Once a month I head to my friend Heather's house for a sewing day. She owns a small quilting business out of her home where she provides longarm quilting services, sells fabrics and also makes some beautiful embroidered projects. I always enjoy our afternoons together because we get to catch up, and I have three or four hours of uninterrupted sewing time.
Over the last two months, I have been working on this Jelly-Roll Rug by RJ Designs. Heather had picked up the supplies and pattern for each of us to make a rug last year. I was the guinea pig in the process, as I was the first one of us to attempt to make it. I used a jelly roll cut from flannel and two packages of pre-cut strips of cotton batting. For non-quilters, a jelly roll consists of a pre-cut strips of fabric from a line of fabric. To make the rug, I began by sewing the strips end-to-end.
Once I had one, very long, continuous strip of flannel, I layered the flannel and batting and then folded them to be sewn together.
It resulted in quite the pile on the floor of Heather's shop!
I took all that I had sewn and wound it up into a ball. By the time I hit this stage of the project, I was a few hours in and ready to stop for the day. The large fabric ball would need to be put away until next month.
When I arrived at Heather's this week for our monthly sewing day, I was ready to see the rug come together. I was thankful to use her machine! It is set flush into her sewing table so it made it so easy to maneuver the rug around and around and around.
Turning the coiled strips into a rug took another few hours of sewing, and many bobbins. I now see why the directions recommended pre-winding four or five bobbins and having a new spool of thread ready. Heather was laughing at me as I worked, because I would hold my breath around every turn and let out a big sigh when I made it to a straight away.
Here it is! The last step to making the rug was to spray it with starch and press both sides of it. It really helped to make the rug lie nice and flat. I am so happy with how the rug turned out! I have always loved the look of braided rugs and other rag rugs, but I have not ever had enough fabric scraps to pull one together. So this was a great way to make a coiled rug without spending years of saving strips of fabric.
Now to decide on what next month's project will be! What projects have you been working on?