Wanting to make a fun mug rug for a child’s milk and cookies, I hit on the idea of a Bug Mug Rug. While I made mine a Lady Bug Mug Rug, this would be great for striped beetles, polka dot bugs, and any number of other creatures. And, since I know that my Make a Basic Quilted Mug Rug tutorial pages are still extremely popular, I wanted to share this fun project with my wonderful readers.
Mug rugs of all types are superb scrap projects, so I started out with these materials:
- 8 by 10 inch piece of color ONE fabric for body
- 8 by 14 inch piece of color TWO fabric for head, spots, and backing
- 1½ by 3 inch piece of color THREE fabric for eyes
- 8 by 10 inch scrap of fusible craft batting
- 3 by 10 inch piece of Heat and Bond© Lite fusible web
- plain paper, thread, pins, scissors, iron, and a sewing machine
- I used my Teflon pressing sheet, but a piece of aluminum foil will also work
My finished little bug is about 5 by 7 inches. If you want to use my templates, you can click on the photo on the right, or you can download a PDF version here: Lady Bug Mug Rug Templates. I used fusible applique methods, and if this is new to you, check out Fusible Appliqué—A Tutorial for Beginners for simple instructions.
Follow along with me while I bring this creature to life in fabric. Click on any photo to enlarge:
I started by tracing the body section on to plain paper (not fusible web). Then I traced it out on fabric color one, and cut out the body. (Photo 1.) I traced the eyes, spots, wing seam and head sections on to fusible web, keeping the eyes to one end. The eye section was fused to color three, then each eye cut out. The rest were fused to color two, and cut out. (Photo 2.) For the spots, I actually wound up just tracing around a nickel instead of from the template. To make the antenna, I cut a three-inch square of color two, and a three-inch square of fusible web, which I fused to the fabric piece. (Photo 3.)
I peeled the liner paper off the fusible web and folded the square in half. (Photo 4.) I pressed it to fuse into a firm, two-sided section. (Photo 5.) Then I traced the paper templates for the antenna on to this prepared piece, and cut them out. (Photo 6.)
I assembled the lady bug top and fused the pieces in place, setting the wing seam first, then the head, eyes, and spots. Notice that I set the eyes in from the edge a bit for seam allowance. I used my teflon pressing sheet, as the head has fusible web on the area that is not on the body. A piece of aluminum foil would work as well. (Photo 7.) Usually I would stitch down these pieces at this point, but not for this project! I traced this completed unit on to the backing piece, and cut that out. (Photo 8.) Then I traced the completed unit shape on to a piece of fusible craft batting. I cut it out and then cut back to remove a scant quarter-inch seam allowance. (Photo 9.) This left the body extending almost a quarter-inch beyond the batting.
Again, protecting the ironing board cover with a teflon sheet or piece of foil, I lightly fused the batting on to the body piece, with the body up. This is really a basting step. (Photo 10.) I tacked the antenna on to the padded body, taking care that they were facing IN rather than out. (Photo 11.) Then, I pinned the backing on, creating an inside-out sandwich. I marked a four-inch section on the edge to leave open for turning. (Photo 12.)
I stitched a scant quarter-inch seam around, catching the very edge of the batting, and leaving the opening for turning. (Photo 13.) As I turned it right-side out, I snipped the corners where the head meets the body to allow it to open flat. (Photo 14.) The I finger-pressed the open sections in, and pinned to secure it evenly in line with the stitched section. (Photo 15.)
I firmly pressed the entire unit, front and back, to further secure the fusible batting, and to set the folds on the open section. (Photo 16.) Then I stitched around the outside edge of the bug, sealing the opening and securing the final shape. (Photo 17.) When I came to the antenna, I stitched a loop through them as well. (Photo 18.) If I had a scrap of ultrasuede fabric on hand, it would have made great antenna, without needing a double fuse for stability.
The last step involved securing all the fused pieces with stitching, which served as part of the quilting as well. (Photo 19.) I used a straight stitch, but a zigzag would look great too. A few swirls of quilting between the dots helps to keep the mug rug flat. I pressed it again and it was done.
Now I am planning to wrap it up with a juice box and a box of animal crackers, and send it on to a youngster in the neighborhood! You may want to hop over to my Basic Quilted Mug Rug Tutorial for some more inspiration. Or check out the Two Halloween Mug Rugs post for even more fun.
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