Grab Your Charm Squares to Make This Cute Flying Geese Mug Rug

flying geese mug rug

Whether there’s a drawer in your kitchen dedicated to mug rugs or you’ve never made a single one, this folded flying geese design is a must-have. Not only is it beginner-friendly, but it’s a great project for practicing a ton of techniques: making folded flying geese, sewing partial seams and using a pillowcase binding. Oh, and guess what? It can be made completely with charm squares!

Flying Geese Mug Rug

Level: Easy

Finished size: 8½” square

What You Need

  • Charm squares
  • 9″ square of batting
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Iron
  • Ruler
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Cutting Instructions

  • One 2½” square (center fabric)
  • Four 2½” x 5″ strips (folded flying geese)
  • Eight 2½” squares (background fabric)
  • Four large triangles (for the corners; cut two charm squares in half diagonally)
  • Four whole charm squares (for the backing)
  • Instructions

    1. Fold and Layer the Flying Geese

    folding fabric for flying geese mug rug

    Fold the 2½” x 5″ strips in half, wrong sides together, and press the seam across the middle. They should now be 2½” squares, folded.

    Sandwich the folded strip between two background squares. The right sides of the background squares should face the folded strip. The fold should be across the top; you’ll stitch along the side with four raw edges.

    When you layer, make sure the background units are offset ¼” from the folded unit — this will create a ¼” seam allowance.

    2. Sew and Press Open

    forming flying geese

    Sew along the raw edges. Unfold and press the seam open. You should have a ¼” seam allowance at the top and excess fabric at the bottom (this will be trimmed off later).

    Sew four of these units and press them all in the same manner. You may need to insert the tip of the iron into the folded unit to get the fabric to lay flat.

    seam of block

    Press the seams open on the back of the folded flying geese units as well.

    3. Trim

    trimming flying geese shape

    When all four units are sewn and pressed, trim the edges along the bottom so each unit is 2½” x 4½”.

    4. Sew the Partial Seam

    forming flying geese mug rug

    Place the folded flying geese units around the center square, as shown above.

    making flying geese block

    Layer the first flying geese unit on top of the center square, right sides together, lining up the top two corners. Sew the pieces together, making sure the folded unit doesn’t shift. Stop sewing about halfway to the seam and backstitch 2-3 stitches to secure.

    joining sections of block

    Press the seam away from the folded flying geese unit. Repeat this step to sew the next two flying geese units to the center. Always press the seam toward the center.

    5. Join the Last Flying Geese Unit

    joining flying geese units

    When adding the last unit, fold the first one out of the way, taking care not to catch it in the seam.

    pinning flying geese mug rug

    Pin the first seam that was left unfinished; the seams will line up with the last unit sewn. Start sewing a few stitches before the first seam ends and continue in the same manner as all of the other seams. Press the block.

    The block is now secured together and should be a 6½” square.

    6. Add the Corner Triangles

    adding triangles to flying geese block

    Place the triangles along each side of the flying geese units, as shown. Turn two opposite triangles onto the unit, right sides together, and stitch along the edge with a ¼” seam allowance.

    finished mug rug top

    Open and press the seams toward the pink fabric. Repeat with the other two triangles. Trim the block so it’s an 8½” square.

    7. Sew the Backing

    fabric squares for mug rug backing

    Sew four charms into a four-patch. Then pinwheel press the seams.

    8. Make a Quilt Sandwich

    mug rug quilt sandwich

    Layer the front, batting and backing to make a quilt sandwich. The batting should be on the bottom, followed by the backing and then quilt top. The backing and quilt top should be placed right sides together.

    Trim everything to an 8½” square. Take care to center the backing so the seams line up with the points on the front.

    9. Assemble the Mug Rug

    assembling mug rug

    Sew ¼” away from the edge around the perimeter, leaving a 3″ opening for turning.

    Good to Know: This method of closing the edges is called a pillowcase binding, because it can be turned inside out like a pillowcase.

    cutting corner

    Snip the corners, being careful not to clip the stitches, to reduce bulk.

    10. Turn It Out

    mug rug

    Turn the mug rug right-side out and press flat. Turn the seams of the opening inside the mug rug and stitch it closed.

    11. Quilt

    quilted mug rug back view

    Quilt the mug rug as desired. We used a walking foot to stitch around the center square and the flying geese unit.

    finished flying geese mug rug

    You’ve got a new mug rug!

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    4 Responses to “Grab Your Charm Squares to Make This Cute Flying Geese Mug Rug”

    1. Hyla Elaine Wilson

      I love doing that and flying geese blocks. They're easy and there's an unending way of putting them together. Thanks for this pattern pdf with the tutorial.

    2. Barb

      I think the instructions and photos are confusing even though I am an experienced quilter.

    3. Deborah

      Is this a free pattern? Where do I download it?

    4. Cheryl Eriksen

      Confused on directions for joining the flying geese to center square. A full size photo would have helped.