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Gift presents for mum: tea time mug rug (with embroidery pattern!)

Embroidery, Sewing  |  September 9th 2011  |  0 Comment

Mug Rugs are all the rage these days, but I’ve yet to make one. Fortunately, Sara is here to show us a really cute way to make one…and I even got to help!
Hi, this is Sara over from the split stitch, and I am so excited to be here today to share a really fun project with you. In honor of this week’s Tea Party, I present to you the “Tea Time Mug Rug”. Bigger than a coaster, yet smaller than a place mat, this mug rug is just the right size for a cup of tea and your favorite treat. If you can sew a straight line … you can sew this mug rug, it is that easy (and fast too!).
Before we begin, I want to talk a little bit about the part of the mug rug that I am calling the “side panel”. This area is a great spot to highlight some embroidery, applique, a bold cotton print … or whatever you can think of! You want to think about, and complete your design element for this side panel before you begin cutting your fabric. Just keep these measurements in mind: the side panel is a piece of fabric cut to 4” x 8.5”; and the visible portion (after sewing) ends up being around 2.75” x 7.25”.
For the side panel in the stitched example I used a tea bag embroidery pattern that Mollie was kind enough to design for this project. (You can download the pattern here.) See how he fits perfectly? And he really has got to be the cutest tea bag you have ever seen … am I right? I used Steam-A-Seam 2, some cotton fabric, and backstitching with black embroidery floss to create that little guy, but this is a spot for you to be really creative … so go for it! Okay, so now that you have something cute stitched up for your side panel, let’s get started!

Tea Time Mug Rug Tutorial
Finished Size: Apx. 8.25” x 7.25”

Gather Your Supplies:
7 quilting weight cotton prints cut to 6.5” x 2” each for patchwork insert
1 solid quilting weight cotton (with embellishment if so desired) cut to 4” x 8.5” for side panel
1 quilting weight cotton print cut to 8.5” x 9.5” for back
1 piece of fusible fleece cut to 7.5” x 8.5”
Basic Sewing Supplies: Sewing machine, thread, 70/10 & 90/14 universal sewing machine needles, tool for turning corners, scissors or rotary cutter, iron, etc.
Optional: 1 piece of eyelet (or other trim) that is 8.5” long (width is not important)


* 1” = 2.54 cm
* A 70/10 universal sewing machine needle is used to assemble the entire mug rug until the last step – the topstitching is completed using a 90/14 universal sewing machine needle.
* All seam allowances are ½” .
* Abbreviations: RS= right side, WS = wrong side, RST= right sides together, WST= wrong sides together


1. Center and fuse the fleece to the WS of the back piece of fabric. Set aside.

2. Take your 7 cotton prints for the patchwork insert, and determine what order you would like them in.
3. With your first and second fabric pieces for your patchwork insert, and place them RST. Align the raw edges. Sew the 2 pieces together along one of the 6.5” sides.
4. Continue sewing all of the 7 prints together to form one patchwork insert piece as shown below.
5. Using scissors or pinking shears, trim all of the seam allowances down to ¼”, and press all of the seams open.
6. Using a rotary cutter and ruler, trim the sides of your patchwork insert if necessary to straighten them out.
7. Align the raw edges of one side of the patchwork insert with one of the long sides of the side panel piece as shown in the photo below. (Note: Your side panel piece will likely be the same length as the patchwork insert piece, due to a cutting error on my part, the side panel piece was a bit shorter, so I simply centered it on the patchwork). Pin the 2 pieces together, and sew.
8. Optional: Attach a piece of eyelet over the seam created in step 7. I like to use tape (rather than pins to temporarily affix the eyelet, then I simply sewed over the stitching created by the manufacturer to permanently attach the eyelet. Your front of the mug rug is now complete.
9. Place your completed front piece on a flat surface with the RS facing up. Place your backing piece (from step #1) on top of the front piece RST. Align raw edges and pin together.
10. Along one side (I chose the “side panel” side), use a water soluble marker, or any other marking tool to mark a 3” opening to use for turning.
11. Sew the 2 pieces together around all 4 sides(except for the opening), and clip the corners. You can pivot at the corners if you like, but I prefer to do my corners a bit differently to make them stronger. Take a look:
12. Trim all of the seam allowances down to ¼” EXCEPT for the side with the opening (I have found it is much easier to close an opening with ½” of fabric than ¼” of fabric available to topstitch over).

13. Turn the mug rug right side out and press. Be sure to press the fabric left from the opening inward.
14. (Switch to your 90/14 needle now!)Using the side of your presser foot as a guide, top stitch around the entire mug rug. This will close your opening left for turning. Then, when you are finished, go back and add another line of topstitching around 1/8” beyond your first line of topstitching. Press the entire piece.

Source: @thesplitstitch.com