Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tiny tapestry pouch


Lately I been doing Bible study in colour, following a few themes in Ephesians and painting and writing about what I've learned. I sketched how all these colours could go together in a wavy composition. Then I got inspired to try a tiny tapestry based on the sketch.
















I collected a handful of the most brilliant coloured threads I could find (both fine tapestry wool and six strand embroidery cotton) and found crochet cotton for warp. 
I used blue tack to fasten the graph paper pattern onto the flat parts of a plastic milk jug, and cut out two identical pieces with kitchen scissors. I cut zig-zags across the top, two per centimeter to hold the warp threads. With wide cello tape, I stuck the two pieces together to form a tube. I flattened the tube with the seams in the centre. 
I slipped the tube over a chunk of cardboard and taped the bottom flat. I usually use just cardboard for my weaving form, but for this tapestry, I decided plastic might work better because it is strong and smooth to withstand the repeated beating with the fork and because its springiness causes it to form nice round ends for easier weaving.) I decided to weave free form and experiment with different kinds of shading and shaping.
I taped the crochet cotton to the cardboard to start winding the warp. I pushed pins into the bottom corners temporarily to keep the threads from sliding off the ends. I finished wrapping the warp at the bottom and used it to stitch across the bottom, anchoring and spacing the threads as I went.
Then I began to weave from the bottom, around and around. After a few rounds I was able to remove the pins. As I used up each thread I took it to the back and out through the woven part below. With the new thread, I left an end poking out through the weaving below and brought it in from the back and wove it in with the old thread for 8 or 10 threads. 
All these loose ends will be pulled to the back of the weaving after the piece is removed from the form. 
I packed the weaving tightly throughout and wove as close to the top as possible. When I took the weaving off the form, I pushed the weft upwards gently and evened out the weaving to cover the loops of white warp thread.  I buttonhole-stitched green wool over the edges to hide the last little bits of white that showed around the top edge and at the bottom. 

Soon I will stitch in a fabric lining as the last finishing touch.

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