Turn Scrap Fabric into Unique Textiles with Weaving

29 Apr 2010

I'm not sure there's such a thing as too much fabric. Art quilters, especially, have a need--yes, need--to keep even small scraps because you never know when your quilt or fabric collage is going to require a specific color, pattern, or texture. Sometimes, though, the scraps of fabric can start to take over. That's when I go looking for projects and techniques that will use up a pile of scraps in a hurry.

Fortunately, with the breadth of fiber-related publications under the Interweave umbrella, I don't have to go far to find a new way to play with fabric. One of the techniques I've been longing to try is weaving, so I asked Handwoven Assistant Editor Pattie Graver to give us an idea of how we art quilters can incorporate weaving into our bag of tricks.

Whittle Your Scrap Stash with Weaving
By Pattie Graver

April is the quintessential month of spring. The landscape reveals a new collaged quilt of brilliant color and texture, and the days grow longer. With more daylight, one is inclined to extend the time spent on creative endeavors. More time in your studio space allows you a chance to evaluate...the stash.

Admit it. As a quilter, you probably have more fabric than you and several of your friends will ever use in a lifetime.

Would you like to know a secret that will allow you to use up that stash, nourish your creativity, justify buying more fabric, and maybe even create your own fabric? Taaaa-daaah! Welcome to the world of weaving--it's for quilters, too!

You've probably heard of weaving with rags. Don't let the word rags conjure up an image of tattered and torn cast-offs. Instead, imagine you've created a beautiful quilt intended for the wall of a dining room, and you have plenty of leftover fabric. With a simple loom and some basic weaving skills, you can use the extra fabric to weave amazing coordinating pieces. How about adorning your room with a harmonizing woven table runner or placemats? Don't stop there. Move on to the living room where there is wall space for quilts, floor space for hand woven rag rugs, and furniture begging for complementary woven pillows.

Let's not forget our closets. As a quilter, you know how to use a sewing machine and understand the meaning of "cut on the bias." With fundamental weaving skills, you can turn fabric strips into cloth and sew stylish jackets and bags. Envision some terrific additions to your wardrobe!

Other benefits of weaving for quilters include an understanding of the structure of cloth and the possibility of creating distinctive textures and high-quality fabric to include in future stunning quilts. Weaving also opens up the possibility of creating unique decorative trims and embellishments. (Passementerie anyone?)

Your non-quilting friends and family may already think you are too obsessed with fabric; wait until they discover that you are about to become warped so you can weave.


Thanks, Pattie! Sounds like the beginning of a new fiber-related passion! If you're intrigued by weaving, be sure to check out Handwoven.


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