Thursday, February 24, 2011

Double Duty

I just love it when things are dual purpose which is why I was attracted to a couple of tutorials making pattern weights. They seemed useful and used up scraps AND with the addition of a small loop, could be re purposed for use hanging off the back of the loom to weight a pesky thread or two.

I had to make some. Easy as pie to sew, a real pain in the neck to fill! I used rice, but you can use any dry dense substance like beans say. I chose rice because it seemed heaviest and I had a lot of it on hand.

I've also discovered the joys of using a tailor's ham. No not Taylor's Ham (which is a company in New Jersey I believe, that makes pork roll). You wouldn't want to eat this, it's filled with sawdust. Of course it might resemble my mother's Tuna Casserole, but we won't go there. It is nice to have a hard curved surface to iron curved seams on. Makes a huge difference top stitching to have had the curve nicely pressed, which is hard to do on a flat surface.

You can also see an emery strawberry, which wasn't easy to find. The emery keeps pins and needles sharp and this one is large enough to be used as a cushion without getting lost. The most recent pattern in process is next to it all. Red sleeveless tunic version.

The towels are washed and pressed. I've added a little linen loop to each one for hanging.

Two will go into my kitchen the balance to be tucked away for gifting.
The silk warp is sleyed and waiting to be tied on. I remembered again why I try to avoid that 15 dent reed but this fine silk really needs a fine reed and that's what I've got. I would like to say I have the hemp warp started for the overshot, but I got no further than checking what sett I had used previously (16) and I think I'm going to go up to 18 or 20epi on this piece. I have to sit down and put it all together with the chosen pattern. Monday house cleaning and a quick trip to town Tuesday (in advance of a predicted big snow storm) have all conspired against me. I'll be honest, I'm not a whirlwind most of the time. I putz through my day, balancing what I have to do, what I need to do and what I want to do in small increments here and there. Oh, and it would appear the storm has hit judging by the white backs that came in the door for breakfast after their morning out. The wet floor was another clear indicator! ;)

I did get a pair of pillowcases made, using some vintage fabric I've had forever, at least 20 years. It's the old standard of 36" wide and showing some fading along the creases, but I've loved it and dang, it was time to use it somehow.

Long ago it was going to be a quilt, but I couldn't bear to cut into it at the time. I still have a fair amount left too since I used it only for the deep hem part.

Well, it's about time to go out and do my best Nanook of the North routine, get Bob loaded with hay and grain buckets and fire him up for the delivery run. Feed the chubby barn cats and check on the goatie girls. To think I was considering shearing them down a few weeks ago. The horses are just starting to shed as are the goats, which means they will blow the fleece long before I dare shear it off. Compost anyone?

Parting shot: Blue Dog Imitation with Ghost Ears...ooooooow Spooky!


  1. Today is my day to look for a towel I really love seeing your towels. Your snazzy pillowcases give a real jumpstart to spring!!! I'm ready!

  2. Blue Dog would fit with the Picasso exhibit that is in town here at VMFA!

  3. Love the little pattern weights - they're so cute! Great idea.

    I need to buy that top pattern, like the version with the little cap sleeves.

    Taylor's Pork Roll - yuck! I grew up spending my summers on the Jersey Shore - Cape May, NJ had a Taylor's Pork Eatery on the boardwalk. Italian hoagies were the best in NJ as were Philly cheesesteaks and Tastee Kake butterscotch krumpets and tandy cakes.....washed down with a YooHoo!

  4. Where did you find the strawberry? I have little ones attached to the old style tomato pincushions, but this is a nicer size.

  5. ...or maybe Blue Dog Group...start something new and differnt!
    The towles are so beautiful I'd struggle to use them. And the pillowcase is so cheerful...all you do is amazing! Thanks for the dog chuckle!

  6. Evelyn, It's a product made by Fons & Porter and I got it at, a whopping $6.00USD.
    Oh Cindie, I LOVE pork roll! But I love Philly Cheese steaks too and Yoohoo. Let's not forget real honest to goodness soft pretzels either.
    The pattern is surprisingly challenging at least the crossover front is. Rhonda to the rescue believe me.
    Other than that, a nice fit on this one.
    LA, pick a good one and let us see soon what you've decided on!
    LOTL, oh lucky gal. Picasso exhibits are always interesting and inspiring I think.
    LOL, Nancy, I certainly have enough dogs for a "group". Now if I can just teach them percussion instruments, other than tail thumping. And poor Charlotte, double ears but only an itty bitty stubber of a tail.

  7. Hey Theresa. Your towels are beautiful, and I can just see them in your wonderful kitchen.

    I have a tailor's ham that's been with me about 40 years now. I've almost given it to Goodwill more times than I can count, but something's stopped me. It has come in handy a couple of times. I'm so inspired by your sewing, and your weaving.

    Bet you are getting lots of the white stuff. I was so disappointed to wake up this morning to - nothing. It's finally started here and is coming down pretty good, but hasn't started to stick yet. We'll see how much we actually get.

  8. I'm in the same shoes as LA - I'm deciding on a towel pattern. I like yours a lot, and after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  9. I've made that blouse about 6 times this past year! You can shorten it to make it look less maternal, and you can substitute tucks in the back for the strip of elastic. I did the elastic in one version and it doesn't lay flat; it kind of bunches up. I haven't made the crossover version, since I have no bust to hold it up, but the other neckline is very flattering. Show us what you make with it!

  10. Sharon and LA, the pattern is a simple birds eye twill out of Davison's book. The last two towels I just changed the treadling to get a different variation on the threading.
    Maggie, thanks for the tip on the pattern. The long sleeve blouse with the cute sleeves is next in line. And I did shorten the overall length of the top that I did. Maybe the elastic only works with a heavier fabric?

  11. Kris, so happy to see you stop by! Yes, we have lots of white stuff. I won't be heading to town today but tomorrow looks promising!
    The ham is so useful. I'm really happy I bought it. I need to find a few other shapes. I think they make a long one for doing sleeves.....Ham collecting, who knew!

  12. oh...I don't think there's a quilt pattern in the world that would show off that fabric as well of those pillow cases!

    I'm jealous of your strawberry emery cushion.

    My favorite sentence..."I'll be honest, I'm not a whirlwind most of the time." whirl has lost a bit of its wind lately. I'd like to think that I putz more than I plod.

    Lovely towels...and can't wait to see the silk.

  13. Those weights may come in handy for a lot of different purposes.
    Love the pillow it is so bright and cheery.
    Do you think the critters enjoy having their pictures taken?
    Have a great weekend!
    Susan x

  14. Valerie,
    Thank you on the pillowcases. I'm happy that I used the fabric in this way. It was a hard set of colors to match too, but stumbled on that grey and teal stripe fabric and just knew it would be perfect! LOL, yes, the oversized strawberry was a nice find. You know, many years ago when I bought and sold vintage linens, those little antique strawberries fetched quite a hefty price. People collect all sorts of things. I'm sure you putz, never plod!

    Susan, I think the critters are like people, some love the attention of the camera, others run and hide. For dogs, some may be thrown by the flash. Stella is a camera ham and has been since she was a mere slip of a pup. The weights have already made up for their difficult filling. They have also worked quite well for tossing at someone who shouldn't have had their snoot in contraband. Nothing like a surprise whack with a rice filled projectile and a stern NO to command attention!