Quiet Friday: Thirteen Cushions

There is always room for more cushions and pillows. What better way to use handwoven fabric? Making cushions puts the fabric to use where it can be seen and touched. The very first project on my first floor loom was fabric for a throw pillow, with a cottolin warp and 16/2 linen weft. Unsightly selvedges are nowhere to be seen!

Cotton and linen cushion. Handwoven fabric.

First project on the Glimåkra Standard floor loom.

From the all-linen blue and brown dice weave cushions to the wild and hairy pillows with rya knots, each one makes a statement. Each one says, in its own way, “Welcome to our home.”

All-linen handwoven dice weave cushions.

Linen Dice Weave Cushions

Thirteen cushions, all handwoven. Karen Isenhower


Enjoy this little slide show video I made for you.

May your handwoven fabric be put to good use.

Happy Weaving and Sewing,


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Happy Weaving New Year!

January 1st is more than just another day, isn’t it? It’s a time to review the past year and bring new dreams into the year ahead. This pivot point calls for gratitude. I am especially grateful for friends like you who walk with me on this weaving journey!

Thick and thin cottolin towels on this warp. One towel to go!

Thick and thin cottolin towels on this warp. One towel to go!

The end is near! The end of the warp, that is. Halvdräll on the loom.

The end is near! The end of the warp, that is. Almost ready for the final border of the halvdräll table square. There will be just enough warp left for a short sample piece.

First up in the new year I have thick and thin towels to finish, and the halvdräll is oh so close to the end of the warp (didn’t quite make it for Christmas). And one little girl is off the small tapestry loom, waiting for final finishing, mounting, and framing.

Little girl small tapestry.

Little girl small tapestry. After finishing the ends, the piece will be mounted on linen-covered foam board and placed in a frame.

Thank you for walking with me through 2015!

May you bring big dreams into the new year!

Joyful New Year,


  • Charlene says:

    What a lovely review of your year’s weaving work.

    A large and beautiful body of work.

    Thank you.

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for seeing such beauty in life and sharing it with us! This was a very inspiring way to start a new year!

    Happy New Year!

  • Betsy says:

    Happy New Year! I really enjoy reading your blog and look forward to new posts.
    Warmest Wishes

  • fran says:

    Always nice to see what you are up to! Best wishes for 2016.

  • Liberty Stickney says:

    Happy New Year Karen,

    I hope it is a wonderful year for you!

  • linda says:

    Your tapestry of the child is wonderful. It has given me so much pleasure to see how your weaving has become so absolutely gorgeous. I’ve has so much fun watching all the love you’ve put into your weaving. The article was a cherry on top of the most delicious desert anyone could have dreamed of.
    I still can’t believe all the time you devote, how quickly you work, and how “perfect “it all is. I hope 2016 is even more bountiful for you and more joyful. lp&j LINDA

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Quiet Friday: Linen Dice Weave Pillows

The linen on my loom last spring was a secret project. I only showed hints of what I was doing. Now that the “secret” linen project is published, let’s go back to see some of the process. Complete instructions for weaving and sewing these Linen Dice Weave pillows are in the January/February 2015 issue of Handwoven magazine. Read how it all came about in Caught by Surprise – in a Good Way.

Linen arrives!

Linen arrives!

Ready to pre-sley the reed with linen.

Ready to pre-sley the reed.

Warping trapeze in action to beam linen warp.

Warping trapeze in action to beam the linen warp.

Linen, ready to be threaded in the heddles.

Ready to thread the heddles.

Linen dice weave on the loom.

First pillow.

Linen dice weave as seen through the warp.

Linen dice weave as seen through the warp.

Linen dice weave coming around the cloth beam. Karen Isenhower

Coming around the cloth beam.

Linen dice weave on the loom.

Ending the pattern.

Dice weave in linen on the loom.

Dice weave.

Cutting off celebration!

Cutting off celebration!

Assembling handwoven linen pillows.

Assembling pillows.

Two sets of handwoven linen dice weave pillows

Two sets of linen dice weave pillows.

Linen dice weave pillows. Karen Isenhower

Linen dice weave pillows ready to send.

May you and those you love make meaningful memories on this Christmas day.

Merry Weaving Christmas,


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Caught by Surprise – in a Good Way

I’ve been published! The new issue of Handwoven magazine (January/February 2016) is out. Have you seen it? Sarah Jackson, the weaving editor, had noticed my blue dice weave pillows on Pinterest. When she contacted me to ask if I would consider submitting a project for the linen issue, I was caught by surprise. Who, me?! I simply enjoy weaving. I never thought about having something published. But here we are! The dice weave linen pillows project is in print. This is a milestone in my weaving journey; and an opportunity for which I am immensely grateful! (See the blue dice weave pillows in Invisible Zipper.)

Linen dice weave pillows. Karen Isenhower

Finished linen dice weave pillows are shipped off to Fort Collins, Colorado to meet the Handwoven editorial team.

Linen dice weave pillow project.

Linen issue of Handwoven has good information and interesting projects, including instructions for linen dice weave pillows.

Project in print!

In print!

We think everything is going according to our plans, and then we run into surprises. Even a good surprise involves challenges, stretching us out of our comfort zones. God is completely faithful. He has certainly been faithful to me. I find relief in knowing the Grand Weaver is overseeing the fabric of my life. What seems like a surprise to me is actually part of his carefully designed plan.

May you be caught in the act of making something good.

With gratitude,


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Rya Pillow in the Rocking Chair

Do you remember this sturdy linen cloth, that I wove months ago, with the wonderful wool and linen rya? Yesterday I made it into a classy pillow. First, I fashioned the pillow cover, with invisible zipper, and all. Hollow by itself, the pillow cover needs an insert to be usable. So I made a muslin insert to fit, filled lightly. Now I have a cloud-soft rya pillow. (Read about weaving this fabric in Rya, Rya, How Does Your Garden Grow? and Now What Are You Counting?)

Rya pillow. Hand-tied rya knots in linen fabric, handwoven.

Fabric is two-sided point twill with rya knots. 8/2 linen for warp and 8/2 linen, doubled, for weft produces a sturdy base fabric for the hand-tied rya knots.

Finished handwoven rya pillow.

Pillow insert, lightly filled with down-like cluster fiberfill, fits perfectly inside the pillow cover.

This new rya masterpiece makes a perfect lumbar pillow for the antique rocking chair in my living room. This was my great-grandmother’s chair. One thing I know about my great-grandmother is that she was a praying woman. I love to imagine that she rocked her babies in this chair, praying for them and for her future grand- and great-grand-children. She may have prayed for my life in advance.

Rya knots made with wool and linen threads, on linen background fabric.

Each rya knot includes a combination of threads–Åsborya wool, Mora wool, and 16/2 linen.

Great grandmother's rocking chair with new handwoven rya pillow.

Great-Grandma’s rocking chair. A reminder of love that reaches to the next generation.

I want to be more than what others see on the outside. I need the Lord on the inside. I yearn for God to hear me and for me to hear Him. Without that connection, life is hollow. Prayer is a two-way conversation. That ongoing conversation keeps me from being empty. When I am filled, I am at my best. Could that be an answer to my great-grandmother’s prayers?

May your life affect future generations.



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