Friday, May 20, 2016

25 Years of Fiber and Friendship

Sheila's transparency
centre piece
This month we celebrated our guild's 25th anniversary with an old fashion tea complete with china cups, silver tea pots, fancy sandwiches and cake.

 Each table was decorated with an imaginative table centre.  As you would expect they were one of a kind fibre creations    

 Past members came with stories and memories to share.  We learned how the guild had made several moves before finding a home in the via Train Station and how a painting of the station had helped to raise funds for the studio renovation.      

founding members


Elaine Duncan, the weaving teacher who encouraged her students to form the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild, was our special guest.  Myrtle, who helped to found the guild was one of Elaine's students.  Myrtle presented Elaine with a hand woven shawl. It is inspiring to see that after 25 years both teacher and student are still deeply involved in weaving and continue to share their knowledge and experience with others.
Elaine our first teacher
Our guild has many long term members who have contributed over time by serving on committees or the executive and who continue to be mentors and volunteers a guild events.  They were also recognized as an ongoing resource and presented with the commemorative coasters.

Linda's coasters in summer and winter

Interest in the fibre arts waxes and wanes over time.  Guilds such as ours maintain the knowledge and resources over the long term. They provide support and fellowship for artisans with a common interest.  They encourage new artisans to take up the craft and move it forward.  Thanks to people like Myrtle and Elaine who saw the value in starting and maintaining a guild there will be organizations to help us in our fibre arts journey for many years to come.

As part of the celebration guild members were asked to weave something with silver threads.  The entries into the "glitz" challenge were on display at the tea.  Sheila's transparency (pictured above) captured the spirit of the day with the fireworks and silver threads.  The black outline on the lettering makes it pop against the neutral background.

Many of our guild members are spinners and knitters as well as weavers and we can all use a knitting angel from time to time.
silver and white hand spun yarn
Knitting angel

Several of the pieces were elegant scarves or shawls that were "dressed up" with the subtle use of metallic threads.
close up of inlay section
Silver, white and black make a stunning combination. The piece on the left uses pattern inlay in silver and white against a plain weave in black to make a dramatic statement.
detail undulating twill shawl
Black and silver in an undulating twill creates a glittering effect over the entire piece.  This item will look even better with movement as the silver flashes in the light.
The picture below shows another version of a black and silver shawl.  Narrow silver bands in the warp and in the weft create a pattern of squares. The shawl is open and so light that it would make an elegant wrap for a dressy outfit on even a summer evening.
Any of these shawls would look stunning with the braided necklace with its Celtic knot.

silver lines on black background

braided necklace

sequin scarf

 The final black and silver piece is a narrow scarf with a multitude of silver sequins.  It looks more like a piece of jewellery than a scarf.

Benita's scarf
shawls in teal
Silver also pairs well with cool greens and blues and several members took advantage of this.  The photos shows quite different interpretations of a similar theme.  The three scarves are related in colour although one is a pastel shade.  Two have used a fancy ribbon accent.  One includes the ribbon accent in the warp while the ribbon forms weft bands in varying sizes in the other.

detail of shawl

Silver threads are also present in this twill shawl.  They create a subtle twinkle when the light catches them.

Some imaginative accessories were included in the show.  These items were made using a pin-loom to create squares of cloth that can be assembled to produce larger pieces.  The colourful bags are meant for carrying wine to a party.  Now that's an accessory that fits with the celebration theme.

pin loom bag
wine bags

There was a prize for the best entry into the glitz challenge.  Elaine was put to work to judge the entries.  She was complementary about all of the entries but in the end she had to make a choice.  The winner is now busy deciding which yarns to buy with the gift certificate.
the winner

Many hands helped to make this a great afternoon.  The organizing committee did a great job and we appreciate their efforts.  We would also like to thank Quality Foods of Qualicum Beach for supplying the food and Lyle Mufford of Strait Coffee Roasters in Sechelt for supplying the tea.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Twenty-fifth Anniversary Challenge

This year the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild will celebrate it's twenty-fifth anniversary.  The guild was established by 8 newly minted weavers who began their fibre adventures by taking a class from noted tapestry weaver Elaine Duncan.   Elaine suggested that they form a guild and so continue to develop their common interest together.  At first, the group met at members' homes but after several moves the guild settled into the old Via Train Station Loft in the town of Qualicum Beach.  Today there are 50 guild members

In May we will celebrate our anniversary with a show and a tea.  The theme of the show is of course our 25th anniversary and in keeping with that theme guild members were challenged to spin some "glitzy" yarn or weave something with a silver threads.  Participating in a challenge is a great way to break out of your usual routine.  So we all reviewed our stash to determine if we had the necessary supplies.  Finally, an excuse to use up that cone of glittery yarn that has been sitting on the back shelf crying from neglect!

What to make?  The term "glitz" conjures up images of clothing with sequins and rhinestones, jewellery, beaded purses and wraps .  It also suggests romance, celebration, parties and decoration.  That eliminates knitted socks or tea towels for most of us although glittering knee socks might be a fashion trend waiting to be discovered.
The photo below is a glitz challenge table runner.  The pale green areas are a mix of light green and silver while the dark is mat green. The runner is woven using a tied weave structure.

You will have to check back in May to see the other challenge pieces.