Now I get to share some of my favorite no-loom weaving projects from Weaving Within Reach! You can make all the projects in this post with no loom at all. I used traditional techniques for some of the projects, and just wove free-hand for others. Plus, I want to share some more behind-the-scenes stories. While I do that, don’t forget we’re still in the pre-order period, so don’t forget to check out the bonus DIY kit you could get if you submit your receipt for a pre-order purchase.
Ribbon Bolster Pillow
The ribbon bolster pillow up above was so much fun to figure out how to make and shoot. First, the minute I saw the hanging chair in the lobby of the Amigo Motor Lodge in Salida, CO, I knew that we had to shoot the bolster in it. The entire space has concrete floors and simple framed 2x4s covered in a corrugated plastic – such an intriguing construction and use of simple materials. Not shown is the fabulous wood burning fireplace (but it was red!). Did you know we shot the book in various spaces all over Colorado? (More details at the bottom of the post).
Early on in my research for the book, I saw a Korean bolster that looked like an empty pillow with a hard shell of cane or bamboo woven in this pattern. I was curious about it and was inspired to figure it out and try one in softer materials. It did a number on my brain to figure out how it worked, and how to explain it to you, but it was worth it! I love the results! The mixture of velvet ribbon and linen brings lots of softness and texture to the piece, too. After more research, I found out that in Korea, they used to weave the hard bolsters with nothing inside as an alternative to hug something well-ventilated while they sleep through the hot nights. They call them ‘bamboo wives’! Love that! Well, this one won’t be cool to hug, but huggable nonetheless.
These coiled medallions follow a traditional basket weaving technique but in mini-version. The thing I love about these no-loom weaving projects is that you can change the materials and transform the scale and look of the entire piece following the exact same direction. These coiled medallions with rope and twine, or raffia and yarn would make a great placemat, centerpiece, or wall hanging. You can form them a bit as you coil and make baskets or platters as well. Still, I love them as earrings. Of course, I’m in love with Morgan, the model, who was in my first book. Truth: I begged her to come from Utah to be in the second and she enthusiastically agreed. She made a road trip of it with her husband – 16 hours driving total just to be in the book. Love her! Her participation means so much to me.
Back to the coiled medallions, the book shows them as shoe toppers, which I also love. Here, you can see them up close. These are on my daughter, who I promised would be in the book. I don’t think she meant her feet only, but there she is.
Twined Rope Bowl
I’m saving a couple of my favorite no-loom weaving projects for my upcoming video series where we’ll make some of the projects from the book side-by-side. But, I couldn’t not share the twined woven bowl! It may just be my absolute favorite no-loom projects from the book. I weave this bowl with a twining technique, which sounds complicated, but is super easy to do. You will find detailed photographs in the book to show you how. I love using the rope in this context as it provides such an amazing texture.
How great would it be to deliver food in to a neighbor or bring for a party and then leave the bowl for them to remember you by? The rope I used was stiff, so it really keeps its shape. If you have softer rope, you can just dip or spray the piece with fabric stiffener to get a really firm bowl. The photo above is super special because, sadly, it never made it into the book. I love that hide underneath the bowls. mmm!
The no-loom weaving projects chapter in the book is fabulous on its own, but the book holds so much more! I’ll be back to share my favorite made-loom and frame-loom projects in the next bit! Yay! I’m so glad Weaving Within Reach is out in the world now!
Weaving Within Reach was shot by Rebecca Stumpf, assisted by Jimena Peck, and styled by Natalie Warady. Photo locations include Amigo Motor Lodge (Salida, CO), Bread Bar in Silver Plume, CO, and Tents in Westcliffe, CO.