Have you tried paper piecing yet? Here is a cute little paper piecing mug rug tutorial to see if if it is something you want to learn a little more about. A fun way to add a little extra to beginner-friendly projects such as a mug rug, and an intro into free motion quilting as well! Collect your supplies, print your free pattern, and follow along with the tutorial to give it a try!

Paper Pieced Apple Mug Rug

by Vicki Holloway featured on the Sulky website

Create a paper pieced apple mug rug to gift to a new teacher. Or make a set of four using coordinating apple-print fabrics as a hostess gift.

paper peiced apple mug rug

Size: 5″ square


set of 4 apple mug rugs

Foundation Paper Piecing

Print the Paper Pieced Apple Mug Rug foundation paper piecing pattern onto a sheet of Sulky Paper Solvy.

Foundation paper piece each unit of the block as numbered on the paper pattern. Assemble the top row units in this order: E-A-D-C. Then stitch the row to the larger B unit to complete the apple.

Tear away as much Paper Solvy as possible. Rinse away any remaining; let dry. Press the paper Pieced Apple block from the wrong side.

Apple Mug Rug piecing

Paper Pieced Apple – Construction

Place the batting square on a flat work surface. Then place the backing fabric right side up over the batting. Position the Apple block wrong side up on the backing.

paper pieced apple mug rug

Stitch the perimeter, using a 1/2″ seam allowance and leaving a 2″ opening along one edge for turning.

paper pieced Apple Mug Rug Perimeter stitching

TIP: Place the opening for turning along an edge that has minimal piecing.

Trim the corners to reduce bulk at the 90° intersection of seams.

paper pieced Apple Mug Rug trim corners



Turn the mug rig right side out. Finger-press the opening seam allowances so they are inside the mug rug layers.

Press the mug rug lightly.

Paper Pieced Apple – Quilting

Topstitch the mug rug 1/2″ from the perimeter. End the stitching 1/2″ from each corner, pivot, rotate the work and continue stitching. Choose a thread color that matches or contrasts the mug rug background fabric for the topstitching.

paper pieced Apple Mug Rug Topstitching

Choose a green thread color to free-motion quilt leaves along the apple upper edge. Thread the needle and bobbin with matching thread.

Draw the leaves onto a sheet of Paper Solvy. Experiment by drawing larger or smaller leaves, as desired. Place the Paper Solvy over the Apple to audition placement until satisfied.

Pin the Paper Solvy leaf template in place. Or use a light spray of KK2000.

Set the machine for free-motion stitching by dropping the feed dogs. Then stitch along the leaves through the Paper Solvy and Paper Pieced Apple Mug Rug using a straight stitch. If desired, set the machine for a double- or triple straight stitch for more or less definition.

 apple Mug Rug quilting

Alternatively, or in addition to the leaves, quilt an allover design, straight lines or echoing squares to make the mug rug your own.

apple mug rug

Pattern and instructions by Vicki Hollloway.

Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created www.beginner-sewing.com. An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!

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