It is a universally acknowledged fact that farms are held together by baler twine and ours is no exception. Even though we haven’t baled hay or straw for years, there’s always a big roll of twine sitting in the workshop and several lengths hanging up that have been cut from bales.
Ask a farmer to empty their pockets and you’re bound to find a length of baler twine in there, whether a length of ancient sisal twine or modern polypropylene twine, ready to use. A length of baler twine acts as emergency belt, dog lead or headcollar for a pony. It doubles as a latch or a hinge. A quick walk from the back door to the barn revealed baler twine mending holes in nets, holding things together, holding things down and holding things up.
It seemed only appropriate therefore, that somewhere in my Stitched Journal of the Farm, I find a space to represent baler twine. So, for March, I decided to sew some cords using scraps of fabric that are too small to use for anything much. I’ve seen photos of fabric cords, but when I followed the instructions, the thread kept breaking as I sewed, the fabric frayed and I was left with a spindly cord with a lot of hanging threads.
After a little experiment, I realised that by folding in the edges of the fabric strip the whole thing looked much neater.
Take a strip of fabric, 2.5cm wide, fold it in half lengthways and press along the crease. Fold the edges into the middle and press again (steps 1 and 2). You could use a bias binder maker if you have such a thing up to this point. Finally, fold the strip in half again and press (step 3).
Set the sewing machine on a zig zag stitch and feed the strip into the sewing machine, twisting it tightly as you sew. You now have your cord made from a fabric scrap.
The blindingly obvious question, is of course “What on earth are you going to do with them Anne?” to which I have no real answer.
The strips could be plaited to make a hat band, strap or belt. They could be laid on fabric and stitched down to make a raised pattern. I could use them to bind together my Stitched Journal Project, should I ever join everything together. Most likely though I shall use them when I decide, on a whim, to make something and halfway through realise that I need piping cord, of which I have none. These will do the job perfectly well and it would be a rather satisfying use for odd bits of leftover fabric.
Any other suggestions?
Linking with Lola Nova for The Stitched Journal Project. There’s all sorts of people making all sorts of things. Check out this link to see what everybody has been making this month. You might be surprised.