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A couple weeks ago the Mr. Fox pattern popped up on my Facebook feed. It is a free pattern on Craftsy by Julia Eigenbrodt of Stars & Sunshine. A combined need for a quick finish and the desire to brighten a friend's day had me diving for my scrap bin. The pattern is for a 5" x 5" finished block which was perfect for a mug rug.
I printed the pattern on regular printer paper on my home printer. One of the nice things about the pattern was that she colored the pieces so it was easy to keep track of what color to sew on next. For my fabrics I used a grey for the background that was left over from What a Hoot. The white and dark orange were random fat eighths I picked up at The Quilter's Market in Tucson, AZ. The black is from my scrap bin. Who knows which project it actually came from (black is a staple in my stash). Lastly, the main orange is actually a fat quarter that a gift came wrapped in from my Aunt.
It had been a few years since I paper pieced, but it was like riding a bike. I didn't sew the units in the order recommended. Because I'm too impatient I started in the center with the body and as I got multiple units completed I sewed them together. 1.1 mm is the stitch length she recommended and I used it. Worked perfectly and I had no issues tearing off the paper at the end. While sewing I used a basic Elmer's Glue Stick to tack down the fabric as I went. Also, when sewing units together I made sure to put a pin through both sets where the points met. When you do this make sure your pin is standing straight up and down. This will help you keep things accurate as you go.
When I got the block done I had one piece on the left hand side that wasn't quite big enough. I decided to leave it and just work with it. Once sandwiched it wasn't quite so bad. I used a scrap of blue for the back that was leftovers from my wedding. It really wasn't big enough but I made it work. Since it was so small I only pin basted the four corners before stitching around the outside.
For quilting I used Grey 50 weight Aurifil Thread, color 2605. All the quilting was free motion. I started out by stitching quickly around the edge so I could remove the basting pins. Then I stitched in the ditch around the outside of Mr. Fox. After that I tried pebbles for the first time in the background. I have to say I am very pleased with pebbles. They are very forgiving!
Once quilting was complete I trimmed down the longer side to be the same length as the others. I only had about 3/4" - 1" to work with but I was stubborn and wanted to make it work. The corners of the back were trimmed to make the points less bulky and easier to work with. I used the Clover Wonder Clips to tack down the edge for sewing.
When stitching down the edge I just barely caught the folded over fabric, and in some areas missed it completely. I had to go over those areas again. As an end result the binding ended up looking a bit wobbly, but I still love it. The quilting showed up well on the back and I wasn't able to part with it. Mr. Fox now keeps me company at work and constantly reminds me that I have sewing and fabric to go home to when the day's work is done.
A short note:
This post was intended to showcase both mug rugs that I created, but because it was getting a bit long there will be a part 1 and part 2. So stay tuned!