BCQuilter's Weblog


Posted on: 31 January 2013

Well hello,

I am still around, not doing much, as energy levels are still low.  But that will pass.

I have been working on a few things… even worked on beginning cleaning up the quilt’n room, it is amazing, how much “stuff” can be deposited in one place.   It still has a long way to go, but at least now, I can use my cutting mat, ironing board and sewing machine.

I have been doing a little piecing each day, about an hour, which is plenty for me.  My brain wants me to keep going, but the body just isn’t willing.  I’ve been working on Bonnie K. Hunter’s Easy Street Mystery Quilt.  If you are interested in doing this project, I recommend downloading all the instructions soon, and adjusting the grey fabric.  She said several yards, and I think 1 yard would be sufficient, but maybe 1.5.

I have also been working on a string quilt for DD#2.  She wanted, light blue, medium blue, and dark blue, with a hint of pink.  I have all the light blue blocks done and a little more than half of the dark blue.   On the left of the photo is the twosies to be made into 4patches for the Easy Street.  And under the needle is a string block with foundation fabric.Easy Street 4 patches, and under the needle, string quilt

I have also delved into making rugs.  From rags.   The first one I made, is using the toothbrush method.  It has several names.  Instead of the modified toothbrush, or the tool, I used a large safety pin.  Works great!  The core fabric is white 100% cotton, salvaged from an old mattress cover (was in very good shape, except the zipper had come out of the stitching).   I tore that up into 2″ strips.   I need to back up a bit.

I have been wanting to make rugs for a while, and didn’t want to use my quilting cottons, so what to do.  I searched on the internet for rag rugs, and found several methods using tshirts.  So the hunt was on for tshirts.   It takes about 40 tshirts to make a good size rug (24″ x 36″).   Someone mentioned to me, try the local Hospital Auxiliary Economy Shop, they have a good deal on rag bags.  So I checked it out, and got 35 lbs of rags.  (2 bags).  One was tshirts, the other was tea towels, and other bits of fabric (flannel).    Jackpot!  Bonanza!

I started making t-shirt yarn, bought 3 large size crochet hooks, and started crocheting.  I didn’t really like the way it was turning out, so I stopped.  I think if I had a pattern, which would tell me when and were to increase, it would have worked out better (need to dig out the crochet books), but I just didn’t like it much.

My next venture was the one using the linen tea towels and the 100% cotton as the core.  I like this.  No special tools (only the safety pin), and it was all half hitches, works for the sailor in me!   So I sat one evening, and started working on it.  The centre is very very very loose.  I realized this much later, and didn’t want to tear it out and start over.  So I proceeded.   I started to alternate the 100% cotton for the linen, to give the rug a little colour character.  Now the outer edges tend to be too tight, but I”m working on it.  I found some more linen tea towels, and will be back working on this soon.

Rag Rug the beginning

The third rug I wanted to make uses the rug canvas.   I had the tshirts, cut up, into 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ pieces already to go.  But I had no canvas.  My DD#1 had made a couple trips out of town, and I asked her to check out Micheals, as well as a few other craft places.  No luck.   I guess I will have to wait for my out of town trips, two in February, and one in March.   I was roaming Wal-Mart, looking for something (can’t remember what it was now), and thought I’d pop into the craft section.  Sometimes inspiration will hit me there.   Well, wouldn’t you know it… they have the canvas!  Woohoo!  OHOH, do I know where my latch hook is?   Um, no.  So into another section, and found a hook.  I was ready to go.

Next problem… how was I going to do this.  I decided cutting the 24″ x 60″ canvas in half to give me to rugs of 24″ x 30″.  Good size, right?    Do you know how much tshirt pieces… never mind.  I am not going to figure that out until I am done!  Well, I started by folding the raw edges over, and securing it with the tshirt yarn.   Then I found out, (quick check on the internet for how to latch hook, it just didn’t seem right the way I was doing it, and it wasn’t), that I was using the wrong threads on the canvas.  You want to use the double twisted threads, as it is stronger, and stops the rug from becoming misshapenned.   Then I started.   I thought I would just do a scrappy kind of look,  but the size started to become intimidating.  My DD#2 suggested I use white as the main colour, and use the coloured pieces in squares.  What a great idea.  After about 12-16 hours, this is where it is at.  Oh, each square uses 100 pieces.   It is taking longer to cut the tshirt material, then to make the rug!

I have also been making more sock monkeys.   The sock monkeys were the first project of 2013.  It was time.   EAsy enough to stitch on the sewing machine (now that I can get to it),  and then sit and stuff, and hand stitch all the parts together.  Working out great.


I would like to mention the trip in March.   I have been asked to be a patient speaker at the Kidney Cancer Canada Annual Patient Conference.   So, I have been dusting off my public speaking skills.



7 Responses to "Ramblings…"

It’s great to hear about your activities again. Girl, you are staying busy and trying lots of things I’d never have the courage to try! Those monkeys are cute as…..okay, monkeys! (not bugs! *giggle*) The string quilt is going to be pretty. My grandmother used to crochet rag rugs. I may still have one stored away somewhere, not sure. We used them at Mother’s and when I first got married. Glad to see that you have enough strength to keep pushing on. I know you will do a great speaking job, and will inspire others who are going through similar circumstances. Just do overdo things, okay? —“Love”

Alice, you have been keeping busy even if you are not feeling 100% yet. Being busy is always a good thing. The monkeys are adorable and fun to make! Your rag rug is looking good, too. It is great to hear from you!

I like how you’ve adjusted your crafts to what you can easily manage. Plus cleaning out your quilting room is good for the soul as well!

You can only sew for about an hour a day? Don’t sweat it! I only get an hour a day to sew (before I leave for work) and you would be amazed at what can be accomplished! On the other hand, you have really accomplished alot in the handwork department. Good going!


An hour a day is a lot when you add it all up! The rugs look great. I hope your health continues to improve and you can sew longer stretches to keep up with your brain. And good luck at your speaking engagement in March. I’m sure you’ll do great!

You are achieving such a lot! Bonnie’s Easy Street quilt looks fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing your version. Interesting post about the construction of the rag rugs. I’ve seen them in magazines for sale but didn’t really understand how they were made. those sock monkeys are just too cute! You’ll be a terrific speaker at the convention.

Alice, so happy to hear from you!!! Seems like you are getting a lot done. I have done the toothbrush rugs too. I had a bit of problem with my tension too, but it gets better once you get the hang of it. That t-shirt rug looks so cute and comfy.
I love those sock monkeys! So very cute.
I am sure you will be a great speaker.
Take care of yourself!

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