Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mug rug

This is my first attempt at a mug rug.

I hope it won't be my last BUT...........
it's one of those works of art that when riding past (galloping as opposed to trotting) on a horse with your eyes closed it looks great. 
Up close...
not so much!

This photo looks fine, except for the HUGE hole in the yellow flower, left by the basting pin.
I massaged that out after seeing it in this photo.

What happened? 
A week ago I bought a Janome Jem Platinum so that I could go to classes and take a lightweight machine instead of carting the 13 kilogram monster Pfaff.
When the Pfaff went on strike I pulled out the Jem to practice and thought I could try making a mug rug.
Now you need to know that I have only ever sewn on Pfaff's since the dark ages (when sewing machines were first invented) so the Janome was new to me.
I merrily started piecing and was going really well, so thought "this is easy, why not try to quilt this mug rug!!!"
Hmm, in hindsight it would pay to practice before forging ahead.
Firstly I didn't load the bobbin properly, that meant that after stitching...... oh ...... about 1/3 of it I finally realised that it wasn't doing a particularly good job. I reloaded the bobbin and pulled out the worst lines.
Secondly, apparently I had the stitch setting set too short and it pulled the fabric when I was straight line quilting.
Thirdly, I'm an idiot and used waxed hand quilting cotton in the bobbin, in my defence I didn't realise it was waxed hand quilting thread or I wouldn't have used it, I'm not that much of an idiot!

The consequences of these:

The quilting is highly questionable.
The straight piecing on the right is now slightly wavy piecing. It does give it an interesting finish, ha!
It didn't end up square (or rectangular, lol) as after I squared it up and then sewed a basting stitch ( oh that's right basting stitch is large stitches not tiny little ones) around the edges it pulled it out of shape.

SO I give you my first ever mug rug. 
Actually I don't/won't  give you my first ever mug rug because I don't dislike anybody that much!!!

So glad I'm not in a mug rug swap and I bet a lot of other people are too!

I was going to pull it apart and fix it but I think it would be better to leave as is, as a reminder of what can go wrong if one doesn't take up the offered lesson on how to use the new machine and practice first.

You will be pleased to know that I have now had a lesson in how to use it.
(That's how I know what I did wrong!!!!!!!!)


  1. You know what, you are doing that thing when, on your own piece of work you can't see the wood for the trees - it looks absolutely gorgeous - the rich colours, the fabulous pink script fabric, the green popping out, the hand stitching. Give it a week or two and I bet you'll love it. If not, send it to me because I think it's beautiful. And I'm not just saying that.

  2. Yes, it is gorgeous! I agree with Lynne. Will those big holes from the pins iron out? I love it, i reckon we should have a mug rug swap!

  3. Well to me it looks brilliant and I'd love to be able to make something like that so don't be so hard on yourself.

    Jane x

  4. I think your mug rug looks absolutely gorgeous. Any imperfections are what give it character.

  5. I don't know about from a fast riding horse, even from a blog photo it looks fab! You did a whole lot of work there, piecing, dresdening, love the hand stitching too. That is really fab!
    Some famous quilting chick once said something along the lines of 'you've got your nose too far in your quilt'. I think you need to stand back and look at the whole as it is really awesome!

    PS. And the squares quilt in your last post is totally awesome too!

  6. What everyone else said...see ...I told you so !

  7. Well I agree with what everybody else says - it's absolutely lovely and you are being way too hard on yourself. It's a very sweet and perfectly usable mug rug - that's the beauty of hand made things - they have personality :0) go have a cuppa on your new little rug x

  8. You are way too hard on yourself.It looks lovely to me but I'm unclear on how you use it. Do you wrap the mug in it when you take it somewhere or do you just stand the mug on it a bit like a coaster?
    At CWA meetings lots of the ladies carry their mugs in cute little bags so they don't get broken enroute.

  9. I love your mug rug! great fabrics and pattern. A dresden flower is so cool!! The crookedness is what gives it character. You should see the mugrugs I made for home, crooked and threads hanging off and I haven't gotten around to binding them but we use them. hmm I'm not sure I should be admitting that. I wouldn't mind a review on the Gem sometime once you get to know it.

  10. That mug rug is so cute! I love the fabrics and bright colors. And you are your own worst critic, as I think it is really lovely and didn't notice any flaws at all.

    xo -El

  11. It still looks pretty good to me! How do you do the corners. I want to try one but am afraid of that bit!


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