Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Idle Wheel...Motivating a Spinner.

Please note...this is not just any spinning wheel, nor just any fleece...they are mine, and they are idle. Why, I ask myself...hmmm. Self had lots of answers, I think excuses seem more appropriate...but it looks like the upcoming year for the spinners just might encourage me out of my doldrums.

Wendy sent me this message...WAKE UP LADY_START SPINNING...

No, not really, but she did send the following:

On last Tuesday, we had our first spinners' meeting of the year, and remember we meet on the 3rd Tuesday at 7:30 PM at the Guild House. We decided to do a mohair challenge, interested people got a bag of very dirty mohair from Mary. Our challenge is to do something with it by May. If you weren’t at the meeting and are interested, Mary would happy to give you as much of the mohair as you want. If you have other mohair at home you could also use that.

Upcoming Programs:
October –evaluate guild spinning equipment: keep, dispose, replace

November –wheel ratios –How to determine what ratios your wheel has and then spin the same wool using different ratios to better understand what they do

January –introduction to color blending at the wheel(based on class taken at Midwest)

February –slow cooker dyeing (with possible guest appearance by Dwight Tardy)

March -combing

April – mystery sheep breed (Mary doesn’t remember the name but
expects to have a fleece from a Dutch breed by then)

May – results of the mohair challenge

I hope to see you all in October!

Looks like this will be a challenging and exciting year for spinning.

Note to self: NO more excuses.

Small Pieces Become Great Quilts

Last meeting, Marilyn taught us what to do with all those little pieces. This is the stuff that ends up all over the floor or ruining your vacuum, the stuff I have been known to throw away. Amazingly, stitching together either small pieces or strips and re-cutting them into specific shapes produces incredible quilt patterns. Another method was to stitch together your pieces, add a common color to merge those scraps/shapes into a block. You may then treat the quilt using a block design without all those "Oh, My, and other less printable exclamations" Y-seams.

Marilyn walked us through the process and Nancy provided us with several examples of finished quilts or wall hangings. She sent a copy of the book "Scrap Patchwork and Quilting" in which she has the directions for the fabulous quilt you see folded behind Marilyn. Fascinating process, you get to quilt without adding to that horrendous stash that seems to have a life of its own AND you get to use up all that "mess" you have after cutting every quilt. For the last several years I have been saving all that "stuff/mess" for Marilyn...I don't know, Marilyn might have created a monster and maybe its no more "stuff" for her. ;-)

Remember, Nancy is going to have a hands-on workshop using these techniques November for us. Happy Quilting.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

John Mularky Tablet Weaving Workshop

Well, looks what happens when I leave town. A dozen or so weavers got together for a workshop provided by John Mularky on Tablet Weaving. Tablet Weaving (often called card weaving in the United States) is a weaving technique where tablets or cards are used to create the shed through which the weft is passed. The technique is limited to narrow work such as belts, straps, or garment trim.

Tablet-woven bands are commonly found in Iron age graves and are presumed to be standard trim for garments among various peoples, including the Vikings. Examples have also been found at Hochdorf, Germany, and Apremont, France that support its origins to at least the early Iron age.

Drafts used in this workshop for tablet weaving

A few examples from present day card weaving...

Looks like everyone had fun!

Talent on Display at Open House

During last week's open house, there were such incredible pieces on display. The first piece seen here is a beaded picture crafted by Margaret.

Aren't these towels...handwoven by Pat...priceless.

It seems all the groups had significant pieces, hand knitted, handspun, thrown pottery, quilting..each demonstrates the depth of talent members of the guild possess.

I must admit I usually come away in awe of those who speak through their art and who challenge us to expand our vision through example.

I often feel like the little piggies in this quilted wall hanging, dancing around, struggling to keep up and squealing all the way.

My thanks to Lucy for the photos, and to all of you who continue to challenge me to try something new.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Press Citizen Interviews the Craft Guild

(photo, Press Citizen, September 12, 2011)

The Press Citizen came to the Craft Guild of Iowa City's Annual Fall Open House to see what we have to offer. The reporter, Rob Daniel, interviewed several of the members, while the photographer took photos of member's plying their craft. And for some plying is exactly what Deb was doing, ply-split braiding, while Wendy was spinning some yarn. Members bring in their work, maybe it's a thrown vase or poured bowl, a sweater, a rug, towels, quilts, or wall hanging. The items are a reflection that what can be done is limitless. This is always such an exciting afternoon. We've all been involved with other things over the summer and this event serves as a catalyst to kick start our creative energies. The cookies and punch encourage just hanging out to share stories with each other, or with potential members who come to see our program and facility.

Just in case you missed it... a copy of the press citizen article can be viewed on the press citizen website, www://press-citizen.com or google craft guild of iowa city.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Quilting...and Deer?

Now what could this deer have to do with quilting. Every August the fawns borne in the spring come to my gardens to sample everything I have, to learn what's good, what they like and dislike and what will make them stronger and capable of making it through a hard winter's night. So it is with quilting. It's always more than just a quilt. Friends gather to share their morning, learn about something new, to sample just in case we learn to love it. To see new dimensions, to encourage the journey all while supporting each other's passions, and helping to carry the burdens of new frustrations--all are part and parcel of the quilt group. It's this fabric of our lives in many ways that makes it easier to get through a hard winter's night, and to embrace that new challenge.

So on that Thursday morning, The CGIC quilters brought their ideas, their projects and themselves for the fall meeting at Anna's. What do we do with all those little pieces, too small to make an entire quilt...some see them as scraps, throw aways, some see them as quilts. Marilyn Little and Nancy Granner will provide programs on how to use these pieces as fundamental frameworks for quilting. In September, Marilyn will begin with a demo program, followed a hands-on program by Nancy in November. Later in the spring, Vicki will guide us through weaving fabric quilts-interesting concept. A little down home cobbler and show and tell made for a great morning.

Like the deer, in the upcoming months, I will sample with abandon, not making assumptions; scraps aren't trash but small, albeit, very small quilt beginning. And the group will hold my hand when I groan...

Definitely a better plan than watching the deer eat anything remotely resembling plant-life.

Check out Pam's applique work.