My small August travel tapestry on a copper pipe loom featured our two tuxedo cats. My husband was worried. The cats? Even though he is a ridiculously loving cat owner, he worries that he, or I, might be seen as a “cat person,” not very dignified. “Mike,” I said, “I can guarantee you that in several years there will be a grandchild who will want this tapestry and value it forever, remembering the days of visiting and loving them both.” He admitted I had a point.
The Weaving Notes
I took photos of Buzz and Guy and used Photoshop to choose similar portions of their bodies, and to bring them to approximately the same scale. Next, I used tracing paper to determine the most important lines for my cartoon.
I wanted to add some geometric shapes for some billedvev interest, so I browsed through my phone photos taken from a compilation of medieval Norwegian tapestry cushions, Gammel Norsk Vævkunst, compiled by Henrik Grosch in the early 1900s. I liked the repeating triangles of the border on this horse and rider.
In the center I used diamonds to shift the background from one color to the next. Diamonds are so popular in medieval Norwegian tapestries, like this one.
On the final end, a zig-zag.
Four Hour Finishing, Five Minute “Framing”
If a talented Norwegian weaver of old wove a tapestry, she wove in the ends and the back was as lovely as the front. On this small piece, I didn’t aim to make the back perfect. For one thing, I carried over some yarn in the triangles. I wove in the ends because I like the perfect flatness of a finished tapestry, especially a small one. It took four hours to do the finishing work–weaving in the ends, weaving the braided edge, and sewing down the warp ends.
To finish, I made a five-minute hanging device. I figured out the process when I hadn’t finished my full stretcher-frame-padded backing for a small tapestry in time to send it to the State Fair. So I took a small board, cut it a bit smaller than the width of the tapestry, and stapled on some hook-side velcro. I added a hanger. So that’s what I did here, too. The velcro sticks nicely to the back of the wooly tapestry, and because the tapestry is so small and light-weight, I don’t think it will fall off the wall.
It’s nice to finish up a project, even a small one.