Saturday, April 25, 2020

Going Amish

Last week one of my favourite dress wore out. Hmm. I considered putting a pocket over the worn bit, but, let's face it, worn out is worn out. I can't give it away and I don't want to throw it away. But I could use it to make an Amish rag rug. I've been wanting to make one every since I saw a friend's one a few months ago. My fabric stash is very low because I gave most of it away when I moved house. So now's my chance.

I had to do some research first. I kept coming across Barri-Jayne Makes. Her video is very good, but a bit longwinded. Good for initial research, but not so good when you just want a quick review. For that, this tutorial from Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs was better. Her article about rugs curling up was also very useful.

Right. To begin. I used the method I used for cutting plarn from a plastic bag to cut the skirt of the dress is one continuous piece. That's not strictly necessary, because it has to be cut into manageable lengths anyway, but makes it easier to handle.

The Amish rag rug is also called a toothbrush rug, because a toothbrush with a hole in the handle can be used to make the tool needed to make the rug. My friend Debbie uses a large paper clip, so I did the same. Very simple, but effective.

I did have a few false starts, but really it's remarkably easy and quick and I'm making good progress:


  1. Wow this rug is looking great. I hate throwing worn clothes away and knew you could make rugs out of rags using three pieces of material and making plaits, and sewing them together, but this method is so much better. I notice that you are using two different weights of fabric and the tutorial seems to show quite heavy material. Oh you are tempting me!

  2. Yes, this is much quicker and easier than the plaiting method. I think pretty flexible on weight of fabric. The wider the strips, the deeper the rug, so that’s flexible too.

  3. I haven't seen one of those rugs in years! I do need a new mat for the bathroom. Maybe it's time to go through the closet!

  4. Waiting to see your finished rug!!! :)

  5. Ooooo, I like this, got to have a go, thanks for sharing.

  6. My sister in law made these all the time she also make baskets too😃

    1. I was thinking that if you have to keep it flat for a mat, not keeping it flat would make a basket. So thanks for that.

  7. I like this technique!!! Very versatile 💜💜💜