Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Our Tapestry Weavers South group decided to enter Woven Gems with a group challenge called "Bedazzled" and I've been dazed trying to decide upon a theme. The whole concept is so foreign from my thinking about subjects and images--I'm a blue jeans person, not glittery. But I remembered a bead weaving of orchids (fits my concept--nature!) that I'd done a year or so ago. I've intended to incorporate it with a tapestry, as I have a couple of earlier pieces--but just haven't gotten around to it.

SO, I thought--OK, now's the time to use this bead weaving and weave a bedazzling frame to surround it! I decided on a pretty simple geometric surround using gold metallic yarn along with a deep red wool into which I wound thin red metallic yarns. The deep, dark red sort of matched the small amount of burgandy in the beading.

My husband, when he saw it last night, said that he felt the contrast of the deep red was too much...he'd rather have seen a slightly different gold to contrast with the gold I used...more like one would actually see in a gilt frame. I like his suggestion--won't work with piece, of course, since it's "history" now. But, that idea is certainly one I'll put in the cooker for the future.

To add the beading I wove to the point where I wanted the bottom edge of the beading to be placed. Then I took the beading threads to the back of the weaving and tied them together around warp threads.

The beading then hung down, upside down and backwards, while I wove the rest of the tapestry up to the point where I added the top of the beading. There I again took the beading thread to the back and tied ends around warp ends. I finished it by weaving the remaining part of the frame over the top.

So the beading is woven into the tapestry. I chose to do the central part of the tapestry, between the frame edges, in a deep blue/purple with a couple of metallic threads included. Although this is seen only a bit at the bottom and top of the bead weaving I wanted it to be a clear visual separation between the frame and beading.

I used a dark blue/purple cotton seine twine warp, sett at 14 epi. The weft was a single gold metallic and three fold of the Shannock wool, along with two strants of tiny metallic thread.

Working on this was quite HARD on the eyes...first, I find it hard to see the up/down of the dark warp. Then, taking the teeny and unruly beading threads through to the back and actually making my fingers work in combination with my eyes to get the darn things tied securely was a challenge!

Anyway, so be's done, except for the special back mounting method needed. I plan to work on that later today and maybe get the piece in the mail to our member who's collecting all the TWS works to ship off to FL.


  1. Nice, Tommye. Do you often use a dark warp? I do think it would be hard on the eyes. Sometimes these small tapestries can be more of a challenge than the big ones! I need to get mine done.

  2. I've started using dark colored warps for small tapestries since I like to do a half-Damascus edge at the top. Since the warp, then, shows a bit the white or natural of the other seine twine I often use frequently disconcerting with the weft of the piece. The dark seems to be better.

    I worked in all kinds of light trying to get the best arrangement...sunlight through the window falling from the side, spots of incandescent, florescent, ott light...and many combinations of the above! I want to continue to use dark warp for small things and now maybe I need to think of a lamp to clamp on my a miner's light!

  3. I was reading the warp at top and bottom as green similar to green in beaded part- is it in real life? I like the warp because the color ties back into the central beaded part, as the reds do- used in both frame and central beading. I think two different golds would look good in the frame too. But I also like it as is, and think the beaded portion is strong enough to take the red woven into the frame.

    I have lots of trouble with my eyes now too. Mostly I can't see in the dark anymore. This is not good with a large brown labrador lying around in dimly-lit parts of rooms. I wonder if you and/or I have any cataracts yet? My Dad just had one removed and hours later he was commenting on how much more vivid colors were. I also can't match John's socks in the laundry light; he can't either. I can't see my own paintings without glasses, and was unable to complete a card weaving with thread warp. Dang, this isn't fun.

  4. Tommye- How big is the Orchid tapestry?

  5. Hi AK,
    The warp is a dark blue/purple and does work fine with the dark blue in the beaded part. The finished piece (tapestry frame included) is about 5" w x 7" h. I finished the back today and hope to get it shipped off this week!