Last summer our quilt guild was lucky enough to get a visit from the talented and bubbly Mathew Boudreaux, otherwise known as Mister Domestic. I came across him on Instagram and told our vice president he was local and wondered if he spoke at guilds. She contacted him, and he said he hadn't been asked before but would be happy to come. We feel a little like we got away with something, because ever since we hosted his visit his star has been on the rise. Among other things, he has his own fabric line coming out soon. Our little guild probably couldn't afford his speaking fee now, and we couldn't be happier for him.
One of the things Mathew talked about was fabric weaving. He showed us several projects he had completed, including those pillows above, and introduced us to the tool his friend Tara Curtis invented to make it all a bit easier. I was fascinated, and I went home and ordered the Wefty Needle that night.
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I did end up having a hard time finding instructions on how exactly this weaving thing is done. If you have the option I'd recommend searching YouTube for videos. I have in-the-boonies internet, and videos eat up too much of my limited data, so I can't vouch for any of them specifically. I did see many by artists I'm familiar with, like Crafty Gemini and Mister Domestic himself.
For my first project, I ended up looking at how this weaving project on Sew Much Moore was started, then kind of winging it on the weaving part. It's a pretty straightforward over and under thing, so it wasn't difficult. The triaxal weave I tried later, that's another story. More on that in a minute.
The first thing you need is fabric strips. I cut mine 1 1/2" wide and used this handy tool to press the edges in.
The size of your project dictates how many strips you'll need and in what length.
These weaving projects are typically made by pinning them to a foam board, and since I cut a large board in half, I was working with a 15 x 20" surface.
You start by laying down a piece of fusible that's about the size you'd like your project to be. I just used basic midweight fusible interfacing for the base and it worked out fine.
The next step is to pin your strips onto the board. You want them to extend a bit past your interfacing. I was cutting it a little close here.
Once you've pinned down the first set of strips, each close together and flat, you slip one end of a strip into the Wefty needle and start weaving over and under in the other direction.
You'll need to make sure these strips are right up next to each other without gaps, and pin the ends of each. I got so excited about how well this was going I forgot to take any photos until I was finished. Maybe now I understand why these tutorials are hard to come by.
Once you've finished your weaving, you need to remove all those pins. Carefully slide the project onto your ironing board and press well to attach the strips to the fusible interfacing. By the way, I tried doing this before I removed it from the foam board, and now my board is warped.
In order to make sure everything is secure, take it to the sewing machine and stitch around the outer edge.
Trim the edges so they're even. A rotary cutter and acrylic ruler works well for this.
To make this into a mini quilt, I stitched 1 1/2" strips onto each side for a border.
And here's where I cheated. I cut backing and fusible fleece in the same size and layered the three of them with the fabrics right sides together. I stitched around the outside edge, leaving a few inches open. I flipped it right side out, pressed, and stitched around the outer edge. I added another row of stitching near the inside of the border. Staci - 1, Binding - 0.
This was definitely something new for me. I love look of the ombre fabrics. I think I might have liked this even more if I had stuck to only those, but the dots are kind of fun too.
I enjoyed it so much, in fact, I immediately started on my next project. I really wanted to try the triaxal weave, which ends up looking like tumbling blocks. I went back to the tutorial at Sew Much Moore, but this is where things went wrong. Entirely my fault for not knowing what a 30 degree angle looks like.
The grey right here, WAY off. It's too steep. Oh, and it's also just woven wrong in every other way.
Of course, I didn't figure any of that out until much later, so I was frustrated that the third set of strips wasn't creating the design I was aiming for. I ended up throwing it on a shelf, knowing that someday I would take it down and realize what was wrong. I was totally right about that, eight months later.
I pulled it out a couple of days ago, immediate thought "Nope," and started over. See how even this first row of the third strips is making the tumbling block look? The photos from this tutorial from The House That Lars Built helped a lot.
This weave was more complicated than the basic weave I did first, but I'd definitely do it again. Especially now that my brain gets it.
I think the idea that you're basically creating your own fabric design makes this even more fun.
I did end up making something out of this one too, and I'll share the pattern for that project soon!