Quilted Christmas Mug Rug tutorial

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Looking for a fast and easy gift for Christmas? A quilted Christmas mug rug would be perfect and this tutorial to make one takes no time at all.

Quilted Christmas Mug Rug with applique flower

Fast and Easy Christmas Mug Rug Tutorial

What is really fun about making mug rugs is that they are a great way to try out a new block, play around with your quilting or applique and have something cute to show it. These make wonderful gifts also.

A 6½” x 8″ mug rug

There isn’t a set size for mug rugs. I make some smaller and some larger. This one starts out with a 6-inch block.

  • Cut 4 – 2 1/2 inch squares of green fabric
  • Cut 1 – 2 1/2 inch square of white fabric
  • Cut 4 – 2 1/2 inch half square triangles using the Easy Angle ruler of red fabric
  • Cut 4 – 2 1/2 inch half square triangles using the Easy Angle ruler of white fabric
  • Cut 2 – 1 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch strips of red fabric

If you don’t have the Easy Angle ruler just use any method to end up with half-square triangles that are 2 1/2 inches. This is the neatest little ruler and everyone should have one.

Easy Angle Ruler

The Easy Angle Ruler is great to use for half-square triangles. If you don’t have one then cut squares 2 7/8 inch and cut diagonally.

Sew with a ¼” seam allowance. Stitch the half-square triangles together first. Here is the layout for the block pieces.

Fabric cut for the mug rug using the Easy Angle ruler

Piece the rows together.

Piece the rows of the quilted Christmas mug rug together

Now add the 1 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch strips to two sides. 

Add the border to the mug rug

Now the little Christmas mug rug is pieced and ready for some applique to it.

I used the Sizzix Tattered Flower die which has been discontinued but you could use any type of flower applique. AccuQuilt has several floral dies like this GO! Round Flower. You could also just skip this step.

I have a template for a flower that you can download and use.

flower applique for mug rug

Get the free PDF in my library!

Here is the finished Christmas mug rug block. If you don’t care to do applique, this would still make a cute mug rug for Christmas.

Finished Christmas mug rug top


Use Heat n Bond Lite to back the piece of fabric you’ll use for the flower before cutting it out for applique. Normally I would also cut a small circle for the center of the flower but I had this neat Christmas fabric that worked perfectly for the center.

Christmas fabric with flower for applique

Here is the little flower cut from the fabric and ready to applique. You can applique before or after to add the batting and backing. I chose to applique afterwards.

Flower on mug rug ready to applique


It is now time to quilt the mug rug. I don’t know if you can see or not but my mug rugs are usually made with my batting scraps that have been butted together and put together with a zigzag stitch.

It doesn’t really show so I drew some black lines to show where I pieced the batting. On the right side toward the bottom I sewed 2 pieces of batting together and then added another piece to the top.

Here is a closeup to show you how I did the free-motion applique and quilting. First I free-motion quilted the center flower with a cream Aurifil thread and then I switched to a red Aurifil thread for the rest of the quilting on my vintage Singer sewing machine.

Closeup of the applique and quilting on the Christmas mug rug

Adding corners for a wall hanging

When I was making this I wasn’t sure if it would be a mug rug or maybe a mini wall hanging so I decided to put corners on the back so it could be hung.

I used four 2½-inch squares of fabric that matched my backing.

Back of mug rug

I couldn’t get a photo to really show how I did it so I’m showing the muslin just so you can see it better. Fold each square diagonally and pin it in the corners.

I used one in each corner in case I wanted to hang it vertically or horizontally. The photo shows a 1/4 inch dowel which is too big for a mug rug, I prefer a much smaller one like a 1/8 inch dowel rod as there really isn’t any weight. I like to baste the corners down before I put on my binding.

Normally I cut my binding 2½” but for this little mug rug, 2¼” was wide enough.

Adding a dowel to the back of the Christmas mug rug

I did a little free-motion applique around the flower and here it is finished. I sure wish I could make full-size quilts this fast! Wouldn’t this make a wonderful gift for that special someone? Especially with some homemade cookies!

Quilted Christmas Mug Rug
6½” x 8″

Red coffee cup on the Christmas mug rug

If you like this tutorial and make a little Christmas mug rug, I would love to see it!

Other Christmas Tutorials

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Connie with her dogs

About Connie

Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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  1. Connie,
    Thank you for the cute Christmas Mug Rug tutorial. Sometimes I make mug rugs and stuff them to make small decorative pillows. One might have to make some mug rugs a little larger.

  2. Good Morning Connie Dear. November is already taking flight. The clocks are turned back and the race is on through the holidays. Love your Mug Rug. I am here to enjoy my Serene Sunday. Blessings my friend.

  3. I love this. I made it the last time you had it on. I also used the pattern to make Buffalo Bills, Sabres and military ones for different family members.
    Thank you for such a sweet and easy pattern.

  4. Thank you again for such a nice Xmas mug rug. I’m trying to get a November lap size quilt done soon and when that’s done I’ll start on this cute mug rug.

  5. Thank you Connie for sharing your Christmas Rug Mug, it is sweet! I am glad Sadie is feeling better. We love our little fur babies and it is so scary when they are sick. Take care and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

  6. What a beauty! It will certainly be on my list to make before Christmas. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful tutorials.

  7. Oh Ms. Connie – the mug rug is adorable! Thank you so very much for sharing your talents with all of us!

    Merry Christmas to everyone!

  8. Both mug rugs are so very cute! I am hoping Santa doesn't forget to bring me a little Sizzix 😉
    Thank you for sharing. Ellyx

  9. Good morning…
    Thanks so much for the tutorial…
    I'm going try to do one (and we don't know how more after…), I'll show you, be sure.
    Maria Rosalia

  10. Your mug rug is so festive,Connie,I love it! Just might have to make up a few of these as last minute gifts 🙂 Thanks so much for the tutorial.

    Gotta Love those 50% off coupons at Joann's!

  11. Perfect tutorial for Christmas. Thank you for taking the time and mentioning the ruler, which I have and have never used.

  12. I made my first mug rugs today to practice free motion quilting. Do I wash them to get the "quilting effect" like I do my quilts? I'm also making pot holders the same way. I've giving them as gifts and want to make sure they still look new.

  13. Thanks for the great tutorial! such a cute mug rug. I love both color ways, but if I had to choose favorite it would be the Christmas one. Lovely project!!!!

  14. Both versions of your mug rugs are really lovely. They look so different with different fabrics! The Big Shot is fabulous, isn't it? I've been using scrapbooking dies for a few years on quilt projects and was over the moon when they released the hst, strip dies etc.

  15. Connie, this is very, very cute! It's perfect for the season! And you're right — mug rugs are the perfect tool for playing with a new block or for playing around with a new FMQ pattern, too!! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

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