Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rag Rugs


Frugality is practiced regularly on this farmstead. As a child growing up I remember well going to my grandmothers house and watching as she cut old clothing into squares for her quilts. Many of those same quilts exist today covering up my own grandchildren. Not fancy quilts meant for company but those everyday items of comfort in most homes. Softened by love and repeated use. Made from recycled fabric, the batting either cotton which was grown locally (Mississippi) or even old blankets or quilts needing a face lift and a new covering. I even remember her cutting the wiring out of old electric blankets that no longer worked and using the blanket itself as quilt batting. 


While cutting the cloth from those old clothes those good metal zippers and buttons were saved for other projects or to replace those ever ending lost buttons on grandpa's shirts. All these treasures placed lovingly in old fruit jars and stashed to be used another day. Those flour sacks became children's dresses, dish cloths or future quilting material. The white cotton twine used to sew the flour sacks reserved for quilting as well.  Grandma has long since passed away but those lessons were learned well. Now a grandma myself I am the proud owner of my own stash of button jars and even recycled cloth and old sheets and blankets lovingly hoarded for another use.  


And like those women before me I have long ago learned that every item that I can make myself for my home and family is another item that I do not have to buy from the local Walmart (the only store remaining in my local small town 45 minutes away)  or have to order over the internet and ship in.  So old blue jeans become door snakes to keep out those winter drafts. Plastic grocery bags are cut into strips and become crocheted bags for  those odd thing that you need a bag for. Grandson Hank has a crocheted plastic grocery sack bag that he uses to carry around his story books that he has had for over a year and a half.  


Old knit T shirts once out grown, stained or full of holes go into a basket by my recliner. When I watch tv I sit and cut them into strips and roll them into balls like yarn. They then become crocheted rugs to go by my door in winter for those snowy shoes to sit on as the snow melts.    


With the first snow coming over the Christmas holidays I crocheted up 6 of these beauties. The t shirt yarn made from the last closet cleaning extravaganza. These are definitely not works of art! Just everyday, washable , useful and frugal ways to use up what would normally be burned as trash.  Once soiled or wet with snow they are simply thrown in the washer and then hung over the porch rail to dry until the next snow storm.  With one beside  every door it sure saves on mopping and cleaning carpets and gives everyone a place to take off their shoes and set them to melt. 

Want to make your own crocheted rugs here are some great sites for ideas and patterns.







As for me I just pick a stitch I like and crochet a large rectangle to the size I want using the really large hook. It does help to wet and block them when finished to help them lay flat.   






Whatever may be one's condition in life,

the greatest art is to learn to be content and happy,
indulging in no feverish longings for what we have not,
but satisfied and thankful for what we have.


Ten Acres Enough : Edmund Morris 



Blessings from The Holler 

The Canned Quilter


10 comments:

  1. What a great post! I have been thinking about making some rag rugs for a while now. Thanks for the inspiration. Do you have a picture of the crochet grocery bag? You have me curious! :)

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    Replies
    1. I'll post some pictures of the bag : ) Thanks for the visit..

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  2. I remember how shocked I was when, as a yound adult, I first heard of someone buying NEW fabric to make a quilt!

    I am planning on making grocery bags out of the grocery bag yarn. The concept amuses me!

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  3. Beautiful and inspiring..thank you for sharing.

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  4. Love them! I have several I've crocheted from strips of old bed linens. Any time I'm in a thrift store I'll grab odd prices pieces to add to my collection. It takes a lot of sheets to make rug.

    This was the last one I made. http://mamas-mission.blogspot.com/2011/01/fine-traditions.html

    I have enough linen saved up to make another and intend to do a runner to go by the back door.

    I've never made one with t-shirt yarn, but I bet they would be great for the bathroom, too. Do you sew your ends together as you crochet or join them with the slit method?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I've been sewing the ends together, but it seems to interrupt the flow of the crocheting.

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  5. love the tshirt rugs-now I need to find a knit pattern...thanks for the inspiration!

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