Monday, December 10, 2012

Cozy Little Comforts


16 years ago I put my floor loom into basement storage because with a new, but smaller house, and two small children, I no longer had room for it. There was a positive side to that as it really threw open the door for me to learn to quilt... but the down side was I missed my loom.



Well, after all these years I have finally decided it was high time to bring her out of storage. We still really don't have the room, at least not the ideal room, but what does that matter? I am tired of waiting for that perfect space. 


So, as of now, a hunk of our bedroom has become home to my loom. She sits there pretty but awkward, taking up more space then seems aesthetically available. But what better way to use space then to fill it with something you love? And I have always loved my loom.



The first thing I had to do was give the loom a good cleaning. Then I had to remember how to put on a warp. Turns out it was pretty much like riding a bicycle. After a moment's hesitation and some head scratching, I was surprised at how quickly it came back to me.


Next I needed to pick a project, and these mug rug coasters seemed the perfect fit. Quick to weave and fun to make. Best of all they allowed me to use up some of my batik stash that I acquired in my beginning quilting days! I adore how they add a bit of extra cozy comfort and warmth to a morning cup of coffee.


And speaking of quilting... I know that most of my blog readers are quilters, and I hope that you will be so kind as to indulge me for a bit as I rekindle this old spark with weaving. I am really rusty right now, so baby steps and simple projects are in order to relearn what I have semi-forgotten. I'm curious to see how my quilting experience and esthetic eventually translates in the weaving. I hope that whatever comes from it will be of interest to you as well as me. Enjoy your week everyone!

29 comments:

Kit Lang said...

I am filled with envy as I have always wanted to learn to weave. *le wah*

Svetlana said...

beautiful!!!! How wonderful that you got your loom back, who needs any room in their bedroom, right? Looking forward to seeing many more gorgeous projects you cook up on your loom.

Catherine said...

Oh, lovely! I look forward to seeing more!

I guess we all blog to be read, and so I know there's sometimes the feeling that one should please a particular audience, but I'm just as interested in a blogger exploring different forms of creative expression as a blogger who enjoys one and I'm sure other people feel the same.

Michele said...

How beautiful. I've always wanted to weave on a loom.

Anna said...

How exciting to be weaving again, it's obviously part of you that's been lying dormant!! Love the coasters.

Brenda said...

good for you for making room for what you love. great mats!

Patti said...

Wow! So beautiful, and how lucky you are to have another love besides quilting!

Nifty Quilts said...

I love these! The way you combine color and pattern is brilliant, and always inspiring, whether it's a weaving or a quilt. Thanks for showing these!

9patchnurse said...

Beautiful! I would love to learn to weave. I got to play at a cool shop on vacation a few years ago. Maybe some day.

Kim said...

Oh these are lovely, any chance we can have a look at your loom? What a terrific art weaving is, I have purchased several woven pieces but have no idea how they are made.
It is all so magical to me and you say you are using fabric to weave?
Of course I want to know more :0)

Happy Sewing and weaving

Jenny M said...

Wow, the colours and texture of your weaving has grabbed my interest, even if it's not quilts.

Holli said...

Lovely mug rugs! It would be great to see a picture of your loom, and I look forward to reading about your new old love!

Jodi said...

I am very much looking forward to see what you do with your awakened loom! I, too, want to learn this craft, and hope to get a chance sometime soon.

Nat Palaskas said...

Hi Victoria, my friend Jacky forwarded you blog to me. I'm a quilter come weaving among other things. I only taken up weaving less than a year ago. The reason for taken up weaving because I want to use up my quilting fabric. I love your mug mates, very creative. I have weaving question if you don't mind. What yarn you used for the warp thread? And is this pattern call weft-face? I can see some of my blog friends are here too - Many thanks Nat

Foster said...

If we waited for the perfect time or perfect space to do anything, we'd never get a thing done. Good for you on deciding to get your loom out of storage!

Victoria said...

Thanks so much to each of you for your support of my re-visiting weaving!

Kim and Holli, yes, I will get a photo of my loom posted on the blog soon.

Nat, the warp is a 100% cotton 4-ply worsted yarn, and yes, basically this is a somewhat weft-faced weave, meaning that the weft, (that would be the fabric is this case) mostly covers the warp threads.
(If you look closely at the top and bottom where I wove with the yarn, you can see it is a balanced weave with the weft yarn going under and over each warp thread. When I switched to the fabric weft, I changed the weave structure so that the fabric went over and under every TWO warp threads. That opened up a little more space allowing the fabric weft to beat down more.)

Pallas said...

I have fantasized about having a loom myself. Perhaps one day, but in the mean time I'll just enjoy looking at what you weave.

Ethne said...

From someone who really joined a spinners and dyers guild to learn more about dyeing fabric - I've now progressed into owning a spinning wheel, lots of fibre and last Saturday came home with a 'to a good home' 4 shaft Weavemaster loom, approx 24" wide - so guess who'll be learning more about weaving next year .... yip ME ;o) - at least you remember how to warp, I've still to learn - have fun

Karin på Ösäter said...

I have the same problem, my loom is in a cold space and I miss the weaving. Some day I will find space for it :-)
Nice to hear that it is easy to remember how to do :-)

Karin på Ösäter

http://karinpaosater.blogg.se/

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

I love these - mug rugs, literally.
Have fun getting back into weaving; I have been thinking of getting a small loom many times. It seems like a great way to use up some fabrics.

Esch House Quilts said...

My father made me a two harness loom when I was young and I spent many happy hours weaving in my middle school years. I think love of texture translates well between weaving and quilting.

Have fun - I look forward to following your new journey :)

Cheryl Arkison said...

I can't wait to see where you go with this!

Diane J. Evans said...

Love the way you've used fabric to create these beauties -- what fun it is to play! Do share pictures of the loom with us, won't you?

Diane

skippie said...

What beautiful mug rugs. I am a weaver turned quilter. Now also do long arm stitching for clients. But I still have my weaving room and my treasured loom. Now all I need is to find more time so I can do it all.

Corinnea said...

This is awesome! I would love, love to learn to weave. Can't wait to see what you do!

blandina said...

Very well done, I should start weaving again too.
It feels so good to start new projects!

Jennifer (Recovering Perfectionist) said...

Those are great! I especially like the variegated effect that comes from the batiks. Would it be possible to give even a quick overview of how weaving with fabric works? (doesn't have to be a whole tutorial or anything, but this is my first introduction to it and I'd love to know more.

Victoria said...

Hi Jennifer, Sorry for the late reply. Basically you cut strips of fabric either on the grain or bias. Strips of fabric can also be ripped. General width is 1/4" to 3/4". Strips can be joined in various methods to create a longer length. Fabric strips can then be woven either as is, or folded and pressed. Raw edges can either be left to show, or folded under and concealed.

You can always make a simple frame loom from stretcher strips and place a row of nails spaced
about 1/4" apart along the top and the bottom. Tightly wind some string or yarn over and under each nail alternating top to bottom to make your warp. Then try weaving strips of fabric for your own rag-weave. Beat the strips down with your fingers, a fork or some other method that works. When done, hem-stitch the top and bottom warp ends, or tie off in knots so the weaving doesn't unravel.

Linda in NC said...

My (empty) loom lives in our bedroom, too. Despite my husband's gentle agitations to part with it, I love it too much to sell it though I haven't used it for years. You may provide the final inspiration to get that baby back in use! (But then that would mean less time for quilting. Decisions, decisions.)