Sunday, March 27, 2011

Summer & Winter

The Way Out West Weavers study group (WOW--we get allot of bang with our name!) is weaving away on their looms on Thursdays. They have each designed a summer/winter pattern and spent each week thomping across their treadles to achieve the look they want. Here is Anita's loom, but there was a mistake.........................................and how do you repair this right in the middle of your warp? You add string heddles and rethread; then continue on your merry way! Way to go, Anita! Here is a drawdown of her pattern. Boy, these days you can use a computer program--remember the days when you had to use graph paper and mark each square by hand? Another loom shows off her summer/winter pattern. Gerry is the great leader of these weaving days. And she is so organized! See how she keeps track of her warp, weft, pattern throws--where, when, how and why--gee, to be so good! Her woven cloth tells the tale! another sampling of her handiwork. We all ooooh and ahhhhh over D'anni's woven towel--what perfect circles! Marian received this inkle loom as a Christmas gift and she is learning how it works. She has it warped for bookmarks. Here is the back of the loom. She has already woven these samples. Her goal is to make a band that can be wrapped around brie cheese as a gift/decoration. Our study group is assembling a basket of goodies for our biannual Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference to be held early summer. Each basket will be raffled. Our basket will be filled with kitchen items. Our summer/winter weaving sessions will continue throughout the year.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring into Spring!

Be sure to check out the Spring 2011 issue of the free online magazine Quiltposium. You can set up your email and receive issues regularly--all free!
We are springing into spring here--and new projects are on the way. With our expatchers meeting this week, we view Karen's 'Quilt Diva' creative work.
Look at this neat handwork. Buttons will be added for her eyes after it has been quilted.
Remember this quilt top from our last meeting--here it is quilted by Sandy.
The quilt stitch is feather lively and shows up nicely on this brown backing.
Judy is planning a birthday quilt for her granddaughter, who is living in Phillipines. They will come for a visit in June and it will be ready for her. Pinks, pinks and more pinks are on the agenda. She is definitely a 'girly girl.'
She will be using a colorful center panel and is cutting her strips to make the surrounding blocks with esqued nine patch block pattern.
In an earlier post, this photo of Camilla with her bluebonnet wall hanging was left out--sorry!
Also, forgotten was the birthday fat quarter stash that Camilla received at the March birthday luncheon. She requested pastels.
And Spring wouldn't be complete without a little bunny hanging around. This one decorates Judy's dining room.
And her hallway invites you into this birdhouse--another spring happening.
Hope you have a little spring in your neck of the woods!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Last Day of the Livestock Show

It is the last day of the livestock show and demos for the guild. It is one of the hardest days to find volunteers--after 20 days of non stop action, it is time to end the event. It's a beautiful spring day. We are packed and ready to take off for the arena. At our previous volunteer day, the draw band broke on the guild wheel, so this day, we decide to take our own wheel.
And to make it easy to bring, it is placed on its own little traveling wheels. There is a short walk from the car park to the tram, which travels to the entrance of the livestock site and then another walk into the center. Of course, the spinners/weavers booth is in hall A, which is at the opposite end of where you enter. We travel with our sun roof open and country music blaring--yew haw!!
Let's meet some of the people who drop by the booth. We were happy to see this young lady, who comes knitting as she enjoys the sights and sounds of the Ag center! And she just learned to knit and she's doing socks!! She told us she recently bought a drop spindle and is looking for a wheel--yippee! We tell her--'next year, you can be on this side of the fence'!
This father and son lingered for several minutes as they inspected the loom and wheels in action.
A crowd gathers around the loom as Kathy takes it through its paces.
Connie, our faithful leader for the day, is spinning away on cotton that she pulled from the cotton bale located down from our booth space.
When she's not on the wheel she demonstrates on the spindle.
She also shows how to card the cotton in preparation for spinning.
One of our volunteers decided to show her talent at needle felting--using these sharp little barbs, she creates some unique characters and designs.
Here she shows her needle felted heart in hand pillow and Santa Claus.
Let's take a look around the booth space to see what woven items gain attention. Some of these items have been designed and woven at this event during years past.
Brightly colored batts await the spinners hand.
Tapestry from the talented hands of Blaine.
Here is a woven coverlet and hand spun knitted scarf.
And of course, we must have our mascots close at hand.
Kathy keeps up the beat even as she converses with the crowd.
It is difficult to calcuate how long the warp should be for these three weeks of weaving. No one wants to warp during the last week. Luckily, the loom is on its last couple of yards. Thank goodness--this calcuation was right on target!
Some of the yardage from last three weeks rest on the split rail fence for the handle of interested parties.
We are happy to show our craft and educate. One of the best parts of being there is the people you meet. Oh, you can guess what they will ask--usually the same question time and a time again; but, it doesn't matter--you always enjoy seeing those light bulbs going off when everything clicks and they get it!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spinning & Sharing

It was the third Tuesday of the month and time for spinners! Yes!! An always enjoyable day with sharing of thoughts, projects, techniques and along the way we discuss a way to achieve an unique yarn. Today we are talking core yarn--a designer yarn that uses a simple core thread like this crochet cotton.
And a colorful batt--some of these batts were made at the February meeting.
You begin (under the guidance of Penny) with the attachment of the core yarn--seen in her right hand. And the strip from the batting in her left hand.
The core yarn is held than tautly with your left hand as the right hand guides the loose fiber around the core--you are in control--loosely, bumpy, spiral, push up the yarn--whatever your hand wants to do.
And you get wonderful unique designer yarn, like this skein spun by Kate.
These were spun by newest spinner, Susan. She didn't use a core yarn but spun her batts--and being a new spinner--she gets those lumps and bumps without trying!! Spinners of years need to take workshop to learn how to put those 'designer' qualities back into the yarn.........
We move onto show and tell with Olga giving us a brief encounter with her weekend workshop with Kerr Grabowski on deconstructed silk screening. Olga has such enthusiasm with the technique and we can see she will take this into her world of felting for unusual results. Here are some of her samples.
The above is on silk fabric while the below piece is on cotton.
One of the highlights of the workshop was to interview a partner and then have that person do a portrait of the interviewee. Here is how Olga was seen through her interviewer's eyes........
Dottie showed her latest addiction--Victorian stitching using wool scraps on cotton batting.
The back shows off the stitching.
Antje was spinning mohair on her support spindle.
She showed a pair of sandals that her husband had made from fabric scraps--just a few tweeks and he'll have a wearable pair of shoes.
Antje has another interesting piece at hand--she combines a little felting with stitching.
And with the collaboration with her hubby, the design is evolving into another one of her works of art.
Kate is knitting away on her entrelac scarf--it's growing nicely. Entrelac Tutorial If you are so inclined.
A Happy Tuesday gets the creative juices boiling!