Strip Rugs

Dianne here….and Happy New Year everyone. It is even cold in California. Good weather to be braiding and rug hooking. I am making a round cushy chair pad for a friend’s piano bench. She has been going to the gym consistently and has ‘less padding’ for the hard bench!

But today I am writing about strip rugs. I had written a post awhile ago (this may be the link….or not about my first attempt at a strip rug for the entryway of our vacation rental. It wIMG_0639 (1)as hard finding someone to stitch the ends and the rug did not completely cover the area of the previous rattan rug so there is a slight discoloration you can make out on the sides.  so I wanted the next rug to cover more completely (same rattan rug but in front of the kitchen door) and find a better way to have it stitched.

I liked the way I worked with the pattern of the first rug so I found a lot of old 3″ rolls in my stash of what was probably Pendleton jacquard upholstery fabric. I had made a large round rug a few years agIMG_0574o by using strips from both sides of the jacquard weave but still had a lot left. the 3″ rolls yielded two patterns when cut into 1.5″ strips and I separated them and began braiding, taking care to match the design in the 3 like strips as much as I could. I took the young rug to Methuen and was surprised it was  widely praised for the design thatIMG_0621 was created by matching the braids. Friendly comments helped me decide to arrange the two sides of the pattern in groups of 2 and here is the photo at show and tell where you can see the pattern developing. I can’t say enough for the wonderful experience a Braid In such as Methuen New England Braids or Valley Forge or the Thetis Woolgathering, etc gives us in terms of community and welcomed advice!

So I continued and found a young man who recently bought a local upholstery shop in town and he agreed to try to stitch the rug as long IMG_0581 (1)as I was there to ‘lead’ him. He stitched twice and it worked! I took the rug out to the house and cut the fringe as straight as I could, then tapered the ends so they would not be as thick.

I am happy with the results, happier than with the first rug. The strips were 2 yds long and I was constrained to that length and to the width of the door. With flat wool there would have been more leeway and I could have cut the braids shorter but then I wouldn’t have been able to put the ‘design’ in the rug.

What these experiences have taught me is that strip rugs are easier than I thought; no increases and little problem with keeping flat. I think they could be a good project for a beginner; what do you think?