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Friday, March 4, 2011

Braided Rag Rugs

Sorted Fabric Strips for Rugs
Years ago I remember a trip to the state fair with my family that took us through our usual trip through the historical cabin. What stuck this trip was a woman sitting on the porch, in a period costume, working on a braided rag rug. It was an image that stuck with me. All my life I had been around people who could sew and do all sorts of crafts, but I had never actually seen someone braid a rag rug before and didn't know anyone that could. It was one of those memories that got filed away and years later when looking at my scrap box I got to thinking about it again. I knew I could do it, I just hadn't tried and didn't know anyone who could show me, so I'd have to take it on myself.
Using Pins to keep Place

 Using scraps I had on hand I cut them into strips and started playing with techniques and going through the process of figuring it out. I didn't want just long strips sewn together (like you see a lot of times in mass produced, store bought braided rugs). My first attempt, as I figured out what worked best ended up being a coaster. I started with sewing the ends together then braided the strips into each other as I moved outward in a circle.

Rag Rug
I started a collection of scraps from other sewing projects and discarded clothes and rag cut into strips to be used in rugs, organizing them by color. It's given me a great outlet to use scraps of fabric, lace, & ribbon as well as recycle old and otherwise discarded rags (old, worn, torn clothes, towels, etc).

At the last camp I worked at I had a lot of quiet evenings in the middle of nowhere. It gave me a lot of time to work on my own projects and rug making was a nice one for that.

They have also proven to make some great gifts. It's kind of cool to see the rugs being used and decorating the homes of friends and family that have them. I have a stack right now waiting to find homes.


Anonymous said...

How are you hooking the braids together in a circle?

Gertie said...

Yes, braiding them into a circle or oval... I've used both shapes on different rugs.