Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wonky Real Estate

Hubby and I are planning a move this fall so I thought I would whip up some wonky real estate mug rugs for the realtors in my life.  Actually, to say that I  "whipped up" these beauties suggests I sat down and cranked these puppies out in half a minute.  I can assure you - that did NOT happen.

I knew that I wanted my mug rugs to include two things:  a wonky house and a "SOLD" sign.  I did some internet research, browsed a lot of wonky house creations and photos, and decided I would wing it....I'd just engage in a little improv piecing and stitch these mug rugs together real quick.  Unfortunately, my improv experience was not successful.  I was very dissatisfied with the number of asymmetrical seams I created with my improv wonky house....I'm too embarrassed to even show you a picture of the catastrophe.

So, with my improv experience behind me, I sat down with my tried and true graph paper and colored pencils and began to sketch.  I decided the best way to get the crisp, clean lines I love would be applique the houses onto the a background fabric.  Personally, I prefer to avoid raw edge applique.  I've never tried it, but I am always concerned that the edges may begin to fray (like a rag quilt), especially with pieces that may be used and frequently laundered.  For this project, I used turned applique.

I'm sure there are many ways, to achieve a quality turned applique piece.  My way is rather complicated.  I create paper templates and baste a quarter inch "turn" for each piece that I applique.  In this case, each window, door, roof, etc....was basted.  (Ugh...I know!)  After basting, I starched each piece, removed the basting, the paper template and headed to the sewing machine.  I know what you are thinking...that's a lot of unnecessary work.  Perhaps, but each piece is nice and crisp and precise....I like that.

I knew I wasn't going to be happy when I attached the first applique to the background because the background fabric began to pucker.  After ripping out the offending stitches, I ironed some tear away embroidery stabilizer onto the wrong side of my background fabric, went back to the machine and was very pleased with the results.  (I'll have to remember that in the future!)  I hope you like them.  I had a lot of fun putting them together.  Hopefully, I will be able to quilt them together in the next day or so and share more pictures with you!  If you have any tips, please share.  I'm always open to new ideas.


  1. I love these! I think it's worth putting in the extra work to end up with something looking so well made :)

  2. Hi Kim, these are great, but golly what a lot of work! I'm looking forward to getting to know you via the African Bee

    Can I ask that you make your blog font slighly bigger - I'm finding if difficult to read (unless you have a magic wand and can my my eyes younger? And if you do, could you make my whole body younger, and somewhat narrower too!)

    1. should have also added - the houses look fab, so it was worth the work!

  3. Your mug rugs are adorable! Well done!

  4. Adorable! I love them.