26 May 2013

Biggest Morning Tea

Every year my online quilting group (QDU) run several swaps. One is often the Biggest Morning Tea, in support of cancer research. These 'secret sister' swaps have a fairly standard format. Every one who signs up is sent the details of 'secret sister' to send a package to. The package consists of the items nominated by the swap organiser. The list for this swap was:
1. A pretty mug. The mug must be of a reasonable quality. Make sure it is well protected in bubble wrap so it doesn't break when posted to your secret sister.
2. An fq of your choice (a fat quarter being a measure of fabric)
3. Something tasty
4. Something pretty
5. A small sewing gadget
6. A tea bag or coffee sachet (check your secret sister's information to see which is preferred)
7. Something hand made
8. A cake or patty cake recipe
9. A craft pattern (may be downloaded)
10. Your favourite quilting tip
11. Something useful
12. A mug mat

I made my secret sister a set of related goodies. In the information I received about her, I was told she like purple and pink and preferred coffee to tea.

My set included a mug bag, a coffee cup warmer wrap, a serviette and a mug rug, which satisfied items 4, 7, 11 and 12 from the list. I let the recipient decide which was which :-)

The mug bag pattern came from Red Brolly (http://www.red-brolly.com/red-brolly/2012/09/sew-chic-butterfly-mugbag.html). Very easy pattern to follow and it turned out very pretty. My only comment is that it really only takes smaller cups. I took it with me when I went to buy my mug. The mug I chose didn't have a handle, so it fit quite nicely.

The cup warmer I designed myself. Cups generally have slightly sloping sides, so the warmer needs to be slightly rounded to fit nicely at the top and bottom. I simply wrapped a piece of paper around my mug; sticky-taped it in place; put a rubber band at the top and bottom edge of where I wanted my wrap to fit; and drew a line. When I unstuck my paper I had the outline of a pattern. I added an allowance for seams. I sewed the top and bottom (long) seams and turned the tube in the right way. I cut a piece of bag wadding the same size as the pattern without the seam allowance and pushed it into my tube. To join the ends I considered a button, but as my cup has no handle that could have been in the way. Instead I folded another piece of fabric and wrapped it around the two ends. I really should have taken some photos :-0 Anyway, it worked.

The mug rug just sort of 'evolved'. I had to work out what a mug rug was before I started. There appears to be no 'standard' measurements, but the concept is simply a coaster with room for morning tea on the side, so usually a rectangle.

I had left over fabric from the four fat quarters I'd used for the bag. I sewed the squares first. They're 2inches cut; 1.5 inches finished. I was going to put 'borders' (also 2 inches wide cut) on two sides, but then thought it would look better if I didn't aim for symmetry.

Instead of worrying about binding, I bagged it. With right sides together, sew the front to the back, leaving a small opening. Turn in the right way, through the opening. Top stitch all the way around the edge. To avoid bulk in the seams, I put bag wadding in the middle after I'd turn it in the right way.

I choose a feather stitch and top stitched along the long strips. I then top stitched in the opposite direction on the squares. I can't remember what I used on the underside; I think just a single piece of fabric from one of the four.

The serviette is just two pieces of fabric sewn together, again bagged to avoid hems and so forth.

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