Tuesday, May 22, 2012

41. A Braided Rug


This morning I laced together the last piece of braid in Jemima's rug. This project has been somewhat a labour of love for me. As far as crafts go, I'm not very patient and this was one project that was never going to be completed in a hurry.

I knew all along that I would eventually finish it of course. Making something for the kids provides that pull to keep on going, just do a wee bit more for the day. It's also a special project for me, because it seems to sum up what born again creations is really about. Finding something old and unwanted, changing it, remaking it, redesigning it into something beautiful and functional.

Jemima's braided rug is recrafted from three queen size vintage sheets ripped into 5cm strips. She loved ripping the sheets with me - the sound of the rrrrrip! The question in her eyes "Am I really allowed to do this?" The satisfaction of a growing pile of fabric pieces.  Once you have a few strips ready grab three and sew them all together at the top short end, one on top of the other. This is to secure the braid so that it doesn't unravel.


The next thing to do is start braiding your fabric strips. I found it easiest to secure the end to a door knob and stand up as I worked. Keep braiding, adding fabric when your strips run out. The best way to do this is to make a small nick in both the short end of the fabric and the top of the new piece you want to attach. Lay the new piece behind the short end matching the nicks. Pull the long end of your new piece through the holes and pull tight. There are lots of good youtube videos on braided rugs if you need help.


As you braid roll it into a ball to keep it all tidy. Change colours every now and again, or use two strips of one colour and one strip of a contrasting colour as I did. You'll need a large ball to make a rug, to test the size you can lay it out flat and wind the braid around to see how much more you need to do.


When you're ready to assemble the rug get the end that you sewed together right at the beginning and lay it flat on a table. Wind the braid around it making sure that it lies flat. You can stitch it together using strong upholstery thread or you can get a blunt needle and some lacing cord and weave the braids together - in through one loop of a braid, then around the loop of the braid lying next to it. I started stitching and ended up lacing it. Lacing was quicker but didn't hold the rug together as tightly. With either method don't pull too tight or it will cause the rug to curl up.




15 comments:

  1. Great job on this rug!
    Marie

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  2. You inspired me! I have been looking in to rag rugs for ahile but your blog was what pushed me to get started :)
    I began one on the weekend :D

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    1. Hi Natalie
      So great to hear that you've started a braided rug! I really enjoyed making this one for my daughter, I'm thinking of starting one for my son next in blues, reds, and whites. Don't forget to come back and share a pic when you're done!

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  3. How big was this one when you finished it? I think I need one by my kitchen sink.

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    1. Sorry for the late reply, Kathryn - I missed your comment somehow. The rug is 60cm across and it's sort of round (ish). Did you end up making one for your kitchen?

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  4. I use to crochet rugs. The first time I ripped the sheet I was out of work for 2 days due to the fibers flying around. I tried my mom's quilt rotary cutter and decided that was the way to go. They are very nice rugs to have, Been thinking of trying the Braided Rug . Nice job

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  5. a tip:I use to do the crochet rugs made from old sheets. I use to rip then until I was out of work for 2 days due to the fibers flying around. I now use a rotary cutter for quilts to cut strips, also can stop before the end so I have one long strip. No more fibers or missed work. Thinking about trying the braided rug! Love the look of yours.

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    Replies
    1. A rotary cutter is on my wishlist! I made a quilt for my daughter and cut all the squares by hand, I made myself a promise that next time I attempt a quilt a rotary cutter (and walking foot) are non negotiable.

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  6. this is not specific enough. you did not show the steps, you just showed your finished piece in different settings and angles. part of a tutorial is to walk us through it.

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  7. Thanks Anonymous for your feedback. I agree with you about this post missing some step by step instructions, I didn't really intend for the rug to be a tutorial like many of my craft posts, it was more of a show and tell. We were moving house while I was making it and I wasn't able to take photos as I went. There are lots of good tutorials on the web for rugs like these and my text has explains the process I used. Becs

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  8. I am thrilled to find this tutorial because I'm all about recycling or upcycling. I want to make a couple of these for out house. Now, I have to head to the thrift store to find the right colous.

    Sincerely,

    Sonja Doyle
    Regina, Sk
    Canada

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    1. Hi Sonja, I love recycling and upcycling too - there's nothing better than making something new out of something old. Hope you found the colours you were looking for. Becs.

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  9. I love this rug! I'm going to have to make one myself. Also, I love your blog I'm defiantly a new follower!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there, thanks so much - the poor blog has been a bit neglected lately due to me starting a new job but these lovely comments are just the thing to get me out there creating again.

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Thanks for your comments, I love to hear from you!

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