Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Friendship Quilts Blog Hop or FQBH @ from blank pages...

Before I start my post today, I just have to say I am SO HAPPY!!! If you are new to my site, we moved to Iowa in June. We definitely love it here, but have been dealing with the moving company to find more than a handful of items that they lost along the way. It's been so stressful! Well, yesterday while we were running errands, they dropped off a few of our things at our neighbors! WAHOO! When she came and told me that she had our stuff in her garage I about died!! What a relief! We finally have Hunter's matress back, as well as the rest of Mabel's crib. It is such a relief to have them in their own beds again after 2 1/2 months! We also got two boxes of kitchen stuff (hello Blendtec mixer! Oh how I have missed my smoothies!) :) As well as a few more things. Definitely not all of it, but I think these were the main things I was stressing about, so I am SO grateful!!

Ok, now back to the blog hop! :)

Quilting for a Cause

If you missed yesterday's post, you will definitely want to check it out! It has all the details of who is participating in the hop, who the sponsors are, the amazing prizes, judges, link up details, and more! Today I'm starting with a very basic tutorial for the most basic friendship bracelet design.

For my Friendship Quilts I made two mug rugs. Before I get to the tutorial, let me share with you the great people who are the recipients of these. :)


This first one, I actually haven't sent off yet. So I don't want to ruin the surprise as the recipient might be reading this. But let me tell you that she is super great!! I am probably totally going to give it away in saying this. Oh well. It was kind of weird how we met. I joined a swap and was in it for about a month and then had to drop out... but she was in my group and through the little bit of conversation we had in the group we hit it off. I think we then started stalking each other a little as people tend to do, or maybe just me. We started reading each others blogs, found some more things in common and we've been emailing each other ever since. It's been awesome!! I think she was the first person that I met through Flickr that we've become more than just friends on Flickr. I've met so many great people and made so many more friends since then that I'm also SO excited to meet in real life (like at the Sewing Summit! Yeah!) It definitely makes the online experience so much better when you're able to find such great friends. :) There are a few other online friends that I would like to make something for, but this is where I've gotten so far. :)


My next Friendship Quilt mug rug is a bit more manly. lol. This one is for my hubby to take to work and use there. It's hard to photograph, but I like it. Perhaps I could have done a different binding than black, but he really seemed really happy with it when I gave it to him. :) Of course my hubby is my best friend. Definitely someone I couldn't overlook when thinking about special people in my life. We will have been married for 6 years come December. And we knew each other for 8 years before that. We've had a long, and interesting journey together. But it's been great! Some days he makes me crazy, but I wouldn't change our life for anything. Anyway, I could go on and on about how good looking he is, and funny, and kind, but I'll stop and spare you the mushy stuff. ;) But honestly, I think this added gesture of friendship is what our marriage has been missing these last 5 years. LOL!! ;)


For each of these I decided to use the most basic designs. You can see it better in the first mug rug, but for both of them I used a half step between each row or column (depending on how you orient them). Here is a quick and simple way to put these together, without sewing a million tiny pieces together.

FIRST: I decided on an approximate size that I wanted each individual square piece to be.

In the first mug rug, each piece is 1" wide and 1.5" long. (= 1.5" x 2" UNFINSHED or size to cut out - but don't cut pieces out yet!!! The extra 1/2" is the seam allowance.)

In both mug rugs my ratio is  
Length = width + 1/2 of width  
i.e. 1.5 = 1 + (.5 x 1)  or 1.5 = 1 + .5

Decide how many rows and columns you want. OR Decide your finished size and divide by the width and length of your squares. You will probably have to play around with your numbers a little to make this work.

I decided to have 7 rows and 6 columns (***You need to add one extra ROW! Because of trimming, each column will have one square that is cut in half.)

***Note, I determine rows by the fabric. One fabric is a row, the columns are one of each fabric. Rotate the first mug rug for correct orientation. :)

Last math step:

Multiply your UNFINISHED width by the number of columns you want. (my width = 1.5" x 6 columns = 9") *** Make sure you have already added the seam allowance before multiplying or it will not be long enough.

Cut out your 8 rows of fabric that are 9" by 2".

Arrange your fabrics in the order you want them and sew them together.

Next, cut them the width of each column - 1.5". You'll then want to stagger the pieces how you want them. You will need to unpick the ends and sew those at the top so they stay in order.
You can see on the ends of my rows where I unpicked it and the threads are still in there.
*** I will show you a trick to help minimize this, which can especially be helpful if you are making something on a larger scale. ***

Now to sew your strips together. Take your first piece and fold the second fabric in half and make a crease.

Line up the crease with the first seam in the next strip.
Pin and sew together.

Sew your strips like this in pairs.

Now you can sew your double strips together. Line up the seams like so


And sew. Make sure to remember which side you need to sew together! Sew all strips together. Then trim. I forgot to take a picture before you trim, but you will have very jagged ends.

Layer with batting and a backing, quilt and bind! And you're finished! I added some hand stitching as well.  :)

*** Here's a trick that I figured out while making Neil's mug rug:

AFTER you sew all your fabrics together and BEFORE you cut them into the column strips, SEW the top and bottom fabric Right Sides together so it makes a loop

it's kind of like a tunnel. :)

Lay it flat and trim it:

Turn it Right Side OUT and figure out how you want to stagger it.
simple diagonal

mini zig zags

I decided on a larger zig zag.

Based on which fabrics are at the top, start unpicking ONLY that seam on each column
this way you won't have to resew pieces after unpicking.

Once they are all unpicked, continue sewing them together like in the tutorial above.

Here is what this mug rug looked like before trimming.

And that's it! You can do a lot of basic designs with this trick. I hope it helps you get on your way with your project!! The link up for your creations will open on the 21st! Stay tuned for MANY more ideas as well!! :) don't forget to see this post for who's up next! I will also be updating my blog every day with a link to who's posting, so you don't forget. ;)

AND for one more great giggle before my post comes to an end, here's another fun 80's picture for you. I was born in the 80's so I didn't get into the trend as much as my family, but it's still fun checking out these old photos! :) (mostly to giggle at my siblings. don't tell.) ;)

I'm the cute one on the right. heehee.
LOVE the black and white polka dots and stripes. ;)

This is actually a photo we tried to reenact a few years ago at a family reunion. lol. It didn't turn out anywhere as near as cute as the original. ;)

basically I cheated by sitting on a picnic table. To my sisters dismay, she wasn't strong enough to hold us both anymore. ;)

Feel free to grab a button to show you're playing along!!
Frienship Quilts Blog Hop @ from blank pages...

See you tomorrow at The Peacock Tree with Whitney! :)



  1. I love your two mug rugs !!
    I hope what I'm making will come out as nice as yours :)

    And I love that picture :) Your big sister's face and those glasses are awesome!

  2. Cute Mug rugs and great use of scraps! I loved making friendship bracelets in the 80's. The photo is adorable. I had glasses like your sister's.

  3. Awesome way to kick off the blog hop! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! (That was in the form of Arsenio Hall...) I love that you made your hub something special. So sweet. Your tutorial was awesome- the first part about sewing strips then cutting them into sub strips- genius.

  4. Such awesome looking mug rugs. Gosh the 80's were better times! Well not style wise =P

  5. Oh I had a giggle at you guys recreating your 80's photo! That's so funny - and such a fun idea!

    Your friendship mug rugs look radically wicked cool (or something super good like that haha?!). So nice to have one for your bloggy friend - love the friendships you can make through a shared loved of quilting!!

  6. Awe, what a great picture! your big sisters haircut is sooooo '80's!

  7. Love the mug rugs and the photos :)

  8. cute 80's photos! i have to start digging for mine...yikes!

  9. Thank you for the tutorial. That looks like you were having fun in the photo.


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