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Embroidered Hexie Mug Rug Pattern

Practice making English Paper Pieced hexagons while you create this fun mug rug. Sarah Ashford is sharing a free mug rug pattern with all of you today!

hexagon mug rug on white table with text overlay the image

What is a Mug Rug?

A few of you may be wondering to yourself “what is a mug rug?” To be honest, when I first became active in the online sewing and quilting world I had no idea what people were talking about when they said “mug rug”. Put simply, a mug rug is a large coaster. It is usually quilted and is designed to hold your mug and a small snack. Think of it as something “fun” to keep by your desk while you work. Since it is made of fabric, you can wash it easily and it will help keep crumbs off your desk.

People really enjoy making mug rugs becuase they are quick to sew and are great for beginners. They are essentially “mini quilts” that you can enjoy in your everyday life!

Sarah Ashford is going to show you how to make this cute one, which features hand embroidery and hexagons in todays tutorial.

How to Make a Hexie Mug Rug

tan and jewel tone mug rug on white table with coffee and fabric

I’ve just bought a new coffee machine.  It’s a very mini version of the ones that you get in coffee shops where you use fresh coffee beans, steam the milk and everything.  It takes me back to my college days when I was a barista in a coffee shop.  I’m now a ‘home barista’ and I’m loving it!  

So I thought I’d combine my passion for coffee with my passion for sewing and make a mug rug.  The phrase ‘But first, Coffee’ is really appropriate, because like so many of us, it’s the first thing I make when I go to the kitchen in the morning.  It sets me up for the day and gets me going.  Are you the same?

How to Get the Printable Pattern Pieces. You can get a copy of the pattern pieces used in this project in our Template Library. Access to the library is for our Newsletter subscribers, and subscriptions are free. Please visit this page and follow the instructions to get the pattern pieces. PLEASE READ the instructions on that page. NOTE: The PDF only contains the pattern piece; you still need to read this tutorial to complete your project.

hexagon mug rug on white table with text overlay the image

Hand Embroidered Hexagon Mug Rug Pattern

Sarah Ashford
Create a fun "but first, coffee" mug rug that features hand embroidery detail with this great tutorial.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 32 minutes


  • ‘But first coffee’ text and 5 x hexagons templates download on the sewing templates page. See gray box above for instructions.
  • 1 piece Linen background fabric 11” x 8”
  • 1 piece Batting – 13” x 10”
  • 2 piece Backing fabric 13” x 10”
  • 5 3" scraps fabric for the hexagons – 5 in total
  • 1 piece Binding fabric – 1 ½” x 45”
  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Spray baste


  • Print off the 'But first coffee' template and using a light box (or holding it up to the window!) transfer the text onto the linen fabric. Keep it to the right of the fabric, approximately 5” across from the left hand side, as we're going to be also adding the appliqué hexagons on the left hand side.
    tracing image onto linen

Hand Embroider the Front

  • Put the fabric in an embroidery hoop and make it taut to help obtain even stitches. Take an embroidery thread, (I've used an Aurifil 12 weight thread in hot pink) and stitch over the text using a back stitch.
    close up of hand embroidery stitches
  • To make the text stand out more, you can go over the text with a whip stitch. Take the needle in and out of each stitch, going into each stitch from the same side each time. This will make the writing bolder and have more definition.
    close up of hand embroidery stitches
  • Take the embroidery out of the hoop and give it a good press.
  • TOP TIP: Don’t leave the fabric in the hoop for long periods of time. Always remove it when you’re not stitching to avoid permanent creases.
    close up of hand embroidery stitches

Create the Hexagons

  • Cut out the 5 hexagon templates. Take the scraps of fabric for the hexagons and pin a paper hexagon to each of the scraps and then cut out with a 1/4” inch seam added on.
    white hexagon piece on wrong side of fabric
  • Baste the hexagons to the paper. I like to thread baste, using large stitches to hold the fabric to the paper, but you may prefer to glue baste. Do this for all of the hexagons. Remove the pins and press them to ensure they are nice and flat.
    completed hand sewn hexagons on white table
  • Now stitch the hexagons in a vertical row, using your preferred stitch. I like to use a ladder stitch, but you may like to use a whip stitch. I also like to use my favourite 80 weight Aurifil thread in Dove (2600) as this thread beautifully disappears into the fabric to create almost invisible stitches.
    completed hand sewn hexagons on white table


  • Carefully remove the papers. If you’ve used thread to baste them you will have to carefully remove the basting stitches. If you’ve used glue, carefully pull the papers away. Press to retain the shape of the hexagons and the seams.
    completed hand sewn hexagons on white table
  • Protecting your work surface, spray the basting spray onto the back of the hexagons then adhere them to the embroidered background. Iron in place to activate the glue. They will overhang the mug rug but they are going to be trimmed at a later stage.
  • Using a small slip stitch, appliqué the hexagon strip to the background. Trim off the excess at the top and bottom.
  • Layer up the backing, batting and top, using spray baste to secure in place. Hand quilt around the hexagons and however you choose to decorate your mug rug.
  • Stitch all the way around the edge with your sewing machine to 'seal' the edges then trim off the excess batting.
  • Stitch the binding on to the front of the mat with the sewing machine, mitring the corners and hand stitch the binding to the back for a neat finish.
  • TOP TIP: For small projects I like to use single fold binding, as I've done here. It uses less fabric, reduces bulk and makes it much easier to stitch. You do have to fold it over at the back, but it works perfectly every time.
  • And you’re done! All you need to do now is make yourself your favourite coffee (mine’s a cappuccino) and sit back and relax.
Love this tutorial? Get the behind the scenes on Instagram
tan and jewel tone mug rug on white table with coffee and fabric

About the Designer:

Sarah Ashford is a British Quilter and embroiderer and founder of the GreatBritishQuilter challenge on Instagram. Sarah regularly contributes projects to magazines and loves to spread the joy of quilting everywhere she goes. Follow her on Instagram at @sarahashfordstudio and be sure to check out her beautiful sewing room decals in her Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/sarahashfordstudio

More Free Quilt Projects to Try:

Quilt as You Go Pillow Pattern

Valentine’s Mug Rug Tutorial

Cat Quilted Table Topper Pattern

hexagon mug rug on white table with text overlay the image

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  1. Good morning!

    I went to the template page and I did not see the template for the “But First Coffee”. Maybe I missed it. Just wanted to let you know. Such a sweet mug rug.

    1. Sometimes it loads an older version of the page, especially if you’ve download files from us before. Just make sure to hit refresh so you load the “fresh” page.

  2. I’m interested in the tool you used to make the single binding. What size (mm) tool did you use? It looks like the perfect size for these little mug rugs.



5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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