We are just finalising our 2018 schedule of rag rugging workshops and the following 2 new dates and venues have now been confirmed:-
I've finally completed the first "Proggy" rag rug that I've ever made designed to go on the floor and it's proving to be quite popular with the cats who settled down onto it immediately it was finished..
Usually I make my work out of rather expensive handwoven Harris Tweed and wool yarns, and so these pieces are always created as wall hangings. But earlier in the year a very kind lady who'd previously attended one of our rag rugging workshops gave me 6 rubbish sacks full of unwanted old woollen garments. So I decided to make good use of them and make a traditional mat for the floor, with a central "devils eye" and a black border. I am really chuffed with the finished rug, which is quite large and weighs an absolute ton!
Making it has also been quite an interesting technical exercise as it has enlightened me as to a potential benefit of using a frame when making a piece as big and heavy as this. I have never used a frame when making my rag rugs, or ever really felt that doing so would be of any particular benefit.. But I can see that using a frame would support the significant weight of such a large piece as this when you're working on it, which would make it easier to work on, especially when nearly completed. Even so I'm still going to continue working without a frame as I just don't like the bulk of them.
This rug is destined to go in front of my sister's Aga and I've still got enough woollen materials left over to be able to make another one, for my brother this time.
Margaret Kenny and I run regular rag rugging workshops in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders f you fancy learning to make your own traditional proggy mat for your siblings or pets.
We are just finalising our 2018 schedule of rag rugging workshops and the following dates and venues have now been confirmed:-
Rag Rugging “Proggy” Xmas Wreath with Jane Jackson
Jane is doing a special afternoon rag rugging workshop as part of the St Abbs Wool Festival, which is now somewhat confusingly held at Eyemouth Community Centre (see map below.) Jane’s workshop is suitable for beginners. All materials and tools will be provided, although if you have any festive materials, ribbons etc. that you’d like to use, then please bring them along. Rag rugging is a slow craft, so you may not have time to finish your Xmas wreath during this 2 & ½ hour workshop, but you’ll certainly make a good start. You will work with a variety of fabrics and you don’t have to be good at art, drawing or sewing. The workshop runs from 1.00 pm to 3.30 pm and costs £25 per person, which includes all materials and equipment. There are only 8 places available on this workshop and places must be booked in advance by contacting Jane at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standing wool is a less well known rag rugging technique .where the fabric is sewn onto the backing hessian fabric.
This rag rug by Margaret Kenny was inspired by a trip to Scotland last year. The visit came about as Margaret was invited to run a rag rugging workshop on Seil Island, one of the slate islands in the Inner Hebrides. There are four slate islands, Easdale, Seil, Luing and Belnahau and as you would expect, the underlying geology of all the islands is slate. The islands were heavily quarried from the 17th century until the 1930’s and this has had a significant impact on the landscape. One of the islands (Eilean-a-beithich) was quarried so heavily that the entire centre of one of the islands was removed leaving only the outer rim, which was eventually eroded by the sea. Margaret was inspired by the dark and beautiful stratified slate landscape of Seil Island.
Another inspiration behind the rag rug was the Ardmaddy Wishing Tree, an ancient gnarled and unfortunately nearly dead Hawthorn tree thought to grant wishes if you embed a coin into its bark.
Tracy Jamar is an American textile artist based in New York. Back in the summer of 2015 she approached me, after seeing some of my posts on my Bright Seed Textiles facebook page, and asked if she could feature some of my work in her forthcoming book.
The book has just been published. My copy still hasn't arrived yet, so I don't know which pictures of my work have made the cut, but it's all very exciting!
The work Tracy wanted to include involved shirring (where strips of fabric are sewn onto the base fabric) and wrapping (where strips of fabric are wrapped around a base rope/cord) and coiling (where strips of fabric are rolled up and then sewn onto the base fabric. If you want to find out more, you'll either have to come on one of our workshops or buy Tracy's book. I've included some example pictures below that are likely to be similar to the images appearing in Tracy's book. You can see more of my work on my gallery page.
To find out more about Tracy visit her website www.tracyjamar.com or facebook page Tracy Jamar FiberWorks
shirring & clipped progging Coiling, wrapping & shirring shirring & clipped progging
We will be running a vaguely Christmas themed beginners rag rugging workshop at The Bleachingfield Centre (see location map below) on behalf of Zero Waste Dunbar on Saturday 26th November. The Christmas theme is optional and people are free to make whatever they wish, but we thought it might be nice to do something a bit festive with the big day being so close.
Rag rugging is a great way of recycling/upcycling old fabrics and clothing to make beautiful objects for yourself, your home or presents for other people. If you've got any fabrics or old clothing you'd like to use at the workshop then please bring them along. But if you haven't got anything to bring, don't worry as we will bring a big stash of materials and will provide everything you need on the day. including homemade cake and hot drinks.
The workshop costs £40 per person and runs from 10 am until 3.30 pm, with a 30 minute break for lunch (lunch not included.) Booking is essential as there are only 16 places available.
To book please send a £10 deposit for each person (cheques made payable to Jane Jackson), along with your contact details to Jane Jackson 5, Rock Village. Alnwick. Northumberland NE66 3SD.
Dunbar is the first community to become a Zero Waste Town as part of a new programme from Zero Waste Scotland. In this programme a Zero Waste Town is a community of between 5000 and 10,000 people where there is a concentrated drive of activity to test how increased recycling activity and greater local resource efficiency can help to achieve zero waste. The Zero Waste Towns will be supported by Zero Waste Scotland to boost activities including recycling from both households and businesses, rolling out food waste collections, increasing ‘recycling on the go’ facilities and working with businesses to help them reduce their use of resources. Further information on Zero Waste Scotland’s Zero Waste Town’s programme can be found by contacting Zero Waste Scotland via www.zerowastescotland.org.uk .
One of the most important elements of our rag rugging workshops is the provision and eating of homemade cake. Margaret makes her cakes with free range eggs from her own hens and also often uses fruit from her garden. Jane's husband Keith tends to make her cakes and he often makes a cracking lemon drizzle cake with a gorgeous filling made from his own homemade lemon curd mixed with mascarpone cream cheese. So you can try one type of cake with your coffee in the morning and another with your cup of afternoon tea.
Check out our 2017 workshop dates by clicking here.
And it looks great!
There are 91 exhibits from individuals, community groups, community projects and rag rugging groups from all over the North East of England, ranging from Berwick in the North down to York in the South.
We'd like to thank the museum for all their support and to all the exhibitors for letting us borrow their beautiful work.
So far we've had lots of positive feedback from visitors and 3 exhibits sold within the first 24 hours of the exhibition!
The exhibition is on until Sunday 31st October and is well worth seeing. The exhibition is on at the Bailiffgate Museum, Open 10am - 4pm Tuesday to Sunday.
Bailiffgate Museum is an independent museum, run by volunteers and there is a small admission charge -
Adults - £4 Concessions - £3 Children (5-16) - £1 Under 5s - Free
If you fancy learning to rag rug, we will be holding a 1 day beginners workshop at the museum on Saturday October 1st from 10 am till 3.30pm. Go to our workshops page to find out more.