Beauty in Madness

October 23rd

amy butler scraps

Jenn emailed me a while back and asked if I’d be interested in helping with a rag rug project she was starting to benefit families working with Heifer International.
Heifer is one of those non-profits I would drop just about everything for to help. Their mission is incredible; I worked with them when I was in the Peace Corps and saw first hand how sustainable, effective agricultural projects can work wonders to improve the health and well-being of the poor. Crafting for an organization I believe in? Sign me up.

green scraps

I spent months thinking about this rug and what I wanted it to say. Ultimately, I decided after going through my scraps to sew a Zakka-inspired kitchen rug instead of braiding a rag rug. A friend sent me a large package of Amy Butler fabric scraps a while back, some of which were already patchwork. I couldn’t resist the urge to make this project bright, colorful and green by using what I had.

pink scraps
amy butler patchwork kitchen rug
patchwork rug
patchwork rug, cropped
back of patchwork rug

I like that the rug is imperfect. There is a zig zag stitch here and there, it isn’t square or rectangular and the colors are wild. Aren’t families and homes the same? We build them slowly and rarely do they fit a Pottery Barn catalog image. Regardless, there is beauty in the madness of patchwork homes and I hope the family who receives this knows it was made with love.


Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art
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28 Responses

  1. That is a really great rug..Handmade things aren’t supposed to be perfect, that’s their charm..But I think it looks amazing..

  2. Beautiful rug Kelli! If it were mine, I don’t think I could step on it. 🙂

  3. Do they need more? I’ve never made a rug but would be happy to give it a try and contribute. By the way, where did you serve in the Peace Corps?

  4. It looks beautiful! Handmade wonkiness just means it was made with love!

  5. Wow, what an awesome idea! I think the rug is great and it’ll definitely make someone’s home a little more happy!

  6. How are you keeping the padding in place when it is washed? I can see from the picture.

  7. What a nice rug, and how super to make time for such a worthwhile cause. We all must do what we can, even if it just means baby steps!

  8. Kelli, I’m positive the family receiving your beautiful rug will know it came from your heart. How could they not?

  9. I totally agree with you about our homes.
    Love the fabrics and colours. I’m sure they will enjoy their very own handmade rug.

  10. Made with love *and* very bright and festive. What’s not to like about that?

  11. Yes, love is the word!

  12. Kelli,

    First, Belated Birthday Greetings!! I hope you do all those things in your next 28!!!

    Anyway, just thought you might like to know that while viewing your scraps of fabric you used for the rug you made (nice job by the way!), I saw the markings on the pink polka dot fabric. It reads “Cranston Print Works”, that factory is in the next town over and I have to pass by it to go to the nearest food market, where I proudly say “May I use my bags please?” and hand over those pink beauties you made for me. Over the years they have made changes to their production to make it more environmentally friendly as well. When I was a child and would ride by it would smell horrible but no longer. If I were to close my eyes as I passed, I wouldn’t smell a thing, although, I would probably hit something. Better keep those eyes open! ha! ha!

    Connections intrigue me and thought maybe you enjoy them too.

    Take care,

  13. oh its awesome an d for such an amazing cause. sorry i haven’t commented in awhile…i’m back now!

  14. Heifer International is a great organization, we love supporting them too! Thank you for your Peace Corps service, I served as an Americorps VISTA for a year in Montana after college. I love your site and look forward to reading more and seeing your projects!

  15. Perfectly imperfect! I love it!!

  16. I am sure they will know how much love you put into it… it spells love all over the place:)

  17. It’s lovely, Kelli!

  18. It is so nice! and you made it so quickly! Kelli, yesterday I decided that I need to meet you in person someday. You really inspire me with your posts.

  19. Kelli, I’m sure they will love it and know that it is from the heart.
    My sister was a PCV in Uzbekistan. Where did you serve?

  20. The rug is beautiful and you are so generous with your time and resources to donate it too:)

  21. lovely thought about how all families just don’t fit into a “catalog” mold. Hope you’re well!

  22. Love Heifer! When I was pretty small, maybe third grade, a rep from Heifer and a recipient of a goat came to our church and I have never forgotten. Each year I make cookies in the shape of a Heifer animal and give them and a donation as a Christmas present to my uncles, my church staff and school secretaries.

    Love the rug, now, don’t be surprised tho if the same idea does show up in a PB catalog!

  23. I love your blog! I found it via Wisecraft I think…… so glad I did!

  24. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder…

    To me it looks absolutely amazing…

    I love the scraps and what you have accomplished with them… a lovely quilt also.. so many possibilites … no need to waste…


  25. Ah, so glad the scraps are going to such a worthy cause! As always, your work is so touching and inspiring.

  26. this is really gorgeous, and a great take on the project. thank you, THANK YOU!