Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mug Rug Madness - the WHAT of Mug Rugs

So to round out all the pretty Mug Rug tutorials and pictures, my informative posts here for the Madness are going to revolve around the Who, What, When, Where and Why of all things Mug Rug related. I'm starting off today with WHAT -- as in, what the what IS a Mug Rug, after all?

(photo credit: mrsmcporkchop on Flickr)

Could this be the Mug Rug that started it all? I personally think so. Sure, we've all been making table runners, placemats, even coasters forever now, but way back in March 2010 Amanda posted this darling picture of some flying geese nestled in some Kona Ash and dubbed it a Mug Rug.

mug rug #2
(photo credit: mrsmcporkchop on Flickr)

Not too long after, she posted this adorable number and suddenly we had a full on CRAZE in the modern sewing community. A mini quilt? That was fast and easy to create? Where it was acceptable, even encouraged to place crumbly baked goods upon? We. were. hooked!

So really, WHAT is a Mug Rug? To me it's simple - a mini quilt that is usually between the size of a coaster and a placemat, which turns out to be just the perfect size for a cup of whatever you're drinking and a little treat beside it.

Mr. Gnome Mug Rug
(photo by Eileen Josephine, on Flickr)

There's no standards, really, when it comes to creating Mug Rugs. Cut into your most prized Flea Market Fancy stash, or scrounge up some scraps from your sewing room floor. Usually they're rectangle (but not always) and mostly fall in between the sizes of 4"x6"-ish to 6"x10"-ish. Although I've seen some really awesome circle, hexagon and other non-traditionally shaped Mug Rugs that are lovely.  And if you end up making one too big, like I did, just follow my lead and give it a swift chop in half and you'll have two!

huge mug rugmug rug giveaway

Make it simple - use the super fast and easy Quilt As You Go method. Make it complicated - hand piecing hexagons, anyone? Are you sensing a theme here? The BEST thing about Mug Rugs is that they're whatever YOU want them to be.

So, to recap:

What is a Mug Rug?  A small, fun to create, mini quilt that is mostly there to look pretty on your desk and soak up your drink of choice's drips and condensation, as well as giving you full-on permission to eat some cookies, since, well, that extra space off to the side of your drink is just THERE for you to use.

How big is a Mug Rug?  As big as you want it to be, usually falling somewhere in between the usual size of a coaster and a placemat.  4"x6"-ish to 6"x10"-ish.  Can you tell I'm pretty non-committal about these things? ;]

How do I make a Mug Rug?  Just like you were making a mini quilt!  Is that answer not satisfying enough?  Keep checking back for new original tutorials all this week, and also my WHERE and WHO posts later in the series for some more links and information.

Remember to leave a comment on the official giveaway post for a chance to win some of the Mug Rug's featured this week. And you can always visit the Mug Rug Madness static page to make sure you haven't missed out on any of our posts!


  1. Thanks for that information, I thought that's what they were, but it's so good to see it set out so clearly.

    1. I totally agree. Thanks for this post. I'm still new to quilting (ok, haven't actually started yet) and find mug rugs that don't look too intimidating on Pinterest but wondered if I make them for friends will they know what they are!! I guess I could start a new madness for my friends. game on!!

  2. i love my mug rug! let the madness continue

  3. Erin, Amanda you are now offically my mentors and heros!! Yay for tea realted madness.

  4. Awesome examples! Love this post...I was trying to explain this the other day to someone, and I didn't do nearly this well! Thanks for sharing!
    Jacque in SC

  5. I love to give them away. For Christmas I made one for each of my close friends. I stuffed it in a mug and wrapped it all up with cookies and coffee or tea. They make a great gift!

  6. This certainly opens up a lot of creative ideas, and a nice quick to make project. Thank you

  7. I love the idea of these mug rugs. Love all the information. Can't wait to read more.

  8. Some very beautiful mug Rugs, My favorite is the first one, it speaks to me. But I enjoyed them all and the info:)

    Ann Flowers

  9. I couldn't be happier to have found this mug rug madness series. It's already answered so many questions and the eye candy photos are just perfect.

  10. Thanks for the info. I was wondering myself where this originally started. I am loving Mug Rug madness.

  11. These are so adorable, love it!!! Thanks for the info on Mug Rugs!

  12. love this! I want to make one now!

  13. Thanks for the history. I enjoy making them.



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