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Fat quarters for a Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug

by Sarah Vanderburgh

Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug

Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug

Choosing LUCKY colors for your mug rug

Chinese New Year arrives on February 8th this year and it’s the Year of the Fire Monkey. Why not celebrate by making a Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug for your quilting space to bring luck and prosperity to your quilting endeavors this year!

When I started looking for inspiration on what to include in my Lucky mug rug I found the monkey surrounded by gold peach blossoms and sometimes even holding a peach. The peach symbolizes longevity and gold is connected to prosperity. Red is also a color choice here as it represents fire. I chose to make my monkey tail gold and found this fabric with swirls on it in my stash. I don’t have much red fabric – something to work on this year! – so I decided to use colors to add the peach imagery with this pink and peach fabric and the green print.

I’m sure you can find something in your stash – or local quilt shop – that makes you feel lucky and happy! Let’s get to it.

Fabric choices for mug rug

Fabric choices for mug rug


1 fat quarter for background fabric

8 fat quarters of gold fabric for monkey tail

2½” x 5″ piece of green fabric

6½” x 8″ cut of fabric for backing (or a leftover piece from a layer cake)

6½” x 8″ piece of batting

Cut the fabrics

Background fabric pieces

Background fabric pieces

From background fabric cut

2 – 2 x 3½” strips
6 – 2½” squares
1 – 2″ square

Monkey Tail pieces

Monkey Tail pieces

From gold (monkey tail) fabric cut

1 – 2 x 3½” strip
4 – 2½” squares
1 – 2″ square

Green fabric pieces

Green fabric pieces

From green fabric cut

2 – 2½” squares

Final fabric tips

You’ll notice if you hover over each fabric photo that I include some tips about fabric choices. All of my chosen fabrics have prints – yours can too!

Notice how the prints are mostly medium in scale; a large print will get lost in the size of this project and may not look the way you hoped it would once it’s cut. A non-directional print is important too – or at least a print that won’t look *wrong* when you glance down to pick up your cup of tea 🙂

Of course there are always exceptions and personal preference when choosing fabrics. My green fabric is directional and I decided it’s okay for it to be upside down sometimes – because it’s not part of the main focus it won’t bother me!

My monkey tail fabric has a small all-over print – it helps to give it some extra visual texture. You could also use a solid color for a dramatic visual impact.

Have fun with your background print! Maybe you have some novelty fabric scraps that need a place to shine!

Enjoy picking out your fabrics to make a Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug. In the next post we’ll start sewing them together!



Donna Payne January 28, 2016 - 8:42 pm

What a wonderful way to make something quilt that doesn’t take so long to accomplish!

Sarah Vanderburgh January 28, 2016 - 8:52 pm

Thanks for commenting, Donna. I hope you enjoy the quick finish of this project!

Lorna Penner January 28, 2016 - 1:04 pm

What a great idea. I was looking for a gift for a friend of mine and this will be it.

Sarah Vanderburgh January 28, 2016 - 1:09 pm

Great Lorna! I love to make gifts for friends too. Enjoy 🙂


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