Rugs From Rags by Country Threads

Last week I posted this picture of a twined rug I’ve been working on.  We published the book “Rugs From Rags” in 1997.

This is my picture on the opening page. 

Here is a picture of the inside – all pictures are in color and show each step of making a twined rug.

We also made a step by step DVD which took place in our barn – you can hear the chickens on the ground floor and a combine going by on the road – ha!  I’m told the instructions are good and easy to follow.

Here is the finished rug still on the frame.  That’s Pam on the right.

After removing the rug from the frame, it lays perfectly flat on the floor.

Here it is next to another rug I made a few years ago.  Both rugs were made using strips cut from colorful t-shirts.  Rugs can be made from leftover quilt fabric, drapes, sheets, wool, denim, or anything else that would make an attractive rug and is washable.

Here is a close-up of twining.  It’s actually braiding sideways using 2 strips and 1 warp to create the “braid” or the technique of twining.

If you are interested in learning to make these durable rugs from recycled fabrics, we can send you the book and DVD and include the postage for $20.  Send your check or money order to Country Threads, 2345 Palm Ave., Garner, IA  50438.

I am wondering if we could do a “Rug Along” like the Gypsy Wife quilt-along.  What do you think?

55 thoughts on “Rugs From Rags by Country Threads

  1. Sherry Whalen

    A rug along would be fun – I’d better get the one done on my frame so I am ready to go!

  2. Claudia Voorhees

    I have the video and the frame…….I really need to try it. Any tips on making the strips from T-Shirts ?

  3. Mary

    I’m interested and will send the check. If you have a rug-a-long, please give us time to prepare. I’ll need to ask a friend to make the loom for me. Thanks.

  4. Lynn

    I have made many of these rugs. They are very durable. Thank you for teaching me this skill. I would participate in a rug-a-long.

  5. Cindy L

    I bought the book just before you closed the shop. I’ve started my rug but got distracted by summer hahaha. I would love to do a rug a long.

  6. Ann Barlament

    I grew up with rag-rugs….and love them. Have many in my house. My sis-in-law used to make them on her loom, when her kids were little (can’t imagine her having the time). But have enjoyed each and every one!

  7. Claudia Sheets

    I just found 2 of your rug frames at a thrift shop in Fort Dodge and was SO EXCITED! I’ve been going to cal and ask for a demo and now I’ll just send in my $20 and get the whole works! COOL! See you one day soon!:)

  8. Nancy Alexander

    I bought the book when it first came out. I did start a rug, but have not finished it. my goal is to finish it this winter! Would it be possible to just buy the DVD? I would love to have the DVD also. I would love to join a Rug Along. It would give me the motivation to finish what I started…

  9. Linda

    I also have the book and would like to just buy the DVD?????? I would love a Rug Along….

  10. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary,

    I have the book, and can make a frame, so I would be up for a rug-along after our Gypsy Wife! Like Linda and Nancy, I don’t have the DVD, which I too would be interested in buying separately. When I was a small girl, we always had these sorts of rag rugs in the farmhouse kitchen, usually with a dog on top, if it was the rug in front of the stove!

  11. Rhonda D.

    What fun, I’d love to do a rug-along! I have a loom but need to order the DVD and book set to get started. Thanks so much for posting the ordering info 🙂

  12. Janice Hebert

    I love the idea of a rug along! I have your book and my husband helped me make the loom from your directions, very easy! I’ve started my rag rug but this will give me the inspiration to finally finish it! I’m ordering your book/dvd set to give my friend as part of her birthday gift – have given her a frame and this will finish the gift, thanks!


  13. Pingback: Country Threads Rags to Rug Along

  14. Sue G.

    Love the rag rug! I remember doing something like this with my grandmother when I was a little girl. What a great way to using up all those t shirts. Sending out my check tomorrow. Thanks, Susanne

  15. beverly schwartz

    i would like instruction on how to build the loom please thank you and is it possible to build smaller ones for kids to use

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beverly – directions to build any size frame are included in the book which is available with the DVD for $20. Frames are also available at Farm Chick Quilts if you don’t want to build your own. Send your check to Mary Etherington, 2345 Palm Ave. Garner, IA 50438

  16. Karen

    I bought the book in 1997 or 98 and that is on my bucket list of projects. My grandmother use to make rugs like this and I’ve always wanted to try it. Signing up now to get your blog posts updats. Thanks, this should be so much fun!

  17. Christie lucas

    I have made the rugs on the frame many times, but not for while now. Feel like an idiot but can’t figure out how to put the warp strips together in a knot. The pictures&instructions in the book just don’t make sense to me. Help!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Christie – do you have the DVD? It can walk you through the joining technique very easily. It is available for $8.00.
      If not, follow the photos and lay one strip on top of the other and cut a slit, fold both strips over and cut a small hole. Bring the bottom strip up thru the hole and give it a tug.
      The book was also updated in color which makes it much easier to follow. Book and DVD are $20. Send to Mary Etherington, 2345 Palm ave Garner, IA 50438

  18. Pingback: My Rug is FINISHED!!

  19. Jeanne H

    We have made different size frames. Some smaller for a hotpad. Are you using knit material too?

  20. Teresa Titterington

    I have a copy of the “Rugs From Rags” instruction book printed in 1997 and was wondering if there is an outlet in Canada that I could purchase a copy of the latest “Rugs From Rags?” Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. are things we are not set up with, just regular email. If ordering from you, how much would the book cost including shipping to 3181 – 8 Ave. SE, Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada, V1E 1S1? Thank you for your assistance and most anxious for a reply

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      For $25 I can send you the updated book in color and the DVD which would also include all postage costs.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janis – check with Mandy at Farm Chick Quilts online. She will be able to help you with a frame.

  21. Jacqui Santangelo

    Hi, Janis,
    I have the book – Rugs from Rags – 3rd edition.
    How much us the DVD? How can I purchase? Credit card or snail mail with check?
    Our local quilt guild, Valley Forge Homestead Quilt Guild, King of Prussia, PA is having their bi-annual
    Quilt show on October 21-22. I’m demonstrating the Rag Rug. Almost finished the one I started 2 years ago. I’m also going to try the technique on a wire lamp shade base. If it works, I’ll send a picture.
    I first saw at Lancaster Quilt Show at least 8 or 10 years ago when I saw it again I bought the frame and
    The book. Love it.
    Jacqui Santangelo

  22. Meg

    I just finished weaving my first rug, machine washed and dried it. Not thrilled with how it came out of the dryer…how do you clean ours?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Meg – I’m pretty careful how I wash my rugs – don’t always put them in the dryer at all. Sometimes just to fluff them up a bit but the dryer is very hard on the rug.

  23. Marla Jorgensen

    You mentioned in your comments that you can make a rug out of wool. Can you use strips cut from wool yardage, how wide should they be and do you use wool for the warp as well? I have lots of wool from quilts and applique projects and I think it would be a wonderful rug. Also, my husband built a placemat size frame. If you connect several of that size to make a larger piece, how do you connect them? Thank you very much. I just love these rugs and your book is wonderful. The instructions are very easy to follow!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marla Jorgensen – first I have a question for you – why would you make placemats and join together instead of just making a rug which will be so much nicer than all those edges laced together? Answer this before I go on.

      1. Marla Jorgensen

        Only because my husband made the smaller size loom so I could try weaving for the first time.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Marla Jorgensen – wool is very bulky for placemats that are joined together. I would recommend the rug size frame when using wool.

  24. Marla Jorgensen

    Okay, will do. Thanks for letting me know! I guess the quilter in me comes out – always curious about piecing methods.

  25. Julie

    Hi Country Threads
    Is the book and video still available and would you send to Australia?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Julie – if you want to pay all the shipping costs, I’ll be glad to send it to you. Give me the shipping address and I’ll go to the post office to see what it would come to and you can decide. Send that address to my email.

  26. Sandie

    Mary- I have your book- both the original black and white photo version and the color version- but would like to get a dvd. Could you sell them separately?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandie – yes, dvd is $8 and I’d be happy to send you one. I can almost guarantee you’ll think it’s helpful!

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