Tuesday 6 December 2016

Poinsettia Mug Rug Tutorial - Raw Edge Applique

Anybody who has read this blog during the last couple of weeks will notice that I am obsessed with poinsettias this Christmas season. During the Christmas demonstration at the Eastern branch of the Irish Patchwork Society I showed some ladies how to make these poinsettia mug rugs and the participants seemed to enjoy them, so I thought I might share the process here as well. It's not a pattern as such, rather an idea for an easy last-minute gift or decorative element.

For the mug rugs in the tutorial photos I used raw edge appliqué to use up some of the scraps from my large poinsettia quilt, you may notice that some fraying develops around the edges, but I don't mind that. In my demonstration and in the Christmas wreath mini quilt I used fabrics prepared with the crafted appliqué technique, which yields a clean edge with no fraying - you can choose what suits you.

You'll need:

  • quilt sandwich (backing fabric + batting + background fabric) about 6.5'' squared (or any other size to your liking, but make sure to leave some margin for trimming)
  • green and red scraps
  • glue stick or pins if you're making it raw edge
  • matching thread
  • a piece of binding about 32'' long
I prefer to make this kind of appliqué freehand, without templates, and poinsettias are great for that, because they are not particularly symmetrical and their leaves have very simple shapes. When you are eyeballing a leaf shape, you give it unique character and are free to play with size, shape and positioning, however you can download this cheatsheet to use as your guide.

So, prepare your quilt sandwich and pin the corners to keep everything together. Start cutting your green leaves, you'll need from four to six of them. I made the green leaves serrated, but you can keep them smooth for ease of sewing. You can use just one fabric, but several different greens will enhance the look. Position the green leaves in such way that the center remains empty to avoid building up too many layers in the center.

When you're happy with the layout, dab a little glue from a school glue stick on the back of the leaves and iron them in place, or just pin with a couple of pins (if you're using crafted appliqué, just iron your leaves in place). Stitch them down close to the edge either with your free motion foot to with a normal foot - at this size the quilt sandwich is easy to rotate under the needle. I like using a dark thread, as the contour gives the appliqué more definition. You can also stitch the central vein if you want and even a couple of secondary ones.

Now cut out the first layer of red leaves, again about 5 of them. Choose the darker shades of red for these and lay them out so that they meet in the center.

Glue them and stitch them down using a dark red thread.

Now the last layer - again, 4-6 red leaves, but lighter and smaller than the previous layer. Make sure they cover the center and any remaining gaps.

Stitch them down.

You can also add some buds in the center with pieces of light green or use beads for that. If you feel the background is a little wavy, you can add some quilting there - either some free motion loops or stipples or echo-quilting with a normal foot.

The appliqué is ready, time to trim and bind the mug rug. Here it it with its friend.

And here are some that were made by the participants of the demonstration, they are just glued, not yet stitched. You can see how they all have different characters; also notice how the reds and greens interact with different background colors.

You can also add loops for hanging an use them as elements of decor.

I do hope you find this little tutorial helpful, this is really a quick and fun technique which works well with any flowers or other natural shapes. If you make something using this tutorial please share a link in the comments.

I'm linking this up to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday - check it out, there is always something new to learn.
Also linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River


  1. Love this idea, and they are bright and really pretty.

  2. Thank you, love your large poinsettia and these are so pretty.

  3. Great idea and great tutorial with beautiful fabric choices! Great minds too: I did some Crafted Appliqué in my post today that also has a HST cutting tip. :-)

  4. These are so great! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. The way you use so many different prints in each color makes these all the more fun. Lena, these are beautiful and the perfect small project for teaching! Thank you for sharing your freehand tips too. And for the shout out about Crafted Applique. :)

  6. What a great tutorial and design. The layering of the colors is so effective and perfect for replicating nature. Thanks for linking up!

  7. How beautiful and clever!!! Thank you for this wonderful tutorial!! It seems to be a perfect match for the Crafted Appliqué technique! These are gorgeous!!

  8. Lovely tutorial thank you - so easy to follow.

  9. I love these! They look so natural and pretty. Thank you for sharing this tutorial!

  10. An awesome tutorial. Love your poinsettias. I've used the crafted applique method and love it. Thank you, Olena

  11. Wow, this is seriously pretty. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  12. Bernie sanders24 June 2023 at 10:32

    I was looking for such information and I really appreciate the efforts you put into this article. Here you find more information on fashion. kaya boxes


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...