I Quit Weaving for Quilting; What Do I Miss Now?

“Allegro — Blue” Handwoven Table Runner.
“Allegro — Red” Handwoven Table Runner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I discovered weaving in 1978 and spent the next 15 years happily exploring the world of weaving.  For the next 20 years, I designed, wove and marketed table linens in repp weave.   Then I quit.   Being completely burned out, I sold all looms, yarn, books and equipment I had spent years acquiring.   Do I have regrets?   Sort of.

I now have a greater appreciation for handwoven textiles.  Perhaps when I was knocking out yards of placemats and runners, it all seemed ordinary.  I was very casual about it.  Last year, a good friend gave me one of her handwoven towels for a holiday gift.   It was so special, I almost cried.  Every time I use it, I realize how unique it is.

I miss my weaving studio.  Spacious and full of natural light, it was a delightful workspace, with my Toika and the AVL computerized looms, colorful yarn, books and weaving equipment throughout.

My Weaving Studio with Ollie the Collie.
My Toika loom, 8 shaft, 60″ width.

I miss the tactile nature of a handwoven cloth, and the yarn that went into it.   Yarn textures, colors, size, and strength all play an important role in creating a handwoven textile.  Before the cloth is woven, the weaver most likely played with that yarn, running it through their fingers, judging the yarn diameter and sett needed for a successful weave, pairing it with other colors and textures, and picturing the finished cloth.

Perle Cotton in a Rainbow of Colors

I miss my weaving friends and the weaving community that was my home for decades.  In my quilting world, I have found wonderful friends and have been lucky to find very knowledgable and generous teachers.  But I simply miss my weaving tribe; I was with them for a long time.  We shared many happy moments in workshops, at sales and many guild events.

My Good Friend, Ronna, and I at a sale in April 1994.
In 2009, a group of weavers from Oregon attended a workshop in Sweden. Here we are trying to buy gas.

I miss the academic process of designing a complicated weaving.   I worked out many weaving designs at night when I couldn’t sleep.   The math occupied me for hours. Repp weave, a multi-dimentional block weave, requires thinking in layers and can make for a stimulating mathematical challenge.

 

Many facets of my weaving world have migrated into my quilting world — my contemporary design style and love of bold colors, the excitement of a new project, learning new techniques, meeting like-minded folks, sharing and admiring accomplishments.  Perhaps that is why I am comfortable in my new medium.  Yet, weaving will always be a part of my creative process and my identity. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Detail of Handwoven Wall Hanging

4 Replies to “I Quit Weaving for Quilting; What Do I Miss Now?”

  1. Peggy Ross

    Now that you have a bit more studio space, you probably have room for a small backstrap, rigid heddle or frame loom to tuck into a corner. Still a great way to play with textile structure and texture. I wonder how your quilts could showcase a woven rectangle with unique texture? Or, how could card woven strips become the “frame” of a quilt?…………

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