Sunday, October 5, 2014

mug mats: the perfect quick quilt

Mug mats are useful. Of course. This is how to market them. But bottom line: Mug mats are small quilts, a joy for the quilter. In the old days, when I made quilts, I loved designing a block, cutting it, sewing it, and then I had to force myself to finish a big quilt of block after block. The colors, shapes and combinations of patterns are what interested me then, and still do.

The perfect answer to this craving to design something new: mug mats. Make one, it's done. Now on to the next!

The floral white and black in the center is the same as in Genevieve's quilt,
from a thrift store skirt.

This mat has upholstery fabric (charcoal gray with vines
and beige linen moiré, both given by my sister Nancy),
and new buttery and gray dot fabrics I bought

I really love combining fabrics from different sources. This one has fabric: from my 1970s-80s stash; an old farm skirt; gifts from friends and family; and a couple of new ones I bought.

Ninety-eight percent of my fabric stash is patterns and prints. I am very drawn to minimal quilts, believe it or not, but when it comes to designing, I keep going to prints. My next challenge to myself is to design minimal quilt mats, more like the beige and charcoal gray one above.

Let's see how I do. :-)


I made two minimal abstract mats today, so let's call this rising to the challenge. :)

This linen is heavy. It was a dream to sew, until I got to the binding.
I won't ever bind with such heavy fabric again if I can help it.
Still, I LOVE this linen and will make many more things with it.
My sister Nancy gave it to me.

The back of the linen mat is a fabric long in my stash,
but I cannot remember for the life of me where it came from.
Nancy, no doubt.

Nancy gave me this dotted upholstery fabric, and also the red cotton,
which looks like batik. The dotted fabric looks much richer in person.
I was stymied about how to quilt it,
because I didn't want to detract from the simplicity of the design.
In the end I kept it simple with four squares.

Nancy gave me this linen toile, just delicious.
I paired it with the dots, which she gave together,
and they are perfect paired, even if one is on the front
and one is on the back.
I love Chinoiserie.


  1. You KNOW how much I am thrilled for you to be exercising your passion for fabric, color and design in this format, Ruthie. This is so YOU. I wish for you many more happy years of creating like this...and meeting all the challenges!

    1. Thank you for rooting for me, Boots! And for loving, and giving so generously, in all ways.

  2. Wow -- Ruth, you are just rocking this! They're all wonderful and all in different ways. I love the mid-century modern look of the opening photo. Just the best!

  3. You know, my BFF would adore those first mats; aside from prominently featuring her favorite color, they have a Matisse-y sense to them. All are gorgeous, Ruth.

  4. You certainly have a great variety of fabric patterns in your stash as you say, and you do wonder with them. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you have time to read the posts on the Liberation because you said you read Is Paris Burning, and I am saying in one of the posts, that the authors based their story on a Nazi general lies (he never tried to save Paris…). Documents were found not long ago that proved it. About your little quilts – I admire your patience because it must be tricky to do these straight lines and corners. But the results are splendid.