Quiet Friday: Rag Rugs

My grandmother believed in wearing clothing until it wore out; and even then, she would darn thin areas inconspicuously, to make something last longer. So, it made perfect sense for her to turn scraps of dresses into quilts, and anything that was left could go to the lady across town who made rag rugs. Fortunately, I have a few of Grandma’s hand-sewn quilts, and two of those memory-filled rag rugs. As I weave new rag rugs, I think of the stories woven into her old rugs.

My grandmother's quilt and rag rug from old clothes
This old rag rug is made of clothing fabrics that are very similar to those in this quilt my grandmother hand-stitched.
Vintage Rag Rug from Missouri
This old rug is right beside my big loom. I like to imagine that the green denim in this rug was my grandfather’s worn out overalls he wore on the farm.
Detail of vintage rag rug
Close-up view shows the interesting pattern in the rug.
Rosepath Rag Rug on the Loom
Rag rug on the loom, with the distinctive Swedish rosepath motif right at the breast beam. (Click picture to enlarge)
Rosepath Rag Rugs, Karen Isenhower
In contrast to the muted tones of my grandmother’s rugs, the new cotton fabrics I used in these rosepath rag rugs are colorful and bright.
Double-Faced Rag Rug
Double-faced rag rug. Flip the rug over for a different look. (Click picture to enlarge)
Twill rag rug on the loom
Twill rag rug in the making.
Blue Twill Rag Rug
Sturdy rug, perfect for the entry hall. This is our “Welcome to our home” rug.
Diamond Twill Rag Rug
The treadling pattern in this diamond twill rag rug took full concentration. I did a fair amount of “unweaving” and do-it-over’s with this rug. Perhaps someday a grandchild of mine will put this rug in a special place and wonder about the stories woven into it.

May you find something old and something new; ponder stories of the past and make new stories yourself.

Happy weaving,