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A Weaver’s Challenge: 30 Tea Towel Designs in 30 Days

A few days before we broke for Christmas one of my dearest friends and longtime JST employee Susan Brown (25 years) called to say she was coming in to show me something.  She told me a wonderful story and Susan has graciously agreed to share some of it with you.  Once again, it reinforces the lessons in the previous few blogs.  I hope you’re inspired by Susan’s story and you give it a try yourself 🙂

30 Tea Towel Designs in 30 Days

For the month of October an artist friend of mine, Gail Sibley painted 31 paintings in 31 days. Yes, one per day! I was so inspired but I am not a painter. I decided to draw 30 tea towels in 30 days for November. It turned out to be a very worthwhile endeavour. First I went out and found a lovely little square (don’t you just love square) sketch book and then gathered all my pencil crayons. I loved the discipline of drawing one tea towel a day but must confess there was a night or two when bedtime came and no tea towel had appeared in my sketch book for that day. I am happy to tell you that every night but one, I managed to make it happen.

Having taken Jane’s Colour and Design workshop the previous year, I drew on what she had taught in the class. Often I selected a few colours to start with, sometimes outside my usual pallette and then proceeded to work on the graphics. At times I forced myself to try layouts that did not come from my ‘go to’ designs. That was hard but very rewarding most of the time. While drawing a tea towel, the ‘what if’ question often came up which usually led to the following day’s design. Coming up with a different design each day was not always easy but when it wasn’t, I asked myself ‘what if I just changed one element of a previous design’ and presto, there was a new design.

A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

Drawing 30 tea towels in 30 days was fun, challenging, educational, interesting and (as I said), very worthwhile. There are designs that I don’t like so much, but there are definitely designs that I like and some that I can’t wait to try. Who knows, I may do it again or something like it!

-Susan Brown

A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

Ready to sketch?

The best part of this challenge is that you can start it any time you like! Don’t be afraid to customize it to fit your own preferences – for instance, if you aren’t  ready to commit to 30 days, try sketching 7 Tea Towel Designs in 7 Days. Who knows, you might enjoy it so much, you decide to keep going!

We’d love to see your design ideas, feel free to share them with us in our Ravelry group or on Instagram using the #janestaffordtextiles hashtag.

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A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

13 thoughts on “A Weaver’s Challenge: 30 Tea Towel Designs in 30 Days

  1. Definitely going to do this. Brilliant idea.

  2. Great idea and looking forward to doing it. Thank you for sharing.

  3. How exciting! I’m always doodling and drawing designs for my handwoven saddle blankets but I never thought about such a good discipline as drawing one a day! Yesterday was Day 1 for my new collection of designs to all be in order in my new sketch book. This is such fun and thanks to Susan for her suggestion.

  4. Jane, I remember you saying how important it was for us newbe weavers to weave every day. To build confidence and knowledge, and skill and simply explore possibility, I love how Susan has applied this practice to designing. Santa gifted me a new sketch book. Hmm, guess I’ve found the purfect use for it!

  5. What fun and who would have thought of doing that. Had an art teacher suggest the 30 days of sketching and now we have a weaver suggesting 30 days of creating tea towels–and those designs can be used for all kinds of other things. Let’s see, a nice cotton top for summer, a scarf or shawl, a length of fabric to be cut into whatever my specialty), a vest or a winter coat for your doggie! Love it.

  6. What a great idea. I’m going to try 7 days for a start but set some parameters such as determine the colour and pattern of my warp…..then I’m going to weave them just to see if they turn out.

  7. Would be good to see everyone’s idea for the 31st Oct. I shall start with that and work backwards. Slowly! Thanks Gail and Jane. Your blog works really well as an ‘in-betweener’!

  8. Love it! And this is on my February 2019 “Just Do It” list – so many thanks for the inspiration, Susan. This will be a great way to start again with my review of lessons from all of the ONLINE GUILD lessons… 101 til our new 2019 plans. Bethany in Kingston, ON

  9. This is just what I needed! Think I’ll go for 14 days for this first time. Very cool. Thank you!!

  10. I love this! I’m currently taking part in a 30 day drawing challenge which ends at the end of January. I definitely know what I’m doing for February!
    Thanks a kazillion!!❤

  11. What a learning experience this will be. I plan to dig out my sketch pad and colored pencils (I moved and they’re still packed, but handy) and have a go. Will be drawing heavily from what I learned in Season 2. Expect a lot of Fibonacci. Don’t know how to pin a post, so hopefully I can find this in the future to play along with everyone.

  12. Brilliant, a great way to force one into action even if you are feeling a bit grey and lazy
    thanks for the challenge

  13. Color and design are still totally foreign to me. Even after watching Jane’s guild lessons I go blank when faced with paper and pencils.
    I’ll take this as a challenge to face my fears! Blank sketchbook and colored pencils at the ready, time to give it a go. (no one’s watching my goofs, right?)
    😉

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