Friday, April 25, 2014

A Mug Rug for Mother's Day

I was thinking about my mom the other day, missing her of course, and remembering how much she loved spring and the delicate new blossoms that are beginning to appear in advance of summer. Mother was one of those special gardeners. She had the magic touch, and everything she planted and nurtured flourished with health. Her flowers bloomed like no others, her vegetable garden overflowed with wonderful fresh produce, and even the grass around her home seemed to grow a little greener than it did anywhere else.

I inherited none of this talent, I'm sorry to say, and I'm sure I sighed with nostalgia remembering this beautiful, gentle woman who influenced me in so many ways. Then it dawned on me that Mother's Day will be here in just a few weeks!

I always gave Mom a basket of flowers or a pretty plant for Mother's Day. Being who she was, she gave me a new geranium every year because I was a mom, too. She knew I'd kill it, but she also knew that I loved her for giving me a new chance every summer.

Last year I made a trio of mug rugs to remember her. Each one was a basket filled with one of her favorites - pansies, sunflowers, and strawberries. I called the pattern "Baskets for Mom". You can find it in my pattern store.

This year, though I wanted to make something a bit different. It had to be floral, of course, and of all the flowers in the world, she loved roses best. So, I created a rose. Because small mug rug sized roses are so difficult to reproduce in fabrics, I chose a simple, yet elegant stenciled rose. I added the word, "Mom", and that's what I named the pattern. "Mom".

Flower patterns often contain many very small pieces. Thick, applique stitching can detract from the shape of petals and leaves on smaller pieces, so I used raw edge stitching on all of these mug rugs. It's a very easy technique that involves fusing the pieces to the background and stitching near the edge with a straight stitch. 

I really like the way raw edge applique looks on nature subjects. Yes, the edges will fray a bit over time, but most things found in nature do not have perfectly smooth surfaces. This stitching just looks so natural. It's super easy, too!

I love you, Mom. I so wish I could give these little gifts to you, but I'm sure you know that I give them to you in my heart. 

To my mother, and for all the moms, grandmas, aunts, and other women who influence lives, 
I wish you a Happy Mother's Day. 
Every day of the year.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Made it on Friday

Friday was one of those days when everything went perfectly. I woke up to beautiful sunshine and an idea. I've been wanting to make happy faces for some time, now, but this was the morning when it dawned on me that those faces should be on flowers.


Right after breakfast I trotted down to my new sewing room and began sketching. Three flowers, not perfectly centered, but balanced. Three different smiles. Zip, zip. The applique pieces were cut out and ready to press onto the background by lunchtime!

I think I gobbled lunch. I couldn't wait to get back to the mug rug. I embroidered the faces, ironed everything in place and by dinner the applique stitching was finished.

What to name it? My hubby and I tossed around names - Sunshine, Happy Days, Smile. "It's only Friday," he said. "What's the rush?"

Only Friday. Thank goodness! "TGIF"! A name!!

And Done!!