Wednesday, September 26, 2012

HOPE Mug Cozy

September is childhood cancer awareness month. This project has been knocking around my head all month. I wanted to make a small project to remind me and others to remain hopeful in these rough times.

Rough times you ask? My niece Rosemarie has cancer. She's six years old and has been fighting since she was 13 mos old. She's done surgeries, had countless rounds of chemo and radiation, she's had bone marrow transplants and stem cell transplants. She's been on crazy new-fangled radioactive treatments, treatments that have made her sick and cough and loose her hair. She's missed school, and she's missed out on holidays. Does that stop her? Of course it doesn't. It's hard to think about, but there is no cure for Rosemarie's cancer. Neuroblastoma has no cure.

I feel helpless in the fight for childhood cancer awareness. I don't have the money personally to fund a research team. I don't have the fame to spread the word across the world. But I do have this little blog. So here's my gift to you, and a plea for help in this battle against childhood cancer.

My gift is a sweet tutorial for a little mug cozy. It can be used in your home or office, using any old standard mug (we all have some hideous ones don't we?). You can customize this mug cozy any way you want - make it patchworky, make it all one color! Mine says "Hope" since in the fight against cancer that's what we have to cling to. Mine is also yellow (Kona Curry) - since Gold is the color for childhood cancer awareness - and I don't have any blingy gold fabric.

At the end of this tutorial is the link to St Jude Children's Hospital** I'm asking that if you pin this tutorial, bookmark it for later use, print it out, use it, share it, etc - consider dropping a dollar in donation to St Jude (by all means donate more if you're able!). As we share our creativity we can also help fight childhood cancer.

HOPE Mug Cozy:

3" x 13.5" scrap of two fabrics
3" x 13.5 scrap of Pellon 905 Fusible Fleece or batting.
1" x 1" scraps of four fabrics for letters
scraps of Pellon 805 Wonder Under & Wonder Under Tape

Step 1
Cut 3" x 13.5" from the outer fabric. Mark and trim 3" x 1/2" from the top and bottom edge of one end. Repeat using lining fabric.

Step 2
On the paper side of the Wonder Under draw four 1" squares. Draw letter H on the paper side of the Wonder Under, inside one 1" square. Repeat for other letters being sure to reverse the direction of the letters (the P was the only one I had to worry about - I simply drew the P on the glue side of the Wonder Under).

Cut out the 1" squares and fuse onto the wrong side of the four scraps. Be sure to fuse it properly (use a damp pressing cloth and press until the cloth is dry). Cut out around each letter, and remove the backing paper.

Step 3
Fuse the letters in place on the outer fabric. Add lines of vertical top stitching on top of the letters. They will fray a bit with use, this stitching will hold them in place.

Step 4
Layer linging fabric (right side up), outer fabric (right side down), batting  - and pin in place. (If using Fusible Fleece, first fuse it to the wrong side of the outer fabric. I didn't have a scrap large enough to use it, but the Fusible Fleece would not shift like my batting did!)

Sew around all edges using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 2.5" - 3" gap for turning.

Press the turning gap open and add a strip of Wonder Under tape on one side of the turning gap. Press into place and remove the paper backing. This piece will help secure the opening neatly while top stitching the gap closed.

Clip corners close to stitching and clip at the concave corners too. Turn inside out, press, and top stitch.

Step 5
Wrap your mug cozy around the mug, measure how much the tab overlaps the main piece, and cut the velcro to that length - mine was about 2".

Pin velcro in place and top stitch it in place. Add a box stitch for extra security.

Put the cozy on your mug and enjoy!!

Thanks for sewing along! Please make a donation to St. Jude's! I'd love it if every person who uses or saves this tutorial would donate $1 to St Jude. Do it for Rosemarie! Thanks!!

**St Jude's is currently doing active research on NEW treatments for Neuroblastoma.


  1. fantastic tutorial, and a wonderful cause.

  2. Hi Emily-
    New to your blog and it's lovely. What a beautiful project and a terrific cause. I lost a brother to neuroblastoma in 1974 and although I know there has been much progress made, it is still a tough one. I'll be praying for your sweet niece and her family and will send a donation to St. Jude's. A friend's nephew with the same disease is 10 now :) and hanging in there...praise the Lord!

  3. this is fun and great all in one.

  4. These seem to be simple, quick and economical to make. A great fundraiser for bazaars. And also a way to raise awareness simply by including a small card about the cause.
    I shared with my quilt group! We are going to have fun.

  5. Fantastic idea mum has dementia but still likes a hot cup of tea but can't understand why the cup is hot I will make some for the care home she is in

  6. I just found your blog and I love it! I'm going to make several of these mug cozies, and I will send a donation to St. Jude's today in your honor. I'm a breast cancer survivor and also have 7 grandchildren, who, thank God, are healthy. I'll make the donations in their honor and in yours. By the way, your photos, instructions and overall product here are EXCELLENT---head and shoulders above most I see on the internet. Keep up the great work, and I'm praying for you and your niece. Miracles happen, honey.

  7. Thank you for this post! We'll be using the tutorial for a girl scout project. Sending a donation to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and prayers for your sweet niece.

  8. I donate to St. Jude's all the time. I am a nurse and I have a little girl I care for that has disorders of diaphragm, Specified congenital abnormalities,a trach and gastrostomy tube. This is the only organization that 100% of your donation funds the children.

  9. I made this for a friend who has breast cancer. I gathered peoples' signatures on the reverse side to remind her that we are all praying for her and wishing her well. Thank you for the pattern.

  10. Dear Emily, thank you for your time! Wishing you and your family all the best... I hope St Jude will be blessed with funds to do needed research and beat this monster of an illness. HOPE! 👊🏾👍🏾