I love sew-alongs and when the Cozy Christmas sew-along popped up, organized by Lori Holt and Riley Blake, I knew I wanted to play.
However, I don’t want another large quilt so I have decided to make a mug rug each week using the applique Cozy Christmas block for that week. (You can get the free Cozy Christmas pattern together with details of fabric requirements and templates over at Bee in my Bonnet or click on the Sew-Along picture above.)
The first block up is the Cozy Bell block and Lori has a wonderful video showing how to make this block using her stitch-and-turn applique method. For my mug rugs however, I shall be using the quick-fuse method (also know as raw edge applique) to reduce bulk and I thought I might share a few tips for each block if you are also using this applique method.
Firstly, for the bell ringer you do not need the whole B6 circle so trace a little over half of the shape as shown below. This shape will lie partially under the bell and you do not want the circle outline showing through.
Secondly, trace the two bow (B9) shapes together, as a mirror image. This will help if using a directional print. Do the same for the bow tails (B13 shapes).
Thirdly, peel back a corner of the fusible webbing paper before you cut out the shapes. Gently finger press it down again to cut out the shape. You will find that it is easier to peel the paper from the back of the shapes if you have a corner to get you started.
I stitched the bell and bell ringer in place before adding the bow but it doesn’t really matter how you do it.
|Cozy Christmas Bell awaiting a bow.|
Finally, if you do not have any bias tape you can cut a 1” wide strip of your chosen fabric and a ¼” rectangle of fusible web (I cut my fabric 4” long and my fusible web 3½” long).
|Cheats Binding Tape|
Press the fabric lengthwise so that the raw edges overlay one another. I overlapped the edges so that my strip of fabric was approximately ½” wide. Next fuse the rectangle of fusible webbing over the cut edges to seal them. Peel the paper away from the fusible webbing. You can then trim and use as you would bias tape.
|Cheat's Binding Tape ready for stitching|
I cut a ¾” piece for the bow knot.
|Cozy Christmas Bell Mug Rug|
To create this first Cozy Christmas mug rug I added a wide striped sidebar from my One Block Mug Rugs book (page 21) using charm squares from Lori Holt’s Cozy Christmas fabric.
|Turn any 6" block into a fun and functionalMUG RUG|
To complete the mug rug I quilted around the bell (I love the way it puffs up if you quilt close to the applique) and I added a little quilted detailing on the bow. I also quilted wavy lines down the sidebar – nice and easy.
|Quilted Cozy Christmas Bell|
So there you have it – week one of the Cozy Christmas sew-along and one Cozy Christmas Bell mug rug.
Until next time .....