Weaving Yarns: Quilt Tales 2

Sheila used wool and satin ribbon to create a beautiful and very tactile panel for the quilt.
Sheila used wool and satin ribbon to create a beautiful and very tactile panel for the quilt.

Get Into The Weave!Week 3 @ Edward Pauling House

All hail The Mini Loom! It is small, portable, satisfying, inexpensive, fun and as proved by our makers, highly addictive. Quilt Tales 2 makers went into the weave with some truly beautiful results. We now have some avid fans of weaving, so keen they took the looms away to continue their creations and create new ones at home. The mini weaves created by our makers will become panels on the finished Quilt Tales 2 hosted by Edward Pauling House and will be displayed early next year alongside sister Hounslow based quilt, Quilt Tales 1 which,  was made at The Paul Robeson Theatre.

Mixing chunkier ribbons with wool,  t shirt yarn and other easily manageable materials allows for a variety of textures and thickness for the makers to work with, making it as accessible as possible. Weaving is, ‘ really calming’  and a great activity for your hands when socialising or listening to the radio, audio books or watching the TV. Our discussion prompt  topic this week was music so as the weavers talked us through the soundtracks of their lives we accessed favourite tunes online to share with the group. Socialising is a primary objective for this group so the emphasis is on activities which lend themselves to making whist you have a good natter.


Liking weaving took one of our makers by surprise; ‘ I’m enjoying this! I didn’t think I was going to but it’s very satisfying, once you get going!‘he declared to the rest of the group.

Kenny plunges straight in weaving with chunky t shirt yarn. Polly provides directions and loom support.

Kenny plunges straight into weaving with chunky t – shirt yarn with Polly providing directions and loom support. It is not long before stories and yarns are woven simultaneously as the group share stories around music and craft. It turns out Kenny is a  closet weaver, having been a keen basket maker. Kenny, who is blind in both eyes,  used chunky threads with varying textures to achieve his speedy weave, finishing well before anyone else.

All agreed that weaving is the perfect accompaniment to a good chat and that it’s very calming. Getting creative with what you weave with can be the key to opening up the craft to the broadest reach of abilities and keeps it interesting and experimental.

Each week we ask for feedback from our makers on how much enjoyed the group and it’s content. Makers score the session out of 10 and sum up who they feel in a couple of words. Keeping an eye on the feedback keeps us on our toes and helps us tailor future workshop content.


9/10 “Exhausting but very good.”

8/10 “Interesting”

10/10 ” I loved it! I didn’t think I could do it, but look I did and I feel really calm!”

10/10 “It’s a little addictive! Can I take the loom and some threads home?”

I hadn’t scheduled more weaving into the Quilt Tales Two programme but I think I may need to revisit that now. I’ve got a distinct feeling that woven panels are going to feature quite heavily on this quilt as the group have tarn to prescribing themselves voluntary weaving homework.

Love the commitment everyone – keep up the good work. Follow the project as it unfolds, quite literally, on this oldblog until the exhibition in January 2016.



Author: Alex McEwan

Alex is an artist who specialises in inclusive and accessible community arts projects, such as Sense's TEXTtile and Quilt Tales.

4 thoughts on “Weaving Yarns: Quilt Tales 2”

  1. The weaving was great fun. At times you could hear a pin drop in the silence of concentration. For those with very little/no sight, the texture of the yarn and the repetitiveness of the weaving action, was the significant factor, rather than the end result! A big thanks to Linda for donating a huge bag of wool.

  2. Hi,

    Did you buy the looms or have them made? I’m running an arts/wellbeing programme for carers next year and have been thinking about weaving, and those look great.

    The programme as a whole looks really successful, I’m glad I’ve found your blog!

    Thank you

    1. Hello Rosie,
      Thanks for your comment. We bought looms for the group, really inexpensive but you can make your own ones out of cardboard and a bit of patience! Weaving is great for the mind, very accessible for those with sight loss and can be very relaxing. Our groups have found its something they can do easily at home and the effects really impressive with just a few materials. Good luck with your sessions with carers – please visit the blog again to see what else we get up to and let us know how you get on.

    2. Hello Rosie and thanks for visiting the blog. I bought the mini looms from TIGER they are inexpensive, sturdy and ease to use and transport as they are very light. I would suggest not bothering to use the wooden shuttle which come with the pack as it seems to make it more fiddly on a small loom such as this. Happy weaving and please spread the word about the blog. Alex

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