Thursday, November 29, 2012

Braided Rug (I finally finished it!)

Ahhh, scraps! In some ways it's so nice to have so many, after all, it means a lot of completed sewing projects. (Or at least, projects that have been cut out and are ready to be sewn) But on the other hand, once my box starts to overflow, all I can think is, "what the heck am I supposed to do with all these scraps??"

I've found lots of uses for my cotton scraps. I've given a bunch to my teacher friends for art classes, I've stuffed (or re-stuffed) various toys and door-stops with them, made them into whole other projects, (see my Scrap Map project), and this fall, I even have 2 quilts in the works.

But this summer, I've been making skirts for myself and have been using knit fabric almost exclusively, and the scraps I've been left with are long, skinny strips. And then a good friend of mine, who has also been sewing with knits, her obsession is knit ruffle scarves, gave me a bag FULL of long, skinny strips of knit scraps. So, then I had a ton of knit scraps and no ideas.

Until.

I found her on Pinterest. I can't even remember what I was searching for, but there it was, the perfect use for all the knit scraps, a braided rug! Cathy from Sewing For Life, wrote several tutorials, has lots of tips on braided rugs from t-shirts, and an awesome Braid-A-Long which I followed to make my own rug.

I pulled out all of my long knit scraps. Wow! Turned out to be even more than I realized.


Cut them into strips and wound them up into balls.


Then started braiding. The braiding was easy once I got going, it took me a few hours one evening to get a nice long braid from my fabrics.


I didn't really measure anything, I just laid it out on the floor as I went to gauge how big the rug would be, and as you can see from this photo, my original intention was to make a rectangular rug.

But once I started sewing the braids together, the rug sort of naturally coiled into a circle, so I decided not to fight it. Because I was having another issue.

I could not, to save my life, sew this on my machine. I tried, but once it was all done, instead of a nice flat rug, what I had was a giant braided bowl. So, I ripped the whole thing apart and started over. I tried dropping the feed dogs, using a darning foot, a different machine, no luck.

There are really only 2 choices in a moment like this, either throw in the towel or sew it by hand.

So, I sewed this sucker by hand over the course of 2 months. It wouldn't have taken that long if I had just sat down and spent a few nights doing it, but that's just not what happened. I finally finished it the other night at a craft night at a friend's house.


I'm SO glad it's done!! It's nice and soft because of the jersey, it fits in the kid's bathroom, it's colorful and fun, and most importantly it's DONE!!

I am a little nervous about washing it, but for now I'll just feel triumphant and satisfied for a job well done!



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