Mini, Tutorial

String Block Mug Rug Tutorial

February 11, 2012

Ah. . it’s finally my day for the Modern Mini Challenge. . . are you guys inspired? Are you working on your minis?

Modern Mini Challenge

On to my tutorial!!!

Today, I’m going to show you how to put together a mini string block mug rug:


1. Handful of favorite scraps
2. Construction paper
3. Fabric Glue
4. (8) 1×4 inch Neutral strips of fabric (I choose white cause I had tons laying around)

Step 1 –

Grab your construction paper and cut (8) 3×3 blocks like so:

Step 2 –
Lightly run a line of fabric glue from one corner of your 3×3 construction paper to the opposite corner and lay down your 1inch strip of neutral fabric like so:

Step 3-
Grab a strip of fabric. You want to line right sides together make sure they’re about the same length. Also another important thing to remember is to set your stitch length down to about 2 because you’re working with such a small block! (R E M E M B E R!!)

Step 4 –

(Warning have your iron on and near because you’ll be going back n’ forth for a bit) Iron piece open like so:

Step 5: Repeat 3 and 4 til you’ve reached the end the corner:

Cont’ the other side of the 3×3 block til you have all (8) square done and it’s time to trim!

Step 6: Trim all (8) squares up:

Step 7: Remove the paper . . it’s like removing your favorite coupon, fold and tear:

Step 8: Sew your blocks together!!!

Step 9: Grab some batting (you know the many tiny scraps you have lying around) and choose a backing for your mug rug, then make your quilt sandwich:

I just spray basted the batting because I don’t pin (ever) but just make your quilt sandwich the way you feel comfortable with!

Step 10: Quilt it how you want it. I decide to do straight line quilting, in the middle of each fabric row

Step 11: Bind it. . if you have spare binding laying around this would be a good way to use it!

This totally justify why you keep every piece of fabric around because you can use it on tiny projects like this! If you’re like me you kind of have heartburn just throwing any fabric away.

This seriously just took me a weekend to put together, not tedious at all!!

I am working one another mini so stick around and I’ll reveal that at the beginning of the week!

Remember what’s up for grabs!!!

The five winners:
James’ choice (Jen’s hubby’s favorite)
Viewer’s choice Mug Rugs
Viewer’s choice Mini Quilts
(mug rugs and mini quilts- the viewers choose from a selection chosen by myself and three other bloggers)
Luck of the Draw (Random Number Generator chooses 2 winners)

Both Viewer’s Choice Winners will receive a fat quarter bundle of the FULL LINE of Flea Market Fancy reprint by Denyse Schmidt.

Flea Market Fancy

James’ Choice Winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop
Both Luck of the Draw Winners will receive a $75 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop

Contest Requirements:

1. Create a modern mini quilt or mug rug – only one entry per person
2. Enter your mini quilt or mug rug in the linky party at Ellison Lane Quilts on Monday, March 5.
You do NOT have to have a blog to enter. You may link a picture from your Flickr account.
3. Your entry (blog post or Flickr description) should include the size of the item

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  • Reply Katie B February 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Cute! Love the dotty binding.

  • Reply Flying Blind February 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Cute mug rug tute Amy – I do believe I have never made a string block – I need to put that right! x

  • Reply Pat V. February 11, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    This is very cool! I’m looking forward to trying it.

  • Reply felicity February 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    What a cute, fun mug rug! Yay!

  • Reply Gill February 12, 2012 at 4:37 am

    You make it sound so easy!!

  • Reply Elizabeth @ Don't Call Me Betsy February 12, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Love the scraptacular feel to your mug rug! And I saw you call me out on Twitter, but I am stumped on what that backing fabric is. It feels familiar, I think it may have been a Michael Miller print from the Big E collection, which is now out of print, though I think I saw some of it in the clearance sections at Fabric Shack…

  • Reply Michele T February 12, 2012 at 6:38 am

    I love, love,love this pattern and just finished a lap quilt for my aunt’s 80th birthday using this block and method (the blocks were 8″). It turned out gorgeous and I will be shipping it tomorrow which means that she will receive it for her special day!! Yay!!

  • Reply Biff February 12, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Strip blocks have always scared me for some reason. This tute makes it all look really straightforward, I think I might be brave and attempt this!!!! It’s so cute 🙂

  • Reply Annabella February 12, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Lovely tutorial – I have never made a string block and have to try one.

  • Reply Lynda February 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Love this tutorial! So cute and easy to follow too, you actually helped me to understand what to do and now I want to try it!
    ~ Lynda

  • Reply Laura February 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you so much for that great tutotial. I love your mug rug.

  • Reply Lindsay February 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    This is so cute Amy! I love how tiny those string blocks are.

  • Reply Helen Lebrett February 13, 2012 at 1:33 am

    this is so bright and pretty: love it!!

  • Reply Sue February 13, 2012 at 8:04 am

    What a great tutorial. String quilts are a lot of fun to make……So are mug rugs…..What a combination! The spotty binding really finishes it.

  • Reply Lee @ Freshly Pieced February 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Very cute, lady! : )

  • Reply Kelsey February 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    so cute!! What a great tutorial 🙂

  • Reply Tsoniki Crazy Bull February 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Love it! I just learned how to make string blocks and always read the tutorials I find because everyone seems to use something different for the backing! I’m glad to see you using paper. LOL

  • Reply kersten February 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I have had my eye on these blocks for a while and have yet to make one. It seems like there are always too many projects floating around in my head and I can never get to them all! Looks great!

  • Reply Modern Mini Challenge – I'm Feelin' Crafty! March 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    […] 2/9: Patchwork Notes 2/10: Don’t Call Me Betsy & Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle 2/11: Sukie, Don’t You Know Who I Am? 2/12: Freshly Pieced 2/13: From the Blue Chair & Poppy Makes 2/14: Needles, Pins & Baking […]

  • Reply Francine McGee March 12, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Just wanted to thank you for the tutorial! Totally easier way to do it than I was using! And now I will never ever throw away another scrap. Of course, I have a “waste basket” people think I am throwing them away…but then they go into a pillow case, they think I will stuff a floor pillow…but really I just can’t part with my scraps. Don’t tell on me, please.

  • Reply Patricia Yeakley April 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Great Tut! But..the parts I love best? Comments about keeping any and all pieces of leftover fabric and batting, even the smallest pieces. I was chastised once upon a time for doing so (kept them anyway) now you make me happy, smile is ear to ear. Amazing, thanks for the extra!!!!

  • Reply Irene Rodegerdts November 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I work with Kristin on the Sew,Mama,Sew! blog ( Each November we post a series of tutorials, gift suggestions, recipes, shop features and giveaways every day. Our 6th Annual Handmade Holidays series consists of a great assortment of ideas to make the holidays unique, fun and handmade.

    We’d like to use one picture from this tutorial.
    We will not publish your tutorial- just link to your site and give you all of the credit, of course! Would this be OK? We respect the copyright of all crafters so all links and photos from blogs on our Handmade Holidays posts are used with permission. If you’d like to learn more about Handmade Holidays please see this compilation post from 2011:
    Please let me know via email, and also feel free to include any relevant information you’d like me to post with the tutorial link.
    We look forward to hearing from you,



  • Reply pyamada January 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Gotta get my scraps together and sit down and get a bunch of mug rugs finished! Thanks for the great tutorial.

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