Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Saga of the Star Mug Rug

One of the reasons I signed up for the fabric diet that Angela is having, is I want to approach sewing differently in 2011 in the hope that I can improve and learn lots of new skills. Whilst patchwork was one of the first things I learnt to do sewing wise (way back at Primary School)and I have been sewing in one form or another ever since; a lot of the time I still feel like a beginner. There is so much I have to learn, let alone master. I am inspired by and learning so much from fellow bloggers and groups over on flickr. However, I realise that actually if I want to learn new things and improve I have to approach how I make differently. This mainly means having more focus and a desire to get on and try new things. I need to stop having airy fairy ideas about what I'd like to make or master and get on with it - setting myself goals and tasks. So 2011 is the year I am running my own self study course with me as the only student and I have been working on project 1. Which has been a wonky star mug rug, following this tutorial form Kerry Now as I'm not always very happy with my bindings - particularly of little items I also followed this tutorial also from Kerry. Yes, today Kerry has been my tutor! I really urge you to try the binding tutorial even if you think you know what you are doing. I use the same method for binding normally - only Kerry has added lots of really useful suggestions like the zig-zagging round the finished item before the binding is attached - which I've not bothered with before. Also the hand sewn mitre joining and tips about the benefits of lots of ironing.

This is going to be a male friends birthday later in the month. I'm going to add a mug and some hot choc and maybe cookies.
Ta Da

This is the reverse - see how neat it is?
Mind I'll confess something. The tutorials were great and easy to follow, but I had a bit of a bad day sewing wise. First off I had to ask my mum what eleven fourths of an inch were - yes seriously I was that stupid. It was only when I looked at the ruler in the tutorial picture I realised it was one and a quarter inches... Then I started to attach a plain blue binding and realised I'd started to sew it with the good side out. I unpicked it attached it the right way and noticed that my sewing machine was skipping stitches. I decided to clean the machine out and change the needle and while I was at it oil my machine - I can't remember the last time I did that - I know my bad. Anyway, then some how oversewing the whole thing to make up for the skipped stitched bits, I managed to sew the binding down so I couldn't turn it over. In the end I ripped it all out and started again with a patterned binding - all that messing about made it clear that the blue fabric was not the most robust cotton fabric in the world (it's now relegated to my practice fabric bag). Then when I was hand sewing the back I managed to push the end of the needle with the eye in it into my finger and almost bled all over the back.

Now if you've got any other ideas about tutorials or things I should try this year please let me know in the comments! and watch this space to see what else I get up to.


  1. *laughing* Ohmigod, I did exactly the same with the eleven fourths thing!!!! Good to know that's a good tutorial (I loved the hand joining the ends) as I get lumpy binding sometimes on tiny pieces.

  2. Your star looks great. Isn't liberated piecing fun?!

    Off to check out the single binding tute...

  3. Very cute mug rug!

    Your confession paragraph made me laugh. The other day I went through three needles in a half hour. One shattered and hit my cheek thank goodness doing no damage. There are just days like that...

    The tutorials were well done. The 11/4 got me even after your talking about it...... ha ha

  4. I I will have a little edit of the tutorial- I blame the keyboard! The hand joining came out of my own errors- oh so many when it comes to joining binding. Hand stitching also easy to unpick!

  5. What a great year 2011 will be for you. I too have decided to make it more about learning new things and getting better at others (like free motion). I am doing sarah and mollys free piece study on flickr, and it looks to be very interesting. Good luck on the fabric diet. I just saw kerrys tute on the mini binding yesterday and its brilliant!


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