Saturday, December 4, 2010

Good Folks Mug Rugs Finale!

I finally finished these mug rugs! I know it took a while,but I will discuss the challenges I came across at the end. For now, pictures:

(binding pinned and ready to go!)

Here are the finished mug rugs:

(This is the first one I completed, which means that it the first time I did machine binding. Needless to say, I will be keeping this one due to the many errors)

 (I love the straight-line quilting of this one)

 (This is one of the blocks that I pieced incorrectly. Woops. But I love the end result and am considering doing an entire quilt like this!)

 (This stippling job isn't SO bad.... Except for where I crossed my path)

 (I am pretty happy with this stipple job too!)

 (Another woopsie piecing job. I REALLY like this one too. I will definitely be making more!)

 (This was the MAJOR FAIL of a thread tension situation. I actually really like the way the bad tension looks, but I still should have paid attention when I started)

 (This mug rug was quilting using random straight-line quilting. I don't love it, but my neighbor does, so she will likely be getting this as a Christmas present!)

 (MY FAVORITE! I Will definitely be keeping this one for myself because I do love love love it. I love the diagonal quilting and if I had to pick a favorite color, it would be teal)

 (I also love the backing fabric. I love the entire Good Folks collection, but this may be my favorite)

 (more stippling)

Here are some of the sewing I think came out the best. I am very excited because I am a new quilting, so I am patting myself on my back a little bit here:
(Good machine binding from the front)

 (Good machine quilting from the front)

 (A corner I am VERY proud of from the front)

 (That same corner from the back)

 (Machine binding from the front that you can BARELY see)

 (Machine quilting from the back, too bad I forgot to change my bobbin thread)

 (Another good corner from the front)

 (Machine binding from the front)

(Another good corner)

Enough tooting my own horn, here are the FAILS:

 (FAIL. Keep in mind that this was my first block practicing the machine binding, it turns out that it was pretty tough!)
 (A bad corner. Actually, a majority of them were bad. I definitely need to pin my corners FLATTER and then my walking foot goes over them without moving.)

 (Not so good corner from the back)

 (Didn't change the bobbin thread, woops)

Overall, I really loved making these mug rugs. Actually, I brought them into work and one of my coworkers suggested using one as a mousepad and guess what? It worked perfectly!  

Things I would do again:
1) Machine bind!! I loved it. I won't think that I will ever hand bind. Sorry. Don't judge.
2) Double hourglass blocks. I love them too. I definitely learned that my cutting needs to be more accurate so the blocks line up better.
3) Straight-line quilting. I love the look. The feel is completely different from stippling. Straight-line quilting makes a much sturdier and less flexible feeling product. I like it a lot for the mug rug or mousepad application. I used my 1/4 foot and spaced the lines 1/4 apart. I would NEVER do that for an entire quilt. It would be miserable to do and I also think that it would result in a stiff and no comfy quilt. 
4) Stipple/Meander: It was stressful at first, but I did improve. I wouldn't do this for an entire quilt either though. I think that it sort of morphs the piecing done. On of my coworkers mentioned that it make the block look confusing, and I sort of agree. However, my stippling was on a large scale, so it produced a very soft and flexible product which is desirable in a quilt. We will see. 

Things I won't do again / work on:
1) I definitely need to plan the project better. Improv just takes WAY too long. I would really like to do all my cutting at once and not have to think about it later. 
2) I think I iron too much. I haven't seen that as a negative yet, other than things taking longer than I anticipate them taking.
3) I need to learn how to maintain a constant speed with stippling and my results will be much better. I hear that comes with time though.
4) Match up my thread better with the fabrics. I don't have a huge thread collection and had I been working on a quilt, I probably would have bought thread to match. However, I was a little unhappy with the thread match-up with some of the blocks. I guess that's an excuse to buy thread? Yup.
5) OH. I definitely need to get better at taking pictures. Maybe a new camera is in my future, who knows.
I think that may be it! This sums up the "Sew Mug Rugs" item on my bucket list. I do plan on making a bunch more, especially so I can hand some out to my coworkers.

If you have any questions/comments feel free to post or email me!


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