Thursday, January 5, 2017

Camper Rug ~~ Finished! and a tutorial

A week or so ago I wrote about trying to use up some of the many scraps that have been building up (click here).  I've been working on a scrap quilt and a rag rug for our camper.

 For the rag rug, I decided to use some of the cheap, thin poly-cotton that I've had in the stash for some time, years and years, decades. Most of it is in a separate pile, which makes it easy to pull and cut.

CUT: This is an easy project for anyone who wants to get rid of lots of scraps or cheap fabric. I didn't really measure as I cut: I just stacked several layers, eyeballed (an inch or less) and cut. If everything was straight, great; if not, it doesn't matter--it's for a rag rug!

TWIST / BRAID: There are a couple of ways to approach the next step. I chose to twist the strips but it's possible to braid them instead. (It's just like braiding hair with either three or four strips at a time.) My strips are long and braiding would mean handling those long strips which tend to catch and tangle with each other. Twisting just seemed easier.

TWIST: Begin with two strips, preferrably of different lengths. Match and tie the ends together (#1 in the collage below). Twist one of the strips until tightly twisted (#2 white strip). Hold the two ends and pull the strip tightly to help set the twist (it's a little like pressing the fabric). I use a Clover clip and to clip the twisted end. That keeps the twist from falling apart when I let go of the strip to work with the other strip.

Move to the second strip and tightly twist in the same direction as the first (#3 black strip) following all the steps that you did for the first strip. Now you'll have two twisted strips wanting to curl and tangle. Pull them again and rotate the two strips around each other in the opposite direction (#4)I rotate the shorter strip around the longer one. Twisting in one direction and rotating in the opposite direction allows the rope fabrics to lock together as they loosen. The more times you rotate the rope, the tighter it will be.

CONTINUING: What to do when you get to the end of your rope? Simple: add another strip. Again you have choices: sew the strips together, tie them together, or twist the new strip into the previous one. I use all three, but definitely twisting another strip to the old one is my preferred method: overlap at least an inch of the new strip on the old strip, fold them together, and twist tightly. 

TEST / REPAIR: There have been times when the twisted strips didn't grip each other and came loose when I pulled on the rope to test it. That is ridiculously heartbreaking, but it happens. If the fabrics are unraveling, I tie them together. If the fabrics are still in pretty good shape, I stitch them together with a needle and thread that I keep close at hand. I try not to cut the ends off because the strips will then be too short to repair easily. Of course, you could always just trim off whatever is ravelled and start over. 

STORAGE: I've found that the rope is easier to handle if I roll it on a recycled spool. You can use the cardboard core from papertowels or giftwrap. Any cylindrical or rectangular shape will work for storage. I've used a Pringles can and a milk carton, for example. 

SEW: For the rug, I just zigzagged the rope in an oval shape using the Bernina. It is really easy once you get into a rythym: squeeze the rope pieces together and zigzag making sure you catch from one rope to the other. I made an oval shaped rug, but a round rug would likely be just as easy. When I got to the end of the rug, I tucked the rope ends in and made certain to add a few extra stitches to hold them there.

The rug needs to be blocked since it is not lying flat It may also shrink when I wash it, but I have lots of rope to add to the rug, if necessary. 

What would you make with your rope? 

Linking up with
Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts


Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Cute little rope rug you've made! I know it feels great to use it up.

Sylvia said...

Wow, neat idea! It's almost like spinning wool.
Sylvia at Treadlestitches

Jenny said...

Your rag rug is certainly a great idea - Perhaps I should make one for our caravan too.

margaret said...

what is blocking?