Quilts on the Floor!

Many of our customers have been making quite a fuss about some of our new decorating choices in the shop. But, hey, what’s the big deal? We’ve just been using quilts as … rugs! That’s right. We’ve been putting quilts on the floor for people to walk on.

We (meaning mainly Karen) have been making some major rearrangements in the shop. There are now many cozy fabric “rooms” that each house a certain style of fabric. We have a Kaffe room, an Amy Butler room, a baby quilt room, and a bunch more. Once we had each room carved out, we realized we needed some final touches, like a rug, that ties everything together.

Our new Kaffe room!

Are you cringing? If so, you are certainly not alone. Many of our customers refuse to step on them! However, hear us out. We’ve got some pretty good reasons for how practical quilt-rugs are. Many of our customers agree and have already started making their own.

Quilts are durable and washable. When was the last time you took a rug to the dry cleaners? Too expensive? Well, you can put a quilt into the washing machine and it comes out great. Here at the shop, we got a lot of foot traffic, so we just can’t afford to send off our rugs to get dry cleaned every week the way we can with quilts. Speaking of expensive…have you checked on the price of a room-sized rug lately? Even at Target, a large rug will run you a lot more than a simple fabric rug.

We’re not suggesting you go home and throw grandma’s heirloom quilt on your kitchen floor. Or that favorite quilt of yours that took you five years to complete. We’re a quilt shop, so it’s only natural that we have tons of extra quilts that aren’t on display that we can easily use as rugs. Maybe you do too! It saved us the time and money of buying new rugs. We also custom made a bunch of simple quilt-rugs to show how simple it is for anyone to make a stylish and inexpensive rug for any room in your house.

Here's the quilt we made as a rug for our Halloween fabric. It's so simple and easy!

So how do you make a simple fabric rug rug?  It’s more like a recipe than a pattern, but here is how you do it.

Fabric Requirements

¾ yard of main fabric

¾ yard of border fabric

1⅞ yards of backing fabric (muslin works great – make sure it is at least 44/45″ wide)

½ yard binding

Quilt batting (we used 80/20 cotton batting)

Cut the main fabric 27″ x WOF (width of fabric).

Cut four border strips 6 ½” x WOF

  • Measure the long side of the main fabric and trim two borders strips to this length.  Sew these border strips to the long sides of the main fabric and press seams to the border.
  • Measure the short sides of the top and cut the two remaining borders strips this length.  Sew to the main fabric and press seams towards the border.

The top should measure approximately 40″ x 54″.  This is such a simple quilt that you can easily make it bigger or smaller to fit any space. Once your top is finished, make sure your backing is bigger than your top, then quilt and bind.  Congratulations, you now have a rug!

If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, we also have a pattern for a rug called Daisy Dew Drop by Threaded Pear Studio that looks so cute in all kinds of color combinations.

We brought this minky rug back from market. Isn't it cute? Perfect for the kids' room!

To make sure the quilt-rugs don’t move around (causing people to slip!), we placed anti-slip rug backs under the larger quilts. For the quilt-rugs that were made just for being on the floor, we used a product called “Non-Skid Rug Backing.” You simply paint the product onto the rug back and let it dry. It makes the back tacky so it sticks to the floor. Quilts with the rug backing are washable and the tackiness lasts through many washings.

So what do you think? Are you against quilt-rugs or are you dying to make your own?


32 responses to “Quilts on the Floor!

  1. Though you say that such fabric type rugs are more reasonable to take care of (wash vs. dry clean) and more reasonable than a purchased rug outright, to say nothing of the dry cleaning bill, I fail to see how such a floor cover/quilt would have the durability of a made-for-the -floor type of covering unless made from twill, canvas or denim, etc. Personally, I would not do this nor would I walk on those that you choose to use in such a capacity. With all the heart needs in the country/world at this time, people who could use a “quilt hug”, it would seem that those surplus quilts could be put to that use (think Red Cross, Salvation Army, local churches, etc). Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to express my thoughts. Doreen

  2. Jerri Greenman

    This is fantastic! It is a perfect way to show off quilts when all the walls and beds are full.

  3. Congratulations for having the guts to do it! With a 2 year old grandson who shares everything with the 4 legged fur kids in our home, this is a phenomenal solution for us! We have replaced carpets with laminate & I just chucked an area rug in the trash this weekend that I could just about see the creepie crawlies in. As much as I’d love to do up a bunch of Aunt Philly’s Toothbrush Rugs that hasn’t happened either, but I can sure see making up some scrappy stars to warm up my floors! In fact, there’s a medallion star quilt in the current Quilt Sampler that makes me think of inlaid linoleum everytime I look at it…I think it’s the turquoise paisely that does it!

  4. Judith Berlo-Tucker

    The first time I saw the rugs on the shop floor, I thought they were fantastic & unique. I couldn’t bring myself to step on them though. When I came back last week to take another look, I thought…what the heck. You only live once. I took a deep breath & walked right across several! No bolt of lightening came down from the sky. It felt both delightful AND naughty at the same time. Now I’m going to go through some of my older quilts and see what is floor-worthy. I moved here from New Hampshire just one month ago. I’m thrilled to find your beautiful & stimulating shop. See you soon.

  5. There is another really good reason for floor quilts – ALLERGIES!!! I had to get rid of my wool area rugs and tried to replace them with cheaper poly rugs that could be steam cleaned weekly. You would be disgusted with the amount of dirt that comes out of an area rug in just ONE WEEK!! The process of having to vacuum the rugs, then steam clean them took an entire day, and another day just to dry. Also, I really don’t think that steam cleaners get ALL the dirt out. But with a floor quilt I can just toss it in the washer and I hang it over the shower curtain to dry – it’s actually dry by the end of the day! Mine is really simple, just a floral with a plaid border, but this site has inspired me to try new patterns! If anyone has children with allergies (or husbands!), this makes so much sense! The total cost of my rug was under $100.00!!! And the peace of mind I get after it’s been washed – I KNOW it’s clean, is well worth the effort. If and when it wears out, I have a whole closet full of close out fabric just waiting for a new project.

  6. Quilts are a wonderful way to beautify and personalize our floors–mine certainly have enlivened my floors. There is also a way to beautify our floors with our favorite fabrics and quilt designs, while preventing wear-n-tear–fabric-decoupaged floorcloths (called floorquilts). I started making these over a year ago, and eventually started sharing “how-to” information on this newer craft with others (now through Etsy). With the aid of protective coatings, these durable (and lasting) floorquilts never have to be washed, and any spills can quickly & easily be wiped clean. My husband has allergies, and these are a wonderful solution. They are also a great way to use up scrap remnants of fabric, as well–no sewing is required. Happy quilting!

    • I would really love to learn more about this treatment of quilts for the floor. I have long been interested in canvas painted for clothes and thought attaching a quilt to a canvas backing and painting top of quilt with non yellowing polyurethane would preserve it and allow it to be wiped clean as you mentioned. I found no instructions when I searched Etsy and would appreciate any info you have. Thanks

  7. Thanks for this post! I was searching Google to see if anyone else had done this. I’m glad you’ve put quilts on the floor! I think this is what I am going to do for our kitchen that is getting tiled. I am really thinking of making a simple quilt rug that I can toss in the washing machine. I love this idea. I’d never use my “good” quilts for this, but I can definately see making one just for this purpose.

  8. Those are absolutely beautiful! You have given me so many ideas. I crochet as well as quilt and i have seen doilies for the floor that I love too. I am bookmarking your page for the ideas. People were upset with me because a couple of quilts I made I used as shower curtains. I did not put batting in them but used a backing and tied them off. I put a lining on the shower side. You should have heard some of the complaints when I posted pictures on my website and on a quilt forum!! lol But they look great in my bathroom(s, at the time I had two, we have moved to a smaller place now). I think I will make a quilted rug for my bathroom as well as some other rooms.
    Also there is ‘stuff’ you can put on the bottom of these so they do not slip on the floor. Great job!!

  9. I think this is a great idea. I can even see buying the grip fabric that’s used for feet in kids’ sleepers and putting some of that on the back to help make the rug non-skid.

  10. I’ve been thinking of making some small “chenille” rugs for a bedroom – after seeing this post, I may make both – so many color possibilities!

  11. I LOVE this idea!!! I have a toddler, preschooler and lab. While I would love to have an area rug on the hardwood floors for the kids to sit and play on, the cleaning makes it totally impractical. I was thinking about making a floor cloth, but it would be almost as uncomfortable as the bare floor; if not just as bad. This would be the perfect solution! I am definitely making one. No, make that two! I plan on using other commenters tips; heavy material and no slip material for the backing. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Margaret Dabrowski

    I would like to say I’m in favor of this, but in all honesty, I would cringe every time someone walked on the quilt. I had a problem with a nephew lying on the floor wth his black lab on top of a family reunion quilt I’d made abut 10 years previously. I was very upset that he was treating the quilt like an old blanket, but I’ll probably never tell him so. I might go for a quilt painted on oilcloth,, but not fabric. Sorry, but you asked for my comments. MargeD.

  13. Oh boy, I can’t wait to get started. How wonderful to personalize a rug just the way we personalize our bed quilts. These are awesome!

  14. Crystal Beyer

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU !! As a military family… every house we move into is a different shape and the rugs NEVER last from one move to the next (as recent of moving twice in 8 months). We have an 18 month old and I hate that he is on the hard linoleum floors.

    I’ve been questioning myself – “why not a quilt rug,” so I googled it and found your website. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU… I am not crazy after all.

  15. How about a rug for children to play games on or run matchbox cars along a path around town?

  16. We don’t wear our shoes in the house so our feet on the quilts would not cause a lot of wear and tear. The bedroom or computer room seems like a perfect place for a quilt rug. Or the best place of all? My sewing room!

  17. I sew the non-skid rubber backing in when I bind the rug. I buy the big roll at Walmart. The first rug that I made was with a jelly roll. I’m making my second rug now, but with squares. I also used double batting for a thicker feel.

  18. I just found this while looking for “fabric rugs”. I can’t stand carpet and non-washable rugs (eew!), but we need something on the hardwood floors in this drafty old (awesome!) house we live in, especially in the wintertime. I’m a costume designer, not a quilter, so my designs might end up being a bit weird 🙂 I want to make something exotic for the bedroom, maybe with a Moroccan feel. I’ll be using secondhand curtains, sheets, and fabric placemats from thrift stores and yard sales.

    I think the key to making this work is not wearing shoes in the house. We started this practice a couple of months ago and it has made a HUGE difference in my sweeping, mopping and dusting needs, and gives an overall feeling of cleanliness in the house. We have “guest slippers” available, but if a visitor just really needed to wear their shoes (maybe an elderly person with balance issues) we would just wash the floor coverings after the visit, which I will be doing periodically anyway.

    Such a great idea – Thanks for blazing the trail!

  19. Great instructions! I was having a heck of a time finding a rug for my daughter’s room. Something soft, easy to clean, girly, and CHEAP! Shoes never even make it that far into the house so durability isn’t much of a concern.

    Depending on how the quilt I’m currently making turns out, it might be destined for rugdom!

  20. This is a great idea! Im just starting to quilt and I was looking for other practical ideas for items to quilt. Thanks for a great idea!

  21. Donna McCormack

    Just a little FYI – if you put beads of regular old bathtub caulking on the back in rows, let it dry, then put it down…it won’t slip and slide around…works just like the expensive stuff you are supposed to put under rugs!!!

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  25. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks like this. Not only are they easy to clean, but when you get tired of it – it’s easy to replace or change with the seasons. I love them and have started making them for others. Great blog post.

  26. Great to see this post! I was looking for an example of anyone making or using a quilted throw rug. Like many people who have posted comments, I too am looking for something warm and washable to put on my hardwood floors. I will probably use heavy duty or upholstery fabric remnants to build my quilted floor rug, but I will check first to make sure the remnants are washable. And grandma’s heirloom quilt will stay put on the bed. Thanks so much for sharing – this is just the encouragment I need.

  27. From the uk. Three years ago, I made a quilted rug for our camper van. It turned out brilliantly so I made another for the house. I am currently on my third much much bigger for the main room of our house using off cuts from curtains, throws and even charity shop finds like patterned sheeting etc. Instead of batting I use old duvets, split and the results so far are incredibly unique and quite lovely.
    I would never place anything of monetary or more importantly sentimental or hereditry value on the floor. Those heirlooms belong on walls for example. To expect people to avoid walking on your special projects is silly to be honest.

  28. What is the name of the pattern for the minky rug? Do you have it at the store?

  29. The minky rug was purchased by us from Shannon Fabrics (they sell minky but brand it “cuddle”) several years ago at Quilt Market. As far as I know there isn’t a pattern–but I did attend a tutorial session that suggested making patterns from newsprint. Everything is raw-edged since Minky/Cuddle won’t fray once it is cut.

  30. One of my first quilts was made from fabrics that even though were cotton, they were “stretchy”. I decided not to continue so finished it off into about 36″ x 42″. Didn’t really know what to do with it so recently I put it on the floor. I love it there. It’s so easy to maintain and I plan to make more.

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