Friday, August 16, 2019

Craft Guild Hosts Open House 9/8/19; 1-4 pm

Each year for approximately 80 years, the members of the Craft Guild of Iowa City open their doors to share what we do. We are weavers, spinners, knitters, leader, metalworker, or potters,  artisans of all kinds, who work with fiber, beads, metals, and clay.

Silver crafted tray from our 20th open house 

It is a supportive community which  provides educational programs, service to our region and a venue to share our creativity. We maybe first timers to those who have done this for many years. There are beginner classes in many of the arts, mentoring programs and continued education for whatever your skill levels. However, above all, we share a common comradery and support one another throughout the process.

Esther's Teapot

At our open house we display our work (examples shown here) and you can meet artists flexing their creative juices as they work on a recent project. You may look around, join the guild, pay your dues or simply have some punch and cookies.

Nancy's Quilt
The Rug Weaving Study Group

What a spinner does when you have
fleece and an imagination. 
Craig"s dish ready for firing in the potters' studio
Come enjoy the day, but DON"T FORGET TO STAY FOR THE COOKIES. See you there.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Time-Out Thursday@MWC Uncommon Threads

Registrations are in, We are getting our materials for whatever workshops or seminars we chose and now what. If you arrive either for a preconference or before the official beginning of the conference, think about Time Out Thursdays.  Several mini projects will be available as indicated on the flyer. Check at Registration for scheduling and availability. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

7 Days 'til Registration Closes-MWC 2019: Uncommon Threads

We are fast approaching the deadline for the incedible MWA conference 2019: Uncommon threads. If you have not registered you only have:  
7 days 'til Registration Closes

Register online at
Yesterday, guild members got together to pack up the kits for 'Time-out Thursday". Amidst the threads, fibers, the textures and colors was laughter, coffee and cake. We are getting excited to host the upcoming Midwest Weavers Conference 2019: Uncommon Threads on the magnificent Grinnell College campus. 
Before the opening session, come make Dorset buttons, popholders, Celtic Knot mat,  Kumihimo Braids, and more or just join us to spin, laugh and relax as we settle in for a fun conference.  Look for the signs for "Time-Out Thursday" near the Registration check-in. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Marilyn Moore Shares her Passion: Weaving Uncommon Threads

Crafted from Metal, embellished with beads and color

Iowa City and the Craft Guild are excited by a new resident, Marilyn Moore, a fiber artist who through color, fiber and form produces the most magnicient pieces, one of a kind jewelry, baskets, and vessels. She presented and trunk show at our guild meeting last month. And Marilyn will be conducting seminars at the Midwest Weavers Conference at Grinnell in June. What an opportunity to learn from the best. Just being around her dyanamic personality, makes you want to try something new.
          Register Now:  Registration Closing April 19, 2019

June 22, 2019. Explore, Experience, Create: Adventures in Wire Cloth. 
June 23, 2019. Catch of the Day, and Basket Beauties.
For more information:  https.// 

Marilyn's seminar will teach this technique

Marilyn shared that her work was more of a process, how she incorporates, shapes and color into something exquisite is always in flux.  She begins with a basis sketch, and almost as a living thing, the item dictates becomes,  which in turn, impacts what it is or does.  Sometimes, it's just the way the air moves around or within a piece that guides her.  Truly this is Uncommon Weaving
We were privy to such beeautiful things...bajello basket, jewelry, Sargasso, Opera bags from wire cloth, and there were bowls, baskets, some coiled fron sweet grass and embriodered with pine needles; or wire and wirecloth; or leather stitched in linen.  WOW 

Our mini-trunk show of baskets, vessels crafted from wire,
raffia, linen, accented with beads

Each vessels defined in the process
The center of a round tray 
Wow, is all I can say. Iowa City is now home to one very talented artist. Thank you. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Quilters’ “Sew-in” and String Piecing

Within the blue sashing is a 6 inch 9-patch block.
After the polar vortex went through our area and shut down everything, we finally were able to meet. While it's still cold, still snowy, this is Iowa, so... our quilting group and several guests gathered to have a classic "sew-in" last week. Check out all the ways to use string (scrap strips) in new quilt designs. Nancy presented an incredible program explain how to use strips, what patterns work, and how to adapt patterns to string piecing. It was fascinating how small the scraps could be, and just how many patterns are derived out of necessity. Of course, that necessity in my house and many quilter's studios is TOO MUCH FABRIC. Yes, I said it. We all know it's true, but isn't there always just one more piece staring back, clamoring to come home with me. And I just "hafta".

Dodi Paulsen ( or Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow) and many other quilt pattern designers have developed patterns that use strips. Just check out youu-tube. Dodi's string-me-along pattern uses a central focus fabric and adds whatever strips you chose to form a 7-1/4" block.  The layout determines the final look. A few other commercial patterns that I have used: Broken Glass by Edyta Sitar,; Dancing Stars by Cozy quilt designs,; The Magic Hour quilt by M'Liss Raw Hawley.

Nancy doesn't use commercial patterns, she just let her block guide the layout and design.  Sounds so easy. She does design a block the old-fashion way: paper, pencil and ruler. She already has her strips organized by color. Grab a bag of strips, her idea and off she goes.

 Piano Key border that frame these scrap string pieced blocks is the basic strip used within the blocks.
This quilt is basically strips laid into hexagons; you can use scrap strips or jellyrolls.  
Nancy brought sooo many different quilt examples which really drove home the point that we really can use our stash/scraps. Let's all see if we can produce just one quilt, runner, or anything using those strips. Thanks, Nancy! We had fiber, sewing, brownies/fudge with mushrooms..laughter ensued, yeah, you had to be there. We had fun. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

June 20-22, 2019 MWA Conference 2019: UNCOMMON THREADS

Our guild is hosting the Midwest Weavers Conference 2019: UNCOMMON THREADS at Ginnell College. Amy Norris and John Mullarkey will be the keynote speakers. Two accomplisherd weavers, two different styles, but complementary personalities. Each loves the challenges of structure, and each is eager to try something new. Such an exciting duo to share their love and talent with us. 

Registration opens February 2, 2019. Registration Closes April19, 2019
Go to the conference website., click on conference, click on Dowload for the conference booklet containing everything you wanted to know to make your conference decisions.  

Here are some of the categories of the numerous 
 seminars offered over the three day conference. 

There will be preconference workshops (6/17-19), guild and members exhibits, a non-juried fashion show, vendors; there will be so many opportunities to learn new things, meet new friends and visit with other weavers, spinners and artists. There will also be a "Fiber Artists of Iowa" exhibit in the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College from June 14-July 20, 2019,  with its Opening Reception on June 20.

So much to see, so much to do, so many people to meet...Don't forget...Registration opens February 2, 2019. Go to the conference website., click on conference, click on Dowload for the conference booklet containing everything you wanted to know to make your conference decisions 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Laura Lila Nelson's Weaving Life

What an incredible way to begin our program year, Laurianne Gilberson, chief curator at the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa presented a program about Lila Nelson. She introduced us to her textile work, her vitality and thoughtful process of developing her weaving. She produced traditional weaving to please the soul, to stimulate thought and to examine the world from various perspectives. Finishing rugs, towels, wallhanging was not her primary focus. She did a great deal of what I call functional weavings, but encourage her students to see color, to used their environments, to use their senses, even simply the written word.
Laurianne Gilbert

Lila Nelson with a tapestry 
Lila's small tapestries, each with message

Laurianne brought many of the Nelson textiles from the Vesterheim collection and shared the structure, fiber and story behind each one. All the weaving shown here gives us just a glimmer of just how much talent was packed into this little lady, this giant of a weaver.
Three Holy Kings
The Foolish Virgin

Tapestry with pick up lettering.

Standard Double Weave/Pigs in a pen

Use of square as pattern or motif