Patchwork Mug Rugs Make Quick Quilted Gifts

Stylish, practical homemade gifts are welcome anytime, I think. When people know you’re a fiber artist, they appreciate that you took the time to make something just for them.

mug rug quilt gift
Small quilted gifts like this mug rug can be whipped up in an hour or less.

I have made bed and lap quilts, holiday table runners, and other large-scale quilted gifts and décor. But more often I make small quilted gifts that come together quickly with the sewing machine and my abundance of fabric scraps.

For example, this pretty and practical mug rug—which includes a built-in mug marker—is an easy sewing project that can be put together in about an hour.

The simple design sets two interlocking four-patch squares on point, creating the illusion of more complex piecing. The mug marker doubles as a hanging tab, and the whole set can be stored on a hook.

Easy Patchwork Mug Rug
By Vivika Hansen DeNegre


  • Main color fabric (blue): cut four 3½” squares and a 1½” x 7½” strip
  • Contrast color fabric (pink): cut three 3½” squares
  • Backing fabric, cut a 9″ x 14″ rectangle
  • Batting: cut a 9″ x 14″ rectangle
  • Button
  • Hand sewing needle and thread
  • Knitting needle

Mug rug

1. Arrange the squares in three rows. Sew the blocks together in each row, pressing the seams toward the pink fabric.

2. Sew the three rows together, making sure to match the seams and stagger the rows to create the jagged edge. Press the seams toward the center row.

3. Layer the piece for quilting by placing the batting on the bottom, the backing fabric on top of the batting, right side facing up, and the top right side facing down. Pin the three layers together.

4. Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew around the outside edge of the top, leaving a 3″ opening on one side. Be sure to make sharp turns at all inside and outside corners. Trim away the excess batting. Clip the corners and inside angles to ensure easy turning.

5. Turn the piece right side out and push the corners out with a knitting needle. Press. Whip stitch the raw opening closed, and quilt your piece as desired.

6. Make a buttonhole in the top corner of one side to accept the mug marker button.

Mug marker

mug marker small quilted gifts
The mug marker in action.

1. Fold the 1½” x 7½” strip of fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch a scant ¼” seam up the long edge. Turn the strip right side out and press.

2. Fold the piece in half making a loop, and stitch the raw edges together at the bottom of the loop, and again about ½” away. Attach the button between the stitch lines.

3. The button and loop act as a hanger for the mug rug, and can be twisted around a mug handle to identify the mug.

This project is one of 30 for making homemade gifts and holiday décor in the 2012/13 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts. In it you’ll find ideas and patterns for gifts for quilters and others on your list, quilted Christmas ornaments, festive non-denominational décor, and much more.

I’m very excited about bringing you my first issue of Quilting Arts Gifts—you can check it out now!

P.S. What are your favorite quick quilted gifts? Share in the comments section below.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Quilting Daily Blog

9 thoughts on “Patchwork Mug Rugs Make Quick Quilted Gifts

  1. Vivika, I really like your mug rug and would love to be able to download the pattern. Is it possible for these little projects you sometimes include to be downloadable? I have been making quilted cup cozies as gifts recently and they have been recieved with enthusium
    as i try to pick fabrics that make them peronal for the reciepeant. this needs spell check.


  2. First….I LOVE this site; so many great ideas and tips, so thank you for that.
    Then….I make mugrugs while watching t.v., beats eating popcorn; and I embellish the heck out of them with beads, etc., or embroidery. They make great last-minute gifts; and some i just hang on a wall for art. Whatever I use these for, they are fun and always bring a smile, which is my goal. Smiles.

  3. Hi Everyone,

    I’m so glad you like my little mug rug. It is so simple to put together, I didn’t include a pattern. Also, because this is from our brand-new, not even on the stands yet issue of Gifts 2012, we are not offering the project as a downloadble PDF as yet.

    However, you can find many free patterns and projects from past issues of Quilting Arts and our special issues under the Free Resources tab at the top of this page.

    Finally, you are right–I left out out the backing fabric from the materials list (I went in and corrected that). It is the same as the batting.

    Thanks so much for your interest. I’m sure you’ll like all the projects in the 2012/13 issue of Gifts.

  4. Hi. This looks fun & easy. Just wondering, though, (I’m not very good with math!) why the backing is 9 x 14? It is seeming to me, trying to think while my 2 4-yos are yelling in the background, that the finished total area would be about 9″ x 9″. What am I not seeing??

  5. I love these mug rugs and made 2 one afternoon for a friend and her husband. They are moving away and I wanted give them something to remember me by. Anyway, I cut all the materials out that I would need but found some mistakes. Shouldn’t the Back & Batting be 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″? You will find 9″ makes it too short by 1/2″ and the 14″ is just too much fabric. Did I do something wrong? By the way, my friends loved the gifts. Thanks for posting.

  6. I just made a mug rug from this pattern. The backing is the right amount, you just need to lay your top on point. I did not make the buttonhole. I made a loop and sewed the button on top as an embellishment. Very cute!