Mug Bag-Mug Rug as Easter Gift

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Red Brolly is offering a free pattern for a really cute, easy-to-make mug carrier and mug rug.

Update 9/20/15 – A reader let me know that there is a problem with the above link and sent me some alternate ones for the pattern itself.  She said these links are intermittent but she was able to get a printout of the pattern.

The bag is designed to hold a medium sized mug about 6 inches tall x 3 inches diameter …

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and has a pocket for some teabags.

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There is an accompanying mug rug which folds up in back of the mug bag.

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I have made four versions of the bag to use as gifts.  I made this one as an Easter gift for my granddaughter.

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The fabric is from scraps of an Easter dress I made for her in 2011, back before she became a sophisticated going-on-12 lady who doesn’t wear pretty lace-trimmed dresses any more.


Instead of a mug, I’m using an 8-oz jar of jelly beans in the bag and will be putting a gift card in the pocket.

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For my two daughters, I’ll have the mugs filled with candy and will have gift cards in the pocket.
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I made one bag/rug to have ready to give to a good friend from Chicago who visits during the summer.
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In her case, I made an embroidered mug rug that shows a painter because she’s a gifted artist.

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I enjoyed making these bags and rugs out of scraps, including using up a lot of small batting pieces.  I included a snap and vintage button on each one.  It’s a pleasant afternoon’s project with just a bit of hand sewing.

Red Brolly’s post has some beautiful bags made from her pattern by other readers.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Cosmetic-Sewing Bag with Sections


My daughter gave me a vintage cosmetic bag that she thought I might be able to use as an idea for bags I could make to use for cosmetics, small sewing items, little gifts, etc.


The bag opened out into sections and looked fairly easy to duplicate.


It’s basically multiple bags of the same size, lined and finished with a narrow facing.  One bag has a flap and serves as the base.  The remainder of the bags are stitched to each other to form an accordion-like feature.


I made five bags of varying sizes and thought the idea worked out pretty well.  For one bag that I particularly liked, I made a matching small gift tote of the same fabrics and will be using the two pieces to hold an anniversary gift for my younger daughter in a couple of weeks.


I’m thinking about expanding the pattern to make a larger three-section tote bag.  More on this later.


An Envelope Gift Bag from Orphan Blocks – A Tutorial

I enjoy trying pieced blocks just for the experience and many of them are never used in a quilt.  I have a stack of various sizes and developed this envelope-style lined gift bag to hold small, flat gifts and then be useful for storing sewing, cosmetic and other small items.  Each bag uses two orphan blocks of the same size.  Of course, scraps could also be used.

Here is how I make the bags:

  • Choose two quilt blocks of the same size, one for the outside bag and one for the lining (my blocks in this example are 12-½ inches)

  • Place the two blocks right sides together and stitch a ¼ inch seam on all sides, LEAVING A 3 INCH OPENING ON WHAT WOULD BE THE BOTTOM SIDE OF THE BAG.  Back stitch at the beginning and ending.

  • Trim the 4 corners …

  • …and turn the bag right-side-out.  Press and tuck in the opening fabric.  Top stitch 1/8 inch from the edge on all four sides.

This is all of the machine sewing you’ll be doing on this project.  A bit of hand sewing will complete the bag.

  • Place the finished piece on point right-side-up on a mat and fold the bottom point to meet the left hand point.

  • Pin together so that the sewn edges meet but do not overlap.

  • Using needle and thread and beginning at the top edge,  join the two pieces, catching just the edges of the lining fabric so the stitches don‘t show on the outside of the bag and so the edges abut.

  • Fold the right hand point over to meet the center and join together.

  • Turn and press.

  • Sew a small snap on the back flap and center.

  • If desired, add a button or other embellishment to the back and/or front.

The 12-½ inch block makes a bag approximately 7 x 8 inches.  It would be a good size for a small journal or paperback book.

A 9-½ inch block makes a bag about 5-3/4 inches square.

An 8-½ inch block makes a bag about 5-¼ inches square – good for a CD or DVD

A 6-1/2 inch block makes a bag 3-½ inches square – just right for a gift card.

These bags are very fast and easy to assemble, make nice holders for gifts and reduce the stack of orphan blocks.

An Easter Gift Bag from Scraps

I wanted to make up a small gift bag to hold Easter candy for the grandchildren and I’m always looking for ways to use up fabric scraps.  This little bag fit the bill in both cases and ties securely to keep all the treats from falling out.

This is how I made the bag:

I used 1/4 inch seams throughout.

For the bottom of the bag A:

  • Cut two pieces of fabric 6 inches wide x 6-1/2 inches long.  I chose to use a cute vintage bunny print.  Notice the direction of the print before cutting so that you have the look you want on the front and back of the bag.
  • Draw a 3/4 inch square at the two corners at the bottom of bag A.  This measurement will make the bag 2 inches deep.

  • Cut out the squares

  • Place the front and back of bag A right sides together and stitch along the sides and across the bottom.
  • Spread the side of the bag and bring raw edges together at the corner, matching seams

  • Stitch 1/4 inch straight across for corner

  • Repeat with other corner.  Turn and press.

For top of bag – B

  • Cut 2 pieces of contrasting fabric 6 inches wide x 6-1/2 inches long.  I wanted to use some blue and white scraps for this portion of the bag and cut 6 strips of white and 6 strips of blue, 1-1/2 x 6 inches.  Sew 6 strips, alternating colors, to form two 6×6-1/2 pieces for the top of the bag.

  • Join front and back of B together and stitch down sides.
  • At the top of B, turn down 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch and stitch for the hem.

Joining top and bottom – A and B

  • Place the top of the bag over the bottom, matching raw edges at the top and side seams.  Stitch to join these pieces.

  • Turn top A inside of bottom B and press.  Measure down 1/2 inch from seam and pin on an 11-1/2 piece of trim which has been joined with a 1/4 inch seam.

  • Stitch through the center of the trim, catching all 3 layers of trim, bottom and top of bag.
  • Press and assemble bag so that top portion comes out of bottom of bag.
  • Fill with Easter treats and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Bag measures about 5 x 8-1/2 inches x 2 inches deep – just the right size for a stash of jellybeans.

I also made a larger version, using a 6-1/2 inch unfinished quilt block and added borders to make the piece 8-1/2 inches wide x 9-1/2 inches long for the front bottom of the bag.  I added 3 pieces of fabric the same size  for the top and back bottom pieces.  I cut 1-1/2 inch squares for the corners.  On this one, I sewed a piece of lace with eyelets near the top and threaded the ribbon through the eyelets.  You can adjust the fabric size to suit your purposes.  The blocks cut out for the corners gives the depth for the bag.  This bag measures 8 inches wide x 14 inches long x 3 inches deep.

Gift Bags from Orphan Blocks


Most quilters seem to have a big stash of “orphan” blocks – blocks they made that turned out too big, too small, too difficult, too simple, the wrong color, pieced wrong – you get the picture.  I’ve made a few quilts and throws from blocks like these but don’t really enjoy putting together a lot of misfits.  My youngest daughter who has been a recycler, “go green” person since she was a child, had come up with a plan to make all of her gift bags which could be recycled rather than using throwaway paper.  She doesn’t like to sew and came up with an easy bag that is basically a piece of fabric folded in half, sewn along two sides, edge-stitched along the top and with a tie of some sort sewn to the back of the bag so it’s readily available for the next gift opporunity.  In our family, it’s understood that the bag can be kept by the recipient or given along with a gift on the next holiday.

I thought this might be a way to use up some of the unwanted and unappreciated quilt blocks.  The first step is to wrap a tape measure loosely around the largest part of the item to be wrapped and add 1/2″ (two 1/4″ seams) plus another 1″ for a little leeway in the bag. 

Example:  A typical American CD measures 12-1/2″ in width.  Using a 9-1/2″ unfinished block, cut a coordinating strip of fabric 4-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ (3″ plus 1/2″ for two 1/4″ seams plus 1″ for some extra leeway).  

Stitch a 1/4″ seam joining the strip to one side of the block.  Press.


Cut a 20″ piece of ribbon, rickrack, seam tape, cording – anything you might have in your sewing basket.  Place the center of the ribbon on the center of the 4-1/2 x 9-1/2″ strip, about 3-1/2″ down from the top and sew a few stitches to secure it for the tie.

Stitch the other side of the strip to the other side of the block, using a 1/4″ seam.  Press.

Keeping the pieces right-sides together, fold the strip in half lengthwise, centering the strip in the back so there is a nice view of the block on the front, and stitch along the bottom edge, using a 1/4″ seam.


Press the top edge down 1/4″ and zigzag a close stitch along the raw edge (.90 x 3.1 stitch).

Turn the bag and press.  Bag is ready to pack with the CD and tie with the ribbon.


Of course, any block can be used with strips  added to make the correct size.  Also, blocks can be sewn together to make the size you need.

Example:  Two 12-1/2″ unfinished blocks can be used to make a bag big enough for a book, a small toy or small pieces of clothing.  In this case no extra strip is needed. 


Cut a 20-22″ piece of trim for the tie, and stitch it to the center of the block that is to be the back of the bag, about 3-1/2″ down from the top. 



Place the two blocks right sides together, being careful to keep the tie out of the way and stitch along the sides and the bottom edge with a 1/4″ seam. 

Press the top edge under 1/4″ and zigzag along the raw edge (.90 x 3.1 stitch). 

Turn bag and press and another bag is ready to pack with a gift…..two less blocks in the stash and no big piece of wrapping paper in the trash.