Thursday, 28 June 2012

Memories Blankets

Eight new Memories Blankets are finished and ready to go. Memories Blankets originated as baby blankets that I gave to friends' babies beginning many years ago, and then I learned that my blankets were being used until well into the teenage years.  These blankets are also suitable for older people, possibly as a lap blanket.  So the name Memories Blanket reflects their longevity and how much I hear they are cherished over time.  Thanks to Diane at the StationHouse Gallery for the perfect name.

Memories Blankets are 100% cotton and can be machine washed and dried.  They're woven in waffle weave with the true waffles, or in waffle squares.  The new ones are posted here, and here's a sample of three new ones together (waffle squares on two above, waffle structure on lower blanket).

Monday, 25 June 2012

Artist Trains

 A whole new world of artists and helpful advisors has opened up to me lately. It started with my good friend, Diana Vestergaard, an amazing artist and great person. Diana led me to Alyson Stanfield who produces her artbizblog to support artists and give them a ton of ideas and information. I even joined one of Alyson's teleseminars about marketing art more successfully.  Then Alyson's blog led me to some great books, including "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon and "Art and Fear - Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking" by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Both books are fantastic and I've been reading them on some business travels.  I just signed up for Austin's blog and he is amazing - he shares a lot of good information and he makes it all so lively, interesting and fun.

As a weaver, even though I consider myself more of a craftsperson than an artist, of course there is some degree of art involved in everything I design and make.  Sometimes the original design morphs quite a bit in the weaving process and I get new ideas.  Another train.  I love the balance of a solid plan for a project with being open to new ideas and variations that probably couldn't have happened at the early planning stages.  MmmmmMMM!

Thanks to Diana ... and Alyson ... and Austin, David, Ted, and other authors and bloggers.  I appreciate your help, support and ideas a lot.

Monday, 18 June 2012


On Saturday I joined a felting workshop held by MamaQuilla Textiles. Felting is the intentional interlocking of wool fibres with hot water, soap and agitation to create a moulded fabric.  At least, that's how I would put it.  Our group of eight, led by the very knowledgable Maureen, had a wonderful day in Maureen's studio.  I kind of laughed at myself though - I was all set to work all day in the barn, which would probably be chilly and maybe dark.  Well, the barn is totally refurbished into a beautiful, cozy, working studio.

We started with felt balls, worked our way up to felted bags...

... then finished with a felted picture.  Between the second and third projects I fooled around with felting on my thermos cup.  I loved the three-dimensional felting in strong preference to making a picture.  Here are my felt balls and cups:

Thank you, Maureen, for a super day and your amazing inspiration!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Three New Wool/Mohair Blankets

Three of the new blankets are approximately half commercial wool (warp) in greys and cream, and the other half of undyed handspun wool and mohair.  They are all woven in twill blocks in different treadlings: B121 has diagonal twill lines (the herringbone look), B122 has broken twill for a slightly mottled look, and B125 has a combination of the two.  The mohair blends gives the blankets a light and airy feeling and look without being too fuzzy or scratchy.

Each blanket is 180 cm (six feet) or longer and 130 cm (53 inches) or a little wider. I expect that these blankets will last and be enjoyed for many years.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Blankets Finished

I wonder how many readers noticed that I last posted a similar photo to one earlier?  I repeated the same two blankets drying on the line outside.  Probably some people noticed before I did - whoops!  But I really like those images - the completed product that needs just a little more work before it's totally finished and ready to use.

All 11 wool blankets are finished and ready to measure, photograph and post on Picasa, which is one of my enjoyable tasks for tomorrow.