Last year with the start of our family scripture study being distracted by toys, I decided to make a rug. A place where no toys are allowed, where we can focus on reading together. About that time our sheets wore out and I had some old painting sheets that my family gave us to hang on the windows until we got blinds. On a rainy day in March last year I began ripping the sheets into strips. This once-in-awhile project lasted until July.
This was a project that began with little planning and I was surprised at every turn. It took me a while to figure out the best way to braid. I started out on the floor with the braid free; it was infuriating. Later I tried to wrapping it around the banister which worked really well, using a clip to hold the braid in place. I pretty much ignored our stairway decoration until fall, and then only worked on it infrequently.
I decided January would be the month I finish the rug. I spent lots evenings braiding while listening to audiobooks, podcasts, or general conference talks. I was thrilled with the system, until it was time to take it off the banister. The slats are narrow enough that it was incredibly challenging to get the entire braid off the railing. It became a two person job to get it off and then untangle it.
Once it was untangled we realized the only way to keep it that way was to wind it into another, really big, really heavy ball. I indulged in a medicine ball workout with it before moving on to the next step.
I wasn’t sure how I wanted the rug to look exactly so Andrew sat with me on the floor, throwing the ball back and forth while we tried out some different sizes.
The sewing commenced last week. I mostly sewed while the kids ate snacks, with a few marathon sessions while Emily was at Joy School and in the evenings. It took me awhile to figure out how to sew it without the weight of the rug pulling on it. The outside is beautiful and the inside is less than I hoped for.
Another unanticipated detail was the amount of thread I’d go through. 3 spools, 1300 yards. It got down to the last few windings of the third spool – I was afraid I would have to pick up a 4th spool just to finish.
In the morning when Emily came downstairs she was thrilled that I made two chairs in the rug. A silver lining after all. Mostly I feel a huge sense of accomplishment with finishing a project that required lots of discipline to do things I didn’t particularly like.
I love seeing the growth of the kids from the start of the project until now. I’m excited for all the memories we will make on this rug. It starts out with the sheets Andrew bought while I was pregnant with Emily because I was certain I would throw up on our one set and then we’d have nothing else to use, and the sheets that followed me through childhood with a piece of each place we lived on it.