Dianne here….home from two braiding events, Thetis’ Woolgathering in BC Canada and the Valley Forge Braid In in Bethlehem, PA. After the latter, Kris, Christine and I drove up to VT to photograph some of the multistrand rugs Christine and others have made for her upcoming (see previous post) multistrand braiding book, and a few of my velvet pieces, as Kris has a nice photography setup with bright lights, etc. In the end we used her iphone and the photos came out great. All activities were enjoyable as always; spending time with friends and others with like interests is such a joy.
But now I am back at home for awhile and find myself braiding two fabrics I have said I would
never braid again! Never say never. The first is blue jeans. Here is a rug I made a number of years ago for our ‘toilet room’ off the master bedroom, thinking I could easily toss it in the washing machine. I know it was awhile ago because it is tapered, not butted. I do remember it was hard on my hands, especially the lacing and I said ‘never again’. But I have enjoyed the various blues and it does wash well.
Around the same time I made long oval and round towel rugs for in front of double sinks and at the shower door. I bought new towels rather than old towels because I wanted to create a pattern with certain colors. What a mess! I cut them outdoors but it was so messy. Braiding and lacing was a bit more pleasurable than the jean rug but the towel rugs have not aged well, so I have been thinking of replacing them…..and because the bathroom is blue, have decided to make 2 round jean rugs for in front of the sinks (as Christine says, I am ’round centric’, not liking ovals as well as rounds). I bought 11 pairs of jeans at our local thrift store on $1 day a
nd took Coleen up on her offer of more at the VF Braid In.
So here is the first, 27″ diameter, continuous with a butted row, trying to use light/medium/dark strips with an all light butted row.
I enjoyed the braiding and lacing this time! why? maybe my hands are stronger after years of braiding and/or I think there are more jeans made from stretch fabric today than before. So one down and one to go.
The other Never Say Never is braiding with cotton. I admired a round mat Pam Rowan made with a quilting jelly roll (40 strips of 2.5″ wide quilting cotton in complementary colors and patterns)
a couple years ago. I found one on ebay and made this mat which I did not enjoy at the beginning but by the end did like the ‘crinkly’ braids that are produced with the cotton, attractive tweaks if you will. I ended up giving it to a wonderful woman who opens her home up to hookers (and braider) weekly. She has it on a coffee table with a candy dish filled with spice drops
So….I ordered another jelly roll with William Morris fabrics. This one I will keep!