If you’re anything like us you’ll have a good stock pile of fabric scraps that you’ve been putting to one side not wanting to be wasteful and waiting to use on the perfect project – well, this is it! A rag rug is easy to make and great fun, and using brightly-coloured fabrics makes a real statement. Practise and perfect your gathering and stitching skills to make the ideal ruffle and be creative with size and shapes, you’ll be scrap happy in no time!
Cotton fabric scraps
Heavier weight cotton fabric for backing
Pencil and ruler
Cut a piece of heavy weight cotton backing fabric to the size of your desired rug and hem all four edges. Use a pencil and ruler to draw a line down the centre of the fabric. Draw more lines parallel to this, 1.5cm apart on either side to make a series of stripes.
Gather scraps of cotton print fabrics in bright colours and cut into pieces approximately 3cm by 11cm, 5mm out either way will not show in the finished rug. Arrange the pieces in piles of similar colours to make assembly easier.
Place the backing fabric under the foot of the sewing machine, lining the needle up with the end of the central line. Secure the thread with a few back stitches to leave the needle in the fabric at the very edge.
Lift the foot, place the middle of a strip of fabric against the needle and pull the two ends back so the fabric gathers up. Bring the foot down on the gathers and stitch in place. Stop with the needle in the fabric and repeat the process to build up a line of multi-coloured ‘ruffles’ down the centre of the backing fabric.
Once the first line is completed, fold the right halves of the fabric strips towards the left and pin down if necessary. Line up the pencil mark on the right of the centre line with the needle and sew a second line of ruffles to the backing fabric.
Continue stitching along the pencil lines to build up rows and row of ‘rags’ until the right side of the rug is covered. Unpin any rags, rotate the rug and fold the strips to the other side, allowing you to sew along the rest of the pencil lines in the same way.