During our travels in the northeastern part of the country this summer, we had the chance to spend a nice, leisurely chunk of quality time with our friends Maggie and John, and John’s nephew Jim, at their sprawling farm in Accident, Maryland.
We gathered and dried herbs, shared tasty homemade meals, had morning coffee together every morning, and really enjoyed sharing our creative projects and ideas.
We parked directly in front of Maggie’s rug bus, and were so inspired that we had to hear the story of how it came about from Maggie herself.
Scroll down to read the story, in Maggie’s own words, and check out the link to our video on YouTube of the inside of the bus.
Maggie’s Rug Bus
So here’s the story of how I got my loom. About 40 years ago I had a good friend Diane. We were both creative and we inspired each other. I had always wanted a loom. I bought one once but I don’t think I had all the pieces and it just sat in a pile waiting for me to figure it out. Then one day we were at an estate auction. There, sitting outside of the old farmhouse was a beautiful old Union floor loom. I made up my mind I was going to bid on it. Once the bidding started I realized that only one person was bidding against me! I looked through the crowd and realized that the other person was my old friend Diane, who I had not seen in at least 10 years. I stopped bidding and she got the loom! Afterwards we got together and we were so excited to see each other and got caught up on old news. Fast forward about another 10 years, I saw Diane at a store and she told me she had been trying to get in touch with me because she wanted me to have the loom. She said since I didn’t bid against her that day at the auction, it was my turn to have it!
I was so excited and picked it up that very day. I have been using it to make rag rugs ever since and think of my friend Diane every time I make a rug! I really enjoy making rag rugs because it uses no electricity and I get to upcycle old clothes that people don’t want anymore. The combinations of colors and textures that can be made into a rug are always exciting!
My loom is about 50 inches square and about 40 in inches tall. It takes up a lot of space, and adding to it all the clothes and all the strips of fabric, I had really taken over the living room.
I told my husband that I wanted to move my rug making operation into a shed of my own! We had been discussing building a shed when he came home one day and said he had the perfect solution! He had bought me a school bus! (He is a school bus driver!) He took out most of the seats and moved my loom in! At one auction we bought several bins to keep my materials in, at another, we bought a beautiful cutting table. A rocking chair came from another auction!
With so many windows, I have beautiful light, and the 2 top hatches open for ventilation! Little by little we have transformed my rug bus into a comfortable, creative and productive work area!
Maggie’s coat of many colors.
Because the bus is mobile, I had plans of driving around to art festivals to display and sell my rugs, but I actually get all the sales that I need with people stopping by the bus to purchase them. I still can drive it to different areas of our farm if I need a change of scenery!
I love making rugs but don’t ever want it to become a chore, so I keep my production at a level I enjoy but that still keeps me in business!
Here’s a link to the video we made during a tour of The Rug Bus. Maggie’s Rug Bus
Thank you to Maggie, John, and Jim for one of our favorite visits this past summer!