Sunday, October 30, 2011

Falling Leaves, Squirrels, and Quilting

The quilters gathered at Mary's home amid the falling leaves and autumn color. That touch of crisp air and crunch of leaves underfoot remind us that winter's a'coming. Looking around, you see squirrels scurrying around to gather and store away goods for winter. Quilter prepare for winter just like the squirrels. We get revved up, plan, stock up and store fabrics (like we REALLY need to add to our stashes), all for that snowy day with no where to go. Like squirrels, fall stimulate our survival instincts, we must have quilting.

Everyone seemed to have a plan, a project in progress, an idea to keep the winter winds at bay. Linda was seeking input on her design using stripes. Marilyn shared her scrap quilt made for an elder relative in a nursing facility; Gretchen was hand stippling her heart wallhanging. Her pattern is two blocks for one cut, a heart appliqued block and the background from the heart cutout became the second block. Lucy, Pam and Anna were doing needle turn appliqueing, and Terry was handpiecing blocks. Molly was doing what quilters know best...ripping out.

Nancy sent the blocks seen here. She asked which block should we use for our program next month. Everyone loved the patterns and would love a demonstration. We are SOOOO looking forward to our hands-on program, based on the scrap quilt block she sent last month. She will be sending out an equipment list.

Ahhhh, with a little warm cider and incredible treats, it was a most productive morning. Squirrels store nuts, quilters store fabric.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weaving in Scotland, from Mid-Lothian to the Highlands

The Natural Flower of Scotland: The Thistle

The Weavers meet last Tuesday with the traditional good friends, good food and a really great travelogue across Scotland. In her slideshow, Jeanne shared her trip beginning with her arrival in Glasgow, and onto Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, the Highlands and the Orkney.

Edinburgh Castle

Weaving once defined many parts of Scotland because of the availability of the raw goods, flax for linen and a workforce trained in the craft. For many years, it was a major force in the economy. Other countries began producing textiles cheaper and the end product was of a lesser quality. However, in our price driven world, the jobs of handweavers were expendable. By the late 1980's, many of the mills had closed, and individual handweavers could not make a living wage. The Black Watch at Edinburgh Castle are seen here wearing kilts woven in their Tartan pattern.

Jeanne visited with a weaver, toured weaving centers, castles, cairns, and museums, and had a grand time overall. Her slide show captured the beauty of Scotland and she had her own version of show and tell of Scottish goods, postcards, books, wonderful textiles, jute bags, too many items to describe.

Thanks, Jeanne

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yes, Virginia, We Do Have Potters at the Craft Guild

My apologies to the Potters who aren't frequently included in this blog. I am not a potter, but I am a voyageur. I watch from afar, in awe of how they take a glob of "mud", "clay", or other gooey product and turn it into a bowl, a vase, a dish. In fact, almost any shape or purpose of vessels has been seen cooling after a night or so in the kiln. If you're a potter checking out this blog, the group has some really cool programs and folks skilled in the craft. All are geared toward both the novice and expert. If clay is your interest, contact give Charles or Craig a call.

The Finnish Tradition of Poppana Weaving

The weavers gathered for their monthly meeting to share their joy of weaving, meet and greet the new weavers and plan instructional workshops by known artists, similar to the one held last month on Tablet Weaving.

The meeting was followed by Show and Tell and a very informative program by Nancy Granner on “Weaving with Poppana, a Finnish Tradition.”

Poppana Weaving sounds like an older gentleman who likes to weave...not true. Poppana is 3/8” bias cut cotton fabric strips woven on a warp of 8/2 cotton in plain weave or simple twills. The bias fabric finishes with a soft fuzzy surface much like cotton chenille and is more flexible than pieces woven with straight cut fabric strips. There were many examples of this technique in rugs, towels, pillows.

As always, watching Show and Tell can be both humbling and inspiring. David, a weaver of just a year brought in his first silk scarf. It humbles me in that I don't do silk (too expensive for me to mess up) and it was remarkable. Another piece shared was this exquisite blue/silver piece that confirms Steve is no longer a novice weaver and it inspires me because we began this journey at the same time.

It doesn't really matter whether you're motivated to learn Poppana, to try silk and to weave intricate patterns/structures, what matters is to simply enjoy the art, the craft, the feel of fiber. Happy Weaving