Monday 7 January 2013

the rag trade

 I have been itching to make a rag rug forever!!
The Dresden block was great for small scraps 
but rag rugging is great for those huge 'unloved' pieces of bedding etc.
in fact I think you can use anything and it will look good.
 This is not a tutorial, but I will help out with a few tips along the way.
I searched online and found a number of tutorials,
I didn't follow one strictly speaking.
 This is a braided rag rug project,
not to be confused with crochet.
My materials are mainly from old bedding with some fabric purchase mistakes.
I cut my strips roughly 1.5 inches by 2 metres.
Start with 3 strips sewn or tied together at one end,
pin them down to something and begin to braid or plait 
making sure the right side (if there is one) is folded outwards.
The style of braiding is the same as plaiting your hair,
but when you plait you need to pull your fabric all the way through,
otherwise the other ends will plait themselves.
(the reason why you shouldn't make your pieces to long).
The next bit I sort of made up as I went along.
I did find some strong thread,
which is advisable, though I'm almost out of it now.
I started coiling and stitching.
To change colours I used a method from one tute,
but after some lumpy joins I
resorted to machining instead.
I am braiding, stitching and then adding fabric,
this way I can work out roughly how my rug will look as I go.

Before you all tell me how clever I am 
I will point out that at this stage the rug looks more like a Mexican hat,
as the middle keeps popping out...
I think it's something to do with my braids being to tight?
I imagine practise makes perfect.....
I'm already wishing away the green bullseye!!

I have found that to achieve a flat rug
you must stitch it on a flat surface like a table or the floor!

We've been chatting on facebook if you'd like to join in?


  1. I'm still going to tell you how clever you are! It looks fabulous! Do you think wetting it down and stretching it might help flatten it? (Just thinking out loud here.) I'm sure you will come up with a solution, because it is so pretty!

    1. I thought the same thing Susan, the wetting bit not the clever bit!

  2. I love it and I am going to show it to my eldest as her textiles club at school is doing rag rugs this term. Thanks!!

  3. I love it! This would make cute coasters too or hot pads!

  4. My Mum used tomake these, unfortunately I didn't pay too much attention, but then who are too bust playing (you don't realise your Mums just playing too!) :) x

  5. I'd love to make a really bright funky one of these! The cats would totally wreck it though, lol. They have a thing about rugs.

  6. We inherited some rag rugs from my husband's grandmother. She made them and they last forever. I'm going to enjoy watching you make this.....and learn something along the way! PS I love the green bullseye!

  7. You inspired me to finally get mine started- I told my husband when we moved 2 years ago that I would make one for the kitchen. Finally, I've started it!

  8. I love this! I've had a braided rug tutorial pinned for a long time, but it's so intimidating!

  9. so pretty, and thanks for the nice tute! I want to make some!

  10. Gorgeous!! A Rag rug had been on my list of things to make for like three years now! This is looking beautiful!

  11. Ive always wanted to make one. I love braided rugs. Dont have enough scraps at the mo' tho, I dont think.


  12. I so want to make these! I so need to destash and attempt to keep the house cleaner - puppy to blame and kids and mud and slush outside the door!


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