Bear Mug rug or mini quilt

Welcome to the first Main Crush Monday of August – yes, August! This year is simply flying by. I don’t know about you, but I would like for it to slow down just a tiny bit. There’s still a lot of summer left and I’d like time to enjoy it before it is gone.

Thank you for your kind words about MaMa last week. She was a special lady and it is sad that she is gone. I do want to clear up something though – some people thought that MaMa was my mother and she is not. She was a close friend to our family and is my niece’s grandmother on her Dad’s side of the family. Please know that my own mother is still with us and going strong (and probably a bit irritated at me today for not calling her over the weekend.) 🙂  Thanks to all of you for your care and concern.

Now, on to what I’ve been working on and crushing on in my sewing room. I didn’t spend much time sewing last week, but when I was able to fit in time to be in my room I was productive. The UFO that I started on again is more than halfway finished. I have 10 more blocks to make and 3 sashing rows to piece. I’m pretty pleased with how easy the first half of the quilt came together.  I’ll be honest though, I won’t make any progress on it this coming week as I have a pretty intense schedule. I’ll share pictures of the top once I have it sewn together.

In a few weeks hubby and I will be taking a couple of weeks and vacationing in Maine. We are excited for this trip as it’s been many years since we’ve done anything like this. We have rented a house along the coast and I can’t wait to see all that Maine has to offer and just chill for a while. I have my wine packed and ready! To prepare for our trip I wanted to make something special that represents who Mike and I are to give as a thank you gift for the owners of the cottage we are renting.

Batik fabric choices for mug rug

I started with these batik fabrics. The print was specially printed for the Mountain Quest shop hop held in West Virginia last month. The motifs in the print represent our state, as do the blue and gold colors. We made mug rugs for the quilt shop, and I thought they would be the perfect thank you gift for our hosts.

One of the motifs is a bear which are found all over our state. Did I ever tell you I came home from work one day and there was a bear crossing the road practically in front of my house?? At first I thought I was seeing a big dog, but then he stood up. I got so excited I about drove my car through my yard! But I digress….

To cut the bear shape I used this Accuquilt die:

Accuquilt Northwoods Medley die

The die is called Northwoods Medley. I bought it so I can make a wall hanging for my oldest son – he is such an outdoor loving guy. One of the things I love that Accuquilt is doing is creating embroidery files for many of their dies. This makes is so easy to applique if you have an embroidery machine, and when you purchase the die the embroidery file is free to download.

In case you’ve never appliqued with your embroidery machine let me show you how I did it.

First I marked where I wanted the center of the applique piece to be, and then loaded the fabric and stabilizer in my hoop. The first thing that gets stitched is a placement stitch to show where the applique fabric will go.

Applique placement stitch

Now that I know where to put the applique piece, I place it on my background fabric lining up the cut shape inside the stitched lines. I used 505 basting spray to hold the bear in place until it was stitched down.

Applique fabric in place

Applique fabric ready to be stitched

The next stitch is a tack down stitch. This will hold the bear in place and prepare it for the final finishing stitch. I used the same thread color for the tack down stitch that I’ll be using for the finishing stitch.

Tackdown Stitch - This bear isn't going anywhere!

Tackdown Stitch – This bear isn’t going anywhere!

And now it’s ready for the final stitching, in this case a satin stitch. These embroidery files from Accuquilt include three different finishing stitches – blanket, motif, and satin. I like the look of the satin stich on the bear and used a dark blue thread to work with the blue in the print.

quilted mug rug

After the applique/embroidery was finished I turned those cute bears into 7″ x 11″ mug rugs and I like how they turned out. I quilted them on my Babylock machine – it’s been a while since I’ve quilted on anything other than the longarm and I’m out of the groove. Overall they look okay though.  I used a gold batik for the binding and have finished the binding on the first mug rug. I’m going to wait to finish the second one – I figure I can stitch the binding down while we’re traveling. We are going to be spending a lot of time in our car!

So here is the finished one. It is a fun, quick project and I really liked doing the applique with my embroidery machine. I see much more of this type of applique in my future!

Mug rug with bear applique

Mountain quest shop hop batik fabric

The back clearly shows a bear, the state of WV, and a sketch that represents the landscape of our state along with the many outdoor activities that are available here. I think it is the perfect gift to represent hubby and I.

So, have you ever done any applique with your embroidery machine? I would love to hear about your experience.

Now that I’ve shared my crush with you, it’s time for you to share yours. I would love to see what projects you’re working on and what has you excited to be in your sewing space! You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

 Loading InLinkz ...