How a GoogleMap of my Farm Town became a Rug

6 Years in the Making

About 6 years ago, before I was even married, I saw this rug and fell in love. I wanted to find a way that I could make a rug for my kids and have them play with their toy cows and animals as they grew up. I had no idea how to make a rug and so it sat in the depths of my “I’m Really Gonna Do This” secret Pinterest board.

A few years later, I learned about Punch Needling from The Crafter’s Box, a box subscription I whole-heartily am addicted to. I found out how easy it is to actually make a rug and I immediately thought of creating this physical homage of my farm town. Now I had a way to do it! That box was mailed to me in February 2018.

I had no idea how I was going to actually make a rug that big. I would need a huge piece of monk’s fabric. I finally found some in May 2018. The next issue was building a frame big enough to stretch it tight. It wasn’t until January 2019 that I finally bought some 2×4’s at Lowes, purchased some gripper strips, and the project was officially a start!

The Aerial Farm Rug Began!

I took a screenshot of my hometown on Google Maps and used it as inspiration for my rug. I decided to go more abstract than my initial permanent market drawing from above when I realized I don’t have a lot of colors to choose from, limited by the thickness of yarn and the selection of options I had in Iowa City.

As the move date approached, I would bring down this massive frame to the basement while Hazel napped and watch movies while I needle punched. It was a slow, but fun process. It also was a big learning curve since a few of my yarns were too thick or too thin which meant more attention and a slower pace.

I was hoping I could finish it in time before we moved so we wouldn’t have to move a huge frame but that didn’t happen. So it followed us to St. Louis! It sat for a few months while we got settled in and then I finally got to work.

I had decided to split the frame into two rugs since it seemed too large to store as one and wasn’t intended to be a rug that sat on your floor long-term but more of a play mat you brought out with the animal toys. At the end of August, I finally finished the first rug and by mid-September I finished the second rug and could finally take if off the frame!

I covered the back with fabric, sewed it together, and wrapped yarn to cover the edge. For the second rug, I decided to add some Elmer’s glue to the back, since I had used some too thin yarn that was not staying in place in certain areas. I gave the more traditional colored one to my parent’s so all of Hazel’s cousins can play with a farm rug and kept the more abstract bright colors for our own home.

I can’t believe this project has been 6+ years in the making and it’s actually done! Hazel doesn’t appreciate it now, but maybe she’ll thank me later for all my hours of hard work, right?? 😉

Which rug do you like best? I didn’t do a very good job of taking process photos, but I would love to answer any questions you have to get started with punch needling. I love how you can make so many things in this medium and it’s simple enough that a 6-year-old can do it!

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