Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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Introducing…Work In Progress

Introducing…Work In Progress
February 18, 2008 Mary Jo

Symphony in Red

Ah, yes. Work in Progress. If you make anything at all, chances are good that you too, have your own WIP collection. If you’re anything like me or most other crafty folks I know (that includes YOU, Mom) you have an almost menacing WIP Mountain bursting from random drawers, closets, nooks and crannies like forlorn orphans with little hope of ever being finished. Why is it that we are SO excited to start something new and rarely as driven to finish it?

Whatever the answer, I’m pretty motivated to finish this one. It’s a rag rug I’m making for our bathroom. This bathroom is lovingly tiled in black, white, and teal tiles. Yep – our good ol’ friend Teal who graced us with her presence in the early ’90s and then was exiled from the fashion and home decor world for good. Exiled to this bathroom, apparently. Since we’re not keen on removing perfectly good tile and replacing it with our some of our choosing, I’ve concocted a strategy to tone the teal down a bit. A big part of that strategy: covering up large parts of the tile floor with big, beautiful rugs in colors so saturated you don’t even notice the teal anymore. I’m not a big fan of most of the ready-made rugs out there and we also don’t have big piles of cash laying around, so it seemed inevitable that I would make our own rugs. And doesn’t the definition of “Farmhouse” include a requirement for rag rugs? Made by hand? From leftover, reused scraps of fabric? Mine does. This one’s made from thrift shop clothing that I cut into 1″ strips and crocheted together. I call it “Symphony in Reds”. Not so creative a name, but I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turning out. What do you think?

I really, really love that all of the fabrics are from second hand sources. Not only is it incredibly satisfying to turn this:

Raw Stock

into this:

but there’s a very real sense of connection to all of the women throughout time who have taken the materials they hand on hand to make something functional and beautiful for their family. Before our world became disposable, that is.

For those of you who see this and think I’m something of a genius, I must disclose that many, many people have made, are making, and will in the future be making rugs using this same process. I got my instructions here and adapted them to a rectangular shape. And our first rag rugs were made by Emily, who makes them and sells them on her Etsy site. Ours have been washed a million times now and look just as good as when we bought them. Totally durable.

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