Mug Rugabilities – Pillow Cushion Tutorial

The beautifully-made portable weaving looms from Purl & Loop have arrived at the Woolery! We’re pleased to introduce the Swatch Maker 3 in 1 Portable with optional stand, which is great for using up leftover yarn in your stash to create a variety of projects. To celebrate, we asked Angela, founder of Purl & Loop, to share a special tutorial with our blog readers. 

All the Best,

Wave, Perri & the entire Woolery Team

Our Stash Blaster® portable weaving looms (mug rug size) were inspired by the problem of what to do with all my yarn stash. In some cases, I had no way of identifying the yarn or knowing if there was enough yarn for a particular pattern. The little looms solved that because I could mix and match my yarns to make all the mug rugs I wanted. Since I found weaving to be very meditative, I accumulated those mug rugs quickly. I decided it was time to expand my mug rugabilities with a pillow cushion.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

I sorted through my stash of finished rugs and chose four very similar in size.  The type of fiber used was not a factor in the choices. The four rugs put together measured 10” x 12.5” and I chose a piece of natural linen measuring 11” x 13.5” for the backing. The four rugs were all positioned with the less pretty sides (aka more mistakes) all facing the same direction. In the photo below, the less pretty sides are all facing down into the linen. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

I had already decided that this project was going to be done all by hand because I wanted a work in progress I could carry around in a big purse and I was not sure how machine sewing would interact with the yarn. Also, I have been partial to hand sewing my whole life. My grandmother owned a cleaning and tailoring business in Chicago and I hand sewed all of my Barbie clothes while hanging around her shop as a child. Using Appleton crewel wool, just because I liked the texture, I attached the pieces using a mattress stitch. Using mattress stitch is not a must, it was just what I thought, after watching a variety of videos demonstrating how to attached knitted pieces together, might be the least visible and most effective at the same time. Surprisingly, this was completed in about one hour. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

Below is a photo of all four mug rugs stitched together.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

Next, I attached the mug rug piece to the linen.  In this case, the less pretty side faces up because once the pillow is turned right side out, the less pretty side will be inside. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

Continuing with the crewel wool and using a straight stitch, I attached the rugs to the linen backing on three sides.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

This is a photo of what the backside (what will be the inside of the pillow cushion) looked like. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

I gently turned the pillow casing inside out so the good sides were facing outward.  You will see there is a good amount of extra linen on this edge that is here on purpose.  This will be explained a little bit later.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

The pillow was stuffed with pillow stuffing from a craft supply store.

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

I folded the extra bit of linen in toward the inside of the pillow and used pins to hold it all together.  I brought my needle from inside so my tail would not be visible and continued using a straight stitch to close this final side.  I worked from the mug rug side but only attached to the folded in linen facing the inside so my stitches were not visible. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

This cushion was quick to finish with already completed mug rugs and we look forward to trying to make a larger one. 

Free woven pillow tutorial from Purl & Loop on the Woolery Blog

We hope this inspires you to think of all your mug rugabilities!

Angela and Audrey Pearl, one of our two studio dogs.

Angela and Audrey Pearl, one of our two studio dogs.

Angela Smith is the owner of Purl & Loop.  Purl & Loop specializes in needlecraft kits and supplies with a focus on needle felting and weaving.  Purl & Loop is the creator of the Stash Blaster® and Swatch Maker 3-in-1 (patent pending) weaving looms.  Purl & Loop sources all of their materials in Houston based businesses where possible or from other North American suppliers.  All human staff (Hector, Missy and Liana) are paid a living wage and canine staff receive deluxe housing and organic food and treats.  All products are designed and manufactured in the Houston, Texas studio.

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