Friday, August 15, 2014

Ulitmate Scrap Buster: The Rag Rug - Q3 FAL

I've been using this rug in front of my washing machine for a few weeks now, and I love it!  It's cushy without being too nubby, and doesn't travel as much as I thought it might.  Feels great to cross this one off my Finish-a-Long list!

A Brief How To:
To begin, I cut 1" strips from pieces of quilting cotton that I knew I wouldn't use.  Most came from mixed lots I bought at the thrift store, scrap bags purchased at local quilt shops, cottons of questionable quality from the remnant bin, stiff-as-a-board 70's calicoes, you name it.  The beauty of this rug is that no fabric is too ugly, and all of the patterns are obscured in the finished product.  

I joined the strips on my sewing machine using this method from crazy mom quilts, to not have a million tails to weave in later.  I must be a slow ball winder, though, because rolling them was taking me forever.  So, after finishing the first ball, I dumped the next batch (in one unclipped chain) directly from the sewing machine into a bucket, and clipped the strips as I used them.  Since they were all loops joined end-to-end, no tangles!

My bucket of joined strips.

To make an oval rug, I chained just over 20 with the biggest hook I had, a US P-15 (10mm..)  I single crocheted back to the start, and then increased on the ends to go back down the opposite side.  Increasing was more art than science, but I tried to do at least 4-6 on each end, varying the spacing as I went along.  

At first, I carefully counted stitches between the increases, but about halfway through, I switched to using Clover clips to mark where I'd put them (and where I was planning on putting them.)  

At one point, the straight edges looked like they were pulling in a little, so I increased there.  Big mistake.  It made it wavy, and I had to go back and pull it out.  If you use this method, keep the increases around the curves on the ends!

When I ran out of scraps, I wove the tail ends through with my hook, and stretched it into shape a bit.

I weighed a yard of quilting cotton to get an idea of how much fabric was in this thing.  A yard was around 6 ounces (I weighed a couple, they varied from 5.7 to 6.2), and my rug was 45.  

Which means I've got about 7.5 YARDS of scraps in it. 

I had planned to use it in my sewing room under my ironing board, but figured it would get quickly buried in there.  I spend most of my time here, anyway, folding, pulling rocks out of pockets, musing over what in the world could have caused a stain like that, etc..  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and now it doubles as a welcome mat for the sewing room, which is just through that door.

Happy Friday!

This is project 1 of 10 on my Q3 Finish Along List!


  1. Oh my goodness! I absolutely LOVE your rug!!! It's so bright and colorful. So awesome to use about 7 yards of scraps! Wow!!

  2. This is great! I have a ball of "scrap" yarn that I started making from my leftover bindings...I think it's about big enough to make a pot holder!:)