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720 Sunset Pond Lane, #2
Bellingham, WA 98226
USA

360-647-3395

True North Textiles is a boutique weaving studio producing original rugs that experiment with contemporary color and texture while remaining reverent to time-honored traditions. We specialize in working closely with designers and homeowners to develop palettes and patterns that integrate effortlessly and beautifully into interior design schemes. Our rugs are made in America

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Journal

Design blog focused on textiles, rugs and pattern.

 

Filtering by Tag: Textiles

Interview with a Weaver

Angela Boyle

Aurora Lindquist talks weaving and farming.

Aurora Lindquist

Aurora Lindquist

Also a farmer / farm owner, Aurora Lindquist has worked at True North Textiles for over 3.5 years. She was weaving before coming here and still teaches weaving. She is a real pro, bringing tons of experience and knowledge that she shares with all her coworkers, along with sharing cucumbers.

What drew you to weaving at True North Textiles?

Renee Sherrer, who does Social Fabric downtown, and I have been friends for years on end, and I used to weave scarves for her. It was with these one-inch strips of silk that you just kind of lay together. It was basically weaving by hand. Very easy work, but I was really entranced by the over–under, the patterns that you can create by weaving fabric together, just totally in love with it. And she was friends with Janet, who owned Lark [before it turned into True North with Amy]. So I first started working with Janet via Renee’s recommendation that I was a pretty good worker.

Aurora with 12’ x 18’ Dotted Line rug.

Aurora with 12’ x 18’ Dotted Line rug.

What is your favorite part of the rug-making process?

I love every part of it. That doesn’t mean my whole day is an eight-hour ecstasy or anything. It’s just that there are very few days I dread going to work. And even then it’s only because I happened to not get enough sleep, or I have a lot on my mind. But it’s a job that I genuinely look forward to all the time. I love when a project first comes down the line and I get to see what the client wants. And then be able to see it when we plan it out and when the yarns come in. And then seeing it on the loom. And then being able to see it as a finished piece. Just thinking how happy it will make people and just imagining it in its final home. I like all of that.

Aurora weaving FWT-11 Twill.

Aurora weaving FWT-11 Twill.

What has been your favorite rug?

Oh, there’s been so many. That’s impossible. Although, I will say I’ve had a reputation, well deserved, for years on end for being totally crazy about the rag rugs. I just really like the aspect of using fabric for a rug. I love really chunky designs. I love really chunky rugs. I love how much you can do with that. I love the aspect of recycling material into something beautiful again.

And you teach a rag rug class at Ragfinery?

I do. Sometimes it’s a rag rug class. Recently I also had a tapestry class. And in December I will be doing a scarf weaving class (three consecutive Saturdays, 12/1–12/15). But my love is always making rugs, so I tend to gravitate toward that.

Is it because they’re so permanently useful?

Yeah, well. There’s a lot you can do with a rug. Especially a rag rug when you’re considering how to use recycled materials. Everybody has old sheets and pillow cases and piles of fabric in their lives—at least the people I know!—that have run out of their usefulness, and a rug is a really good way to use those up. The other reason that the rug class works really well is that it weaves really quickly, so for an eight hour class, you can end three weeks with a nice 2x4 rug to take home, instead of a tiny little tapestry. I just love the big satisfaction of that.

How did you get started teaching at Ragfinery?

I’ve been involved with the store from the beginning, and they had three or four looms that were donated to them. They had no idea what to do with them, but they didn’t want to say no because it was such a windfall. There was another lady who was going to teach weaving, and she had to back out at the last minute and I stepped up. I guess it’s as simple as that.

Aurora celebrating at the True North Textiles’s 4th anniversary open house.

Aurora celebrating at the True North Textiles’s 4th anniversary open house.

Do you have any personal weaving projects you would like to share?

I also weave rugs on my home loom. Also, by word of mouth, I do custom rugs. Whenever I have friends that get married, I almost always make them a rug for their wedding gift. Sometimes I’ll do something different, like I’ll make scarves or a blanket. But like I said, I always go back to rugs.

What kind of loom do you have at home?

It’s a 60” Leclerc Fanny.  It’s basically exactly what Meg Lehinger has, except it’s the 60 inch instead of the 45.

What do you do when you aren’t weaving?

Basically, when I’m not weaving, I’m farming. That is my life.

Tell us more about farming.

My husband and I own a small herb farm called The Growing Garden, and we primarily do culinary herbs. Our main cash crop is basil because people can never get enough basil. But we also do oregano, tarragon, chives, that kind of line. And we also grow vegetables: cucumbers, fennel, broccoli, just random things like that. But mostly it’s an herb farm. We bought it less than a year ago, but we’ve been working at it as employees and then as managers for several years. We’re just slowly moving more into the managerial/owner role this year. It’s been very exciting.

Does it work well with the weaving? Is it a nice break to have the weaving?

It’s really fantastic on my end. But it only works because Amy has been super flexible about me taking most of the summer off. For me, it’s absolutely ideal. I do more weaving in the winter. I only teach classes in the winter, and I do all my own weaving in the winter. I take a total break from weaving in the summer. I haven’t touched my loom since April, not at all.

Aurora with her completed alligator rug

Aurora with her completed alligator rug

Do you have a next project you’re looking forward to?

I do! This is really exciting. Allied Arts has a monthly exhibition of art that changes every month. Every April its Recycled Arts and Resource Expo (RARE). So a little more than a year ago,  I made a shag rug that looked like a bear skin. It was in the shape of a bear, and it even had the head and the eyes and everything. It was adorable. I entered it into there, and it sold, which was amazing, to a lady who had taken my class several times before. And she just commissioned me to make a similar one but alligator shaped. Totally insane. So, no yarn. I’m having the fabric be a little chunkier and shiny. I’ve got upholstery fabric and suede leather and nylon—shiny green. And I’m going to make it so—instead of shaggy—it won’t stick up. It’s going to lay flat, so it will look a little bit more like scales.

New Colors of Bases

Amy Tyson

This pattern has all the angles

Original Colors of Bases pattern.

Original Colors of Bases pattern.

In the beginning, our Bases pattern was a tonal design. It’s a complex design. The white areas are thicker pile, sometimes diamonds and sometimes X’s.

We wanted to try some unexpected colors. I think these would be great on stairs.

Bases Navy Stripe

Bases Navy Stripe

Bases Emerald Stripe

Bases Emerald Stripe

8’ x 10’ Bases Emerald

8’ x 10’ Bases Emerald

Samples on display with Stark Carpet at Allison Cacoma in San Francisco.

Samples on display with Stark Carpet at Allison Cacoma in San Francisco.

Bases Mustard Stripe.

Bases Mustard Stripe.

Fiber Fusion

Angela Boyle

Review of a Local fiber fair.

Katie Haven of the McFarland Creek Lamb Ranch holds up some madder root, which was used to dye all the yarns in this image. Madder is very versatile for dyeing, ending up as anywhere from orange to red to pink to purple, depending on your dyeing process.

Katie Haven of the McFarland Creek Lamb Ranch holds up some madder root, which was used to dye all the yarns in this image. Madder is very versatile for dyeing, ending up as anywhere from orange to red to pink to purple, depending on your dyeing process.

On October 20 and 21, Fiber Fusion was held at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, Washington. Weavers Meg Lehinger and Angela Boyle attended this festival celebrating all things fiber from yarn producers and shops to individual local weavers and traditional artists in Laos and Vietnam to ranches and more .

Dyeing

McFarland Creek Lamb Ranch had beautiful fiber and wool that was dyed using natural materials. But even better, they had sample of their dye sources: from madder and chammomile to indigo and cochineal.

Looms

There were multiple inkle looms around the festival floor, but this example at the Horse 'n' Round Studio booth was stunning with its carved runes.

Above the Fray represents artists from Laos and Vietnam. They had many works on hand and were happy to discuss the traditional materials, methods, and motifs. The loom below with the fine, rusty-colored fabric (middle) at the Above the Fray booth has a very fine wooden reed.

Little House Rugs also had beautiful hooked rugs, which is a very different and artistic method of rug making. More time consuming, but more versatile, the rug yarn (or fabric) is pulled through a stiff, woven based, such as burlap. This allows you to create images similar to how the pixels on your monitor create images.

Animals

This is Chillin, an English angora buck. He is ready for a trim.

This is Chillin, an English angora buck. He is ready for a trim.

And so many animals! Purly Shell Fiber Arts brought in some rabbits. Based in Post of Ilwaco, WA, they have 75 rabbits, all of whom are handled with love and attention every day.

JNK Llama Farm brought their registered therapy llamas brought five to the show, and sometimes to the show floor! Their llamas cuddle their way through nursing homes, elementary reading programs, and more. And of course with all the fiber comes yarn to support the cause.

Of course there were a few sheep, but every knitters favorite, the alpaca, also made an appearance. The farm Alpacas from Mars was there in force. In addition to both Suri and Huacaya alpaca, they also brought their mohair goats.

Rebecca Suryan with a Suri alpaca. Suri alpaca grow silky fiber with no crimp that clings together in pencil-like locks.

Rebecca Suryan with a Suri alpaca. Suri alpaca grow silky fiber with no crimp that clings together in pencil-like locks.

Young Huacaya alpaca, they have a shorter, denser fiber that is crimped and teddy bear–like.

Young Huacaya alpaca, they have a shorter, denser fiber that is crimped and teddy bear–like.