My friend Wendy was hosting the Disney Mug Rug Swap on Instagram and I just couldn't resist joining in. Easy peasy: Buy a mug, make a mug rug, include one extra. My partner listed a variety of Disney interests and I dialed in on Finding Dory, especially after I found this adorable mug.
I immediately visualized an improv pieced ocean for Dory (and friends?) and eventually decided on purchasing a little bit of yardage of Finding Dory fabric by Camelot from Fat Quarter Shop. I started by shopping my stash for an ocean fabric pull.
Then I went for it with my first improv curved piecing. It all went together pretty well. The batik (second from top in the finished piece) was a little tricky, since it doesn't have as much stretch to it. I simply overlapped the fabrics I was piecing and freehand rotary cut a curve through both at the same time, then I eased them together with a 1/4" seam allowance as I machine pieced them together.
Generally I press my seams open when piecing, but this is one of those times that pressing open didn't make sense. I pressed to the blue on my first seam, so I just continued pressing up on all my seams. Here's the finished piece, front and back, before I trimmed it down.
At this point it was more placemat sized than mug rug sized, so I had to trim it down. I decided on vertical so I could arrange my characters in a way that they mug wouldn't cover them up. I trimmed down to just over 8" x 11".
My next step was to add the characters. I used fusible web to attach Dory, Nemo and Hank, then stitched around the edge of each.
Then I went to town quilting. I used my walking foot and quilted smooth curves to complement my piecing using a variety of blue threads (all 50 wt. Aurifil).
I was able to find a piece of remnant binding (from Finally) that was large enough to avoid a scrappy binding and worked with my color palette. I think this quilt would have been lovely with a faced binding, but I just didn't have the time to learn a new skill at this stage of the process. :-)
I opted to back the quilt with the licensed fabric, but I placed it in the horizontal direction. I liked the repeat better that way, and this gives Lisa options for a vertical or horizontal mug rug.
For my extra, I opted to make a large Open Wide Zippered Pouch (free tutorial by Noodlehead). (Shown in first picture.)
Lisa and I happened to be assigned each other for the swap. Here's the super generous package she sent me. She chose a nifty mug that has an electric mug warmer to go with it and made me a bag and a keychain. Plus she decorated the tote box and sent a Mickey Mouse raglan t-shirt pattern plus a bunch of other little goodies. So sweet of her!