Winter Sun Mug Rug and Gift Exchange

Winter sun 1Last night, we had our annual holiday gift exchange at the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild. We started out the meeting with a potluck dinner and then it was time to give our handmade gifts to the person whose name we received at the November meeting. The gift I made was for Ellen, a fan of pink and orange and of fabric designers Valori Wells, Kate Spain, Rashida Coleman-Hale, and Melody Miller.

I was a bit surprised to find I didn’t have fabric from any of those designers in those colors in my stash. Plenty of pink, plenty of orange, and I’d heard of all of the designers. But I found I had a only  few pieces in other colorways. So a trip to the store was in order—well, actually trips to three different fabric stores were in order before I found three fabrics from Kate Spain’s Sunnyside line that I thought might work.

The fabrics truly were “sunny,” so I stayed with that theme and made a mug rug sun. I can’t seem to get string quilts out of my system, so I cut the fabric into strips between 1.25 and 2 inches wide. I placed the 2-inch yellow strip in the corner of my stabilizer first, and then sewed the remaining strips on either side to form the rays of the sun. To keep the rays moving around the circle, I angled the strips so that they were narrower at the base and wider at the ends.

I appliqued the circle shape over the narrow ends of the rays with Steam-a-Seam Lite.

Winter sun back

With the top done, I pieced the back with some of the leftover fabrics. I quilted the piece with yellow thread, echoing the straight lines of the rays and the curved lines of the circle.

Winter sun binding

I tried out a few different binding options, but I found I really liked the floral fabric around the sun and the white fabric around the rays. That meant a two-fabric binding! Yikes.

My goal was to have the two fabrics meet in the center of the mitered corners but that didn’t happen. A lucky accident did happen, however: the floral fabric ended a bit short of each corner, and that made the binding look like more rays of the sun! Good enough. The finished piece measures approximately 10.5 x 10.5 inches.

And what did I come home with, you may ask? Our dedicated Guild President Jessica at A Little Gray received my name and made this lovely pillow for me using colors inspired by some of my recent projects.

Pillow from Jessica

Love the colors, love the quilting. And Jessica wins the prize for the tautest, nicest envelop closure I’ve ever seen on a pillow!

Pillow from Jessica back

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