You probably can tell from some of Colleen’s post that she came by her “thriftiness” honestly. As her mom, I can also guarantee that she will be consistently frugal and find the best deal possible to achieve which ever project she is working on! The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, happily I might add. I have always saved odds and ends, this and thats, knowing that I would use them on a future project down the road. I would drive my parents crazy with the modge podge collection of goods I saved. There always was some method to my madness. Over the years, it has proved to all come together with some beautiful finished pieces and as you have to take the good with the unfortunate, some were duds. The project that Col has asked me to guest blog about has been in the works for 10 to 12 years. There were times I was so frustrated that I threw it in a closet and forgot about it for a few years. I would then get new advise and try again, only to get equally frustrated, throw it in that closet for another few years. I never gave up though!
This abused project is a braided rug. Not just any braided rug, but a rug made from recycled blue jeans. Col’s dad, Steven, has been in the construction business all her life and he would go through jeans faster than we went through laundry detergent! Levi’s have made a bundle off us over the years! I as you probably can guess, started to save them. LOL. I knew it was going to take a multitude of jeans to accomplish this project, so I asked family and friends to save their pairs for me too. Finally, I had enough to start.
That is the first tub of jeans, minus the zippers, pockets, waistband, & buttons. I think each bin has at least 30 pairs of jeans in them. I was so excited to see them build up, now I needed to make 2.5″ strips, sew them end to end, and roll into balls. Easier said than done! The blisters on my thumb and forefinger, whew boy.
Lesson learned, only cut enough for 3 balls at a time. Blisters were one thing I could do with out! I then got to work braiding them together. Using clothes pins from my laundry line, I folded the selvage edges to the middle and folded in half, securing with the clothes pins. Braiding, folding, pinning, braiding, folding, pinning.
Now, I thought it would be easy street. Just sew them together, flat and simple. I asked at the fabric/craft stores and they recommended using a heavy quilters thread. Very excited to get started, I came home and went to work. Col’s brother, Shamus, (then in 7th grade) was to receive the rug for his room. The expectations were supremely high, let me tell you. Mom had never failed in delivering yet. I wasn’t too keen about falling off that pedestal! As the sewing progressed, I could feel the tension on the thread start to give. Believing these ladies new their business, I kept going. Big mistake! I lifted it to show Steven the progress and SNAP the thread gave way. Needless to say, that was the first time I threw it into the closet, so disappointed and I could feel the pedestal start to teeter!
If you’re interested in this projects fits and restarts, come back tomorrow and I will tell you some more…………………………… Cyn – Colleen’s Mom