Monday, September 24, 2012

BBA Challenge - Scrap Heap

The September BBA (Blogging Business Artisans) Team Challenge involved trying a new technique.

My project turned into a scrap heap ---- but in a GOOD way!

You see, I have accumulated a LOT of fabric scraps in my decades of sewing and fabric acquisition, and I am constantly looking for ways to use those scraps and stash fabrics to create something useful. One large piece of cotton fabric in my stash (acquired at a garage sale with the intent to use it as a quilt back perhaps) has now been transformed into yards and yards and yards of pre-folded and pressed fabric strips, thanks to the NEW TECHNIQUE I used to meet this month's BBA challenge.

I chose to use a Clover Bias Tape Maker to convert 2-inch scrap fabric strips into "bias tape" (although mine was cut on the lengthwise grain rather than the bias) with two edges folded in toward the center to conceal raw edges.  Tape made with the tape maker could be used to make binding for oven mitts, my Etsy shop's best selling item.  But the tape can also be used to make crochet rag rugs.


It took me several attempts to come up with a workable way to thread the strip into the gadget.  I tried spray starch, which left unsightly marks on my ironing board cover.  Then I tried poking with a large pin (I didn't have a tailor's awl recommended in the instructions).  Finally, (third time's the charm) I tried trimming each side by about 1/8" for the first two inches or so of the strip to allow it to slide into place more easily. Once I got the hang of it, I quickly turned about 4 yards of blue and white cotton floral print fabric into 2-inch strips, and I then turned those strips into "tape" that I intend to use to create my first crochet rag rug.

Crocheting the rug will require me to learn yet another new skill.  I have watched and rewatched a Basic Crochet Rag Rug Instructional DVD available through The Rug Lady.   I think I can do it.

I hope that one day my scrap heap will become a blue and white flecked 24" x 36" oval rag rug.  Stay tuned for further developments.  If all goes well, rag rugs may eventually become a new product line for my Etsy shop.

Please forgive the poor photo quality.  My tried and true photo editing system on my old computer was lost when it crashed.  I downloaded Photoshop for the new computer, but I am a bit overwhelmed, and feeling totally inept.   There IS a Photoshop for Dummies book -- I'll be heading to the library after I finish three "made to order" orders.  In the meantime, I'm open to suggestions for user-friendly photo editing systems. 

LeAnn aka pasqueflower


  1. how neat! And I understand what you're doing! Rag rugs are just wonderful - I love them. Great use for scrap fabric.

    About Photoshop: I use it at work and use Photoshop Elements at home. The best thing to do, after placing your photo on the screen (or in the Project Bin for Elements) is to use the Levels tool and "draw in" the input levels from the left and right. Tell me which software you have, and I can tell you where to find it! There are so many tools available! Also, try YouTube for instructions. {:-D

  2. Cool new technique! Hope crocheting is easier for you to learn than Photoshop. I think some photo editing programs have WAY too many options, I hope to keep my old simple one forever. TFS!

  3. Cool! Although..the middle two photos don't show up on my screen. I'm exited to see how your rag rug turns out too!

  4. Oh fun! I've always wanted to try this!

  5. What a neat project! Best of luck with it.

  6. What a handy little tool! I love fun toys that make life easier :)
    Can't wait to see your fist rag rug!

  7. I love that bias tape maker, how cool. I am looking forward to seeing your completed rag rug.
    Everyday Inspired

  8. That is a cool tool! Now we'll look forward to seeing your rug or whatever you decide to make.