Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I collect quotes. I write them on my walls of my studio. Here are a few of my favorites:

Hating people who wronged me only kept me in their power. Forgiving them and thanking them for the lessons they had taught me, set me free to continue on my way. Le Ly Hayslip

Art after all is the expression of sensations to subtle for words. Robert Henri

Art is a catharsis. Dorothy Parker

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Thoreau

Monday, January 26, 2009

New rugs

I've been working really hard over the weekend on two rugs. I really wasn't sure I liked the pink and brown until I took it off the loom. The other is a multi-colored one of just leftover colors. Kind of a go anywhere rug.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Twisted Weft

There is a weft technique used a lot in old Shaker rugs. I have yet to try it, but I was reading about it in the "Rag Rug Handbook". It looks quite interesting. Take two contrasting colors and wind them on the shuttle. Put that through the shed and then twist in one direction. Then go to the next shed and twist in the same direction or opposite for a different effect. It gives a speckled effect and should be fun to try.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I was featured on a Blog

I am so excited to be featured on a blog!! It is She is doing a Valentine's giveaway and I sent her one of my handmade heart cards. So then she blogged about everyone's Etsy site who sent her stuff. She had some very nice things to say about me. So Check it out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rag Rug Handbook

Another great book I found is the Rag Rug Handbook by Janet Meany and Paula Pfaff. This is the greatest book ever!! It tells everything you need to know about rag rugs. How to prepare the material and what to use, how to put it together and all sorts of patterns. It has many patterns for two harness looms which is what I have. How to do all sorts of stripes both horizontal and vertical. 20 different rug projects and even a room sized rug. How to sew the whole thing together and make a 6 x 9 ft rug. There is even a great history of looms chapter. It tells about all the great old loom makers. This is an excellent book for anyone making rag rugs.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Antique rug

So now that I weave rugs, I have started a collection of antique rugs. One of my friends had this braided rug and I traded some cattle panels and a few hours of my time for it. I think I got the better end of the deal. It is 9 x 12.5 feet and is multicolored but soft colors. It is all sock tops braided and then hand stitched into this massive rug. It looks amazing on my wood floor. Thanks Winston!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My sister convinced me to join Facebook this week. I was sceptical at first, but it has been lots of fun. I admit that I have lost track of some great friends through the years. But that also means that I have made some amazing friends all over the world. I've lived in many different places and I've been all over the world, but now I have found some of those people again. Several that I haven't talked to since I was a kid. Miss and I have been on the phone and on the computer at the same time trying to come up with many of those names from when we were kids in Columbus. It's been great fun walking down memory lane, and reconnecting with everyone.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Rugs

I have two new rugs. The first is two shades of orange and brown. And the second is blues, purple, red, and hints of pink. I am warping my loom at 30 inches to start some new larger rugs.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Guess where I was and win a handmade item!

Today is the start of my new weekly game entintled "Where was Melanie" I'll post a picture and you guess where I was. The first two winners get a free handmade item created by myself. I will try to give you some clues. These could be anywhere in the world, because I have traveled overseas many times. Have fun and good luck.

For the first one, this was taken in April of 2008. My mom, sister, neice and I took a roadtrip here, so it is in the US. It was really cold and this ship came under a bridge that moves up and down to accomodate all the sailing traffic. It is a top volume port, and is not on the ocean.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Weaving Book

I found this great book "Learning to Weave" by Debbie Redding. It has everything you want to know about weaving. How to warp, and tie on, and the different weave structures and great illustrations. I have already learned a better way to tie-on to the front apron rod. her way is much better and tighter. I got a really good price on Amazon as a used book.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cutting fabric for rag rugs

I found the absolute best way to cut fabric for my rugs. I was using scissors, but that took forever and made my hand hurt until I found the My-T-Fine cordless electronic cutter. Thanks to Christmas money from Mike and Julie, I purchased the cutter and it arrived yesterday. It is the greatest invention since sliced bread! It is 9 inches long and only weighs 8 oz, and just slides through the fabric like butter. It is cordless, has self- sharpening blades, and industrial strength motor. It is rechargeable and comes with the charger and everything. It has revolutionized the rag rug weaving business. Cuts my fabric cutting time by half. Amazing

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Brown Sheep Company

Today I went to the Brown Sheep Company over by Mitchell. I was very impressed. Very friendly and they had so many beautiful colored yarns. Wool, mohair, silk and cotton. They had these wonderful hand dyed wools in all these variegated colors. It was started in 1980 by Harlan Brown and now they sell all over the US. And when you walk in there were several beautiful handwoven wool rugs. I bought a beautiful thick amethyst 100% wool yarn. I'm not quite sure what I am going to make out of it just yet. Check out their web page

Monday, January 5, 2009

How to put strips together for rag rugs

I spent all this time sewing my strips together for my rag rugs. Which worked well, but of course I had to have a sewing machine. Found a new way to put them together in an old Handwoven magazine. Cut a slit in the end of two strips. I have been putting it horizontal to the length, but I might try putting it vertical and see how that works. Anyway, put one fabric strip inside the other through the slit, then loop the fabric through. It works pretty great because I can make a nice length anywhere. No sewing machine required.