Is anyone else thinking about Valentine’s Day yet? I don’t start decorating until February 1st (shhhh! I still have a few naked Christmas trees in my living room!) but I’ve been in crafting mode, preparing some things for myself, gifts, and for a little shop I’m helping to get started. One of the things I’ve been making are heart-shaped Valentine’s Day mug rugs. I love to take pics as I go so I can make tutorials for any of y’all who might want to make some, too. I made several, so I’m going to show you a quicker way to piece squares if you need a bunch. If you just want one, you can just go ahead and cut 20 2.5″ squares.
I’m using the last scraps from a fat quarter pack I bought a couple years ago, so I have long strips that are maybe 18″ long, though they vary. You can cut your strips any length you want. I started by cutting a 2.5″-wide strip off of each of my scraps.
I ended up with 8 different strips. Because my mug rug is going to be 4 squares tall, I arranged them in 2 groups of 4.
I then sewed my strips together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Press all the seams to one side…
Then I used my rotary cutter and ruler to cut my pieced fabric into 2.5″ strips.
Here are my 2 piles of strips, ready to go:
Now, you can see here how if you were making something bigger like a table runner (or 5 mug rugs, which is what I ended up with), this method is much faster than piecing individual 2.5″ squares!
I ended up using 5 strips across, but I started out trying 4, as pictured here:
I sewed 2 sets of strips together (again, 1/4″ seam)…
Then I pinned and sewed those two sets together. I ended up adding another strip on after this step, making 5 across total.
Once it’s all pieced, iron all your new seams in the same direction:
I cut out my heart template by folding a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper in half from top to bottom, then cutting a fat heart out. I kept refolding and trimming until I liked the shape and it fit my pieced fabric. Keep in mind it will be 1/4″ to 3/8″ smaller all the way around once you are finished, because of the seam allowance. Put the template on your pieced fabric and pin in place.
Then cut it out, and remove the pins and template. It should look something like this:
Next you will need to add some batting. This is such a small project, I just used a scrap left over from another project.
Because of the small size, I didn’t want to mess with pins. I used a little bit of spray adhesive to stick the fabric to the batting:
I roughly cut it out leaving at least 1/2″ of the batting around the outer edge.
Then I quilted it. I’m still trying to get the hang of controlling free-motion quilting, but I’m getting better with the stitch length anyway. Baby steps, people!
When you’re done quilting, cut away the excess batting:
Then place your fabric/batting piece on your backing fabric, RIGHT sides together and pin. Stitch around the edge, leaving a 2″ opening along one of the straighter edges. I stitched mine about 3/8″ in from the edge.
It should look something like this, now:
Cut off the excess backing fabric:
And clip your curves and points.
Turn it right side out through the opening you left, carefully pushing out the upper curves and the bottom point. Finger press in the edges of the opening, then iron the whole thing. I kept fidgeting with the edges of the opening until it all lined up right, pressing as I went.
Once you’ve got it pressed, you will top-stitch the whole thing. I did mine just a bit over 1/8″, to make sure I completely caught and closed up my opening with the top stitching.
All that’s left to do now is to make yourself a nice cup of tea and a snack, and enjoy!