Crazy as a Loom

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blue Jean Rug

Working on a blue jean rug that will be HUGE. It is being woven in three parts, each one 59" wide, and 140" part is done, and the second is on the loom. I learned a valuable lesson today.....something I should have known, I guess. But sometimes, I am my own worst enemy. I have been struggling to weave the first of these 3 rugs by myself, with my rolling stool. I have done some 4 ft wide rugs this way, and they are actually quite doable. But yesterday, I was at the loom all day, and it just seemed to be alot more work than it was fun. And even though weaving is work, it is usually fun for me. I wasn't making a lot of headway, and I could see the whole job taking a lot longer than I had planned on. So I measured my progress and figured out how many inches I was doing per hour.
Today, I moved the rolling stool, and my apprentice/helper, Tammy, sat at one end of the bench, and I was at the other. It didn't take long to get into the swing of it, and it quickly became very apparent that THIS was the way it should be done. In one hour we wove over TWICE what I could do by myself in the same amount of time. Unbelievable.
And I have changed the way I sew the blue jeans together......mostly because the way I was doing it has not been very time effective.
I used to cut the blue jeans into strips, 3/4-1" wide, then I would sew the strips together at a 90 degree angle, then cut them apart, and then trim the excess fabric off the seam. Makes me tired just talking about it.
So for this rug, I have been cutting the blue jean legs off, squaring them up, and sewing the legs together. THEN, I cut them into strips with my Eastman chickadee cutter, and trim the excess. I figure it takes about 1/6 of the time it took to do it the other way, or maybe even less.
All this makes me realize how easy it is to get in a rut about the way you do things, and how important it is to be open to change, to allow new ideas to take shape.
And I love, love, love having an apprentice!


Eulalia (Lali) said...

Thanks, Hilary, for that magnificent quote by RL Stevenson, and for your reflections on the need to stay flexible. True, true.

Bety said...

Sometime a little help goes a long way, can't wait to see the finished product.

marci Scholten said...

Where can I find a place that will show me how to make a rug like this. I have tons of jeans piling up. Thanks, Marci

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