Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Diamond in the Rug

When I was a kid, I had a tabletop loom. I loved moving the yarn over and under to create fabric, but I never could prevent the yarn from pulling too tightly in the middle and creating an hourglass shape.

My mission this week was to make a rug using simple weaving of fabric strips. I couldn't make it that easy on myself. 

Enter graph paper. I found a diamond weaving pattern on an origami site and obsessively worked to translate the pattern to an over-under code. I also was constrained by my fabric amounts. Fabric is thin and must be folded several times to give it the weight necessary for a rug. A rug requires a lot of fabric.

I chose a green sheet and several lengths of lightweight white cotton broadcloth from my stash. The amount of fabric I had meant I could design a rug that was 23 in. by 47 in. I cut each fabric 4 to 6 in. wide and folded the strips down to 1 in. wide each.

That means I had 47 23–in. lengths in green and 23 47+–in. lengths in white. (I did splatter the white broadcloth in watered–down acrylic paint to give it a little more depth. Plus, white in a rug?!? Insanity!) I did spend quite a few quality hours with my iron to produce that stack.

Finally, it was time for the weaving. I started with the middle strip, which I had calculated to be Row 6 in my six–row pattern repeat. I marked it with a pin so I could keep track of my row count.

After the first pattern repeat, the weaving went quickly.

Notice my mistake? I cut the green strips at exactly 23 in., which gives me no room for adjustment on the sides. I cut the white broadcloth with several inches to spare. I had to use pins to keep my rows from shifting.

I thought I needed to snug up the rows to keep the pattern looking seamless, but I overtightened everything while I chatted on the hands–free phone for several calls.

Now its all too tight. I haven't had a moment to spare this weekend to loosen it back up. When I get it just right, I'll sew the loose edges together and cover the ends with the extra green fabric used as binding.

A tabletop rug goes quickly once you get your strips made. It's the prep work that takes awhile. I do have another tabletop rug planned because it is fun to see the pattern develop, but I'm going to take my time with making the strips. I may have another rug to show in, oh, six months or so.



  1. Yay rugs! Rag rugs have to be my absolute favorite craft. I just love making them. THis is a design I am definately going to be doing in the very near future.

    1. brandi b, the pattern builds really quickly. I found some great ones at a paper weaving site. I bet your diamond rug will be awesome!


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