Affordable Art

This is made from bedsheet fabric. I playfully call it 'Moonlit Water'. And that's Phil the cat.

This is made from bedsheet fabric. I playfully call it ‘Moonlit Water’. And that’s Phil the cat.

This will be my first year in participating in the Fuller Lodge Affordable Arts Show that runs from November 22 – January 4. Fuller Lodge is located in downtown Los Alamos, NM and is free admission to the public. I am very happy to say that I will be joining many other talented artists. Many of these artists have been featured on the Fuller Lodge facebook page, if you want to check them out.

Made from upholstery fabric, this rug turned out pretty handsome.

Made from upholstery fabric, this rug turned out pretty handsome.

So, what rugs of mine will be there? Well, a little bit of everything. I have 2 sock rugs, several wool shags, 3 cotton shags, 2 flat cottons, one upholstery rug, and a wool sweater rug.

All my rugs are recycled from waste fabrics. For the most part, these are the selvedge edges of blankets or bedsheets that would normally end up in a landfill. Instead, I turn them into rugs. All the socks and sweaters used in my rugs had holes, tears, or stains (or were lonely socks that had lost their mates). Now they are hardy, usable rugs. All the rugs are washable in a cold water cycle with air drying (no heat).

Here are a variety of wool shags for the 2013 Fuller Lodge Affordable Arts Show.

Here are a variety of wool shags for the 2013 Fuller Lodge Affordable Arts Show.

This is a cotton shag, which is cotton and rayon.

This is a cotton shag, which is cotton and rayon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are both cotton shags, which I nicknamed the Adobe Sisters.

These are both cotton shags, which I nicknamed the Adobe Sisters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These 2 rugs are made from socks. Yep, lots and lots of socks.

These 2 rugs are made from socks. Yep, lots and lots of socks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a blue & brown wool sweater rug (with sock rugs behind it).

Here is a blue & brown wool sweater rug (with sock rugs behind it).

 

To Sew The Ends Or Not?

If you don't sew the ends, you need to overlay perhaps 3 inches or more.

If you don’t sew the ends, you need to overlay perhaps 3 inches or more.

Recently, I made my first cotton rugs. For all three of them, I mixed each, having two distinct colors twining through each rug. On the first one I had this lovely deep golden selvedge edge material that would be remarkably boring all on it’s own. But then I also had this softer, pastel yellow in strips (that would also be remarkably boring by itself). I decided that they should be smushed together into one beautiful rug.

Here you can see an end that escaped the warp.

Here you can see an end that escaped the warp.

I also made the snap decision to not sew the pastel yellow strips together into long lengths suitable for filling a shuttle. My mom, Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles, has does this before too and prefers sewing the ends for several reasons. She strongly recommended that if I wasn’t going to sew the ends, then I needed to give them a lengthy overlap of at least 3 inches. This is done to help ensure that the ends won’t wriggle free over time (think the type of usage such a rug might see) and create a hole in the weft. Additionally, unsewn ends are more prone to sticking up through the warp and will require a little trimming before the rug could be considered ready for sale and/or use.

From my personal experience of making this rug, I found it a pain in the backside to lay each pale yellow strip in and fuss with the overlapping ends. I think it doubled the amount of time it took me to weave this rug. I also had a very direct comparison to the selvedge edge I was twining with it – it being one unending streamer of deep gold. This selvedge edge laid in swiftly with minimal fussing.

Here is a simple blue & white cotton rug.

Here is a simple blue & white cotton rug.

The next two cotton rugs I made, I sewed the ends of the blue bedspread strips. Yes, it took me a little while to sew all those little ends, but it saved me time and hassle on the weaving side. Plus, I feel that it makes a more durable product in the end. Those sewn ends are not likely to worm their way out over time, even with many, many washings, and create a hole in the weft. Also, I found there were way fewer little ends that stuck up upon vacuuming that needed a trimming.