This rug is using up bits and pieces. Normally, I begin with a few choice fabrics in five-yard lengths to create a specific rag rug design. Not this time. With the exception of the grey print, there is not enough of any one color to suit me. Some favorite prints are here, but in very small amounts. Other fabrics have been around too long; it’s time to use them up. And some, like the denim, are in short lengths, which means annoyingly frequent joins. My task is to take these misfits and make something worthwhile.
Even though I can’t guarantee the results with this mishmash, I am taking the dive. It is good to try something new, or do something old in a new way. Take fabric that is leftover, outdated, or unsuitable for anything else, and turn it into an artisan rag rug. Can I take ordinary and turn it into extraordinary? It is worth a try.
Do what you know, and take it further than you think you can. Go where you don’t usually go. Step out a little deeper to practice what you already know. Let the struggle push you to find new horizons. You could end up with a charming rag rug.
May this be your day to go a little deeper.
If the ends are not secured first, before hemming, the rug will unravel. Therefore, I end the weaving with ten rows of rug warp, and then three inches/eight cm of a scrap fabric header. When I cut the rug from the loom I leave four inches/ten cm of warp for tying knots.
The header is removed little by little as I make my way across the rug, tying pairs of warp ends into square knots, and cinching them up to the edge of the rug. I trim the ends to 1/2 inch/1 cm. Next, I fold and steam press the hem. With a blunt tapestry needle and a length of warp yarn 1 1/2 times the width of the rug, I stitch the hem closed by catching the warp threads. The warp ends are fully secured and closed up in the hem. This rug will endure through years and years of wear and tear.
Guard what you believe. It is what you believe that determines what you think, from which your behavior is formed. When beliefs are convictions, rather than mere philosophical ideas, they are firmly knotted in place, hemmed in by wisdom and truth. Nothing will unravel this cloth.
May your convictions stand the test of time.
Efficiency isn’t always faster. I cut these two rugs off even though there is still warp on the loom, because an empty cloth beam enables me to get optimum warp tension for the next rug. It does take additional time and effort to tie back on, but I get better results in the long run. So I call it efficient.
Listening is like that. Most of us think we are too busy to learn new things. But listening well increases our learning capacity. It does take effort, but it is the kind of effort that brings rewards. Good listening habits increase learning efficiency.
How do you hear? Since listening is key to learning and growing, consider these four ways of listening.
- Casual listening. In one ear and out the other.
- Convenient listening. Interested only as long as it is easy.
- Distracted listening. Divided attention.
- “Receiving” listening. Fully engaged attention, with fertile soil for seeds of learning to grow.
“Receiving” listening takes effort and attentiveness, but is the most efficient kind of listening because it produces the best results. None of the effort is wasted, and little by little you see the seeds of learning begin to grow into fruit to share with others.
I would love to have you join me in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, August 27-29, 2015. I will be at Red Scottie Fibers at the Shoppes at Fleece ‘N Flax to teach a Double Binding (Dubbelbindning) Rag Rug Workshop. I will take you through the steps to design and weave one of these beautiful rag rugs of your own. Small class size; few openings left. Contact me if you would like more information.
May you hear and be heard.
I faced a dead end with this six-shaft weave. The draft requires seven treadles in order to include true plain weave. And I do want plain weave for the hems. That is a problem. This loom has only six treadles. So these double binding twill rag rugs were put on hold while I thought about it.
And then I had an idea. What if… I tie the sixth treadle as if it were the seventh treadle, enabling me to weave the plain weave hem. And then, undo the treadle and re-tie it as the sixth treadle for weaving the body of the rug? It works! Essentially, I created seven treadles out of six. What seemed like a dead end became the point of discovering something new.
Can you imagine the dead end the friends and family of Jesus felt when they saw his body go limp on the cross? ……………………………………………………………………………………
Easter is about the excitement of knowing Someone who died and came back to life. In the Easter story, the angel tells the women who arrive at the tomb, “I know you seek Jesus, the Crucified. He is now Jesus, the Risen.” For these women, this moment changed everything. What had seemed like a dreadful dead end became the point of discovering new life. Indeed, even now, a dead end is often the starting point of finding new life in the Risen one.
May you discover something new.
Two shuttles required! With double binding rag rugs, each weft pick is double. The two wefts fall into place above and under each other, creating a two-sided fabric. The solid green that is visible on the top of this rug forms a different shape underneath. On the top side it looks like a cross from this angle. Underneath, it looks like a capital “I.” As in, “Me, myself, and I.”
One interesting thing about designing double binding rag rugs is that I end up with two rugs in one. Simply turn the rug over for a different look. When the cross is up, the “I” is not seen. Flip the rug over, and the “I” is seen, but the cross remains hidden.
Pride can ruin people. The essence of pride is comparing yourself to others, and putting yourself above. Like most people, I find it hard to deny my own flattery. But being humble means refusing an inflated view of yourself. During this week when the cross of Christ is remembered around the world, I want to make sure my “I” is under the cross. The one who humbled Himself more than we can imagine leads the way. Woven in, behind the cross, my “I” finds its true identity–no more, no less.
May you show your humble side.
Isenhower with an “I,”