Sunday, March 23, 2014

Knotted Rag Rug Tutorial Revisited

Pin It
Many moons ago I did a post tutorial on how to make rag rugs without any sewing. In fact I did two posts. You can see them here and here.

Well, it has been a while since I have made a rug. But, when I was cleaning out my fabric stash, I found several pieces that just had to be made into rugs. You don't necessarily have to use rags, it is just a term we fabricolics use for unused as of yet fabric [...;-)...]

I came up with fabrics for two rugs. One for my self and one for a gift.
Sheets can be used for strips, tablecloths that you no longer use, or just plain fabric that has been sitting in your closet for far too long (my case). If you were to purchase fabric, it would take a lot. That is probably why our grandmothers used fabrics from old shirts, trousers, edges of sheets that were worn out in the center. You get the idea. Fabric is expensive. Scour yard sales and get some for bargain prices. The most memorable rugs will be from fabrics that you love, and you won't break the bank.

Here is one that was recently finished for a birthday gift.

Not every one's choice, but there is a vintage blue and yellow kitchen that it will go in.

As I was making this one, I thought back to the tutorials that I did.
I thought perhaps a remake would be in order because maybe, just maybe a new take would make more sense.

So, hopefully, if you read the other posts AND this one, it may answer questions you have.

I "try" to lay out the fabrics that I want to use. I am rather "color challenged" and often ask my daughters for help in selecting colors. What I think at first would be great, sometimes clashes later...

Here are some fabrics I was considering and I actually tore some into strips. I was looking for a bright, colorful finished rug... Just to ease your mind, most of this was not used. Looking at it later showed me, Whoa there! not good choices. So I tried the rainbow approach, somewhat better. Mr likes this rug better than the blue and yellow rug, so I guess everyone to their own taste (as the old woman kissed the cow!)

Depending on how tight you knot, you will have either gaps or "knot".

My favorite part is the red part... I just knew you wanted to know...

Currently residing in front of the range. Cushy 

I take the fabric, cut off the selvage edge and then use my first finger to measure out approximately three inches. I found out long ago that this finger measures three inches, who would have known...
At the three inch mark, I make a snip with my scissors in the fabric and go on to the next snip place. After about six or eight strips, I start tearing the fabric from edge to edge. (If you don't cut off the selvage, your threads go back and forth and unravel forever, cutting it off stops that from happening). Fold it and pull at the edges to get those strings that will happen. Getting them ahead of using the strip will ease your use later.

Cut a little hole in each end of the strip for joining. This is done by folding over about 1/2" down, fold it in half again side to side, then cut a little of the corner. When you open it back up, you will find a little hole. You will use this hole to join your strips. You will not be sewing them together unless that is something you want to do. Personally...

Can you see the holes? (as a side note, I loved this fabric at first, it had all the colors that I wanted for the rug I was making. Looking back, I do not like it in the center of the finished run, but given some time and dirt, it will fade to a lovely tan...

Take the end and fold it into itself by thirds, and then in thirds again. This makes a really small end that you will thread onto a safety pin. The pin makes going into your holes so much easier than if you didn't have it. Trust me.

Now, lay the two pieces with exposed holes over each other, Right Sides up... It doesn't matter if one is a little wider than the other, that part of the edge will be folded in and you won't notice it at all.

Now, you can do this you know, grab the end of the top strip and bring it up from underneath through the hole. Use the safety pin to poke it through.

Pull, pull it through. You may think you have a mess, but keep it coming. it will fold into itself and look like this
See the torn end up there? These little torn ends will be throughout your rug, but they will be relatively unnoticeable (relatively...)

From the back, smooth out the edges by pulling on each side. It will almost curl around on the edges.

Now you have joined two strips together. You will be working with two strips the whole time, just joining another strip to the end when it get short. Notice that I have laid out these two strips, but staggered in length. That is because wherever there is a knot, there is a little bump. You will learn to work around these, but for the first few knots, it is best to not have the knot at the end of the round. This is the hardest part of the whole rug, so hang in there, you will make it.

Now wrap the right strip over the left and bring it under and through the hole.

You see here that I have pinned the end to the arm of the chair, ouch! That is to keep it stationary while I make those first few knots and for you to see it better. I just wasn't born with multiple arms.

See, that wasn't so bad. This knot you will use for the first row. Right strand over the left and back through the hole.
Do a series of knots, one on top of the other until you think you have enough for a center of an oval rug. Here there is about four and I think I did seven.

Now you will turn the corner by doing three knots in the same hole you just made, by taking the top strip, laying it down and wrapping the left strip over the top and going up through the hole. This is the knot that you use for the whole rug. The first row is different.

It's going to be a little bulky, but you can do it. Make a knot in each hole from your previous knots along the side. Count if it helps you. When you get to the end, make three knots in the end hole. You have completed one side! You are increasing each time you add extra knots. That will keep your rug flat and not curling up on the edges.

Can you see the strips/strands on the edges? That is where you poke your safety pin. Remember, top strip comes down, left strip wraps around and goes up through the bottom into the hole. Now that one is the top strip and you take the one from the left and wrap it over the top of the strip and up through the next hole. It is really much simpler than it sounds. Two color strips will give you a different look than if you use the same color. Those knots where you have joined strips together will be covered up when you come along with the next row.

See the one from the top and the one from the bottom? The bottom one comes from the left, wraps over the top of the right one.

Back side, just for you that are interested.

Adding another color by joining the new color strip

Hopefully this close-up shows you. I like to turn my strips so that the right side is always out. Sometimes it seems like you are turning it all the way around, but I like the way it turns out. It is not necessary to do this. The rug will still be very strong without this added step.

Keep going around, adding extra knots as you go to make the rug flat. You may want to work on a flat surface as it gets larger. It is your choice. And, add as many colors as you can to make it interesting. Go around and around and around many, many times. Make it as big or small as you want.

Now, I know I promised that there was no sewing, but a tip given to me by my daughter who has made many rugs herself, Sew the ends of the strips together on the last go around. It will make a smoother look and won't have those awkward knots to hide and the frayed edges to look at. Just if you want to.

I would love to see if any of you try this technique. Also, send me pictures, comments, questions. I am here to help if I can.

Linking up to:

Made By ME #120 Linky Party and Features

Elk Grove and the Trailer Show

Pin It
I know I told you all that we were going to attend/sell at a Vintage Trailer Show and Antique Flea Market in Elk Grove. It was hosted by The Red Door.

Well, yesterday was the big day. We were able to partially set up on Friday. It was only a hour away and they had a locked and guarded field to sell on. It turned out to be a lovely day between days of rain and wind. A warm and calm 80' greeted everyone.

I am ashamed to say that I did not get one, not one, picture of the amazing restored little travel trailers that were there. The lovely pristine yellow and white striped one was calling me over and the turquoise and white with diamond plate accessories stood out like jewels. Some proud owners belong to a club and they went all out to make this show a memorable one. You can see photos of some of the darling trailers here

I do have a few pictures of our space.

We saw some old friends from other shows and had some good, short visits between taking care of our customers. R and H from the Visalia area, with their two boys, stopped by on their way through down highway 99.

We are so thankful for our white canopies. They provide much needed shade from the sun.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Vintage Trailer Show Presented by The Red Door

Pin It
Coming up soon...

A show we are attending and selling at in Elk Grove.

This is the first show they have done here.
Dave and Kathy are very supportive of our endeavors and we wanted to return in kind.

So, Mr had a few boards that he wanted to have cute sayings on.

They looked like this. About 12" high.
They were the ends of some discarded project that we picked up.

A little persuasion later, he let me have one for my project.

I hope it goes along with the theme of the show,
of course,
someone buys it...wink.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Adventure of the start of my fabric stash.

Pin It
A long time ago.

(Have you noticed that I seem to like things that happened a long time ago. Maybe that is because I remember them more, or better... or seem to remember only the good parts. Anyway... Where was I? Oh, yes... A long time ago)

This was during a time when Mr was laid off after working for a company for 28 years. We were having yard sales, going to shows, listing on craig'slist. All to keep off unemployment.

The LORD provided for us then and HE continues to provide for us today, praise Him.

Mr and I were attending a storage auction. It was at a moving company and the storage containers were large wooden boxes, like a small shed. They were probably 6 feet wide, 8 feet long and 8 feet tall. A forklift brought several of them out to be auctioned off.

Another couple that we had met during our times here and there were there also to bid. The lock was cut on the first one and the doors opened. Bidding started. One had furniture, not what we wanted. Another had sundry items. Bidding was brisk and we were not anywhere near the top on any of them. Then the lock was cut on the last one. Inside were stacks and stacks of plastic containers. See through, sorta. And, it was fabric. Lots and lots of fabric.

Most of the other bidders had already spent their wad, or were just not interested. I said to Mr, in my most quiet, out of the side of my mouth voice, "I can sell that fabric".

He says back. "Let's set a limit, not over $100". Done.

Bidding starts. We put in a bid or two and then it was at $100, not our bid. Oh well. The other couple that we knew had it. SOLD for $100.

I overheard the woman say, "Well, all I wanted was the containers. My daughter is moving and we need those". Must have been twenty or twenty-five of them. So, I said, I wanted the fabric. So a deal was struck,
we would pay them half - $50 and they would get their containers and we got the fabric.

Mr backed up our small pick-up that had a canopy over the bed. The couple started unloading the boxes and throwing the contents in through the door of the canopy. More and more boxes were unloaded. Boxes we didn't see from the front. All fabric. I heard the lady mutter, "Well, a deal's a deal". Then a box appeared that did not have fabric. They quickly put it aside to go through later.

There was fabric, cutting mats, specialty rulers, fleece, quilt batting, markers, did I say flannel? Just about everything you could think of in a fabric store. The truck kept getting more and more full. Finally the storage shed was empty. We closed the door of the canopy, thanked the couple and headed home. There was a LOT of fabric there. This was from a serious fabricholic.

At home, I started sorting. Fat quarters of groups of fabric collections. Velvet, plastic table covers, leopard prints, all you could think of right there. I had some containers and they were quickly filled. Bags came out next. They filled up.

I took the fabric to sales and sold it for $1 each piece. Just the other day, I "found" a container that had fleece. It went to a sale. I have made quilt after quilt for family and friends from this find. I have decided that I will never get to the bottom.

Needless to say, we made our money back... and then some.

Only a few of the quilts that were made from the famous fabric find.


Fishing, hunting


Fun pinwheels

Blues and pinks

Black and White and Red

Tiny squares

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New from Old

Pin It
My big goal today was to re-pot and trim some of my succulents back.

We have two "parent" plants that have been growing in the same pots for a while.
They have generously given many new plants from their trimmings.
The one in the top middle has already been trimming as much as I was "allowed".
My thought was to take it out of its existing pot, take away a lot
of the leggy growth and separate it into a few more pots.
I was busily starting this task, when Mr came around the corner
and said, "You are scaring me".
So, we compromised.
There has been a lot cut off and we will see where it goes from here.

The succulent on the bottom is another "parent" plant.
I have no idea the proper names for either of these, but they are very hardy,
and  they need that to survive with me.

Old blossoms clung to the stems like a favorite sweater clings to an old lady.
They had to be plucked off to make room for new growth.

It reminded me of myself.

Yes, I know you are thinking about the old lady part, but...
what came to mind for me was old favorite foods,
ways of doing things, old familiar spaces.

I need to pluck off some of my old ways to make room for new
ideas, foods, and new adventures.

Then I will be ready for whatever the Lord has in store for me.
We all need to be pruned now and then.

A few of my new plants along with the old.

"Make new friends, but keep the old,
One is silver and the other gold."

Wow, that was a song from my girl scout days.