ScrapHappy May 2021

For a while now I’ve been pondering what to do with my expanding heap of fabric scraps. I don’t feel particularly excited about quilting, you can only use so many small bits of fabric on greetings cards and there’s only a limited number of things that I want to stuff, so the pieces have been building up. However, I have been toying with the idea of a rag rug and so a few weeks ago I did a bit of research into my options and decided to take the plunge. My initial thought was a hooked rug made using a latch-hook, but then I came across an old-fashioned spring tool and immediately decided that this was something I’d like to try. I also came across a simple gauge for cutting the strips and this seemed like something that would make the job much easier, so I placed an order with Ragged Life.

There are lots of ideas on the internet for designs, but I wanted something truly scraphappy, which meant it would have to be random. This being the case, I cut out lots of strips and got started. It’s not going to be a quick make, so it will certainly be appearing in scraphappy posts for some time to come. I’m not quite sure how much fabric it will use up, but it’s already quite heavy and I’ve only done half a dozen rows. The hessian base started off about 1m x 75cm, but it will end up smaller than this as the rags draw the threads up and together. The best thing is that I can use any fabric in this project – I’m just cutting thinner strips of heavier fabric.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folks often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Carol, Noreen, Preeti and Edith

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

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47 Comments

  1. So bright and cheerful! Have fun.

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  2. this is going to be a goodie! let me know if you run out of scraps, I can send you a few truckloads 🙂

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  3. Love it!

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  4. Ooh! I’m loving the look of this and, as you say, it should keep you going for quite a few Scraphappy days to come.

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  5. I wonder, didn’t I see some sort of melting mesh to use on scraps to sew odd bits together with? Anyone know what the stuff is called? Thinking, well maybe that could be a way of putting my scraps together into some sort of art form and usefulness (usefulness essential).

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    • Yes – I really wanted to make something useful, and I can always make use of a rug, especially since the dogs seem to have taken over the sheepskin one in my work room.

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      • Oh I just found something and this person calls the pieces “Crumbs”. Well yer learn sommat every day. Looks very faffy, still, it is interesting, as is your rug. That’s gonna take a lot of faffy work, but the result I think will be awesome.

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        • I don’t mind the faff, as long as I get something out of it at the end… I find it difficult to sit and watch tv or listen to an audio book without something to do with my hands, so this is a good way to keep my fingers occupied.

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  6. This is going to be gorgeous, really lush and thick and cosy. And what a perfect way to get rid of huge quantities of scraps! I also really love how the back of this looks!

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    • I have to confess, that in some ways I like the back better than the front, because you can see all the different fabrics individually, whilst they get rather lost in the front. I guess that doing colour blocks would make the front a better way to display all the different fabrics, but since the point is to use up what I have, I think a design might be doomed to failure.

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  7. My granddad made a rag rug just like this at evening class, between the wars. They were still using it as a hearth rug when we cleared their house in 2003. I think you’ll find it durable!! (and now I want to make one!!)

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  8. ps, I love the way it looks.

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  9. A few years ago I made several rag rugs. Remind me to show you them next time you come. I found that trying to do a fiddly ‘design’ was not a great idea because the it didn’t show properly on the top side. Stripes or blocks are OK. But actually random is how they tend to look whatever the intention! They have proved heavy, hard wearing and I love them but be warned – I tried to wash one in the machine and had to get the repair guy out! -it was too heavy.

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  10. That’s going to be lovely. I made a rag rug out of denim some years back, primarily to use up the stash of old jeans that had gone well beyond repairing but that I hadn’t the heart to throw out. Also, denim is so absorbent, it really works as a door mat.
    As denim is so thick, I bought the backing and the hook tool you mentioned. I chose to make it 32″ x 18″, which fitted snugly by the back door. It took me ages, and 7 pairs of jeans.
    I look forward to seeing the progress. 🙂

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  11. Amazing! What a beautiful idea! Your rug is going to be to pretty to use as a rug!

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    • Thank you… I’m rather enjoying the process and I love the fact that even if I only have a small piece of fabric, there’s no problem incorporating it into this particular project.

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  12. My grandparents had a rag rug in their kitchen which I can still visualise, looked predominantly blue. They are wonderful traditional craft. I looked into making a plaited one once. A friend and I purchased some grotty crimpilene trousers at a jumble sale, cut them into strips but the result was a bit brown and we abandoned that idea. Hope you keep going and make a great rug.

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    • I’m enjoying the process – it’s a long tile since I made woollen rugs using a latch-hook, but this is similar, although much more satisfying because of its scrap content.

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  13. I love rag rugs, though I have only made the woven kind. Yours looks like it will be a good warm insulating layer. Hooray for scraps!

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  14. Looks like hard work but a great idea for all those scraps and you are so neat and even. I don’t think I’d have the patience.

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  15. wow, this could take forever, you could add backing fabric and make it room size! It could do away with the scrap pile. It looks very bright and cheerful.

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  16. My grandma used to braid rugs. She said any odd number of strands would work and kept getting wider and wider. I think she topped at 21. I still have one of her rugs.

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  17. Jan, this is beautiful! I love the variety of colors and textures, and I’m also quite smitten with the way it looks on the back as well. I used to work making theater costumes, and when I saw the photo showing your progress, I thought it would make a beautiful border on a long gown. It would probably be too heavy for regular wear, but wouldn’t that be something like a border on a long, full gown? My imagination is running wild. I’m looking forward to following your progress.

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  18. Wow, what a brilliant idea! I remember my grandma had a rag rug almost like that!!

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  19. Wow, you are definitely an adventurous soul. I tried one of these rag rugs once… once. Didn’t get far. I’ve also done the braided rug.. like that one better, easier for me as I can carry it with me. Have a great week.

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