Zakka becomes my cup of tea

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Today on QUILTsocial: pretty details finish up a practical zakka mug cozy.


Zakka becomes my cup of tea

Yesterday, we learned a bit about the Japanese zakka — the art of creating pretty and practical things to make everyday life better. Today, let’s continue our practical translation of word, as we continue on with our mug cozy, zakka becomes my cup of tea, indeed!

Using the template, created from your measurements and paper towel prototype, cut:
– 2 cotton linen blend main (outside) pieces
– 2 quilting cotton lining pieces
– 2 insulated batting pieces

  • Press the outside linen blend outside pieces. I joined two colors of linen blend together with a 1/2 seam. Press the seam open.
  • Interface the whole piece of fabric with light weight interfacing. This will help keep them from stretching and pulling as you embellish the outside.
  • Use quilters’ tape to temporarily adhere lace to cover the join of the two pieces of linen.
HeatnBond Featherlite iron on adhesive helps anchor the mug cozy embellishment so you can add some hand stitched details.


Sweet little scraps, and equally delicate handwork and lace details, translate into zakka on our mug cozy.


I had a sweet little scrap of bird fabric left over from another project, but any special scrap in your stash will do to decorate the outside of your cozy.

  • Iron on a piece of lightweight interfacing to this scrap. Use a scalloped edge rotary cutting blade, or pinking shears, to create a decorative edge.
  • Measure a contrasting scrap of linen, interface it, and use a decorative edge to cut it about 1/4 bigger than your scrap.
  • Iron on a piece of HeatnBond to the patterned scrap, and a second piece to the linen scrap. Place the scrap and the linen piece together and place both centrally on the cozy. Iron the scrap embellishment onto the outside of the cozy.

The placement is your decision, but placing it at the midpoint will show off your scrap to the best advantage.

  • Use three strands of embroidery floss to sew some decorative stitches around the fabric embellishment.
  • Machine sew the lace to the outside, and use 3 strands of floss to embellish it on both sides of the cozy.
Sew gusset piece to one side of the main piece, then the other side.


Finally! Piping hot tea for one, thanks to the pretty and practical zakka mug cozy.


  • Insulated batting works best when the metallic (shiny side) faces the heat source. Spray baste the insulated batting to the linen pieces, shiny side out.
  • Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, with right sides together, sew one side of the gusset piece to one of the outside pieces, then sew the other side of the gusset to the second piece. Clip curves and trim bottom edges even if necessary.
  • Set aside.
  • Sew the muslin lining pieces together in the same manner as the batting, but leave a 3″ opening on the curve for turning. Clip curves and trim bottom edges if necessary.
  • With right sides together, sew the bottom edge of the cozy.
  • Turn right side out through the opening. Push the lining up into the top of the cozy.
    Even the bottom edge seam. Pin and press the bottom edge. Top stitch the bottom edge.
  • Thread three strands of embroidery floss on a long doll needle, push the needle through the center top of the the mug cozy through all the layers. On the outside, sew on a decorative button, going two or three times through all the layers at the center top.

Now, you’re all ready for a cup of tea, piping hot — kept that way in a lovely zakka cozy.

Zakka becomes my cup of tea. Come on back tomorrow — when zakka is back-ka. We’ll be answering the call for a cell phone holster that offers pretty new meaning to the term “hands free”.