Monday, July 25, 2011

Rustic Barn Red Handwoven Towels

Finally finished the warp of barn red and khaki 8/2 cotton that has been lurking on my Glimarka for a few weeks.

First up is towel number one, a good old fashioned twill with a neat wavy border.

Number two towel is one of my favorites, like the broken twill pattern in this one.

Towel three, alternating twill boxes.  This was a fun towel to weave, although I had to pay attention and not mess up on my treadling.

Fourth towel, good old fashioned tabby.  Don't you love my cow, she is made from cast iron and sure wish I had a herd of these girls.

Towel five was the experimental towel of this batch - decided to try something different for the warp.  Used a linen boucle on the warp.  My hubby likes this towel the best out of the lot.

Sam helping me shoot the towel pictures.  

Sam listening to hear his favorite words..."it is time for supper".  Such a sweet boy.

On to the next project....

Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Do you collect sheep?  I think a lot of fiber artists collect sheep of some type, some of us are actually lucky to "collect" living breathing sheep - oh how I wish I could!  These guys are a small section of my little herd, the guy in the back is hand made from what looks like pine.  I bought him  about a dozen years ago at a yard sale for a quarter.  Love the guy in the extreme front, he was found when I lived in Japan, I believe he is hand carved.

This is not part of any of my collections, but is it a really neat piece.  My father made this sewing ciscrine (how do you spell that word) out of a set of drawers from a very old worn out treadle sewing machine cabinet.  I have hauled this great piece from pillar to post for the last 25 years.  She holds a ton of sewing stuff, vintage accessories for my very wonderful old Singer sewing machines and an assortment of thread and needles.

My latest find is this school desk seat, with wonderful cast iron legs.  The jointed mohair bear sitting on the seat is Oliver, he is part of my bear collection.  The bear collection used to be huge but I have since weeded it down to a manageable 6 or 7 bears.  Love the seat, washed it down with Murphy's oil soap to get years of grime off the wood and then applied Howard's wax as a finish. 

Back to the collections, on the sewing bird you can see some wonderful Victorian hat pins I have collected for several years.  If it is Victorian you can pretty much guarantee I will like it.  The bunnies in the picture also part of another collection and of course the gnome in the foreground is part of a small collection I started back in the early 90's.  Like to think he is working on a loom or possibly a harp. 

Last but not least, is my newest collection - vintage-like German mica glittered birds.  These birds hang from the ceiling above my Glimarka loom.  Why birds you may ask, they look Victorian to me because of the mica glitter and I love that look and they just appeal to me.

Well, as you no doubt have surmised I have no weaving to show for myself this week.  Rats!

Enjoy your week.

Happy Weaving

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1940's Apron Sewing Fest Continues

Finally finished sewing all the aprons I had in mind when I started this journey.  The pink and brown apron below turned out really cute, sewed some cute little polka dot bows on the pocket.

Hopefully you can see the little bows when you click the picture to make it bigger.

This next apron has been brewing in my mind for a long time.  I inherited a rather dumpy old 1940's table cloth, it had been my Grandmother's and I am sure it has not seen a table in eons.  Did not want to throw the table cloth out, what to do....recycle of course.  

 Did some creative cutting so that most of the pattern showed up on the skirt and ties of the apron.  Even used a retro button from my collection on the pocket.  Also had to make a little flower patch to cover a hole, thankfully the hole was small and the patch blends in.

Sam my ever faithful studio assistant decided he needed to remind me it is almost time for dinner.  Hmmm which apron should I wear?  Actually most of these aprons will be gifts for family and friends this Christmas.  Think I will keep the table cloth apron for myself.

Last, but certainly not least is the last apron I have sewn this session.  Kind of reminds me of I Love Lucy, it has 50's vibe.  Love the giant red rick rack.

Also like the cherries on the pockets.

The neck ties also have the cherry pattern on them.

Okay, I am now up to my eyebrows in sewing threads and fabric cuttings all over the studio floor.  Time to clean up the mess and get back to my first love, weaving.  Poor looms are waiting patiently....

Happy Weaving.

Monday, July 11, 2011

1940's Kitchen and Chore Helpers

This week has kept me busy sewing with my "new" 60 year old Singer 201 sewing machine.  Love retro kitchens especially those from the early 1940's and all they entail, so of course that would include aprons.

 This apron really was a joy to sew but attaching the bias tape was no mean feat.  Tried using my vintage bias tape attachment that attaches to my machine, but alas it seems that modern bias tape is wider than the tapes of yore.  Whats that you say, why didn't I made my own tape....wait, for it I did ... well not on this apron but on one yet to come.  

On the reverse side I like the piece that goes between the straps it really does work to keep the straps from sliding down your arms.   Thought the bow was nice and girly too.

If you biggify (is that really a word) the picture by clicking on it you can see how I trimmed the pockets and the little front kick ruffle with some lace I had in my sewing stash.  

This apron is what my Grandmother Fran would have called a chore apron, it goes all the way around you and has no ties on it to get caught in barbed wire, wringer washers, screen doors - you get the picture I think.

This apron actually looks much better in person than it does on my dress form.  The lace I used is from Ireland, which is fitting as my Grandmother was too!  As mentioned before, this is the bias tape I actually made myself.  Bias tape is a pain in the you know what to make, but it turned out lovely.

Apron number three is my take on a vintage 40's kitchen/entertaining apron.  Loved the pink paisley print and the cute little ruffle that goes all the way around the apron.  Used my ruffler attachment to make the ruffle along with the rolled hemmer foot to finish the edges of the ruffle.  The old attachments may look strange but they really do work perfectly!

The back of the apron illustrates how well this apron really does cover you up, the ties are extra long and make a nice big bow.

Note the three different fabric patterns.  The pocket is just the right size for a handkerchief and not much else.  Sorry, the colors are not true to life, the camera is not reading the pinks very well.

There are 2 other aprons waiting to be constructed, so it is back to the machine for me.  

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Studio Favorites

Today I decided to post some shots of things I love in my studio.

Just brought this beauty home, she is a sixty year old Singer 201.  This lovely lady sews beautifully and hardly makes a noise while she is doing it.  I sold a 6 year old Viking Quilt Designer II with all the bells and whistles on it for a pittance to young lady last week so that I could purchase this machine.  Bought the hated Viking machine brand new six years ago when we lived in Wisconsin.   Thought I wanted a computerized machine at the time - hah, I detested that machine the very first week I had her.  Already own two other classic Singers, a 500 model known as a Rocketeer because of it's Jetson's appearance and a traditional Featherweight best loved by quilters both near and far, both these machines are in perfect working order and I adore sewing on them.   I prefer the older metal geared machines, they sew a better seam and they will out live me as long as they are well maintained.

Next up, may I introduce you to Margarite.   My old dress form had seen better days and far too many moves, she was really beat up and ready for the scrap pile.  Decided to cover her with 1884 Sears and Roebuck pages - used the ladies pages, lots of corsets and dresses and hats and gloves, etc.  Margarite is now a decoration in my studio,  I must admit she is a fun girl to have around.

Here you can see the types of catalog pages I used to decorate her.  The hand blown glass hearts hanging around her neck have been purchased through the years at various Renaissance Fairs.

These are my antique Dala Horses from Sweden, just love how sweet they are.  Started this little collection about two years ago.  I love Swedish weaving looms and of course any Swedish style weaving, so it just made sense to collect the Dala horses - they take up less space than Swedish looms!

My antique button, sewing items and marble collections all gathered into some very old canning cars, note the original zinc lids on a few of the jars.

This lovely hand painted flower pot was painted by a friend of mine many years ago, she is perfect to store weaving implements.  Joanne is a talented painter and did such a great job on this pot I did not have the heart to use it for plants.

One of two inspiration bulletin boards that hang above my desk here in the studio.  Really--- this is just a way for me to keep "pretties" that catch my eye.  Love to collect the postcards of famous paintings that I have had the honor to actually see in person.  Vermeer, Renior, etc.  Note the Rosie the Riveteer on the far right side, she is my personal hero - always reminds me of my Grandmother Ruth.   Ruth worked in a tank factory during the war, how cool is that!

Inspiration board number two, lots of cooleo junk on this one!

Last but certainly not least, I do actually have something going on the Swedish loom, not sure I will complete this run of towels this week as I am sewing on my "new" sewing machine.

Hope you enjoyed a tour of things I love about my studio, I feel like a lucky girl to have this studio.

Happy Weaving!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How Did It Get To Be July Already

Oh my, I am behind on posting, sorry!  Hubby was away overseas and of course took our only digital camera with him.  No camera, no pictures and I guess no post from me.

Finished my summer rainbow inspired huck towels.  Got 8 towels out of this warp which pleases me because I had thought I would only end up with 7 and an extra towel is always a bonus.  I enjoy weaving huck and loved the random color changes in each towel.  I wove the towels with no particular color sequence in mind, think they turned out well.

This up close picture allows you to actually see how pretty huck weave truely is.

Decided to try my luck on ArtFire selling my handwoven towels.  I did not list everything I have in my Etsy shop on the Artfire site, it was way to daunting of a task and I was not feeling up to it.  Listed several things, but so far nothing....  Have not heard of anyone selling a lot of items on Artfire but I do know that one of my personal weaving heros -- Laura Fry has a shop there.  I figure that if Laura is there it might be a good place to try selling my handwovens too.    My shop is:

Working on a new warp in rustic barn red and dark khaki colors, a simple 2/2 twill - hopefully I will have pictures for you next week.

In the mean time, enjoy this wonderful long weekend with your friends and family.

Happy weaving!

Hope your Fourth of July weekend is going well!

Happy Weaving