Friday, June 4, 2010

My Pics 2 Picks Project

The Pics 2 Picks Project is the brainchild of Meg in Nelson, NZ.  Here were the basic rules:
1) Collect 3-6 photographs/clipping/drawing to inspire a weaver.
2) Put all three in an envelope, and a personal message and send it to your weaver recipient.
3) Plan a project based on one of the images.
4) Photograph it, sketch it, write about it, or blog about it. And weave it.
5) Share your progress the first week of June.  Completed project not required.

I recieved a little packet from Desiree with a photo, a clipping and some postcards illustrating the wrok of a famous Swedish weaver.  I picked the photo -- it is of a lovely leather jacket by a Swedish clothing designer.  To me it has many of the wonderful colors we see in the American Southwest.

In my stash I had strips of Pendleton Wool fabric and turoquise worms from Pendleton Blankets.  The fabric picks up the colors of the leather and the worms pick up the color in the center (maybe part of the lining).  I also had some hand painted cotton yarn from Lisa Souza that has all the colors.

So I started weaving.  I wasn't sure what the end product would be, but in the back of my mind of was thinking it would be a bag.  You can see in the photo on the left what it looked like on the loom.  I alternated randomly between the worms and the fabric, using a pick of Lisa's cotton in between each.  I have seen garments made using the worms and the worms had been beat hard and made to curl.  I didn't want that -- I wanted flat worms so I beat very lightly -- just kinda sliding them into place.
When I was done I had a piece of fabric that didn't have a lot of stability since the worms were flat.  So my next step was to get a friend (Hi JoAn) to machine quilt it for me.

If you look closely you have see the machine quilting.  That made a huge difference in the stability of the fabric.  Next I washed and dryed it.  There was very little fulling since the worms are the edges of felted blankets.  Then I gave it a hard press and applied fusible interfacing to one side.  From there it is was just sewing -- have I mentioned my sewing skills haven't progressed much since the 7th grade? And my poor sewing machine was not always happy with me or the thickness of the fabric. I had the perfect lining fabic in my stash (photo below on right) and thankfully I had a lot of the fabric since I had to do the lining twice -- the first was a 1/2" too small and I had already trimmed the seam when I discovered that fact. 

I experimented and fussed a lot over the handles.  I tried knitting the worms into an I-Cord handle -- nope.  I tried various plastic and bamboo handles in my stash -- nope.  Finally I went to JoAnns Fabric and found two drapery trims that worked and I sewed them together....

And here's the bag!


Anonymous said...

This is just fantastic. Well Done!
Shirley Xx

Anne-Marie said...

What a neat project! I love the inspiration and the result. I'd love to participate in something like this.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I saw this in person and it is really cool!!

Meg said...

I have not-so-secretly coveted that photo myself. Such lovely colors and you can feel the texture of the leather. Yum yum...

Ummm... I've never heard of worms in this context - what are they?? Edges of felted blankets - just wound up in balls for weavers and other crafters to use? Fascinating.

And lucky, lucky Twispofate!!!

Loved the final bag. As does Ben. And I mean, he likes it A LOT!

Congratulations on the outcome, and on the collaboration, too! And thank you for participating. Be sure to let us know what it's like to use your bag. I've been thinking of turning my scarf into a tiny bag or a purse.

Holly said...

Meg, Pendleton trims their felted blankets before they overcast the edges (I think) and the results are strips of felt about 60-68 inches long and maybe 1/2 inch wide (the width varies). You can see their blankets here:

At some of their outlet stores you can buy the worms, but they don't come nicely packaged. With the help of a friend I dug thru a big wooden container of the pulling out the color I wanted.

The bag is a little on the heavy side, so I think it will have to be used only for light weight knitting.

Anonymous said...

That bag is absolutely gorgeous. It can't have been easy to sew up, but I like the way the sturdiness gives the result such a definite shape. Actually, you wouldn't have to put anything in it...just carry it around for the envious glances.