Monday, 6 December 2010

Starbright pot holder/mug rug tutorial from verykerryberry

A big thank you to Kate for inviting me to write a guest post on her blog.  Many of the fabrics I used for this project came from her lovely M is for Make shop. 

This post is also part of a December Christmas making special at Handmade by Mia and on my own blog Verykerryberry and involves contributions from other bloggers along the way so think of it as a collaborative effort!

It is a quick and easy tutorial for a Starbright pot holder/mug rug- it could be either - and a quick gift for Christmas.  For the puzzled amongst you, a mug rug is just an oversized coaster, big enough for a cup of your favouite hot drink with room for a snack on the side.

If you haven't made a wonky star before, it is much easier than you would think.  I went for Christmas colours rather than Christmas themed fabrics so it can be used all year round whilst giving a bit of festive cheer now.  You can easily make several of these out of the generous fabric quantities below.

To make your Star Pot holder/mug rug you will need:

1/4 yard fabric for background
1/4 yard contrasting fabric for triangles- or scraps
Contrasting scrap for centre square
1/4 Fabric for backing
1/4 yard of insulbrite thermal padding (Optional)
1/4 yard cotton batting (or less if using insulbrite as well)
1/4 yard fabric for binding or  44" ready made bias tape
Ribbon or tape for a hanging loop, about 4" will be ample
(Finished holder/rug will be approx. 8" square)

Cut background fabric into 8 squares, each 3 1/2" square
Cut centre fabric into 1 square, 3 1/2" square

Cut triangle fabrics into 4 squares, 4 1/2 inches" and then stack the squares and cut along the diagonal to make 8 right angled triangles.

To make the star follow Victoria's wonderful tutorial  or reference Gwen Marston's Liberated Quilting 2.

Place your completed star over your backing fabric as a guide and cut out a back piece slightly bigger that the top.  Repeat for the batting.  I used a layer of insulbrite and a layer of cotton batting. You could use 2 or 3 layers of cotton batting instead of a layer of insulbrite.  Make your quilt sandwich- backing fabric right side down, cotton batting, insulbrite shiny side up, star square right side up.

As this is quite small I didn't spray baste, tack or pin but if you want to go ahead.
I used a Hera tool to make a crease corner to corner and then quilted from that point.  I used a stitch length of 3 and the walking foot as a line guide.

I went for quite a dense textured pattern but do whatever you fancy.

Trim the edges making everything nice and square.  Before I add binding I always zig zag around the edges of any quilted project, mini size or full size.

Now is the time to add a hanging loop. Stitch in the 1/4" seam allowance and secure with straight  stitch and zig zag. Make sure the loop is pointing inwards out of the way of where the binding will go.

You could add a label or decorative tape as well- festive message maybe?

I use a single binding on small projects like this to.  Cut your binding strips 1 1/4 " wide.  Straight grain is fine, there are no curved edges so it doesn't need to be bias cut.   Trim the start of the binding at a 45 degree angle- it will make life easier later.

Make sure your hanging loop is pinned down and tucked out of the way.  A good finish to your binding  will lift the whole project,  so before you attach it, trim off all stray threads, cut the tips off the corners of the quilted square- just the tiniest amount, it will reduce the bulk on the binding corners.

I found a very helpful single binding tutorial here by Rachel at Contented.  She has gone a bit wider with the binding at 1 1/2".  I like mine tighter so I opted for 1 1/4".   Take your time, use your iron on the corners, keep your seam to 1/4" and look at my tutorial for mitred corners if you find these tricky.  Rachel is adding this to her binding tutorial as well.

You can stitch your hanging loop on to the finished binding or leave it as it is. 

A useful little  present or something to hang up and keep for yourself!

Fabrics: Green dots (binding) and aqua dots- Kei Honeycomb
Centre Square- Ellie in Amber- Michael Miller- all available from M is for Make.
Red gingham print- Farmers Market Sandi Henderson, Red/white dots- local fabric store and Kitchen print  Elsie's Pantry Windham Fabrics - from my stash

Who doesn't appreciate a little handmade, homemade love?

If you would rather have a quicker gift you can buy this one in my etsy shop! I can't guarantee overseas delivery by Christmas but I'll do my best.

Keep checking Mia's blog for more December makes x And Kate's blog for fabric loveliness x


  1. Lovely, thank you. I'll be making these for the ladies this year.

  2. Great tutorial, a quilting project I might actually complete :)

  3. M is for Mia, too :) and I am so happy the Kerry´s beautiful creation can be found here too! I am now off to see this beautiful blog better, many snowy greetings from Finland!


  4. Thank you - I've just made 2 - just going to bind them now!!

  5. I'd love to see any pics of ones you make!

  6. Thanks so much - I have some Insul Brite (bought on a whim) now I how to use it! gonna make some mug rugs