I’m Crazy about Crazy Shortcut Quilts

Deb's Crazy Quilt

Deb’s Crazy Quilt

Crazy quilts feed my whimsy gene to a “T,” however, I figured there must be a method to the madness.  I discovered I was right!  And I found the clues in a book called, “Crazy Shortcut Quilts,” which presents some new techniques to get the magic found in the older quilts.  The old crazy quilts used scraps of any size and configuration and color, combining them in random order with no attention to repeating patterns or colors.  Additionally, crazy quilts were the first to be “blinged-out” with exotic fabrics, pieces of ribbons and lace, and even beads and baubles.

My dear quilting friend created this quilt for me.  I had recently gotten a new sewing machine with lots of decorative stitches which were tremendously fun for decorating the quilt.  It is a lovely quilt, as beautiful on the back as the front.  It is dear to my heart.deb deb4 deb2

 

Crocheted Rag Rugs

Rag rugs have been around as long as there have been rags.  There are many ways to make these rugs, including weaving, braiding, crocheting, and hooking.  I had some rags that I tried to braid, but I found that my rugs ended up looking more like canoes.  So I figured, “Hey, I like to crochet!” and off to the store to get the biggest crochet hook I could find.

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Oval rag rug, crocheted with 1″ strips of fleece.

I did the oval rug first.  It started as 2 yards of fleece; I liked the browns and greens of a wildlife print.  With the help of a friend and some serious rotary cutting, I had several rolls of 1 inch strips of “yarn.”  I didn’t use a pattern, I just started with a length, and then worked around, increasing a few stitches on the end.  It does have a little wobble in one end, but otherwise it looks marvelous.  I liked the fleece for a bathroom throw, as it doesn’t absorb much water or mildew.

 

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Round rag rug, crocheted with strips of cotton scraps.

The round rug truly was a basket full of rag strips.  It was challenging, because not all of the strips were consistent in width–once again, I worked without a pattern because I had to adjust the rug as I went.  I could only work on this rug for short periods, because I would get a rash from the fabric as I worked it (I assume from the dye and sizing).  I love the colors!  After a couple years of use and washing, the rug has softened but it is wearing very well.

One tip I will give:  I found that sewing the ends of my strips together did not work well for me.  It was time-consuming, and after use and cleaning, the threads would come undone and my rugs ended up with holes.  I found that using a joining technique (shown here), worked best even though there were little regions in my “yarn” where there was extra yardage to work in.  I especially liked this technique on the round rug, because the “tails” pop out all over the place and give it a softer look.