Wednesday, February 29, 2012


So I'm sure you were all eagerly waiting to see what I was going to create with those balls of fabric.  :)  Well wait no more!  I made, as the title says, a rag-rug.  Let me explain for a moment why I decided on this particular project.....

My husband is a history buff.  He has always loved history and I think if he could find a profession that he would like to do with history he would have gotten a degree in it and spent his life in a history career.  Because of this love of history we have ventured out to most of the historical buildings in our area.  While on these tours I have noticed all the old time building have rag-rugs and the tour guide talks about how resourceful they were.  Nothing was ever throw out it was always remade and reused.  After clothing was no longer wearable it was made into either quits or rag-rags. 

My first thought when hearing this is 'how lazy I am and how my ancestors would be ashamed of me'!  I don't feel like a wasteful person but its so easy to just throw things out once they have a hole in it and go get new. My first thought isn't always 'what else could I use this fabric for.' Though I'm trying hard to change that, I have to be realistic I live in a home that's barely over 1000 sq ft and unless I want to be on that show called Hoarders, I just don't have the room to save ever scrap!

So a while back I decided why not I try and make a rag-rug.  It doesn't look that hard. Right? Well I have to be honest here... This has been a project from HELL!!  Every possible thing that could go wrong has gone wrong. I had to pick it apart and start over at least twice, I broke 3 sewing machine needles (still have no idea why that happened).  After finishing plan C and still having it come out off I decided that I can no longer work on it and need a major break from it, possible for forever!   Here is what it looks like now: 

Honestly, I don't think it looks to terrible as it is now. But my rows that started out perfectly straight, ended up curvy and so it just looks off a bit.  In case you want to know, this is what I did.  I bought a couple big sheets at a thrift store, cost me 2 dollars.  This project would be great if you already have old sheets lying around but I currently don't and I didn't see the point in spending 10 plus dollars per sheet just to rip them up. 
Once the sheets were washed I would cut off the hem that is at the top and bottom of sheets.  I didn't do this and it drove me crazy the rest of the project (it adds too much bulk). Then you can rip the sheet up in one long strip if you do it right.  All you have to do is cut a slit about one to two inches from the side then rip all the way down to the bottom stopping about one to two inches to the end then rip all along the bottom of the sheet your same desired width as before once again stopping one to two inches from end then rip up the sheet again. So you're just ripping around and around the sheet in one continuous strip. Doing this over and over till you make it to the center of the sheet and it is all ripped in a long strip. 
 I hope that makes sense. That is a HUGE time saver.  If you don't do it in one long strip then you have to attach each individual strip together either by sewing or making a little knot.  I of course choose the later route and spent a ton of extra time combining all the strips together. Please learn from my mistakes and do not do it that way!!

Now roll your strips into at least 3 balls of fabric.  If the balls are too large and unmanageable you could make 6 or 9 smaller ones.  After that I started braiding.  I anchored my ends under one of the legs of a chair and made the braids as long as was manageable. After I had a lot of fabric braided together I started sewing them together by using my sewing machine and using the zigzag stitch. I sewed until I had the length and width that I wanted. Then as I mentioned before it came out a little curvy and by that time I was so tired of working on it that I was not about to pick it apart again!  So I got my cutting board out and cut across the top and bottom to straighten it and also cut along one of the sides to make it straight as well. I might later add a binding around it or just at the top and bottom. We will have to see after I've had a little break from it.

This picture is to show you my braids sewn together using the zigzag stitch.

I initially made it with my daughters room in mind, but I like that I made it in a neutral color that it could go in any room of the house.  Which is kind of funny because I was going to look for sheets that had color or patterns on them but only found white and cream and was to impatient to wait to find colorful sheets. It all worked out in the end though. :) 

And there you have it.  You are probably smarter than I am and would be able to get this project down quick and easy but I struggled with this one.  Even though it was such a pain I do like the look of rag-rugs and maybe if I thought about it more I could come up with an easy route....I'll letcha know if I do.

Ciao for now,

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