Of the mug rugs that I designed and made for the swap, one of them seemed to get more attention than the rest when it was displayed with the collection. It was one of my favorites: the Ransom Note. I had some fabric with a print that consisted of tons of letters in an assortment of typefaces crowded together. I laboriously cut out the letters I needed for all six swap mug rugs—it was quite a waste of fabric, but I had a lot of it! This was the first time I experimented with using a faux flange binding, and although the flange ended up being a little too wide for the scale of the project, the technique turned out to be my second favorite method of attaching binding.
Quite a few people have asked for a pattern, so I worked out a few ways to handle the lettering issue and changed the measurements for the binding. Now you, too, can write a mug rug ransom note! I’ve written a free downloadable tutorial which includes instructions for the mug rug plus how to make and attach the faux flange binding.
You have several options for creating lettering for your ransom note.
- Find commercial fabric with the letters you need and cut it up.
- Design your own in a word processing program and print it on fabric yourself.
- Download the set of all four lettering combinations from my shop and print it on fabric yourself. There’s one for coffee, tea, cookies, and chocolate/cocoa (it says chocolate, but you can omit a few letters!).
- Order a swatch from Spoonflower one of with my lettering designs printed on fabric for you.
- NEW AS OF FEBRUARY 2018: Order a swatch directly from me here! (US only. International quilters, I’ll add an option to my Etsy shop soon.)
If you choose to design your own, I recommend completing the background notepaper quilting, then printing your design on paper first to audition the layout. Adjust as necessary and continue to print on paper until you get the sizes and fonts that you want.
There are several good tutorials about printing on fabric with an inkjet printer—I can’t vouch for any in particular, as I have no recent experience in the matter, but this looks similar to how I did it once upon a time. One tip that I do remember being helpful is to use painter’s tape around the edges of the fabric (at least on the leading edge) to help keep the fabric and freezer paper from separating.
I tested five different fabrics from Spoonflower for transparency and fraying: basic cotton ultra, Kona cotton ultra, organic cotton sateen ultra, lightweight cotton twill, and linen cotton canvas ultra. The only one that I tried that I would NOT recommend for this project is the basic—it’s just too thin. My favorite for the lettering was the light cotton twill. It printed beautifully, it didn’t fray much, and the texture created a nice contrast against the quilted background. As of now (September 2017), all test swatches cost the same, so you can choose any fabric you’d like in that size without worrying about which is the least expensive.