Christmas Elf Mug Rug

Merry Christmas!

ChristmasElfMugRug

Here is a fun gift for you. This cute little mug rug also makes a great hostess gift and would be perfect for a mug rug swap with your quilting friends.

The Material Girlfriend Christmas Elf Mug Rug paper piecing pattern was given by In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA, during the recent Jingle Bell Shop Hop. This is where you can learn to paper piece it! If you missed the Shop Hop and didn’t get your copy, you can download it FREE for a limited time. ChristmasElfMugRugPattern

Here is a tutorial. Yep, that’s me. Keep in mind TV adds 50 lbs and 20 years to your looks. My sweet husband, Michael, was my camera man. We’re taping in my dining room (oh, so professional) because my new office/sewing studio was just vacated by our eldest son and we’re in the process of painting it a light buttery yellow. (I’ll write a post with some pictures when I have it all done!)

Now, if you didn’t catch all that and don’t want to sit through the chipmunks music again, here are a few easy steps.

  1. Copy your pattern onto some foundation paper. You can use printer paper but Carol Doak’s foundation paper is so much easier to remove. You can also use Alex Anderson’s foundation paper and leave it in. It will dissolve after it is washed. Trim away the bottom portion of the pattern. You only need to paper-piece the hat.
  2. Trace the lines and numbers on the back of the paper. This is to assist you in positioning your fabric.
  3. Pre-cut your fabrics. I estimate an inch or more bigger than the space it will cover.
  4. Start with number one. On the back side of the paper where you drew the lines, pin right side up the fabric piece so it covers the entire area by at least a quarter inch on all sides.
  5. Position the fabric for number 2 right sides facing together on top of the fabric for position 1. Check the position. Imagine if you sewed on the line between 1 and 2 to make the seam, then as fabric 2 is opened, it should cover the entire area of spot 2 plus a quarter inch beyond. Pin to hold it in place, flip it over and stitch the line between 1 and 2 with a small stitch. I use 1.8 on my machine’s settings.
  6. Finger press the seam open. Does the fabric generously cover position 2? No, seam rip and try again. Yes? Trim the seam to 1/4″ using a postcard to fold the paper over and an Add-A-Quarter ruler.
  7. Before adding fabric for position 3, it is easier to pre-trim the seam allowance on the line between two and three before adding the next fabric. From the front, align the post card on the line between 2 and 3. Fold the paper back over the postcard. Butt the Add-A-Quarter ruler along the card edge and trim the quarter inch. Now you can easily align the fabric for position 3.
  8. Continue in the same manner until you’ve covered all the pieces. Trim on the outside solid line and tear away the foundation paper.
  9. Cut a background rectangle 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. Trace the face onto the paper side of double-sided light fusible web. Follow your products directions. Stick to the wrong side of your fabric and trim out on the line. Trace the nose and mouth and then stick to the right side of the 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle aligning the face at the top edge of the rectangle. Heat set in place. I did a blanket stitch around the curve of the face.
  10. Sew to the bottom of the hat and give it a good pressing.
  11. Quilt and bind. You can add some rosy cheeks with fabric paint or crayon if you want.
  12. What about the hat’s pom-pom? On one mug rug I traced a quarter on some fusible web and created a pom-pom from some chenille. On another, I sewed a jingle bell. A button, yo-yo or yarn pom-pom would be just as cute! Have fun finishing him up.

If that still didn’t help, come see me. I usually work Thursdays at In Between Stitches (call ahead to be sure I’m there) or join me at one of my Lisa’s Finishing Schools for Wayward Quilters classes. We meet every other Saturday evening. Check the In Between Stitches class calendar for dates. The classes fill up quickly so be sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible.

If you’re new to my blog, be sure to follow. Every month I put up a new free block pattern.

Absewutely,

Lisa

November Bite Size Block

November2015BiteSizeBlockLog Cabin block. I used to dislike this block. Twelve years ago I was going to make a log cabin quilt for my cousin Heather’s new baby boy. It took me 3 hours to make one little log cabin which turn out half an inch smaller than it was suppose to be. There was lots of seam ripping because I’d sewn the wrong color on the wrong side. “No way. The baby will be in college by the time I finish this.” Plan B. I made an Irish chain quilt instead.

Fast forward 10 years from then. Melissa Emery Grech, at In Between Stitches was giving me the opportunity to teach the Start Quilting class. One of the blocks was a log cabin. I cringed from QPTSD (Quilter’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). That first class, I assisted Melissa as she taught the class. When we got to the log cabin block, she taught a method she said she learned from Eleanor Burns. OMG!!! This was so much easier than the tediously torturous way I had made that first block so many years ago. I loved it. No pre-cutting the many small strips and you made multiple blocks at a time “chain piecing”. I love it! I was cured!

We American quilters have long considered this block to be the quintessential American design, though the pattern really dates back to ancient Egypt. But to us, the block represents log cabins on the prairie with red center squares for the hearth, light values on one side for the sunny side of the house and dark values on the opposite side for the shady side of the house. The hey-day of the Log Cabin quilt in this country was in the third and fourth quarters of the 19th Century.

Try out this very American tradition. You can download the instructions for the November Block for the I Love Us Year Long pattern instructions here ILoveUsYearRound.all pages34-35. If you’re local, you can join me next Sunday, November 8 from 1-5pm at In Between Stitches in Livermore. We’ll also start the background blocks for the center House Block as well.

As the weather chills, start a red square fire in the hearth/heart and cozy up in your own little cabin/home and stitch some tradition of your own.

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Absewlutely,

Lisa