Although my original idea for this valentine for Handwoven readers was to put together a bouquet of flower-inspired drafts to add to the WIF Library, instead I found myself intrigued by the number of projects in past issues that used the words “heart” and “sweet.” I refuse to divulge how many work hours I spent looking through past issues, but I will say it was completely enjoyable.
Let’s start with flowers: bluebonnets and tropical flowers to be exact. Cheryl Leib based her Texas Bluebonnet Towels (March/April 2019) on her favorite flower that reminds her of her home state of Texas. On the other hand, Tien Chiu based her Flower Scarves (May/June 2018) on a photograph of flowers in Hawaii. As often happens with 4-shaft twills, you may have to squint a little to see the flowers, but the inspiration was real. Check out the WIFs for the two projects, add colors of your own, and name them something sweet.
Beth Mullins was straight-up romantic in naming the clutch she wove and sewed in honor of her 25th wedding anniversary, Hugs & Kisses (September/October 2016). You don’t have to squint to see the Xs and Os in her beautiful fabric woven on 8 shafts.
Although they weren’t by any means the only weavers who have woven heart-based motifs for past issues, I felt that Susan Foulke’s Baltic Hearts Tea Towels (November/December 2014) and Deanna Deeds’s Sweetheart Baby Blanket (January/February 2019) were beautiful and fully worthy of any valentine on your list. Susan’s towels feature supplementary weft bands and a charming inkle band hang tag that matches, and Deanna used 8-shaft diversified plain weave for her blanket.
As I was searching, I came to realize that I’ve used the word sweet in three titles of my own: Sweet as Honey Evening Bags (January/February 2017), Sweet Simplicity Towels (March/April 2019), and the Sweet Orange Huck towels that were never in the magazine but that I’ve been working on these past few months. I’ve included the WIF for the Sweet Simplicity Towels in the bouquet.
So there you have it. Even when it isn’t Valentine's Day, weavers are a romantic lot. That’s what I learned from searching through Handwovens, looking for flower-inspired projects. And I’m still not saying how long it took.