Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DIY Making a Rag Rug Pillow

Recently I was commissioned to make a pillow case out of a treasured heirloom, a client's mother's rag rug.  When I first learned about this project I thought what a great idea! This should be a quick thing to do.  So I accepted the project.  Being a family heirloom I was a little nervous, I didn't want to make any mistakes, cut too much or make the whole pillow case a hot mess.  I did love the whole idea of it.  Originally a rug and now the client wanted to make it a pillow for her newborn son.  Recycle, up cycle, sustainable.

It took much longer than I originally thought.  Doesn't everything? At first my plan was to bind the edges with an off white cotton or cotton linen fabric and use the same fabric on the back side for the case.  Once I cut into the rug of course it started to fall apart.  A rag rug is a combination of scraps of fabric, short and long, twisted and braided.  Sometimes wrapped or tied together.  It was like cutting a potato chip and trying to put the pieces together.  What did I take on?

Solution: Attach a completely separate piece with enough allowance to be the binding on the back side of the rag rug.  Once this becomes one piece then start making the back side of the pillow case. The fabric on the back side is in in two pieces to accommodate the zipper.

Binding strips cut on the straight grain

The first attempt of binding the edges.

Normally I tell my students not to pin their projects like this but because of the delicacy of this particular project I had to lay my pins horizontal to the sewing line.

Overall it took me double the time expected but I was happy with the results... and more importantly so was the client!

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