So here I go with my challenge from The Weaver of Grass. Link: http://weaverofgrass.blogspot.com/
I have chosen a book called Country Rag Crafts by Sue Reeves. My mother was a wonderful seamstress and I have always loved the look and feel of colourful materials. However, apart from making clothes, I had never thought of the other exciting things I might do with them, especially all the bits left over after having made an item of clothing. I could never bring myself to throw them away.
From the sleeve: Sue Reeves is a successful craftswoman who has been selling, exhibiting and exporting her fabulous rag rugs, hangings and decorative wreaths fro many years. Sue lives and works in Devon and her home has been featured in Home and Gardens magazine.
I can't actually remember where I bought this book, but I was instantly attracted to it. It is full of wonderful ideas of how to use up all those little bits of material in many interesting ways. It was my first introduction to rag rugging. I took to this like a duck to water and have made quite a few now. Some of them are on my sidebar. I sourced extra material from jumble sales in the UK (I lived there at the time) and one of my favourite and most soothing occupations is cutting up these clothes, removing seams, buttons, any decorations for future use, then making them into little parcels of colour, bound with a piece of ribbon or a strip of the same material.
I made this rug by the 'proddy' method for my daughter and family. K loves autumn colours.
I made this as a wall hanging using the hooking method. You can see where my idea came from.
Another proddy rug, this time it was made for my granddaughter Kirsty.
This interest, inspired by Sue Reeves, then encouraged me to enrol in a college course in textiles at Worthing Community College. I had already tried a bit of weaving (also from the book) and took this further during the course, ending up making my now famous (in a small way) 'Raggy Bags'. Some of these are also on the side bar. I made one for my daughter and friends and family have seen it and now almost all of them own one too, all made in their own favourite colours. My end of year show was mostly a display of various woven bags I had made.
My inspiration for weaving with material. In my raggy bags I took it a step further, adding many recycled materials such as vegetable nets, tinsel, belts, bubble wrap, in fact anything long I could weave with. I love recycling things where I am able.
A Raggy Bag. The white diagonal strip was a piece of netting from around our Christmas tree. Sometimes I use wool and plait it first, as I do with material on occasions.
I never tire of Sue's book and often look to it for further inspiration. There are several ideas that I haven't tried yet, but I know I will in the future. Looking through it now, I can see 'my' work on her pages of woven articles. I have made Greetings Cards with fabric and my last year's Christmas Wreath was mostly fabric, another inspiration from the book. There is one chapter which shows 'Fabric Postcards and Pinboard' and I am itching to have a go at making these. (see photo below). When my new studio is finished, I shall have a ball.
Another chapter is on fabric jewellery, another idea I have yet to try. Plus papier mache and fabric bowls and plates.
As I mentioned, for my college show I made quite a few bags, all of them woven. One of them was my 'beach bag'. I lived by the sea and collected all the items for the bag from the beach. Even the handle was a piece of rope I found. These were all washed and sorted, bits of fishing thread untangled and pieces of driftwood were also incorporated. Here are some photos of it:
A close up of the front with shells attached.
Another bag from my show. This one I called my 'carpet bag'. It was made using the hooked rug method but with very small 'loops'. The dangly bits at the bottom were the tassels from a scarf. I was very pleased with this. Below is a photo of the inside:
And this is the back:
I can honestly say that Sue Reeves's book changed my life. It has been and still is a constant inspiration to me. I thank you Sue.