Mug Rug Fun

To say “thank you” just seems a bit inadequate for all the help that the girls in the office at MyDearFIL’s care home have given us. So I thought I’d make something as a thank you. One of the three is a quilter, but with the others not, I decided something practical might be the thing. Thinking time later……mug rugs!

To make them quick and easy I decided to use foundation piecing, and thought I’d show you how I do it, courtesy of a class with Judy Mathieson in New Zealand way back In 2003!

Judy advocates using freezer paper and has a specific sewing method. I started by drawing up some 5″ blocks on graph paper…..

20140113-210145.jpgthen on the paper side of the freezer paper, traced out one of the designs….

20140113-210312.jpgworked out how many fabrics were required, and without any thread in the machine, stitched along all the drawn lines, making perforations……

20140113-210349.jpgand chose some fabrics from my scrap bin – yay! using up scraps!!

20140113-210536.jpgLay the first scrap, wrong side to the shiny side of the freezer paper, and press with a dry iron, no steam please!…..

20140113-210840.jpgOops! Forgot to number the block in its sewing sequence!

20140113-210701.jpg(This is the shiny side…..

20140113-210942.jpg….work from the paper side.)

Peel the freezer paper away from the fabric, folding on the perforation between 1 and 2….

20140113-211306.jpgTurn the piece and line up the quarter inch line of the ruler against the freezer paper edge….

20140113-211403.jpg…and trim….

20140113-211433.jpgGet the second piece of fabric ready (press and if required, trim to at least 1″ bigger than the section)…..

20140113-211616.jpgPlace the fabrics right sides together….

20140113-211713.jpgand stitch beside the freezer paper edge, starting before and finishing after the section lines

20140113-211858.jpgOpen out the second piece of fabric, and the freezer paper and press…..

20140113-211955.jpgNow for piece 3. Peel the freezer paper back to the perforation between section 2 and 3….


20140113-212144.jpgturn and line the ruler up at the quarter inch mark….

20140113-212232.jpgand trim….

20140113-212309.jpgGet piece 3 ready….

20140113-212350.jpgplace right sides together….

20140113-212434.jpgand stitch beside the freezer paper…..

20140113-212528.jpgOpen out the fabric….

20140113-212617.jpgand the freezer paper, and press…..

20140113-212706.jpgOne more time?

Peel back the freezer paper….

20140113-212751.jpgto the perforation….

20140113-212837.jpgTurn and line the ruler up at a quarter inch and trim….

20140113-212939.jpgReady the next piece…..

20140113-213046.jpgplace right sides together and stitch beside the freezer paper.

To centre a design or check if a scrap is big enough, pin along the sewing line and hold up to the light, making sure the scrap fits

20140113-213306.jpgBefore you know it, it’s done!

20140113-213349.jpgHmmm….looks a bit messy…..

20140113-213420.jpgOne more step; peel the freezer paper back to the outer line….


20140113-213543.jpgturn and line up the quarter inch line with the edge of the freezer paper…..

20140113-213633.jpgand trim

20140113-213723.jpgRepeat to clean up all four sides

20140113-213835.jpgCarefully, and slowly peel the block from the freezer paper

20140113-213956.jpgAnd there we have it….one foundation block

20140113-214036.jpgThe beauty of Judy’s method is that there’s no tearing away of paper, no little pesky bits of paper of try to remove; it’s a neat, clean, effective, accurate way of foundation piecing. Plus, each piece of freezer paper can be used the or four times (until the “sticky” is no longer sticky!), when making multiple blocks.

Phew, that was a long post. Back tomorrow to finish off the mug rugs!

Meredithe x

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11 Responses to Mug Rug Fun

  1. treadlemusic says:

    That is really a great idea!!! Freezer paper has never seen any room in my house EXCEPT my sewing room!!! Now, another great use!!! Thanks so much!!!!!!

  2. Hilda says:

    Wow – that is clever! Didn’t know it was possible without tearing off the strips and destroying your foundation. Thanks so much for the tutorial – must give that a try.

  3. Helen F says:

    Unreal M – so it is cool enough at your house to sew with the heat wave all week???? ha ha

  4. Tina says:

    What a great post and inspirational too…I never thought about using freezer paper 🙂

  5. Janine says:

    Miss M . You are clever and so thoughtful. x

  6. I’ve never seen it done that way – I might even give it a try …….. I usually avoid anything with foundation piecing, as it is my least favourite method!!

  7. Sue Whitburn says:

    Had to read couple of times to ‘get’ it, but looks like a great way to accurately put together blocks. Thanks for showing us xx

  8. Carole says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I have used this method to make dogtooth borders and it is very difficult to explain, thanks for taking the time to outline the process step by step.

  9. Melissa says:

    I love using freezer paper instead of tearing. I’ve made some really cool quilts using it, even circles and weird shapes. I hope your very detailed post encourages more people to have a go using it.

  10. Karen says:

    I remember that class we did in New Zealand. It seems such a long time ago! I still love the technique and your little mats will look lovely! I am sure the staff will appreciate them.

  11. thimbleanna says:

    Wow — that’s a great method. I never do freezer paper because I dislike ripping all that paper off — this solves that problem. Thanks for taking the time to show us!

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