I love shortcuts. Can't help it. I like to practice constructive laziness wherever possible ;-)
A hand-pieced-and-quilted grandmothers flower garden quilt, whilst insanely beautiful, would drive me to drink. (Well, slightly more than usual anyway).
I just love the idea of simplifying techniques, and while this doesn't really look anything like a real fancy pants cathedral windows block, the quilting has some of the same qualities.
So its a kind of "fake it till you make it" tutorial. Let's start shall we?
16 x 2.5" squares for the front
Scrap of batting/wadding at least 10" square
Backing fabric, again at least 10" square
First you will need to gather your 2.5" squares. Jelly roll scraps are perfect for this project, or indeed any kind of scrap. All of these came out of my scrap-bags*. Whenever I make a postage stamp design in a 2 colour scrappy style I like to use an unbalanced number of each colour. So here I have 9 reds and 7 greens. It just kinda adds to the random affect a little more.
*A typo here would be hilarious.
Arrange in a pleasing layout. You could iron them. I obviously didnt...
Stitch together rows and columns (with a quarter inch seam allowance) in whichever way you favour. I usually flip columns 2 and 4 over onto columns 1 and 3 and chain piece to make pairs. I then piece the pairs together and finally the rows. There's so much discussion over the "right" way to press seams... so just do what feels best. I usually press rows 1 and 3 to the left, and rows 2 and 4 to the right, so that the seams can nest.
Layer up your backing (right side down), batting and 16 patch block (right side up). You could baste with a little bit of spray or some pins, but if you are careful and your backing is big enough then I wouldn't bother.
I do recommend switching to your walking foot at this point if you haven't already. "What if I don't have one?" I hear you ask.... Its fine. I'm still not sure I can notice its purported benefits, I just threw that in there to sound like I have mad skillz.
Stitch in the ditch on all the seam lines following the grid of the squares.
Now comes the interesting part. Start at the top of one of the middle lines with your needle down, and at an angle pointing toward the opposite corner of the square.
Begin stitching toward the middle of the square, curving back around when you get to the middle so that you end up in the second corner, level with where you started. The next picture explains it better. You are basically doing a wiggly line taking up half of each successive square (like a sine wave, for the nerds amongst us). Follow the white stitching line from the picture below, and when you get to the end, stop with the needle down.
Pivot, and return to where you initially started, doing the same wiggly pattern, but on the opposite side of the sea following the black dotted line. Repeat this step for all the vertical stitch lines, and it will look like this:
Now do the same for every horizontal seam line. The last step is to do the same semi-circle pattern around the entire edge, pivoting at each seam point and corner. You could skip this step if you wanted though, because most of these lines are hidden by the binding anyway.
Trim the batting and backing away and make sure to square it up. I squared mine up to 8.5 inches. Bind as desired. I always stitch my binding by machine. Constructive laziness strikes again! There's a great tutorial here for anyone that needs it, although weirdly I do it backwards to the way Rita advises. I sew on to the back first, and then stitch down on the front.
And there you have it. One fake-it-till-you-make-it mug rug. This particular one will be going off to my partner in the BQS to spread a little Christmas cheer. I might even make another for my partner in the MTRS just because :-)
I made a few for Christmas gifts last year, the backs of which were plain. These show of the quilting really nicely!
Do let me know if you make anything from this tutorial, I'd love to see it!!