Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cutting the rug

A while back I bought a large woven rug for the dining room, and soon discovered that, being floppy and not very heavy, it gets sucked up by the vacuum cleaner, but being a bit large (about 5X7 or thereabouts), it doesn't fit in the washing machine. And being a nice solid red, it showed all the dog and cat fur within a few hours of laying it down.

So, what to do? Well, I folded it up and deposited it in the basement to deal with later. Then I got the idea that I should cut it down to fit the landing on the basement steps at the back door. The space is about 38 inches square, so the usual washable rugs are never quite the right size to cover the whole area. I had to think about this for quite awhile, of course, to figure out how I would finish the cut edges. I thought I might sew a binding around them, but I didn't think I was likely to match the red. Of course, red things usually bleed the first few times you wash them, so maybe it didn't matter what color binding I used.

In the meantime, Hubby decided to just fold it and put it down on the landing anyway. He put a couple of the smaller rugs on top of it, and that wasn't a bad temporary solution, but it bugged me to have it sit there with its too-thick folded edge hanging over the edge of the step threatening to become a tripping hazard.

So I just cut it today -- it made two area rugs the right size for the landing, with a couple of little strips left over. After some looking around for a sturdy red thread to overcast the edges, I realized that the warp thread (string, really) would serve very nicely.

So I pulled some from the remnants and was using this to bind the side where I had cut across the weft, but when I got around to the crosswise side, where the warp threads were exposed, I eventually realized that it made more sense to pull some more of the weft pieces out of the way and make a fringe. I then knotted the warp threads by taking three from the top and three from the bottom and tying them together. That worked quite well and only took about 20 minutes, and was kind of nice little meditative exercise.

And it lays nice and flat on the landing, and is just the right size. Happy ending.

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