March Madness

I want to take the term March Madness and make it describe NOT the happy and longed for College basketball events, but the crazy whirlwind of intertwined weaving and weather madness that has been going on around here.

Here are a couple of pics of the 2nd Grand “In-structo-tion” event held at my house

In-structo-ionInstructotion 2

We had a ball trying to fully master the “weave as drawn in” technique (previously blogged) taught by weaving master Ute Bargmann.  Ute “sat on us” until we finally understood how to read the warp so that we could weave overshot without a treadling draft and get the tabby order correct. Then we were rewarded with some yummy Red Lentil and Lime soup (a great recipe that I got from a member of my book group and blogged about on TasteSpace) was the virtuous part of the meal. The indulgence was Glazed Lime Cake

It was a Structo and citrus frenzy.

I finally finished my article for my CW Designing Fabric study group. I wanted to post it here to get some feedback, but it is LONG so I will post a pdf and you can open it only if you are super motivated to read A Scintillating Tale of Sitting at the Loom for Three Weeks . . . Can you tell that I am completely tired of it? Anyway, read at your own risk Designing Fabrics essay

I have completed the Dots and Dashes set of pillows and throw.  I am really happy with the set except for the sewing.  I am thinking seriously of buying a serger (oh no – another machine) AND taking a sewing class.  I thought that by the 9th or 10th zipper/pillow I would have it down, but what I realized this time is that I run into the same problems over and over and I can’t solve them with practice alone.  I need to know how to make adjustments in the tension on my machine, what thread to use, what foot to choose, etc. I also need to learn how to do it with MY machine. I will try to read my manual again (I have had this machine for 20 years – so you would think I would have mastered it by now . . .) All of this learning to happen AFTER I have sewn 14 pillows. Sigh!

Dots and Dashes 3

Dots and Dashes 4

The Coop is still stalled with hopes (and thank you all for the great encouragement) that Spring will bring some renewed energy to the group.

And finally, I have created a youtube channel because my one (oh so primitive) video on Deflected Doubleweave Selvedges was no longer appearing on my Plain Weave site (????) If you are interested, it is:

And finally, the new issue of Complex Weavers Journal has some really great pieces on double weave of all sorts – info packed! So if you get a chance – read it!



11 thoughts on “March Madness

  1. Another lovely set of pillows with blanket! I just finished weaving a big thick ole piece of cloth to make a floor pillow and even though I have a serger (we call them overlockers) and I’m really confident with my machine… I’m still quaking in my boots about it lol

    What a lovely set up you had at your instruct-o-thon. I’m of course soaking in all the beautiful household surroundings too!

    • Hi Claire,
      So sorry for the belated response – something strange is happening with my comments notification . . . must investigte . . . I am zooming over to your blog to see if there are any pics of your pending pillows. The only advice I have (given to me AFTER I had sewn my first handwoven garment) was to use lightweight fusible interfacing on the yardage before you cut it at all. It will give it stability and keep the springy threads tamed. Looking forward to seing it!

      • I’ll get a post up tonight or tomorrow 🙂 I’m pretty pleased with myself and the overlooking and sewing went very well.

        I’ll give the interfacing idea a try – even if just to stabilise the seams of my next big project which I hope will be a garment.

  2. In haste, are the paintings your children?
    Before buying a serger try it with your handwoven, then move the fabric as if you were wearing it; pull, twist, wash. Mine is ooold but I find the serging pulls away with fabric from the edges.

    • Hi Dianne,

      Thanks for the serger tip – could save me a bundle! How do you finish your interior seams if you don’t serge them? My pillow insides are pretty unsightly. The portraits are of me and my husband – oh – just a few years ago:))

  3. I have to admit I’ve avoided sewing handwoven fabric as much as possible until recently. I use a 3 step zig zag stitch on my edges. If I can do a row of straight stitching first I will, then zig zag over that. It stops fluting. Quilters use a ‘walking foot’ to stop layers move when stitching and I understand this is very good with handwovens but I haven’t tried one. I do have a roller foot (for sewing leather) which helps a little. Daryl Lancaster ( puts out a great monograph called “Seam and Edge Finishes”.
    Your duo of cushion and throw look wonderful.

      • In my last project (very thick woolen fabric) I hand sewed a zipper in and it went really well. I first basted the seam together using a long stitch on my machine, then I hand basted the zip in. I then unpicked the machine basting and hand sewed the zip close to the edge of the zip. It looks great – almost invisible! By doing that I have have avoided the risk of 1) any wonkyness in my sewing, especially up near the ends of the zip 2) any risk of needing to unpick machine stitching. After I saw that my stitching was good I removed the hand basting. It was a nice job to do in the evening in front of some tv.

        • I agree Claire – I hand-sewed all the pillows at the edges because I wanted a lot of control attaching the very stretchy deflected double weave to the much-firmer plain weave backs or to the inkle band edges that I did for some. But the zippers seemed to call for a firmer machine stitch. I have been doing the lapped zipper – so they are completely concealed in the stripe of the backing fabric, and I was having some problems with the lapped seam staying completely flat. The walking foot made all the difference in the world. If it hadn’t, I would have gone to hand-sewing them too. I love your Big Pillow – did you put a zipper in it?

          • Thank you 😀 that’s the one I hand sewed the zip into.

            Do you remember I was looking for a floor loom? Well I’m picking up a 120cm Glimakra standard today!!!! I’m very excited and a little nervous hehe

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