Quilt top assembled

19 03 2013

I finished assembling the quilt top. Here is is: DSC_0084

I’m thinking that I probably still want some border around the entire quilt, instead of just binding it. I’ve also begun to wonder if I might want prairie points. No matter what the circumstances, I do intend to have it at the longarm quilter by the end of the week. It’s currently 80″X110″. That’s another reason I want to add the border. I’m hoping to get the width up to …… 90 or even 100″.

I like the “piano keys” striped border here: http://pamcave.blogspot.com/2009/05/african-wedding-quilt.html

I think It would be nice to have the quilt come down over the sides of the bed, without having the blocks hanging down, out of site. Just a thought. More later.

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Long overdue

22 01 2012

Since closing my studio to travel the US by bicycle, I’ve not been able to sit at a loom often. I’ve been home twice since leaving in April, and each time has been for a couple of months. Each time I’ve been home, I’ve worked on putting a studio in my home into working order. It’s fairly easy to do that with the sewing aspect of the studio, but getting the weaving/spinning/felting aspect of the studio squared away has been nearly impossible.

This weekend has been a perfect opportunity to get my looms more accessible, and my yarns equally so. In preparation for the Rigid Heddle Weaving workshop, I had to re-organize my storage cabinets and closets, as well as locate specific yarns for the class. While doing those things, I got much put away, thrown away and put in working order. Since Saturday at 4 pm, I’ve dressed one of my rigid heddle looms and woven a merino/mohair scarf for my Dad’s wife and picked up threading the large Toika free-standing tapestry loom. Hooray! It’s good to be back at the loom. I’m a long way from opening the studio for group weaving classes, though. There simply isn’t room enough in my house to accomodate that right now. I’ll have to pick up some very compact floor looms again and a few more warping boards. Then we’ll be back in business, right?

I’m thinking about offering a wet-felting workshop on a Sunday in February. We will work on either hats or rugs. Anyone interested? Cost would be about $125 for a 6-7 hour workshop. Maximum # of students would be 6.

 





Rigid heddle workshop – jan 21, 2012

21 01 2012

Today was the scheduled Rigid Heddle Workshop. There were 4 openings in the class, 3 registrants. As the day greeted us, it was cold and very wet. I was glad to have a workshop scheduled, rather than a bike ride.

We began at 9 am with winding yarn balls from skeins, and found this a good way to begin class since students often arrive in stages and yet the first student should be able to begin at the scheduled start time.  by 9:30, we were well on our way to measuring out the warp.Each student in class had her own loom and each loom had a stand. This makes for easy weaving, I think. The warp is Louet’s washable merino. Perhaps Pearl. Each student’s project was to be a 10″ scarf. One student had dressed her Kromski Harp previously.

The student with the Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom direct warped her loom, while the Kromski owner measured her warp on the warping board on the back of the loom. Using this method of direct warping, we sley each slot and dot, rather than double sleying the slots only, then re-sleying after beaming. It was easier, however to double-sley from a front installed set of lea sticks on the Kromski. The loom owner said this was more clear for her than the method she used previously. Love to hear that! The looms were dressed in record time.  Since the Ashford loom arrived with a cardboard version of warping sticks, we used them: For the Kromski, we simply used bathroom tissue for warp separator.  Both ladies were weaving very quickly after lunch. We had a warm bowl of chicken soup and biscuits for lunch by a fire provided by my DH. Quickly back to work, the weavers began their work.

Progress was quick and the only real question of the day was about those darn edges!!!!! I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t need to fidget with them, and yet….. if that’s the only thing that brings results for you…….   The ladies did convince me that the selvage loops are a result of my method of beating…… humility is a very good lesson;0)

The student using mohair for weft opted to remove her piece from the loom although it wasn’t complete, so I could demonstrate hem stitching, and she was a quick study and did a great job. We then moved to the sink with the sample fabric (approx 18″ long) and wet-finished it. At that point, the ladies pack it up and we said our Goodbyes.  I’m thankful to have met/re-met these ladies and hope they are new friends. On student asked about a local guild and I told her that Richmond used to have, and may still have 2 weaver’s guilds. James River Weavers was one guild and Richmond Weavers Guild is the other. There is also a spinning guild in Richmond: Clothos Children. I’ve heard that Clothos Children are active in a variety of the fiber arts.

Weave Joyfully!





Honestly, my favorite rigid heddle loom is……

29 12 2011

If you’ve read the rigid heddle loom review, you may have used it to help you find the right loom for you, based on your criteria. If your criteria is cost alone, you bought the Beka, If you are specifically interested in using your rigid heddle loom for tapestry, hopefully, you got the Penelope. If you are traveling, and want a compact loom, you probably got the flip, or the Kromski folding loom. Whatever your specific criteria or expectations are from the loom, the review offered some guidance.

Through the years that I’ve had product reviews up, people have drawn from the reviews their own conclusions as to what my preferences were. So, tonight, I’m going to tell you what I choose to weave on, and why. For tapestry that I will take with me,  I like a rigid heddle loom, and use the Penelope II. It doesn’t have the ability to use the rigid heddle as a beater, and that’s fine with me. It limits the loom in it’s use for continuous, pattern weaving, but it’s just right for me for tapestry. I can warp it with a nice long warp also. Because I use an upright tapestry floor loom, the upright feature of the Penelope is a natural choice.

Of the horizontal, rigid heddle looms, I choose the Ashfords. I have two of them. One is narrow and one is wider. Both have stands. I may even have 3, couldn’t tell you for sure, tonight. I like the heft of the loom in my hands,  like the stand for the Ashford, and I like the colored rigid heddle. The thing I don’t love about it, is the dumb plastic things that connect the warp rod and the warp beam, as well as the front “apron” rod and the cloth beam. Oh well, nothing is perfect, and I often choose favorites that aren’t the most popular looms or items on other people’s list. There you have it;0D

This isn’t to say that these are the best looms. They are the looms that harmonize with my weaving self. A natural “fit” with my weaving quietude. Though I weave professionally, I’m not a production weaver. My work is on a commission basis, because I prefer the peace of weaving in conjunction with my natural rhythms, rather than working on a pushed schedule. Unfortunately, I am most inspired to work by a looming deadline.  My commissions are generally woven on floor looms, but I’ve sold pieces off the rigid heddle loom for respectable money. Don’t undersell yourself, because you are then underselling all weavers and all handcraftsmen.

What’s your favorite loom, and why?  You can respond by e-mail, or in the comments section. I really want to know, and think other folks do too.

Weave joyfully.

C.





Currently in the studio

15 12 2011

Currently, I’m working on 3 chiengora commissions. One tapestry, and one just yarn, and a third that is a hand-spun and handwoven afghan. My friend, Jeanne, is doing some of the carding for me, as I simply cannot stay on top of all of this, the sewing classes, and my cycling!

A couple folks “liked” the posts about the spinning class and the rigid heddle class, so perhaps there is some interest. I’ll make a decision, based on your feedback, by 12/22, and post a class proposal. We will see if I get enough registrants to run a class. It only takes 4 students to fill a class, as I’m teaching from the studio in my home now;0) That means that lunch comes with a workshop, as long as you are willing to eat what I cook, which is usually rather omnivorous.

Gotta get back to the spinning wheel. There’s a lotta dog to be spun up.

Will post pics soon.

Joy!





Learn to Spin Yarn from the Spinning Wheel

13 12 2011

I’m organizing a spinning class for January 2012. It will be a beginners spinning class. If you are looking for a spinning class, or workshop, please let me know what date/s work for you. A series of 4 classes over a month is best for most students, as you benefit most from at-home work between lessons. Cost for a 4 class series is $140.00 and will provide 10 hours of instruction, if you attend all classes. Make-up classes are not free-of-cost. If you miss a class, you may purchase a 1 hour make-up lesson for $40.00.

Students interested should contact me so we can organize the class on a date that will work for you!

Spinning wheels are available for rent to students who do not have their own. REntal fee: $50/month.  Spinning wheels are only rented to current students and only during the dates of their class session.  Students may bring their own fiber, or pay materials fee for fiber to be used in class.





Rigid heddle weaving class

13 12 2011

I’m trying to put together a Rigid Heddle weaving class in Goochland (just west of Richmond), VA for January 2012.

If you’re interested, let me know. Currently, it looks like a Sat, or Sat/Sunday workshop will be best. Cost is based on the # of hours.

Usually, a 6 hour workshop (10am – 4pm) is about $125.00 + materials. This limits us to keeping the lesson to learning the basics of dressing the loom, and weaving off a small, potentially short piece, like a simple scarf, using a single weft. We would cover measuring the warp, dressing the loom, weaving off a single warp, removing from the loom, and finishing/wet-finishing. It would be a “run-through”

A 2 day workshop is difficult for out of town students because of the additional cost of a hotel, and the nearest hotel is 20-25 minutes away. However, a 2-day workshop would be 10-4 on Saturday, 2 hours of independent work time, from 4-6, which is without the instructor (rather like “Open studio”). Then we would return on Sunday and continue class from 10-4 again.  The two day workshop, with open studio time would mean students who are using looms from my studio could complete a larger, more complex work than in a shorter class. It would also be a much more relaxed weaving/learning experience for slower students. Class fee for the 2 day workshop would be $250.00 + materials fee. Overnight accomodations would be the responsibility of the student, but I’m happy to offer suggestions.

Is anyone interested? If so, what dates are best for you?