How to Make a Quilt Rug

We love to decorate with quilts on ladders, chairs, and walls, but have you ever though about making a quilt for your floor? Hubster suggested I do just that, and I'm obsessed with the result!

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How to Make a Quilt Rug with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

A couple months ago, two things happened about the same time: Hubster dreamed up this crazy notion that I could make a quilt for the floor and my Instagram Friend, Stefanie Satterwhite from Satterwhite Quilts, needed pattern testers for her Suncake pattern. The pattern is amazingly striking, exactly what our library needed to jazz it up and modernize it a bit, so I figured it was worth a shot!

Fabric Choices

We have this amazing place outside of Atlanta called Fabric World full of off cuts, ends of bolts, and overstocks where everything is $3/ yard. The price is right for an experiment like this for sure, but Fabric World is a "you get what you get and you don't pitch a fit" kind of place, so my quilt is a mishmash of different home dec fabrics. 

What I learned from fooling with these random home dec fabrics

If you go the fabric world/ sale rack route when making a quilt rug, I have a few recommendations:
1) cut your squares for half square triangles even bigger than usual to allow for a slightly generous seam because these fray and stretch more easily
2) your points will not be perfect. Good thing, though, is that this baby is going on the floor, not a show, so it's probably fine
3) your seams will be bulky, and it will make your quilting a bit imperfect

All of these things are true of my quilt, and they don't particularly bother me since this was an experiment to begin with, but if they bother you, I have a couple other ideas. 

Other Fabric Choices

If you want more manageable seams (less bulk, fraying, etc) and sharper points, two other fabric options come to mind:
1) Cotton Duck: This lightweight canvas will be more durable than quilting cotton, but still thin enough to behave more "normally" during construction and quilting
2) Linens and Quilting Denim: These fabrics are designed for quilting and will work up well, but they may not be as durable over time, especially if you have kids and/or pets

With either option, I'd encourage you to use some sort of heavy home dec canvas for the backing of your quilt. You want this quilt to be seriously heavy so it lays flat and doesn't "drift" on the floor. 

Suncake Quilt Pattern by Stefanie Satterwhite of Satterwhite Quilts (Review by HollyAnne Knight of String & Story)

Pattern Choice

Use a pattern that has big, chunky pieces. You want the average piece size to be at least 6 inches, I think, to give it a bold rug look as well as to space out those bulkier seams.

How to Make a Quilt Rug with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

I LOVED working with Stefanie's Suncake Quilt. The construction is simple, but the effect is amazing. This giant star just shines in my funky fabrics and on this large scale. It feels homey, yet masculine (an important bonus since the library is also John's office) Plus, the pattern includes 5 different sizes, so this pattern could do "double duty" in different color ways in my home-- as throws, bed quilts, and rugs. I love that the quilt is square, but if you wanted a rectangle, a few borders would reshape it easily. 

Other patterns that come to mind that would be good rug candidates are my Dogwood Blossoms quilt and Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting's Dart Quilt.

Quilting

This is a rare occasion, that I don't recommend trying to quilt on your domestic. If you've used home dec fabric, this puppy is thick and heavy. It's not worth the strain on your machine or you to shove it through the domestic for quilting. 

How to Make a Quilt Rug with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

I quilted mine on my long arm, and I took things very slowly, avoiding seam intersections, even though it made the quilting less that perfect. Hobbs generously sent me a king size Tuscany Collection 100% Premium Polyester batt to use (I'm usually an all natural fibers gal, but I wanted loft for this puppy, and I'll we walking on it, not sleeping under it), and it was wonderful! I quilted with Aurifil 40 wt cotton on the top and 50 wt in my bobbin. My quilting is loose, like an all over design, but I quilted each shape separately to avoid the seam intersections as much as I could and to add just a little extra texture. I "bound" the quilt by trimming it so the backing was 1 1/2 inches wider than the front and wrapping it around to the top of the quilt and stitching down. 

How to Make a Quilt Rug with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

Final Thoughts

Not gonna lie, I LOVE how this quilt rug turned out, and I can already think of two more rooms in our home I want to make them for. Is it perfectly squishy like a carpet rug? Not with my fabrics. But its welcoming and durable, and really, really gorgeous! And, frankly, even if you're not planning to make a rug, you should get and make Stefanie's Suncake Quilt immediately because WOW. I love a versatile, bold quilt pattern!

How to Make a Quilt Rug with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story

PS Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it later!