Thursday, November 6, 2014

- Day 1: Starting a woven cloth pillow

I took a deep breath and started to tear my dyed cotton sheet into strips for a pillow. It was a radical departure for me: I didn't measure anything.

Instead, I loosely wrapped some harem cloth around the pillow base to get a rough idea of size, then laid ten lightly pressed strips of dyed cloth in a random pattern along its length.

Using Jude Hill's cloth-to-cloth weaving technique, more strips of cloth were woven across the width of the harem cloth. After pinning down the ends, I took a quick picture ...


then basted everything down around the edges. Here's a second shot, taken in lamplight ...


Since this is my first second try at cloth weaving (the first was the Sew/Sow Peace flag), I may regret starting with a 22x38 inch piece, but so far so good.

Stay tuned ...

8 comments:

beth from still life pond said...

Love these soft colors together. They really stand out next to each other like this. Sheeting can be difficult to hand stitch. I hope you don't have a problem. I actually bent a needle one time!

Liz Ackert said...

Thanks for the vote on the colors ... and the warning
Fortunately, I did test the sheeting for needle resistance before dyeing ... it's been washed many,many times, so I can get a needle through it without too much trouble and I'm hoping it will wear well as a pillow cover.

Marti said...

When grace first got started with Jude's classes, she would keep me informed. Me, I was not at all interested in stitching, weaving, having anything to do with cloth. One morning though I thought how hard could it be to weave cloth...!? so I gathered up some fragments and started. The weaving wasn't too hard, it did get a little wonky and even now, the one woven cloth that I have up on my wall bears the name, Wonky Weave. What came after the weaving was hard...especially since I didn't stitch, I couldn't figure out a way to hold it all together and wanting to surprise grace, I came up with the cheaters way to weave- glue stick! I took a photo, sent it off to grace, omitting the fact of the glue stick and she was surprised and happy to see me attempting something with cloth...I knew I would tell her the truth but had wanted to see her reaction. So when I told her the truth, she laughed and simply kept encouraging me. She also sent me India Flint's first book and that is where I found my cloth passion...

Hats off to you Liz on this, your first weaving. Beautiful weaving and placement of the cloth strips: those soft colors map landscape in my eyes, they speak to me of land, of hill country hills before they come alive in spring,(I know this land because we lived for 3 yrs in the Texas Hill country). Your weaving also talks story to me of land I see here in New Mexico...universal landscape, we can all find pockets of land connection. I don't know if you mean this to be a pillow cover for sleeping in which case, wonderful dreams of trails to explore or if you mean to have it as a sofa pillow in which case, hugging the pillow is like hugging the land.

Liz Ackert said...

What a great story ... I have to admit to using a bit of glue stick in addition to the sewing machine when I made my New Mexico thank you notes (about which my daughter just posted on Facebook "I love my sweet hippie mother who makes her own thank you cards")
I am loving the colors in the cloth that remind me of New Mexico, especially because they aren't the stereotypical southwest palette. To me they are the purple of the distant mountains, the green pines on the hills, the gold in the autumn leaves ... rusty traces of adobe and rock dust ... muted colors under overcast skies ... memories of a magical place stitched into cloth from our Hill Country.
The pillow (actually pillows, I hope) will eventually land on the couch, where I often drift off at night on my way to a dream.
And thank you for your thought-full comment that brought these words up to the surface ... they will make the stitching all the more meaningful as a result.

Dana said...

I too love the soft, natural colors of your cloth and weaving this way really adds a subtle graphic dimension that heightens my appreciation of those colors. I'm sure your pillows will be wonderful.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

TEAR....which really should be spelled TARE...did you LOVE , like LOVE the sound of the cloth
tearing?????????????
Yes and it's Fine...this weaving and when you are finished stitching it it is amazing the strength of
it....the fierceness of it, yes oh so much the SOFTNESS of it

Liz Ackert said...

Thank you for the encouragement ... I'm so used to planning things in advance that I feel a bit out of my element just letting things happen ...

Liz Ackert said...

Oh, you're so right ... the sound was incredible. And it's always a wonder to me that the cloth follows one thread, a perfect line in the cloth, so much better than any blade could cut.