Rag Rugs

Husband and I had no real shopping agenda going to Santa Fe except, perhaps, to find some nice, everyday place mats. We thought that Santa Fe would be a good place for interesting textiles.

Husband went to the Santa Fe farmers market and found these place mats you can see in the header photo.  We have plain white plates, and the place mats went with them nicely. They came from Guatemala, and are made from rags. They are thick and soft,  and are kitty approved for napping comfort if we leave them on the table between meals. They also reminded me of my childhood.

My best friend’s mother had rag rugs that she had made from worn out clothing.  She sent bags of rags to a woman in Magnolia (Cedric Adams home town), who somehow wove them into throw rugs for the entryways into their farmhouse. I thought they were so pretty and colorful. What a wonderful way to recycle! Nothing went to waste in that household.

Do you know of anyone who makes rag rugs these days? How do  you recycle? Does anyone remember Cedric Adams? Where do your pets like to nap?

30 thoughts on “Rag Rugs”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Cedric Adams, the name, rings a distant bell, and I connect it with WCCO, but may be the 60’s? I can’t find any Magnolia except a street that you refer to. What do you mean by Magnolia as his birthplace?

    Rag rugs are great. I grew up collecting rags for those, then donated them to churches who made and sold the rugs. They were also called braided rugs. The older ladies who made them cut them into strips, braided the strips, then sewed the braids together. All the “Braided Rugs” sold by LLBean Home derive from that old pioneer tradition in which nothing was wasted. Most of the rags were cast off from quilting projects. A fabric that did not make the cut for a quilt became a rag rug. The challenge of a rag rug is keeping your stitches precisely even so that the rug lays flat and without buckles.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember having rag rugs around the house when I was a kid. They always seemed too rough. Don’t know if mom or Grandma made them or she got them from someone else.

    We recycle all the usual stuff at home; cans, aluminum, plastics. But we have to haul it into the recycling center ourselves and that place isn’t set up very well. There’s always a line and unless you time it right it’s frustratingly annoying.

    Cedric who?

    One dog is currently standing next to me waiting to see if I’ll drop any food. Another is napping outside in the sun. But sometimes in the shade. Or sometimes in the tractor with me.
    And then Humphrey; he naps on his back or on his side with his feet against the wall…or maybe the wood floor hallway, or maybe his pillow, or maybe the rug in our room on my side or maybe Kelly’s side. He likes to nap. 💤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Someone was watching a dog eating a bowl of freshly laid out dog food with the urgency of desperation only a food eating dog could present and asked the dog… what are you in such a hurry to finish your food for?trying to hurry up and get to your nap?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Our town just started single stream recycling. They don’t take glass, though, since it is too expensive to ship out due to the weight.


  4. Yup, Earth Day started when I was in middle or high school, I think. My family recycled long before it was cool. My parents were scout troop leaders, so we always recycled newspapers by the bundle. Ever since we were married, we had separate containers for recycling all materials. Thankfully, the Twin Cities was great for recycling, and finally — co-mingled recycling containers so you didn’t have to separate everything! Amazing!

    We try to recycle electronics, copper, fluorescent bulbs, etc. But sometimes it’s a real bother or expensive to recycle items, but we do our best.

    I remember rag rugs. I have some lovely flannel sheets that need to be recycled, and I’ve looked at making “toothbrush” rugs using sheets, but that’s just one more craft I never make time for.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. In the 1970s I handled winter by dressing in puffy down garments. I once accidentally threw my winter jacket on the floor. Our two dogs raced each other to get to it, with the springer barely beating out the Labrador. I realized both dogs loved the luxury of napping down-filled garments.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Cedric Adams was a famous broadcaster on WCCO from the early 1930’s until the early 1960’s. He also wrote a daily column for a paper in the twin cities.and had a weekly commentary on CBS radio.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is remarkable to look back at the cultural dominance of WCCO in early times. In addition to Cedrick Adams the station had Boone & Erickson, Maynard Speece and Joyce Lamont. If you followed the Minnesota Twins or the Vikings, you listened to the games on WCCO. If you were hoping a winter snowstorm had shut down your school, you listened in the morning to WCCO. If threatening weather was approaching, you turned on WCCO. I just read that airline pilots flying over Minnesota could tell when Cedric Adams finished his 10 PM broadcast, for houselights all over the Upper Midwest would go dark when Cedric signed off. WCCO used to rule.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I’m lucky that Minneapolis has had no-sort recycling for a few years now and my neighborhood was one of the first to have it rolled out when they started it. It sure makes recycling easier to not have to have one container for glass, one for cans, one for paper, etc.

    We also have a bin for composting that the city picks up every week…we just use that for food scraps since everything has to be in compostable bags ($$$) – yard waste goes in a bin in the yard and basically never gets emptied. The main drawback to the compost that the city picks up is, the bin can get awfully smelly in the warmer months, so we put the bags in the freezer until the night before garbage day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No-sort recycling is a double-edged sword. People recycle more materials if they don’t have to sort them, but more materials get contaminated and end up in landfills. Recycling companies consider no-sort to be a net gain, but so much more would get recycled successfully if people were just willing to separate their cast-off stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It needs to be spelled out that if the recyclable container is full of peanut butter and bacon grease it won’t be recycled and neither will anything else it touches. People are basically idiots. Problems like this make sense when you realize 40% still support trump. If that makes sense so does 30% of food getting trashed and small voter turnouts and bad recycling brain

        Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah, it’s just part of the routine of hauling out garbage, recycling, and compost… and it’s only during warm weather so a good chunk of the year, the compost is hauled out when the bag is full (every day or two).

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I always hated braid rugs. Never thought about it just unguestioningly hated them completely. I take my popcorn bowl of compostable foods to the spot every 3 or 4days.
    Dogs sleep on the couch by day and on my bed by night
    Cats sleep on the bed by day with one on my wife one in the lower level at night mousing (I guess that’s not sleeping)
    I was little when Cedric was a cco velvet voice in the night in his lakeshore home studio talking in hushed tones as he talked adult talk to my mom and dad in the car on the way homefrom the days activities. I don’t remember the radio being on as a background noise in my house as a kid.
    My dining room table has never been used for a family meal. Christmas and Easter get the dining room table with a family seated like,it was normal . We laugh because we’d have 2 or 3 family members who look at themselves in the mirror or window reflection unaware that the rest of us see them looking off mid sentence and preening. It’s really funny. They get serious flack. Everyone grabs a plate and grazes all day and eats alone. Leave it to beaver the,Indy me what a big mistake I made letting that become the standard deal but I will have to wait until my next family to do it differently. This one will never go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have a couple of foam pads covered in a furry material that I put in the windows in warm weather. That’s the favorite spot for the cats. They love being in the windows.

    I think these days most rag rugs and most patchwork quilts are made from new materials rather than recycled/reused ones. The look that used to be achieved with cast-off stuff is easier to make attractive if you start with new material. Our great-grandparents would likely be a little confused by that.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I love rag rugs. I have several. The best thing about them is that they can go in the washing machine. That being said none of my animals like to sleep on rag rugs. They all like cushions or fleece blankets.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I too love rag rugs, and consider it a prize if I find them in decent condition at a thrift shop. They can be really pricey new, esp. at art fairs, but boy are they pretty.

    We recycle just about everything, and I’m trying to take more plastic veggie bags in my grocery carry-in bags so I don’t have to use new ones. I take paper napkins that aren’t really soiled home from restaurants to use for kitchen spills. I save paper to-go cups to re-use, if I don’t have my own to-go cup with me. I’m starting to get a little compulsive about it all…

    Wasn’t around for Cedric Adams, but he sounds like I would have enjoyed him.

    No cats at present, but if I had one it would sleep where I don’t want it to.

    Liked by 1 person

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