So for something completely different….. textured plaid
One of the blogs I follow is Persimon Dreams and Kim holds a quilt challenge that runs for the first few months of each year, this is season 8, where a theme is given on the Sunday and you have to produce a finished quilt within a week then the following week there is voting. Then another challenge is announced 2 weeks later and so on.
Now it doesn’t have to be a full sized quilt and the majority are mini quilts but still involving many, many hours of work. It amazes me how many quilters fit this challenge in every couple of weeks. I want their lives!!! But for me I check out the theme and see whether it sparks something or gives me the excuse to play with something new. Like last year one of the challenge themes was confetti and I’d been itching to play with this technique where you cut up fabric and then lump it back together a bit like a collage. The resulting quilt was this picture of Skye our lilac cat.
Well this last Sunday the theme was texture and looking for inspiration as I sat on the sofa casting around for inspiration the first thing I saw was my kindling basket and it reminded me that I’d wanted to have a go at weaving with bias tape
Weaving has been around for ever and this type of weaving is basically the same as weaving with ribbons but using bias tape. A couple of quilters Mister Domestic and t_jaye@com have really developed this idea. The link to Tara gives some very useful information on this technique and her invention the Wefty. Both blogs and their IG pages give some super examples.
It’s quite a simple concept but much more time consuming than I first thought and a bit tricksy. It involves a gazillion pins, yards and yards of bias tape and a foam board and the acceptance that for the duration of the creative bit there will be a room in your house of absolute chaos. Even my children moaned about the mess!!!!
Having played with this yep of weaving I’d add these tips. I used foam board with 5mm thickness if I could have got thicker board it would’ve been better.
Always remember to put a light weight fusible on the foam board first, I didn’t with my first as you can see above. You then have to manoeuvre a very flexible bit of weaving onto the fusible after it’s been constructed which meant lots of reconstruction…
Getting the weft and warp tape as tight as per possible also helps but maintaining that tension was difficult. I found inserting pins at the cross over point, you can see a few here, helped but then I would have needed even more pins and I’d run out by then.
Using homemade bias tape whilst in theory a quick process using these…..
…but in practice I found it hard, even with a hot iron, to make the folds of the tape stay in place. I was using 1/2″ tape mostly so it was thin which didn’t help. Starch would have helped I’m sure but I hate the smell and residue. And with the benefit of hindsight using half inch tape to start with was perhaps a bit too ambitious.
You can buy a Wefty to do the actual weaving….
but I wanted the 1″ and 1/2″ size and wasn’t sure I’d get them in time and I wanted to get on with the process as soon as possible. So I constructed one from a piece cut out of a plastic milk bottle. Mind you being transparent meant I kept losing it in all the mess so with the next one I cut it out on the label side of the milk bottle. It worked very well and saved me a few pounds!!!
Other than that it was just patience and practice. A basting stitch round the edge once it was fused to the interfacing kept the edges together then it was just basted into a quilt sandwich and bound.
I made a couple. My first one has a looser weave as I went over every two threads. It wasn’t as effective and it would be completely impractical other than for a wall hanging as the weft and warp threads keep moving each other. You can see the wobble factor!!
I had more success with the second one where the weft and warp go over one thread so it’s inherently tighter and also using pins to secure the cross over points was helpful and stopped the shift. I used prints this time which I think adds interest. So this one is staying up, well it will do when I’ve put a hanging sleeve on it.
As an aside anyone who has been to my house will be smirking because they will know that this hall table never looks like this in real life. Piles of letters, papers, thank you cards, a piece of maths homework that shouldn’t be there but in someone’s school bag, telephone holder and Internet equipment etc etc had to be removed to stage this picture. And that lovely bowl as an accent piece? In fact it’s a papier-mâché bowl made by one of the twins aged eight. Plenty of arty and craft stuff comes home from school all received with maternal pride and an encouraging word but with this one I was truly wowed!
An outtake shot of Skye quilt inspecting….