Alaska Flag Doubleweave Coverlet
Do you dream of handweaving a traditional coverlet for your bed but don’t have a loom wide enough? Do as the weavers of old did: Weave your coverlet in strips that can be sewn together! For her Alaska Flag Doubleweave coverlet in the March/April 2019 issue of Handwoven, Sara Pate did just that. Here’s what Sara had to say about her design:
Designer Sara Pate’s Statement
My first loom was an 8-inch 4-shaft Structo Artcraft that I inherited from my grandmother. My second loom was a 36-inch 8-shaft Schacht Mighty Wolf. After several years of being confined to a narrow width, I decided to broaden my horizons and make big, wide projects. I have bunk beds, single on top and double on the bottom, that are destined for our rustic Alaskan cabin. I decided to replace the old kid-themed comforters with traditional coverlets that would feel like they had always been in our cabin.
After making a summer and winter coverlet for the top bunk, I wanted to try a different technique for the bottom. At the ANWG (Association of Northwest Weavers Guilds) conference in Victoria, British Columbia, I took a workshop by Margaret Coe called Doubleweave, Divide and Conquer. Margaret showed how to make a name draft and then use it for doubleweave. When I returned home, I found a few doubleweave examples in the Canadian weaving history book Keep Me Warm One Night and decided that doubleweave would work for a coverlet.
I created a name draft using my children’s names. I picked blue and gold, the colors of the Alaska state flag, so that my husband and I would both have the color we like. The width I wanted required that I weave two panels and sew them together as was often done on traditional coverlets. I discovered the importance of documenting the length of each repeat and number of repeats to ensure that both pieces had the same number of repeats and are similar lengths. Although my motifs varied slightly in length, everything evened out after washing.
Project at a Glance
PROJECT TYPE: 4-shaft.
EQUIPMENT: 4-shaft loom (affiliate link), 10 treadles, 36″ weaving width; 12-dent reed; 2 shuttles; 2 bobbins.
YARNS: 5/2 mercerized cotton (2,100 yd/lb; UKI).
Featured Image: Sara Pate’s Alaska Flag Doubleweave Coverlet.
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