Alright, so what do we do with A LOT of left over fabric? We use it. We use a yard to make a pillow, or a quarter to make a stuffed animal. So after several suggestions I decided I would try my hand at making the braided rag rug suggested by Crochetycrochetlady. Other than the fact that it was a PAIN IN THE BUTT, I think it’s coming along nicely :).
If I were to ever do this project again, I would use double sided fabric that didn’t fray. It would not only have been finished SIGNIFICANTLY sooner but I wouldn’t have ran out of the 6 spools of green thread that I had to buy so that my strips would have finished edges…and still need to go out and buy more. That is, however, the only expense I had for this project. I already had all of the fabric necessary for the project (unfortunately it didn’t use up nearly enough :P) and I braid like speed demon so no problems there.
So what do you need for this project?
About 5 yards of fabric cut into 1″ strips
A clothes pin
thread to match your fabric
a sheet of fabric the shape and size of your finished rug
To begin, sew three strips together into a “T.” I stitched up to 12 of my cut strips together at a time so I could spend some time sewing and then time braiding however, in order to do this roll up one of the three tails and secure it with the clothes pin so you don’t end up with a tangled mess on your hands. So braid away. I made an oval rug and it took me a minute to think about it but it made sense that however long you make the center strip is the difference between the length and width of the finished project. So, if you want a 3’x5′ rug you need your center strip to be 2 feet long. Mine was just under three feet long so mine finish project will be roughly 5’x 2′ or 6’x3′ depending on how much I want to do. In order to make such a tight turn for the first couple rounds skip a couple strands in the braid. I know that doesn’t really make any sense but I’ll post a picture tomorrow. I have a book that has an absolutely beautiful diagram of it.
Anyway, after the first couple rounds you don’t need to do any special braiding and can just make a straight regular braid. After I had roughly 52 yards [give or take, I used the very scientific fingertip to nose method of measuring (which I actually measured once and was actually pretty accurate for my arm length)] I wrapped it up and safety pinned it so that I could see about how large my rug is and this is what I ended up with.
He looks so innocent…BAH has he got you fooled!
Now I’m going to add a little more green around the outside edge because I think I have something like 30 or 40 more strips cut already. Then I should be done. As for size, I think it’s almost 5’x2′. By the time I get the rest of my already cut strips on it’ll be about 5.5’x2.5′. We’ll see how it looks again then.
When I do get finished with my braid, I’m going to take my rug sized fabric and finish the edges. Then, I will sew it all together, starting in the center and working clockwise with the invisible thread using the zig-zag stitch. We work clockwise so the rug won’t get jumbled up in the sewing machine arm.
I’ll post pictures when I’m done, I just wanted you all to know I wasn’t being a TOTAL bum 😛