Speedy Star-Spangled Mug Rug

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This free mug rug pattern is quick and easy — it looks more difficult than it really is! Sew one in a snap or sew enough for every guest at the next picnic or backyard bash you attend.

[Want to save this tutorial for later? Get a free printable version here!]

Materials needed:

  • 9" squares of 7 assorted fabrics 
  • 28" of ½"-wide rickrack
  • Freezer paper for template 
  • Round plate, lid or ruler to trace circle 

Step 1: Making the circle template

Use a quarter round ruler (or a plate or lid) to trace an 8" circle onto a piece of freezer paper. If using a ruler, fold the freezer paper in half and then in half again as shown above. Trace the quarter circle onto the paper and use scissors or rotary cutter to trim the paper.

Step 2: Cutting the circles

Unfold the freezer paper template and use a hot, dry iron to press it to a fabric square. Cut around the paper. If you like, you can layer three or four fabric squares and cut them all at once. Repeat until all seven fabrics have been cut into circles. 

Step 3: Pressing the circles

Choose one fabric to be the backing fabric and set it to the side. Fold and press the other six circles in half once, wrong sides together.

Step 4: Adding the rickrack

Next, you'll add the rickrack border to the backing fabric.

Notice in the photo above that the ruler edge is on the center of the rickrack. This will be the sewing line for assembling the mug rug. It needs to be secured in place using a sewing or basting stitch before the layers are added. The basting stitches need to be placed within the seam allowance so that they do not show on the finished mug rug. 

Stitch 1/8" or less around the edge of the background circle, securing the rickrack in place. Notice how the stitching line is so close to the edge that it will be inside the seam allowance. Overlap the ends of the rickrack and trim them after they are secured in place.

Step 5: Layering the pressed circles

Place the first pressed circle on top of the background circle. The background will be right-side up, with the rickrack facing up. The pressed circle will have right sides facing out on both sides. The raw edges will be lined up exactly on top of one another.

Add the second folded circle in the same manner. Rotate this fabric so that is about a third of the way down on the first fabric, revealing a pie-shaped wedge of the first fabric. This does not need to be precise, as it can be adjusted later. However, do take care to ensure all the raw edges are lined up.

Add the third folded circle in the same way as the second one, rotating again another third of the way down on the left side of the circle. This will reveal the same size pie-shaped wedge as the first piece. 

Layer the fourth folded circle on top of the others. The folded edge will be exactly parallel and next to the first folded edge. Notice how the two red pieces line up next to one another on the top half of the circle. Also, notice how the three wedges on the left side are all the same size. If they are not the same size, make adjustments now, taking care to keep all of the raw edges exactly on top of one another. 

To create the next wedge, layer the next folded circle on top and lift up the first wedge shape to tuck the fourth folded circle under the first. This piece will line up exactly next to the straight edge of the second folded circle.

Add the last folded circle the same way, lifting the first two folded circles to tuck the last one under. Again, the folded straight edge of the last circle will match up with the folded straight edge of the third folded circle. Notice how they all overlap evenly and they are all lined up next to one another. If they do not, make adjustments as needed and check to ensure all raw edges are lined up perfectly around the edge of the background circle.

Pin the edges as shown to secure all of the layer in place. Check the back side to ensure everything is lined up perfectly.

Step 6: Sewing the mug rug

Using a ¼" seam allowance, sew around the entire outside of the circle. Take care that the layers do not shift while sewing.

The back of the mug rug should look like this. Notice the basting seam is closer to the edge than the sewing seam. This means that the basting seam is hidden in the seam allowance.

Step 7: Finishing the mug rug

Turn the sewn circle right-side out by pushing the backing through the center, where all of the folded circles meet. Once the entire circle is turned right-side out, press it flat. There will be no need for batting, as the layers of fabric should be sufficient. If you want to use this as a hot pad, insert a layer of batting or heat-resistant product. 

Choose a simple or decorative stitch to finish the mug rug. A simple cross-stitch was used here, but any decorative stitch would look great. Place the stitching about ½" away from the finished rickrack edge. This will reduce bulk and keep the mug rug flat and secure.

This mug rug can be made in any size — just adjust the size of the circles according to your preference. You could even use a pie plate as a template and make a trivet to set your 4th of July pie on! Go even larger and make placemats, or try small circles for coasters.

Also, the rickrack can be omitted or a simple piping can be substituted. Additional quilting or decorative stitches may be added. Perhaps try alternating just two fabrics or multiple shades of only one color. See? You are only limited by your imagination!

[Want to save this tutorial for later? Get a free printable version here!]

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Speedy Star-Spangled Mug Rug