinates nicely with the prints we’ve used from the fabric collection. And then I just used some solid red fabric to create the binding. Then you’ll  need some batting. Just your regular quilting supplies because we’ll be making basically a little mini quilt. It’s a mug rug. If you haven’t seen these, just to give you a quick explanation. I’d say a mug rug is kind of like a mix between a coaster and a placemat. So it’s just something small that you can keep at your desk. You can have a mug, some coffee or tea next to you. And then have some little snack on it for you to eat. This will also make a really cute wall hanging or mini quilt if you’re into doing those mini quilt swaps that are so popular online these days.

Alright, so the pattern for the heart, when we do foundation paper piecing, you’re actually going to use the paper template as your stitch guide. So these dark solid black lines that you see on the hearts here are what you’re going to be stitching on. So it’s kind of like paint by numbers but stitching. It’s one of my favorite quilting techniques. And I hope that you’ll give it a try. We’re also going to link you to some other video tutorials that I’ve done in the past in the description box below. And they are really in depth and walk you through step by step on the process of how to do foundation paper piecing. In this project we want to get through the entire thing so I’m just going to give you some basics and keep it moving, ok? So the printout that you can print out is available in the description box below. There’s a link for this PDF for you to download. You can get four out of one sheet. Now you’re probably thinking if I use regular paper or not. The product that I’m using to print on is Paper Solvy. It’s made by Sulky. And it comes in this really convenient pack 8 ½ by 11 sheets already. So I just put this in my printer and I open up the PDF file and print it out at 100%. So this is what you end up with. After that, go ahead and cut them out. Now there’s two lines. Let me show you here. There’s a solid black line on the inside of the block that’s darker than the outer line. You want to cut a little bit further out than the lightest one. The lightest one just signifies the block when it’s completed before it’s sewn into your project. That darker line, is the one that shows you what the finished block is going to be once it’s in the quilt project. So just cut out all your template pieces like this. Give yourself a little extra room so you have something to trim once all the fabric is attached. You’re going to repeat that to all of them. Cut out three for your project. And I just included four on the sheet here. You could make the fourth one into a separate little one and just have a little heart coaster. I think that would be really cute to accompany the mug rug. Or if you make a mistake, you always have the other three that you can finish up and make the ones you need for the project. So we’re going to grab three from this.

Aside from this you’re going to start cutting out your fabric. So for each one of these sections that you see they’re numbered A1 through A7. For each one you’re going to need a different chunk of fabric that’s going to get pieced into that spot. So if we look the interior part that makes up the heart is shaded a little bit, it’s a little darker. Then the outer ones  A1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 are your background. So if we look at one that’s been pieced already you can see that the outer ones are the white. And this is from a charm that came from our five inch square pack, ok? So here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to cut out background fabric squares and I’ve already measured it so when you cut out these squares you’ll have enough to cover the area that you need. So we have three squares here that measure two inches by two inches. And then we have two bigger squares that measure 2 ½ inches by 2 ½. And as you can imagine the bigger ones are going to be for the bigger background corners or triangles that we have here.These smaller ones will be for the top three ones, simple? Now let’s grab our fabric for the heart. And that we want it to be high contrast. I went ahead and grabbed this one out of my pack. You can definitely pick out, there’s several in here, super cute. And what I did with that five inch square is I just sliced it down the middle. So you have two strips that are 2 ½ by five, easy. So let’s get started.

Gather up your supplies because you’re going to need seven units total to cover up the seven spots we have here. I like to use my lapel stick for holding down the first square. And we’re going to find A1. Here it is. That’s my first one. I’m going to flip it face down. And I just put a dot of the lapel stick glue right in the center of A1. And I lay my little square of fabric so that when I flip it you can see. And I love the Paper Solvy for this because it’s kind of translucent a little bit and I can see through it to see where my fabric is. So I can see that I have excess fabric going all the way around the A1 that I need to cover. So it’s going to be enough. Now we need to find A2 and A2 is part of our heart, right? So let’s trim this down first. And I always like to do it this way. We’re going to trim the excess fabric before attaching the next piece. So A1 is covered. Grab your little cardboard paper. And you look for the line between one and two. Here’s a line. Remember that the solid dark lines are your stitching lines. So I’m going to lay this on that solid dark line between A1 and A2 like this. And I’m going to fold this paper back on the line. You take your At-A-Quarter-Inch ruler and if you look there’s an edge that has the number ruler part on it and there’s another one that’s a little bit clearer than this part and if you flip it there’s a ridge right here. That ridge get’s placed on the ridge that you’ve now created with the cardboard. So if you see when I bump this up, it won’t go any further than that. That’s giving me exactly the quarter inch seam allowance that I need. So I’m going to cut away whatever is beyond that, ok? Now this is the quarter inch seam allowance that I need to attach the next piece, does that make sense? So you can see through the paper. Here’s my stitch line and there’s the extra quarter of an inch , that’s my seam allowance . Grab your A2 piece which is part of the heart. And you’re going to line it up right on that fresh cut edge. Because you’ve already cut it to size so you know exactly where it needs to be. And the idea is to place your fabric so that it covers the next unit that you want it to be in. So A2 is going to get stitched down and opened up this way. So I want it when I flip it back and press it open for it to cover the whole thing. So that’s in place. We flip it back, ok? The pretty side of the paper, where I see the solid lines, is where I’m going to stitch. So I’ve laid my fabric pieces, when you have it on this side of the paper and you’re looking at the fabrics, a good tip to keep in mind is forget about the paper. I have a fabric piece that I need to sew another one onto. In every sewing project that we do, we stitch it with the pretty sides of the fabric touching. So I forget that the paper is there. I lay the fabric pretty side to the pretty side of this white one. And then when you go to sew the paper reappears in your mind, right? Now we use the paper because the paper is just for the stitching lines.

So I’m going to my sewing machine here. And I’m going to stitch on the solid black line between A1 and A2. Those are the two units we’re putting together. Now for foundation paper piecing you are definitely going to want to lower your stitch length. If you’re not using the paper solvy it’s going to help perforate any other paper that you’re using . And even if you are using the paper solvy, it works a lot better. And I start in the seam allowance without backstitching. Just start a few stitches in the seam allowance. Stitch on that line. And stop a few stitches into the next unit wherever it is. Ok, so you want to get a full line and then a few stitches before and after it. So let me see if I can show you all that here a little bit closer. You can see I went into the seam allowance a little bit, stitched on the line between 1 and 2, then came through a little bit more, ok? Now that that’s done, flip it back. Paper disappears when you’re working on the fabric side. Pretend the paper is not there. And now I’m going to just press this back. And you can see, pretty side, pretty side. And we stitched it correctly.

Now we’re going to move on. We did 1 and 2. Let’s do 3. Three is this little corner. Before we attach a piece, we trim. Grab this again. Place it on the line between A2 and A3. Flip that corner back. And whatever is over from there we’re going to trim it off. So there’s my At-A-Quarter-Inch ruler and the whole way, anything that’s sticking out past this ruler’s seam allowance slice it right off. Ok? So I open it up. Here’s the corner I need to cover. Remember it’s a small square. And I’m just going to line it up. Remember the paper disappears. Pretty side to pretty side of my fabric. Line it up on the seam allowance edge so I know it’s perfect. Flip it back to the paper side. Start in the seam allowance a few stitches, through and stop a few stitches over. And don’t worry about all this extra stuff that’s sticking out. You’ll see how it all comes together. So flip it back, press it. That’s three.

I’m going to show you four. Four is the next big chunk of our heart, ok? First we need to do is trim away all this extra stuff that I see through here. So here’s my line. The line that I need to stitch to add my A4. It’s between A2 and A4 in this case. Put your cardboard down on the line. Flip the paper back. And whenever, you see this, this will catch a little bit because we went a few stitches into the next one, that’s no big deal. You just don’t want to have to backstitch. Just pull on it back. Put your At-A-Quarter-Inch ruler on and slice anything over from there. So now that we have that fresh cut edge, pretty sides to pretty sides, line up with the edge we just cut. Sew on the line. Alright, I’m going to flip this one back. And you can see how it’s starting to come together, ok, just like that. You’re going to continue to do that to all the units. Super easy. Just follow the line. And once you kind of get the hang of it you’ll see that it comes together easily. And luckily you have three little blocks to work on so by the time you get to the third one you’ll have it down pat, ok?

So here’s what it’s going to end up looking like. It’s a little bit crazy. There’s stuff sticking all out but you can kind of see the heart in there. Flip it over so that you’re looking at the paper side. You can see all my stitch lines right on those lines. And now I”m going to trim it down. And so to trim we’re trimming out on the outer, the lighter black line. And now you end up with a perfectly precise heart block, ok? Really easy to do. And I think it’s a fun technique. It’s actually one of my favorite quilting techniques, paper piecing. So repeat that to three of the blocks.
Once you have that, you can go ahead and arrange them kind of in the same orientation that you want to, to show up here. I think I’m going to do this, two pinks on the outer with the red one in the center. Then you’re going to go and do the sashing part of it. So for the sashing we’ve just cut out four strips that measure 1 ½ inches by 3 ½ which is the finished size of these blocks before they’re sewn in. So this is 3 ½ here. And you’re going to add a strip at the beginning and in between the blocks and at the end, like that, ok? Then you’re going to cut two more strips that measure 1 ½ inches by 14 and these are going to go here and here. They look short now but once we piece this together it will shrink in, ok? Now what you do is you sew these together just like any other quilt block or patchwork project. Now I don’t peel off the paper. The cool thing about using the paper solvy is you have the option. If you want to sit there and rip off the paper, you can. It’s a nice lightweight paper, it won’t pull out your stitches. But it’s a water soluble product. So if you plan on washing this, anytime you wash it or just soak it in water, it’s going to dissolve. So it saves you a step there and that’s kind of why I like to use them on the 8 ½ by 11 sheets that we can run right through the printer, ok? So you’re going to piece that together. I would first do the these guys and make a full strip here. And then go ahead and attach these to the sides. Trim off any excess if you need to. And then you just finish it off like a quilt. Any other quilt project that you would. We used batting, just cotton batting for the center part of it, the inside. And for the backing on our little mug rug here, I just took three of the five inch squares and pieced them together. Trim away an excess. And then you’re going to go ahead and quilt it. I did some basic stitching in the ditch quilting here just to kind of anchor the whole thing down. And then cut out your strips for your binding and finish off your little mug rug. I think this is cute as a mug rug. It would make cute coasters or you can even use it as a wall decoration so you can hang it up in the month of February. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. And if you did, make sure to hit it with that thumbs up below. Share it across the different social media sites. And don’t forget to click the subscribe button so you won’t miss out on any of my future tutorials. Thanks again for watching and I’ll see you next time.

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