If you haven't been over to The Patchsmith's Craftsy Pattern Marketplace shop yet, you must do so at once! Her patterns for "mug rugs" are irresistible, and they'll have you quilting up batches of the most perfect gifts. Of course, no reason to give them away, considering how perfect (and useful) they are for your own home!
We had a chance to sit down with the Patchsmith herself to get her views on mug rugs, her inspiration, and more.
First, we wanted to see if she agreed with us that mug rugs do, indeed, make the perfect gift. And if so, on what occasions, and how to present them best.
Absolutely. Mug rugs are the perfect gift on their own, rolled up in a mug or accompanying a select pack of tea or cookies. You can send them to say "thank you," "welcome," "get-well-soon," "happy birthday," "seasons greetings." In fact, there isn’t an occasion when a mug rug isn’t appropriate. How much cheerier would a hospital bedside look with one of the Patchsmith designs on the nightstand? They are quick to put together making them perfect for an impromptu gift or last-minute gift. The recipients will think you spent a lot more time making their gift than the couple of hours (at most) you would’ve actually spent. Best of all, as a quilter you will already have all the ingredients needed to create one of these lovely little mini quilts. Perfect!
We love the characters and animals on the mug rugs, and were eager to find out where she came up with the ideas for them.
I gain a lot of my inspiration from the wildlife in and around the little village where I live. I walk along the river or across the South Downs in the heart of the English countryside and see many interesting and wonderful things that I am never short of ideas for new designs. I also like to bring the sights of the season home with me. Mug rugs are the perfect way to do this whether through the design or the choice of fabrics. It is all good fabric fun.
Of course, we also just wanted to know how she got into mug rugs into the first place, and what draws her to them.
Mug rugs are relatively new to me, although pattern designing isn’t. Earlier this year I participated in a sew-along and one of the weekly projects was to construct a mug rug. Up until that point I wasn’t really sure what a mug rug was. They are relatively unknown here in England where we tend to use coasters. I love the fact that mug rugs are bigger than a coaster and have enough room for both a cuppa and a piece of cake; afternoon tea should always include cake!
Mug rugs also enable me to play with fabric and combine patchwork and appliqué to create little pieces of art. They are both beautiful and functional and can be used for much more than a cup-of-tea; put one on the breakfast table for the marmalade pot, another on your nightstand for your perfume bottles and don’t forget to leave a special one out on Christmas eve for Santa’s milk and cookie!
Lastly, here's the Patchsmith on helping to make mug rugs more visible to the world.
Although they are well known in America and Canada, and are gaining in popularity in Britain and Europe, I still think there is a need for a "mug rug awareness" campaign so I will continue to do all I can, with Craftsy’s help, to raise the profile of these versatile mini quilts.
For further information, check out my blog. There you will find tutorials and free patterns along with stories and posts concerning my escapades here in a little patch of England.