getting to know each other

 I am often a little shy. I thought if I waited people would start more conversations about small format tapesty. Guess not so much.

So how about all 88 of us introducing ourselves to the group an telling each other about our relationships with small format tapestry. 

SO my name is Kathe Todd-Hooker. I have been weaving small format tapestries since 1989. I weave them at 20 epi using buttonhole twist for the warp and dressmakers thread, embroidery flosses and mercerrized cotton for the weft. My pieces are generally less then 15 by 15 inches.  I have 4 mirrix looms that I weave on. 

I teach and write books and articles on  Tapestry weaving. I am co owner of Fine Fiber Press with Pat Spark.

Nw it's your turns!



Posted on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 20:55

Hi, I'm a beginner weaver who likes to work on home made cardboard looms. I've tried a couple of very small tapestries without much success. I joined this group to have a look at what people are doing and get some inspiration.

Posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 01:33

I'm a very beginning tapestry weaver, so I don't have much to contribute.  I'm about to take my first class next week.  I do have a Mirrix loom (and a couple of your books Kathe).  My feeling at this point is that I'll be working small rather than large, but I'll know better once I get more of a feel for the process. 

Posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 13:10

I am new to tapestry, too. I recently purchased a JLHammett tapestry/rug loom. Now I have to learn about tapestry! It's not small format, but I know I can learn lots of stuff from you all about how to create something on my loom, too.

Vicki Allen

Posted on Sun, 05/01/2011 - 18:29

I have been doing bead looming for two years and initially got interested in tapestry by incorporating fiber with my beads. I am now working full bore on learning proper tapestry weaving. Kathe's books are wonderful and I am currently weaving the sampler in her Tapestry 101 book on my new Mirrix loom I got in March.  I look forward to exchanging information and learning from this group.

Kathy Davis

Posted on Sun, 05/01/2011 - 22:47

So  how is the sampler going? I enjoyed your saying your learnng proper tapestry. I like the idea of adding beads to a tapestry. I have always wanted to weave a bottom border on my tapestries in small beads. The textures are so rich and would complement each other well!


Posted on Sun, 05/01/2011 - 22:51

Who are you taking the tapesry class from? There are some really excellent teachers around. Not like when i started weaving tapestry in the late 70's. YOu all have the benefits of so many geat tapestry books in English now! i arrived at tapestry in a  rather backward way. I was studying surface embellishement and thought i was signing up for needlwork class. Took Jean Scorgie a couple of days to convince me we weren't going to sew the fabric ti the frame looms. i even purchased a wondrful linen for the background of the sampler.-gr.

Posted on Mon, 05/02/2011 - 21:14

The going is slow as I seem to be pulling out as much as I weave in at the moment but I have always learned more from making mistakes than getting it right the first time.  When I first attempted fiber weavng on a pipe loom I just could not keep the inner warps from drawing in on one side so I have been really concentrating on bubbling enough in the middle yet keeping my edges straight. It does seem easier with the mirrix also. I am working at 14 epi using perle cotton #5 and embroidery floss (4 strands).

I started with the lazy line on the bottom and then have three separate areas using the slit/ color blending, melange and chines.  I am now doing some more lazy line before starting on line techniques to get the hang of coordinating bobbins.  I am also referring to your "Lines in Tapestry" book for these sections. Just love your books.  Maybe after I get more done I might have the nerve to take a picture and post. I am having no problem sticking with the sampler approach. It is challenging and fun.

I don't know if you remember but I was the person who stopped by briefly at your workshop in Sun City in the fall to pick up the book. I really appreciate your recommendation on the mirrix looms.  And now that I am committed to learning this wonderful art form I will also be joining the state group so I can network with local folks.  This all started when I bought one of your books....thanks.


Posted on Mon, 05/02/2011 - 21:48

Yes, I do remember you! You were like the story that I never knew the ending too. It was all so serendipitous in the first place. I am going to be back around the end of October- first of November. I think Diane is starting a group that is open to everyone-not just weavers that belong to that required grouping. Perhaps you should also join the general tapestry list- tapestry2005 or do you already belong?

You don't need nerve to post a beginning sampler. We all had to start at the beginning. We have all been there done that.




Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 02:45

I'm taking a class with Maria Kovacs at Halcyon Yarns in Bath, ME.  It's this coming weekend.  I really know nothing about her; I was just thrilled to find a class locally.  I tend to just stumble along and learn things on my own via books, videos, etc., but I decided to treat myself to an actual class!   Halcyon is also offering a 4 day class (same instructor) during the summer.  I'm hoping to be able to take your class at Mirrix in October Kathe.  Are there any more details on that yet?

I think it's funny that you discovered tapestry by mistake and it became your passion.  You're lucky to have found such an outlet for your creativity.

I also have to add that I'm finding Weavolution a little difficult to figure out.  I think I'm responding to a question that Kathe asked me, but I'm not entirely sure!

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 09:48

Hello everybody!  I am a beginner tapestry weaver though I have been weaving for about 12 years.  I have woven one tapestry on my old floor loom at the request of a friend as a wedding gift.  It measured 50cm x 75cm so I suppose that is considered small scale.  It took me 3 months to complete working every day (it was my woven version of a Hiroshige print).  That was 3 years ago and I have just today taken delivery of a Mirrix Zach look which I am trying to figure out how to warp!!  I know it will take me a while to get the hang of using this loom but I am looking forward to trying and learning from you all!

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 14:20

Good to read some activity here.  Hey there, Kathe!  Kathe's a great mentor for many and I'm glad to call her my friend, even though we live almost as far apart as folks could in the continental United States with her in the Northwest coast and me in the Southeast.  But we've shared tapestry war stories at assorted American Tapestry Alliance events and at Convergences.

And, speaking of American Tapestry Alliance -- in addition to Kathe's tapestry list that she mentioned, there's another web presence that holds a ton of information and that's the ATA's website at

Small format tapestry is not my main tapestry format although I weave small tapestries sometimes.  My warp sett for tapestry is probably too coarse to be considered small format even when the overall size is small.  My sett is usually 8 epi at the closest although occasionally I do 10 or 11 epi.  My designs for small tapestries, by determination of the larger sett, are usually pretty simple and bold.  

Tapestry is a wonderful medium to delve into and I hope everyone will share images in the projects section whenever they can.

Happy weaving to all of you,



Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 23:34

I find it a little hard too-Donna. I can be very technically challenged, when it comes to dealing with computer programs-even though I spend several hours a day on computers. 

I thought Maria Kovac's classes sounded interesting. Especially since one of them is 4 days. 

 It will be a 3 day class that I do called More. I like its format and it allows me to give the students a lot of info.  When I teach it I usually get all levels in the class, which makes it really intersting.  I like doing this class because I can teach to the level the student is at and help them push what they know to new highs and leave them information to try when they are ready for the material. It involves a lot of demonstration, handouts, weaving and looking. I'll post the details on my blog shortly and I am realitively sure CLaudia will be posting it to. 

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 23:54

Hey- Tommye nice to hear from you.  Maybe one of these days we will actually be able to spend some time together again. 

Tommye weaves beautiful tapestries and is a great teacher.  I was lucky enough to win one in a raffle that I love. I also have a cat tapestry of Tommye's. 

She also weaves at 8-10 epi  while I weave at 20 epi. There is a big difference in the amount of detail that small and large warp setts allow. It's a handy tool to be able to understand  the difference between scale and format. Not everything small format needs to be woven at a small scale in small format and the greater the warp sett the more detail one can have. Ehe smaller or lower the warp sett the less detail. 

American Tapestry Alliance also post some great articles on line. Lynn Hart wrote an excellent one about digital cameras. In about a month there will be one I have written on colour.  There are also several interesting articles on blogging.

I, to, hope people will share thier images to. In a day or so I am going to post the tapestry I am working on a portrait of my dog Chene. My first live subject. I am amazed it actually looks like him  with all his frentic energy.


Posted on Wed, 05/04/2011 - 00:51

The thing I find most confusing so far is the fact that there doesn't seem to be an obvious connection between comments and replies.  I'm not saying there isn't one, but I have trouble telling who is replying to whom!  Maybe it will become more clear at some point, at least I can hope.

I'll be watching both your blog and Claudia's for more information on your class.  It sounds wonderful!

I'll report in after my class this weekend in case anyone is interested.  I'm going in cold as far as knowledge goes.  I've worked with a tapestry loom doing some knotted pile and soumak and a little twining with a sett of 16, but that's about it. 

Posted on Fri, 05/06/2011 - 23:36

How exciting to hear that Diane is starting up a group AND you are returning in the fall.  I have already joined the general tapestry list. While I would have loved to have stayed at your class this last year I understood why I could not. The folks who live out there pay a mandatory fee each year that is applied to the rec centers and their programs.  I still felt fortunate to be able to drop by and meet you and they were very kind to have let me do that. 



Posted on Sat, 05/07/2011 - 05:02

Kathy= One of my first instructors told me- I would never be a great weaver until I could unweave as fast as I could weave. When he told me that it gave me permsiion to tell myself that unweaving was perfectly okay as long I could weave just as fast.



Posted on Wed, 10/05/2011 - 11:38

Hi Everyone ,I'm fairly new to tapestry weaving.I'm coming from a background of ceramics and glass and still work in both mediums.I saw some contemporary tapestries at SOFA a few years ago and  I was mesmerized. I bought a little Schacht loom and decided to give it a try.I immediately fell in love,all of the color of glass but completely different warmth and tactile sense. I think I work in small format because I have been embroidering since I could hold a needle and am used to dyeing my own silk thread.I love the idea of woven transparencies and am working hard to perfect my technique.A couple of my  tapestry weaving heros belong to this group so the chance to read their thoughts and see their work in progress is just an incredible opportunity!

Posted on Wed, 10/05/2011 - 14:15

Glad to see you've made your way to the wonderfully rich field of tapestry! I posted a comment to your question about whether it was OK to embellish tapestry... YES!
Happy weaving to you,

Posted on Thu, 10/06/2011 - 14:30

love reading this forum and hearing about other tapestry weavers.  
 I consider my self just beyond a beginner even though I have done some
work in tapestry since the 70's.  Back then took my first formal weaving
class at
Penn State and loved the tapestry I wove.  My first real
sampler was done in a class at
Bowling Green State. That is where I learned the value
of concentrating on technique and not worrying about the design.   Since then I've woven a few tapestries but
life got in the way and I couldn't devote myself to my weaving.  Recently
I have retired and now back to doing things that I love.  After weaving a
tapestry last year that didn't quite meet my standards or expectations, I
decided to do several samplers from the books I have in my library.  I
have really learned a lot from doing this and now have started taking
workshops.  So much to learn but it is great!  

Posted on Thu, 10/06/2011 - 14:55

Yes, life can really get in the way of what we'd really like to be doing!  I've found that by weaving my "tapestry diary" -- a small bit each day -- that I can continue to keep my fingers in tapestry when there are times (like currently) that I can't devote to larger pieces.  I've been doing these daily weavings for three years now and each day offers a new opportunity to add another inch or so to my unfolding tapestry of my life.