I made these more than a month ago and have been waiting to post them to try and keep the secret, but I can wait no longer.

I’m finally getting the appeal of the mini quilt and mug rug phenomena.

When I was an art student in college my mother would come to visit and look at the giant 4′ or 5′ square paintings I was working on and beg me to paint smaller. She saw my grocery or power bill money flying out the window on huge quantities of paint. I would be aghast at the idea of trying to contain my artistic expression in the prison of a small canvas or something, I’m pretty sure I was insufferable about it. But it was inconceivable to me to think smaller. It still is, any time I think about a new project it tends to be full scale. This is definitely true of my quilting.

So I never understood the point of small scale quilts. I tried one once for a contest, but it didn’t really take. It’s also why I struggled with quilting bees. I need to get excited about the whole big picture to even think about making a block. But I have to say, Laura Ann’s mug rugs were kind of addictive. Then Kathy saw them and wanted some, too. Truth be told, since I’d bought her a French press for Christmas I was already pondering a pair of them for her February birthday. But I was not on the ball about winter birthdays this year with the arrival of The Sprout. So I just made her a pair over the weekend.

And. I. Love. Them. They’re so quick to make that it’s a great opportunity to practice quilting skills. Like binding, which is my Achilles’ heel. And patience, the biggest skill. Usually by the time I hit the quilting phase of a project I get lazy and don’t take enough care with my thread color choices or my corners. I mean, during the piecing phase I get lazy about my seams, too. And during the cutting phase…you get the idea. The bigger the scale, the more I fall down on the job as it drags on. I like things big, but I also like things quick! And these provide some much needed practice. My corners and binding are still terrible, but I learned a few things while making these.

I thought this was the proper occasion to finally dig into my stash of Tula Pink’s Parisville, which I’ve been saving for a rainy day. And Kathy loves purple, so it was a no brainer. I decided to do simple, slick diagonal stripes. So I cut 2.5″ strips out of the 7 fabrics I have from this collection.

I sewed them all together and then cut out roughly 13.5″ x 7.5″ rectangles on the diagonal.

Really easy, and I have some scraps leftover that I *think* will be going into Kathy’s Christmas present. Which I’ve already worked out in my head, inspired by this project and some recent book purchases.

I made my quilt sandwich

and went to town with my all-time favorite, free motion quilting.

Then I made the binding out of 2.25″ strips and attached it. I’m still terrible at mitered corners, but I did one perfectly! I almost did a cartwheel, until I realized it was a fluke and I have no idea what I did differently there. Oy.

And voila! There they are!