Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Adventure of my Scrappy Fabric Rug

My scrappy fabric rug has a happy ending but there was rough going there for awhile!  Things were going great until they weren't.  Here's what happened and some tips if you venture down this path!

The story begins with a large ball of fabric created from fabric and batting scraps with the intention to make an oval jelly roll like rug.  There was intent behind the placement of color - I didn't have a enough scraps for a true rainbow plus I wanted to enjoy the process of creating by surprising myself along the way with color choices.

I tackled the sewing over several sessions.

Session one (above photo) left me tired of all the red but excited to see some green and purple and hints of orange to come!

Session two (below photo) was fun as I worked through the green and was heading into the purple.

Everything looked good and I was happy with my result.

After a marathon session (session #3) of sewing on a Friday night, I was done or so I briefly thought.  

The rug, however, was not in agreement.  Somehow in my rush to finish, peddle to the floor, I created a weirdly shaped item that was definitely not a rug.  

When nothing relaxed overnight I decided to just rip out to the point where I had a flat starting point and begin again.  Besides moving too fast through the process, my zigzag setting of 5.7 wide and 1.0 length was creating tension issues, thread breaking and  just a bit of frustration.

 I ripped back to where the green met the purple (same spot as above photo after 2nd session of sewing) and created a mess of thread. 

When I started to sew again, I switched to using my walking foot and changed so my zigzag setting was now 6.2 wide and 2.0 length.  And I took it slow!  I added about 2 strips one night and another 2 the next.   

 With the third session of sewing, my rug was done!

I really like it!  The colors really brighten up the space!   (Rug dimensions are 38'' x 48''.)

Would I do it again?  No.  Although it used up a lot of scraps and was fun to work on something different, it was just too much work. 

That said, I don't regret spending the time to make, rip out and make again.  If you want to give it a try, read the directions, search out some online tutorials and take your time.   The end result is really fun!

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. When you started to go "convex," it seems to resemble the fabric bowl technique. If you ever wanted to give it another go, could you make a really cute laundry basket type vessel by intentionally going "up" after the oval flat part? What you're working with looks a lot easier to manipulate than the fabric-covered clothesline. I like your finished rug a lot, but not sure you've inspired me enough to try it myself.

  2. I'm glad there was a happy ending. Making all the strips to begin with seems like a pretty labor intensive process to me, and my machine only has a straight stitch, so that seems like reason enough for me to enjoy seeing everyone else's version of this rug. The colors are great!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience making the jelly roll rug. The colors look wonderful. I have the oval and rectangular patterns for the rug, but haven't tried them yet. I'm not sure I ever will. I don't mind working on something difficult, if the results will be worth the effort. I'm not so sure they're worth it. I might just give my patterns away.

  4. Your rug is gorgeous!! I applaud your persistence! I had already reached the “What was I thinking?” point before I read your post. I bought two rolls of Bosal cotton batting on a roll - one bought at an LQS and one from an online shop a couple years ago when demand was soaring and supply was scarce. The second roll arrived and is a different size/thickness from the first, yet they are the same yardage and have identical packaging. Suffice it to say that it’s not a project I will even attempt.

  5. Your rug turned out gorgeous! The colors and fabric prints are beautiful! Although it's frustrating when things go wrong, I find that if you tackle the problem right away, the finish will be so rewarding. I've never attempted a rug before, although I have considered it. I have made a few Camden Baskets after watching a video and they were fun to make. They used fabric covered batting strips similar to yours.

  6. Oh wow it's gorgeous, your colour 'placement' worked well! Sorry you had some trouble but it looks like it was worth it in the end. Interesting to see it made out of batting strips - a nice alternative to the rope often used.

  7. This is so pretty! I have the pattern but still have not made it. Like you, I'm sure I would love the results but not enjoy the process. I hope you enjoy yours and all those pretty colors!

  8. It was definitely worth unpicking and persevering with your scrappy fabric rug adventure. I especially like the little flecks of lighter colours in the fabrics - your rug seems to be sparkling!

  9. I certainly understand your frustrations with making this! Though I haven't made a rug like this, I've had issues with "curling" on round and oval shapes. It's great that you stopped, reaccessed, remade and persevered because you have something lovely to show for your efforts. Thanks for sharing that not everything in the sewing room is fun and games!

  10. Congratulations! It looks so beautiful! But it also does look like a huge challenge!

  11. I love your rug! I’m glad you persevere! But I think you have convinced me not to do this project. I have a partially finished fabric covered clothesline bowl that is hiding in a drawer. I may have to use it as an OMG one of these months, just to get it off my plate. I think your rug is smashing, but I’m going to pass!

  12. Thanks for the warning! I was very impressed with the end result, but I'll pass on the rocky road part!

  13. Such a pretty rug! I'm so glad I read your warning, as I still plan to make one for myself.


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