I fully intended to weave a floral image for my first four-shafttapestry. Flowers have interesting and beautiful colors and shapes. However, while I am taking pictures for that very purpose at the garden center near our Texas hill country home, a bright green lizard catches my eye. Stunning in color and detail!
This cute little fellow, technically a green anole, is my tapestry subject! With every wool butterfly and placement of weft, I am hoping for a fruitful outcome—a 3’ x 4’ tapestry of a (recognizable) bright green lizard on a wooden post.
Fruitful. We want to know that the things we say and do have lasting value. We want to live in a way that bears the fruit of positive outcomes, don’t we? When results are slow in coming, or not readily seen, it can be discouraging. It’s time to trust the Lord. Don’t be disheartened. Instead, think of long-term cultivation. What looks uncertain now will be a distinct part of the image when you look back. Any mistakes woven in are proof of our humanness. And that proof reminds all of us that we need a Savior. Keep weaving.
This week I crossed something off my Weaving Bucket List: Use handwoven fabric to upholster chairs. Remember the color-and-weave linen fabric? It’s part of my collection of fabrics designed specifically for our Texas hill country home. I covered four barstool seats with this linen upholstery fabric!
Weaving the fabric is the easy part. But I’m a newbie at upholstering. As such, using my “precious” handwoven cloth is unnerving. But I was fortunate enough to receive terrific advice and encouragement from friends, including one who conferred on my behalf with professional upholsterers she knows. And another friend generously loaned her power staple gun to me. I also referred to a book (Matthew Haly’s Book of Upholstery, by Matthew Haly) that I picked up a few years ago in hopes that I might someday reach this item on my bucket list.
I count this as practice and a first step of experience. Eventually, I may work up the courage to reupholster our eight dining room chairs. Hmm… the thought of getting to design the fabric makes that challenge rather appealing.
This is a series of learning experiences—some easy, and some quite challenging. I am near the end of the first panel of the tapestry/inlay sampler. All along the way, I encounter obstacles. Like a broken warpend. Again. That broken warp end is discouraging. Surely, I should be able to keep that from happening by now.
Meanwhile, a simple line of soumak makes a pleasing border for this curve. It defines the shape with a slightly raised line. Over three, around one…all the way across. This part is nice and easy.
Daily life is not always easy. Put your eyes on God, not on the obstacles you face. And don’t worry about your own inability to navigate the circumstances. Trust God to carry you. He has carried you this far, and will continue to show himself strong on your behalf. Those broken warp ends are spliced, and the weaving continues. The selvedge may show some evidence of having had trouble, but the soumak outlines and other woven features will draw the eye. There is victory in advancing the warp to continue the sampler to the end.
The problem with having more than one loom is that you must divide your time between looms. Monksbelt has been on the big loom a little too long, since the baby loom has had most of my attention lately. That means little progress for this extra-slow weave.
Now that the baby loom is empty I am getting some good weaving time on the monksbelt. When I look at the loom, the whole task seems too big. But these colors are invigorating. When I pull out a few Fårö wool colors for the next treadling sequence, I forget my complaints about this taking too long. When I sit on the loom bench and start weaving with these colors I am inspired to keep going.
Your words can be like these colors, giving someone the vitality they need to finish well. Your pleasant words are like honey to a weary soul. Pleasant words go deeper than you think. They bring needed inspiration when someone cannot see the end of a challenge. Your words may be the color palette that inspires your friend or loved one to keep going.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Weaving a baby wrap is something I have been interested in doing. I am pleased, therefore, that my daughter wants to try babywearing. It’s the perfect excuse for me to put a colorful warp on the loom–a warp with wide stripes of blended colors. After research and careful planning, I am ready to start. Baby Lu will be here before we know it!
It is exciting to weave something on purpose to give to someone you love. The whole process has meaning–from planning, to dressing the loom, to throwing the shuttle. You hope it turns out as you envision, or better. Making something to give is the best kind of making. The thought you put into it shows up as a gift of love.
Our words can be thoughtful gifts, as well. It takes thought to speak sentences and paragraphs, and conversations, that bless and enrich. Our considerate words give our recipient the means for wrapping someone else with love. Words can heal. These are the words to speak, words that give life. Weave comfort and encouragement into the things you say, touching others with kindness. Let the little ones be wrapped in their mother’s love. And let the rest of us practice sweet thoughtfulness day after day.
May your words be thoughtful gifts from your heart.