Free Mug Rug/Snack Mat of the Month

I am excited to start our Mug Rug of the Month! I have several drawings ready for upcoming months – lots of ideas for seasonal mats! I have several done and I am excited to show them to you…

This month’s pattern (available here as a pdf download Snack Mat #1) is for a sunflower Mug Rug, which is 5″ x 7″ finished. But you can increase it 140% for a perfect sized Snack Mat, which will be 8″ x 10″.

Start by finding your fabrics. You will need a scrap of brown for the center, about a 6″ square for the petals, a scrap of green for the stem and leaves, an 8″ x 10″ background and a 10″ x 12″ piece for the backing/binding. I have a few scrap tubs that work perfectly for finding exciting little bits.

IMG_1481[1]This is what I found…IMG_1482[1]

These are more than I need, I often start with a “collection” then eliminate until I am happy… or… when I can’t decide…  I just have to make two.

Oliver is full of opinions and always excited when he sees a fresh stack of auditions to nestle into….

2-AAE2F89E-1952689-800Once you have decided on your fabrics and removed the cat and the cat hair… trace your pattern onto fusible web and iron it to the wrong sides of the fabricsIMG_1484[1]Then cut everything out with your good scissors and position on your background fabric. I have a trick that works really well… I trace my paper pattern with a sharpie marker, then flip it over and trace it again. This gives me a dark pattern that I can use under my background as a template and it is correctly reversed.IMG_1487[1]This may not work if your background is too dark, then you may want to go back to the vinyl template. IMG_1488[1]But for me you can see this worked perfectly. Once everything is positioned the way you would like it, fuse it into place.IMG_1489[1]Now that our top is done, you can finish it anyway you would like, but I have a fun technique I am going to use… I cut a piece of Craft-Tex 5″ x 7″ and another piece 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″. Craft Tex is the stuff we use for the placemats. It is stiff-ish but super easy to sew through and it is fusible on both sides.IMG_1479[1]I fuse this to the wrong side of the project and “quilt-as-desired”. Of course my quilting of choice on a project like this is what I call “scribble stitches”.IMG_1491[1]

I use my hopping foot, drop my feed dogs and free motion with a 1.5 zigzag stitch. If this doesn’t make sense, we did a quick video with a tutorial this morning… Brianna should have it up on the website tonight.IMG_1495[1]

 

I love the look of this finish. After I’m done with the piece, I wrap the fabric around to the back and fuse in place, then prepare the back the same way, I fold it over the edge and fuse it, then I layer the top onto the back and hold it in place with binding clips.IMG_1493[1]

Last step is to zigzag the edge. Boom! All done!!

I hope you decide to make a little mug rug or a snack mat. They are quick! If you stop in at the shop, you can see the finished piece in person, and pick up a hard copy of the pattern. If you have questions about the process, again, we have a video about fusible web up already, and the demo for scribble stitches will be up soon.

Happy Quilting!!!

 

 

 

 

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Serendipity

Oliver and I feed the birds every morning. He loves to watch them peck and chirp from his window perch. They are very messy eaters and often there are seeds on the ground near their feeder (we have a large landscaping boulder with a naturally occurring bowl).

This year their sloppy habits resulted in happy little plants that grew from the seeds , some were weeds that were quickly plucked, but fortunately, this year, we ended up with about a dozen sunflowers.  A gift from Mother Nature. Over the past 6 weeks Oliver watched the birds while I watched the sunflowers grow taller and taller.

I watered the growing flowers with anticipation, and loved seeing them every morning when I fed the birds, and every evening when I came home. There’s something about sunflowers, don’t you think? They just seem like they sing… loud and on key.

Lets pause this story for a moment while I introduce you to my husband. A hard working, no-nonsense conservative that loves… gravel. He wants everything trimmed, bordered, curbed, and asphalted. His idea of gardening is washing off the concrete sidewalk and eating the produce someone else picks. He would not know the difference between a strawberry plant and a raspberry bush unless it had fruit on it – even then he may have to ‘phone a friend’.

So… this morning Brian was home and got up early to get a “head start” on “some long overdue projects”. I admit I could have asked him what those projects were but that would be uncommon. I don’t care about carburetors, bedliners, window wells or wheel bearings just like he doesn’t care about fabric, patterns or long arming. We do well together because we each have our own “thing”.

I finished getting ready and had my cup of birdseed in my hand, heading for the rock, then my car. As I turned the corner, I saw one lonely, solitary flower standing where there used to be twelve. I am not proud of the loud verbage that came out of my mouth  just as I caught the murderous felon wielding a shovel going in for the kill for the last flower…. in fact, it wasn’t just one word. It was quite a few. None that can be repeated here.

I have no idea why he thought it was time to weed a flower bed. That is not his job. He can’t put his coffee cup in the sink, his dirty socks in the hamper or close a cupboard after he takes something out of it… but he can yank up a flower that he thinks is in the wrong spot. Nice. He even had to walk past real weeds to get to the flowers. Brilliant.

IMG_1437[1]And notice the dead bush behind the lovely sunflower? Again… he’s not a gardener… I can only assume he spared the bush and went for the treacherous flower because he thought the bush was merely ‘sleeping’.

OK. You’re right. I’m being mean. Afterall it was just a flower, wait, just eleven flowers. But still, just plants. Not such a big deal. It has been 16 hours, why am I still so upset?

Maybe it’s just that I feel I work so hard for the basic things, so when something unexpectedly happy comes along… it is like a special gift. A treasure.

I know he was just trying to be nice. He thought those flowers were squatters and he finally noticed them after six weeks… or…. he thought he should weed the one little section of our 2 acres that didn’t need weeded… or… he was working his way to the other side of the house where the little yellow flowers in the grass needed some miracle grow.

Hell I don’t know what he was doing. But I do know that I can’t buy the premise that everything has it’s place… because this was our bathroom tonight. IMG_1385[1]Those are my pants in the hamper…his on the floor.

Well, it’s off to bed for me. I have to shake this negative attitude because I have three classes tomorrow: Pincushion Club, Needle and Thread Society and Rainbow Garden.

Besides I have to get up early to fix Brian a lovely breakfast of eggshell-speckled scrambled eggs, burnt toast and salty coffee. Can anyone say “Oops?”

 

 

Peaceful Retreat.

Well, we had an awesome time with Jordan and the rest of the family. It is always nice to get away, and we find our cabin particularly peaceful because we are totally “unplugged”. No internet, no cell phone service, no landline. It makes it really nice because you have to be ‘present’. No distractions. We have spent every Christmas up there for the past 19 years.

So whenever Jordan came home for a visit, we quickly took him up to Crawfish Lake Road so we could have him to ourselves. Of course it made sense to have his homecoming party there. We had about 30 people (and 12 dogs!) that stayed in the two cabins, one fifth wheel and two tents over the four day weekend. On the property we also have this terrific outdoor kitchen. It has a fireplace, picnic tables and benches, 5 propane burners, a BBQ and a countertop.

cabin 011

The meadow is about two acres and has a volleyball net, jungle gym, tether ball and horseshoes.IMG_2594And this is the main cabin

cabin 003It really is a beautiful place. We have been restoring the two cabins for 19 years and now we are just about done. Finally!

We went on several leisurely walks looking for wild flowers, but I found I was more attracted to texture than to color. I liked this interesting sap, but typically that much sap is in response to some sort of injury in the tree.

IMG_2568I really like all of the moss, lichen, and conks (tree fungus that looks like a mushroom) especially when it is all together on the same tree…

IMG_2571lichenOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe crusty lichen (above) and the bushy lichen (looks like moss) suggest low air pollution. The orange lichen is an indicator of dirty air (I didn’t find any).

I also found some local wildlife who paused to have their picture taken:

IMG_2597

From right to left is Brianna holding her 6 month old rottweiler mix Benelli, her fiance Robert holding his blue heeler Rugar, Jordan with his Great Dane mix Tucker in front of him, and Brittany holding her daughter Eliza.

We had such a good time. So relaxing, great company, perfect weather. Then we had to come home…. when we reached cell service I had 22 missed calls, 14 voicemails and 203 new emails.   Ah, life.