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Sipping the mug rug kool-aid

February 17th, 2011

For THE longest time I’ve hated the word “mug rug” for those cute little quilts everyone is making. Not only would I never put a mug or food on a quilt… just the name alone sounds like something that would be on George Carlin’s word list. I’ve given this gem other names… but they’re far worse than it’s current name. And then something happened… the word was so bad, that I began to like it. Kind like the Real Housewives of [insert your favorite city here] - I H A T E D those shows at first… now they’re my favorites shows on tv.  And I’m now a fan of the Real Housespouses of Mugruglandia.

Tonight at Portland Modern Quilt Guild we’re doing a mug rug swap. I mean… we’re doing a MUG RUG SWAP (I’m sayin’ it loud, I’m saying it proud). I’m not sure if there’s a standard size for a mug rug, but mine measures at 9″ x 11″.
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Mug Rug Swap

I used Amanda Jean’s easy and clever rectangle method from her zig zag tutorial, and married orange 30’s repo fabrics and new aqua fabrics (Sweet Broderie by Rosalie Quinlan).  My little quilt is what my opinion of what modern quilting is - making something old… new again.  Cherishing the past - celebrating the now.  Not to mention nifty new ways of doing things (thanks AJ!).
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Mug Rug Swap

I added my quilt’s birth certificate and now I’m all ready for guild tonight.  And I’ll have my eyes locked on Elizabeth when she puts her mug rug onto to the swap table.  Something tells me ALL EYES will be on Elizabeth and there’s going to be a mad dash to the table. There could possibly be injuries.
Portland Modern Quilt Guild - Mug Rug Swap
Note to self. Bring band-aids, crutches, slings and ice packs to guild tonight.

Posted in Quilty n Crafty, I Heart Oregon |

65 Responses

  1. The fabulous Christina allegedly said:

    Well I’m going to be watching YOU! This is so charming. I feel the same way about this mug rug phenomenon but if the guild is doing it then like you I’ll play along too! See you tonight!

  2. The fabulous Rebecca allegedly said:

    Monica I LOVE the colors you chose. If I were at the swap, I’d be running for your…(ready??) MUG RUG.

    By the way, I agree, it does sound a bit…strange. Something my 11 yo son would say and giggle to himself for hours about.

    Be one with your new found love of Mugruglandia.

  3. The fabulous Kathleen Grace allegedly said:

    I love this pattern! I’ve been making the silly little things too and it is so quick and addictive I plant to keep on making them. It’s a great way to try out a new block or pattern.

  4. The fabulous Katie allegedly said:

    As usual, your colour choices are fabulous! I think I might like orange and aqua even better than red and aqua….

  5. The fabulous stephanie @ providence handmade allegedly said:

    SO true. I feel the exact same way about that term, but cannot for the life of me come up with something better. Surely you can? Love your, um, cup quilt?

  6. The fabulous Jona allegedly said:

    I KNOW!!! I feel kind of gross about saying “mug rug” but I sure love yours (dying here, just dying)! I’m so glad to be validated and hopefully I’ll overcome this aversion soon. It kind of reminds me of the time my daughter said “I just hate spelling the word fuchsia. It makes me feel bad.”

  7. The fabulous Natalie VV allegedly said:

    Whatever you call it… I call it beautiful!
    Destined to make some body’s cuppa a whole lot tastier!

  8. The fabulous Kelly allegedly said:

    Looks like yours will be in high demand as well. Have a wonderful, and safe, time! ~Kelly

  9. The fabulous Michelle allegedly said:

    Brilliant little tag there. How’d you get your handwriting so neat? Mine is messy anyways but worse when I write on fabric.

  10. The fabulous Val Spiers allegedly said:

    That zig zag tutorial was interesting. Some people are so clever! You are right about the “mug rug” name. I thought Elizabeth’s name of snack mat sounded good.

  11. The fabulous Lori G. allegedly said:

    First, your “Snack Mat” (does that sound nicer?) is so cute! 2nd, you are cracking me up! I think it sounds weird, too, but they are pretty darn cute little mini quilts!

  12. The fabulous Molly allegedly said:

    I agree, the name’s awful and I wouldn’t put anything messy on it either. Your color choice is vibrant and exciting. The Quilt Guild sounds like fun. I’m not so much a quilt maker, as someone who has made quilts and has one in the works now. Does that make sense?

  13. The fabulous Thimbleanna allegedly said:

    O.M.G. That is just too cute! I think even I might be sucked into mugruglandia over this one. Ok, it’s not too cute — it’s the cutest one I’ve seen! You’re brilliant as always. And I don’t think you have to worry about getting hurt tonight — unless, of course, you’re clutching your own mug run, in which case you’ll be flattened like a pancake!

  14. The fabulous Bridgette allegedly said:

    Better have 911 on speed dial;)

  15. The fabulous Jessica allegedly said:

    I agree (about the name), but also about the purpose. What are they used for, anyway?

    Question: What do you use to write the “tag” on your quilts? What happens when you wash it?

  16. The fabulous Cherri House allegedly said:

    Ick, I hate that mugrug phrase, I just can’t get comfortable saying it…mugrug, makes me think it has something to do with toupee’s. Love the little quilt though, I’d write mugrug on a board 100x to get one of the little quilts! Confession time - I do love real housewife of fill in the blank, more than anything though…I love me some Andy Cohen!

    love you too!

  17. The fabulous Kelly allegedly said:

    it’s great! in my limited quilting and sewing experience, i have actually made quite a few mug rugs (in fact, two of mine made the inspiration mosaic on the PMQG blog, which i was amazed by!), and i just finished up another this morning. i like how quick and easy they can be. and i also like how you can experiment with an idea that you’re thinking of for a quilt, on a teeny tiny scale.

  18. The fabulous Billie K allegedly said:

    I love it! Bright and fresh!

  19. The fabulous Megan allegedly said:

    Snack. Mat. :-) Yours is adorable! Of course.

  20. The fabulous Leslie Schmidt allegedly said:

    I don’t think I would ever risk messing up something so adorable by putting food or beverage on it. That color combination is so refreshing. I love it! And you did hand quilting on it! There’s no end to your talents, lady. Be careful out there.

  21. The fabulous Kim allegedly said:

    OH MY how wonderful. Love the colors.

  22. The fabulous pam allegedly said:

    So seriuosly cute. Love all those 30’s oranges. Now just tell me you didn’t press those seams open. Please.

  23. The fabulous pam allegedly said:

    p.s. I love that all your points are there.. I looked at the tutorial and that was the one thing traditional me needed to feel comfortable. Love the technique can’t wait to try it. MAYBE TOMORROW.

  24. The fabulous Lemon Tree Tami allegedly said:

    I haven’t made one of these mug rugs but I have to admit that I think the name’s pretty cute. Plus they’d make a nice gift along with a pretty mug filled with a variety of tea bags and maybe a couple biscotti. :-)

  25. The fabulous mean sarah jean allegedly said:

    i love your color combination. such a cute mug rug.

  26. The fabulous Caroline allegedly said:

    Oh have fun at the guild meeting - i wish i could go. You might just find that other people might be injuring themselves to get to your ‘mug rug’ as well! Seriously - have fun!!!It looks fabulous!

  27. The fabulous Heather allegedly said:

    So cute Monica! See you tonight, and good job conforming to the quilting society :P

  28. The fabulous DianeP allegedly said:

    Pretty cool mug mat - even though you hate the name and/or idea of putting any food items on a quilt - no matter how small.

    Although I did make a Flat Matt out of the little Gnoma Claus fabric, I’ve never had the nerve to plant a coffee mug on him. Just can’t do it - he’s too cute.

  29. The fabulous jenny b harris allegedly said:

    Cue Twilight Zone music… I just heard the term mug rug for the first time this afternoon, on twitter. And now I pop in here and you’re all about the mug rug! Its all too weird.

  30. The fabulous Tiffany allegedly said:

    My mom calls them muggles and thinks the word should be stolen back from Harry Potter. I shudder to see people put beverages on my muggles… that is why I wont make one for myself but then again I havent even made placemats or anything non-snuggleable for myself but I have for other people.
    Im glad you embraced the craft, regardless of the word, yours is beautiful!

  31. The fabulous Mary Ann allegedly said:

    I….want….it. Hand….it….over….and….no…one…gets… hurt!

  32. The fabulous Lindsay allegedly said:

    Mug rugs… I thought the SAME THING. Yours turned out lovely!

  33. The fabulous Jessie allegedly said:

    You should’ve seen my hubbies face the first time I mentioned mug rugs to him, priceless. :-)
    I love your mug rug, very cute! I just made a couple for a swap too. One was made using you tutorial for hourglass blocks!

  34. The fabulous WendyMT allegedly said:

    LOL … you are “like totally awesome dude!!” …. some fads do fade, thank the good Lord!! What a picture you paint, man I wish I could be a fly on the wall watching your m’GRug swap…. see, if you say it all at once, (giving it a smidgen of a Scottish flair) you can actually spit it out … kinda. LOL Report on breaks and bruising from swap, ‘kay? Love your zigzag m’GRug!! and thanks for the tutorial link. I’m gonna have to check it out. You done did good!

  35. The fabulous Janelle allegedly said:

    Lovin’ how those oranges and aquas go together - vintage and modern. Maybe you can use your new mug rug to rest any injuries on that you might suffer tonight.

  36. The fabulous Alison allegedly said:

    Well I think it looks cute.
    However when I first heard the term “Mug Rug” it reminded me of “Mug” being Aussie slang for a fool or silly person and “Rug” being a male hairpiece/wig, so you can visualise the picture of this!!
    Now McRug - sounds a whole heap better!

  37. The fabulous Michelle Balletti allegedly said:

    I just made my first one tonight!! I so suck at the quilting part and my binding is something to be desired but oh well, I kinda liked it!! Yours turned out super cute, seriously!! Thanks for sharing!!

  38. The fabulous Sally allegedly said:

    Great pattern. Great fabric. And the colors are oh-so-perfect for somebody we both know and love!

  39. The fabulous blop allegedly said:

    I’m w/Sal on this one….
    I LOVE your “rug”…but I agree, the word is odd!!
    Good luck @ the throwdown!!

  40. The fabulous aztel2000 allegedly said:

    Even with my aversion to orange, I think your little quilt is adorable–and is it hand quilted???!!!! There will be a lot of people stampeding to get their hands on that baby–wish I could be one of them.
    Karen in Breezy Point

  41. The fabulous Melody allegedly said:

    I love it. I’ve not made one yet and hated the whole mug rug thing but I have to say it’s growing on me. I really like your colors.

  42. The fabulous Shelley allegedly said:

    I am a curious person and so I just had to investigate…..Where did the name originate.
    I found one article from 2003 for making mug rugs or coasters…
    I also found a business which is called Mug Rugs. They are drink coasters.
    Where have I been? I thought the name was something very new….
    Just thought I would share….

  43. The fabulous Jovita allegedly said:

    am loving your “mini” and the colors - the size is perfect. everytime i hear mug rug i think bearded felon.

  44. The fabulous AnnieO allegedly said:

    Amanda Jean’s zig zag method rocks Mugruglandia with your color choices and the hand-stitched embellishment! I made a large throw with Amanda’s method last year and immediately set aside some fabrics to make another one for a charity quilt (they are awaiting their turn). Can’t wait to see who you crushed while sprinting for Elizabeth’s!

  45. The fabulous Julia allegedly said:

    darn it…i’m definitely living in the wrong city! that m** r** is over the top gorgeous! i just love it…!!!!
    i always thought that i don’t like orange…how wrong i was! just love the soft orange & aqua…!
    i wish i could participate the guild swap *sigh*.
    hugs, julia

  46. The fabulous Ineke van den Akker allegedly said:

    Just love this!

  47. The fabulous De allegedly said:

    OMG (I’m way too old for OMG!) but I love this mug rug! Like I’ve said before ~ your color combinations are so fresh and new and I love them…enough to copy ;) but I’ll give my “happy zombie” all the credit!!

  48. The fabulous susan b. allegedly said:

    That’s gorgeous, Monica! I didn’t have time to make a snack mat/mug rug/cute tiny quilt to swap but it was fun to get peeks at everyone’s… yours is absolutely lovely :)

    So, so nice to meet you last night! I had so much fun at the meeting.

  49. The fabulous Jen in NY allegedly said:

    LOVE the color combo. Did you hand-quilt your mug rug? Now I’m going to think of George Carlin whenever I hear that! Ha ha! I’m thinking I have to move to Portland to join this fun club.

  50. The fabulous Sherry allegedly said:

    This is one of the cutest “mugrugs” I’ve seen so far. I love your fabric choices and AJ’s pattern. Awesome!

  51. The fabulous Sherri allegedly said:

    My fav MR ever…I thought I was the only one who didn’t like the name “M–R–”…but I see I’m in good company…and yours is the best!

  52. The fabulous Jennifer allegedly said:

    Love the one you made - look forward to seeing the one you get in exchange!

  53. The fabulous Melody allegedly said:

    I don’t like the term “mug rug” either.
    But your little mug rug is beautiful. I like the fabrics you chose.

  54. The fabulous Cindy allegedly said:


  55. The fabulous Cindy allegedly said:

    Oh, AND just btw, I love your little quilty project…whatever you wanna call it. :)

  56. The fabulous amylouwho allegedly said:

    i too have been intrigued by the mug rugs. I think they are adorable but I would hate to see hot chocolate spilled all over it! I LOVE yours! I’d probably hang it on the wall.

    you always pick the greatest colors!

  57. The fabulous Deanna allegedly said:

    Mug rug. Worst name ever for something so cute. Yours is ESPECIALLY cute.

  58. The fabulous Kim allegedly said:

    Now that is really cute……yeah I’m knocking down ladies to get to that mugrug.

    did you survive?

    I have to laugh….I felt the same way when I first saw them…..oh that’s dumb!
    they are adorable and really grow on ya right? Made some for Christmas gifts :0)

    Happy Sewing

  59. The fabulous Amy allegedly said:

    Thanks for sharing the sweet tutorial for that technique. LOVE the colors you used. I just joined a new Modern Quilt Guild, too, in my area. If there are any survivors, please report back on how the swap went. Good luck!

  60. The fabulous Ursula allegedly said:

    sooo cute! I love the colours you chose. I’m betting yours will be snatched up right away.

  61. The fabulous Pinky allegedly said:

    love love LOVE the colour combo here. Would never have thought of it, but it looks so fresh and lovely :)

  62. The fabulous AnyoneCanQuilt allegedly said:

    I hope no one lost an eye trying to snag your mug rug! I’m so sad I missed the meeting. I’ve been sick for THREE weeks now, and wallowing in self pity.. I’ll make it there eventually if it’s the last thing I do, aaand it may be at this point. Miss you! xomofo

  63. The fabulous Sharrieboberry allegedly said:

    I have an orange zigzag on my “to do” list. Yours is super, duper pretty with the aqua.

  64. The fabulous Helen allegedly said:

    Love your mug rug. I drank the kool-aid in December. I used fabric selvedges and love them. The binding was not fun, too small and tight. I have since learned to sew a half inch strip on the edge and create a faux binding. I believe the idea came from the Confused Quilter.

  65. The fabulous Brenda allegedly said:

    sorry about the email I just sent you, then I read you suck at email…was wondering what size strips you used to make your zigzag mug rug…thanks!

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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