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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunny Sunday and some Rug Weaving Stuff

Ohhh what a lovely way to start a Sunday!  The sunshine is pouring in, and we might hit FIFTY DEGREES today!  I baked up some berry muffins this morning....   the house smells so good.

After church today we are going to meet up with Steve's dad and brother for a late breakfast/brunch, so these will hold us over until then.

Yesterday morning we were out on the front porch with our coffee... this morning it has to warm up a bit more before we head out there.  The outside temps are 25 and the porch is only up to 45 right now.  In another hour or so of sunshine, it will get much nicer.  The porch faces the east, so the sun will be doing it's solar thing and making it very comfortable after 9 am or so.

I just finished weaving that ten foot long runner rug for the porch, along with a six foot long one for between the outer porch door and the inner entry door.  I wove them from multiple strips of blue and white rags.  The random pattern is achieved by just winding all three strips of fabric onto the stick shuttle together and letting the colors lay where they come off as I weave.

Once the rugs are woven, I cut them off the loom.  Sometimes I have four, five, or six rugs in a roll on the loom to cut off at once time.  Then they need to be hemmed.  I fold them over twice, so the hems are three layers thick.  I sew them on my 75 year old Singer sewing machine that I got from my Grandma Groop before she passed away.  It's the only machine I have that is strong enough to handle the thick heavy hems of a rug. 

Speaking of rugs, earlier this week I stocked up on fabric for weaving more rugs.  A local organic clothing company in Oshkosh was having a warehouse sale of depleting some of their fabric stock.  I contacted my weaving friends to let them know of the sale and met with Jim and Norma of Pa and Ma Rugs in Beloit, WI to meet me there.  

Wowzer!!! We could check out rolls and rolls and rolls of fabrics for sale!   There was sooo much to choose from----  and I found myself dazed by the many types and textures.  The only thing keeping me in balance was the limited check book after our vacation and car repairs.  ACK!  

Here is Norma in the middle of it all, choosing roll after roll to be loaded into their truck.  (they weave hundreds of rugs a year so need fabric in large quantities) 

After we chose our rolls, we went up to the front of the factory to pay...  
this interesting fabric patriotic display is made of legs of denim jeans!  
(now THAT is Made in America at it's finest!) 

Jim and Norma got about a dozen rolls loaded into their truck to haul back to Beloit. 
Knowing Norma, these will be cut up into strips in no time, and Jim will have loaded shuttles setting there by his looms, ready to get weaving.  She does the prep work and he weaves.... 

My stash enhancement was not quite as impressive, but I did splurge on four huge rolls of 60" wide denim and a roll of burgundy wool, along with a smaller bolt of navy blue twill of about 5 yards. My expense was only $80.00   The sales staff estimated each roll to be about 10 yards (30 feet)   When I got them home and unrolled the smallest one, it was over 15 yards... so I would guesstimate the larger rolls at 20 yards?

Yesterday was such a nice day, I started prewashing the denim.  (to avoid shrinkage and remove the sizing and crispness in new fabric to soften for better weaving)   I unwound 2 of the bolts of denim and cut the portions in half, about 25 feet in each portion.  I stuffed them one portion at a time (that is 125 sq ft or so)  into my front loading washing machine in the basement.  Load by load, I did up only 2 rolls of the denim fabric and hung them out on my clotheslines to dry.  This is about 100 feet of 5 feet wide denim fabric on four wash lines out back!  Only half way done. Whew, what a job, but well worth it. 
Just imagine how many pairs of jeans I would have to cut apart 
to get THIS much denim to weave with? 

I cut them apart into strips with this cordless handheld cutting tool from Rockwell called a Zip Snip...  available for about $30 from Walmart, Amazon or Menards around here in the Midwest. 

We had so much sunshine yesterday that most of the snow is melted and we have grassy portions showing through.  Still some lumps of dirty crusty snow are sitting here and there, and big snowbanks leftover where it was plowed or shoveled.  But it gives us HOPE of Springtime....  we could easily get more snow, as it's still March.  So we are not holding our breath. 

The motorhome is patiently waiting for us to go camping again.  It is setting out among the melting snowbanks. We do have a few camping trips planned, plus a family camping weekend at High Cliff in the group sites.  In addition to that, we will be camphosts again for the campground at High Cliff State Park for the entire month of August. Come join us!  All reservations need to made through http://www.reserveamerica.com/ 

Well, my coffee cup is empty, and time to get a move on here. I am thinking two doggies still have Florida sand in their dusty fur coats and could each use a nice bath.  Now that it's warmer out, they can dry off all day while it's sunny and not be so damp when let outdoors to do their thing later. I am sure they will find a sunny spot in the house to stretch out and bask in the springtime sunshine.  

And special congrats to the Wisconsin Badgers for making it to the Final Four in the March Madness... Wisconsin is very proud and happy to have made it this far....  Way To Go! 


  1. Your sunroom looks so nice and the blue rug is perfect. I especially like the two ornaments on the rug. Such little cuties.

  2. There is a slight possibility we may be heading toward Wisconsin in August. We will keep you in mind. A week or two up North might bring back childhood memories.

  3. Washing your denim and carrying it outside sure looked like work! If someone hung the dry fabric and hosed it down, would that be enough to get the stiffness and /or sizing out of the fabric?

    Your rugs are beautiful!

  4. I love the blue porch rug. And I can't wait to see what you do with all that denim!

    I want one of the berry muffins. Guess I need to make another batch.

  5. Love the blue rugs. At The big 10 has two teams in the final four! I vote for Wisconsin.

  6. Do you like the ZipSnip? I've been looking for an affordable motorized cutter to cut corduroy and denim... How long have you had it? Does it make your hand tired?

  7. Love the denim rugs. My favorite color combination is blues and browns which would work with jeans and coveralls. But My RV is sage and browns so the denim would not look as well there. Oh, well.

  8. Really like that photo of the two Pooches snuggled up together on the rug:))

  9. Wow, love the blue rugs and all the new blue rugs to come. So beautiful!


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