As many of you know, I am taking an introduction to weaving class this semester. Our second project for the class was to weave a 12 inch by 12 inch tapestry. As usual, I chose a really challenging design, then wondered why as I struggled though it. I always do this to myself, but 9 times out of 10 I am happy in the end, even if the piece doesn't turn out exactly as I planned.
I decided to make the tapestry a pictorial sampler, using different techniques within the piece. I love the beautiful mountains here in Idaho, with the huge blue skies above them, and the quirky magpies who live there, so that was what I chose to depict in my piece.
The first step was to draw a full-size cartoon of the piece. I had a photo of a magpie who lived in the big tree next to our old house in Hailey, so I enlarged it, then traced around it to get the shape just right. Then I drew in the mountains and sky behind him, and planned the different techniques I would try in the different areas of the piece.
As the work progressed, I realized what a task I had set for myself! It was tricky knowing where to cross the weft threads and where to leave a slit between, and because we wove the tapestries on our floor looms, it was impossible to secure the cartoon behind the piece in progress, so some of the proportions ended up being off. Also, because there were so many color changes, there were a huge number of tails to sew in at the end. Overall, though, I am tickled with how it turned out.
I found free plans for building your own tapestry loom online, so I plan on making one for myself over the Winter break, because even though tapestry weaving is time consuming and tedious (why am I always drawn to crafts that are like that?), the result is worth it! ...and it will keep me happily busy until I can get or make a floor loom of my own.
I have always loved making things with my hands. It has always amazed me that I am able to take an image in my mind and make it come into form. Like magic!
I will never have enough time to create all the wonderful things waiting to come to life from my imagination, but you can see a few of the lucky ones that actually get made here.
I hope they bring a bit of joy to your day!
Thanks for looking!