Thursday, 23 November 2017

Woven Orbs

Despite the fact that I've dropped off the edge of the internet for a month, sewing has continued behind the scenes and I've made all sorts of things that I'm hoping to share with you over the coming weeks: a dress, an appliqu├ęd map, a quilt sewn at high-speed for a baby shower, some more Eight Dials piecing, as well as some more Matisse inspired Eight Dials blocks...the list goes on, but most of it is yet to be photographed (although randomly, I do have a picture of me standing in the middle of a field wearing the new dress accessorised with wellingtons, while on a dog walk. I am a big fan of dresses for muddy walks as it means that my favourite jeans aren't faded by constant washing...tights somehow never seem to attract mud).

Anyway, first up are these little orbs. This year, I've kept being struck with the desire to do some weaving. I've intermittently researched looms, but ultimately decided that it may require a whole new room to accommodate it (or at the very least a cupboard to store a table-top one) and also wondered if I would have the patience to thread up the warp on the loom, which seems a necessary, but somewhat complicated-looking, precursor to weaving. But either way, I have totally fallen in love with this particular piece of weaving and the thought of it continues to make me want to learn. Do you weave? I'd love to hear more about it and what the learning curve is, if you do.

For now, at least, these tiny woven orbs have dampened the insistent voice of the marauding maker-beast within, who seemed to be pulling at my sleeve and grumbling BUT I JUST WANT TO WEAVE whenever my attention was turned to any other craft! I posted a photo of the first few orbs I made on Instagram near the beginning of October and then lost myself in a flurry of undocumented orbing, which resulted in a further two dozen being created. The original inspiration for these came from an image I spotted on Pinterest and it was one of those lovely things where you then search up a name hoping they've written a book and then find that they actually have written a book...AND with the point of inspiration dotted all over the front cover, which you can see in the photo above. I was so pleased!

The book is by Karen Barbe and you can find it on Amazon, here. The content was a surprise, as it doesn't actually give any hints on how to make them, rather it's actually all about combining colour successfully. However, the book is a visual feast of orby inspiration and it wasn't hard to imagine how one goes about making them. I used Aurifil Lana wool (this shop has a really good range of colours) - I love how natural and textured it looks. I also used a wash-away marker and the base of the Lana wool reel to mark out the circles. For the weaving, I used a thick, blunt needle to avoid splitting the wool and I interfaced the pale base fabric, so that any stray threads wouldn't be visible on the front.

I've ordered some tiny picture frames from Ikea and will be putting these up on a wall in my kitchen that's always felt curiously empty. This is clearly what it's been waiting for.

In other matters, I'll be venturing out from behind my screen to go to The Village Haberdashery this Saturday to chat about the V&A book I contributed to. I'll be talking for a bit (if I can remember how to speak) about the project I offered up and I'm also looking forward to hearing about the inspiration for the other pieces in the book and hopefully time just spent chatting with other makers - it would be really lovely to meet any readers in real life, if you happen to find yourself in London on Saturday afternoon. It's from 2-5pm at The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead - it may be worth checking with the shop to see if tickets, which are free, are still available.

Finally, the gorgeous teapot, above, is made by Jo Avery, who has just begun a block of the month quilt-along with Today's Quilter. You can find out more on Jo's blog, here, and follow along as she unveils a full kitchen's worth of crockery over the coming year. Jo invited me to post about one of the blocks, so in the new year I'll be sharing the one that I've made when it gets to the relevant month.

It's now feeling horribly close to the end of November and, unusually for me, I've done very little in the way of buying or making any Christmas presents. Have you started making anything? Or do you have any wonderful ideas for shop-bought gifts?

Have a lovely weekend,
Florence x
A few of the books/products that I link to on Amazon from my blog contain affiliate links and very occasionally, I'll mention a product that I've been given free of charge. I choose the things that I recommend carefully and my priority is to only share things that I love.