Thursday, November 8, 2012

Creative Pursuits

Dear Mom,
Wayyyy back in April, I purchased a Quilters Jelly Roll with the idea in mind to use it in a weaving project. I thought that having the coordinating fabrics already picked out would give me a head start for what I wanted to do.
The plan......placemats. But not just your normal sort of place mats. I wanted placemats that would extend across the width of the table, shared by the two people seated across from each other. I wanted them to have a rag rug look.
With good advice and patience from Linda at Tabby Tree Weaver, I chose 3 colors of rug warp to coordinate with my fabrics. I learned that using 3 warp colors ( the warp is the up and down threads in weaving) helps the warp to disappear into the background, where one warp color kinda stands out on its own.
I chose brick red, natural and olive green warp colors. 
I cut the jelly roll strips in half ( 1.25 inch width) and then realized that one jelly roll's worth of strips was not nearly enough for what I had planned. Off to the quilt store for supplemental fabrics. I learned that next time I will not bother with the jelly roll. It was just as easy to pick out fabrics, get a yard or whatever of each and cut that into strips.
I took my strips and folded them in half and pressed them so they would stay that way- no wrong sides showing when I wove them. I then put the strips in piles according to color family - reds, blues, greens and creams. I wanted the strips to be randomly woven into the placemats, but at the same time I wanted the colors somewhat evenly distributed. I then made smaller bundles of 20 strips per bundle, each bundle having a fairly equal number of strips from each color family. I did not worry about the prints on the fabrics being evenly dispersed.
So as I wove, I grabbed a bundle, randomly selected a strip from that bundle, wove it in, selected the next strip, etc.
I finished the weaving last night and the hemming today. The placemats are not perfect- one is longer than the other- but I am happy with the result.  They are just as I imagined them. Well, almost. I imagined them to be exactly the same length! But I learned a lot, and can think of several things I  might like to try doing next time......