Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fabric Weaving :: And I Like It!

I don't know about you, but when I finally get to try something that I've wanted to try for a long time I can't help but get excited!  It's a treat to have the time to explore and give it a go, but it's even better when it's finished and you love it so much that you practically drool on it!

Fabric weaving is something that I have wanted to try for a couple years now.  A couple inspiring weavers are Mister Domestic or t_Jaye on Instagram.  Their projects sparked an interest in me without a doubt!  I've fiddled with weaving my tiny raw edge scraps, but it wasn't actually real fabric weaving.  The Christmas before last I was gifted a set of Wefty Needles and the hope that one day I could and would actually use them.


Fair Warning...this is a long post and there are a lot of pictures!


WOVEN RUG
20" x 31 1/2"
While I patiently waited for the time to weave, I also thought about what I would weave.  Maybe a small pillow, or a mini square.  Something small to start out with.  Somewhere along the way I started getting really sick and tired of looking at my print fabric stash.  Some of the fabric I bought years and years ago, and frankly looking at it sit there year after year began to wear on me.  I tried to come up with projects where I could use some, but it never seemed to make a difference.

Finally...finally, I had a light bulb moment!  Weave + Undesirable Prints = A Win!  With an idea, time and fabric I quickly began on my mission.


WEFTY NEEDLE
This is the tool of the trade!  The needles are a sturdy hard plastic that are just over 5" long.  They come in a set of two, one for 1/2" strips and one for 1" strips.  They can be purchase on Etsy here:  WEFTY Needle.

When you weave you have to pin your strips to hold them in place.  Fortunately I had a old board that would work perfectly for whatever size I was going to make.  One of the most important parts of weaving is keeping your strips and rows straight.  It's recommended to draw a grid on a foam board, which I did.  If it wasn't for YouTube...I would be lost with weaving!  (Wefty Needle  on YouTube)

  

I drew a 1" grid across the entire board in pen!  Whatever size you decide to make (1/2" or 1") your strips, this grid size will work.  I decided at the beginning that I was going to make my strips 1/2" wide.



I rummaged through my fabric picking mostly pink, yellow and lime greens.  My goal was to use the larger pieces for the long vertical strips and smaller pieces for horizontal strips.  I estimated how many strips I'd need to cover the board and went to town!  My first time weaving and I decide to go big or go home!

For 1/2" strips to weave, I needed to cut my strips 1" wide.  Before I cut anything, I used starch on every piece of fabric.  That way I knew it wouldn't get wonky and it would also give me a good clean fold.

I ended up using 46 long strips that were approximately 34" long and 62 short strips that were 21 1/2" long.

By the way, if I had fabric I wanted to use but it wasn't long enough...it wasn't a question that I was going to sew two pieces together to make it work.  This was just a practice piece!  If you do that, I suggest sewing it on the bias (like making binding) because it'll make it easier to pull through the bias tape maker and it'll lay flat.


CLOVER Bias Tape Maker
Besides your Wefty needle and grid foam board, a bias tape maker is also a must!  You could hand fold your fabric but the bias tape tool saves a lot of time.  I have several different sizes that I've used over the years. 
  


Have any of you seen the newest craze 'Jelly Roll Rugs'?  They're all over instagram and one of my guild members was making one at our retreat.  They are pretty and it's interesting, just not for me.  It got me thinking...again!

What if I were to weave a rug?  During my loosely planned introduction into weaving, I was sure that all my prints were going to be awful in the end.  So a not pretty rug would be a perfect place to plant my dirty feet!  It was an option just in case!

I started my pinning my vertical strips on the top and bottom.  As I went along, I made sure to line up the strips using the lines on the grid.  Piece of cake!  Next up was to find the center and start weaving the horizontal strips.  I had all my strips laid out where I could grab and go.  So far so good!



As progress was being made I could see the beginnings of a pattern.  I was starting to get excited!  I also noticed that my strips were starting to land over the lines, meaning I wasn't making sure they were tight enough.  A few row adjustments and all was good and I was back on track..



It helped that I went with the most basic weaving design too!  Over one, under one, over one, under one and repeat!  I spent part of a day working on the weaving and finished it up the next day.  

It isn't really hard.  Stay focused on keeping the strips straight.  Your fingers might get a little sore tightening up the strips.  Have lots of pins on hand.  And sit somewhere that you are comfortable!  I'm going to estimate that from the time I started to the time I finished weaving, it probably took me 6 hours.  Don't hold me to that though!  I'm guessing!

 

I had no idea what I was getting into with this!  But I liked it!  Not as a full time thing, just as a scrap buster and nice change of pace!

After the weaving was finished I used masking tape around all four edges.  I was freaking out a little bit!  What if I pull the pins and the whole thing falls apart of shrinks up?  



One step I forgot to mention, and a step I was so glad to learn about, interfacing!  Before any weaving began, I took a large piece of lightweight fusible interfacing and pinned it on the grid board with the fusible part facing up.  That way I could fuse it to the backside of the weave.  I was still able to easily see the grid lines through the interfacing.

Before pulling the pins out, I took the entire board to the ironing board and started pressing (no steam) over the entire board.  Once I was sure the majority of it was adhered to the back, I took all the pins out.  And you know what?  It didn't fall apart nor did it spring back like a rubber band!

Another trip to the ironing board for one final adhesive adhering...and I was good to go!  The weight of the weaving surprised me.  Very substantial, but really not any heavier than some improv quilts I've made!  



I didn't want to trim the edges until I stitched around the entire piece.  Fortifying the edges and making darn sure the strips wouldn't wiggle or fall out!

I knew when I started this that my husband would think I was crazy.  Midway through the weaving was the first mention to me about it.  'Now what are you doing' he asks.  'Just weaving' I say.  

It wasn't until it was off the grid board that he understood what was happening, and began to get excited about it!  When I told him I was going to make it into a rug, he thought I had totally lost my mind!  He thinks walking on it is a dumb idea and that it should be a wall hanging!  We went back and forth about it!  I'm pretty sure I won the debate!



The back is a polka dot Home Dec fabric that has also been in my stash for ever!  I was so glad to have finally used that!

If this was going to be a wall hanging I'm certain I wouldn't have quilted it!  But like I said, I have 'it's going to be a rug' in my head, and what if my feet are really dirty and it needs to be washed?  Hopefully the quilting will hold the strips in place and prevent any fraying if it does make it into the wash.  Time will tell!

 

That's a lot of prints!  I finished it off with a dark pink binding.  I wanted to put a wide 2" binding on it so bad, but my track record with 2" binding isn't all that great!  It would have been pretty great though!



Are you wondering where this rug will end up?  The kitchen, the front door...the bathroom?  All three of those would be wrong and too messy and dirty for this rug!



I believe it's new home will be under my sewing table!  It's kind of perfect!  Foot pedal, feet, pretty!   



With it being under my table I won't be walking on it.  If it were in a foot traffic area the possibility of it slipping or sliding out from under you is real!  It could most definitely be a danger!  A rug gripper would be put underneath to prevent any accidents from happening.



Have you tried weaving before?  Should it be a rug or wall hanging?  I'm still debating that issue but don't tell my husband!

This was a very long post!  I was excited about weaving and super excited to use my 'undesirable' fabrics!  More plans are in the works, with more scraps and maybe a different weave design.  


LINKING:


35 comments :

  1. Wow, it is really gorgeous! I like it under your sewing machine, like a surprise bit of beauty every time you sew. Also, do you know about Quilter's Grid? It's fusible interfacing with 1" grid lines marked on it. Might save the step of drawing the grid. The lines aren't very dark, but I think it could work. It comes with the grid straight or on-point. I could send you a piece if you want to try it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It turned out so much better than I thought it would! I wasn’t sure if throwing the kitchen sink of fabrics all together was a good idea or not! I’ve seen that grid interfacing. It did cross my mind while I was weaving if it would work and I’m pretty sure it would be perfect! The lines a light with regular interfacing, so I’m sure it wouldn’t be any different! I’m curious about the on point…now you have me thinking again! I’m pretty sure I can get the grid at Joanns, which means a trip is in order very soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great job!! It looks amazing. I've wondered about trying weaving.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really love this! I love weaving and have a hundred ideas awaiting their time in the spotlight. I am fascinated how your hodge podge of fabrics actually seem to go so well together! I have such a hard time making scrappy quilts and putting fabrics together that don't really go together. Yours is so good! And I vote rug! You've started a new trend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I kept cringing when you said you planned to use it as a rug. Noooo! It's too pretty! But then when you placed it beneath your sewing machine, it really seemed to fit. However, I can see it as a wallhanging, also. Those scraps play so nicely together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s funny! My husband is still beside himself! It brightens up an otherwise dull spot under a table!

      Delete
  6. This is amazing! Such a great way to use up a bunch of old prints. I've fallen hard for batiks and can't figure out what on earth I'm going to do with the prints that are just sitting there not wanting to be used.

    I love that the rug is under your sewing table. That's the perfect place for you to enjoy it and for it to not get too much wear. You've definitely given me an idea...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It busted a little of my stash and I’m thrilled about that! I think it makes a fabulous rug! Why not?! I hope I’ve given you inspiration to give weaving a chance and if you have prints that are sitting around…just saying!

      Delete
  7. I forgot to mention - THANK YOU for all the detail in this post!! I read the whole thing a couple times over, and it's super helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for saying that! I was worried it might be too long and not be interesting enough to read through!

      Delete
  8. This is gorgeous. I haven't seen any woven fabric pieces before and I am so intrigued and inspired. Thanks for all the detail...it makes me think that maybe I could do this, too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is such a great way to use up the prints in your stash that were languishing, Jayne. It looks so bright and happy and perfectly at home under your sewing machine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a fun project and a nice ‘no sewing’ piece to work on. Plus, it makes me smile every time I put my foot on the pedal!

      Delete
  10. My weaving was for a guild challenge back when I quilted in another life. Here's some photos of the basket I "wove". https://chrisknits.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/weaving/ It's a fun method and your rug is adorable!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. OMG! What patience to do this! It's absolutely stunning! You should definitely feel a sense of accomplishment every time you sit and work on another project :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love your detailed post! Very inspirational!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my! I can weave in just 2 directions? I've put off trying because I've been intimidated by "Tumbling Blocks"! I LOVE this! This I can do! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve seen Tumbling Blocks and other designs wishing I could do those! But realistically I just wanted to try weaving, use fabric and have a new skill, but not a new obsession! I figured the basic over/under in two directions was the best way to dive into weaving! And yes…you can do it too!

      Delete
  14. Great post. I love all the detail. And the end result a real beauty snd especially clever to make something so stunning from less than beautiful fabric. I’m afraid I’m in the camp that’s it too lovely for the floor but your quilt, your choice!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This looks really fun! Must. Not. Get. Addicted. To. Another. Hobby!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's BEAUTIFUL Jayne! Great job and what a great use of those no longer loved fabrics!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your husband sounds like mine :). This looks fabulous. I may have to try a smaller scale of this, like 12" blocks.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is beautiful, what a fantastic idea to quilt it and make it a rug! I've also got a Wefty needle and only got round to using it once, then didn't know what to with the panel, didn't even occur to me to quilt it!!! I will get back to this one day!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh wow! This was a treat to read. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great addition for your sewing space!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just amazing and perfect for your sewing space.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jayne, What an awesome project! I love your explanation of your process. I felt as if I were there with you and could feel your angst as you were taking the pins out of the board. Whew! I was breathing heavily with anticipation of the weaving not buckling. I hate to tell you that I'm with your husband that it needs to be a wall hanging - it is gorgeous. The only weaving that I have done is a pillow for a wedding. When my daughter got married about 14 years ago, she asked me to make the ringbear's pillow for the wedding. Of course, I said I would. I thought I'd make a lovely cross stitch design and make it into a pillow. I could not find a design that suited her. She is very, very picky. Of course, I need to tell you that I was dog sick. About seven months before the wedding, I was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer and then six weeks later I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Before I could even get started on a treatment, I had pancreatitis. Chemo was not kind to me and I was sick. I had to put off my last chemo treatment to go to Albuquerque where she got married. We didn't even know if I would be here to go to the wedding. Anyhow, she wanted a pillow of woven white ribbons. First, they were slick and difficult to handle. Second, on a good note - it was not a huge, huge project. I just took my time and did the best I could and got it done. She was thrilled with it. I've never done any more. Yours is fantastic. Thanks for the great post. susan.dietrich@cox.net

    ReplyDelete
  23. It looks so cute under your table. I bet you live seeing it as you sit to sew. What a great way to use those "unloved" prints. I haven't tried weaving yet but I am putting it on my list!

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's gorgeous and I loved reading about your making process.

    ReplyDelete
  25. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTT....under your foot. It is piece of art worthy of veneration. And here you go crushing it with your feet.
    Oh, but then you are the goddess of creativity - I guess it is fitting then :-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. The pics of this project on IG stopped me in my tracks! My favorite aspect of the story of its creation is how you used fabric you weren't crazy about. All that "meh" fabric created one amazing woven rug. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Congratulations! You did an awesome job on your first try. Very impressive, the rug I mean. I do weave but with threads on a loom; haven't tried fabric yet but it is my intention ... one day. Thanks for the tutorial. It is very easy to follow. And, yes I would use it for a rug. Who said rugs have to be boring? With the kind of quilting you did I am certain it will survive the washing machine. I have a feeling it is the first of many, hehehe! ;^)

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's beautiful!! I like it as a rug, because I prefer function over form, but it is certainly pretty enough to be a wall hanging, too!

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a fun technique, and I love the result!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Świetne. Muszę też spróbować.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting my blog! I love getting comments, and try to respond to each and every one.