Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quiltsy Team Mug Rug swap

I'm a member of the Quiltsy team on Etsy, a sellers team.  We share just about everything in the chat thread, like good friends in an international quilting guild would.  Yes, international. I chat with Astrid, in Mauritius, and Steph in Australia, and Paula in Ireland, and Cathy in Hawaii, and many members from all over the US and Canada.  We all share a love of fabrics and thread, and quilting, and fiber arts.  We cheer on each others sales, and support the shops of our friends, as well as their family lives, and professional accomplishments.  I consider these women and men friends.   In 2013, we learned one of our members had lost her house in Superstorm Sandy.  Many sent her tools and fabric to replace her lost stash, and we collected quilt blocks and made a king size quilt and a large lap quilt to comfort her as she rebuilt.  Another member was diagnosed with breast cancer, and we sent a prayer shawl and a quilt to comfort her as she battled.  She's now cancer free.

Later in 2013, I asked for about 6 quilts to augment the ones I received from Quilts of Honor, to be presented to Veterans at the West Hempstead Kiwanis, my brother's club.  The team came through.  Some just made blocks, and others made tops, while others quilted them. The Vets were very touched by the quilts, and I was so proud to be a member of such a generous team.  

We've also made group quilts, and done swaps.  The current swap is for a mug rug.  A mug rug is a small quilted mat, smaller than a place mat, where one can place a cup of coffee and a snack.  It's larger than a coaster.  Members were asked to sign up, and the coordinator paired us up, one on one.  I was paired with Barb, of Down Home Designs. Through our chats, I've learned many things about Barb, and her family.  She loves vintage stuff, and collects vintage sewing machines, like me.  She and Mike have been married for about 40 years, and she often cares for her grandchildren, and they have cows.  Mike loves vintage cars, and often posts photos on Facebook, which I love seeing.  

So, I needed to design a mug rug for Barb.  She's making one for me.  What fabrics do I use?  I know she loves 30's reproduction prints, and I have a small collection.  I plan to make a Double Wedding Ring quilt with them, but I also adore the Dresden Plate block in vintage fabrics.  I decided to look through my Quilt In A Day patterns, knowing I had at least 2 that featured Dresden Plate designs.  I used the Mini Dresden Plate pattern, since it starts with a 6 1/2" block.  Since mug rugs average between 5 and 8" tall, this was perfect.  I cut tiny wedges out of 8 different fabrics.  Each wedge, when stitched, measured 3/4" wide at the widest, and was about 2" long.  

Isn't that just adorable??  I had fun sewing those tiny pieces together.  It's not often that I work with miniature size blocks.  I usually like to go large.  But, this is for a friend, whom I've never met in person.  I made the rest of the Dresden Plate ring, appliqued it to the block, and added a side section to make the block about 6 by 9:.  I layered and quilted it, and had a brainstorm to also make one for Mike, just because.  I had fabric with vintage cars on it, so I made a border, and quilted that, also.  

Here are the finished mug rugs. 

Detail of some of the quilting on Barb's.  

I had fun making something special for a friend!  I do plan to make other mug rugs to sell in my shop, and would love to participate in another team swap like this.  If you need inspiration for a new project, try making something for a friend.  

I'm so excited that I can share this!  I kept it a surprise until Barb got her mail today.  She said Mike was very happy, and already using his under his coffee mug.  She loved hers, as well.  I'm just so glad I made something they would both enjoy.  

Have you made mug rugs?  If you look on Etsy's Quiltsy Team for mug rugs, you'll find some fun ones.  If you can't make one, buy one!  It's a great way to add a little color and a smile to your snack time.  

Thanks for visiting!  



Pamela said...

This is so touching :) Amazing how a group from all over the world can be friends and have never actually been able to meet in person! Quilters are the best people. Love your mug rugs - I need to get mine mailed out so I can share it on my blog as well.

DownHome Designs said...

Just wanted to pop in and tell you I absolutely LOVE my mug rug! Maryellen you couldn't have made anything I would like more. Mike loves his too and says thank you!
I have finally settled on what I want to do for yours. I think you'll like it. Back to the sewing machine!

Astrid said...

Very touching post. LOVE the mug rugs you made for Barb & Mike. I'm very happy to be part of the swap too.