Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tapestry Time

The Mighty Wolf continues to sit empty. On a day like today, all I want to do is sit down and weave away with that beautiful pink tree in view. But my yarn has still not arrived. I am losing my patience with this company.
So instead I spent my morning back on the tapestry loom. This exploratory project was unfairly abandoned last quarter due to school work.

It has been frustrating trying to create the shapes that I want to create. I was aiming for a much more circular shape here, and as you can see the first attempt looks like a diamond. My second attempt is closer, but the edges are squared off, which makes it look like a bulgy rectangle.
This tapestry won't be very pretty, but it is a good exercise in creating a variety of shapes. The design process feels a lot like trying to draw a circle using very large pixels on a computer screen.
This is a view from the back taken from between the warp. This side will be the front of the finished project. It is perfectly smooth, hiding all the work that went into making it.

In the future I think I'll work with a more complicated design that I first draw out by hand and pin behind the warp so that I can "trace" it. That combined with a warp of more ends per inch should make the process feel "crisper."
This crane is the only other attempt at tapestry I've ever made. It was a final project for my weaving class in college, which was four years ago. I'm actually pretty proud of it. This is a variation on "kesi" or "slit" style weaving, which was the ancient Chinese way to weave tapestry.

In Kesi, the weaver leaves slits between color blocks, which makes clean breaks between colors. It also means that the final tapestry is essentially full of holes. I took this idea and created a tapestry in just one color and emphasized the slits to create a design.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tiny Accent Pillow

I've been teaching myself to embroider. My grandmother gave me a gift certificate to buy books for Christmas and I spent it on embroidery books: "The New Crewel" by Katherine Shaughnessy and "Colorful Stitchery" by Kristen Nicholas. Not until Spring Break did I take the time to try out a project.

The design on this little pillow came almost straight out of "The New Crewel." Instead of transferring the image, I drew it free-hand on my fabric with pencil. In the process I altered it a bit.

I decided to start small, but I didn't realize how small until I plopped the finished product on my couch. It is comically small:
But I'm glad I took a tiny little embroidery project from beginning to end. I learned a lot about satin stitch and I got to practice my slip stitch to make a neat little closure on the pillow:
Maybe I'll try a "life size" pillow next time. No more working in miniature.

note: the inspiration for this embroidery came from The New Crewel, by Katherine Shaughnessy

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Arm Covers

In the last post I claimed that Slinky the Cat is a good cat. But that was a bold faced lie. It is true that she is indoor only and therefore cannot torment the neighbors. But there is plenty of damage to be caused inside my lovely new house. The worst of which is destruction to my brand new beautiful couch! How dare she!

The latest defensive measure I've taken is the construction of arm covers for the couch:
Over Spring Break I went to SCRAP and purchased some extremely cheap scrap fabric that matches my curtains almost perfectly (I also bought some embroidery thread for 10 cents a skein - SCRAP is awesome!). I then asked the internet to teach me how to make arm covers for furniture - and this guy helped me out.
The picture above is of my second try - the first was okay, but far from perfect. So I tore it apart and reassembled it this morning.