I'm so excited to be participating in the Merry Mug Rug series over at an amazing quilting blog, Ellison Lane. I've been wanting to make a festive placemat for Santa's cookies and milk, so this mug rug was the perfect opportunity! I used a Clamshell, also known as Scallops, design. This entire project (minus the front side of the binding), is hand pieced. It's the perfect little project to work on while you're out and about... doctor's office, carpool lane, ballet lessons, etc.
My friend Mary, over at Molly Flanders Makerie, showed me how to make these adorable clamshells. She just posted a great tutorial on how to create them, so click over to learn for yourself from one talented lady, like I did!
The main idea is creating a clamshell template, then cutting out your clams and arranging your design on a muslin grid, then glue basting them to the muslin, then needle-turned applique to stitch them down, then creating a quilt sandwich and hand quilt all 3 layers together. Whew! Again, be sure to read Mary's clamshell tutorial. She shares all the helpful instructions. For reference, my clamshell template was 2 1/4" by 2 1/4".
I found it helpful to arrange all my fabrics and snap a picture on my phone. That way I could see the scale of all the colors from a different perspective, to make sure I liked the layout. I could also refer back to it in case things accidentally got out of order.
Then I basted and stitched. I worked on one row at a time.
Don't look too close, my hand stitching and quilting certainly isn't flawless, but considering I had a baby on my lap during most of the time I was stitching, I'm okay with that!
The scariest part of this project was whacking off the excess clamshells to square up my little quilt.
For the binding, I use the French Binding method. The tutorial is from Mary's blog (she's genius, I tell ya). Instead of using 2 1/2" strips, I cut mine at 2 1/4" which I think looks tidier on such a tiny little quilt.
Here's a look at my backing... aren't those soldiers so
brave cute looking? They were so perfect for fussy-cutting the clamshells, too. I ordered this fabric from Mary's brand new shop called Sunny Day Supply. Her website will launch soon, but if you are just dying to get your hands on some of this fabric, leave a comment here, or you can get in touch with Mary via her blog or a direct message on instagram.
I think Santa will approve of my Merry Mug Rug... and probably the Ghiradelli chocolate chip cookies, that my 8 year old made all by herself! (Ok, I'll be honest, we already ate al the cookies, so I guess we'll be making more in time for Santa, haha)!
Be sure to visit Ellison Lane to see the full lineup of Merry Mug Rugs! I'm in good company, sewing and blogging along with 16 other really talented quilters. There's also a great giveaway with the series, a $30 gift certificate to Southern Fabric, enter here! (ends Dec. 14).