Weaving… and the big old happy textile family

I’d been searching for an appropriate patchwork motif for the antique fabrics I got for my birthday for quite some time. When the fabric that I’m working with is rather precious, I want to make sure I settle in something that’s just right. Fortunately, inspiration came along in a rather unexpected way. Artist and professor Judy Leemann (http://judithleemann.squarespace.com/home/) gave a weaving demonstration in our art department. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to try any actual weaving (though I plan on it), but I nonetheless walked away with a few new ideas to apply to my quilting and knitting. I loved how slight variations in the loom settings could cause a switch between a basic, checkerboard pattern and diagonal strips, or various other designs (forgive my inadequate weaving vocabularly; I hope I’m being at least somewhat articulate). For instance:

 vs.  

So I decided to apply that design to my quilt-making and so far I’ve come up with this:

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Piecing together the diagonal strips is somewhat trickier than I had anticipated… but I love the look. And, though one can’t really have too many quilts, it’s also nice to mix up one’s patchwork items- so I’m thinking of creating a giant pillow. This deicision has the added bonus of leaving me with some extra fabrics, perhaps for a summer bag…

I also took my weaving inspiration and applied it to my next knitting project. I have to be honest, I’m still a little unsure about this one- I keep asking myself if I really love it enough to keep going. It’s not easy to knit when your heart isn’t in it. However, my cardigan has turned into a rather improvisational project and since it’s constantly changing, I’m going to stick at it until the decisive moment- keep it or start over- really hits me. Anyway, here’s what I have so far:

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Again, I tried to get in the different weaving patterns- the diagonal versus checkerboard design- and I’m using the blue as a sort of palette onto which I add strips of different texture and color… looking at it now, I like what I see so who knows, perhaps I’ll keep it after all!

Of course, weaving hasn’t taken over all of my patchwork projects. I’m finishing up my brother’s giant plaid quilt- it’s deliciously warm and soft but since the Boston weather has finally picked up and dorm’s don’t have great air-conditioning, I tend to overheat while working on it! It’s so large that I had to combine two different fabric colors for the back (hopefully this isn’t too opposed to his Spartan ways; I naturally think it looks much more interesting) and I spiced it up by appliquing on some leftover plaid squares- and, as usual, a little message.

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I’m in the midst of tying it together, and contemplating adding buttons to give it just a little bit of quirkiness- my brother might have simple taste, but he’s also wonderfully confident and not altogether conservative (he has a bright green, striped collared shirt that he pulls off pretty fabulously)…

Believe it or not, there’s one more item to add to my week of patchworking productivity. Inspired by the Sewing and Quilt Expo, and itching to dig into the Vogue Fabrics that I bought, I made myself a jacket. Nothing fancy (no lining and simply zipper-stitched hems); just my own variation on Barb Originals’ Fleece Swing Jacket (www.barboriginals.com).

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Naturally, I gave it a patchwork flare and went for contrasting colors, textures and added extra buttons. I also lengthened the sleeves and the body, but I also tried to stick with the overall schema since I’d like to teach myself at least some of the garment-sewing rules before I embark on designs that are entirely my own (something I see happening in the rather near future). The jacket is a little larger than I’d like, but it’s all part of the learning process and I didn’t expect to end up with a perfect fit my first go around. There will undoubtedly be a next time (In fact, I may have already ordered my next batch of jacket fabric…) Perhaps you recognize the fabric on the pocket from my Birds in the Air Quilt- it’s some of the leftover antique cloth that I decided to put to good to use!

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I even used it to cover some of the buttons. Wastefulness is the antithesis of patchwork after all.

Finally, this week’s mini quilt. The inspiration? It should be pretty clear…

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Like I said, patchwork shouldn’t be wasteful and I had leftover wool fabric, as well as a desire to flex my improving buttonhole-stitch skills. I like to think of this little quilt as a nod to my branching out into the world of patchwork apparel. After all, quilts, pillows, knitting, jackets and weaving are all a part of the same big old happy textile family.

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1 Comment

Filed under clothing, knitting, quilting

One response to “Weaving… and the big old happy textile family

  1. You have had such a busy week! Loved this post. Thanks for sharing it with the world.

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