Wednesday, September 1, 2021

CRAFT GUILD OPEN HOUSE on 9/12/21, 1-4pm, @ 815 Oakland Ave Iowa City

This past year has been an interesting time for us all, and it looks like it will continue to be somewhat different than our norm. The CRAFT GUILD WILL HOLD ITS ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE on September 12, 2021, from 1-4pm at the Guild House, 815 Oakland Ave. Iowa. We are requesting masks be worn within the guildhouse. The pandemic changed how we did things but it did not/will not stop our enthusiasm. Last year, all the groups met via zoom, and/or by scheduling the house for their particular art form; we were able to limit individual expousure. We will continue to adjust to the situation as it unfolds. Come to pay your dues, to see our work or just to meet some of our members.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Fiber Work during the Pandemic

I have often said that fiber people are resilient folks, such has been our experiences during the pandemic. Below you will see just a few photos of the many quiltings, weavings, crochetings, knittings, and examples of our participation in the violet protest. It has not been an uninteresting year, in that we found another path to share our passions. It's not exactly the same, we as fiber people like to feel the fiber as it's passed around. We had had visiting Artists via zoom. Weaving instructors presented programs, i.e, Robbie LaFleur on tapestry, Daryl Lancaster on sewing handwovens and Katherin Weber on dyeing warps. The spinners gathered for a spin and a chat were thrilled to have past spinning workshop instructors just pop in for a spin or two, i.e.,Sue Robsen, Judith MacKenzie and Jeanette Ryan-Busch. What fun we had reminiscing with these folks. The potters have been able to schedule the kilns and studios to allow for their safe usage. Hopefully, we will get to see a ceramic/pottery exhibition in the near future. My apologies to our followers, I am working with the newest google version of this blog and let's just say it's not been intuitive for my aging mind. Perservance and patience will I'm sure find there's one click which will fix all my frustrations. I am a dreamer. Just like the Pandemic, Covid-19 and computers, there is always a way.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Weave-Along with Tien Chiu and Janet Dawson

As many of us try to survive this pandemic imposed isolation, our weavers sought out a challenge. Tien Chiu provided just the thing: a workshop in the use of color in weaving and she did it for FREE, online, with live Q & A sessions.  

sample BH-1

FIrst of all, thanks to Tien Chiu & Janet Dawson. This project, part of the Discover Color Weave-Along course, was outstanding and easily accessible to all of us. They gave the weaving world a true gift at a difficult time. With respect for Chiu and Dawson's work in developing this course, I will not relate the specifics of their materials, drafts, etc.  The classes focused the utilization of color, it's basic properties, and how they interact in weaving, while emphasizing how to create what you want rather than accept whatever happens. They gave support and answered questions along the way. Suffice it to say the course was thorough and well-developed.  

Sample BH-10

Anyone who weaves has had the OMG moment when something works and the frustration of when it doesn't-bright clear designs versus mud. During these classes we wove a series of mug rugs with just a few shown in this post. 

Sample BH-13

I have been weaving for 17 years, a fact I've shared before, and have taken several color classes. While I earned something new every time, this project included the basics and thoroughly explained the whys. There was also new weaving techniques along with the color applications and theories. For the first time, I have a new level of confidence, albeit persumptuous.  If you have an opportunity,  check this out at

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Quilters' Challenge

As quilters we all have received that call from the owner of a treasured quilt that perhaps you made for them as a wedding gift, a leaving for college hug, or a simple recognition of a new milestone. As grandparents...we receive the usual calls...from the "can I wash this?' to the "OMG, crying, what do I do now, the dogs ate it. Our usual responses-- yes to the washing and explain how and then, "it's okay, tell me what happened. Nana can fix it, while under my breath...muttering "PROBABLY". 

I think I have patched, replaced and unstained every quilt I've sent my grands, each treasured for a different reason by a different grand: the missing and treasured baby quilt found filthy in the barn, the very loved and worn baby quilt that she snuggled up with whenever stessed and this quilt for which she chose the fabric, pattern and layout as the perfect quilt for college.  However, never has two dogs nor their mistress loved a quilt this much. They had chewed holes in separate corners, and had a tug of war while she was in class or at work. It was their security blanket, and hers. I was lucky, this was a quilt for which I made too many blocks, had extra fleece from the backing and labeled everything. Amazingly, I knew exactly where they were omen, ya think. I'm feeling cocky, I can fix it or remake part of it, how bad could it be. And then the quilt arrives. "Houston, we have a problem". 

I wish I had taken a photo of the disaster that felt out of the box. Thank goodness, it had not been washed...but eweeee! That did make it interesting: I had to secure the pieces before washing. 

Definitely a challenge, but it is fixed, definitely not perfect, but still loveable. The photos show the repaired quilt...every butterfly covering teeth marks and tears, ever paw print block replacing missing chucks, blocks replaced where feasible.

The applique in the center covers a shredded block that says it all..."Dogs leave paw prints on your heart...and other things."

Still loveable.

Knitting in a Pandemic Bubble

I was intrigued with just what are our members doing with their time spent in most part within their own dedicated bubble and asked for photos to share.  I received the photo below, and promptly said, "tell me about it." I didn't want to admit while colorful and pretty, I knew nothing about whatever this was. Ignorance is humbling.  

It's called Circles from a book by Lynne Barr, entitled "Knitting New Scarves." I was equally amazed and excited that it was a knitted wool scarf with each "wart", "bubble", or "circle" being a series of pick-up stitches and stockinette knitting. The knitter said that it was fun to pick up all those stitches and knitting each circle individually.  This is definitly a "New" look and challenge, but also very striking and a fascinating technique. Thanks for sharing, Linda. 

October: What Inspires you...Practical Resources

As the weather chills and the pandemic continues, the Weavers went Virtual-Meeting via ZOOM. Part of the fun of this has been acclimating the "older" weavers to yet another technology and having to sign on, volume and video on, but off as needed and staying tied to what weavers do best...share their love of this craft via show and tell, programs, and in general, a comradely or collegiality of minds to learn from those who go before us.  I have been weaving now for over 17 years...and I am not an expert on anything. I do have a wealth of OOPS to share and which shortcuts you NEVER take. For example, the S word ...Sampling; a must but often not a desire. I have a litany of how your notes are crucial, legible and believable. I could go on and on, however, this is why we gather, to share our experiences, our joys and often our lives as the years roll on. The pandemic will not change any of that. It just sharpens the reasons why we do what we do. We adapt...ZOOM will allow that. We can meet it's challenge.
Pat's Finnish American Rug

And meeting that challenge we did, albeit, having someone as experienced as Nita facilitating helped make it easy for the rest of us. Our October meeting was "What inspires you?"  Check out this rug. It's one of about 25 Pat has woven lately. She truly must have been inspired the book she recommended-Finnish American Rag Rugs by Y. Lockwood.

Inspiration comes from many sources, whether it's internet, workshops, books, or a friend showing a rug or runner. Here's a summary of what inspires us as weavers, as artists, as enthusiasts as shared by our weavers.
Liftplan Connection by Alice Schlein and videos from Becky at Vavstuga in MA. 
Online Pinterest
Workshops, Conferences, ie, Deb Sharpe workshop, biannual Weavers round robin, MWC classes,
Guild Monthly programs
Art books-i.e., Fiber Art Design Series (there is 8 of them);
The Fiber Arts Book of Wearable Art; 
1000 Artisan Textiles
Simply Experimenting, i.e. "just playing around with the treadlings".
Double bound rag rug
Weave Classic Crackle and More by Susan Wilson.  If you get the opportunity, Cathy has a crackle rug on the "Tools of the Trade" loom upstairs at the Guild House. You can go into the guild house, however, one person per room, masked, etc. 
A BIGGG cone of 20/2 cotton 
A Weaver's Book of Eight Shaft Patterns book by Strickler
Learning to weave by Deb Chandler
Weaving, a Handbook for the Fiber Arts by Shirley Held
The Big Book of Weaving by Laila Lundell; 
Periodicals like Handwoven, VAV, or Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot have projects 
Project specific resources from our guild weaver's library. i.e., rugs: Rag Rug Handbook by Janet Meany or Jason Collingwood and Tom Knesely's books and videos
Weaving Made Easy by Liz Gipson
Handmade Home by Liz Gibson
The Weaver's Companion from Interweave Press always keep at hand for all levels of weavers.
Bateman Extended Maniforld Twill Weaves by Robin Spady 
anything Vicki Tardy
The Weaver's Book by Harriet Tidball 
Advertisements from Yarn Barn, WEBS, the woolery.
My stash of 40/2 from years back challenging her to do something. 
Best of Weavers Huck Lace and Twill Thrills By Madeline VanderHoogt.
Doubleweave by Jennifer Moore
And lastly, a moment in time: a tapestry's from my college years that continues to inspire.
Lucy's Native Tapestry

As you can see a book, a journal, a memory, or a friend; something auditory, visual, or tactile;  
can inspire and lead to new beginnings and new weavings. Our lives continue to be enriched by weaving. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Quilters' Gather Pandemic Style.

The Quilters began their 2020-2021 in a strikingly unique manner, on the lawn on a sunny late August morning, just outside the Guild House; Masked and Socially-distanced to share their love of fabric and it's creations. Each year we try to produce quilts for charity and as a group project focusing on some learning element. The first four pictures you see are the finished quilts which were donated to "the Power of the Purse Auction".  This was an opportunity to review color theories and how to use a focus fabic. These two quilts began identifing the focus fabric as the rust print you see here with the request that each quilter make a block or two "works" with that fabric. It was amazing to see the colors and the block patterns chosen as these quilts came together. The blocks were such fun; we didn't want any to not be used. 

The block framed in teal and yellow is the back of the 12 block piece seen here. This quilt was machine quilted on a domestic machine with each block incorporating a different technique. 

Again, this quilt uses that same theme of 'focus fabric' with the machine quilting on a domestic machine more of a "Whole Cloth" approach as you can see in the rust backing. This limey green is not something I would have chosen and yet it is so dynamic, and sets off these blocks. 

Our machine quilters Linda and Gretchen did an incredible job. Thanks. 
And then we had show and tell: 
Terry has been working for a while and it is amazing to see it come together. 
Each block is different and all of the celtic emblems independently pieced and stitched on the background, then framed with a three or four piece sashing-Just exquisite. We cannot wait to see the final quilting. 

This last quilt is also one in progress. Marilyn is known in our guild for using every scrap of fabric. I've even saved 1" pieces of my "trash" to add to her scrap collection.  This is an example of what she can create as a quilt top. This is created in her mind without patterns or guidelines. Mind you, she has been quilting since she was a wee child, some 90 or so years ago...a talented, determined lady. 

We are a small weaving group who are very fortunate to have such incredible quilters among us who gladly share their craft and knowledge. Happy Quilting.