project // EPP halloween-ish triangle mug rug
I love the geometry of quilts, and I love how English paper piecing can make it easy to fit these shapes together and have everything match up. The technique is also perfect for small projects, which I adore.
Recently I spotted a simple, but striking quilt made up of equilateral triangles and fell head over heels. It was machine-pieced, but I figured I could do something similar with EPP. So I cut out some triangles, grabbed some fabric in Halloween-ish colors, and here we go!
Here's what you need:
Four colored fabrics, 1/4 yard each
White or cream fabric, 1/4 yard
Cotton batting, 8x10 inches
Needle and thread
Rotary cutter/ruler/mat (optional, but helpful!)
Equilateral Triangles EPP Templates
Note: the downloadable PDF has one page that shows my color layout and one page of the templates in black and white. You'll only need to print one copy of the templates on card stock.
Cut out the template pieces and attach them to the fabric, following the layout as a guide for how many of each color you'll need. If you look at mine, you'll see that the corners are cut off blunt. You don't need to do that, but it makes for smaller flaps later on. I glue stick the templates onto the fabric in strips, and these corners happen naturally as I cut.
Baste the edges down as you normally do with EPP. Acute angles always feel looser to me when basting, but as long as you wrap them nicely, they'll be okay.
Let's get these joined! Stitch the triangles together in a strip working to keep the corners matching. If you work in the right direction you can stitch continuously along in a zig zag. And if you find that you started at the wrong end and can't continue the zig zag, don't worry...I messed up the path several times as I worked!
After you've made the strips, join those together. Again, try to keep those points matching. I took a stitch through the points to help hold and align.
After all of the pieces come together, the back looks a little messy, but with a bit of ironing, it will smooth out. Where the points meet, you should have six flaps that will nest and lie flat in a sort of swirl.
Now it's time to remove the papers. Because these are small triangles (and maybe I used too much glue?), I found them trickier to remove. A few ripped, but no worries!
This next part feels dreadful. Cut the sides with the pointed edges so they are straight, and cut the batting to match. I used a rotary cutter and did them both at the same time. Cut a piece for the backing. It needs to be one inch larger on all sides, as this will also be the binding.
Pin the layers together and hand quilt however you'd like. I used three strands of embroidery floss and stitched points that echo the design of the inspiration quilt.
Fold and press the two long edges in toward the raw edges, then fold them over again.
Stitch the folded binding edges down with running stitch. I used clips to hold mine down as I worked.
After the two long edges are done, do the two ends. Fold the corners over, then fold and press the sides as you did with the long edges. Try to get those corners to meet and look "mitered". Stitch the binding with running stitch.
Your mug rug is finished! I've heard people talk about how they don't understand mug rugs, but I like to think of them as functional mini quilts. Rarely do I but anything other than a mug on mine, so it's basically an oversized coaster. But you can make so many beautiful designs in this size that you couldn't on anything smaller. And yet, it's not overwhelming!
I will warn you, this took me longer than I expected to make. You may be able to complete it in a weekend, but I'd plan for more like a week or two of Netflix evenings!
I chose colors that reflect the season but can be used all year, because I've got a lot of coffee and tea days ahead! I hope you'll join me!