Sunday, August 12, 2012

Slow Sunday Stitching

I have finished my first rug!
It was quite a learning experience and although it's a little ruffly and doesn't lay quite flat, I am happy with it!
It is a great way to use up old scrap fabric, and you can just toss it in the washing machine for cleaning, which is great when you have an old dog (if you know what I mean!)
And speaking of dogs, the Pets on Quilts show is open for voting, so you can go to Lilypad Quilting and vote for Miss Molly - she can win a new doggy toy and I can win some new fabric! She is dog photo #69!

Here is Miss Molly trying to smooth out the ruffly parts of my new rug. She doesn't mind at all that the thing doesn't lay flat, and loves to roll around on it...maybe it's like a doggy massage mat?!?! 
Rugmaking (and life) lessons learned:
1. Regularly monitor the tension. It always looks like you are doing well, but you don't realize until it's done and you stand back to look at it, that there were mistakes made, and big problems that can't be fixed, unless you unravel the whole thing. Not doing that!
2. Figure out where you went wrong and get advice from the experts. I found some advice on Aunt Philly's Toothbrush Rug website and now understand what causes the wavyness and how to even out the tension. 
3. Focus on your effort and be proud of the accomplishment, even if it didn't turn out at all like you had hoped. Be kind and gentle to yourself, say encouraging things, and give yourself an "A" for trying your best.
4. Weigh the pros and cons of another attempt.  Decide whether the agony of the errors and frustration of the process, plus the satisfaction of the final outcome (or lack thereof), compared to the enjoyment of the activity, is worth the effort of another try. 
Can you guess what I decided?  
I have already washed the fabric for my next rug, which will be a light blue and yellow rug for my bedroom. I am hoping that the mistakes I made lessons I learned will make for a better result this time. Now I just need to visit my friend Louise to get help to start me off!
If you are interested in rug making, hop over to Pokey's blog and see the beautiful rugs she crocheted from yarn...I love the funky bright one!
What hand work are you creating this week? What are you learning about your project (and life)? Link up your hand work blogpost and you will be entered to win the August giveaway (sewing theme fabric and co-ordinating thread).


Ellen said...

Those are very pretty fabrics that you have chosen for your new rug. I don't know if I would have the heart to walk on them! Good to see that Miss Molly is enjoying your rug.

Pokey said...

Very nice! There is nothing like a rag rug for a homey feel. Your next one will turn out flatter, I'm sure, what pretty colors you have chosen.
Miss Molly has made this one hers I see, lol ~

Teresa in Music City said...

I just love your rug Kathy! And Molly seems to be very happy with her new rug :*) Your next one is going to be really cute in those colors. You can't go wrong with blue & yellow!

Carrie P. said...

Your rug is so cool. The blue and yellow one will be so pretty.

Kate said...

Miss Molly obviously knows that the rug was her's. The colors are very pretty. Love the fabrics you've picked for your blue and yellow rug.

Janet O. said...

I love the handmade look of the rug--very homey! Molly loves it, too, I can tell.
That will be a very pretty one for your room in those happy colors.

June said...

I like to make toothbrush rugs, too. I've made them for several years now, but am by no means an "expert"!! Usually I crochet the center, using a very large hook, I think it is a size P. Ruffling usually means too many stitches. If it starts to ruffle, skip a stitch every now & then, and don't add more than 3 to the oval ends, per row. Good luck!

June said...

Upon looking at your rug again, it appears that your rug is "cupping" and not ruffling!! Try adding 3 stitches to every row, on the ends at 10, 12 and 2 positions (like on a clock). Hope this helps and doesn't confuse. June

Deb A said...

Your rug looks great and I think it is officially the pups! Love the colors for the next one. Hopefully I can get some hand work this week so I can post next Sunday...... had to knit a few dish cloths this week instead.

Anonymous said...

I made my own first rugs this year
and run into the same problem.
So I soaked them in water for
1 hour (starch added), dried
them a little bit between two
big towels, and than carefully
stretched and trampled them
into complete flatness. Once
this is archieved I did not
move them before they were
completely dry 1-2 days later.
They are still beautifully
flat, even after months of