Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Friday, December 11, 2015

Rag Rug Tutorial


The rug measures 23" by 36".  There are 23 nails at both ends of the frame to wrap the weavers around and 2 rods along the side to keep the sides of the rug straight without causing it to pull in making an hourglass shape.

The first step is to cut strips for the base weavers.  I cut mine 1 inch wide.  You can use cloth, thick string, anything that is washable and will hold up.  It will take about 45 yards.  I wrapped them around the nails loosely.  This allows me room to weave.  The beginning and end of the weavers are tied to the first/last strips to secure it.  

I then took time to cut all my other weavers to have them ready so I could continue weaving without having to stop and cut.  It also allowed me to make sure that I have enough strips and a good variety.


 The strips are 1 1/2" wide and are connected by joining each together without sewing.

 First you make a slit in each end. 

Then you thread the top end of the orange strip through the slit in the blue strip.

 Next the bottom end of the orange strip is then threaded thru the slit in the top end of the orange strip.  Pull tight.  This holds the two together without seams, so no sitting at the sewing machine for hours joining them together.

I connect several strips together to make 2 long ones, then join them to the end of the strips that are already woven.  If I get them too long then it's bulky to weave because I have to pull the whole strip behind each base weaver. 

The weaving is called twining.  The black strip in the above picture, is crossed over and wrapped behind the base weaver (red).

 Then the yellow strip crosses on top of the black and weaves around the next red base weaver.

This is repeated back and forth.   In no time you have a rug!  Hope this made sense.

I love the mixed bag of color this rug has.


Hope your holiday shopping is going well.  I tend to do mine early and only for the little ones.

Thanks for visiting

Monday, November 16, 2015

Patchwork and Biscuit Quilt

This 16 patch quilt top came to me from my sister-in-law's grandmother, Trula.  She used scrap pieces for the blocks and light blue polka dot and flour sack for the sash and border to make a full size quilt. 

This quilt has been stored for a long time and had several stains on it.  At one point it had been washed causing the blocks to unravel and threads to knot in the back.  It took we awhile to trim them all up.

On some of the flour sacking fabric there were green marks and some light lettering that I couldn't read.

Some of the blocks are a mixed bag of pieces and other she used two colors.

I machine quilted around each block along the seam to hold it in place due to some of the seams were coming apart.

I had a beige piece of fabric that I used for the back and chose light blue for the binding to match the polka dot blocks.




In the 1970's my grandmother gave me several old 1960's quilt booklets.  There were a few pattern that I hoped someday to make.  One was a Puff or Biscuit quilt, which I made into a crib quilt when my grandson was born a few years ago.  


 It has come back to me for minor repairs.


Each square is made up of 2 different size pieces of fabric, one larger than the other.  The larger piece, which would be the top of the quilt, is pleated on 3 sides and sewn onto the smaller piece.  Next a piece of batting is put inside the two pieces and then sewn shut with a pleat.  After making many small squares, I laid out a diagonal pattern and machine sewed each row together.  A piece of fabric was placed on the back and I machine sewed down every other row to secure it, then added the binding.  It was fun and really different looking.  Now on to the repair job!


Thanks for visiting,

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Rag Rugs


This is my first rug from the frame that I got from Missouri Town.  I used a brown fabric and added some colors that blended well.  

 It got a bit wavy, especially in the middle, but I'm hoping that it will work itself out.

  I wove it pretty tight so it was a bit hard to get out of the frame.

The rug fabrics are also the same that I used on my table runner.

 It looks good on the floor.


This one I wove looser and used random bits of fabric. 

It lays nice and I really like the multi color look.  It took me a few days to cut the fabric and 6 days to weave.  Do you think I'm a bit obsessive when I'm working on a new project?  This pretty rug goes to my sister. 

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Patch Quilt


I inherited most of these squares from my friend Sherri's mother.  I thought they were an odd collection of colors and prints.  I almost separated them to use in different quilts, but that didn't seem right.  They came to me as a "set" so I had to work with it.  I added a few of my own to make this full size quilt.  Once I laid it out, the blocks started to blend together, bring out some good earth tones.

When it came to the border, I couldn't find anything to make it pop, to bring it all together.  I put several fabrics with it and they didn't improve it.  THEN, I found this piece of lovely brown in my stash, which I call "Cappuccino".  The brown really set the blocks.  

I hand quilted a straight stitch around the blocks but got fancier on the border and corners.  This was the quilt that my granddaughters helped me on.

I bought some brown, leafy fabric for the back and binding.  I'm really happy how it turned out.



I spent one Saturday with my sister and her 3 granddaughters.  We had so much fun bike riding, laughing and telling stories.  One thing the girls said was that they were going to get a cat.  Well, that was news to my niece.  They already had 2 dogs and NO, they were not getting a cat, she said!  Sooo, when the youngest birthday arrived, I decided to get her a "cat".

I grabbed some fabric and scissors and away I went.  The mouth is a zipper and was made so that she can store secret treasures in.

At least with this cat, you don't need a litter box!  
(It's really kind of homely!)
Thanks for visiting,

Monday, October 5, 2015

Girlfriends are wonderful!


This past weekend was the annual lost arts/living history festival at Fleming Park in Lee's Summit, Missouri.  There were crafter's making paper, spinning wool, rugs, and wood carving.  There was a tinsmith, a blacksmith and quilters, with many items for sale.  Also demonstrations on how to make apple butter, apple cider, sorghum and living history of medicine of the time period.  Children could play old time games from bow and arrows to stilt walking.  There were horse drawn rides and visitors could get up close to 2 amazing oxen.

  Mountain men vendors had displays of many animal pelts from buffalo to beaver with fun things for sale.  If you look hard, you can kinda see the tepee in the background behind the oxen.  

There were many other fun activities, along with some wonderful dulcimer, fiddle and guitar music.

Here is part of our crew:  me, Teresa, Sherri and Robin standing in front of one of the many 1855 buildings that you could tour through.

We would take time out from selling old time candy, baked goods, dolls, pottery and needlework in Teresa booth and visit the vendors.  
AND THEN I saw it!  A rug loom!  

  Upon my soul, I had to buy it.  I know I said I was going to work on all my unfinished projects, but.....OMG, what is a person to do!  I promise to continue to work on my other projects, I promise!



Sherri and I did some shopping before heading to Missouri Town and I found this 1960's metal loom in an antique store.  

All the parts were there, even the loops and booklet with instructions on how to use both loops and yarn.  I had to buy it!  $4.00!  It is a nice addition to my supply of fun projects for my granddaughters or great nieces.  



I was so excited to have Sherri stay with me before we headed to Missouri Town.  When she opened the trunk of her car to get her lugage out, there were the Prairie dolls that she make to sell at the festive, along with a few topsy-turvy dolls and Lula Bea Butternut.  I almost started to cry.  LULA BEA!  Sherri asked if I wanted her.  Do I WANT HER!  Absolutely!  

Sweet Lula Bea is now sitting perched on the window ledge in the spare bedroom, keeping an eye on things with her button eyes.  

Sherri also brought me 2 beautiful crochet vintage doll dresses.  The needle work is exquisite and I have a shelf I will put them on in Lula Bea's room (notice how it went from spare bedroom to Lula Bea's) to display them.   She also gave me a set of quilt hangers and I already know where to use them. 


What a great weekend I had and it was fun to get away and be with friends.  
BFF explains it all.

Love you girls,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Quilt and Table Runner


I made this lovely purple table runner to help raise money for the Activity Department at work.  They are having a silent auction and carnival.   I had these strips of purple from my sister-in-law Mel box of goodies she sent me and thought they would work well in this runner.   I bought a basket and filled it with fun kitchen stuff along with the table runner.  Hope she gets a good bid.


My mother-in-law gave me some books of furniture fabric samples and I used them to create this quilt of mixed print of earth tones, peaches and greens.


 I loved the prints and had lots of fun with this.  I bought the green print fabric to offset the nine patch blocks and made it a twin size.


 I hand quilted it with green thread.

 Thanks for visiting,

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weekend Fun


We had so much fun this past weekend with our 3 granddaughters.  We went to the Renaissance Festival and had fun around the house.  I picked up a billfold kit at my favorite thrift store, thinking I could get someone to work on it and I was right!  The youngest and I worked together on it and I finished it while she made noodles with playdo.

Next I taught one how to embroidery and she took to it like a duck to water.  I had these tea towels that I stamped with food themes.   She loved doing the french knots.  I thought she did magnificent for just learning.

Also I had help quilting my recent quilt.  Two granddaughters worked a few stitches. Wow, that's less I have to do because I have to get it done by the time my friend Sherri arrives on Oct 2.  She is going to borrow my small frame to work on a project.

And our last bit of fun.....Tie Dye shirts.

We ran out of plastic gloves so we all had some dye on our hands.

What a great weekend, girls.  Thank you soooo much.   Love you,

Grandma Cindy