Project reviews

3 Mug Rug Project Reviews

Mug rug are small quilts ranging in size from coasters to place-mats. They protect your tables, counters, desks etc from the bottom of your dishes and from crumbs and food spills. In this post I explore several different techniques for sewing mug rugs. This is 3 mug rug project reviews.

For the purposes of my review, I’m going to summarize the basic steps, tell you what I did differently (if anything) and share my general thoughts about sewing these projects.


Common mug rug shapes are squares and rectangles, but they can be any shape. Any quilting technique can be used to make a mug rug and fabrics that are suitable for quilting are good options. Many people make mug rugs using the scraps from larger quilt projects. I choose the mug rug tutorials in this review because they each used a different quilting technique.

Gather Materials

You can use any quilting weight cotton (or similar weighted fabrics) for the top and bottom of your mug rugs and either fusible fleece, thin batting, or fleece for the middle layer. I used a variety of small scraps from my scrap bins for the top layers of these 3 quilts and larger scraps for my binding and backing pieces. I used scraps of fusible fleece and batting for the interiors.

Quilt As You Go Mug Rug Tutorial by Erika Arndt

This video tutorial can makes a 5.5” x 10.5” mug rug. I decided to make a custom-sized mug rug so I cut my backing and batting 8.5” x 6.5”. I don’t have any basting spray so I basted my backing and batting together with a ¼” seam allowance along the perimeter. If you’re using fusible fleece, or fusible batting, you could fuse your layers together. Next quilt your top pieces onto the batting and backing. I used the quilt-as-you-go technique to cover all of my batting.

Binding strips are cut along the grain while bias strips (see my Bias Tape Tutorial) are cut along the bias. While I’ve made binding strips for other projects (eg Sweet Bedside Caddy), this was my first time making and using quilt-style binding strips. Erika’s video tutorial make it easy to understand how to apply the binding, box the corners and finish the ends. I had a little bit of trouble turning the binding to the back of my mug rug and many of the stitches were visible from the front. Resewing from the front and then ripping the excess stitches fixed that issue.

QAYG mug rug
Front of my Erika Arndt QAYG Mug Rug
backing of QAYG mug rug with visible quilting lines
Back of my Erika Arndt QAYG Mug Rug
Melly’s Meanderings Mug Rug Tutorial by Jane Quigley

Molly’s Meanderings Mug Rug Tutorial

This tutorial makes a 6” x 9” mug rug. The first sewing step is sewing the top pieces to the un-glued side of the fusible fleece. Be careful when trimming your excess diagonal pieces along the folded fusible fleece. I accidentally cut my fusible fleece. Fortunately my feature piece was large enough that I could sew it on with a larger seam allowance and bridge the gap.

Next the backing piece is fused in place. If your fleece or batting isn’t fusible, you may wish to baste along the perimeter of your top piece to prevent the backing from shifting. The backing is trimmed and folded over to create the binding. This was my first time using this binding technique and I had some difficulty. Pressing the folds made it a little easier but my binding isn’t even. I suspect I’ll be able to achieve better results with this binding technique with practice.

front of a quilted mug rug with folded over binding
Front of my Melly’s Meanderings mug rug
floral backing on a mug rug
Back of my Melly’s Meanderings mug rug
Fabric Scrap Mug Rug by Crystal of Hello Creative Family

How To Sew A Fabric Scrap Mug Rug Tutorial

This tutorial includes instructions for making a small, 6.5” x 10.5” mug rug and a large, 8” x 13” mug rug. I sewed the small mug rug. After you layout your squares, you sew them all together to create the top panel. This technique is what I usually think of when I hear something is being quilted. Next the top panel is fused to the fusible fleece and quilted. If you’re not using fusible fleece or fusible batting, I recommend basting the perimeter of your top piece to your non-fusible fleece or batting. Suggestions for quilting patterns include freehand, x’s through each square and lines parallel to the seams. I opted for freehand and draw some chalk lines on my top piece to guide me.

Lastly the quilted top panel is placed onto the backing and the edges of the backing folded over to create a binding. I used a few dabs of glue stick to secure my backing. This binding technique is similar to that used in the Melly’s Meanderings Mug Rug Tutorial. I had similar problems getting the binding even and I found it a little more difficult to mitre the corners.

mug rug made by quilting small squares
Front of my Hello Creative Family mug rug
floral backing on a rectangular mug rug
Back of Hello Creative Family mug rug


Here are some more photos of my finished mug rugs:

Christmas themed mug on a mug rug
Mug on my QAYG Erika Arndt mug rug
Christmas themed mug on a mug rug with sections for mug and snack
Melly’s Meanderings mug rug & mug
Christmas themed mug on a patchwork mug rug
Hello Creative Family mug rug & mug
3 mug rugs on a green background
My Erika Arndt QAYG (top), Melly’s Meanderings (middle) and Hello Creative Family (bottom) mug rugs

Each of these three tutorials made it quick and easy to sew a mug rug. If you don’t have a lot of experience sewing quilts, these are great projects for learning quilting techniques without investing a lot of time or resources. Mug rugs are also good project to use up some scraps. I really enjoyed sewing these 3 mug rugs and any of them would make great gifts. I look forward to mixing and matching my favorite quilting techniques to create more mug rugs in the future.

Have you tried any of these mug rug projects? Did you like this 3 mug rug projects review? Comment below and/or Pin me for later! Subscribe so you don’t miss a post!


Sewn By Tanya Project Review | 3 Mug Rug Tutorials
Sewn By Tanya Project Review | 3 Mug Rug Tutorials


Sewn By Tanya Project Review | 3 Mug Rug Tutorials
Sewn By Tanya Project Review | 3 Mug Rug Tutorials


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