Thursday, December 4, 2014

Waterproof Mug Rugs

I suppose I shouldn't start a post by complaining, but I have a pet peeve with ordinary Mug Rugs. If you use them as a coaster on wood and you have a spill, you may wind up with a water ring or even ruined furniture. I need things to be functional--not just 'decorative'. This family really lives in our home, we eat and drink in the front room, and we don't always pay attention. I say this from experience.

I've hesitated to make any for this reason, but aren't Mug Rugs cute? They're quick to make, and honestly, I think even just a few sitting around brighten up a room giving it a quick festive touch. They're a small enough gift that if given, the other person doesn't feel like they have to run out and buy you something in return. Of course, you could add them to a gift basket with other goodies, and they would be your holiday element in the basket. Some GF pancake mix, coffee samples, a few mugs, and instant Christmas Morning in a Basket! You get it.

I'll show you what I've done to produce a quick stack of them in an afternoon, and because I'm a little Type A, mine are are waterproof, too.

I started with a cheery background fabric, and strip cut it to 7" squares. Then I started looking for scraps from the last few projects because they were holiday fabrics, and many were already cut into shapes. I had lots and lots of triangles of trees! But how do you use pre-cut shapes with Wonder Under? It can be done while making use of your fabric scraps AND sparing your use of the Wonder Under.

I started by adhering a rectangle of Wonder Under to fabric. This is normally how people use the product. They first adhere one side to the wrong side of their fabric, then trace the design they desire, cut it out, and iron it to the background. I hate the waste. It's like cut-out cookies. You never seem to fit any other shapes to that left over fabric.

After ironing on your rectangle of Wonder Under to the fabric as directed, peel the paper off and set the fabric aside. What you are after is the PAPER only. 

Take your scraps, and arrange them on a fresh piece of Wonder Under, wrong sides of fabric down, and cover with your paper, shiny side inside your 'sandwich'. The directions say to press for 2 seconds with no steam. Your top paper will come right off while your bottom paper is still adhered.

Now, take your scissors you reserve for PAPER only, and cut out your shapes. Do NOT use your good fabric scissors! It will dull them. Cut out your shapes, and arrange them to the 7" square background fabric. Mine were haphazardly done, and I think it added to the funky, modern look.

Once you have a suitable arrangement, remove each piece of paper backing, replace as desired, and cover once again with the extra piece of paper, shiny side down. Iron on for 6 seconds, as recommended. Do not use your bare iron! When you cut around each shape, it is possible to miss trimming a tiny bit off. This will stick to the bottom of your iron, and is a real mess to remove. The paper protects your iron.

If you are going to zigzag as an edging on the applique, you could do it now if you don't want the applique to appear to be quilted. One option is to use a tear away paper to back the applique. If that's not important to you, just proceed to the next step.

Here's a time saver for doing multiple Mug Rugs at the same time. Take each Mug Rug and line them up on ONE large piece of batting, and use an inexpensive piece of fabric like muslin on the back of the sandwich. That fabric will not be seen. It's only to back the sandwich. Use 505 fabric adhesive to secure the layers. You can machine quilt each of these Rugs, or use your walking foot to straight quilt them. It's much easier to handle the small group of rugs under your machine than just one at a time. 

I did a simple circle using free motion quilting, and went around it several times. Nothing fancy, folks.

Now for the backing, and the secret to waterproofing. PUL. I found mine at Joann's, and the website says this:

soft, Breathable, Waterproof "PUL" (Polyurethane Laminate) is a fabric laminated with waterproof polyurethane on the back. It is popular and effective for cloth diapers, diaper covers, bibs, diaper bags, wet bags, changing pads and more

  • Available in 14 solid colors and 10 tossed Prints
  • 64'' Wide
  • 83% Polyester, 15% Polyurethane
  • Durable, washable, dryable and will not separate.

Cut a piece of fabric backing for each rug. Machine quilting may cause the rugs to be out of square, so just cut a little larger than necessary. Right sides laid together.

Do the same with the PUL layer. Layer this on top of the backing. I put the shiny sides up.

Pin to secure layers. Sew around the perimeter about a 1/4". On the bottom side leave an opening about 3" wide to turn the rug right sides out. Trim corners and extra batting.

If the corners are hard to turn, take a straight pin and pick the fabric out until you have a better point.

Make sure raw edges left in the area you turned are tucked in. Top stitch around the edge about 1/8" from edge. 

It should look something like this from the front...

and the back.

 Another little present done, and enough light left to have a walk to the barn with Lucy. We were chased by guinea hens today!

Lucy and I both had some exercise...

and we came home to find our snow drops blooming.

Such a good day here.
Hope yours was too.
Until tomorrow...
Get your Doxie Girls moving, and go sew.

Linking up with~
Quilt Shop Gal


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your day......sigh! Sounds like someone very comfortable in life - doing a fun project! We all should take delight in simple daily blessings and enjoy our homes. They aren't to be museums. You inspire me!

QuiltShopGal said...

Perfect timing in many ways. I was just at a sew-cial where the discussion came up about handmade mugrugs and coasters and waterproofing. We were all wondering about use of such materials to prohibit water going thru to ruin a table. Thanks for your tutorial on this, as well as absolutely perfect holiday mug rugs for use at home, or as gifts. Perfect sharing for #NightsBeforeChristmas. Thanks for joining this party and helping to make it fun.


Dana Gaffney said...

What a great idea! I don't use mug rugs because they do get wet or even damp from the glass. I'm going to try this, thanks.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Great idea. I have also slipped a scrap of clear vinyl between the layers inside the mug rug to keep them from wicking water through as well. Found this post on Night Before Christmas linky.

MissPat said...

Your timing is perfect. I have wanted to make pads to put under my houseplants (essentially a mug rug for pots). But I needed them to be waterproof. Someone told me that Joann's sold a product for diaper linings, etc, and now I know what to look for. BTW, your mugrugs are vey cute.