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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Tutorial: Laminated Mug Rug

Made these 2 lovely little mug rugs as thank you gifts for Daughter F's College Guidance Counsellor and her History teacher at Dwight, who have been supporting us through her university application process.   


Although there's a lot of mug rug tutorials out there I've never seen one using laminated cotton which can be wiped clean so I photographed each stage and here's my quick tutorial to share.


Before we begin let's get this important informational bit out of the way :)

Care Instructions:
Before making the mug rugs I did some research into laminated cotton fabrics to see if you can machine wash them thinking that, although you can wipe the mug rug clean, at some stage you'll want to give it a quick wash.  I've discovered that these fabrics have come a long way even in just the last 12 months.  

Manufacturer instructions are that these fabrics are machine washable in cold water and additionally they can be tumble dried on low.  You may, however, prefer to line dry your mug rug to keep it away from heat in its wet state.  For anyone still wondering about these fabrics here's a great piece about machine washing with before and after photos by Kelly McCants of OilCloth Addict

Additionally, laminated cotton can be ironed on the reverse with a medium hot iron.  Once made you can happily iron these mug rugs quite firmly on the back only.


For each mug rug you'll need:
8" x 5" laminated cotton fabric for the top sheet
8" x 5" batting
8" x 5" backing fabric - I used 100% quilting cotton 
2¼" x 36" binding fabric

First cut out your fabrics (as above) and then layer just the batting and the backing fabric together and baste (as below).

WARNING:  
At this stage if you accidentally work through all 3 layers embroidering a message or name to the backing sheet then this will show in reverse on the top sheet.
Also, even if you choose to finally quilt through all 3 layers to include quilting the top sheet, don't baste through the laminated fabric as the basting pins are too big and will leave large holes.


Next, I used my machine to embroider my name through the fabrics - this stage isn't necessary so you can leave it out or embroider your own message either using your machine or by hand just be sure to have read the warnings I gave earlier in this tutorial.  

When I'd finished I knotted the thread ends and then using a hand sewing needle I drew them through to the back of the batting.


Now it's time to quilt the mug rug - IF you want to quilt through the laminated cotton too then now is the time to add it to your batting and backing sheet sandwich.  I decided not to do that so I'm just working with the 2 layers at this stage.

First, I free machined a flower chain onto the spotty pink Echino fabric in a contrasting thread


and then I did a similar free machine design on the brown stripe.

OMG! doesn't this just look awful?!!!  The quilting design works against the fabric pattern in every way possible - it's screaming at us and just looks dreadful.  There's nothing else for it ... I'm ripping the lot out and starting again.  

If you look closely at the photo below you can see that I've already started to unpick the quilting and then I thought that I should share just how bad it looks with you so you don't make a similar mistake!


Here's my second attempt at quilting the brown stripe - it's so simple and 'in keeping' that you can't even see it in the picture on the left so I thought I'd better share the back view with you as well so you can see that I really have quilted it!!!


Once you're happy with all of your quilting then it's time to add your laminated cotton to the sandwich.

TIP: Laminated cotton can be tricky to feed through your machine as it can be a bit sticky and difficult to move.  Try adding a layer of baking parchment or tissue paper between the laminated fabric and the sewing plate, this will slide easily over the plate and simply tears away afterwards.

Sew around the mug rug as close to the edge as you can just to hold the 3 layers together securely but not at the 1/4" mark or you might end up with a stitch line showing after you've added the binding.  Again that word of warning from earlier,  probably best not to baste the laminate to the sandwich and I found that the layers held together really well without basting, nothing slipped at all.

If you click on this photo below you should be able to see a larger version of it and then you can better see my sewn lines around the mug rugs - I've torn the baking parchment off the brown laminated cotton and left it on the other piece so you can see just how it was attached.


At this stage I suddenly panicked and wondered if the laminated cotton can take the heat of a hot cuppa - so I decided to conduct my own test and I can confirm that they are much hardier than one might imagine.  I tried 2 different mugs - just in case some mug bases get hotter than others - and filled them with water straight from a boiling kettle.  I left the mugs on the laminated cotton for 30 minutes, checking the condition of the laminate every 5 minutes and NOTHING!!!  Phew, that's a relief!


I ironed the binding strips in half lengthways


I'm going to assume here that you all know how to sew on and join binding so I'll not go into any detail.
I sewed the binding strips around the front of the sandwich using a ¼" seam and my walking foot.  I didn't use baking parchment this time as the laminated cotton is sandwiched between the binding fabric and the batting.  Then I hand sewed the binding down to the back of the mug rug - of course, you could machine sew the binding on totally if you wish.


I gave them a good press with a warm iron on the reverse and here they are complete! 


Daughter F loves them, hope her tutors agree.  We're going to make some very English Eccles cakes for F to give with them but might have to keep a few back for ourselves :)



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40 comments:

  1. Excellent tutorial. Thanks! Love the way they came out!

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  2. Using laminated cotton is such a good idea! I have always been way to messy to use mug rugs with regular quilting cotton. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. Thanks, I've never made any for myself before either and for the same reasons but I think I might make a set now :)

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  3. Such a good idea - I have only ever bought laminated cotton for tablecloths! Your corners are super-sharp. Great tutorial! x

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    1. Thanks Gertie, I hold a pin or needle inside my binding corners (horizontally across the edge I've just sewn the binding to) and the I fold the binding back down on itself over the pin. This keeps the inside edge (that becomes the outside edge when you turn the binding back on itself later) very crisp. Hope that makes sense, got a feeling it might be easier to understand visually rather than verbally!!! :)

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  4. And let me know if you need me to post you some Eccles cakes!

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    1. Yes please, those little packs of 4 Real Lancashire Eccles Cakes are so scrummy! Instead I'll be relying on my recipe books and I can't decide which to go with Mrs Beeton, Delia Smith or Mary Berry - decisions, decisions :)

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  5. And more coatser/ mug rugs .. I guess makign them will be one of those things I want to do but never acually do .. Maybe I have to start telling me I will enver ever do them and then I will do them ..
    Laminatig is a great idea - easy to clean.

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    1. I wasn't sure that the Quilternet really needed another mug rug tutorial but I justified it to myself as after a quick search I couldn't find any other tutorials using the laminated cotton fabric out there, which really surprised me :)

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  6. THOSE ARE SOOOOO CUTE! I have a few mug rugs I've received as gifts over the years and I do love them - but the idea of using laminated cotton is perfect! Thanks for the tutorial Chrissy. Oh and I too have a daughter going off to college. She is graduating in December and starting college in January. My last one to leave the nest :(

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    1. Oh Cathie, how strange life will be for us both when our girls have gone. I'm trying not to think about it too much and filling my world with my surrogate child - quilting!

      Will your daughter be close to you, close enough for day trips? Both of my boys were just a few hours drive away for 2 of of their 4 years at university but the Atlantic Ocean will make it a bit more difficult for me and F, thank goodness for Skype! :)

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  7. Great tutorial and very useful tips! Thanks for sharing. =)

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  8. Loved your tutorial Chrissie! I have one question. If you wanted to quilt over the laminated fabric and can't pin into it, how do you baste the 3 layers together? Spray basting maybe? The reason why I haven't made any mug rugs is to not be able to wipe it down when it gets something on it. Somehow I feel I have to keep things clean that I worked so much on. Laminated fabrics do the trick! It was a great idea from you to do this tutorial! Thank you!

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    1. Hi Kati, I just layered the fabrics and they all stayed just where I put them. I guess because they're so small they easy to manage - if you were layering something larger then spray basting would be a great way to go :)

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  9. That's great. I have never used laminated cotton but daughter has asked for a bag for her swimming stuff, so may have to work on my fear.

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    1. It's not difficult to work with if you layer it with tissue or baking parchment to stop it sticking to the machine bed or sewing foot. Go for it! :)

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  10. This is great! Love that you actually quality tested the laminate:) Wouldn't it be a bummer if you made them all up and then they melted under a hot cup?

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    1. I admit there were a few strong words flying around the apartment when I realised there could be a problem - it was such a relief when the laminate stood up to the test!

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  11. Great tutorial. It is such a great idea to use laminated cotton! Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Makes since to have something easier to keep clean. Not a coffee drinker so I don't use them.
    Great tutorial BTW!

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  13. What a great idea! Would be great for a drippy cup of tea...

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    1. My kind of girl - I'll take a good old cuppa over a coffee any day :)

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  14. It's lovely to learn more about you on the blog hop, and also your family :-) As for the mug rug, well I think it's a genius idea. I did a mug rug for my LGA BH Tutorial and while I am really pleased with it, I wouldn't dream of putting a cup of tea on it for fear of spoiling it! So I guess really it's a bit pointless!

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    1. Thanks Sarah, to be honest I'm really surprised that this hasn't been done before (well at least I can't find that anyone's done it via the internet) as it seems so simple and obvious but maybe that's just because like you I wouldn't want to spoil a gorgeous cotton mug rug or because I'm lazy and know I couldn't be bothered to keep washing them! :)

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  15. Great idea! Thanks for sharing it and adding it to our linking party.

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    1. Thanks Nati - wipe clean suits me every time! :)

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  16. Awesome idea!

    Thanks so much for sharing at A Peek Into Paradise TGIF Link Party.

    I hope you will come party with us next week and see if you were featured! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/

    Have a great week!

    Hugs! Cathy

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  17. I have made many mug rugs, but have never thought of using the laminated fabric. These are great. Thank you for the tutorial.

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  18. THIS is what I need...a laminated mug rug! Great idea!! Definitely glad you rejuvenated this post!! THANKS!

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  19. Thanks, Chrissie D! I appreciate all your tips and advice at each step of the way!

    ~Janie

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  20. Great idea to use laminated fabric for a mug rug (easy to clean). I remember that letter fabric from a while back but didn't know it came in laminate form --- cool!

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  21. Great idea, but you cant get laminated fabric here, tried everywhere but all I can come up with is table protector material and it worked a charm, not quite what I wanted but still nice, thank you for the instructions!

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  22. Very good idea. 'Never thought of laminated fabric. Like Tina, we here also have no place to purchase specialty fabrics locally. 'Will check online stores. Love your colorful fabric choices.

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Chris Dodsley