Mug rugs have quickly risen in popularity over the past few years and I have thoroughly enjoyed making this new trend. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many of us, including me, are looking for creative ways to celebrate this special day.
So today, to all you sewing enthusiasts, I would like to share a free Heart Mug Rug pattern. This easy strip-pieced Valentine's heart block that's incorporated into a Valentine's mug rug is a fun and easy way to add a personal touch to your snack mat for Valentine's Day celebrations.
I love to sew scrappy. I am an obsessive scrap quilter who loves to use leftover fabric from my quilting and sewing projects and turn them into something amazing.
You have probably heard the old proverb, "Waste not, want not". With the price per yard of fabric, I firmly believe in not wasting any.
The best part of this cute free heart mug rug pattern is you can use up quite a bit of your scrap fabric to create a truly scrappy unique design - a scrappy top, a scrappy backing and a scrappy binding.
Want more scrappy ideas, we have them on our free scrappy quilt pattern page and our clever ways to upcycle leftover fabric scraps page.
In this article and video tutorial, I will show you how to sew a beautiful heart mug rug for Valentine's Day (or all year long). This tutorial is perfect for anyone who is looking for a fun and quick project to try out and finish in a few hours.
So, grab your fabric scraps and let's get started. Watch our video or read on for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions!
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how to sew a Valentine's Day heart mug rug
supplies needed to sew the heart mug rug:
Note: Seam allowance throughout the project is ¼ inch unless otherwise specified.
INSTRUCTIONS for making the Valentine's mug rug :
STEP 1: Cut fabric and batting for mug rug pattern
Assorted scrap fabric
4 pieces – 1 ½” x 5 ½” rectangle
2 pieces – 1 ½” x 3” rectangle
3 pieces – 2” x 7 ½” strips
2 pieces – 3” square
4 pieces – 1 ¼” square
2 pieces - 1 ½” x 5 ½ ”
2 pieces – 1 ½” x 7 ½”
1 piece – 8” x 13” or a scrappy piece 8” x 13”
1 piece – 8” x 13”
Binding – 2 ½” wide by at least 50”
STEP 2: sew the heart strip set
Let's begin by first making the heart block.
To make the heart block, you will need four 1 ½” x 5 ½” rectangles, two 1 ½” x 3” rectangles, two 3" squares, four 1 ¼" squares, two 1 ½" x 5 ½" strips and two 1 ½" x 7 ½" strips.
We will begin by constructing the bottom section of the heart. Grab the four 1 ½” x 5 ½” strip pieces and place them in the order you want them to appear on the heart.
Sew the strips together along the long sides.
After the four pieces have been sewn together, press the seams open.
This piece should measure 4 ½” x 5 ½”.
STEP 3: Place the Background Squares on the Strip piece
Now, get the two 3" background squares. With a pencil, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of each piece.
Place one background square in the bottom right-hand corner of the strip set created in step 2 with the diagonal line going towards the center.
Go to the sewing machine and using a straight stitch, sew directly along the drawn diagonal line.
Trim the excess corner off ¼” away from the seam.
Open the piece outward and press the seam open.
Repeat the process with the second 3" background fabric square but this time place it on the bottom left-hand corner of the strip set. Sew, trim, press.
The bottom section of the heart is complete.
STEP 4. Sewing the top of the heart for the heart block
Let's make the top unit of the heart.
For the top section of the heart, you will need the two 1 ½" x 3" rectangles and the four 1 ¼" background squares.
Draw a pencil line from corner to corner on the wrong side of all the 1 ¼” background squares.
Place one square, right sides together, on each upper corner of the 1 ½” x 3” rectangles with the diagonal lines going toward the center of the rectangle.
Stitch directly on the drawn line. Trim excess corner fabric ¼” away from the seam. Press seams toward the darker fabric. You now have two units that look like the above photo.
Sew these two 1 ½” x 3” units together along the short sides to create the top of the heart. Press this seam open.
Sew the top and bottom units together to create the heart.
The heart should measure 5 ½” square.
Step 5: Attach border strips to the heart block
To finish the heart block, let's add border strips. You will need the two 1 ½" x 5 ½" strips and the two 1 ½" x 7 ½" strips. Start with the two 1 ½” x 5 ½” strips and sew one to each side of the heart. Press the seams toward the border.
Then sew the other two strips (1 ½” x 7 ½”), one to the top and one to the bottom of the heart to complete the block.
The heart block unit is completed.
Step 6: Complete the heart mug rug top
I like my mug rugs large enough to hold a beverage and a snack. So we are going to add some fabric to the right side of the heart block.
Get the three 2" x 7 ½" strips that you cut previously.
Arrange the three assorted 2” x 7 ½” strips in your preferred order and sew them together along the long sides.
Press the seams in one direction. This unit should measure 5” x 7 ½” when complete.
Sew this unit to the right side of the heart block unit, pressing the seam towards the strips.
The mug rug top is complete. All that is left is to quilt and bind.
Step 7: Quilting the heart mug rug
To quilt the heart mug rug, create a quilt sandwich.
If you haven't cut the batting yet, from some leftover cotton batting from a previous project cut a piece 8" x 13".
You will also need a backing fabric that measures 8” x 13. This can be a solid piece of fabric OR you can make a scrappy backing like I did measuring 8” x 13”.
Lay the backing fabric wrong side up on a flat surface. Lay the batting on top, smoothing out any wrinkles and then position the well-pressed mug rug on top, right side up.
Pin the three layers together so you can machine-quilt it. Quilt as desired.
How did I quilt it?
You may wonder how I quilted the heart mug rug.
I stitched 1-inch diagonal lines across it. Using a quilter ruler with a 45-degree angle, I placed the 45-degree diagonal line along the bottom of the mug rug and drew a pencil line. (This is the first quilting line).
Then I fastened the sewing machine's stitch guide, 1 inch from the needle. After increasing the stitch length slightly, I began stitching on the drawn line.
Afterward, I used the stitch guide when quilting the balance of the mug rug.
Step 8: Attach binding to the back of the mug rug
After quilting, I used my favorite cutting tool, the Quilter's Slidelock, to trim the backing and batting even with the mug rug top with a rotary cutter.
To finish the mug rug, double-fold binding will be sewn to the back of the mug rug first and then edge stitching to secure binding to the front. To make the double-fold binding you will need a 2 ½” wide by at least 50 inches long piece of fabric.
Want a scrappy look? Make the binding by sewing 2 ½” strips of fabric together on the diagonal. Check out our tutorial on how to join binding strips together.
After you have the binding strip, fold it in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together and use an iron to press it flat.
Take the mug rug quilt sandwich along with the binding to the sewing machine. Flip the mug rug so the back side is facing up.
Using a quarter-inch sew allowance, start to sew on the binding on one of the long sides about 1/3 from the bottom, and align the raw edges of the binding strip and the mug rug leaving a 5 - 6 inch tail. Backstitching at the start. The folded edge of the binding should be facing toward the center of the mug rug.
Sew the binding as per usual mitering the corners. We have a YouTube video demonstrating how to sew the mitered corners that you may find helpful.
As you approach the starting point, STOP about 5 – 6 inches away. It’s important to leave a 5 – 6 inch gap between where you started and where you end. Again, don’t forget to backstitch.
To join the two ends of the binding strip, take the mug rug to the ironing board and fold the two ends back on themselves until they butt up together in the middle of the unsewn gap.
Press these folded ends with an iron to make a crease. Now, open the binding and with right sides together, match the creases, pin and sew together on the crease line.
Don’t trim the excess fabric yet! Make sure that the length of the binding fills in the unsewn gap correctly. If it doesn't, readjust the stitching. If it does, trim excess fabric with a ¼” seam allowance, finger press the seam open, fold it in half and finish sewing the binding to the mug rug.
Step 9: Sew binding to the front of the mug rug.
With the binding sewn to the back of the mug rug, it’s time to sew it to the front.
Once you've attached the binding to the back, go to the ironing board and with the mug rug back facing up, press the binding away from the mug rug.
Flip the mug rug so it is right side up and wrap the binding over the raw edge of the mug rug to the front; mitering the corners as you go. Use sewing clips (or pins) to hold it in place.
To sew the binding to the front, use a straight stitch and sew 1/8 inch or less from the inside folded edge. This is called edgestitching.
To edgestitch you can use a regular presser foot or a blind hem presser foot.
My favorite way to sew binding to a quilt is to use the blind hem foot making a neat, tidy look. To use it, attach the foot to the sewing machine, adjust the needle position to the right so the needle goes into the fabric 1/16 – 1/8 inch from the inside fold. When stitching I keep the presser foot vertical guide bar flush against the fold on the binding.
If you use a regular presser foot, don’t adjust the needle position and use the center of the presser foot as your guide when stitching.
Whichever presser foot you use, begin at one mug rug corner and stitch forward and backward a few stitches. Continue stitching about 1/8 inch or less away from the inside fold until you reach the next corner. When you get there, with the needle down, pivot the mug rug and begin stitching again.
Continue sewing until the binding is completely sewn onto the mug rug.
The above picture is a closeup of the edgestitching.
Note: A blind hem foot is a handy foot for hemming, binding, edgestitching and topstitching. If you would like to buy a blind hem foot, try a blind hem foot universal one like one of these. Just make sure to read the description to make sure it will fit your machine. For under $10, you can purchase one and it will be a lot easier and neater to finish projects.
Step 10: Enjoy!
That’s it! The heart mug rug is finished.
One of my favorite things about this mug rug pattern is it didn’t cost anything since the project was made with all scrap fabric. Enjoy this free Valentine's mug rug pattern to make it for yourself or gift to someone special.
Have a heart day of sewing!
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
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