YAY! I’m so excited to be taking part in Laura’s Christmas Craft Link-Up today! If you’ve never stopped by Bugs & Fishes, definitely check it out – Laura does such adorable things with felt and is an all-around crafty whiz, her blog is definitely worth adding to your reader!
Today I’m sharing a free embroidery pattern for a retro Christmas tree design. This tree is 100% based on a project from a 1965 issue of Stitchcraft magazine:
I’ve always loved this design, it’s just so very 1950s/60s and I’ve always wanted to do something with it. I can’t take credit for its ridiculous cuteness at all – I just wanted to recreate it in a modern way. The embroidery pattern is what I wanted to share with you all, and it can be used in a zillion projects. I quite like how the original pattern repeated the motif on a table runner, so cute for a vintage-y Christmas dinner, and I have plans to stitch one up for a tree ornament. But today I’ll show you how to turn it into a mug rug – perfect for snuggling up with Christmas treats and a hot chocolate!
RETRO CHRISTMAS TREE MUG RUG TUTORIAL
Finished size: 8.5″ square
1/4″ seams throughout
Press all seams outward (away from embroidery)
Click through to make any photo bigger if needed!
Here’s what you’ll need:
– My Retro Chrismtas Tree Pattern, which you can download here.
– Embroidery floss (I used DMC colors Ecru, 353, 955 and 604).
– The standard embroidery tools: hoop, needle, scissors.
– 4 different fabrics – one to stitch on, two to match, and one for the back. This is a good use for scraps – see below for exact sizes needed. (I used prints from Denyse Schmidt’s Florence line, one by Denyse Schmidt for Joann’s and my backing piece is from Bonnie & Camille’s Bliss.)
– Quilt batting, a piece 9-10″ square.
– The standard sewing tools: machine, pins, thread to match your fabrics.
– Curved basting pins and binding clips (optional)
First up, embroidery!
Download the pattern and trace on a piece of fabric at least 6″ square. Use my colors listed above or your own to match the fabric you’ve chosen, and using 4 strands, embroider your tree! I used chain stitch for the tree itself, french knots for the ornaments, satin stitch for the tree’s base and straight stitches for the stars. Now you’re ready to make your mug rug!
Here’s what to cut from your fabrics, starting from the middle and working outward:
– Your finished embroidery, trimmed to 5″ square (take care to make sure your embroidery is nicely centered before cutting!)
– Inner frame: 2 pieces 5″ x 1″ and 2 pieces 6″ x 1″
– Outer frame: 2 pieces 6″ x 1.75″ and 2 pieces 8.5″ x 1.75″
– 2″ strips for binding, totaling about 40″ long. (Not pictured, whoopsy!) – if using a fat quarter, simply cut 2 strips along longer side.
– A square about 9-10″ of backing fabric.
With your first frame pieces, sew the shorter pieces to the top and bottom of your embroidery, press seams away from embroidery, then sew the longer pieces to the sides. Repeat for the outer frame pieces.
Now your mug rug top is finished! Wasn’t that easy?! If you’ve ever made a quilt or even another mug rug, the rest is all just standard quilting assembly: quilt sandwich, baste, quilt, bind, done! If not, here’s how to put your mug rug together:
Make yourself a quilt sandwich by laying your backing (right side down) on a flat surface, then the batting piece over that (smoothing everything as needed) and then your embroidered top on, well, top (right side up). Secure the layers with curved basting pins every couple of inches (or just long sewing pins or you can even baste by hand) and quilt as desired.
As you can see in the finished photos, I used a longer stitch and quilted a line just inside the embroidered area, then on either side of the outer frame seam. Trim the excess backing and batting away so that your edges are nice and neat.
Now we’ll make binding. Sew your binding strips all together, end to end to make up at least 38″ total, in one long strip. Press seams open. Press in half along length with right sides together so you now have a long folded strip. Pin around edges of front of mug rug with raw edges aligned. When you reach corners, fold the binding strip away from the mug rug, then back over itself to continue along next side:
Continue around all four sides. If one of your binding seams lands on a corner, unpin and start over. It’s a pain in the bottom, but I promise it’ll be worse later if you don’t. When you reach the beginning, fold both ends so that they meet at folds and finger-press.
Sew together at this crease, press seams open, then trim excess to a 1/4″ seam. Binding is sewn each side separately; starting in the middle of one side, sew to 1/4″ from end (i.e., not over fold), then remove from machine. Backstitch at beginning and end of each line to secure.
To start the remaining sides, fold corner flap out of the way (shown above) and sew from top of side to 1/4″ from bottom. Repeat all the way around until you get back to where you started. Now fold binding around to the back of your mug rug (secure with binding clips or hair clips or bobby pins or just regular sewing pins!) and ladder stitch in place by hand, folding corners one side over the other to make neat points. (I’m sorry, I hand-stitched my binding on autopilot and forgot a photo! It’ll be obvious what to do, I swear.)
And that’s it! Now just make some Christmas cookies and wait for Santa to arrive!
(And a big thank you to Laura for organizing this Crafty Christmas Link-up Day!)