I love creating quilts with texture. Some recent examples include my Fruit of the Spirit quilt and my triaxial weaving pillow. In fact, the top quilt on my list of quilts I want to make in 2017 is a fabric weaving quilt!
Of course, I haven't decided on fabrics for that quilt, nor have I purchased any. With the project quilting deadlines of just one week, I knew I wouldn't be able to order anything and get it delivered in time to finish. So I had to work with what I had in my stash.
I recently won a fat quarter bundle of Here Comes the Fun fabrics by Sew Caroline for Art Gallery Fabrics and have been dying to use them. This was my chance!
I decided to try a new weaving design I found on Pinterest.
I cut the AGF fabrics into 1/2" and 2" strips. Then ironed the raw edges to the middle of the back, creating 1/4" strips and 1" strips. The plan was to do the same with the solid black, but the thread count/quality of the solid fabrics isn't as high as the print fabrics, so the edges weren't stable enough to turn under to create 1/4" strips (using my makeshift bias tape maker of my fingernails. Note to self: get a bias tape maker). So first change of plans: just cut 1/4" strips of the black and keep them raw edge.
I laid out the strips on a piece of cardboard and pinned the ends. (I just saw a weaving class where they used bulletin boards - brilliant! Note to self: get a bulletin board.)
After the base was all laid out, I began to weave the 1/4" print strips. I made a makeshift weaving tool from a popsicle stick. I drilled a hole in one end to hold the fabric as I pull it through. It works, but it's not great. (Note to self: get a WEFTY needle.)
Once the weaving was complete, it was time to transfer it from the cardboard onto a backing and batting in order to create a quilt sandwich. When I made the triaxial weaving pillow, I used interfacing on top of the cardboard, so once done, I ironed the weaving and it stuck to the interfacing, keeping it all together. This time, well, I forgot. Note: that step is important.
I decided to use glue to keep the ends of each strip in place. While it worked well, the middle shifted during the transfer and subsequent quilting phase. Did I mention that I learned that the interfacing would help?
I quilted with my walking foot on my vintage Bernina 930 Record with black thread. This process caused the raw edges of the 1/4" black strips to fray more than I had originally wanted. Once finished, the lines were a little wonky and not as perfectly polished as I had imagined in my mind. The quilt was also a lot of the same texture. I felt it needed something more.
Time for change number two: I decided to add an applique detail to give a focal point to the quilt. I cut some flowers from one of the prints of the Here Comes the Fun line and raw edge appliqued them to the quilt. I quilted over the existing black lines in the flowers to create texture within each flower. The raw edge of the flowers pulls together the raw edge of the black lines - making both look intentional!
I trimmed the quilt to 15" x 20" and added solid black binding.
The quilt turned out much different than I had originally planned, but I love the texture that resulted!
This was a great trial run for my future weaving quilt that I want to make sometime this year. Lessons learned, tools to buy, tricks to try next time. That's the whole point of mini quilts for me! And quilting challenges!
Finished mini quilt is approximately 15" x 20", created by Laura Piland in southwest Missouri.