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Summer Scrap Elimination Week 2: Skinny Strip Buster

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I don't know about you, but I LOVE being super efficient with my fabric and using as much as possible.  Scrap projects are fun and make me feel super frugal and planet friendly.  But....what about those skinny strips - those tiny strings of fabric that come from trimming and squaring up fabric and blocks?  Those drive me CRAZY!  There just HAD to be something I could do with them...SOMETHING!

And then I had an ah-ha moment, and remembered my pre-quilt days when I played around with weaving.  That was it!  A terrific and fun way to use skinny strips....weaving!

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Do you have a scrap basket that looks like this - overflowing with scraps (of all sizes and colors)?  Great!  You just need a few more supplies to get started weaving some fun little projects and use up those scraps.

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I recommend starting with:

  • a frame loom of some sort (I've got some links and suggestions for you below)
  • a small comb (you can use this to beat down the rows of weaving
  • scissors
  • a large eyed blunt tip needle for weaving
  • skinny strips (I find that 1/4" wide or narrower work best, but you can use any width)
  • (NOT SHOWN) heavy weight thread (I like cotton crochet thread) to warp your loom.  FYI the warp is what you weave your fabric strips through.

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If you are just playing around with strips, as I do, it can be fun to create organic shapes and change up your colors across the surface of your weaving.  This is my first attempt - and take a few notes from my experience. 

  • I finished too close to the top of the weaving, so I'm going to have to figure out something creative (maybe a sleeve like we often put on quilts) to hang the weaving from the top.
  • If you are a free spirit, just go with it.  If you have a specific image or shape in mind, plan it out and pay attention as you use your strips.
  • Pay attention to the edges.  It is SUPER EASY to pull the edges too tight, which will make your project curve in on the sides.
  • You don't have to have a fringe, but I thought it was fun to use some of the same fabric strips to make an uneven fringe across the bottom.

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The large eyed needle is useful if you want to change colors and create curves or angles.  Again, I've got some links from weaving experts (I'm NOT an expert) that can get you started!

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Here is another project in the works.  You can see the warp threads (the off white cotton crochet thread) that the cotton strips are woven under and over.  I've also used the cotton thread to create a border at the bottom and at the top of the weaving.  Once I am finished with the weaving, I'll cut the warp threads at the edge of the loom, and tie them off at the top and bottom of the loom to finish it off.

So what are the basic steps?  

  1.  Warp your loom (frame loom or makeshift picture frame, embroidery hoop or cardboard) with chosen thread.  I recommend starting with a neutral heavy cotton thread.
  2. Prepare your strips for weaving.  You will get the BEST results if you cut your strips the same width (or close to the same width).  Longer strips mean you have fewer stops and starts and will result in a smoother looking project.
  3. Thread the strip through the blunt tip needle and weave the strip over and under (you can weave under one thread, over one thread, or experiment with different weaving patterns such as over two threads, under one thread).  You'll alternate the weaving pattern on alternate rows.  IE Row One begins over one, under one, while Row Two begins under one, over one.
  4. Be sure to leave space at the bottom of the loom and at the top of the loom to tie off your warp threads.  When you are satisfied with your weaving, cut your warp threads and tie them off.  I tied four at a time - two top warp threads and two bottom warp threads.  You can tie singles if you prefer.

So let's talk nitty gritty details.  First - do you happen to have a frame loom laying around?  No?  Not to worry!  You can purchase a frame loom (I have an affiliate link at the bottom for a basic frame loom that you can order) - or you can make one from a picture frame.

Hello Hydrangea: Loom from picture frame 2
Hello Hydrangea: Loom from picture frame

 

Hello Hydrangea has a terrific post on creating an easy frame loom from a picture frame.  Check it out here!

Don't have a picture frame handy?  No worries!

How-to-Make-a-Circular-Weaving-Loom-from-Cardboard
Happy Hooligans How to Make A Circular Cardboard Loom

 

Happy Hooligans has a terrific tutorial on creating a circular loom from cardboard.  It is listed as a kid's craft - but honestly I think ANYONE would enjoy this.  It looks SUPER EASY!  You can find her tutorial here.

3 Elements of a Quality Weaving
Mirrix Looms - 3 Elements of a Quality Weaving

 

Want more specific details?  Mirrix Looms has an EXCELLENT detailed tutorial on their blog to get you started!  Check it out here!

Want to just buy a loom and get started?  I've got you!  There's a link at the bottom to a great medium size loom (which gives you a lot of options as to what size your project will be) at the bottom of this post.  Happy weaving!

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I hope you are inspired to put those skinny little strips to good use!  I'd love to see pictures of your scrap weaving projects - so tag me on Instagram at #tamarinis and I'll be sure to check out your creations and share them with everyone!

Be sure to check out all of the other Summer Scrap Elimination posts this summer for more great ideas on how to bust those scraps!

Every Thursday June 17 - July 22        Swam Amity Designs

June 24                                                 Tamarinis (you are here!)

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Here's a great option for a frame loom to get you started (larger version of the one I have in my supply picture above):


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Disclaimer Statement: This blog is my personal blog, which means it is written and edited by me - and I may sometimes have guest posts (and they will be written/edited by the guest poster - whew!). This blog does accept forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation, which may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in the blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Sometimes I (the blog owner) may be compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Please be aware that, even though I may be asked to provide opinions, posts or reviews, I do always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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