Since 2017, I have been featuring former students’ rag rug designs in a Student Spotlight section of my fortnightly Rag Rug Inspiration Newsletter (which you can sign up to here if you’d like). It seemed a shame that these photos disappeared into the ether once they’d been sent out so I thought I would compile all of them here in a gallery of gorgeousness. Their rag rug designs are entirely original and one-offs. So here they are!
p.s. If you make rag rugs and would like to grace the student spotlight zone, please send your creations over to firstname.lastname@example.org – I absolutely adore getting photos through 🙂
Student’s Rag Rug Designs:
Susan came along to a locker hooking class with us at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year. If you look carefully, at the top of this photo, you can see the coaster she made in that original workshop.
Needless to say, Susan really took to the technique and this gorgeous “Hit and Miss” rug (where you use lots of different materials you have to hand) is the result.
Amazing work Susan – what a joyful rug!
I always regret not taking more photos of my rag rugs when they are work-in-progress. Photos are nice to look back on as you can see how you built up the design. I took this photo of Sandra’s latest project at our last Rag Rug Coffee morning before Christmas to keep a record for her before she finishes it.
I only realised once I had taken the photo that it even has a little glimpse of the original rag rug that inspired the design (see the floor below).
Jane sent me this photo of her completed rag rug just before Christmas and boy did it put a smile on my face.It was made in the loopy technique (done with a rug hook), following the design on our Limited Edition pre-printed spiral hessian. Fabric-wise, it’s made using a selection of blue 100% wool blanket yarn, so you can bet it just feels amazing. Well done Jane – amazing work! Looks like the grandogs approve too 🐕
On the left is Janice’s version of our Ragged Life checked sari silk rug (right) from our second book “Rag Rug Techniques for Beginners”. Personally, I think both these rugs just go to show how effective a simple pattern can be. You can build them up one square at a time, which is immensely satisfying. Both rugs have been made using our 100 x 60cm Medium rug hessian, a rag rug spring tool and cutting gauge (to do the short shaggy technique). Gorgeous colour choices Janice!
As a carer, Nicky completed the rug in her free time between visiting clients, which just goes to show that rag rugging is a craft that you can pick up and put down quite easily. Who wouldn’t want to run their fingers through that rug. Brilliant work Nicky!
One of the eight rag rug techniques featured in my second book “Rag Rug Techniques for Beginners” is called twining. It creates a beautiful, tightly woven style of rag rug that is a joy to behold (and to walk on).
Sandra made this twined mint-coloured mat using three balls of our 100% Wool Blanket Yarn and I think it looks a treat. Well done Sandra!
It’s a biggy this one! Not quite finished, but it’s always nice to see things work-in-progress as you get a better idea of the process.
Julie is just over half way through filling this XL hessian in the loopy technique of rag rugging. Unbelievably, this is only one piece of a larger rug as Julie plans to join multiple rugs of this size together to create a mammoth area rug.
Maree made this stunning rug for her daughter Britt all the way over in Queensland, Australia. It was made using the rag rug spring tool, which is why it has such gorgeous texture! Beautiful colours and composition Maree – I bet Britt can’t wait to sink her feet into it.
Rag rug coffee morning regular, Julia was the first ever person to feature in our Student Spotlight and now we’ve come full circle! She made this pair of loopy rag rug cushions using two balls of our 100% Wool Blanket Yarn (one ball per cushion) and they look just delightful on her sofa.
Ann loopy rag rugged our pre-printed spiral hessian to make a rug for a family member whose favourite colour is mustard. Although it was a difficult colour to source the right colours at first, she managed to pick up enough duvet covers, throws and curtains to make this gorgeous piece in record time. You can buy pre-printed hessian on the Ragged Life Online Shop here 🙂
Jools made up the design for this gorgeous floral ottoman cover as she went along, hence the “freestyle” nature of it. I particularly love how well the flowers pop agains the colourful background. What a triumph!
Jan made this gorgeous rag rug wreath with a mixture of our Ragged Life 100% Wool Blanket Yarn balls. She was hot off the mark and managed to get some of our highly coveted shades of red from the latest batch from the mills, which mix perfectly with the greens for a festive feel.
Understandably, Jan has had quite a few rag rug wreath requests from friends since – I can understand why.
Thanks for sharing Jan!
Rag rug coffee morning regular, Julie, made this lovely loopy number from a few of our 100% Wool Blanket Yarn balls in the neater, loopy technique of British rag rugging. She personalised the rug for her daughter with bold black initials, which make it stand out from the crowd.
I particularly love how Julie blended from one colour to the next – fab work Julie!
Christine has been a busy bee over the past few weeks making this absolutely gorgeous rag rug bouquet for a friend. The combination of bold, plain fabrics and zany patterned ones, plus all the different textures make for a pretty spectacular bunch of everlasting flowers.
Nice job Christine, I can’t wait to see what you make next.
p.s. if anyone is interested in buying the hemmed hessian to make a bouquet of seven rag rug flowers, you can do so on the Ragged Life Online shop here.
Over the years, I’ve shared many of rag rug coffee morning regular Cherry’s gorgeous rag rug creations, but I have to say that this is one of my absolute favourites of hers.
Cherry made a few different flower templates which she drew around and repeated across the rug to create this whimsical design. I particularly love the colours, which look just dreamy together.
Fab work Cherry!
Well done Beckie, it looks fantastic, you must be thrilled with it 😊
p.s. look at how well it matches with those curtains!
Janet and Nina have really been embracing the coming of spring with these gorgeous rag rug bouquets.
Janet came along to one of our Online Rag Rug Bouquet Classes and made the beautiful pastel-coloured Easter bouquet (top left and bottom right), while Nina received the pre-hemmed bouquet hessian to make two bouquets from her son for her birthday. Nina actually used a soldering iron to cut the strips for her organza bouquet (bottom left) to prevent them from fraying. Apparently it’s fine as long as you do it in a well-ventilated space as the fumes are quite nasty.
Great job on your stunning bouquets ladies 😊
Anne made this beautiful, textured rug for her art-loving daughter and I bet you can guess which famous artist inspired it. That’s right, Monet!
I love how Anne shaped some of the shaggy rag rug pieces to create the petals of the waterlilies. You can tell that a lot of care went into its creation.
Great job Anne – I hope the butterfly rug is going well 😊
Former Ragged Life workshop student, Debbie joined us for our last Rag Rug and Natter Night where she was sharing all her best tips on sourcing nice fabrics to rag rug with, as well as an update on her latest work in progress project.
Debbie has been on an absolute roll recently, having made a couple of gorgeous pieces for friends. Debbie based the design of this rug on Maltese tiles and is kindly giving it to a friend in Brighton. Lucky thing!
Today we’re showcasing the lovely Christine’s beautiful 100 x 60cm shaggy rag rug. Christine blended eight balls of our cosy woollen blanket yarn to make this stunning, cosy rug. A real treat for your feet, especially in the cold winter weather.️ Gorgeous work Christine – thanks for sharing x
November and December were all about Rag Rug Wreaths, so it’s been a little while since we’ve shared a rag rug bouquet.
We absolutely loved this one from Joanna, which has such a mix of different textures. I can immediately spot some of our Chenille yarn, Blanket Yarn and even a bit of lace. Beautiful work Joanna – thanks for sharing x
Cherry is one of our Hertfordshire Rag Rug Coffee Morning regulars, and has been making wonderful rag rug pieces ever since she took a rag rug making course with me back in 2016.
Her latest rag rug (hot off the press) makes me feel warm and fuzzy just to look at it. The colours are so rich and snuggly. It was made in the loopy style of rag rugging, entirely with a latch hook.
Arlene made this circular shaggy rag rug as a cosy corner mat for her granddaughter’s nursery. And doesn’t it finish off the perfect little reading or play cubby.
Arlene hasn’t unveiled the rug to her granddaughter rug yet, as she’s planning to give it to her for a Christmas gift, but her son managed to sneak a photo of it in situ, so Arlene would be able to see how it fit.
We don’t often get circular rugs through and this one looks a treat. I’m sure your granddaughter will be over the moon Arlene 😊 Thanks for sharing x
This particular jolly number was made by Liz who attended one of our in-person beginner workshops in October. She bought the hemmed hessian, mount and instructions at the end of the class and made her masterpiece soon afterwards.
I particularly like the hints of gold in some of the fabrics.
Thanks for sending in your creation Liz 🙂
Lin (whose wreath below it is) came along to our first ever Ragged Life rag rug workshop in beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon. She used chiffon and light, floaty fabrics to create a wreath with flair.
When Lin came to the styling of her wreath, she decided to use it as a pretty table centrepiece instead or hanging it. And boy does it look good! Has anyone else done something a bit different with their wreath?
p.s. if anyone fancies making their own rag rug wreath and doesn’t want to hem the hessian, you can buy the hessian, mount and instructions to make one here.
You may remember Emily from her fabulous rag rug cherry clutch bag we featured previously. Well, Emily has been at it again, and this time she’s created a showstopper Aztec-style rag rug in the loopy technique. As well as being very inspiring, personally, I think this design just goes to show that you don’t need lots of colours to create something special. Thanks for sharing Emily.
P.s. If you want to get your hands on the easiest tool to loopy rag rug with, check out our Ragged Life Rag Rug Hook.
Natasha (@sewnatasha) shared this shaggy rag rug cushion she made using our Easy Peasy Rag Rug Cushion Kit on Instagram. The shaggy cushion is made using scraps from Natasha’s first year of sewing and looks just great – who wouldn’t want to sink back into that?
Svetlana used simple ribbon weaving techniques to blend together two balls of our 100% Wool Blanket Yarn to create this super soft cushion cover, and doesn’t it look neat 🙂 Apparently the blanket yarn was just too pretty to cut up! (We know the feeling). If you’d like to learn how to ribbon weave with blanket yarn then check out our tutorial blog post here.
Jenny made this little rug to hang in her window to cheer up passers by during lockdown. I don’t know about you, but I know it would certainly bring a smile to my face!
In early April (2020), Gill made this fabulous rag rug for her granddaughter, Elsa’s 7th birthday. It was inspired by a drawing Elsa had done in art club at school, which Gill cleverly had blown up to A1 side at her local printers. Gill wasn’t able to deliver the finished rug until a bit later than she’d hoped due to lockdown, but here are a few photos from when she finally reunited with her grandchildren.
Elsa’s brother Alex (5) thought we’d like to see him in a photo too, so Gill gave him some pens (as you can see) so he didn’t feel left out. 😊
Gill, it goes without saying, you’ve made a true masterpiece that Elsa will treasure for years to come – good job you!
This is Julie’s first ever handmade rag rug, and I just love how jolly it is. Who doesn’t love a good rainbow, especially at the moment! It was made using her stash of old material and scraps, along with some of our cosy blanket yarn.
Apparently Julie’s cat is a huge fan and has decided to take the rug over. Now if that isn’t an endorsement, then I don’t know what is!
Sue wasn’t sure whether the stars in this rug were starfish or stars in the sky. Personally, I think they look like an abstract starry night sky, but what do you think?
The border was loopy rag rugged in one of our Ragged Life Tartan Blanket Yarns, which self-patterned to give a gorgeous effect.
Janice made this beautiful striped shaggy rag rug from a mixture of blue, green and neutral 100% Wool Blanket Yarn from the Ragged Life online shop. It’s the first rag rug she’s made and I think you’ll agree that it looks super cushy. Who wouldn’t want to sink their feet into that! Good job Janice 🙂
Pat made this beautiful loopy rag rug using an old curtain, lambs wool shawl, sheet and t-shirts. Plus, the grey tower was made from a dress her daughter wore many years ago as Saxon armour (there’s a story there I’m sure).
This rug is important, not just as a memory of a visit, but because Pat discovered how her paternal grandmother had made rugs for their house many decades ago. I think everyone can agree that this is quite the masterpiece.
Debbie has been in lockdown in Malta, but fortunately all this spare time has been a blessing as she’s had the time to make this gorgeous rug using whatever she had on hand. What a lovely design – good job Debbie!
Heather has been incredibly productive during self-isolation and finished this stunning spring rag rug, made using the Short Shaggy rag rug technique.
Apparently, Heather had some pre-cut fabric left over, so she’s going to make a matching spring wreath. We can’t wait to see it.
Eleanor started making this beautiful loopy rainbow rug for her daughter Evie after buying a kit from us at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show last year. It may not be finished, but we already think it looks great. Apparently, Eleanor is planning to make a nice rag rug bouquet next 🙂
Gwen made this gorgeous rag rug bouquet after a beginners rag rug workshop she took with us in York. She felt so inspired afterwards that she even went on to upholster a footstool! Now that’s ambition and I like it 🙂
Emily made this cherry design rag rug purse for her mum, whose name is… wait for it… Cherry! She used the purse pattern from my book “Rag Rugs, Pillows & More”, but cleverly adapted the design from a watermelon to a set of cherries. Rag rugging 3D items isn’t the easiest task, so big round of applause to Emily for absolutely nailing it 🙂
Mary cleverly swapped in black for white in her adaptation of Elspeth’s original denim chevron rag rug from “Rag Rugs, Pillows & More” (top). She used a mixture of different shades of denim (mostly old jeans) and t-shirts to create this striking version, which looks just lovely on her painted floorboards. I’m sure a few of you have some old jeans lying around, so Mary’s masterpiece just goes to show what great things can be made from what’s lying around the house!
Heather absolutely blew our minds at the rag rug coffee morning Christmas meet up when she brought along this beautiful cushion she’d made from our 100% Wool Blanket Yarn. She’d not only rag rugged the front of the cushion in multiple techniques, but she’d also woven together pieces of the blanket yarn to create an equally beautiful backing for the cushion. Absolutely stunning!
I had a whole tonne of fun choreographing this photoshoot of Carolyn’s superb pumpkin rag rug with an actual pumpkin, grown in the Ragged Life Hertfordshire HQ garden. I’m sure you’ll all agree that Carolyn looks very much in her natural environment, just like her rug 😉 Beautiful work Carolyn!
Cherry is one of our wonderful regulars at the Hertfordshire rag rug coffee morning and has made everything from rag rug wreaths and bags to full on rugs. Well, we absolutely love her latest creation – an abstract bathroom mat. Cherry, you’re still one of the queens of loopy rag rugging 🙂 We can’t wait to see it in situ. Great job!
We were delighted to receive this photo of Monica’s campervan cushion. The attention to detail is really special, and we particularly love the use of the little daisies she added to the grassy area in the foreground, which were found on some children’s leggings. Monica made this for her nephew and his partner for their wedding as they love to travel in their campervan. We think this will be the perfect addition to their future getaways!
Sue really enjoyed experimenting with the rag rug designs of these cushion covers. She used a mixture of our Ragged Life 100% wool blanket yarns mixed with strips of old clothing, plus some purchased cotton yarns and t shirt yarns. We particularly love how she mixed the loopy and shaggy techniques together to great effect – she even shaped the shaggy rag rug pieces into petals for the flowers. Apparently, Sue’s next project is a rug. Can’t wait to see what comes next!
Lesley is one of our regulars at the Hertfordshire Rag Rug Coffee Morning, which means I’ve been lucky enough to see this bathroom mat progress from the very beginning. The loopy rag rug technique is definitely the hardest to do well, but Lesley has absolutely nailed it! I particularly love the variety of blues in the background, which swirl in and out of frame, as well as how Lesley picked out the colours from her bathroom to make it fully customised to the space. Great job Lesley – can’t wait to see what you make next. I hear rag rug letters are on the horizon 🙂
Lorie used a combination of the traditional shaggy and short shaggy rag rug techniques to create contrast between the rag rug heart and background fabric, which makes the heart stand out beautifully. As well as a beautiful front, Lorie’s cushion also has a very neat back, as the envelope-back was made using the front panels of an old shirt… very clever indeed!
Julie came along to one of our Full Day Rag Rug Workshops earlier in the year and sent through this lovely stripey rug a few months later. I particularly love the warm colour scheme with bright pops of terracotta and yellow. It’s also particularly fun seeing the finished rug after seeing where it all began. Great job Julie 🙂 Your second rug was lovely too!
I know Easter probably feels like a distant memory now, but I couldn’t help myself from sharing Amelia’s gorgeous, multicoloured spring wreath. I love how Amelia has used such a variety of different patterned and plain fabrics to add interest to the wreath. Every time I look at it, I spot another pattern 🙂 I think it just goes to show that wreaths aren’t just for Christmas!
We’re so impressed with Julie’s beautiful and unique idea to create bunting as a surprise for her daughter Lucy’s wedding. We think it was a particularly lovely idea to tie in the blush from Lucy’s dress and the pale blue to match the groomsmen’s ties too! Julie comments that it took her a long time to complete (we’re not surprised!) but that it was a lovely day at Wooton Park with glorious weather and she can safely say she’s been bitten by the rag rug bug!
Kay gave this old footstool a new lease of life with a lovely bit of loopy rag rugging. We love Kay’s use of colours in this design – check out how beautifully they compliment the woven footstool underneath. We’re endlessly inspired by all of the different ways rag rugging can be used and this is the first time we’ve ever seen a footstool cover – thanks for sharing this with us Kay, we love it!
We’re obviously having a bit of a run of cushions at the moment, which is unsurprising as they’re definitely one of the most fun and manageable projects, but I still couldn’t stop myself from sharing Emily’s beautiful tile-inspired cushion. She made it for her sister’s new house after being inspired by Portuguese tiles. That’s one lucky sister 🙂
Jane’s cushion is truly mesmerising with all the rich range of colours inside and you can’t help but be drawn in. I also particularly like how the cushion coordinates beautifully with the crochet blanket in front. Apparently talented Jane made that too! Can’t wait to see what you make next Jane (apparently she’s always thinking of the next project like me) 🙂
Janice picked up some of our 100% wool blanket yarn in the colours “Tutti Frutti” and “Pink Cerise” to make these fabulous matching cushions. I love how each colour shows up in the individual loops, which creates an abstract pattern of its own. Fab work Janice.
Kerry-Jo made this magical rag rug for her niece’s bedroom. I particularly love the blend of different neutral colours in the background that allow the unicorn to shine 🙂
Monica absolutely floored me when she sent through this spectacular rag rugged lion cushion. Now that’s what I call a showstopper Mary Berry!
At its essence, rag rugging is all about repurposing fabric and materials that are no longer fit for use. Well, innovative Brenda has taken that ethos one step further and has made this rag rug from old umbrellas (you’d never believe it). Apparently, Brenda and her family were on the look out for broken or discarded umbrellas for quite a few months to make this wonderful rug.
Cherry has really outdone herself with these gorgeous loopy rag rug cushions. You may have seen her first cushion when it was still unassembled photographed above and now here it is with its brother 🙂
Graham made these placemats in the loopy style of rag rugging. His one on the left reminds me a lot of a Kaffe Fassett design.
Monica’s circular rag rug cushion reminds me of a pretty fossil you’d find on the beach 🙂
I absolutely love this quirky cushion design by former student Julie. I think it demonstrates perfectly how effective a simple colour scheme can look.
Julia made this beautiful striped rag rug for her daughter’s home in Stockholm. When Julia first started rag rugging, she didn’t really like using fabrics that frayed, but she fully embraced a variety of different textures for this lovely rug and it looks so vibrant and interesting up close.
I love the style of this gorgeous shaggy rag rug by Brenda. I’m a huge fan of abstract patterns like this one as they can be built up organically without much planning (who doesn’t love a bit of improv).
Linda did such a lovely job making this pretty rag rug butterfly cushion.
Jane’s plush rag rug pouffe goes so well with the pink and green rug in her living room 🙂
This rag rug bouquet was made by Ali, one of the members of our Facebook Rag Rug Community, who has been on an absolute roll recently. I love how Ali has put them in a vintage coffee pot – great idea!
It’s actually really difficult to keep patterns defined in the shaggy technique of rag rugging but Monica nailed it with this leaf rag rug – beautiful!
Cherry attended my five week rag rugging course at The Settlement in Letchworth and couldn’t put her latch hook down afterwards. She made a series of lovely bags and this rug now sits in pride of place in her living room (apparently the dog loves it). Cherry made her rag rug using two of my standard rug hessian and joined them together once they were rag rugged – this makes it a lot less cumbersome than rag rugging in one large piece. Good thinking Cherry!
I’m lucky enough to marvel at Christina’s rag rug creations on a regular basis thanks to our rag rug round table meet-ups so I’ve seen this cushion quite literally twist and turn into a wonderful piece of art.
Monica made one of these rag rug baskets as an 80th birthday present for her aunt but I really hope she kept one for herself as they’re gorgeous!
Bags are definitely one of the harder projects to rag rug, as you need to battle with multiple layers of hessian, but Brenda has masterfully combined the two rag rug techniques to create the most dazzling of rag rug butterflies. Fab work Brenda!
It’s not often that I see rag rug creations that have blended together both the loopy and shaggy rag rug techniques, which is one of the reasons why I was so excited when I got through Sandra’s photo of her first ever rug. I really love the neutral tones Sandra has used and the way in which the shaggy rag rugging frames the loopy stripes.
To make this gorgeous shaggy rag rug cushion, Monica used almost 3/4 of one side of a king sized duvet cover for the cream outer and re-used the back and cushion pad of an old cushion to make up it up. If that isn’t recycled, I don’t know what is. Amazing job Monica!
Gillian made this lovely set of rag rug bunting using the shaggy rag rugging technique. She actually took the time to back hers unlike me 🙂
Tricia used a simple striped pattern and mixed rich blues with patterned fabrics to make a rug that you can’t help but stare at (the photo doesn’t do justice to the richness of the colours). I don’t know about you, but it makes me think of the deep blue Atlantic Ocean when I look at it. Can’t wait to see Tricia’s next project (she has already started a flowery cushion). Watch this space!
Inspired by the basket trim from my book “Rag Rugs, Pillows & More”, Sarah made this incredibly cute rag rug flower trim for her friend’s bike basket. I think you’ll all agree with me that it’s super adorable and I can’t wait to see a photo of it on the bike itself.
And here it is on Sarah’s friend’s bike basket! 🙂
I absolutely adore the vibrant colours Rose used in this beautiful hallway rag rug.
Joyce started with a row in the centre of this lovely rag rug (rather than at one end) as she wanted to make the pattern symmetrical. It’s now sitting in pride of place in Joyce’s summerhouse 🙂
Gillian attended one of my beginners rag rug workshops a month ago and has been on fire ever since. She made her first rug for herself and then a second one for her son to put in his new flat. What a lovely housewarming present!
I particularly love how Monica has taken a simple striped pattern but made it more interesting by changing direction. This is one of my favourite rag rug designs of the year 🙂
I absolutely love trivets as a way to practise both the loopy and shaggy rag rug techniques and I think you’ll agree that Sarah has hit the nail on the head with this delightful little number.
Lynne made this rug specially for her daughter to take to university, which is a pretty neat idea given how drab uni accommodation can be. I bet Jodie will be so pleased that her new rug is winging its way up to Birmingham University (sure beats the Ikea experience).
Rachel’s diamond-design cushion reminds me a lot of the gorgeous boucherouite rag rugs that exist all over Morocco. The jewel-like colours immediately transport me to warmer climes and I love how the more you look at the cushion, the more you notice (it’s not entirely symmetrical which isn’t necessarily obvious at first glance).
Carolyn worked on this gorgeous rag rug piece for over a year and I’m sure she’ll agree that it was well worth the wait. Whether used as a wall hanging or as a rug, this piece will bring warmth and creativity to any space.
Cherry is one of the lovely ladies who came along to my 5 week Introductory Rag Rug Course at The Settlement this term. Since the course finished, she’s been firmly bitten by the rag rug bug and has rag rugged nearly 10 bags! That’s even more bags than me!!!
One of my lovely former students, Rosey, has been spreading the rag rug cheer by teaching friends in Santorini how to rag rug. This is a photo of her friend Olga rag rugging by the sea (hence the parasols in the background) and I just adore the playful pops of coral in her rug.
Rita, Tricia & Julia were all working on rag rugs at the same time. It’s interesting to see the different stages they’re at.
Emily is the first person I’ve ever seen do a rag rug piece with diagonal stripes. It’s a little trickier to rag rug against the weave of the hessian but it’s such an effective design!
Joyce was the first person to ever grace the Student Spotlight section. Her neutral coloured wreath would look great hanging in the home any time of the year!
If you’d like to see more student’s beautiful rag rug creations (trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg), why not join our Rag Rug Community on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/groups/RagRugCommunity/
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