Saturday, 28 July 2018

Three birds assembly and warping

With all the detail of the heads done, I could start assembling the rest of the weaving forms. First I stuffed the head very firmly, packing small wads of stuffing above the eye beads to fill the crown of the head and then more to fill the neck. 

Starting at the centre front I attached the breast piece, matching the marks and stitching the darts as I went. I stuffed the body gradually as it took shape, over stuffing before I tightly laced the final opening under the tail. The form needs to be firm so that the warp threads can be pulled taut without collapsing it.

The main stitch I use for assembling the forms is a lacing stitch. Holding the edges together, I bring the needle out on one side, across the opening, and up through the adjoining edge, then back across and up through the first edge again. The crossing threads draw the two edges together. The interfacing is very thick and non-woven so it takes this kind of firm stitching into the edge without fraying. This is my way of creating curved seams with no need for the bulk of seam allowances. The pieces are cut to the exact final size and shape. All this stitching will be hidden under the weaving, so I don't worry how it looks, but I keep the stitches small and tight so I won't catch them when weaving later.

Attaching the warp was the next stage. I started on the head, catching the warp threads into the buttonhole stitches around the eyes and beak. Then I worked backwards towards the tail. I didn't wrap the warp around the body as a spiral, but as concentric rounds, starting and ending each round on the breast with an overlapped section. Then I took the thread under the fabric and up in the right place to begin the next round.
The warp threads for the tails and the robin's wings are held with contrasting holding stitiches onto the flat weaving surface. These stitches and the weaving surface will be removed after weaving leaving a single layer of woven fabric.

Now that the warp is ready I want to begin weaving, but my plan is to do the stages of all the birds together so first I took an inventory of the weaving yarn that is ready. I have all the colours I need except the robin-breast orange I have isn't blended well and I have only one small ball each of the reds I'll need for the cardinal. Spinning has to be the next step.





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