Friday, February 25, 2011

Curving Flying Geese

What an entry...sounds like a bunch of drunk geese trying to fly home.

It really was a fascinating meeting as the quilters gathered at Linda's home to learn this new technique. Nancy Granner taught the group how to design flying geese that curve. Sounds hard but using Nancy's approach, it really is easy. I just love stuff that looks like I'm really talented and I worked soooo hard, but aren't and I didn't. I expect we will see more curving geese borders on our quilts in the near future.

We also had some incredible pieces for show and tell. Marilyn brought an appliqued quilt with a scrappy border; interesting use of red strips.

Mary brought a loon landscape wall hanging. You could almost hear to loons call to each other.

And as always, our fiber hearts and fingers overlap, a couple of folks were knitting, others reviewing the weaving sample books, one was finishing the binding on her pineapple table topper, and another working on a pinwheel/irish chain lap quilt piecing.

One piece of housekeeping, although many of the quilters will be gone to MidWest in June, the quilters will still meet at Mary Talcott's.

Remember there's a new quilt shop in Tipton, in addition to our local shops Inspirations in Hills and Common Threads in North Liberty. Shopping locally supports these folks who in turn support our "habit". Happy Quilting!

Weaving Bateman

The weavers met Tuesday evening at the guild house for our usual, show & tell, chat and learn. It was great to see everyone after all the snow this winter. Weavers are hardy folk; even blizzard weather didn't keep them from participating in a pattern workshop. It's a lot of work to prepare the drafts and set up this program, but it is a great opportunity to experience patterns you might not try on your own. Our thanks to Vicki Tardy, Pat Boutelle, Lucy Hansen, and Cathy Willoughby for all their hard work.

Linda Bergquist presented a stimulating overview of the Bateman monographs from Shuttle Craft; #35-Multiple Tabby Weaves,#36-Bateman Blend Weaves, #37-Park Weaves, #38-Boulevard, Chevron and Combination Weaves, #39-Extended Divided Twill Weaves, #40-Extended Manifold Twill Weaves. She brought 2 HGA sample notebooks that correlate with two of the monographs and other members' samples as examples of this structure. It's so interesting to actually see the finished sample in color and compare it to the black and white draft. The photo above is an example of Manifold twill that Linda had previously woven, and this photo is a sample from Extended Manifold Twill Weaves, number 226-2 in the HGA notebook. I think this might be an exciting course of study for next year's study group.

Remember MidWest is open for registration, and Anna will be collecting scarves or shawls for our guild exhibit entitled "Dancing Spirits".

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Roving vs Cloud...

As a novice spinner, I struggle with what type of fiber to use. Well, to be honest, I struggle with a whole lot of things but the basic preparation of the fiber and it's content play serious havoc with my spinning. All you experts assure me that practice, practice, practice contribute to creating the best yarn. I enjoy spinning from a cloud, especially if it contains a little mohair. Makes me feel successful. I'm like that child who needs a lollipop after behaving at the bank...I need positive reinforcement to continue practicing. I'm sure each of you have preferences of your own and your reason why. Share them with me sometime.

Iowa Federation Spring 2011 - 50th Anniversary Meeting
April 30, 2011
Johnson County Fairgrounds, Riverside Drive, Iowa City, IA

At the spinners meeting last week, amid the wheels, fibers and folks...Planning for the Federation meeting took center stage. Our guild is hosting the event and it's coming up fast. There will be demonstrations, classes, vendors, food and just plain fun spending time together, spinning, knitting, and chatting. Registration is only $15. Lunch will be either a box lunch available for purchase or on your own.

There is a need for volunteers. The major activities are organized, but we need folks to assist in almost every aspect. On the day of the meeting we will need people for:
- general set up
- vendor set up assistance
- registration
- runners
- kitchen
- general tear down
- vendor tear down assistance
The planners have done the hard part, all we need to do is help. Think about where you'd most like to help, there will be a signup sheet at the next meeting.

There will also be People's Choice which includes the following categories:
- handspun handknit
- handspun handwoven (may include some commercial fiber)
- weaving
- felting
- skeins
Collect all those wonderful projects and bring them with you to the
Iowa Federation Spring 2011 - 50th Anniversary Meeting
April 30, 2011
Johnson County Fairgrounds, Riverside Drive, Iowa City, IA

Spring or Winter?

Time really flies. I noticed the snow was melting, there was a hint of green on the lawn, it was 63 degrees and there was this yellow shiny thing in the sky...oh, my, spring is coming. It cannot be spring already. I haven't finished my winter weaving, knitting, quilting or spinning projects. AND then I remembered...hey, this is Iowa, winter's not done with us yet... Maybe, just maybe, I'll finish something.


Grace brought this opportunity to the guild. If anyone is interested there is a web site at the end of this post which explains how to get involved

Iraqi Bundles of Love
was designed to be a short term (about six weeks) project, intended to leverage the internet and the US Postal System to surge sewing, quilting and knitting supplies into northern Iraq during Ramadan in late 2009.

Between 3 AUG and 8 SEP of that year, volunteers from around the world mailed boxes of sewing, quilting and knitting supplies to me at Camp Speicher near Tikrit in the Salah ad Din Province, boxes that in the end totaled 3445 and represented about 30,000 lbs / 13,500 kg / 15 tons of supplies. MAJ La Flamme then injected these boxes and supplies into the pre-existing humanitarian assistance / civil affairs channels in our assigned Army units, for distribution in Salah ad Din, Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah provinces. The bundles were ultimately distributed by American and Iraqi Forces during and shortly after the month of Ramadan.

The first iteration of IBOL was done outside of normal Army channels. One unit made a warehouse available, another unit made a forklift available. Soldiers volunteered their own time to build shipping pallets of bundles, for delivery to Kirkuk and to the Kurdish Region.

MAJ La Flamme saw IBOL as directly supporting the ideas in FM 3-24, the Army’s new counterinsurgency doctrine. He felt that Iraqis should have reason to talk with their security forces at times other than the middle of the night and under conditions other than their coming to detain someone. Ramadan is a time of generosity, a time of giving, and distributing these bundles (he hoped) would go hand in hand with that. IBOL supporters, or IBOL’ers, liked both the personal connection of making and sending a box, and of sending materials that likely would only be used by Iraqi women.

IBOL II was during the late summer of 2010, in conjunction with the US Department of State’s Provincial Reconstruction team in Salah ad Din. This time, bundles mailed to Iraq were received by the PRT and then distributed in conjunction with local Iraqi non-governmental and relief organizations. IBOL II was called Give A Little, and was scaled down to address the size and limited resources of the PRT. It total, it resulted in approximately 900 bundles being distributed in the Salah ad Din Province.

Plans are underway for a third iteration of IBOL, tentatively named IBOL3D and tentatively set to again support Ramadan. MAJ La Flamme is heading back to Iraq, this time to Baghdad, and is working to put into place the means for distributing bundles across Baghdad and Anbar provinces.

The IBOL website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Please respect that. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available through Art La Flamme.

Details on building a bundle:
Details on what to send:
IBOL on Facebook: