Friday, May 04, 2007

Bits and Pieces with Purpose

See this jumble of thread? Want to know what it's all about? I was interested in the comments made by a woman who had inherited a workbasket which contained some pieces in various stages of completion. She was comparing 2 pillowcases and noted that one used a very fine thread and another used a very thick thread and she wondered why her aunt would have worked the 2 pieces so differently.

It made me stop and think of what someone might make of the collection of tatting supplies and half completed bits that I have. Since most of what I do are new designs, I have a lot of trial bits and pieces done with crappy thread because I was just trying something out. I've kept piece of things I did when I first started tatting and bits of edgings I was trying out, sample motives I tatted up and pieces of threads I tried out.

I wonder if they would know that this lump of pink and blue is really a place mat that I stopped working on because I got tired of rows of the same old stuff and the store quit selling the thread so while I might be able to complete it, colour matching might be a problem.

This piece was an early attempt at doing a treatment for a V neck. I had the idea of making the lace as an inset and trimming away the fabric to fit it in. What stopped me was that doing the first side was easy, making the second side to match meant counting stitches for every little section and the more I worked on it the less I liked how it was looking.

And what about these blue flowers? They were intended to be appliqued on a tablecloth or place mats, but when I picked up the balls of thread I didn't notice that the size 8 perle cotton I thought I had bought, was actually size 5. They'll never get completed.

Here's another failed designing attempt. A small 5 sided motif intrigued me and I wanted to see what it would look like bigger, so I played around with a one shuttle border. It doesn't lay flat and not amount of blocking is going to improve it.

Here's some bits and bobs that have no use. Gold and pearls on an ear wire so this was obviously and attempt at an earring that went wrong. How do you like the mutant 3D daisy? The doily is from an old crochet magazine that included a couple of tatting patterns. Way back when I didn't have any tatting books a friend gave me this pattern. You will probably recognize it from several old publications. The aborted doily is incomplete because in my opinion anything with floppy bits on it's perimeter doesn't deserved to be tatted.

That's just a smattering of the fragments, snippets and incomplete pieces from the bottom of my workbasket. What about yours? What do you think people will make of your leftover bits? Do you think some distant relative will scour the internet looking for thread to match an incomplete piece that you put aside in disgust because you hated working on it? Will all of your treasured pieces from round robins and exchanges show up in a bulk lot of "vintage tatting" on ebay? How about a useful way to keep and use all of your little bits? How about using your cast off bits and incomplete pieces, your mistakes and your ugly trials and turning them into something useful, durable and educational? How about dressing up an old pair of jeans and recycling them into a craft bag? How about (drum roll please!) another challenge!

Here's the idea. Just like the 25 Motif Challenge you can work at your own pace. Take an old pair of jeans, cut off the legs and sew them along the leg end to make a bag. Add a handle, you can use the leg pieces sewn as a strap or do something else, it's up to you. Then decorate the bag with all your old scraps and bits or use the pieces from your 25 Motif Challenge. If you don't like the colour of your old bits you can do what CQers do and dye them any colour you'd like. Here are some ideas from an embroidery challenge to get you started. If you don't have a pair of jeans you can cut up, there are a lot of yard sales or thrift shops where you could find something suitable.

If is sounds like something you want to try let me know either by e-mail or by leaving a comment. For this challenge I will set up a separate blog and each participant will be added as a "Team Member". Blogger allows blogs to have team members so that each person can add their own pictures and comments. That will make it much easier for me and it's why I'm willing to handle another challenge. Your regular Google account will let you access the blog to update your progress. At least, I've been told it will, I haven't done it yet.


Melissa said...

This sounds fun so basically it's making a jean purse embellished with any bits of tatting you have or will make?
I think I may have to join in this one!

Sharon said...

That's right! and now there's a blog for it -
Tatting Treasures from Trash -
More information will be posted as things develop. I have several people already interested and I'm going to start entering names and posting some basic sewing instructions for the people who don't even know where to start.