Rag Rug Tapestry

Bold striped hems and four white stripes across this rug stabilize the unpredictable design. This is the rug that uses up several remnants from my fabric stash. My main agenda was to use up fabric.

Double binding twill rag rug.
Final rug from this warp of double binding twill rag rugs. The striped hem is created by alternating picks of dark and light fabric strips.

I like rugs for the way they give the impression of a pathway. A place to put down your feet and walk. This rug does look like a path to me. Like a tapestry, this rug tellsĀ a story. I can see irregular changes of scenery. And the white stripes are like scheduled events that add structure and definition. It is good to have a path for your feet, and for your life.

Life is filled with changing seasons, and with schedules and interruptions. It isn’t always easy to see the right path. The Shepherd leads us on a path lined with goodness and mercy. These qualities are woven in. Like this double binding rug, mercy is always on the other side of goodness. And goodness backs up mercy. When these elements of kind-hearted design can be seen in our lives, though only as remnants and fragments, that is when we know we are on the right path.

May goodness and mercy follow you around.

Happy Weaving,

You Need a Tapestry Cartoon

I dabble in tapestry weaving–still in the insecure beginner stage. Tapestry weavers use a visual guide for weaving, called a cartoon, which is simply a drawing of the picture being woven. Placed directly under the weaving area, the cartoon shows the distinct lines to follow. It keeps everything in context with the overall design. Some people go through life without a meaningful guide, just hoping things turn out okay in the end.

Tapestry Miniature, one inch wide.
Miniature self-portrait tapestry, one inch wide, has a simple cartoon sketched on a sticky note. Abundance of embroidery floss (left over from cross-stitch days in the 1980’s) provides plenty of colors for shading.

Granted, my finished piece does not always end up looking like the cartoon. I am not trying to produce a masterpiece; but paying attention to what works and what doesn’t brings gradual improvement.

Life is an adventure, holding an unknown future. If you plunge forward, making up your own rules as you go, you risk ending up in an aimless mess. What if our master weaver has a cartoon designed for us, a map for our lives? I would rather choose that guided path rather than one with no direction. And when I miss the mark, he finds a way to fix it or weave around it. In the end, it becomes his masterpiece.

May the lines guiding your life tapestry be clearly drawn for you.

By design,

Indirect, Irreversible, and Impossible

The easiest and shortest route isn’t always the best path out of trouble. When I want to change negative behavior, I start out trying really hard; but when my effort meets resistance, I tend to go back to old habits.

removing Texsolv heddles
Texsolv heddles, tied into groups of 50, before removing them from the shaft bars

I removed all the excess heddles left from the warp rep rug. 2,760 heddles, reduced to 274. We want to improve, making positive changes in our behavior, but are we willing to remove the heddles that supported our old ways? The heddles that once served us well are now in the way. It’s silly, but we keep some of the familiar old ways, just in case we want to go back into trouble…

In the ancient story about rescuing people from slavery in Egypt, God chose a path for the escaping Israelites that was indirect, irreversible, and impossible. God opened up the Red Sea for the people to cross, and then closed it back up. He essentially eliminated a return route to captivity. If we let him, I’m sure he’ll close off our return route, too. It may be not be the easiest path, but freedom is never easy, is it?

May you find courage to leave old ways behind for good.

(I can hardly wait until Friday to show you what I’m weaving now! Hint: It has to do with Rosepath–my favorite Scandinavian motif.)