Half Star Mug Rug Tutorial + How to Match the Binding to a Design + Giveaway!

Half star tutorial, and how to match the binding to a design in a quilt.  

This tutorial is part of the Ellison Lane's Merry Mug Rug Hop.  

 I am so happy Jennifer asked me to be a part of this.  I am actually surprised she asked considering I find sewing for the holidays to be difficult.  Not because of the time, but because I just generally have a hard time with Christmas-y decor (or any holiday decor for that matter).  And it's my FAVORITE holiday, and I SEW!!  So weird, I know.   But I am eternally grateful for all the times Jennifer has believed in me and that she still likes to include me in her special hops.  :)  (Thank you!!)

This mug rug design came from what was mentioned above.  I wanted to create something that could be Christmas-y, yet something that, if was out during the year, no one would say, "Isn't that a Christmas mug rug?"   And so the Half Star mug rug was born.  It is simple, minimal, and looks oh-so-lovely on a table or wall.  

This hop runs from Dec. 1st - 11th, and each blogger participating is sharing a tutorial!  So please check out the other participants. They are going to be great!  You'll need to head over to Ellison Lane to enter to win a gift certificate to Southern Fabric, which ends 12/14/14.   

 If you end up making this project, I would love to see it!  #halfstarmugrug and my handle on Instagram is @owensoliviaquilts.  Or share it with me on Facebook.  


Finishes 8 1/2" square.

From the green fabric (Kona Palm)
-Cut one 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" strip, two 2 1/2" squares, and one 4 1/2" square.

From the white fabric (Kona White)
-Cut one 4 1/2" square.
-Cut one 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" strip.

-Cut one 2 1/2" x WOF strip.  Cut in half.  
-Cut one 2 1/2" x 8" strip.

10" square of batting
10" square of fabric for backing
Elmer's Glue with a fine point glue tip (mine is from Pile O' Fabric)
Small ruler
Fabric marking pen
Aurifil Mako 12 2024 for handstitching

How to

1.  Sew right sides together the two 4 1/2" squares along all four sides using a 1/4" seam.  

2. Cut diagonally across making an X to create four HSTs.  Press seams open or to the side.

3.  Trim HSTs to 2 1/2" square.

4.  Layout your pieces as pictured.

5.  Sew together the top and bottom two squares.  Sew the two middle squares together.  Press seams open.

6.  Sew the two middle pieces together to create a square.  Sew the top and bottom pieces next.  Sew the right side piece last.  Press seams open.  

7.  Lay your backing right side down, then your batting, and then your top face up.  Quilt the pieces together.  I chose to hand quilt using Aurifil Mako (love!).

How to match the binding to a design in your quilt

1.  Sew together one green strip to the white strip like you normally would in making binding.  Fold your binding in half around the white and green area and press.  Fold the raw edge 1/4" and press with a hot iron to create a crease.

2.  Lay the binding right side up matching the edge along the quilt's edge, as if it were already sewn down and flipped back over to bind on the backside of the quilt.  Line up the white line perfectly, and glue baste into place by placing a dot of glue onto the quilt in the seam and heat setting with an iron.  Glue basting will not damage your quilt or iron.

3. Using a ruler and marking pen, align the ruler along the diagonal line of the HST.  Make a mark onto your binding.  THIS IS YOUR SEAM LINE.  Remove the binding (it will easily pull off with a slight yank), and open up your binding.  Finish drawing your diagonal line onto the white area.

4.  Place your other green binding strip like so in the photo.  Pin into place, and flip the binding over, so you can see your marked line.  Sew on the line.

5.  Before trimming the seam to 1/4", fold the binding back into place to see if it does indeed match.  It is easier to fix with extra binding than it is without it.

6.  Trim the seam, and sew on the binding as normal.  I use Elmer's glue to hold the binding exactly where I want it to be when sewing the binding on, and I sewed the white spot on first to get it exactly where I want it.

Merry Christmas!

xx nancy

Find me here too!

Instagram 1  (personal side + home decor)
Instagram 2  (quilting + sewing only)

One year ago: Minimalista Quilt
Two years ago: Christmas Stocking Tutorial
Three years ago:  Christmas Dinner Recipes + Settings


DIY Geometric Ornaments for U-Create

Geometric Ornaments

Hello all!  I am over at U-Create today sharing a simple tutorial.  I hope that you will stop by.  Pin it for later too.  It's so easy, and it is very easy to customize to your tastes.  Have a great day!

Find the tutorial here.

xx nancy


Felt Acorn Ornaments || DIY

Felt Acorn Ornaments || DIY

This is a tutorial that I did for Whipperberry back in 2011.   I am sharing a new ornament tutorial in the coming days, so I wanted to share this tutorial with you as well, especially since Christmas is fast approaching.

I still love my acorns!!   They are still going strong 3 years later.  Owen did destroy a few of them, but I blame that on his toddler behavior.  Now he actually respects the things in my home, for the most part.  :)   I should definitely make more of these though, and they make great gifts.  I even used them to tie around some caramel jars I had made.


Felt balls, store bought or you can make your own.
Acorn caps
Hot glue
Needle and embroidery floss

1.   Thread your needle and triple knot the ends together.
2.  Using your needle and something hard (scissors), push the needle through the acorn cap to create a hole.

3.  Push the needle throughout the felt ball and in through the hole you made in the cap.

4.  If you do not want to use hot glue, pull all the way through.  If you want the cap to stay in place, apply hot glue, then push the cap down.

5.  Cut the string at the needle, and tie a knot.  That's it!  You have your acorn ornament!


xx nancy

One year ago: High Point Market
Two years ago: Visually Understanding Your Thread
Three years ago: A Tastespotting Thanksgiving || Recipes


Pattern Parcel #7

Hello!  Awhile back I agreed to make a sample from one of the patterns from Pattern Parcel #7.  If you are like I was, you may be unfamiliar with Pattern Parcel.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

Pattern Parcel has a simple mission in mind.  The company offers sewing enthusiasts the chance to support indie designers and children's education by allowing the buyers to choose how much they would like to donate when purchasing the parcel.  Here is what they have to say in regards to supporting children's education.

Donors Choose is an organization that matches up the needs of teachers and their students for specific projects with willing donors.  The funds raised from each Pattern Parcel sale will go to help K-12 students in minimizing educational inequality and encourage a community where children have the tools and experiences necessary for an excellent education.  

Each parcel is unique with a theme in mind.  This month's parcel is focused on handbags.  Once the parcel time is up, the bundle package is gone.  The buyer will then need to purchase the patterns individually.  Don't want to sew all the patterns within the collection?  That's ok.  You purchase what you think the patterns are worth to you.

Pattern Parcel #7 includes 5 patterns, but choose a price of $32 or greater and you will automatically be sent the Bonus Pattern.  That's just over $5 a pattern!  The bonus pattern is the brand new Daphne Bag from Clover & Violet.  The Daphne is a slouch satchel that can be worn across the body or as a should bag.  The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

I made the Daphne bag, and it was a really quick sew (and even quicker since I skipped the patchwork and handles).   I am sure you will enjoy it.

To get your Pattern Parcel #7, click the link below.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Parcel #7 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted

Sunday, November 9 from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS

Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping

Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana

Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel

Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper

Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery

Thanks for stopping in!

xx nancy

One year ago: Easy Tote Update
Two years ago: For Judy || Felted Acorns
Three years ago: DIY Felt Acorns


I can't. I'm busy.

Hey Owen.  Tonight as you were sleeping, I did my usual check and turned off your lights.  I repositioned your half hanging frame back onto the bed, and I tucked you back in under a beloved tattered quilt.  I laid down next to you.  Actually, I laid on top of you, but you didn't budge.  And I gently cried.

I cried because I knew you were the best gift God has ever given me, and I never understood that joy or love parents speak of until I had you.  I cried because I never want you to think that you are a less of priority than my book, my work, or my blog.  I cried because I knew I was guilty.  Guilty of robbing you of precious time spent between a child and a mother.   Guilty of making you think my work comes before you or that my crafts and hobbies are far more important than you.  When you were little, you were my priority, and I placed very little before you.  I savored every minute I got to spend with you.  And then I started this blog, and good, no great, things started to happen.  And then I got a publisher.  And then you became even lower on my priority list.  I cried because it was the truth.  I cried because I was ashamed.  I cried because I knew I would never get this year back.  I missed out on many memories with you, my only child, because I had a loving group of women raise you this year.  I feel awful that I blew away that precious time of watching you grow up.  I don't want you to remember me as a busy mom.  I admit, I have been selfish at times.  I am sorry.  Terribly sorry.  I really got lost in what was important to me, and I will try harder to be a better mother to you.  I miss you so much, even though you are here with me.  I'm tired of saying I can't.  I'm tired of deadlines, and I'm tired of teaching you that those things are more important than a relationship between a mother and child.  Admittedly, some of that I cannot blame on work.  The words "I can't" has almost become a trained response, and as time goes on, I find myself using the sentence more than I like.   That is why I cried tonight.  The last thing I want you to remember about me is "I can't.  I'm busy."
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