This time around I made two rugs for Christmas gift giving. My MIL is my Kringle giftee this year. She is a quilter too so of course part of her gift is fabric -- a small quilt kit and the backing for it. I had also found a cute basket to pack it up in but I needed to add a little something to full it up. My first thought? A cute mug with quilty sayings!
I found this one on eBay but I've got to tell you it was really hard to choose! There were soooo many funny ones that I also could have sent like this....
I settled on the first one because in my book 'ya can't send a mug without an accompanying rug and I already had these in the house....
June Tailor has a couple of versions of these mini panels for mug rugs and each version has a different theme. I really wanted the set with Quilty sayings but couldn't catch it on sale so settled for the Inspirational set. I felt the top sentiment in the picture below went perfect with her mug.
The great thing is the panel set had one perfect for her sister too. It wasn't originally in the plan to send her sister a mug and rug but I think the Quilt Muses were ahead of me on this one. You see, each year (regardless of whether or not we have them for the Kringle) I also bake and send my MIL and one of her sisters Peanut Butter cookies for Christmas. That started on one of the last Christmas' when they were still here in New York. We were talking about cookies and the sisters reminisced about how they had loved the ones that their mother used to make. My husband then bragged about mine so that year I sent them both a batch. It was a big hit to the point that even if I don't feel like making them, I'd better get them out in the mail because I WILL get calls if they don't show up!
I usually try to plan the cookie drop to coincide with the Kringle gift drop to consolidate the mailing efforts. It just so happens that this year my husband has his Aunt as giftee so the good news is that I could send her cookies along with his gift. Then I remembered that I had found a mug related to Christmas and cookies while out shopping either last year or the year before and had saved it for just such an occasion. So when DH said he couldn't think about what to get her, I told him about the mug and said I'd even make a rug for it. He loved that idea and then said it'd be great if we could find a cute cookie jar to go with it. Fortunately Home Goods came to the rescue on that one!
My MIL's favorite fabric is batiks so I bought her a batik fabric kit for her gift and then I decided to use prints from my own batik stash to make her rug. For her sister's rug, I was told she liked neutrals. I didn't have that in my batik stash but I do have a stash of Black and White fabrics -- the original neutrals!
The June Tailor panel kit has mug rug designs patterned in the package for each size panel offered in the kit so I wasn't going to have to think about a design for them. However, for his Aunt's panel, the rug layout used a Card Trick block and I wasn't in love with that. The good news is a Squirrel Moment came to the rescue: This month, the American Quilters Society (AQS) has been offering their annual set of Christmas Countdown blocks. This year, they are giving the daily instructions for the blocks two ways: colored in Red and White and in Red, Black and White. Perfect! I decided to pick one of the RBW blocks to substitute for the Card Trick block in the pattern. I chose Block #6 and resized it to the 6" finished size the panel pattern used. Then I figured out where else I could insert a little more red in the design for balance.
It took me a few days to get both rugs done. I had originally just quilted my MIL's in Quilt-As-You-Go fashion by adding the strips right onto the layered batting and backing. But after it was done, I felt like it needed just a little more quilting so had to take some time to figure what to stitch on it and then execute it. The idea of using the echoed "Serpentine Curves" came from Mary Mashuta's book "Foolproof Walking Foot Quilting Designs". This was good because at first I thought about doing meandering. I've only tried free-motion on my 401 once and need more practice on it so really didn't want to try that on this deadline project.
For her sister's rug, I did a simple crosshatch over everything but the panel. I also decided to do a faux piped binding hoping to add just a touch more red to the mat. I used instructions for the technique that I've used before but on larger quilts. The piping was a little more prominent than I would have liked so if I was to do it again on a piece this size, I'd size the piping strip an 1/8" smaller and add that to the strip that creates the binding portion.
I think they both finished up very nicely and now both sisters will have a nice mug to fill with the hot beverage of their choice and have a pretty mat to sit their cookies on while they munch! For me, I get another notch on the year-end Challenge finish list! That's as sweet as a peanut butter cookie!