Thursday, July 26, 2012

Americana Rag Rug

New Americana Rag Rug
Keeping with my rag rug obsession lately, here's another variation. So far, I've made an American Flag Rag Rug and a Union Jack Rag Rug. Earlier this year, I made a spiral version loosely based on a picture I found on Pinterest. Here's a picture of my newest rug and the one I made earlier:

Spirals Rag Rug






The colors are a lot of fun to play with. On my older rug (which was a birthday present for my sister), she picked the colors from among my scraps. The new rug is based on the colors I found in a piece of fabric, mainly bright red, navy, cream, and black.  You could do each spiral with similar colors, but I chose to integrate the colors a little more. The red spirals are fabric ropes leftover from my Union Jack Rag Rug.


Americana Rag Rug

What You'll Need:

  • Lots of scraps braided into fabric ropes (see my Rag Rug Basics post for how to make the braids).
  • Thread

1. Make the Spirals.

 Start with the end of a fabric rope and run a piece of thread through it.Since this will be a rug, I used a thick thread doubled over.
 Tightly coil the rope and sew back and forth to hold the spiral in place.
 Use a catch stitch to keep sewing as you wind the coil.

 Try to keep your spiral flat as you work. Some puckering can be flattened out with a rinse & a press, but not all. Having loose braids will help with this. When your spiral has reached the desired size, secure the end with a few overcast stitches and cut off the excess.

 Large spirals make great eye-catching centerpieces. You will need several small spirals (about 2" in diameter) to fill in gaps and edges. Of course, you could also do all the spirals the same size, I might have to try that next time.

2. Lay out your spirals. 

When you think you have enough, lay out the spirals in the desired pattern. I tend to change mine as I'm sewing it together. Place all the spirals with the stitched side up. I used a pillowcase for guidelines and for ease of moving. As you'll see later, the guidelines didn't quite work out as planned.
 Start stitching together using an overcast stitch. You'll probably need to rearrange as you go. The spirals will stretch some and morph into different shapes as you attach them to each other.
 Be sure to fill in any gaps as you go.

 3. And You're Done...Sort Of

Here is a great example of what to do when things don't turn out exactly as you had planned. Here is what I thought was my finished project:

 The more I looked at the pictures, the more I decided that it was simply too crooked. In this sort of rug, a certain amount of leeway on the edges is to be expected. After all, it's made of circles. However, this one is unacceptably crooked. So I'll probably be adding a few more pieces to it, then taking the pictures again. I'll let you know how it turns out. This one will be up for grabs in my Etsy shop once I'm satisfied with how it looks.

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