My Rag Rug

What is a rag rug you may ask?

A rag rug is simply that – a rug made out of scraps of old bed sheets or various fabrics that we craftily knot together by hand. None of this fancy sewing it all together on a machine type nonsense.

A rag rug had been something on my ‘learn to make’ list for a while now. My opportunity to learn came about when I attended this year’s Quilt & Craft Fair and I spent a couple of hours in a workshop run by the just lovely, Naomi Huntsman of The Sewloist. Naomi, who is based in Brisbane has a gorgeous vintage sense of style and has her own custom clothing label and also runs rag rug workshops on a fairly regular basis. The group of us all sat quite inspired by all her lovely rag rug examples – our only tools required for the class was a hefty sized safety pin and scissors. Simples!

Rag rug - Naomi

Rag rug – The Sewloist

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Naomi taught us a traditional ‘toothbrush’ technique and to me, its very much like a cross between crochet and a blanket stitch. It took a little bit of concentration to get it going but once you got the hang of it, your fingers remembered and it all came down to muscle memory. Naomi had us tearing pieces of old bed sheets and connecting them to make a good start of a rug. I chose to continue on with mine at home with some of my old tired bed sheets.

So my rag rug is far from being perfect but pretty pleased with my colour choices in the end. Admittedly this has taken me some hours (in front of the TV) but I have found the whole process VERY therapeutic. Like I said, muscle memory! I think my daughter is all set to claim this one for her room so now I’ll be onto the next one for my little boy (but I may slip in one for my sewing room before that). Pets rather like them too…

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I will be running Rag Rug workshops for kids in January school holidays. Please stay tuned for more information!

Why Am I doing this?

“This” being my hobby business… I think you’ve all gathered by now, I LOVE craft – particularly that of the sewing variety. I also enjoy sharing it with others!

For some years, I have enjoyed crafternoons with friends – don’t you love that term? I first heard it coined on Triple J and it seems to have really become part of regular vernacular in the crafting world. I still enjoy crafternoons with friends, they just don’t happen as regularly as we’d like because you know, “adulting” gets in the way! At these crafternoons we’d work on various projects and just relax together, eat and enjoy the chat and the sense of achievement it brought about.

At one of our Crafternoons – making Owl softies together: Chenoa @cherryandsalt, Duff & moi

And I thought, “wouldn’t it be lovely if children could do this too!” I mean, they like to talk just as much as the next person, am I right?!! I enjoyed the slow art of embroidery so much that I thought, “yes, this is something I could teach children” and they could experience their very own little crafternoons! Then in years to come, they might get the same level of enjoyment with their friends as I do now. Perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself but you get my point!

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Amelie, aged 7 made such a great effort during the workshop and finished up her project at home complete with embellishments!

Coming from a teaching background, I also appreciate being able to assist children in learning new skills and seeing them put those in place by working on a project. I love seeing those light bulb moments when they ‘get the hang of it’ and start working on their own with such a wonderful sense of independence. I see the looks in their faces – that of serious concentration as well as joy and pride when they’ve finished their project.

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Nyah, Imogen & Eden all busily stitching away in the July Dapper Dachshund workshop

I love that it teaches persistence and challenging oneself (the folks at the school I work at would be proud of me using these values) because threading a needle, tying a knot and particular stitches can be tricky. I also like the idea of children just slowing down on occasion and not being reliant on television or devices to entertain them. I guess that’s old fashioned but as some of you may have read, this sort of craft has been making a comeback so in a way, we’re very cool and on trend! Gradually I will add to my crafting workshop repertoire so please stay with me while I continue to grow.

A friend’s lovely daughter asked, “is Elise going to actually make any money if she supplies all the stuff and then spends two hours teaching us and giving us snacks? I feel like it’s more of a service than a business thing…” My first thought to this was, wow what a very adult thing for a 10 year old to say – comparing a service vs business and do you know what I did? I looked up the comparison on Google! I guess I could say that I am providing a service but that is my business – would that be right? So for me, Hoop Hoop Hooray isn’t about making a fortune – although a small one would certainly be nice! Hoop Hoop Hooray is about encouraging children to have a go and enjoy these little moments and to share my passion. xx

The beginning of Hoop Hoop Hooray

Hello! Thanks for stopping by…

I’m Elise and I live in Perth, Western Australia.

I’d be lying if I said this little face is where the idea of Hoop Hoop Hooray began but in some ways… it is. This was my 6 year old daughter having her first go at stitching like Mummy.

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I fell in love with embroidery over a year ago when I attended a class run by Danielle of Ruby Sew Oh and alas, realised too late that I should have been a hand model. Ha Ha!

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But seriously, I’ve been ‘hooping up’ happily ever after at any opportunity possible. Of an evening, my husband sits and stares at the TV like a zombie and looks across at me and asks why I just can’t sit and relax?! What he doesn’t seem to understand is that I do find this relaxing and therapeutic hence my favourite hashtag #craftastherapy. I find that embroidery is such a fantastic way to unwind. And the best thing is that if I make a mistake, like sewing, I can unpick. YEY!

I never got to learn embroidery when I was young… and I know that in our technologically rich world its becoming even less common for children to learn this kind of craft and others. Its my goal to encourage Perth children to HAVE A GO by offering affordable, safe and fun workshop environments during school holidays, weekends and in the form of customised classes for small groups.

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