Thursday, April 30, 2009

Workshop Registration

Just an update on registering for the next rag rug workshop. There are already 5 people signed up for the workshop on June 6th. Call the museum (642 2015) if you are interested in attending and/or getting on a waiting list for future offerings. We may be able to schedule about one workshop per month, depending on level of interest, other museum activities, loom set up time, etc.   

Finished Workshop Rug

Neighbor Tom and I went over to the museum this morning at about 9 am (as is customary on most Thursdays), cut the first workshop rug off the loom and knotted the fringe. Our first workshop baby measured 28"x42" and weighed in at 3.25 pounds. Isn't she a beauty!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rag Rug Weaving Workshop

I’ll be leading the second Tatter Party and Rag Rug Weaving Workshop at the Aiken County Historical Museum on Saturday, June 6 from 10 am to noon. Call the museum (642-2015) to make your reservation. Attendance will be limited to about 6 participants so that everyone will get some hands-on time weaving on the loom.  I will join the new rug weavers at a later date to help them finish their rug.

Participants are invited to bring:

·      Examples of Rag Rugs they may have for ‘show & tell’

·      A colorful old cotton bed sheet or shirt suitable for tearing to tatters and weaving into a communal rug  (Please give “usable” items to SPCA, ACTS, Goodwill, etc),

·      Good fabric scissors.

Workshop agenda will be roughly as follows:

~9:45         ~ Meet & greet, coffee, cookies & Rag Rug show & tell

10:05         Brief history of thread, fabric, rags & rag rugs

10:20         Anatomy of the museum loom and brief weaving demo

10:45         Tatter Party -  how to prepare rags for weaving, design considerations, everyone cuts/tears a few rags, rags get sewn together for weaving

11:15         Participants take turns weaving their rag strips into the group rug

12:00 clean up and make plans to finish our rug



The first rag rug workshop was held at the museum on April 18th. We had 3 participants; Fred, Louise and Susan and several friends of the museum looking on and helping out. Mary’s home baked blue berry muffins were incredible. Susan had brought a very pretty beige with blue-striped plaid bed sheet that tore up (tattered) easily and added a nice design element to the rug. With the help of Helen on the sewing machine, we prepared more than enough rag strips to complete the rug. Everyone got a chance to weave several inches of rug on the loom. Fred joined me the following Thursday and we finished weaving their rug.

More Background:

Back in January ’09, neighbor Tom asked if I would be interested in helping him relocate an old loom in the county museum. He was sure he could take it apart, but wasn’t so sure about putting it back together.  Long story short, over the next few weeks we successfully disassembled and reassembled the loom in it’s new, more visible location. Director Elliott asked if the loom worked and if so what could we do with it that might get the attention of museum visitors. I, being loomless at the time and wanting to weave rag rugs immediately steered the discussion toward weaving rag rugs. I suggested we could set up a one rug ‘trial’ warp to make sure everything was workable and go from there. Over the next several weeks (Tom and I work as volunteers for 3 hours most Thursday mornings) warped & dressed the loom and made our first rug from fabric scraps donated by longtime museum volunteer, Owen.  The loom worked well, rug #1 was admired by all, and we scheduled the first Tatter Party and Rag Rug Weaving Workshop for mid-April.  

The first 'test' rug woven on the museum's old loom.