Quilting the Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug to life

Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug

I feel grateful and lucky to share this tutorial for a Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug with you! Today is the day we quilt the Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug to life.

Sew the layers together

Selvage fabric for mug rug backing

Will you believe me when I tell you that I had this piece of made selvage fabric in my stash that’s the exact size I needed for the mug rug? Well I did! {trust me you don’t want to see my original prototype for this rug – which was much bigger and well, not so cute}.

You can cut a piece of fabric to size to use for the backing or make your own piece of made selvage fabric using my tutorial.

Pin layers together for quilting

If you used pieced selvage fabric like me, you might want to skip adding the batting. My selvages are pieced onto another piece of fabric and, with so many stitching lines, it’s already a very firm piece of backing. Place the pieced selvage fabric right side up and place the mug rug on top right side down.

If you’re using three layers, lay the batting down first, followed by your backing fabric right side up and the mug rug on top right side down.

Pin around all the sides, leaving a turning gap. Note that I put mine along the left side in the photo above where there is the only space with no seams!

I also pin ¼ʺ before the end of each side so I avoid sewing into the seam allowance. I also put two pins at the point before the turning gap where I want to stop sewing.

Sew all the way around the mug rug from your starting pin to your ending pins.

Check the mug rug side of your sandwich and make sure that the line you sewed secured all the layers together. You can trim a little bit at each corner to help them lay flat.

Turn the mug rug right side out, using your finger or a small tool (a chopstick, a mechanical pencil) to push out the corners.

Topstitch to close

Pin layers together for quilting

Now we’re going to topstitch around the edge of the mug rug to close the turning gap and help the mug rug lay flat. Press and fold in the turning gap edges and pin.

Before you start, bring both of your threads to the top of your mug rug: to do this simply start your first stitch and then pull gently on both threads before making the next stitch and pull the bobbin thread up by pulling on the loop of thread. This helps prevent a little thread nest growing on the back of your mug rug!

One more thing – I used a pink thread on top and a light tan thread in the bobbin. Both threads blend in with their respective sides of the mug rug and help focus on the monkey tail quilting.

Topstitch ⅛” around the outside of the mug rug.

Contrasting thread highlights Lucky Monkey Tail

I used a brown thread on top and the light tan in the bobbin again. I changed to my see-through presser foot and did blanket stitching around the tail.

I only quilted around the tail on the mug rug. You might choose to only free motion quilt in the background fabric – go for it!

That’s it! The quilting is done on your Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug!


Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug and fortune cookie fabric

I couldn’t resist making my own fabric fortune cookie – and fortune! – to go with my Lucky Monkey Tail Mug Rug. I mostly followed the directions given here:)

Thanks for quilting with me!

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Dawn Jones January 31, 2016 - 1:41 am
This is very cute.
Doris McCarty January 29, 2016 - 7:21 pm
Projects like this are so much fun! Sew cute!
Sarah Vanderburgh January 29, 2016 - 8:57 pm
Thanks sew much, Doris! They are fun to design too - enjoy :)
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