Repurposing men’s shirt fabrics | Quilt-as-you-go scrappy mug rug

Yesterday I showed you how to repurpose an old shirt fabric to make another strip pieced placemat with some improvisation. As I have been all week, I used very handy tools like Template plastic, 505 Temporary Fabric Adhesive, OLFA 45 mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter, Clover Chaco liner chalk marker, OLISO PRO  TG1600 Pro Plus Smart Iron, and  Mary Ellen’s Best Press that make the process enjoyable and quick.

Placemat made from repurposed shirt fabric with a strip-pieced technique.

Here’s an idea for using up the scraps from this week’s placemats to make a small mug rug or tray mat. My small mat is 8″ x 12″, but itʼs easy to adjust the size.



  • leftover scraps of shirt fabric from the first 3 placemats
  • 9″ x 13″ lightweight batting
  • 9″ x 13″ backing fabric


Let’s get started!

Scrappy mug rug

Spray the shirt fabrics with Mary Ellen’s Best Press in the Spray and Misting Bottle, and press them with the OLISO PRO  TG1600 Pro Plus Smart Iron.

Use your OLFA 45 mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter to cut the fabric into strips that are 2″ – 3″ wide and about 9″ long. Itʼs OK if you have some longer strips. They will be trimmed when the quilting is finished.

Putting it all together

Place the backing, right side down, on a work surface.

Spray the batting with a little ODIF 505 spray adhesive so it will stick to the fabric.

Place batting on top of the backing fabric.

Batting secured to backing fabric with spray adhesive.

Here’s a quick and easy way to sew the strips together and complete the quilting all in one step. This method is often referred to as flip-and-sew or quilt-as-you-go.

Lay 1 – 9″ strip, right side up, in the middle of the batting.

Place another strip on top of the first strip, right sides together.

Sew the strips together with ¼” seam allowance through all layers.

Sew 2 strips sewn together through all layers.

Open the strip and press in place.

Press strip in place.

Keep adding strips on both sides of the center strip until the batting is covered.

Keep adding strips.

Press carefully. Using your OLFA 45 mm Ergonomic Rotary Cutter, trim so all edges are even.

For the binding, cut 3″ strips from leftover shirt fabric and piece them together to make a strip long enough to go all around the mug rug.

Press the seams open and fold the strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Press.

Sew on the binding using a scant ½” seam. Fold the binding to the back and hand-stitch in place. This will give you a ½” finished size binding. For a detailed description of sewing on the binding, see my earlier blog post on how to change up the way you make your quilt binding.

Trim edges and square to desired size.

And now you have a miniature version of the repurposed shirt fabric placemat that can be used as a mug rug or tray mat.

Finished mug rug or tray mat

I hope you’ve enjoyed repurposing some shirt fabric to make these useful placemats using the featured products. My quilting guild donates placemats to our local Meals on Wheels program, so my placemats will soon be going to a good home!

Finished placemats

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Repurposing men’s shirt fabrics | Improv strip-pieced placemat

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