Sew Let's Quilt Along: Quilter's Mug

Welcome back to Sew Let’s Quilt Along! It’s a fun, free, sewing-themed mystery quilt along. If you’re just joining in, my quilt along page has links to all of the information and past blocks. We’re glad to have you!

Our second block is this fun quilter’s mug designed by April Adams of JANDA Bend Quilts. Her idea of printing on fabric with an inkjet printer opens up a whole world of possibilities. If you don’t have a printer, you can embroider your block, or use a fabric pen like me (I explain my process below). I’m sure your mug will be amazing no matter which method you use!

Head on over to April’s post to get the pattern. All of our block patterns will be free until the quilt along ends on September 24, 2019.

Choosing Fabrics

I started by choosing the fabric for the center of my mug. I knew I wanted it to be light so the text would show up, but I still wanted it to have some interest. This paisley from my stash is one of my favorites, and it seemed to fit the bill perfectly. In hindsight, I probably should have chosen something even lighter, but I’m pretty happy with how this worked out.

Since the center of my mug was purple, I wanted to continue that to the outside. This cherry fabric was just the right color. For the table, I wanted a dark blue that would contrast nicely with the mug.

Text Tips - What to Do if You Don’t Have a Printer

I just love April’s idea of printing directly on your fabric. Unfortunately, that method requires an inkjet printer, and I don’t have a printer! She also provides the option of embroidering the text, but I’m not a big fan of embroidery. So I got creative.

My very favorite fabric pen is the Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric. It’s a permanent black ballpoint pen. I’ve been using it on my labels for years because it writes like a dream. I decided it would be the perfect way to get the words on my mug.

I used a light layer of Best Press on the fabric to keep it from stretching as I worked, and I cut the fabric a bit big so I could perfectly center the text after I finished writing. Then I taped the fabric to the text page of the pattern so I didn’t have to worry about it shifting around. I don’t have a lightbox, so I taped the paper to a window. I traced the letters with my fabric pen, being careful to fill them in completely.

Once I was done tracing, I carefully removed the fabric from the paper. I centered the text and trimmed the fabric to size. I found that I had about 3/4” clearance on the sides of the text, and 1” on the top and bottom.

I’m really pleased with how it came out! The pen was easy to write with, the words show up well, and I know they will be permanent.

text in quilt blocks

Piecing Tips

Seam Test

Any time a block has different sized pieces coming together, it’s essential to test your seam allowance. It’s the only way you can be sure everything will fit together nicely and your block will come out at just the right size.

To test your seam allowance, cut two 2" squares and sew them together. Press as desired, and measure the resulting rectangle. The rectangle should be 3 1/2" long. If your rectangle is shorter, you need a narrower seam allowance. If your rectangle is longer, you need a wider seam allowance. Adjust your seam and try again. Once the rectangle is exactly 3 1/2" long, you're good to go.

Stitch and Flip Corners

The secret to making a successful stitch and flip corner is to stitch just outside of the drawn line. The line you drew isn't the stitching line - it's actually where the fabric needs to fold! By stitching just outside of the line, you give yourself the extra fabric you need to reach all the way to the corner when you flip it over.

Just to be safe, I always test to make sure my corner is covered before I cut away the excess fabric from the back.

Laying out the Pieces

As soon as I had everything cut, I laid out all of the pieces on a design board. It’s a foam board covered with batting so the fabric stays in place. The design board made it really easy to keep track of my pieces as I worked. If you would like to make a design board of your own, this post has all the information you need.


April has great pressing directions in her pattern. But I know it’s sometimes easier to look at a picture rather than reading each instruction as you go. Here’s a diagram that shows how I pressed my seams.

And here’s a peak at the back of my block.

Our Lovely Hosts

We have nine hosts for segment one, and we all made our very own quilter’s mug blocks. Be sure to visit all of the lovely ladies below for more tips and inspiration. If you like what you see, leave a comment! We all love a bit of encouragement from our fellow quilters.


We will have a prize package at the end of every segment, as well as a grand prize at the end of the quilt along. The prizes are open to all participants that are at least 18 years old. If you don’t remember what I mean by segment, check out the intro post for a refresher on how this quilt along is structured.

How to Enter

To be eligible to win a segment prize, you need to make all of the blocks from that segment. Share a photo or photos of your blocks (in a single post) to be entered.

For segment 1, entries will be open from 12:00 am May 7 to 11:59 pm May 20, 2019 (Eastern time). There are three places you can share your blocks to be entered in the drawing:

Segment 1 Prize Package

We have a wonderful array of prizes for each segment! Here’s the prize package for segment 1:

Grand Prize

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you need to make all 13 blocks from the whole quilt along and turn them into a quilt or other project(s). Quilt tops don’t need to be quilted, but projects do need to be finished. Share a single post that shows all of the blocks in a quilt or project. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Important Note

To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks [in a quilt or project(s)] will be eligible for the grand prize. Likewise, our segment prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks for that segment.

Fabulous Sponsors

We are really lucky to have some amazing sponsors on board for this quilt along! Please check them out as thanks for supporting us. Bluprint, Dear Stella, Everything Mary, Island Batik, Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, Prym, Shabby Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, Warm Company Additionally, many of the block designers are donating their quilt patterns.

It’s Your Turn!

I hope you’re excited about this week’s block! I certainly can’t wait to see everyone’s mugs. Do you think you’ll go with the saying that April provided in her pattern, or do you have another idea for what you would like your mug to say? Maybe you want to feature a novelty fabric instead of using a saying at all. I would love to hear your plan in the comments.

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