Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Rag Rug Wreath

A Rag Rug Wreath. Say that five times fast.

When Iron Craft announced this week's challenge, I nearly panicked. Nearly. This week's challenge is called "FAT Tuesday in the QUARTER" and it's all about, you guessed it...fat quarters. Fat quarters are 18" x 22" of fabric and not defective coins as someone's husband thought. Not mentioning any names. I had a hard time coming up with something to do. My sewing skills are sketchy at best. My front door wreath needed a change since it's no longer February, much less Valentine's Day. So, I had the inkling of an idea for my project.

My wreath is inspired by the old-fashioned rag rugs.

  • Grapevine wreath base
  • Fat quarter of cotton fabric
  • Scissors
  • Card stock
  • Compass
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • Tweezers (optional but helpful)
  • Craft stick (also optional but helpful)

The main ingredients

Start out by snipping one inch slits in the fabric along the 22" side. They don't have to be perfect. I certainly didn't measure them. Then rip the fabric into strips. I loved the frayed edges. Cut the strips into thirds. Your pieces will be 6" long. You can leave one or two strips long if you like. More on this later.

The fringed fabric. Time to rip it to shreds.

Fold a strip in half, feed the loop under a branch of the grapevine wreath, and then thread the ends through the loop and pull tight. Congrats! You've just tied your first one. Only a million more left to go. I did this sitting on my bed watching TV. Do what makes you happy, because you'll be at it for a while. I found it helpful to use tweezers to get the fabric around the tighter parts of the wreath more easily.

Two loops down, 9,998 left to go. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. Didn't feel like it, though.

Finished with the loops...and we still have a huge pile of strips!

The challenge was to use all or as much of the fat quarter as possible, so I needed to figure out what to do with the rest of the strips. I tied nine of them together to make a hanger. This is where that long strip or two you could have left would come in handy. I didn't think of that before I got scissor-happy.

Nine strips tied together to make a hanger.

Now, I still had a huge pile of strips left. Were these little guys reproducing?!? I decided to make rosettes. I started by using a compass to draw five 1" circles on card stock. If your wreath is going to be out in the weather, you may want to use plastic for this part. You could recycle lids from old containers, or you could recycle old cereal boxes if you don't want to use a new piece of paper for this project. I didn't have one on hand, so I used card stock.

Jealous of my mad compass skillz?

Each rosette will use four to five strips of fabric. Start by placing a bead of hot glue near the edge of the circle. Do only about an inch at a time. Place one end of the fabric at the start of the glue bead and then, using a craft stick, scrunch some more of the fabric into the glue, creating a kind of a messy pleat. Continue all the way around the edge, adding more strips as necessary.

An awesome start to the rosette.

Continue around until the base is covered. To glue the last end down, add a drop of glue and then smoosh (technical term) the end straight down with the craft stick.

Finished rosette.

Repeat the process four times. Flip the rosettes over and glue a strip onto each back. This will affix the rosettes to the wreath.

Glue strips onto the backs so the rosettes can be tied to the wreath.

Believe it or not, I still had strips to deal with. I decided to make a tassel. Of course. Why not? Leaving out two strips, I piled the rest of the strips up in an orderly fashion. I placed one of the remaining strips beneath the pile in the center and tied it off.

Getting rid of the rest of the strips.

I then used the last (woohoo!) strip to tie the tassel strips together under the knot. Tuck the ends in to hide them.

Tie it off under the knot.
Finished tassel

I tied the tassel at the top of the hanger. And that's it. All finished.

The finished wreath with the hanger...

After hanging it, I wasn't too keen on the hanger/tassel combination, so I tucked that part behind the wreath.

...and without.

I think I like it better without the hanger. It fits my door better. Which do you prefer?


  1. Defective coins! Hahah,oh, jeez, he's really bringing the yuck yucks!

  2. I think that's a great idea for a wreath, really cute. I like it without the hanger too. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day, and I am glad you liked my tips.


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