Grain and Coffee–Reclaimed Sacks Become Great Washable Rugs

For years I shopped.  For years I settled.  The store-bought throw rugs I found were just boring.    So one night in a frenzy of sewing, I decided to make my own.    

My first rug was everything I wanted--the right size, easy-care and very pretty--

I started small– a little quilted shower mat for our guest bath room.   The backing is a soft old towel.  On the front, I stitched a piece of a much-loved 1950s tablecloth.  And stitched again–dozens of rows of parallel stitching hold it all together.   I added a striped band with mitered corners to finish the edges.  And just for fun, one applique breaks up the lines.   

 Sturdy, washable, unique enough to get noticed–I love this  little rug.     

I immediately wanted more– 

The prettiest feed sack in my collection becomes a soft, quilted kitchen rug

 Dating from the 1930s to the 50s,  printed feed and grain sacks are a great source for vintage fabrics.  

This blue flower print is especially beautiful .  A large  print for a feed sack,  it was still stitched up on three sides when I bought it–not cheap but under $10 bucks. 

Might as well have fun with it--floral appliques vine toward the top of my rug

The other sack that I turned into a rug isn’t old…but it’s very interesting.  I love the art, bright colors and words on used burlap coffee sacks.  They’re cheap–I buy them by the armful at the  Scrap Exchange in Durham.  (If you don’t know this creative reuse center, check it out–a wonderful store–a great mission and their warehouse fabric sales are a dream come true.) 

A coffee sack becomes a unique mat for my husband's bathroom

 The towel backing makes the burlap absorbent.  And the designs are a lot of fun.  My husband loves the crown.  

Slip-proof backing helps keep my rugs in place

To keep my rugs from slipping–a layer of that footy-pajama  material  is sown to the back.   I also anchor them completely with a  rug mat.  

If you’d like to know more about rescuing and recycling  fabrics like these grain and coffee sacks, contact me at

And see more of my vintage fabric creations at 

Not just for rugs--coffee sacks make great sturdy bags, too--

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