Looking for examples of tablerunners lead me to The Missouri Star Quilt Company’s tutorials on YouTube. Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a mug rug using a ‘periwinkle’ ruler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiFOsVye6IE . I had a search of retailers in the UK and found Marti Mitchell’s ‘Multi-Size Kite Ruler’ at http://www.cottonpatch.co.uk/acatalog/Multi-size-Kite-Ruler-10167.html#SID=472 . This ruler makes an eight segment ‘circle’ rather than the six segments of Jenny’s ruler. The kite ruler comes with a booklet containing clear illustrations and instructions for cutting out 4 different sized kite shapes from the one ruler and also shows how to make more intricate blocks by combining the kites with shapes cut from other rulers.
I decided to start by cutting out extra-large kite shapes from two fabrics. Piecing the segments was straightforward (tip: press the seams open so the mat will lie flat and the multiple seams meeting in the centre don’t get too bunched up).
I bought some heat resistant Insulating Wadding by Sew Simple. This presented a problem: does the shiny heat resistant side of the wadding go towards the base or top of the mat? An internet search didn’t provide a clear answer but a couple of sites recommended using a layer of thin cotton wadding with the Insulating Wadding to absorb any moisture created by hot dishes etc. I decided to put the fluffy side of the Insulating wadding to the calico backing of the mat and lay the cotton wadding on top of the shiny side. This seemed like a lot of layers and I thought it might be too ‘puffy’ for a table mat but once sewn together, pressed and quilted the mat is quite level. The finished mat measures just over 16″ across.
Having cut into two fat quarters to make the big mat I wondered how many more mats could be made from the remaining fabric. Using the small size on the ruler there was just enough fabric to make four mug-rug tops measuring 8″ across. I used the same layers of wadding as for the extra-large mat but this made turning the mats right-way out and stitching closed the opening in the edge seam quite fiddly. I’d only use one layer of wadding for the small mats in the future.
Using a shaped ruler has been interesting. If you’ve tried this or other rulers it would be lovely to see what you made and to know any tricks you may have developed to make them work well.