Whether you call it a triaxal weave, mad weave or tumbling blocks, this pattern has a certain beauty to it, especially to those of us fond of geometric designs. I'm just glad I didn't give up when initially I couldn't figure out how to do it to save my life.
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I talked about this a bit when I shared my woven mini quilt last month. I was getting into fabric weaving, using the Wefty needle I'd bought. I made the quilt using a straight weave, but wanted to try out the more complicated triaxal. At first, it didn't go well. These grey strips are way too steep, for starters. Oh, and pretty much everything else is wrong too.
Once I'd finished the thing, my first thought was "Now what am I going to do with this?" After you've put that much work into something, sticking it in a box somewhere is not an option.
Fortunately I needed a bag to take to my quilt guild meetings, and this would make the perfect size. The thing is, a bag needs two sides and I wasn't up for weaving another at that point, so I went a different route. My laziness paid off, because I love the mismatched patterns made from the same fabrics.
To make this you'll need:
- 14 x 17 1/2" woven panel
- two 3 1/2 x 9" fabric for inner pockets (I was able to cut this from the leftovers from the striped piece)
- two 3 x 27" fabric for straps
- thirteen 2 x 19" in five fabrics (or 26 if you want to skip the woven side and make both striped)
- two 14 x 17 1/2 fabric for lining
- two 1 x 27" fusible fleece
- two 14 x 17 1/2" fusible interfacing
Stitch the strips together side by side. Press the seams to one side.
Turn so the strips are horizontal and cut 6" off each side.
Turn the center piece around 180 degrees. You can either line the stripes up as shown here:
Or you can offset them by 1/2", as I did. Once you've decided, sew the three sections together and press the seams.
Trim the piece to 14 x 17 1/2". You should have enough leeway to do this either horizontally or vertically. I chose to cut mine off center.
Fuse the interfacing to the back of woven and striped pieces.
Fold one pocket with right sides together. Stitch, leaving 1 1/2" open. Clip corners, turn right side out and press. Repeat with second pocket. Pin 4" from the top and 5" from each side on one of the lining pieces. Stitch sides and bottom of each.
Pin the two lining pieces right sides together. Stitch sides and bottom, leaving 6" open at the bottom.
Do the same with the woven and striped pieces, but don't leave the opening. Don't turn right side out yet.
Fuse the fleece to the center of the 3 x 27" strap pieces, on the wrong side. Fold the strap in half, right sides together and stitch. Turn right side out and press with the seam centered. Top stitch down both sides. Repeat for second strap.
Pin the strap 4" from the bag seam on each side. The strap seam should be facing out.
Turn the lining right side out and stuff it into the bag over the straps. Line up the upper edges, pin and stitch.
Turn bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Stitch the opening closed, either by hand or machine. Stuff the lining into the bag.
I made a design decision on the fly here and left the seam standing up, so some of the lining shows on the outside, rather than folding it completely inside.
Stitch near the top and bottom of the visible lining strip with the handles up so you're stitching over them.
I made this bag before I left on vacation. I'm planning to share some of the details of that next week, but I have to show you this photo I took in Pompeii.
This is a tile floor, and if you look closely you'll see that the pattern is just like my bag! Some of those designs that seem so modern to us have been around for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. I'm even happier now that I didn't give up!