Quilted Floor Cloth/Rug Tutorial

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Sew Mama Sew Blog is having a tutorial contest and although I wasn't going to enter, it seemed silly not to enter when I made a new project this weekend.

This tutorial is for making a quilted floor cloth or rug. What is different about making a floor cloth than a quilt? Well there are lots of similarities, obviously. But a floor cloth is smaller, stiffer (from 2 layers of batting) and to make sure people don't think it is a small quilt laying on the floor I bound it differently.

Materials needed: Floor cloth front, Floor cloth back cut 1 1/2" - 2" larger all around than the floor cloth front, 2 layers of of polyester batting (I used soft and brite) cut the same size as the back of the floor cloth, scraps of fabric cut into various small sizes of squares and rectangles from 2 1/2" to under 5", neutral thread, new sewing machine needle.

My floor cloth is 29" x 19" and of course you can make it any size but I advise starting small. The fabric should be thicker or a home decorating type weight. I used some cotton twill in a red stripe for the backing and a thick lineny kitchen print for the front. The cloth patterns can be as busy or simple as you want.

I picked out scraps of fabric from past projects to add color and embellish my floor cloth. I wanted them all in greens, reds, and yellows to go with my kitchen. I cut the scraps into random sizes all smaller than 5" square. Then I starched and pressed the scraps as well as the front and back of the floor cloth.

Next I laid out the top fabric and placed my bits of scraps around the cloth overlapping edges and fitting them into a random pattern, arranged around the print of the fabric.

Using just a regular glue stick I dotted small amounts of glue on the fabric bits to secure them in place. The glue does a pretty good job for a short term smaller project like this.

I took the rug top to my machine I set an average zig zag stitch. I stitched around the perimeter of each scrap or group of scraps to secure them to the rug top. Then I clipped all my threads.

Now that the squares of fabric are all attached to the floor cloth front I went back to my cutting board and drew a grid starting at the center of the cloth. I used a water soluble pencil to make the markings. Working outward I made lines 2" apart both vertically and horizontally. This grid made my quilting lines. And then I set it aside while I attached my 2 layers of batting to the back piece of the floor cloth.

I used Sullivan's spray to attach the 2 layers of batting to the quilt back and then flipped the back around to spray attach the cloth front to the batting and back. Make sure your cloth front is centered right in the middle of your batting/fabric sandwich.

A couple months ago I did a tutorial on prepping a baby quilt for quilting. You can link back to that tutorial through my side bar or just click here. I advise you to review my hints in that tutorial for using spray glue to prep a quilt or floor cloth for quilting.
I pinned just the edges of all the 4 layers together after the floor cloth was sprayed. You will note again that the top is smaller by 1 1/2+" than the batting and the back of the floor cloth.

My pencil made just faint lines on the top to follow but you can see above the quilting lines I made. I used a walking foot to quilt the layers together and a 2.5 stitch length.

I stopped stitching (and just slightly back stitched) right at the very edge of the floor cloth top. Do not quilt past this point into the exposed batting area.
I completed the quilting both vertically and horizontally to make the 2" grid through out the whole rug.

When I finished quilting the rug I pulled the outer edge of batting away from the quilt back all around the sides and trimmed the batting even to the rug top sides, making sure not to cut into the rug back.

I folded over the exposed quilt back 1/2" and then folded it over again to hide the raw edges and then I pressed and pinned the folded backing to the rug top for a self binding working first on the long sides of the rug. Then I top stitched the sides of the rug in place making a self binding. After the 2 longer sides were finished I turned over the edges on the shorter sides in much the same way, pressing and pinning and then stitching to make finished edges. Binding the floor cloth this way sets it apart from a conventional quilt in that there is no separate binding and this adds weight to the edges to keep the cloth flat on the floor.

I examined my rug closely to make sure all threads were clipped. Now the rug is finished and ready to use. You could purchase a mesh non-skid rug pad to place under the floor cloth.

Below is another floor cloth I made with a western or cowboy theme. This one is slightly different than the floor cloth explained above.

I used a plain thicker cotton/linen for the top and used more scraps to embellish the rug. Also I didn't zig zag the raw edges of the scraps attached to this rug top. I left them rough edged and only the narrow horizontal quilting keeps them in place. This floor cloth was washed and then all threads clipped. I made this for my sister's ranch to put by her back door to hold shoes and boots (or she can use wherever she wants). In leaving the edges rough its more of a rustic look that I thought would go with the western theme of the floor cloth.

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