Going Overboard

Many friends say I have a major crafting flaw – I prefer to think of it as an obsession Somehow that seems less negative and more adventurous.

So, what is this obsession?

Because I love crafting and filling my house with my finished projects, I have a tendency to go a bit overboard with the size of some of them.  I don’t necessarily mean the finished size, but rather the amount of work and time involved in the project.

Here’s an example…and this time finished size DOES count!

My kitchen, dining area and family room are all one big room in my house.  The kitchen is easily separated from the other two areas thanks to a breakfast bar and linoleum flooring.  The dining area and family room areas have the same flooring (off-white carpet) but different color walls.  Even though the walls are different colors, the two areas still felt connected so I started looking for a rug to put under the table and chairs.

During the unsuccessful hunt my creative subconscious went into overdrive and when it was ready to burst, it kicked the project idea into my conscience.  Once I became aware of it, I jumped on the idea with all the excitement I could muster.

I’m going to MAKE the 8′ x 10′ rug!  I’ll locker hook it!

Yep…you can call me nuts if you’d like  😉

As creative as I am, I’m also very logical, two opposing traits that can make for some interesting crafting.  The good news is that once the logical part is over, the creative part is fun!  For this project, the logical me decided that I should make the rug in 12″ x 12″ squares then whip stitch them together at the end.  The project would then be small and portable!  Great idea, right?

If you’re good at math, you’ve already figured out that this great idea meant I needed to hook 80, yes, EIGHT ZERO, squares!   Fortunately the quantity didn’t deter me.  Instead I looked at it as a challenge, and one I would definitely win!

I designed a simple pattern that would be repeated on every square.

Two opposite triangles would be a variety of white/off-white fabrics and the other 2 triangles would have multi-colored stripes  To keep the variety and color factor high, no two stripes in the same square would use the same color…and no two squares would be identical.

I shopped at MCG’s website to buy 54″ x 60″ packages of 3.75 mesh canvas, and I became a regular visitor at my local Joann’s store, especially when their fabric was on sale.  I would cut my fabric into strips right away and use one strip to tie all of the same colors together.  As big as this project was, I did need to keep myself somewhat organized  🙂  At some point during this project, this is what my strip covered coffee table looked like.

Once I had 3 squares hooked and the 4th started, I laid them out just to get an idea of how the finished project would look.

I was pretty happy!!!

As I progressed along the way, I was able to complete one square in about 4 hours…if I was completely focused.  I took squares with me everywhere, including auto shop waiting rooms, airports, craft nights with friends, vacations and anywhere else I thought I’d have some time to fill.

I didn’t work on this rug every spare moment because there were other commitments, but finally, after about 15 months, my stack of 80 squares was complete!

Now came the truly fun part….putting it all together!

I backed my vehicle out of my 2-car garage, laid out a huge piece of plastic then spread out all the squares in a controlled chaos sort of way.

It took me about 3 hours to arrange them the way I wanted them, making sure that no two stripes of the same fabric or fabric color touched each other.  Since I had no intention of tying up my garage during the assembly process, I spent an additional hour or so labeling each square so I could put the rug together the way I wanted it.

As you can see, there were 8 rows…the top label is for square 1 of each row, underneath are 2 thru 10 for each row.  Using safety pins, I pinned one label to each square so when I started putting them together I would whip stitch square 1 of row 1 to square 2 of row 1, then square 2 of row 1 to square 3 of row 1, etc.  I left the tag attached to the 10th square of every row so I would be sure to put the rows together in the correct order too.  No need to mess up the rug at this late point!  😉

I whip stitched each row and stacked them in my dining area.  Here are 6 completed rows…and supervisor Scarpetto.

When all 8 rows were done I whip stitched the rows together in pairs, then the 4 pairs were whip stitched together into 2 sets of 4.  At this point I spread the plastic out in the garage again and laid down the 8 rows.  I used one full can of Scotch guard on each set of 4 rows in hopes that should the kitties gift the rug with a furball or two, or a guest decorate the rug with some red wine or spaghetti sauce, I’d be able to get the majority of the stain out.

After the two sections dried I whip stitched them together then spread out the rug.

Then frowned.

I didn’t like how the off-white triangles looked against the off-white rug.  The colored ones looked great because they really popped against the carpet, but the off-white ones were, well, icky!

I still had many fabric strips left so I decided to make a 3″ border for the outside of the rug.  I would hook it in strips and attach it to the sides in a log cabin quilt sort of way.

I cut the canvas to size and hooked the 4 border sides using just the colored fabrics.  The finished rug was rolled up and laying against the wall, but as I started each border side, I unrolled the rug to make sure I didn’t use a fabric color that would touch the same color edge of the square.

I was just a wee bit finicky, huh?  😉

Finally the day arrived that I was whip stitching the final border side in place!!!!

I couldn’t wait to finish it and spread out the final rug….which now had a finished size of 8-1/2′ x 10-1/2′.

Do you want to see it?

Really?

Okay…

Tah-dah!!!

And now with the pub-height table and chairs on top of it…and guard-kitty Scarpetto on top of the table.

To answer a couple of questions that I’m often asked…

Nope…I have never washed it (and don’t intend to), and yep, the rug has been “gifted” with lots of staining type presents, all of which I’ve been able to wash off with a wet cloth  🙂

So folks…I’ve shared my “going overboard” project…time to share yours!!!  What’s the biggest or most intricate project you’ve done?  The one that has people scratching their heads and thinking you’re a bit nuts?

Until next time…keep being crafty

~~ Emmie ~~

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2 Responses to Going Overboard

  1. I’m in the middle of mine right now. I designed a 5′ x 5′ latch hook rug that I’m currently making. I had a brain injury in June and began latch hooking as therapy. I’ve made several of the chart designs and designed one bathroom rug myself but this is by far my most industrious project. I bought a bolt of the five mesh canvas so that I could make it in one piece. Not sure that was a good idea. This monster is going to be 90,000 knots when I’m done. I will post pictures when it’s complete.

    Your rug is beautiful. It helps me believe that I can do this!

    • I’m sorry to hear about your injury Karen but it’s exciting to know that crafting is helping you! Please be sure to share a picture of your rug when you’re done! And a tip from me…forget about the 90,000 knots now but remember to wear it proudly as a badge of honor once the rug is done 🙂

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