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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Braided Placemat Basket Pattern using Fabric Folders

Isn't it funny how memories, when least expected, can come rushing back?  That's what happened to me today when I picked up the next pattern in the stack to process.

The pattern itself is mostly instructions on tearing strips of fabric, attaching them to each other to make long lengths and then braiding them together.

And there came the memory.   When I was in grade school I lived with my Mother in Pendleton, OR; just down the road from the Pendleton Woolen Mills.   At that time (they still might), they sold bags of their scrap wool fabrics very cheaply.    My mother would buy the bags, as money was available, and then at night, she'd sew those strips together and spend hours carefully braiding them together.   I'll always remember her sitting there for hours at the machine stitching pieces together, and then getting down on the floor, and turn by turn, putting together the rugs that eventually covered our floors.   When we left there, the rugs were left in the little rental house.   I wonder if they are now someones treasured collectible (that would have been the late 60's) or if they were just thrown away.   

Tucked inside the envelope was a flyer to order these fabric folders.

I've never seen Fabric Folders before.  My mother would have loved these.   She not only tied scrap to scrap, but also stitched the edges under.  I was wondering if these were still in use, and a Google search shows yes, but what appears to be heavier pieces for rug making ... versus this smaller addition for cotton fabrics.
Just for fun, here's the back of the envelope where the technique is illustrated.   

I'd moved on several patterns and was still reminiscing about Mom's rugs, when the thought struck me.    If the pattern is about tearing and braiding together cotton fabrics, what were those uncut, factory folded tissues for?   Back to Simplicity 7419.    

Do you know ?  

Fabric Flowers ... the ones shown above on the pattern cover.   If you look closely at the pattern cover, you'll also note that these little flowers are also turned into napkin holders.  There are, most likely, lots of other creative uses as well.

Okay, that's it.    Back to work.

Thanks for dropping by,

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I wouid love to hear your thoughts on this post. It gets lonely in here talking to myself!