A “How-To” And “Rug of The Month” Special

April’s Rug of the Month was a fun one. You can read all about the creative decisions that went into the hooked portion of the rug in last months post, but readers might have noticed it wasn’t quite finished. In this post, Ania explains step by step how she finished Paisley Rain Forest using leftover 8-value swatches that were used during the rug’s hooking.

The first step is to organize the swatches by size. This is to determine which of the leftover swatches are big enough to use in a border, keeping in mind that a quarter inch seam will be used while piecing the strips together.

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Here are all of the leftover strips from Paisley Rain Forest – the strips farthest to the right weren’t used as Ania decided they were too small. 

The next step is to lay out all of the strips in a pleasant color arrangement. A good idea during this step is to also vary the sizes of the strips that are paired next to each other, in addition to the colors. This juxtaposition in color and size will help add interest for the eye to follow!

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This is the final strip order that Ania settled on for her border – there were a lot of leftover pinks! 

Now that the final strip layout had been decided upon, Ania began piecing the strips together. Make sure when you do this that your total length of strip is 6-9 inches longer than the entire perimeter of your rug. This is to allow for enough fabric to miter the corners, and have enough overlap to do the final easement of the strip to cover the entire edge of the rug. As you can see in the two images below, the quarter inch seam shrinks the strips quite a bit. After all of the strips were sewn together, Ania pressed the seams open and cut the fabric strip down to four inches to prepare for attaching it to the rug. After completing these steps, she had her final fabric strip for her rug!

For the next step, Ania sewed three rows of zigzagged stitches onto the rug’s foundation fabric. To space these three rows, Ania recommends placing the first row of stitches half an inch from the hooked portion of the rug, the second row an inch away from the hooked portion of the rug, and the third row around the perimeter of the canvas. This is to prevent the backing from fraying during the rest of the process.

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Here you can see the three rows Ania sewed into the backing.

Then, Ania took each corner of the foundation fabric and folded it to the point of the hooked portion of the rug’s corner. Along the crease of this fold, Ania sewed another zigzag, and then cut the corner off.

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Here is the corner with the excess backing cut off. 

After cutting off all four outer corners, Ania mitered these corners and stitched the edges that came together.

These next steps are when the fabric strip is joined with the rug’s foundation fabric. Ania folded the foundation fabric down two thirds of the way towards the hooked portion of the rug. Then she lined up the raw edge of the fabric strip, with it positioned on its right side (the side that doesn’t have seams on it), and against the fold of the foundation fabric. The fabric strip is placed here on the top side of the rug, not the bottom. Next, Ania folded the foundation fabric a second time so that it lay over the fabric strip, and so that the foundation fabric was against the hooked portion of the rug. This was done making sure that the corners of the fabric strip were mitered.

At this point, the fabric strip should be sandwiched within the folds of the foundation fabric. This is when Ania stitched, by hand, the fabric strip and the backing together.

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The stitching to connect the backing and the fabric strip is right against the hooked portion of the rug, so that it is hidden from view.

Finally, Ania stitched the fabric strip to the back of the rug to secure it down. And Voila! Here’s the completed rug:

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Feel free to let Ania know what you think of the finished Paisley Rainforest, and she’d love to hear of any creative border ideas you have come up with! 

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