Recycled t-shirt mug rug

Recycled T-shirt Hooked Mug Rug

One class that I’m preparing for the Family Nature Summit this July incorporates two things I have wanted to do for a while – hook a rug with t-shirts and design a class that celebrates the Family Nature Summit scarves.

The Family Summit Scarf Tradition

One of the traditions of the Family Nature Summit is that every participant wears a scarf. You receive different colors of scarf depending on how many years you have attended. Here’s the colors:

  • Yellow – your first year
  • Green – 2-5 years
  • Navy Blue – 6-10 years
  • Red – 11-15 years
  • Purple – 16-20 years
  • Maroon – 21-25 years
  • Robin’s Egg Blue – More than 25 years
  • White – Volunteers
  • Orange – Faculty

I think this is a lovely tradition. The fact that new attendees wear a distinct color allows you to go up to them and be extra welcoming, answer their questions and see how they learned about the event.

What will the class be like?

My “rug” is 6 inches by 6 inches, so my mom suggested calling it a “mug rug” because it’s small. It took me about an hour to cut up the t-shirts, three hours to hook and one hour to sew under the edges, and I’m an experienced rug hooking artist. I would love for the participants to make a larger project, but I’m aiming for a project they can complete in a morning or afternoon. I’m going to pre-cut the t-shirts for the participants so they can spend the whole class hooking & finishing. I’m thinking about developing a little label that they can sew on the back that says “I made this at Family Nature Summit 2013” or something fun like that.

For those who take the class, they do not need to have any hooking experience.

Recycled t-shirt mug rug
Recycled t-shirt mug rug

It is fun to hook with t-shirt fabrics – and many other types too!

Before this project, I have never hooked with t-shirt fabric. A few weeks ago, at my rug hooking guild meeting, our guest speaker was Margaret Wenger, an inspiring artist from Lancaster who spoke about hooking with alternative materials. In the rug hooking world, alternative means anything that is not wool – it doesn’t necessarily mean recycled. Hearing her talk gave me the courage to do something I have wanted to do for a while – which is to try other materials.

Wool is not easy to get at thrift stores in northern Virginia, as compared to where I grew up in Canada. Most of the artists in our guild buy their wool never-used. But you know that’s just not the way it works, here in Trashmagination. So I would love to use fabrics like t-shirts, fleece and everything in between.

Margaret doesn’t appear to have a website, but she is worth Googling if you want to see some very inspired rugs. Her optimism about hooking just about anything was wonderful. She did show a few samples of fiber that is a pain to hook, such as fabrics that fray or those with knobby bits or sequins that you have to pull up through the holes. But even those are possible if you are determined! She had a rug designed by her granddaughter of a very shiny fish – and she had hooked it with the brightest shiniest bathing suits fabrics you ever saw.

Come take this class and many more!

The Family Nature Summits program is so much fun with a variety of offerings. I hope you’ll consider it for your vacations!