Monday, March 28, 2011

Frugal Me.

Are you the type of hooker who leaves miles and miles of backing around a pattern you design yourself? Or are you, like me, the type who hates to waste anything and leaves the bare minimum to make it to the gripper strips? (I've even occasionally had to hold mine in place with string or wool strips wrapped around my frame - tsk, tsk)

In keeping with my frugality, and picking up on a great hint from Anne B., I was getting ready for today's hooking class in "alternative fibers". (We will be hooking with yarn, fabric, ribbon, old sweaters, pantyhose, even garbage bags - I'll show progress later.)

And here is what I did with three small pieces of rug warp:

First, you find one of those old t-shirts that has been set aside for the dust rag pile. Then you cut off the part below the armholes and cut the back and front apart.

Then you zigzag your small piece of backing into the centre of one of the pieces, like this.

You can't see the stitching on this side, but it is outside the black marker line. This piece is about 10" by 12" (and the outlined part is about 7 x 9) - too small to fit in either a hoop or frame.
This is the zigzagging on the back - and yes, that does say Cannes. Rick got this t-shirt when he went for the advertising awards there about 10 years ago (maybe longer).
 Just a close up of the zigzag stitch - it's the one on your machine with the little stitches within the zigzag - that allows for extra stretch.
I did three of these for the students. Next step is to cut away the t-shirt from in front of the backing.
But, as you can tell, the t-shirt is now large enough to fit into the hoop or frame. (The white-ish one was actually recovered from the dust cloth bin.)

When Anne B. demonstrated the trick, she showed it for Artist Trading Cards and she had zigzagged around each one so that she could cut them out individually as they were finished, but still have something to hold the others in place.  I think it is completely brilliant!!!!

Before witnessing this, I had been sewing strips of fabric to the outside of my wee pieces, which was far more time consuming. So, not only am I saving backing, I'm also saving time. Yippee!


Tony Latham - said...

Awesome TIP Wendie!
Thanks for sharing.
Have fun with all those fun fibers!!!

Orange Sink said...

I like this alot! I think I need to raid the t-shirt man's closet!
Thanks Wendie!
Cathy G

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

I just did this with the last blog challenge project ~ my monks cloth was too skinny to fit the frame but too big to throw away!! I basted some muslin all around and it worked great!! Learned it from a friend who is very frugal and has been hooking a very long time!

maureenm said...

terrific idea-thanks! I am a frugal hooker also, and sew on the strips,when my backing is too small for a hoop or frame, but this would have the added benefit of getting some old clothes out of the closet, drawers and ragbag. Love it!! And the zigzag will pull out more easily than straight stitching, once it's all hooked. Brill!

Jen Manuell said...

+ if you want to save even more time, you can skip serging around the backing scrap first and just zig-zag it at the same time as you sew it onto your surplus fabric. Pin your rug warp/linen/whatever to the centre of the bigger t-shirt or scrap material.....then stretch zig-zag along the edge of your backing -- finishing off the cut edge and attaching it below at the same time.


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