A few months ago, my brother-in-law posted the coolest picture on Instagram of what appeared to be a little metal pin or charm. My first thought (of course) was, “That would make a cool paper pieced pattern!” His caption read: “Our ancestral emblem dates back to the 1800s.” That sealed the deal. This HAD to be made into fiber art of some sort. How awesome is it to have an ancestral emblem!? I’ve been prodding my artist brother to design one for our family, since you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?!
When I got the reminder from my mom that his birthday was in early March, I decided it was time for this ancestral emblem creation to become a reality. I drafted a foundation paper pieced pattern, decided a mug rug would be the perfect doable yet useful gift, and set to work.
I’m very happy with the result!
This gift was a surprise for my brother-in-law, so I had to do some secretive research into favorites. He and my brother both have a very distinct style and I wanted to be sure to make a gift he’ll sincerely love (for more than just the fact that I made it for him). First up was to do some research to figure out a favorable color scheme. Word back from my brother was that colors were tough, and the safest bet was to go with grey, black, or white. Since Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn dyed linen in charcoal is one of my all-time favorite fabrics, this color scheme sounded perfect to me!
With Kona white and Essex yarn dyed in charcoal, I pieced the top using my newly created foundation paper pieced pattern. I made some binding with my go-to Carolyn Friedlander text on black from Architextures and decided the whole thing needed an accent–just a pop of color in the binding to round it out. I sent my brother the photo above for his opinion, and I’m glad I did! The texty print was vetoed and orange and black apparently are a favorite color combination (you know me–I was leaning heavily toward turquoise).
I easily switched in Kona black instead of the Architextures (I’ll save that for another project!) with three narrow bits of Kona Persimmon and before I knew it, I was relaxingly hand stitching the binding to the back to finish it up.
I am really happy with this mug rug, and I hope that my brother-in-law loves it and better yet–uses it ALL the time! He can now invite his ancestors to tea whenever he wants.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram most likely already saw my secret trick to perfectly straight quilting lines, but I’ll share it here for those who missed it. I used Ledger from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures line for the backing and quilted straight lines with the backing facing up. This project was small enough that I could easily line up the backing with the front, so the lines were perfectly straight, evenly spaced, and horizontal on the front. I used 50wt Aurifil 2600-Dove thread for piecing, quilting, and binding (of course).
This was mailed off yesterday (better late than never!), so it should be arriving soon.
Project Stats – Mug Rug
Pattern: Finnish Ancestral Emblem foundation paper pieced pattern designed by me, inspired by a photo of a metal pin.
Front: Kona White (Robert Kaufman), Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Charcoal (Robert Kaufman)
Back: Ledger in Ivory from Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman)
Binding: Kona Black with three accents of Kona Persimmon (Robert Kaufman)
Batting: 100% cotton Soft n’ Crafty batting
Thread: Aurifil 50wt in 2600 – Dove for both piecing and quilting
Quilting: Straight line quilting using the lines in Ledger as a guide, with my Bernina 560 and a walking foot
I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday. I have a lot of finishes to share in the coming weeks, which explains my relative quiet here on the blog. Time to show you what I’ve been making!
14 thoughts on “Inviting Ancestors to Tea: A Mug Rug Gift”
I love this Kitty! The orange in the binding – I might have to incorporate color like that in a new project!
So beautiful and simple Kitty. great job!
Such a perfect gift! Very clever using the lines in the fabric for the quilting.
Ahhhh love!! How absolutely special is this?? Love the little bits of persimmon in the binding as well. And your quilting trick is super smart! Thank you for sharing! 😀
Such a thoughtful and lovely gift. You are a wonderful sister/in-law!
What a wonderful gift. You did a great job creating the pattern. I hope your brother-in-law likes it.
So much heart. So much soul. I just love your work!
You are a true artist – you take a symbol of the family and create art from it. And the gorgeous persimmon is just the right balance. I love the balance.
I love how inspiration comes from the most unexpected of places. I love that your brother helped out with color and fabric choices to make this a truly personalized piece. 🙂
The touch of orange in the binding is so wonderful. Getting a second look at your binding colors by your brother was inspired. I keep thinking I will figure out paper piecing design someday, but you rock it so hard that I figure I can just pay you to help me if I ever really need it. 🙂
Ha! No kidding, jetgirl…. it’s good to have a paper piecing wiz as a friend, right???
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It is really cool to have a Finnish ancestral emblem. I wonder how he researched and discovered it. I too hope your brother-in-law uses the mug rug all the time.
(All this talk of Kona persimmon. Now I am craving persimmons, but I ate the last one yesterday. Back to the shops I go!)
Kitty, you constantly knock my socks (wish it was warmer so I wouldn’t need them) off with huge impact pieces so small in size! This is stunningly and so deceptively simple. Did you quilt on the Architextures “lined paper” lines or is this a different fabric? Now I have to do a search for my own family emblem–doubt it could be as cool, though.
Cool little thing! Well done!