Saturday, August 9, 2008

My Grandmother with Her Hand-Braided Rugs

I just scanned some 1940's vintage photos of my paternal grandparents and their home. This photo shows my grandmother with some freshly laundered braided rag rugs hanging on her clothesline.

This was probably taken during World War II; my grandparents had five children--five sons--and four of them served in and survived that war (my fourth uncle, too young for service World War II, served in the Korean War). I cannot even begin to imagine the fortitude they drew upon to endure that time in their lives. Both of my paternal grandparents lived into their eighties and were active and creative until the very end.

I remember my grandmother (Mollie) teaching me how to embroider on her front porch on lazy summer afternoons like we are having now. She was a quilter and a rag rug maker and baked a mean loaf of bread. I think she would enjoy knowing that I spin quilting fabrics into rag yarn (Ragamuffin) as part of my continuing fascination with the fiber arts.
Grandma Waving from the Garage
Grandma & Grandpap on the Front Porch
1940's Collage of My Paternal Grandparents


  1. These are amazing photographs!

  2. love these photos--i have thousands of old family photos to go cool to make all the connections, don't you think?

  3. Fantastic photos! What a wonderful connection to your ancestry.

  4. What a terrific series of photos!I love the line full of rugs!

  5. I learned how to make crochet Rag Rugs from my Grandmother. She would cut old clothing and left over material into strips and sew them together end to end. Her father had fashioned a crochet hook from a pitch fork handle and gave it to her when she was a small child. We used that hook with the first rug we made and she gave it to me and I treasure it! I have made several rugs since that first rug. The only pattern I learned to make was an oval. Do you know how to make any other shapes?
    I enjoyed the pictures you included in this post. Do you still make the braided rugs?
    Debi Jones

  6. Thanks, all! Debi--I haven't attempted a braided rag rug yet. I have made a "toothbrush rug" (named after the original tool made from a toothbrush handle) and a twined rug. I have also crocheted a few, as well.

    I'm gearing up to weave one on my cherrywood floor loom with my Ragamuffin yarn. That's so cool that you have the handmade crochet hook from your grandparents!