Let’s Review Rugs From Rags, 1-21-23

Games don’t start until 3:30 today, I vacuumed yesterday as well as cooked, laundry is in the washer – I think it’s time to talk about Rugs From Rags.

This rug is made from t-shirt knit strips.
This rug is made from woven brushed strips – woven means it’s the same color on both sides.
This rug is made from wool strips.
The grayish background of a print can be seen in this placemat.
We started with two sizes – rug and placemat and then combined the length of the rug with the width of the placemat for a tablerunner.
Placemats became purses.
Here is one stack of rugs I’ve made.
After years of cutting strips with a regular rotary cutter I finally switched to a pinking blade and voila all those raveling edges were gone and my rug was neat and clean.

Rugs are made on a frame – the frame being the size of the finished rug. Many people suggested making the frame adjustable but I don’t think it’s a good idea. There’s lots of pressure on those edges and it would be difficult to turn the corner when you weren’t on the edge of the frame. You’ll understand what I mean when we start making the rug. This technique is called twining – not weaving.

I’ll put more info in a separate post in case I lose this one.

Our heater in the barn bit the dust yesterday – had to buy a new one.
We are having so much trouble with Waste Management who fails to pick up our garbage on Wednesday. We put our can out on Tuesday in case they’re early but here it is Saturday morning and the can has not been emptied. Customer service is a thing of the past.

I should have been a professional editor – I hate things like this!

Who would make a sign with misspelled words a foot high?

I started a file of bad pickup parkers. Here’s the latest.

Thanks for all your comments after Connie’s post about starching. I use a bit of spray starch on seams that won’t lay down but I am not a starcher like Connie. I’m also a pretty uncomplicated quilter – I want to use up my squares and strips while I watch ballgames or Netflix. How simple is that?

48 thoughts on “Let’s Review Rugs From Rags, 1-21-23

  1. Marie C

    Beautiful rugs today. Hope your trash gets picked up. It’s hard to find a trash company that works in the country. We are very lucky to have a local company that is based in our county, even better they have great customer service. We are foggy today. The coyote hunters seem to be out today.

  2. Carol

    Glad to hear I can quilt without starching. By the time all the prep was done, time and interest would be gone. I use a spray bottle with your recipe that includes vodka. Yes, anyone who works in graphic design should have a dictionary handy.

  3. Sara Gray

    Looking forward to rug making! I agree with you on the misspelled words and crookedly-parked trucks–annoying, even if it isn’t hurting anyone.

  4. Blue Gate Farmgirl

    Love the rugs, such inspiration! I have been weeding out t-shirts/cleaning closets and rolling t-shirt yarn for weeks. I drive a huge F-450 crew cab long bed and the space allocation is laughable at most parking lots. I park at the very edges and hike, for my safety as well as keeping the dings to a minimum. I take pictures of crooked suv parkers. They are everywhere!

  5. Cindy

    Hey Mary, Looks like you visited Cedar Falls recently! Hope you ate at Chilito’s. I always have a good meal there. Check out the new Mexican Food Truck style restaurant when you come back. It’s across the street from the tire store further east down 1st St aka Hwy 57. Definitely agree with you on those pickup parkers. Why not pull all the way through and straighten out in the next spot. Grrr…

    Your rugs are gorgeous and blog pictures give inspiration every time I look!

  6. Sue in Oregon

    Thanks, Mary, for all your great photos of rugs and rug-making ideas. I still need to get on with mine. I also like the idea of placemats, but I don’t have the proper size.
    You have SO much snow……
    Our can was missed last Monday, too, but they came out the next day after we called them. It’s the 2nd time the new guy has forgotten us. When you pay for a service you should get the service. Grrr
    Starch always gunks up my iron. I guess I don’t wait long enough to press. I also use a spray bottle when it seems necessary but I also avoid it because of the iron issue. I do love my wool mat and wood clapper though.

  7. Deb in Idaho

    I hate misspelled words also and the word “like” a thousand times in a sentence . Hurts my ears. Oh well it’s just me. Love the rugs. My grandmother used to weave hers. Sadly I don’t have any but I remember the feel against my toes. Cold but sunny here. I will be glad when January is over. Have a great day

  8. Li

    Speaking of just sewing. Working on just a few more shoo fly blocks that will be set on point with a navy alternate block. This top is turning out so well.

  9. Nancy

    I love you’re posting about rugs again. I got your book and DVD when I retired in 2016. But my husband never made the frame for me. He passed 2 yrs ago and I still have the wood in the garage. Maybe I can figure it out.

  10. Pam in NC

    Mary, I love your “bad pickup parker” photos! They make me laugh when I see them on your blog but make me spitting mad when I’m trying to park. Where I live, it’s not just pickups, but most cars too! Seems to be either a case of not caring or flat out self-centeredness! I’m always afraid to park like that cause it looks like “old people” parking! HA! Hope you have a good y weekend!

  11. Rita in Iowa

    Mary the rugs are gorgeous, and we walk or eat on them? Lol. As for using a pinking blade also use an old cutting mat as it will eventually chip up your mat. Ask me how I know.

    Had my knee replacement on Monday. It was moved up to 7 am, so had to be at the hospital by 5:30. We live about 30-40 minutes to town (Cedar Rapids) so it was early out of bed. Things moved rather quickly once I got their. Surgery went fine except for the extra work they did on the hamstrings. So I have been pretty sore. Came home the same day. Therapy started Wednesday and will be 3 days a week. Busy times between exercises and medication.
    No sewing yet but things are ready to go.

    1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Centrla Ohio

      HI Rita, Question about your knee replacement. My brother in law just had his replaced in FL. They used staples. My husband had both of his replaced 8 months apart (too close) three years ago and the Dr. used Super Glue to glue his together. There is less chance of infection because there is NO way that Super Glue is going to pull apart. My husband had a much easier time than my brother in law. How was your knee put back together? Just curious:) Diane

      1. Rita in Iowa

        There were 38 staples. I didn’t know about super glue. Could have to do with the strength of the skin. Good questions to ask.

  12. Jeanine from Iowa

    I like to use my squares and strips too. I mostly do charity quilts anymore, and those are what I use most of the time. Enjoyed all the pictures. I can’t have those rugs in my house anymore as my husband trips too easily on them. 😒 I have more of the commercial type ones now.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – I can’t have rugs down either because Rick will trip on them. I miss those pretty rugs so much.

  13. Marcia -Ohio

    We went to our granddaughters basketball game last night and arrived early so waited in our car. We saw children leaving the building after playing ball, w/ no coat/hat/gloves and in shorts/tank top uniforms. It was 30 degrees🤦🏼‍♀️ We also observed a lady taking 2 parking spots as she was too busy getting her Starbucks ready to carry in gym. I am not sure about the human race w/ a lack of common sense and courtesy. Quality customer service is so rare that when it occurs it is shocking.
    I like to read comments on Facebook posts but reach for a red ink pen to correct spelling and incorrect grammar. I am a retired high school teacher of 35 years and find it frustrating. I don’t think our curriculums encourage spelling or memory work in the lower grades.
    Love the rugs and I have the book but no DVD. I am interested in learning the technique.

  14. Rhoda Ebersole

    I am with you on misspelled signs or emails or anything.

    You could use an arrow and bleach magus marker to move the letter????

    And I send out emails where the phone has changed the words???

  15. Bonnie McKee

    Who would make a sign with misspelled words?
    And who would PAY for the sign and then HANG it for folks to see? I guess I just have to laugh and hope I never make such a mistake. Haha!
    It sure looks cold at your farm, Mary.
    Take care and enjoy watching the games.
    Bonnie in Oregon

  16. Linda from Georgia

    Thanks for showing the rugs. Here we changed garbage pu companies. Didn;t find anything wrong with the old one. Now I pay 50% more per month. Like you I like to sew and watch college basketball. I just spray starch the blocks. To each their own and whatever works for them.
    Back to Miami/Duke. Gu UM!!!

  17. Kathy in western NY

    It is hard to even think a business owner who would pay for a sign with misspelled words to even put out. As we say in our family, it’s the dumbing down of America when people accept this, and when drivers think it’s okay to go thru stop signs, red lights and park at municipal lots like they are the only ones there. I chose to live better.
    We have only received 9” of snow in this entire winter season. We are running a 35” deficit from our normal snowfall amount. And Buffalo is an hour away from us and look at all they got from warm Lake Erie.
    Your rugs are very nice. I have one my grandma made and love it. Keeper is so cute! And love those kitties sitting!!! . My cat stays by my side as I sew. Finishing some charity baby quilts for Ukrainian families so I can get them delivered.

    1. Sherrll

      Whoever purchased that sign definitely did NOT get what they paid for (or maybe they got it for free with the 2 misspelled words! LOL).

  18. Tina W in Oregon

    I saw a hand-lettered sign once at a farm advertising “glaric for sale”. Every time I buy garlic, I see that sign in my mind’s eye! Makes me chuckle.
    Love all your rugs. I’ve made one that I gave away. Don’t think my hands could do it any more. Arthritis setting in. 😒
    It’s currently sunny and 36° here in NE Oregon with a brisk wind out of the north.

  19. Colleen in Oregon

    When my son was in grade school, he brought home papers with misspelled words that the teacher had not corrected. I asked the teacher about this and was told they didn’t want to injure the child’s self- esteem. So, I explained to her that it’s easier to learn how to spell correctly the first time rather than try to re-learn later and what about his self- esteem when he was grown up and applied for a job, but didn’t get it because he can’t spell? So, I corrected his papers! He is grown up now with a very good job! Thanks for letting me blow off some steam!

  20. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Kathy and Mary, I totally agree. I taught HS English for 30 plus years and it bothers me to see so many misspellings. Plus, it would be kind of difficult to say that sign has typos.!! LOL. Grammar–that’s another whole conversation!! And, pickup trucks. Why or why drive one if they can’t park it? ‘
    To everyone, I heartily endorse Mary’s Rug Making Book and DVD. I made one a few years ago and loved it. I am now making a flannel one:) I will use the other blade for my rotary cutter next time, Mary, but the threads don’t bother me too much, and Squeak and Buddy like to play with them:) The directions are excellent. My husband made the frame which is sturdy and very easy to use.
    I love seeing your kitties. Buddy and Squeak are our two sweeties. We think Buddy is 4 and we know SQueak is 11.
    Thanks for the blog, Mary. I do love it:) Only 36* here again.

  21. Sherrill

    Beautiful rugs, nasty looking outside with the ice and snow! Makes me shiver just seeing it! LOL I’ve always said I should’ve been a proof reader as I constantly see mistakes. Just today as I was reading my current book, they used there instead of their. Yikes! And this is a brand new, just out book. Oh well….

  22. Jamie in Phoenix

    I would not have accepted a sign with two glaring typo’s! Makes me wonder if the phone number is correct.

  23. Kim from TN

    Mis spelled words drive me crazy. My kids’ teachers used to circle in red the mis spelled words to point it out to them. Many times, those words showed up as the spelling words of the week. I like to use spell check today which I think makes me a lazy speller on my own. You would think someone in the sign making world would have caught that mistake, Yikes.

  24. Judy

    Your rugs are beautiful. Weaving was a favorite project from art class of my students. They would rather work on their weaving than concentrate on their math skills. As for the sign with the misspelling, my experience has been that a lot of writers don’t really care if words are spelled correctly. It seems to be more that the job is finished and no need to check it again.

  25. Betty Klosterman

    I wouldn’t want to use fabric that was so flimsy that it had to be starched. I can see where it would help in some cases. A spritz of water and good steam pressing goes a long way.

    In the last few months I’ve heard I and me used wrong quite often – even by a man working for public TV just last night. As for spelling, people depend on spell check. Personally, spell check can’t spell what I need either. The dictionary is necessary. After years of working, I started working cross word puzzles because about all I could spell was debit, credit and bank reconciliation!

    What good is self esteem when you don’t even know there is a problem? Wouldn’t it be better to let the kid know so they can learn to spell and speak? Always thought school was for learning??

    And I hope I’ve used the correct spelling/grammar while writing this? And I don’t park very good either along with backing up worse……. Such is life?

    And the cats have the right idea sitting on the wonderful window sill/ledge. Perfect for winter especially when the sun shines. That heavy, wet snow is tough.

    Betty in Rapid City

  26. Liz Schrader

    I so agree about misspelled words. My worst pet peeve is words in books that I read that are spelled wrong. I guess proofreading is in my blood after 50 years in the newspaper business. After four days of rearranging and organizing my sewing room and closet I can relax and read tomorrow! I have finished the baby quilt for my new great granddaughter, Elise born two weeks ago.💞

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Liz – I’m sure you noticed where that sign was located – yes, you would be very aware of misspelled words and bad punctuation. When I see these mistakes in a newspaper or book I wonder how they could happen – they surely have proofreaders, don’t they?

  27. Karen Pidcock

    I’m with you. I like to be entertained while I’m in my sewing room with a ball game or something on TV. Double the use of my time. Your rugs are beautiful. I look forward to
    More instructions.

  28. Sherry Whalen

    We got about 5-6 inches of snow and of course there is still ice under it so I am still relegated to the treadmill. But since I am not out in the cold very much…I am getting to be a whiner when I do have to go out lol.

    I am not sure I have ever heard anyone say anything nice about WM. They buy out other sanitation companies, raise the prices and provide crappy service. And when people switched to a different company WM charged the departing customer $75 for picking up their garbage cans! Oh my people were outraged!!

    Signs that have misspellings are so annoying. Maybe they didn’t have to pay for the sign containing the error – or maybe – they used it anyway because it is pretty eye catching, I mean, we are all talking about it!! It is memorable.

    I love your rugs! I am working on my rug intermittently – I am using left over fleece strips, it is really cushy and soft. Twining is a relaxing thing when I need to do something that doesn’t require concentration and I don’t want to make decisions.

  29. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Your twined rugs are beautiful, Mary. I really liked the table runners and place mats, which add so much charm and color, even when rugs are not a safe option.
    Three appears to be enjoying the cat tree, so cute.
    We had a high of 36; the beautiful sunshine was lovely after many dreary, gray days.
    I don’t use product on my fabric, to avoid setting off my allergies. I always prewash my fabrics and just use a spray bottle of water when pressing, if necessary.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie – Three is a happy soul – Ernie bullies him so I’m always on watch to settle any spats. His front foot is deformed and leg crooked – wonder if he was born that way or had an accident. He is getting very big!

  30. Cathie

    Love the picture of Three. About to start your quilt from a few years ago – with the strips.
    You used it on your chairs. I’m doing it in reds – just loved that chair cover. Thank you.
    Hope your trash comes soon! Very glad the animals will have heat in the barn! Stay safe
    from the ice!!

  31. Dona

    I love the picture with the cats sitting on the window sill, icicles hanging from the roof, lots o snow and the red barn just shining . My opinion, it would make a beautiful Christmas card for this coming Christmas.
    The PU truck pics are cute, would make a cute calendar, license plate numbers blacked out, I think it might be a privacy thing.

  32. Janet S

    Waste Management seems to have a terrible reputation everywhere they go. From experience, I found if you leave them, don’t call to cancel until they have picked up the last time of your agreement. If you call in advance, they will quit coming immediately. It’s amazing they stay in business.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Janet S – they are the only service available in our rural area. You call and call and they say they’ll return in 3-4 business days which would be our regular pickup day the following week. They have no customer service.

      1. Sherry Whalen

        I wonder if it is time to contact your county supervisor – or who ever vets and issues permits for the garbage hauler. I bet they would be interested to know the lack of customer service or even the actual service of pick up which I am sure WM has contracted to do. It might be time for the county supervisors to do their job and look around for a better option or at the very least contact WM directly to find out why they aren’t doing the job they are being paid to do. I’m sure that WM wouldn’t hesitate to drop you like a hot rock if you failed to pay your bill.


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