TUTORIAL: Chinese Coins Snack Mat or Mug Rug

Joye gave me this bag of “leftovers” from some quilted bags she made a while back.

In it was a lot of pieces similar to this in various colors. 

I set them aside for a while until an idea started to take shape…and it burst into full bloom when I found the PERFECT mugs at the local thrift store.

So here you have it…


6-1/2″ x 10″


Scraps for coins, pieces at least 2-1/2″ wide.  You could use 2-1/2″ squares and cut them down to between 1-1/2″ and 1-3/4″ .  You could use scraps of 1-1/2″ strips, precut. You could use those leftovers from making  a log cabin quilt…basically, get scraps.  But, when you can use pre-cut or partially made, it is a bonus.  I used the triangular shapes above and cut them to 2-1/2″ wide, then picked out everything that was too small. 

Scraps for the “between” strips.  Background fabric of some kind that is 1-1/2″ wide and a total of at least 26″ long.

Scrap for back at least 7″ x 11″

Scrap of batting at least 7″ x 11″

About 40″ of binding


1. Create your “coin” strips using your scraps of colored fabric.  You will need three strips at least 6-1/2″ long each.  I just hooked pieces together until they were at least long enough, plus just a little.  It will be squared up in the end.

2. Cut your between strips.  You need four strips 1-1/2″ x 6-1/2″. At least.  Again, I made mine just a little longer and squared them up at the end.

3. Lay out your strips alternating between the between strips and the pieced “coins.”  You should have a “between” strip on each end with “coins” in the middle as shown. Sew them all together using your standard 1/4″ seam allowance. (NOTE:  Picture is missing strips, because I started to sew them together, but you get the idea.)

4. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, square up the top to 6-1/2″ x 10″. It  will make it all neat and tidy.

5. Make your quilt sandwich with backing fabric face down, batting and pieced top.  Stretch and smooth to prepare for quilting.  Add a few pins to hold everything in place.  If you put the pins in the pieced sections, you won’t have to move them as you quilt.

6. Quilt.  I used straight stitching in the between strips, 1/4″ away from the seam.  This is easier than stitch-in-the-ditch and gives a nice texture, I think.  NOTE:  You can see the pins in this picture.

7. Bind and finish.  Ta-dah!  A fun little snack mat, perfect with a mug of your favorite hot drink (or cold drink, too) and a cookie. WARNING:  It is easy to get carried away. I made three before I knew what I was about.

Chinese Coins Snack Mat Gallery

yours here… 

10 responses to “TUTORIAL: Chinese Coins Snack Mat or Mug Rug

  1. Thank you for sharing. The mug rugs are really cute and they use my favorite thing, scraps. I would love to see Joye’s bag. Judging from the fabric, it must be lovely.

  2. What a great way to use beautiful scraps!

  3. What a gorgeous idea for a mug rug!! Love these little mats – I never thought to make a ‘chinese coins’ rug though!! … Might need to make a few for Chrissy presents!!! Thanks for the idea!

  4. i love them!!! never thought about the chinese coin pattern and of course i have tons of 2.5″ pieces and strips…thank you so much for the tutorial..i will start working on them later today..

  5. So cute! Do I dare start sewing one???
    Thank you for the tutorial.
    Gun, Sweden

  6. Bookmarked! This is awesome; thank you for taking the time to write this up!

  7. You do such a nice tutorial! This will help me use up more leftovers. =) It seems no matter how much I sew, they multiply twice as fast!

  8. Great mug rug and tutorial! Beautiful fabrics.

  9. Good idea. I’d like to try one of these next week.

  10. Very clever. I love them.

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