Cutting a Rug

When one hears this phrase, dance comes to mind.  This is probably becoming a phrase that is not used too much.  For those that have never heard of cutting a rug, you might think this is hairpiece making.  Neither of those things happened in making the tutorial for this blog.

If you have visited pinterest, you have seen Jelly Roll Rugs.  They show up usually when you are doing a jelly roll crafty search.  I decided to check this one off my list and delve into rug making happiness.

Usually when starting a craft project, you have either seen it done, or have a pattern to follow.  If you do not, crafty genius might end up with EPIC FAIL.

Yes, I salvaged this project not once, not twice, but three times!  I started on this a week ago, and as promised have a final result.  There was a huge learning curve and I am not sure I am 100% there, even though I am 100% done.

I started out with a 50 piece jelly roll.  The name of the jelly roll is called Shadow Blush.  This would make a beautiful quilt, which is why I purchased it in the first place.  But now, seeing it in another form, am glad I made a rug from its fibers.

First you sew your jelly roll ends together.  I just sewed mine straight across, other pictures out there sew a mitered joint.  Same end game, different pattern.  For every jelly roll strip you will need an equal piece of batting.  So if your strip is 2 1/2 by 45 you will need that measurement times the amount of strips in your jelly roll.

You will lay your jelly roll long strip wrong side up.  You then lay your batting strip on top.  Proceed to fold each raw edge to the middle, and then fold in half.  Sew a seam the length of your long strip.



You will need a walking foot for this project as well as a steady betty table or a nice large completely flat surface to sew on.  (More details about this later)

The tutorials out there tell you to sew down the middle of the folded strip.  I thought this might cause a raw edge to peek out so I stitched mine closer to one edge.  Perhaps, after all the problems I had, it would be a good idea to sew in the middle and not worry about a pinked raw edge (this is a rug after all).


Taking one end of your long strip you bring it parrallel with itself for about 12 inches and you zig zag the finished edges together.  It is extremely important you use a walking foot for this portion.  Make sure you set your stitch width as high as your machine will allow and make it a pretty dense stitch.  If you fail to do this important step, you will be seam ripping your rug.

The first failure I had, I did not use the steady betty table.  Because you do not have an extremely large flat surface, the rug becomes stretched and wonky.  After about 6 rounds of stitching out from the center, you will start getting a wave or hump in your rug.  Rip out and start over if that occurs.

My next failure was leaving my machine at 5.0 mm stitch width… no no, this causes another problem entirely.  It causes the rug to become a bowl.  No matter how you but your ends together, your rug slowly curves upward.

After setting the machine to 7.0 mm and keeping the stitch much denser, the bowling went away somewhat, I then learned that instead of butting up the two finshed edges, I needed to overlap one over the other in the curves.  This almost eliminated bowling, although some was still present at the end of my rug.

I failed to measure the rug….sorry.  There is a reason for this, which will be described a bit further into my blog post.


Due to some curving up or bowling at the very edges, I decided to fringe my rug.  I do not know the long lasting affects of this, don’t know how it will hold up.  I cut three strips in.  After cutting I re-zig zagged at the second and third strip to make sure I did not clip any threads.  This rug is very 70s looking, and I am now glad this became a rug and not a quilt.



This effort was a massive thread dump.  I used up a spool of 550 yds of sulky.  I also used up an entire spool of star thread.  So this rug is stitched together with varigated, gold, and brown thread.  But hey, it is a rug.  My logic on cutting the fringe, since jelly roll strips are against the grain, when you gut with the grain there is minimal shredding.  The raw edges will not cause issue later.  I did iron this rug for some of the poofy, not so flat areas.  This is a longarmer trick I have seen with a wavy border.  Steam can actually shrink fabric.  So if you make one of these, and have a few questionable areas, just iron it out.

I am a little hesitant to launder the rug.  Perhaps I will have it underfoot for a while before I wash it.  After all the complications, or learning curves (because I am too cheap to buy the pattern) I managed to make it work.  Will I make another rug from a jelly roll?  NOPE!  The time and effort I have in the rug plus costs…..It is a rug a $50 rug not including time, batting, and oodles of thread.  Nope, nevah again.

Will I make other rugs from scraps?  Absolutely!  In fact this rug would come together better if the strips were cut on the bias.  The bends would be more ply-able, and the whole thing would probably end up perfectly flat.

Normally when I wake up Sunday morning, I start my day out, just like I am doing now.  Editing photos, typing text, bringing you your dose of blog post.  This usually happens anywhere from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.  Today, it is happening much earlier.  This is why the rug is unmeasured…..keeping quite as a mouse to keep the rest of the house asleep.  You see I was woken up this morning by a warm substance on my arm (no I did not drool or pee).  There was a kitten perched on my shoulder while I was laying on my side.  It had just got done eating cat food.  It decided the perfect place to barf was on a tranquil, sleeping human.  By the time I realized what just occurred, the kitten vanished.  Odd, I had wet spots on my arm, I guess the kitten ate all the chunky vomit and left.  So I got up and went to the bathroom, trying to put my mind in motion, on what had just happened.  Let the shower commence!  Showers tend to wake me up, so here I am bringing you this lovely rug story with highlights!

Next on the work table, another rug.  This one is a toothbrush rug with the fabric pictured in the fabric balls on the header of my blog post.  A long time coming, and am enjoying this process immensely!  Tune in next week for another dose of rug post.

Have a great day and thank you for reading my blog!


11 thoughts on “Cutting a Rug

      1. The only thing they did differently was the folding. They made the bands by folding each edge in to the center, then folding again, and sew the edge, bias tape.


  1. I think you might be interested in the cotton clothesline episode on The gal made bowls and baskets out of the rope using just thread. the techniques shown would certainly aid your rug making and probably inspire new ideas.


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