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Double Tutorial Tue: Foundation Heart Mug Rug & Sew. Happy. Quilt. Block #9

Psst…did you want to leave a link on Manic Monday Linky Party? You still can! And don’t forget to enter my awesome giveaway, which ends Thursday! At least 3 fabulous prizes to be given away!

Woohoo! I’ve got 2 tutorials to share with you today! One is the next block in my Sew. Happy. Quilt. Quilt AlongChurn Dash Redux, which can be found here, and the other is one I posted last week on my good friend Melissa’s blog, SewBitterSweet Designs. She has an AMAZING array of Valentine’s Day themed tutorials in her Valentine’s Day Showcase celebration – so go check the others out!

My daughter Savi is pretty enamoured with this mug rug, and she’s always so good and cheerful that this Valentine’s Day I’m giving her this special handmade gift. I’m really lucky to have such a great and supportive family, and it’s so nice to have a full time cheerleader in my corner. Life hasn’t always been easy for the two of us, but I think our closeness has given us both strength when we needed it most – and there really were times when my 10 year old daughter held me together. I’ve always treated her like an adult and it seems to have helped her become a clever and brave tween. Thanks, Savi. Mummy loves you!


  • one printed heart pdf pattern from Carol Doak’s free patterns page (just scroll down till you see Crazy Patch Heart)
  • OPTIONAL: an 8″ x 8″ scrap of calico or thin white cotton fabric to make a foundation
  • assorted scraps for the heart foundation/paper piecing block
  • 4 strips of fabric 1.5″ x 6.5″
  • 2 strips of fabric 1.5″ x 10.5″
  • 2 strips of fabric 2″ x 10.5″
  • 2 strips of fabric 2″ x 11.5″
  • Wadding 12″ x 14″
  • Backing for 12″ x 14″
  • 55″ worth of binding (need a binding tute? No problem!)

Finished size: about 10″ x 12″ depending on how big the foundation pattern prints. Don’t freak out if it’s not exactly 6.5″ square. Mine wasn’t and I think it looks ok anyway. 🙂

Ok, right off the bat when you look at the next picture you’ll be wondering if I’ve gone crazy. Of course I have, but it has nearly nothing to do with the sewing. Nearly.

I take a class with a lovely lady named Jackie Sparks. She doesn’t have a blog but she’s the chair of my local quilt group, Romsey Quilters. (BTW I do their website too – that’s why it’s so crap). Anyway, she showed me a way to eliminate all the faff of paper piecing by turning it into foundation piecing. All you need is some masking tape, a ruler and a pencil and some calico.

As you can see, I’ve taped my printout down to my mat, then over it I’ve taped a big square of calico, which is so thin you can see right through it. (So it doesn’t add bulk!) Then you simply trace ALL the lines using a pencil and ruler. Make sure you do the outside 1/4″ lines so you have a seam allowance. And I promise you the extra effort is worth it – it makes life SO much easier!

So I’ve drawn all my lines and numbered the spaces in pencil too. That’s important. Do that now.

Clearly, if it’s numbered, we’ll start with #1. ***#s 1, 9, 10, 11 Cut a piece of fabric that’s larger than the space – it’s a tiny space so a square of whatever will do. Place it RIGHT SIDE UP on the BACK of the numbered side and pin in place. See how I’m holding it up to the light to make sure there is plenty of seam allowance on all sides? You should do that too.

Now I’ve cut a big piece for #2. I’ve place it RIGHT SIDE DOWN (Facing down) on top of the #1 piece. See how the only thing actually IN the #2 space is a tiny little seam allowance? That’s because we’ll be flipping it Right Side UP after sewing that line. Also you need to make sure that when you do flip and iron the square of fabric will cover all of the #2 space plus at least 1/4″.

Do what the picture says. Start stitching about 2 stitch lengths before, and stop about 2 stitch lengths after the line.

This is important. You MUST iron after every seam you sew. That keeps it crisp and sharp, which is why you’re doing a foundation in the first place.

Now fold back the calico and trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. MAKE SURE you don’t cut the calico!!!

Now we’re getting to larger pieces. Here’s how to deal with them: 1) Make sure you cut a piece large enough to cover #3 plus AT LEAST 1/4″ on all sides. Personally I cut much larger then trim down. 2) Place it face down on the front, positioning it so the seam allowance is roughly 1/4″ past the line between #’2 and #3. 3) Then pin the line to test your seam before you sew it. 4) Turn it so you’re looking at the numbered side and hold it up to the light as shown above to make sure that once you stitch the line, there is plenty of fabric to cover #3. In this case there’s more than enough.

5) Now reposition your pin so you’re not sewing it and you can sew that line between #1/#2 and #3. PRESS!!!

Here’s how it looks after you’ve added #4. I know it looks messy and awful, but you’ll trim so don’t worry about it. Just worry about the seams and making sure you have enough fabric. Just follow steps 1 through 5 as outlined above and you won’t go wrong.

Here it is after I sewed all the pieces. Doesn’t that look awful?

Here’s the back of that foundation piece. Now that looks all nice and neat, doesn’t it? AND NO TEARING (or tears!)!

Now you’re ready to trim the foundation along those outside lines and add your 2 6.5″ long strips to the sides. (Again, if yours printed out smaller, don’t fret. Just trim the edges of the strips and decide if you want to add more.)

Here she is all pieced, basted and quilted. I tried a fancy meandering heart FMQ. Some of it looks good, some of it looks like thread vomit as I showed you before. Now all you need to do is put the binding on and you’re good to go!

© Copyright J C Excell, 2011. You are welcome to use any SewHappyGeek tutorial for personal use. You are even welcome to make a couple to sell, but you are not given permission to use my pictures or my words without giving me credit and linking back to the original. You are NEVER allowed to copy an entire tutorial or post.
Sometimes my pictures have my family in them and they are never intended for public use. Also, I work very hard to provide free tutorials for my lovely readers, and anyone copying or selling my tutorials is guilty of copyright infringement.

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8 thoughts on “Double Tutorial Tue: Foundation Heart Mug Rug & Sew. Happy. Quilt. Block #9

  1. This is so cute. Your instructions are always so clear. Thanks for sharing. I have your stuff saved and after my hip surgery and I can sew again I have plans to make some of your tutorials.

  2. Hi Jen, Sorry I’ve not visited for so long! The heart design is gorgeous, great design as always! Hope you’re all well and you’ve had a lovely valentines day! 🙂 x

  3. Thanks for taking the time to walk us through all of the steps. Your tutorials always make me feel like a friend is sitting with me, helping me through the process.

  4. So very pretty – I am going to attempt my first rug mug this weekend… if all goes well I am aiing to work up to something as awesome as yours… bookmarking this tutorial for when that day finally arrives!

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