Sewing and Crafts : Rag Rug Pillow

My subscription to Country Living finally started and I received my first issue (March 2012) a couple of weeks ago.  I used to get this magazine regularly, but once my Little Guy got a bit older it became very difficult to read more than a snippet of anything.  I found my magazines piling up all over the place, half-read.  Now that I am back in reading mode and can actually finish something, I have been lusting after home decorating magazines every time I stand in line at the grocery store.

Of course my personal style tends more toward vintage and modern, but something about what I find in the pages of Country Living seems to inspire me more often than not.  I think it’s the fact that so many of the “country” decorating ideas can be placed into a more modern setting and still really work.  At least that’s what I tell myself… I think a lot of that goes on when you have to work with a limited budget and lots of creativity.  ;O)

Enough of all this magazine talk, now on to the reason for this post.  In the March issue of Country Living one of the “Fresh Picks” features are items made from rag rugs.

Among the neat items were a couple of pillows that caught my eye.  My first thought was that they were sort of beachy and would look great in a vacation home.  (That might also be due to the fact that I had been shopping rentals for our upcoming vacation.)  My next thought was that they might be just the right thing for a spring/summer mix-up in our formal living room.  Several days later I just happened to notice two, seemingly unused, rag rugs in shades of blue at our local Sal. Army store.  For $1.99 I brought them home and started the process of freshening up the place.  I decided to make simple envelope style pillow covers.

If you come across a similar opportunity be sure to watch for a couple of things when stitching these guys up into fun pillows.

The ends of my rugs were uneven and when folded showed a very crooked line.

It’s subtle in this picture, but I spent some time measuring and pinning the hem that would show in an uneven way, so that it would be even when finished.  Does that make sense?  I pinned it at an angle to give it a straight edge- how ’bout that, better?

 After getting the envelope hem finished, I stitched up the sides and turned the whole thing right side out.  I would say the whole process took around 20 minutes.  I used my patented (HA!) cheater pillow insert process to fill it and that was that.  Accept, ….it was boring.  So, I dug around in my vintage button box and found some mother-of-pearl and shell pretties to add a little sumpin’ sumpin’.

Not only do they add a nice accent, but I was able to send the buttons through the large weave of the rag rug so they actually hold the opening closed.  Sah-weet!

I put one pillow together so far.  Since I just made envelope pillows for the family room I was considering maybe trying a different style for the other rag rug.  That might be too weird for me, though, having two different pillows from the same material.  It’s ready to be sewn and I have more vintage buttons, but I was holding back to see if any inspiration hit.  If nothing comes along in the next couple of days I will stick with what I know.  BTW- for those of you that cannot see it in the Country Living article above, the pillows they featured are $120.00 each.  My thrift store find and on-hand notions allowed me to get the look for $118.00 less.  Woo-to-the-hoo!

What did you guys sew over the weekend?



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