I wasn't really planning another blog post before the holidays, but somehow it has come to pass. My sewing room sort of pulls me in somedays and I get totally lost in the idea of the moment. Even so, I am not entirely sure how I came to be making this project now....there is an internet trail of clicks I suppose. It went from thinking about what to do with a patch of our garden, to looking at images of topiary gardens, to considering that these were a good topic for embroidery, to researching knot gardens, to sketching an idea, to raiding my fabric stash and picking up my needle. I am not always a massive fan of the internet, which seems to take over our lives and especially that of our children, but actually it is a huge resource, when ever an idea pops into our heads and we can instantly find a world of inspiration out there. I had also watched recently Monty Don's History of the British Garden and was totally enamoured with the amazing topiary garden at Levens Hall in Cumbria, which is definitely on my 'to visit' list, this summer.
But.... there was something else that has been going on in the sewing room this week too. Have you seen all the buzz on Instagram about fabric weaving? I thought some of the images were just wonderful and was totally inspired to have a go. I followed a couple of links via instagram to find some blogs with suggestions about how to do this and then set about using up some left over fabrics to see if it would work. I didn't cut my strips as narrow as some of the projects I had seen as I was a bit sceptical about the whole thing and I found an old piece of polystyrene packaging in the garage to use as the base for the weaving. It seemed to work out rather well and I was totally hooked.
So I made up a couple of woven panels and found them to be rather sturdy and extremely pretty. Once I had done them, I decided to use them as part of a cushion cover. Gathering bits and bobs of coordinating fabric, I thought that adding some embroidery would compliment the weaving and somehow the topiary idea seemed to coordinate rather well with the fabrics I had chosen. I was starting to suspect that the whole thing had meshed together in my mind before I even started to weave, because it somehow seemed to flow along, with barely a tea break to interrupt it. My little trees were quite quick to work, using chain stitch and colonial knots. I stitched the cushion front together and quilted it with an absolutely lovely design by Leah Day called 'Icicle lights' and the project started to take on a christmassy feel. I added in my fav tassels to finish it off nicely and once it was done, I was rather amazed by the success of the project. There are full instructions on how to make one of these in the tutorials section or you can just click here
This fabric weaving is actually really an interesting idea. Check out some of the fantastic things that are being made on social media. I found I couldn't stop and I made up another cushion too....this time with a little whimsical imagination thrown in.
I think there are lots of possibilities for this technique. I have seen some beautiful little woven bags on instagram and because the panels are so sturdy, I think they could be used in all sorts of things. I plan to try with much narrower strips next time, which gives a more polished look, but for now, I am rather delighted with this weeks makes.
So now I am behind on all the holiday preparations and need to shut the door on my sewing room and get on with the ironing, the cleaning and gathering together the holiday paraphernalia that is needed in my suitcase. We are off to Italy.... and I hope that I come back with a notebook full of inspired ideas for new projects.