I have an ample stash of handwoven bands. Still, I am making a new handwoven band that is “just right” for the strap on a simple shoulder bag I am making from a rag rug remnant. I pull several near-empty tubes of 12/6 cotton rug warp from the shelves to wind a five-meter warp. I enjoy finding bits of rug warp that can work together—all left over from various rag rug projects.
I warp the band loom and start weaving. Ah, what a pleasure to make a specific strap for a specific bag! And all of it from what I have on hand. It’s a picture of the way love takes odds and ends like you and me, and finds a way to make us fit together.
It’s like preparing a simple meal for family. You figure out what you have, you scrape together what you can, and you spend time in the kitchen to put it all together. It’s not fancy, nor is it perfect. But it’s good. Love, after all, is the primary ingredient for a good family meal. Love is the primary ingredient for a lot of good things, isn’t it?
Handwoven remnants (aka scraps) do not get thrown away. Every scrap is good for something. Some scraps are so unusual it takes an extra dose of creativity to find a use for them.
This remnant of blue wool fabric is something I wove a few years ago during my Big Book of Weaving adventure. This structure uses a weft-cord technique, which creates interesting ridges in the fabric. The original project is a simple handbag. The remaining fabric has been buried in a box of remnants. Until now.
I had a great idea to make a bench cushion for my Julia loom from this unusual remnant. Guess what? All those ridges are not so comfortable to sit on (fortunately, I tested it first). My next idea, though, is a success! The blue bumpy scrap makes a nice lumbar pillow, adding special comfort to the rocking chair that belonged to my great grandmother.
All the rugs in the set are woven, and there is a little bit of warp left on the loom. Not enough for another rug. Now what? This is where the fun begins! I have some ideas to play out on the loom. End-of-Warp experiments yield fantastic results.
I arrange remaining weft fabric strips into piles of blue, green, red, and yellow/white. Double binding uses a sequence of dark and light wefts. So, I work through the color piles in order, starting with the blues for one pick, and then, going in reverse order, the yellows/whites for the next pick. The result is vertical columns of adjacent blocks that have the color order going in opposite directions, with the reds converging in the middle.
Cushion cover: Off the loom, I fold this attractive rag weave rectangle in half, short sides together, and machine-stitch the two long sides closed. The remaining open end has handwoven bands, from my ever-ready band stash, for tie closures. Voila! With a cushion inserted, I have a new seat cushion for driving the truck. It’s perfect!
Let it snow indoors! New Christmas snowflake banners are suspended up high, above our kitchen counter, facing our open living room. The three mostly-blue banners hang in mid-air so they can be viewed from either side. These are lasting treasures from the drawloom that I can bring out year after year. They’ll never get old.
Christmas is new every year. There are new sights and sounds that add to the season. The message of Christmas is the same as always, though, that God loved us in this way—he sent his Son Jesus to be born into our world so that whoever believes in him may be born into God’s family. The newness is in God’s mercy, new every morning.
Raise banners of joy to celebrate. Glory to the newborn King.
On the Road Again was a special challenge issued to members of the San Antonio Handweavers Guild last fall: Pair up (by random selection) with another guild member. Learn where that individual would like to travel and make a handwoven bag that suits her or his needs. I learned that my On-the-Road-Again partner, Donna, is a world traveler and uses small makeup bags to organize her carry-ons. Likewise, I informed Donna that I like small bags that I can use to hold my travel weaving when Steve and I go camping in our Casita travel trailer. Our guild met last week and we got to unveil our special gifts to each other. I had the smart idea to present the bags nested inside each other. Imagine my surprise when I found that Donna had the same smart idea. What fun!
My contribution for Donna is three small zippered bags, and a linen washcloth to take with her on her travels.
Donna’s thoughtful exchange couldn’t be more perfect – three small zippered bags, and a drawstring bag to hold them all together. I have my band-weaving supplies in the bags, ready for my camping trip with Steve in a few days!