I heard that everything nautical was in fashion this year. Nautical has always been one of my favorite styles in art, decor and sometimes clothes too. If that makes me fashionable, it will be the first time in about 25 years! They say everything comes around again if you wait long enough.
I searched my stash for some red, white and blue. I wish I’d had a better red than this one with spots on, and perhaps a brighter yellow, but I’m pretty happy with how this came out.
Want to make one yourself, or one similar? Great! Instructions and the template to download are below. Is this your first time with applique ? You’ll probably love the Fun with Fusible Applique class where you can learn more about all the materials and techniques you’ll need.
Sew a Nautical Mug Rug
Download the template and instructions and print out the template on your printer. Adjust scaling if you like for bigger or smaller. My finished measurements were about 8.75 x 10 inches.
Decide what fabrics will look good where.
Trace the elements you need onto the paper side of some Heat N Bond or other fusible sheet. You can also cut your fusible sheet to letter size and feed it right through the printer I’m told, although I’ve not tried that.
Roughly cut out the shapes you need. You might want to duplicate the waves at the bottom like I did. Match the shapes to the fabric you want to use, and fuse the shape to the wrong side, following the manufacturers instructions.
Cut out each piece carefully.
Cut your background piece bigger than your finished size to allow for some trimming later, then start to lay out your shapes. Take notice of which shapes go in front or behind other shapes. Once you have a few laid out, fuse them to the background in small groups.
Continue adding, checking and fusing until you have all the pieces secured in place where you want them.
Now it’s time to sew on your pieces. First you’ll need to strengthen your fabric. You can use a tear away stabilizer like this one from Sulky, or add a light interfacing to the back, or even iron on a piece of fusible fleece. Something that will give a little extra stability to your fabric.
You can use a variety of stitches, anything from a basic running stitch to a blanket stitch or any of the decorative stitches on your sewing machine. Mix and match the stitches and threads used and get creative with it. There is no right or wrong way.
I like the slightly wonky look. I want it to look handmade, not mass produced, so if my stitching is a little off, if my pieces is a little wonky, for me, it adds to the charm. If you are more of a perfectionist, take your time to get it all just right.
Once all your pieces are sewn into place, its time to decide again. You can leave the piece as it is, or you can add in some decorative lines of stitching. If you are done, trim down your piece, remembering that the binding will be about 1/2 inc wide, so leave space for that.
If you want more of a quilted look, cut a piece of batting or fleece and a plain piece of cotton or calico as the backing and layer them with the decorative side facing up. Pin, spray baste or hand baste the layers in place. Make your batting and fabric slightly larger than you need, to allow for some shifting as you quilt.
I used my disappearing fabric marker to line out some shapes I wanted, including a cloud and then I followed the shapes of the applique pieces until I was done. Pull your threads through to the back, knot and snip them off. Trim everything again if you need to.
Cut a piece of backing fabric which is 2 inches wider and taller than the trimmed panel. Sit it wrong side up with the quilted panel in the middle and turn in 1/2 inch on each side and press.
Then turn the pressed edges over the raw edges of the quilted panel to hide those edges and pin in place. Take care to make nice neat corners, and stitch these edges in place on all 4 sides.
And voila – you’re now bang up to style with your nautical mug rug. But why stop there, you could create a matching table runner or some smaller coasters too.
Talking about being in fashion, how long until this look comes back in style – the ‘bronzer’, corkscrew perm, shell necklace and neon of the late 80’s. What do you mean, that was never IN style !
Deby and Nigel, Camping in Spain, 1988.