Merry Christmas from our Row by Row Junior family to yours.

Here’s a holiday mug mat project that I adapted for kids several years ago. It’s a paper pieced pattern written for adults so everyone can have fun making it.

Younger kids can simply trace the tree triangle onto the paper side of paper-backed fusible web (like Heat n Bond Light) and machine applique it to a 5-1/2″ background square. For tips on machine applique for kids, here’s a great resource from our Row by Row Jr. support page.

After fusing and completing the machine applique, join the tree block to another 5 1/2″ square for the other side of the mug mat. Use a quarter inch seam.

Older kids will enjoy the challenge of learning how to paper foundation piece. If you, as an adult, are not comfortable with paper piecing yourself stick to the simple machine applique method above.

With kids, using fusible fleece (like Pellon 987F)  is a super easy way to layer the mat. Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the project’s front. Then place the backing wrong side up on the table in front of you. Place the fused front, right side up, on the backing and pin together. Machine stitch all around the edges. Trim the three layers so they are even.

Older kids can try attaching a normal binding with adult help.

For younger kids, I created a fused down binding. I fused Heat n Bond Light to the back of the binding fabric. Then I cut 1-1/8″ strips using a rotary cutter with a pinking blade. With the paper still on, I pressed the strips in half lengthwise to create a fold for the kids to insert the edge.

Next, we removed the paper and cut the strips into four lengths slightly longer than each side of the mat. At the ironing board, we inserted the short sides of the mat into the folded binding and fused them down. We carefully trimmed the excess length even with the mat. We did the same with the long sides. Adults should help with the trimming of the excess length in this step. Older kids might try trimming mitered (diagonal) corners for an artful look.

Then have the kids sew all the way around the mat with matching thread using the edge of their presser foot as a guide.

You can also totally omit the binding. Simply pink all around the mat edges after sewing the three layers together for a fuzzy, warm, and informal finish.

Last step is to sew a button to the tree top. Younger kids can fuse down a dime-sized circle of contrast fabric.

Here’s the free Merry Christmas Mug Mat pattern pdf.

Ask your local quilt shop to offer Row by Row Junior next summer. They’re registering now!

Have a Merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy your Christmas Tree Mug Mat.

Jeannette Kitlan, your Row by Row Junior Author and Designer