Friday, February 24, 2012

Making small stuff makes me smile

My large tote that I finished last night.  It is double layers of denim with cotton batting layer.  Fairly heavy, and I think will just be a one and only.  It has funky green flannel for the sides and the straps.  Then snipped and fringed all over.
Doll blanket and pillow with case and sheet that I made for Great Grand Daughter

And I have gone to the birds.  Been making these silly little roosters, just for fun.
They are to be used as a pin cushion.

This is me! .

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My story

I wanted to share here a little about my life and what I have sort of figured out about my compulsion to be doing something with my hands all the time.
My first efforts at sewing was when I was about 7 or 8.  I got some little scraps of cloth, cut it into squares and with needle and thread sewed up 3 sides and made a little string handle and called them purses.  I went around the tiny town I lived in and talked nice people into buying them for a penny each.
When I was 9 my mother got a piece of gingham cloth, cut a square about 15 inches and showed me how to do cross stitch on it.  I know I was nine because that was the number that I did in the cross stitch.  Somewhere I still have that.  Later as a teenager my mother showed me how to use the treadle sewing machine.
When I was in high school, I took home economics class and "old"Miss Randall taught me the finesse of sewing with a pattern and I made a God awful pair of pajamas.  This was back when fabric was available for 39 cents a yard!  But I will always be grateful to her for her instructions.
After I married, while still in my teens, I got patterns and made most of my cloths, my children's cloths and even western shirts for my then husband.  I can look back at pictures of us and recognize most of the home made cloths.  I actually thought at the time that I was saving money but I sort of doubt it.
During most of my adult life I have taken up different craft project.  I crocheted quite a few afghans in the early years.  Then my older sister got me interested in counted cross stitch so I got pretty good at that and have several rather large pictures that I framed.  I did a little quilting back in early years, but just rows of squares sewn randomly, batted with old sheet blankets and yarn tied.  These were strictly utilitarian, for the kids beds.  Again, recycling fabric I had left over.  That was back when polyester was the thing to sew with and lasted forever!  We will find it in land fills 100 years from now.
I guess I have always had a streak of a recycler in me.  I think that will be another post one day, but it does lead me into my weaving.  (I guess that is also why I have a "used" book store.)
I see things and think, "what could I make from that and make it still useful"  So when my friend in Iowa agreed to teach me to weave, I finally spent a week with her about 5 or 6 years ago and came home with my little table top loom.  Let me tell you for a couple years I grabbed up all the old jeans and fabric I could find and made a mountain of rag balls to weave! Now I have an old floor loom and I am taking a class at the local college to learn more about weaving, and may actually graduate from just making rugs to doing some arty stuff!  I know I am leaving some stuff out, like the class I took about 15 years ago in woodworking and learned how to make picture frames and actually made a gaming table.  But now that is just bragging so guess I will stop. 
I will work up a good rant about recycling soon,  I feel it coming on!

Thought for the day: There are no new sins: the old ones just get more publicity> 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Weaving and making balls!

A little sample of practice work on the table top loom at the college.  I actually got to weave some tubular!!!  I thought that would be something hard and when Gary set me up with the sequence for the 4 shafts it was so dang easy!  Also before I left this week we were playing around with the art of tapestry.  He showed me a couple things but ran out of time.  He told me a story about a woman who loved to weave huge rugs.  She had made this really big RAG RUG  with a huge circular picture in the center of the New York skyline after 9-11.  Below this was an area that looked like water and below that what appeared to be a reflection of the New York skyline but with the Twin Towers in tact.  I still get goose bumps just repeating this story.  Wouldn't that be awesome to see?  And made from fabric on a loom!  Wow

Yesterday I finished up on the pile of sweaters that I cut up last week.  These are just a few of the balls that I rolled up after sewing the ends of the strips together.  If anyone wants to weave sweaters, just remember that you have to make the cuts vertical, then they won't ravel out before you can re weave them.  These are soft worn acrylic sweaters that I got for 1$ for a big bag full at a thrift shop.  One other word of advice is to wear a mask when working with this stuff as the lint flys and I think I breathed in to much of it yesterday.  Had a cough all last PM  and kicked my self for not being more careful.  But I love to weave sweaters, as you get the nice plush rug that is wonderful for the bath or bedroom.  Will post picture when I get going.  Right now I am collecting balls of assorted colors.  (No wise cracks needed here Coffepot, but will be disappointed if I don't see one)  LOL

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My first hem stitch!

This is the edge of a little denim hot pad that I made.  Thought the hem stitch came out pretty good.  Not sure yet if I will still need to tie the ends to make it really secure.  Have been getting excited about all the new things I am learning about my 2 looms.   Then my sister comes over and sits to teach me new things with quilting.  Ohhhhhhhhh, so many things to learn to do.   I am looking a a pile of sweaters that I cut up that need sewed into rag balls so I can weave them.  Here is a picture of one sweater being sewn.  I think it will weave up real nice.  Collecting enough balls that I can do some mixing of colors and make some rows that match up, instead of mixing the colors in the same rag ball.  Confused yet.  LOL

Happy Super Bowl Weekend.  Hubby taking me out for dinner for my birthday, which was earlier in the week.  Never to late to celebrate.  Thinking a steak sounds good.  Haven't had one for awhile.  Maybe thats why my lab lipids were good recently.  Woo Hoo!