Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Moving Day

Qualicum Beach truck
This past Monday was moving day for the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners.  For the past week we have been sorting items, packing some, discarding others and generally getting ready for the big day.

The moving process forced us to take stock of our belongings and not surprising we found we had duplicate items and items that could only be considered of "historic" interest.  We sold one of our studio looms and will be having a sale of small equipment at a future date.

The town of Qualicum Beach provided us with trucks and a crew of young strong backs.  They cheerfully carted boxes, assorted loom parts and furniture down the narrow staircase and into the vehicles and posed for pictures now and then.
"the movers"

"the movers"

  They had an appreciative audience who came to say goodbye to the train station.
Just the loom left to move

appreciative audienced

Soon we were watching them unload items at our new home in Qualicum Commons.  Qualicum Commons is a re-purposed elementary school that houses a number of social and arts programs.  It is in the heart of downtown Qualicum Beach at 744 Primrose Street.   location 
We have a lovely large, ground floor room.  So no more narrow winding staircase, no more bumping heads on the ceiling or squeezing into the eves to locate equipment.  We appreciate the town's role in locating this space for us.

main entrance to Qualicum Commons

So much space
We ended the day with boxes and belongings stacked along the walls according to an initial floor plan.  Over the next two weeks we will begin the process of assembling our library area, setting up our looms and refining the floor plan.
What to open first!

  The town of Qualicum Beach is providing us with some stacking chairs and tables so we can begin to hold our meetings in our new home rather than renting space in the Baptist Church on Beach Street.  If you are planning to attend the general meeting on September 25th come to Qualicum Commons at 744 Primrose Street.  There is a large parking lot just past the building.  

Watch for an announcement for our "Open Studio" event when we welcome the public to our new location.

Finally, Thanks to Heather and the moving guys and the Town of Qualicum Beach for their assistance with the move to our new home.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

We Are Moving

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners are moving.  After 25 years of hanging out in the loft of the Train Station at Qualicum Beach we are leaving.  The town of Qualicum Beach has decided that we don't fit with their vision for the old Via Train Station.  They intend to renovate the loft area and rent it out to a commercial enterprise.

hand painted floor
The creation of the Train Station Resource Centre was the action that solidified the guild in its infancy.  The guild was provided with a largely unfinished attic area which had to be turned into workable space.  This meant a lot of fund raising to buy materials and a lot of do-it-yourself construction work.  Take a look at the fake brick pattern that was hand painted on the blank grey linoleum.

Having a permanent space allowed the guild members to build and share a set of resources including an extensive library, an inventory of common yarns and of course equipment.  It was a tiny area with low ceilings and windows that didn't quite close but we made the most of it.

library of books and periodicals

Fanny loom
The train station loft served as a meeting place, a resource centre and a studio space.
Members now had access to floor looms that were too large for most homes.

 A used Fanny loom was donated to the guild and became the workhorse for many guild projects.  We will be retiring the Fanny loom when we leave the loft but she has many years of service and we hope she will find a good home.  If you are interested contact us

Mixed yarn warp demo
The loft was ideal for holding small workshops and spontaneous group projects.  It wasn't pretty space so a little mess now and then was tolerable.

stars workshop
We learned needle felting, painted warps, made Christmas ornaments and bookmarks, held spinning lessons, wove tea towels by the dozens and had tons of fun together.
workbee ANWG goodies


Projects became a means of integrating new members into the group and a way of sharing knowledge between experienced members and novices.

Scarf project

Over time as the guild grew the space became too small for regular meetings so we held our monthly meetings in the old church that shared the grounds known as Heritage Square.  Study groups continued to meet at the loft.
messy chart does it mean anything?

train station birthday

In 2014 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the train station with a "simulated" sheep to shawl.  We even put on costumes for the event.  This event brought us closer to our neighbour The Qualicum Beach Museum and eventually lead to the guild joining in other museum programs.

In spite of grumbling over the narrow stair case, bumped heads in the cupboards or the cold breeze from the windows the train station has been a great home.  We will remember the times there fondly.

Where to now???  The town is anxious to start renovations in the train station so we will be moving out the last week in August.  The town has found us space in the old elementary school now referred to as Qualicum Commons.  The space is excellent but it will mean a significant change to how the guild operates.  The town is helping us with rent for the first year but after that the guild will have to earn sufficient income to continue in that space.  It will be a challenge that will stimulate new ideas.

More to follow on our new location.