Sunday, June 4, 2017

Oval Toothbrush Rugs: Keep a Nice Shape

I am often asked how my oval rugs always have a nice, even oval shape.

Amish Knot Toothbrush Rug Help fourelevenrox blog

The answer is - I adjust as I go! Today, I'm sharing some of tricks with you.

Here's a quick video to explain....

For more rug help, including how to start and how to make a round rug, visit the Knotted Rug Help Tab or click here: Knotted Rug Help

Monday, February 27, 2017

LEFT HAND: How to Make A Toothbrush Rug

After teaching several Toothbrush (aka) Amish Knot Rug classes, I realized that the process is totally different for left handed people. I learned this the hard way, when at least one left handed person attended almost every class I have taught over the last few months. Some have been able to adapt my process and directions very well. Others have struggled. I thought perhaps a video and instructions for Left handed people would be helpful.

Left Handed video and instructions available at fourelevenrox blog and Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs

 Left-handers will work in a direction that is opposite to right-handers.

With my instructions and videos, right handed people should work towards the right and left handed people should work towards the left.

I've created a video showing how a Left Handed person should start a rug:

Full written instructions for Round Rugs will be available in March 2017. Visit my Etsy Shop: Whimsies and Rugs

If you are a right handed person, my video for how to start a round rug may be found here:
Round Rug Right Hand

For more help and tips, visit the Knotted Rug Section of my blog or click here

Happy Rugging!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Using Jersey Knit to Make a Rag Rug

I love making Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rag Rugs with Jersey Knit Fabric, and when I found this jersey knit bed sheet set, I knew I was going to be on Cloud 9!

When I first started making rugs, jersey knit was all that I used. I started with T-Shirts and then moved to recycled bed sheets and fabric. The process is so smooth and the edges of the fabric strips roll so perfectly, you don't see the edges of the fabric in the finished rug!

It is a very different process to prepare fabric strips for a rug made with jersey knit fabric. I NEVER recommend cutting fabric to make a rag rug, EXCEPT for Jersey Knit. Cutting cotton fabric causes very messy, uneven strings on the edges. Tearing cotton fabric causes the edges to have an even, uniform look. You can't tear knit fabric, you have to cut it. How to cut it can be tricky.

When you are using a large piece of jersey knit fabric, you will notice that the fabric has a tendency to stick to itself, making it very difficult to fold without wrinkles and lumps. The best way I have found to work with it, is to keep it straight a little at a time.

To make a rag rug, you will need:

9-10 yards of jersey knit fabric (2-3  bed sheets)
rotary cutter, mat and ruler
Small pair of scissors
(or scissors and a ruler/board)

Here is a pictorial guide for how I prepare jersey knit fabric to make a rug:

Using a bed sheet, fold the sheet in half and then in half again, lining up the edges of the seam as best you can. Don't worry about the fold area even if it is a little lumpy.

Using a rotary cutter and mat with a ruler, cut off the seam edge. Repeat on all sides, refolding if needed until all the seams have been removed.

IMPORTANT: Open the sheet and without stretching the fabric too much, look at the corner of the cut fabric. You will notice the fabric begin to roll. You want to cut the fabric in the direction that will cause the fabric to roll INWARD towards the underside, not outward. Here in the photo below, it is the right hand side, not the bottom side that shows the fabric rolling inward. I will cut the fabric in the same direction of the right hand side (on this fabric). 

Refolding the fabric, line up one bottom edges as best you can. If you are using bed sheets, You may notice that the fabric is not even, or perfectly squared. When the bottom edges of the folded fabric are lined up as much as possible, cut off the excess to make an even edge. Try not to worry about the folded area or the wrinkles in the rest of the fabric.

Here, I have flipped the fabric over before I cut my edges off because of my work space. After you cut off your uneven edges, your fabric should look like this:

From here, mark off 2.5" (or 2" if you prefer narrower strips) and cut one strip at a time.  With each strip, you may need to smooth out wrinkles in the folded area. As you do this, the opposite side will begin to get uneven. Don't worry about that. Just keep cutting, begin sure each bundle of fabric strips you are cutting are as even as possible. 

As you near the opposite edge, you will need to open the fabric, refold it and line it up again. Keep doing this until you can no longer cut an even line the same size as your desired width. Discard the uneven remaining piece.

You should have several stacks of folded fabric strips. You can cut your joining strips now, or one at a time, but it is easier to cut them now. MAKE VERY SMALL SLITS for your joining slits. The fabric will stretch. Barely a snip will do.

Gently pull each strip so that it rolls into a nice long cord like shape (left side)

You are now ready to start your rug!

To start, use the same method as any other fabric. If you don't know how, you can see my video and blog post here:

Visiting my Knotted Rug Help tab at the top of my page will direct you to much more information and lots of tips for making these durable, long lasting, beautiful rugs including how to load the tool, increase, make an oval and more! Or click here for a shortcut:

If you need tools or supplies, check out my Etsy Shop here:

By the way, suppose you accidentally cut your fabric in the wrong direction. Don't worry. Been there, done that. Even though the beautiful fabric had rolled so that the underside showed, i decided to use it anyway and it turned out very pretty!

Happy Rugging!