My Mum’s Latest Beautiful Rag Rug

You may have seen a sneak peek of this beautiful rag rug over on the Ragged Life Instagram or Facebook page, but finally you get to see it in all its gloriously quirky glory. Below is the story of how this Sicilian Rag Rug came about (as told by my mum, Victoria) and plenty of photos for you to gawp at 😉 If you like the rug, please do leave a comment below – it will make my mum’s day 🙂

The Story Behind the Rag Rug:

Sicily is an amazing island for natural beauty, archaeology, creativity and vibrancy – it’s one of my favourite places in Italy for all these reasons. My latest rug is a bit wacky and different because it is based on an aerial view of a town called Centuripe in the centre of the island. Even though I’ve visited Sicily lots of times, I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t chanced to be browsing through a book of aerial views of Sicily.  It’s the only one shaped like a person!

I find inspiration in a number of different places but one of my go to places is Liccamucuila Boutique in Marzamemi. I get inspired by the papier maché figures,  puppets, tambourines and vases in the streets of Ortygia or Marzamemi.

Licamucula Boutique & Book Bar

Liccamuciula Boutique & Book Bar in Marzamemi is one of my favourite shops – it’s full of curios from around the world.

Details on the rag rug itself:

Because I like colour so much (and asymmetry which you may have noticed), this is my homage to the dizzying sun-soaked island which has absorbed so many cultures and influences over the years.

The rug is made entirely using fabric kindly donated by friends, as well as recycled clothing from charity shops. You’d be amazed at how many garments of differing sizes went into it (well maybe not if you’ve made a rag rug yourself)! I lost count part of the way through, but it definitely includes three swimming costumes, two scarves, sari silk, numerous tops, a pair of shorts, shirts and a lovely quality skirt.

Elspeth and I have some old hessian which we need to use up before we’re allowed to use the nice Ragged Life hessian so this rug was worked into an old, large piece of hessian that I had hemmed by hand. The holes were bigger than the usual, so the fabric was moving around in the holes quite a lot until the end when I’d packed in so much that nothing moved about anymore and the holes had closed up.  I didn’t want pure white as a background, so it’s a mix of white and patterned fabrics. The light pink lines across the white represent roads around the town and gave the rug a bit more variety.

Well that’s my little intro, I really hope you like the rug which Elspeth has photographed below…

Mum’s Beautiful Rag Rug:

Beautiful rag rug shaped like a person in the shaggy rag rugging technique with orange and pink

My mum’s design was inspired by an aerial photo of a town in Sicily that looks like a person when viewed from above.

Close up photo of pink shaggy rag rugging on the corner of a handmade rag rug

As with all rag rugs, this rug is made up of thousands of short pieces of plain and patterned fabrics. Like me, mum is a big fan of mixing different fabrics together for a more varied look.

Beautiful Rag Rug Colours Blended together

I absolutely adore the richness of the oranges and pinks which my mum has expertly blended together. Don’t be afraid to be bold!

Close up of bright rag rug from the side with trees in the background and a blue floor

The sun was shining when I photographed mum’s rug.

I have this thing with floors photos of a beautiful rag rug on a blue floor

If anyone has ever searched for #ihavethisthingwithfloors on Instagram then I think this post would fit the bill 🙂

Absolutely Beautiful Things Book by Anna Spiro on top of a Rag Rug with a Palm and coffee

I feel like the author of “Absolutely Beautiful Things”, Anna Spiro, would appreciate this beautiful rag rug.

A bowl of yellow lemons in the centre of a finished rag rug

Sicily is known for its fabulous lemons so I thought I’d try and shoe horn them into my photoshoot at some point. I thought this handmade bowl worked beautifully with the colours.

A hand sinking into the soft rags of a handmade rag rug

The first thing you want to do when you see a shaggy rag rug is to sink your hands or feet into it – it’s so soft and springy!

A partially made rag rug with the hessian still showing

Victoria began with the outline of the “person” before building up the rag rug design one colour at a time.

A half made beautiful rag rug with pink orange done in the proggy style

Once my mum had finished the “person”, she worked her way out.

A work in progress photo of a proggy rag rug with white, orange and pink

Here’s a photo of the rag rug when it was nearly, but not quite finished. Mum added in a lot more patterned fabrics into the white later on.

A Ragged Life rag rug on a blue floor with a wooden Ercol chair

Photographing the rug involved balancing precariously on my Ercol chair. Fortunately I got some nice shots so it was all worth it 🙂

An intricate rag rug design made using old t-shirts and fabric offcuts

Here you can see a bit better that the white in the Sicilian rag rug is entirely patterned fabric.

Styling a rag rug with lemons, a plant, a bowl and a mug

I actually had a lot of fun rummaging around for props to shoot with the rug. I loved how the palm, lemons and mug brought out the bright colours in the rag rug.

A unique rag rug in front of a white vintage sofa on a wooden floor

Looking pretty bright in front of this vintage sofa!

A cup of coffee on top of a colourful shaggy rag rug

My props were practical too – I sat on the Ercol chair and drank the coffee prop once I’d finished. All in a good day’s work!

Thanks for reading everyone! If you liked this blog post then you’ll probably like my Pacific Island Rug Post too – you can read it here  if you haven’t done so already 🙂

Elspeth x

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2 years ago

Fabulous story! I feel inspired to go back to Sicily and to start a new rag rug project!
Love the photos and props too. Well done Victoria and thank you for sharing.
Next time Elspeth you can do the photos for your book!


[…] rug marathon recently and has been knocking out one gorgeous handmade rag rug after another – this rug and this rug, for example. Her latest creation, however, began in a slightly unconventional way. […]


[…] mum, Victoria. She still makes beautiful rag rugs (you can see another one of her other creations here) and is a colour-lover like myself. Below is her latest gorgeous creation and, as usual, she has […]


[…] Or you can do slightly more complex designs like this one which you can see more photos of here. […]

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