Slow Me Down with Inlay

I intended to weave this part quickly, and move on. But when I noticed I could see the end of the warp I changed my mind. I’m going to do something that will slow me down—inlay. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing. Now’s my chance before I run out of warp.

Weaving on the combination drawloom.
One handle is drawn for the simple side borders design. The beginning blue border motifs were also woven using draw handles, connected to pattern shafts.

I am adding blue 16/1 linen inlay to the center motif. The same color blue is laid in at the center motif on the side borders, as well.

Blue linen inlay on the combination drawloom.
Blue linen inlay leaves floats between the raised pattern threads.

Draw the pull-handles for the borders – draw single unit cords – throw the shuttle – lay in the blue thread – throw the shuttle and lay in the blue thread two more times. Move up one row on the chart, and follow the same sequence as before. Ever so carefully, learning as I go. Delightfully slow as molasses. Intently paying attention, and thinking about what I would do differently next time.

Drawloom. Weaving a sign for house guests.
Draw cord pegs just above the beater create interesting shadows.

Changing your mind changes your direction. When the Lord sees our thoughts turning in his direction, he reveals more and more of himself to us. Like small lines of color added a row at a time, the image becomes more and more distinct. With the warp we have remaining, there is still time to see the Grand Weaver’s image woven in us.

May you know when to change your mind.

Making room for Jesus,
Karen

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Process Review: Weaving Rhythm

“With so many looms, how do you decide what to weave every day?,” I was asked. The answer lies in my Weaving Rhythm. I have five floor looms. I happily aspire to meet the challenge of keeping all of them active.

Glossary

Weaving Rhythm ~ A pattern created across time, through a regular succession of weaving-related tasks.

Arrange individual tasks to keep each loom consistently moving forward in the weaving continuum.

Weaving Continuum ~ The cycle for each loom that is continually repeated.

When the first few centimeters are woven on a new project, begin planning the next project. When finishing is completed for the current project, wind a new warp and dress the loom for the next project.

First Things First ~ Prioritize daily tasks to maintain the Weaving Rhythm.

  1. Finishing
  2. Dressing
  3. Weaving

Do some finishing work first. Do some loom-dressing tasks next. The reward, then, is sitting at one of the dressed looms and freely weaving for the pleasure of it.

Weaving bath towels on the Glimakra Standard.
Glimåkra Standard, 120cm (47″), vertical countermarch. My first floor loom. Weaving the third of four bath towels, 6-shaft broken and reverse twill, 22/2 cottolin warp and weft.
Weaving hanging tabs for bath towels.
Glimåkra two-treadle band loom. Weaving hanging tabs for bath towels. 22/2 cottolin warp and weft.
Glimakra 100cm Ideal. Sweet little loom.
Glimåkra Ideal, 100cm (39″), horizontal countermarch. My second floor loom. Dressing the loom in 24/2 cotton, five-shaft huckaback, for fabric to make a tiered skirt. Ready to start sleying the reed.
Hand-built Swedish loom.
Loom that Steve built, 70cm (27″), horizontal countermarch. My third floor loom. Weaving the header for a pictorial tapestry sample, four-shaft rosepath, 16/2 linen warp, Tuna/Fårö wool and 6/1 tow linen weft.
Sweet little Glimakra Julia 8-shaft loom.
Glimåkra Julia, 70cm (27″), horizontal countermarch. This is my fifth (and final?) floor loom. Weaving the first of two scarves, eight-shaft deflected double weave, 8/1 Mora wool warp and weft.
Weaving lettering on the drawloom.
Glimåkra Standard, 120cm (47″), horizontal countermarch, with Myrehed combination drawloom attachment. This is my fourth floor loom. Weaving some lettering for the seventh pattern on this sample warp, six-shaft irregular satin, 16/2 cotton warp, 16/1 linen weft. 35 pattern shafts, 132 single unit draw cords.

Give Thanks ~ Live with a thankful heart.

Every day I thank the Lord for granting me the joy of being in this handweaving journey. And I thank him for bringing friends like you along with me.

May you always give thanks.

With a grateful heart,
Karen

22 Comments

  • Den says:

    Your weaving is always an inspiration. I look forward to each post. Thank you.

  • Karen says:

    You amaze me! I have too many different hobbies and have to dedicate hours each day to different projects!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, You have some wonderful experiences with using your gifts. I have so much more I want to learn about weaving, and I enjoy digging in to this weaving arena.

      Happy weaving and everything else,
      Karen

  • marianne poling says:

    I love your idea of a “weaving rhythm…” immersing oneself in a “weaving life” that will increase skills and enjoy the gifts weaving brings every day! I tend to weave as a “reward” after all the daily tasks are completed. unfortunately, weaving gets pushed to the back of the line and then I don’t weave as much as I would like to. This was eye-opening for me and I am going to try and find my “weaving rhythm!”

    I really enjoy your blog!
    Marianne

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marianne, I like that you identified increasing skill and enjoying the gifts. That does explain why I focus on getting a good rhythm. There are always other necessary things to do to care for family and friends, but it’s good to be mindful of being stewards of the gifts we’ve been given, too. All of life deals with finding priorities and balance.

      Thank you for your thoughtful words,
      Karen

  • Elisabeth says:

    Thank you so much for inspiring me to think through my own processes and priorities! My challenge is that I make things in a variety of techniques: knitting, weaving, sewing, and quilting…I am so happy I eliminated the rest of them

    Since I only have one floor loom I decided to think of these techniques as my “looms”. Each “loom” requires a slightly different process, and it was very useful to actually take the time to think through each of them, what part do I enjoy the most and what do I tend to put off. You have mentioned that you put finishing first to make sure it gets done. It is interesting how people are different, finishing is the easiest part for me, while dressing the loom tends to be put off, even with a warp waiting.
    Another interesting part for me is to pay attention to which of the different technique requires almost no motivation to get going. Do you see a difference when it comes to your looms? Or the kind of projects you are working on?

    Thank you again for inspiring me to learn and grow!
    Love, Elisabeth

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elisabeth, From one thinker to another… There’s a fascination to figuring out structures and processes in life. I’m glad to hear this post prompted you to think through some things. You have certainly helped me to think through things, too.

      As far as motivation on different sorts of projects, I do find that I tend to be drawn to the fascination of the drawloom, to weaving a tapestry, and to weaving rag rugs. I need no motivation for those at all. Even so, I find enjoyment in every stage of the process on every one of the looms.

      Thanks for helping me think,
      Karen

  • Pamela Graham says:

    Wow, impressive! You are clearly an inspiration. I am curious about the drawloom; I thought you could only add a drawloom to a VERTICAL countermarch loom.
    Thanks,
    Pam

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pam, It is certainly easier to add a drawloom to a vertical countermarch. We (meaning Steve) modified the horizontal countermarch to fit with the drawloom frame.

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Beth Mullins says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Karen!

  • Helen P. says:

    Hello. I liked reading your posts a lot and here last I can see that you have a Glimåkra Ideal, I have the same. Unfortunately, I have a lot of problems getting the scales accurately, even though I know how to regulate various things. Maybe you can help me. Do you have an approximate measure of the basic binding to the Ideal loom. That is, the measure from shaft to short stool, the measure from short stool to long stool, the measure from long stool to tramp. Just like that, as a guide. Thanks in advance. Sincerely, Helen Pedersen.

    • Karen says:

      Hello Helen, Yes, I have a Glimåkra Ideal. Approximate measurements – from bottom of shafts to the short lamms is about 18cm, from short lamms to long lamms is about 18cm, from long lamms to treadles is about 23cm. The warp is not tied on yet, so these measurements are not exact.

      How many shafts are you using? Sometimes with more than 4 shafts, it is a little tricky to get everything to balance.

      Thank you,
      Karen

  • Nannette says:

    Hi Karen,
    I noticed you begin planning the next project while weaving the current project.
    Just one future project? 😉

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

    Nannette

  • Angela M Roberts says:

    Amen xoxo

  • Angela M Roberts says:

    One Question ? Do you keep them all warped and working,Simultaneously ??
    Or one at a time ?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angela, Each loom is on its own independent schedule. They are rarely synchronized so that they are all in weaving mode at the same time. Usually, the looms are operating in different phases of the weaving continuum. So, each day I decide which loom to focus on next. I can only weave on one loom at a time, so sometimes a warp sits on the loom for a while until I can get back to it.

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Hi Karen,
    I have a similar process, and have three looms that are usually active.
    When I was a fairly new weaver, I remember Anita Meyer saying that she has one project in the planning stage, one project in the weaving stage and one project in the finishing stage, and then working within the rhythms of her days. I follow a similar rhythm and it keeps me happy. I also have a fourth stage which is documentation and learning. Documentation so that I don’t forget what I have done, and learning because learning is a continuous lifelong adventure.
    Thanks for the inspiration today.
    Barbara

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbara, You have a great system. Documentation is important, yes. I include it in my finishing stage. And I’m with you, learning is a lifelong adventure!

      Thanks for your great input,
      Karen

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Everything Is Peachy on the Drawloom

I canned my first-ever batch of jam last summer. Jars of yummy peach jam were on my mind when I started planning designs for this sample warp on the combination drawloom. Much to my delight, Joanne Hall has included my Jam Jars design in her updated edition of Drawloom Weaving, recently released.

Cotton and linen on the drawloom.
Beginning another variation of the Jam Jars design.
Creating drawloom designs.
Earlier version of Jam Jars, with “Peach” spelled out in cursive letters.
Making jam on the drawloom.
Simple lettering is possible with the pattern shafts. 30 pattern shafts for the jam jar design, including “JAM”, and 5 pattern shafts for the side borders.
Drawloom Weaving, by Joanne Hall. 2nd edition.
Drawloom Weaving, 2nd edition, by Joanne Hall. An essential resource for anyone interested in drawloom weaving.

I am weaving several versions of the jam jars. Each variation has a different set of borders as I test my understanding of the Myrehed combination attachment. I am studying the versatility of this drawloom. Pattern shafts enable pattern repeats for the jam jars and side borders. Single units make it possible to weave the peaches in the corners and “Peachy” across the top. Can you tell if the border across the bottom is made with pattern shafts? Or, is it made with single units?

How to weave Peach Jam!
Everything is Peachy!

Depth of understanding comes from study. Practice makes it real. Go all in; make mistakes, un-do and re-make; have What-now? moments and Aha! moments. Make deliberate observations. It’s all part of the process. That’s what forgiveness from God through Jesus Christ is like. Forgiveness is good news. When we receive his forgiveness he sets us on a path to study, learn, and understand his grace. The depth of which will take an eternity to understand.

May you increase in understanding.

Grace to you,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Nannette says:

    Good morning Karen,
    It is wonderful when things come together. Sometimes as planned. Sometimes with the gentle nudge of Christ.
    Last week our home of 33 years sold 9 hours after it was placed on MLS. We will turn over the keys on December 21. 3 days after my husband works his last day. Exciting. Scary. Challenging. 3 hours drive north and another world. That is a lot of 3s.
    Who knew there are parts of this country without reliable internet. Our son has figured out how to overcome this through electronic manipulation outside of my wheelhouse.
    The looms are still not set up while the contents of our lives are gone through to decide what is kept and what is not included in the new home. Packing revealed many more supplies than I realized. My rug making will have no other option but to improve as I work through totes of sewing scraps saved from a lifetime of other projects.
    The one thing I am certain of is God has been with us. He is providing guidance when I see walls.
    Peachy is a very appropriate verb to use when describing this transition.
    Praise God.
    Nannette

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nannette, Transitions in life have great uncertainty. I’m glad you have awareness of God walking through the transition with you. That makes everything workable.

      Blessings,
      Karen

  • Annie says:

    Congratulations on being included in the new book by Joanne Hall, Karen! This pattern is delightful! Draw loom weaving seems a bit like magic to me and looks incredibly challenging. I do wish I had the space for one however there are so many other aspects of weaving for me to still learn so I will just continue to enjoy your artistry.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Annie, The most challenging aspect of drawloom weaving is setting up the loom. After that, it’s all fun and games! 🙂 And it does seem magical to be able to weave words and pictures in the cloth. I don’t think I’ll ever lose that sense of magic at the loom.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

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Process Review: Beaming the Warp

I am making a new ‘cello skirt (a tiered skirt), starting from scratch. The warp is 24/2 cotton, most of it unbleached. Each tier will be edged with a narrow Poppy border. The pattern in the cloth will be a huckaback (huck lace) design, adapted from Little Tablecloth in Huckaback on p.10 in Happy Weaving from VävMagisinet.

Preparing to beam the warp.

Today, I’m beaming the warp. My method includes a combination of things I have learned from these three excellent sources: Learning to Warp Your Loom, by Joanne Hall, Dress Your Loom the Vävstuga Way, by Becky Ashenden, and The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila Lundell.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Using warping trapeze to beam the warp.
Transferring the lease sticks.
Transferring lease sticks.
Transferring lease sticks.
Transferring lease sticks. Beaming.
Beaming a new warp.
Beaming the warp with a trapeze.
Beaming the warp with a trapeze.
Warping trapeze in use.
Using warping slats.
Placing warping slats.
Beaming with warping slats.
Beaming with warping slats.
Warping trapeze in use.
Warping trapeze in use.
Warping slats for beaming the warp.
Last step in beaming the warp.
Tie the lease sticks to the back beam.
Lease sticks tied to back beam.
Ready to cut the end-of-warp loops.
Cutting loops at end of the warp.
Cutting the loops at the end of the warp.
Beaming a new warp.
All Counted into Threading Groups
Newly beamed warp. Complete process pictures.
Newly beamed warp ready for threading.
Beaming process in pictures.

Do you have any questions about my beaming process? If you warp back to front, like I do, what do you do differently?

May you find yourself beaming.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

32 Comments

  • Ann Kelsall says:

    Hello Karen
    I got confused by the first pictures showing the reed. Do you thread the reed twice – once to accurately spread out the ends and then again after threading the heddles?

    And thank you for the time and trouble you take to show your processes!

    Ann (in France)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ann, I’m glad you asked. Yes, I “pre-sley” a reed to spread out the ends. The pre-sley reed is usually coarser than the reed that will be used for the weaving, so putting the threads through the reed goes relatively fast. This pre-sley reed is 50/10 metric and the weaving reed will be 100/10 metric. As you can see in the pictures, the pre-sley reed then goes in the beater while beaming, so the warp is very evenly spread out.

      It’s a joy to share.

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

    • Deborah Brothier says:

      Hello Ann. My name is Deborah and I live in France, in the south near Antibes. I have two contremarche looms, one here in Biot, one in Arles. My question is: by any chance, are you near either of these places/areas, and if so, would you be available to help me through the process? I have these wonderful looms, but I do not know how to beam the warp and do the tie-up by myself. I’ve only begun to weave two years ago by participating in various courses in Sweden. On my own, here in France, I am not making progress. With the Covid situation, I haven’t been able to return to Sweden for more training, and I haven’t been able to find anyone locally who has knowledge of the contremarche (mine are a Glimakra 120cm/10 shaft and an Ulla Cyrus/Oxaback 125cm/8 shaft). So, if you are nearby,(PACA region) maybe we could make contact?

      I have numerous books and good resources, but I am a hands-on learner. So, I have resources to share with you or anyone else who is interested in weaving, particularly on a contremarche or counterbalance.

      PS Your question about pre-sleying/sleying: glad you’ve asked Karen. I, too, await the answer… I have only pre-sleyed (although I have a raddle, which I do not use), but I do not remember how it sits once it is laid on the loom for beaming. Her photos shown here of the process are the most helpful I’ve come across.

      • Ann Kelsall says:

        Hello Deborah
        Unfortunately I am at the other end of France – in Bretagne. Have you thought of joining the Online Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers? I have been a membr for some years and there are others in France who belong. You could ask your question there, and get replies from others who have the same looms as you have. I have a Louet David and a Louet Jane table loom, so different to yours.
        Good luck with your quest!
        Ann

  • Beth Mullins says:

    What a process! I admire your ability to deal with such fine yarn. Can’t wait to see the poppies emerge!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beth, It’s been a while since I’ve used 24/2 cotton. I need good lighting for this, that’s for sure. You make me imagine poppies dancing along the rim of each tier. 🙂

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Dorothy Gareau says:

    What are the pipes for. I never saw that before. Can’t what to see the finished product…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dorothy, You may be referring to the aluminum beam covers. The beam covers are not essential, but they help protect the wood breast beam and back beam from getting indentations and grooves from the cords, especially during beaming.

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Karen says:

    What are you using for weights. This is amazing. I have a 4 shaft 30” table loom that my husband built for me but I always need his help in winding on the warp.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, I use 2-lb walking weights. They are like little bean bags. They’re perfect for this because they have “handles” that easily hang from the S-hooks. I found some at a sporting goods store, and the rest I was able to find on Amazon.

      My husband is a really great guy, but I knew I didn’t want to depend on his availability to be able to beam a warp. So, from the beginning, I was determined to learn how to do it single-handedly.

      With your table loom, you may be able to stretch the warp out in front of the loom (put a towel under the warp) and put weights on the warp bouts on the floor. That’s what I did before I had a warping trapeze.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Pam Graham says:

    Hello Karen,
    What a wonderful and useful photo series!
    How do you actually attach the weights to the warp sections? I always struggle with that. They always seem to slip down the warp.

    Thank you,
    Pam

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pam, That’s a great question.
      I make a loop in the end of the Texsolv cord (I use beam cord because it has bigger holes than regular Texsolv) and hang that loop just above a choke tie. I have choke ties about every meter of warp. The downward pull of the cord tightens the cord around the warp bout. My choke ties are very tight, as well, so they won’t slip. I hang an S-hook on the Texsolv cord and hang the walking weight on that. As the warp is beamed, I move the position of the Texsolv cord lower, as needed.

      I hope that helps.
      Karen

  • Betsy says:

    Nothing prettier than a nicely beamed warp. All those threads marching along in order.

  • Murlea Everson says:

    Hi Karen,
    Can you explain how you manage the cross while pre-sleying the reed so that the cross ends up behind the reed?

    Your work and posts are an inspiration-the best way to start my Tuesday’s!

    Thank you,
    Murlea

    • Karen says:

      Hi Murlea, Ah, your sweet words touch my heart.

      About the cross – The lease sticks are transferred from in front of the reed to behind the reed. This can be done before or after the reed is in the beater. I like to transfer the lease sticks before I put the reed in the beater, but the warp does need to be tensioned. Either way, it’s a similar operation.
      1. Untie the lease sticks. 2. Take the lease stick nearest the reed and turn it on its side, up against the reed. This opens a space on the back side of the reed that equals the same shed of that lease stick. Put a third lease stick into that opening behind the reed. 3. Now, you can remove the lease stick directly in front of the reed (that you had turned on its side). 4. Take the remaining lease stick that is in front of the reed and turn it on its side, up against the reed. This forms the opening on the back side of the reed that equals the shed of that lease stick. Put the lease stick you just removed into the new opening behind the reed. 5. Now that both lease sticks are safely behind the reed, tie them securely at both ends. Remove the remaining single lease stick.

      Once you get the hang of it, there’s a shortcut method that doesn’t require an extra stick. But it’s best to do it this way first because it helps you understand the process. It’s easy after you’ve done it a couple times.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Joanne Hall says:

    Thank you Karen, I am completing a weaving class for our guild, which I have been doing just by email. So far, it is working well and many of the weavers have been sending photos to the class paticipants, showing their progress on their warping. Today, I am recommending that they view your warping message, as it shows so well the beaming of the warp. Thank you for putting this up at the best time for my email class. Great photos. Joanne

  • D'Anne says:

    Hi, Karen,
    Your warping method is similar to mine except I use a raddle. I love using the 2lb. hand weights you taught me to use. They make warping alone very easy and the tension is so consistent.

    Thank you the excellent photos!
    D’Anne (Danny)

    • Karen says:

      Hi D’Anne, You and I had fun putting that blue 8/2 cotton warp on my loom once upon a time. I have never used a raddle, but I know that is a helpful method for many.

      It’s so nice to be able to warp alone, isn’t it?

      Love,
      Karen

  • kim says:

    Karen, what is the size of this loom? And is it an Ideal? How lovely that you can sit inside for threading. Also, the width of your cloth and epi of your thread. Will your weft be the same kind of thread?

    I can’t wait to see this project progress.

    Thanks, Kim

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim, This is a 100cm (39”) Ideal. It works great to remove the breast beam, knee beam, and the beater, and then put the bench right in there. The width in the reed is 37.2cm (14 5/8”). The sett is 20 ends per cm (~ 50 epi). The weft will be 16/1 linen.

      I’m excited to get it all set up and going.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • kim says:

    Thank you! I think this might be my dream loom. Kim

  • Elisabeth says:

    Thank you for postings this! It is always good to be reminded of good methods and habits!! And it looks like I can leave the lamms in place next time.,
    I noticed you mentioned your 2 lbs weights in your response to a previous comment, do you find 2 lbs to be sufficient for all kinds of warps, or do you vary the weight depending on the warp quality/weight?
    I can’t wait to see this fabric in use, I love the idea of the red border!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elisabeth, I remove lamms that aren’t needed. For example, I went from 6 shafts to 4 shafts with this project, so I removed 2 upper and lower lamms. Otherwise, there’s no need to remove any more than that.

      That’s a really good question about the 2-lb weights. I always put at least one weight on each bout, but depending on the thread or yarn being used, sometimes I put on an additional weight, or even 2 more. That extra weight is usually needed with a linen warp or with rug warp. I test the amount of weight by turning the ratchet. If there is not sufficient resistance, I add more weight. To add more weight, I can usually hang 2 of the walking weights on one S-hook; or I can hang another S-hook on the first S-hook.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

      • Elisabeth says:

        Thank you! I have used more weight on some warps, rug warp like you mentioned, and I was afraid it created too much resistance. I now understand this would be appropriate 🙂

  • Corinne Gibson says:

    I bought (used) a Glimakra Ideal Loom. The instruction books I have state that the warp has to be in the middle/center of the heddles. How do I do this on this particular loom?

    Thanks

    • Karen says:

      Hi Corinne, That is an understandable question, especially if you are new to Texsolv heddles. The beauty of Texsolv heddles is that they are easy to move around. I thread the heddles from right to left, starting on the far right. I add heddles on the left side of the shaft if more heddles are needed. When I finish threading all the heddles needed for the project, I tie off any excess heddles in groups of about 50 and remove them from the loom. If the heddles you are using are the only heddles on the loom, they will naturally be centered on the loom.
      Here is a blog post and video that gives you an idea of how I thread Texsolv heddles: You Can Prevent Threading Errors.

      I hope that helps. Enjoy that Ideal!
      Karen

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Applique from Handwoven Remnants

This is the Christmas-tree-skirt project. I wove 3 1/2 meters of background fabric with 8/1 Möbellåtta warp and 6/1 Fårö wool weft. Now, having sorted through all my handwoven remnants, big and small, I have colors and textures for telling the Nativity story in appliqué. My friend with appliqué experience has advised me on materials and technique, for which I am enormously grateful.

Applique from handwoven remnants.
Remnant from the warp for towels I wove for my daughter becomes part of Mary’s garment.
Handwoven remnants cut for applique Nativity.
Donkey shape is cut from remnants from my wool vest project on the drawloom. Paper is on both sides of the double-sided fusible product. One side is peeled off to adhere the fusible to the back of the appliqué piece. (Always remember to draw the reverse side of the image onto the paper on the fusible.)
Applique from handwoven drawloom fabric.
Appliqué piece is face up, ready to be fused to the background.
Making handwoven applique Nativity.
Blue star is from opphämta on the drawloom. Green palm trees are from a long-ago rigid heddle scarf and from a warp of cottolin towels. Manger is pieced from some of my earliest floor loom fabrics. Swaddling cloth is fine cotton M’s and O’s. Baby’s halo is from Swedish lace curtain fabric. Every piece of fabric has a story.

Using a double-sided fusible product, I carefully cut out each shape. After laying all the pieces out in the proper arrangement, I fuse them, layer by layer, to the background fabric. The Nativity narrative is formed, piece by piece. I still have handwoven remnants to add to the lower edge, and embroidery to stitch around some of the appliqué shapes. I’m hopeful to complete all of it before Christmas.

Making a handwoven Christmas tree skirt.
This is the felt tree skirt I saw every year around our family’s Christmas tree when I was a girl.
Handwoven Christmas tree skirt.
Planning the arrangement of the appliqué pieces onto the background fabric.
Making a handwoven applique Nativity scene.
I start by fusing the manger into place because the head of baby Jesus is at the very center of the whole length of cloth.
Handwoven applique Nativity scene.
Wide variety of handwoven fabrics tell the Nativity story. Threads of linen, cotton, wool, and bamboo.
Handwoven applique Nativity project.
Scraps of paper backing indicate that all the pieces have been fused into place. Next, embroidery and other handwork, while considering the meaning of Christmas.

My remnant scene tells the story of God with us. The holy babe in a pieced-together manger reminds us that God loved us by sending Jesus to our worry-ridden world. Worries are the little things and big things that we would like to control, but can’t. Can we add one moment to our lifespan by worrying? Trust in Jesus replaces worry because it puts control back in the right hands.

May you live worry free.

Love,
Karen

20 Comments

  • Beth Mullins says:

    Oh my goodness! It’s going to be a gorgeous heirloom! How will you keep the edges of the cut woven pieces of cloth from fraying? I can’t wait to see this finished. No doubt you will have it completed before Christmas.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beth, I think you’re right that this will become a cherished heirloom. I envision having it out year after year.

      Most of the cut edges are secured with the fusible that I used. And the embroidery that I’m planning to do will serve a dual purpose – stitching around vulnerable edges, as well as being decorative.

      Thank you,
      Karen

  • Nannette says:

    Good morning Karen,
    What did we do before fusibles?

    Textiles. Taking scraps of this and that and with blessings of creativity from God something wonderful happens where before for waste.

    Who knew playing with fluff would end up spun yarn? Or, looping that yarn would lead to cloth. Or stains would lead to dyes. Or mended holes would lead to lace.

    We are blessed with the end result of those ‘discoveries’ and the ever present ‘waste not want not’ that makes sure we use every last scrap of our hard work.

    Please forgive my getting into the weeds. I am trying to figure out how there are 6 plastic container lids of varying sizes left over from packing up my crafts. I think this is in the realm of socks and dyers….

    Beautiful tree skirt. I am looking forward to the finished project under the Christmas tree this year.

    Kind regards,

    Nannette

    • Karen says:

      Hello Nannette, I enjoy your thoughtful response so much. Using every last scrap has a way of showing us that when we think we are all used up, the Lord whispers that He’s not quite done with us.

      Thank you for your lovely communication,
      Karen

  • Karen says:

    Just beautiful!

  • Geri Rickard says:

    What an amazing project this is! Every piece tells a story, with each piece being a part of THE STORY. So meaningful in so many ways, and very inspiring. I can’t wait to see the finished tree skirt, but I say that about all of your projects! Thank you for sharing this process…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Geri, You express my sentiments perfectly, about being a part of THE STORY. What a grand story to be in. Thank you for contributing your thoughts!

      Thanks,
      Karen

  • Cynthia says:

    Wow please post when your finished, Would love to see.

  • Loyanne says:

    Oh! So very wonderful in so many ways. Thank you for sharing.

  • Karen Simpson says:

    This will be so moving…..

  • Elisabeth says:

    It is absolutely beautiful, what a treasure! And such a great use of remnants from all those projects.

  • Carolyn Penny says:

    That is just sweet. Blessings to you and yours!

  • Kristin G says:

    I’m very glad you’ve shared this process with us, Karen. It’s so inspiring! I love that you took what others might think of as waste and worthless (only to a non-weaver, of course ) and are turning it into a treasure! What a beautiful reminder of God’s redemption.

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