What is a Mug Rug?

This useful little mug rug
for your table or your desk,
is a safe and pretty coaster
where your coffee mug can rest.

It makes a handy mouse pad
and a crumb catcher, too,
so enjoy your morning coffee
with a muffin and the news.

Mug rugs make excellent Christmas gifts, alone or as the focal point for a gift basket, with some coffee and a nice mug. Mug rugs are the perfect size for daily use, at home or even at work, for coffee at your desk. There’s room on each quilt for your cup, a computer mouse and some special treats! They have thin cotton batting and quilted densely enough to create a mat that will lie nice and flat on the table, protecting it from heat and moisture. Your rug mug is washable, just in case you splash a little coffee!

An Apple for the Teacher Mug Rug from GloryQuilts on Etsy

Check out the mug rugs and other one-of-a-kind gift items I have listed in the GloryQuilts etsy shop right now. This one would be a great Christmas gift for a favorite teacher.

I have a shipping special deal right now – an unlimited number of doll quilts and mug rugs can be added to any order with no additional shipping charges! You only pay for shipping the first item. Do your Christmas shopping early. (Does this still count as “early” for Christmas shopping?)

mugrugsbarn

I have some mug rugs available for sale at Pearson Family Farm in Ramsey, MN during their fall harvest events. It’s a great place. Their barn is full of pumpkins, squashes, broom corn, corn stalks, gourds, and all kind of fall decor. Enjoy their homegrown popcorn, browse their collection of vintage cars and farm equipment and enjoy the corn maze. Hay rides on the weekends!

GloryQuilts Mug Rugs

 

mugrugsbarn2

Do you have mug rugs? Do you use them?

Mug Rug Poem (c)2015 Catherine Timmons for GloryQuilts

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Autumn Quilt

In addition to the seasonal quilt over the fireplace, I set a new autumn table runner on the mantel. Table runners are perfect for fireplace mantels and piano tops as well as dining room tables! The painted mason jars were a pinterest project. I needed a non-fabric craft to do one day, and those were fast and easy. And cheap, because I had already had the acrylic paint and some empty canning jars. I made the stuffed pumpkins last year.  I used weighted pellets in the bottoms, to give them stability, but they are otherwise filled with inexpensive polyfil. They are like giant pincushions.

autumnfireplace1This is one of my favorite quilts. It was a class sample for a Quiltmaking 101 class: fabric selection, rotary cutting, accurate straight-line piecing. No triangles, no curves, and few corners to match up. Most of the students made it in just two colors – dark and light. It was striking and dramatic that way, but I like these batiks and similar fabrics. Orange and blue are complementary colors on the color wheel, which is supposed to be an attractive arrangement. I didn’t start out that way, though – I was looking at browns and blues, and the rustier browns and oranges kept popping up on the design wall, In the end, the blue and orange (rust) quilt is perfect for autumn!

autumnquilts2A couple more pictures of my autumn home.  That table runner is for sale on etsy, and I have another almost just like it – with green and gold coordinates instead of burgundy and green – nearly finished.

 

 

 

How do you use table runners in your home?

gqleaves4

Nine-Patch with Shadows

This warm and snuggly quilt – 53″ X 53″ – is available for sale on etsy! Treat yourself or start your Christmas shopping now!

The air is getting chilly here in Wisconsin. Cuddle under a quilt!

 

shadowback

Black and White Tumbling Blocks

It also has gray in it, but it’s hard to find a way to avoid using the phrase “shades of gray.”  It does have quite a few gray fabrics.

I started this quilt many years ago.

I’ve been trying to clean up my half-finished projects.  If you follow me on any of my social media, you may have noticed the theme:  “I started this quilt many years ago.” Sometimes, I have leftover blocks from another project and am too thrifty to discard them, so I have a big tote full of miscellaneous blocks and bits. And sometimes, I start a project and then – oh look! A squirrel!

While I love looking at this quilt, because it practically vibrates in its three-dimensionality, it’s a little too modern for my 1905 house. It’s for sale on etsy and is only living above my fireplace until it sells or my youngest son kidnaps it and takes it home to live in his more modern apartment. I’d rather sell it; I’ve already made half a dozen quilts for him.

tumblingblocksassembly

Tumbling Blocks quilts have diamond-shaped pieces sorted into three groups: light, medium, and dark, or by color. If you look at the picture, you can see that those groups are arranged in horizontal and diagonal rows. The lightest diamonds are connected, end to end, in a horizontal line. The medium ones are arranged in a line from the upper left corner to the lower right corner, and the dark ones go from the upper right to the lower left. This creates cubes, each with a light, a medium and a dark side, as if a light is shining from one direction (about 10:30, if you imagine a clock), illuminating and casting shadows to give the entire quilt a three-dimensional effect.

Until 25 years ago, these 30/60 degree diamonds had to traced from templates and cut individually with scissors. You needed to be good with geometry to draft the pattern! With modern rotary cutting tools, they can be cut quickly and accurately, but you will still need to mark the seam lines or at least the end points for each seam if you are machine piecing. For this scrap quilt, I cut the pieces by hand.

The sewing is more complex than squares and rectangles, because you can’t stitch from edge to edge. You have to stop each seam at its end point and inset the next piece at that point. It can be done by hand or machine. I started to sew this one by hand, because I intended it to be a portable project – something I could work on in the car or while sitting through basketball practices. I never finished it that way, though, and when I picked it up again, I decided to sew the rest by machine. It’s much faster, but it’s actually harder to get those precise points with the machine.

The Baby Blocks variation emphasizes the individual blocks, often setting them into a background instead of running the pattern to the edges of the quilt. Pastel colors, sorted by hue rather than brightness, give the quilt a childish appearance.

tumblingblocksbaby

Six-pointed stars can be created by rearranging the diamonds. They appear to be set among hexagons, but these are actually diamonds. You can use real hexagon pieces if you are extra good with geometry.

tumbling blocks table runner

I enjoyed making the above quilts. The second two were prototypes and samples for quilt classes, but the black and white one was a personal exercise in visual texture created by contrast. Like any other work of art, it’s most effective when viewed on a vertical surface instead of displayed on a bed or draped like a lap quilt.

Have you ever made a black and white (and gray) quilt? What pattern did you use? How do you use the finished quilt? Did you enjoy making it?