Window Birds Mug Rug

Yesterday, I intended to make two mug rugs and a tote bag to give as Christmas gifts. BUT … I never got beyond the first mug rug. Finished today, and it was a learning experience!



This is for my sister. In the morning, she loves to sit with a cup of coffee and a bowl of fruit, watching the many birds that gather at her large bird feeders. At a recent visit, I enjoyed the morning birdwatching also.

This is a picture of the place she usually sits to bird-watch.

Side B of the mug rug is based on her beautiful windows. It was a bear to sew! (I really don’t know how to sew properly, but I do want to make all the sewn things, so I keep trying.) The ridiculously-narrow parts were WAY too advanced for my beginner-level appliqué skills. Had to start over twice.

The side with the birds wasn’t much easier. I tried a cool-looking “suitable for beginners” technique I saw on YouTube.

It probably WOULD have been easy if I had done a simple shape… but the birds had too much detail (much of it lost, unfortunately). I also started Side A over twice. (!!!)

On the plus side, I learned a lot. And I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out. And most importantly, I think she’ll like it. So overall, worth all the effort and false starts.


This came out great! I’m really impressed seeing as you say that you are a beginner. That gives me hope for me this year.

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The back is just as beautiful as the front! But, the front is the star of the show with those two birds…the yellow and red really stand out against the grey/black background…good choices.

She is going to love it!

The thing about sewing when you are a newbie is that I think you are fearless and just jump in…I love the adrenal rush of trying something new with no worries about the outcome…everything is fixable as long as you keep trying. Keep it up! I want to see more in 2023 now that you have begun your sewing journey in 2022!


This is lovely - keep sewing! I would happily use this every day for my morning tea. So cheery, the two bright birds.

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This is beautiful! Your bird background works really well with your two colorful birds and the back of the mug rug looks so chic with those narrow lines of fabric in between the rectangles.

Bonus of this project - you’ve learned a new skill and you took the time to fine tune it with each redo!

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Thanks, everyone! I don’t mean for it to sound like I have NO experience with this stuff; I’ve made appliquéd, machine-sewn items before. But only once or twice, and many, many years ago. And never using these two specific techniques.

Just found an interesting study that suggests that birds specifically have a positive impact on human moods. Pretty cool!
[What happens to your brain when you see a bird in nature?]


The birds are so bright and fun against the background! It’s lovely.

Applique is fussy no matter how you do it. Iron on fusible stuff works and if bonded well, doesn’t need stitching for something like a mug rug.
One of my favorite scrappy ways is to straight stitch around the shape and then trim close to the stitching. Rough up the edges a bit for that primitive look. Or reverse the process by having the fabric behind and after you stitch the shape, trim the top fabric away on the inside of the shape revealing the back fabric…again roughing up the edges.
But keep going, I’d love to see more mug rugs. You need one too.


You persisted and WOW did it pay off! This is really great!

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This turned out fantastic! Your sister Will love it!

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This is lovely!!

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Lovely! I love the side that’s reminiscent of the windows. Such a personalized gift sure to be loved.

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Your mug rug is GORGEOUS! I just know your sister will love it. :grin:

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This is gorgeous! So neatly done. I am envious of your skill!!

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Thanks so much!

I’ve sewn forever and I would never have known that you were a beginner!! Great work!

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I love reversible mugrugs! I can’t pick which side I like best.

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Those birds look fantastic!

I’m going to check out the video too. Just watched it, now I have to try this technique.

Birds absolutely have a positive impact on moods, they brighten my day, every day.


I agree…a cup of tea while watching the birds is so relaxing.

That technique looks very intriguing to me as well…aren’t we always trying new things? The list is endless!