Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My New Obsession...

...rug making - part 1. 

I am so excited about this I feel like buying an RV and traveling the country convincing everyone to jump on the punch-needle rug-making bandwagon.
In fact...I started another blog called A Lovely Path to devote solely to rugs.

It's not going to be like this one where I post every day - I'll probably only post once a week or so but I feel so excited about this that I really want to spread the news. 
I also want to start a line of patterns (I have grand visions of appearing on Martha Stewart...;) 
Now - this is not a new craft.  In fact it is a very very old one and there are not many people still doing it.  
I'm not sure why because it's awesome!  But it needs some freshening up.  Most of the patterns are not that stylish (at least for my taste), but there is so much potential. 
So I started out making a chevron rug for my kitchen.
Here are the supplies I am using:
Amy Oxford's 1/4" Punch Needle
Rug making stand - kindly built by my talented husband

Monk's cloth
Wool strips - which I cut from 100% wool clothes found at thrift stores. 
 I brought the clothes home, cut the linings out and felted them myself by washing in hot water, then drying on high heat.  I then cut them into 1/4" strips using my rotary cutter.  This is a little bit of a process, but I bought an ENTIRE GROCERY CART full of wool clothes for $16.  I have a lot of wool.
Last summer when we first moved up here, we stayed with a couple from our church.  His mother is Amish and had made amazing rugs for their home - I mean they look like they're straight from Anthropologie.  I was smitten.  But he said she hand hooked them, and from what I can tell that takes a really long time....and as much as I wanted to do it, I was kind of dragging my feet.  Well, last week my mom and I were downtown and we wandered into a craft and stitch store.  We stumbled upon these punch needles and were delighted by the store-owner who gave us an impromptu lesson.  She showed me hooking and punching side by side and you COULD NOT tell the difference.  So I came home with the needle and monk's cloth and got to work. It goes so quickly and is a great thing to do while sitting around watching a movie or something. 
Here's how the front looks so far:

Stick around for a full tutorial on the process next week (and hopefully pictures of my finished rug!!)


  1. So impressive. I too have admired hooked rugs but didn't want to invest the time. I will watch your progress with interest. Please don't tell me it is quick,easy and addictive --- I really don't need another hobby!

  2. I totally see why you're obsessed--it's awesome! And I love the start of your rug--can't wait to see the end result.

    Since you're diving into the realm of rug making--I've been wanting to hook a rug with t-shirt yarn (I learned how to "hook" a long time ago) but I don't know where to get the mesh backing anymore (umm, don't hold it against me that I don't know the proper term). Can it be found at the "big name" craft stores?

  3. Can't wait to see the tutorial! I love that you can really put a pattern on it. I did a rag rug - about 5 years ago so way before blogging- and still use it in my kitchen. Will you be able to wash it?

  4. Wow Jessica this is so cool!!! Your rug looks amazing so far and I can't wait to see how it looks finished!
    I had to pop over and follow your new blog too. :)
    This is exciting!!

  5. Oh wow! Please make a tutorial. I need a new rug or two in my kitchen and if this is as easy as you say it might be (and doesn't require a sewing machine?) then I'd love to try it! Please make a tutorial or show us the basics!! :D

  6. I am really liking this!!! I just got done with a crochet rug from some old t-shirts so I am still on a rug high. LOL Going to check out your other blog and follow. i am really interested. I love how yours is turning out so far!

  7. Cool idea! I am wondering if the backing could be a 'looser weave- cotton like fabric' or do you think it needs to be the Monks cloth?
    I have tubs full of wool fabric that I have been looking for a way to use it. I also have a loom from Sweden that is costly to warp and I have not tried to use it yet. I am going to check on your new rug blog, too. thanks!

  8. @Tristin @ Two Girls Being Crafty
    I'm not sure about the plastic stuff. This is done on Monk's cloth or nice burlap.

  9. @Lisa

    So far I've learned that you can use Monk's cloth or a good quality burlap. I'm so jealous about the tubs of wool!!! Have fun!

  10. It is turning out beautiful. When I was younger I made latch hook rugs but I've never tried this method. Are you using a pattern or your imagination?

  11. Very cool. Can't wait to see how it turns out!


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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