I am a sucker for a new toy, especially when they actually make light work of a tricky task. The new Clover Tube Maker is one such item that I was lucky to be sent from Groves. A little device, similar to bias binding makers, which folds over both fabric and wadding to make a combined fabric tube. You can use these combined tubes to make things such as the strip roll (or Jelly Roll) rugs that have been popular recently but also mats, bowls, baskets and bags.
One of my students wants to make one of these rugs and I’ve always wanted to have a go too. I have been collecting strips of fabric, ideal for using up left over binding strips, and cutting left over wadding into strips with this in mind.
At first I was a little confused about how to make it work or fit the fabric in but checked out the very helpful and clear YouTube video from Clover demonstrating exactly how to use it. You can find that here.
You start by joining all your strips of fabric and wadding together. First, join the strips in the same way as for binding with a angled seam to help spread the seam allowance. You can join the wadding by butting the edges and zig zag across the join. Do not overlap the wadding which would give you a ridge which we don’t want.
Take the 2 1/2” strip of fabric and the 2 1/2” strip of wadding and layer them together. Wadding on the wrong side of the fabric. The maker is made up of four plastic gadgets which clip together into pairs, a larger pair and a smaller pair. The fabric and wadding strips feed through the gadget which folds as you go to form the tubes. The tube is then fed through your sewing machine and you sew the tube as it forms.
It is recommended that a thinner wadding is used but I used out a variety of left over waddings – 80/20, pure cotton and bamboo – and all went through smoothly.
I have been gathering strips to make enough for a good sized rug. You can see I’ve selected a colour palette of greys through pinks with a little green. I did try and keep the darker colours on the outside of the strips as this will be the area of a rug that will collect most dirt.
You can find many YouTube videos to watch on how to make the rugs, some round, some oval and I found a rectangular one too which cut lengths of the fabric tubes and joining them rather than sewing all in one piece. This would be useful to make rectangular table mats too. It is recommended that you press every round when attaching the fabric tube to help keep it flat at sometimes they can curl upwards when making the mats.
If you have wondered how to make one of these rugs, just grab one of these Clover Fabric Tube Makers and get going.