Thursday, March 28, 2024

How to Make Cloth

As manufacturing becomes more sophisticated we lose that link between everyday items and how they were made.  There is barely a trace of the farm in food that is precooked, prepared, preportioned and packaged.  Clothing is not just manufactured for fashion.  It can be engineered to have special properties, whether that is heat retention, moisture control or even anti-bacterial effects.  The materials that went into the cloth and its structure are unrecognizable to a lot of us

How sad it would be to loose touch with the basic crafts that underly so much for what we have today.  So, plant a garden and harvest your own tomatoes or spin some yarn and make cloth.

plain weave rag rug

Making cloth is not just a utilitarian occupation.  It is also a form of expression whether that is making your mark on the cloth you weave or using weaving to tell a story.   
Basic weaving is simply interlacing horizontal and vertical threads to form a sheet that holds together.  The magic is in what you choose to use as threads and how you choose to interlace them.
plain weave mug rugs

The beginner's plain weave mug rugs all started with the same plain warp but they differ depending on what the weaver chose to use as weft and how they chose to weave each piece.

The fundamental principles of weaving on a loom are the same no matter how sophisticated the loom may be.  So the first step in understanding how cloth is made is to learning how dress and operate a simple loom.

students busy at their looms

Once you are the master (or mistress) of the loom then the sky is the limit.  You can play with colour, texture, and pattern.  You can make a piece of art or an artful tea towel.

Artful tea towels
If you think you would like to try your hand at weaving then we give beginner lessons in our studio in Qualicum Beach.  The next set of lessons takes place May 3 to 5th.  Class size is limited and classes book up quickly.  

For more information check Workshops on our web site

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Felted Pictures


Wendy's Monarch

If you think the season for felting slippers is past and you have a basket full of coloured fleece maybe you would like to try your hand at painting with wool.

You can blend coloured fibres as you might blend paints to create subtle colour variations, as in the background of Wendy's Monarch.  The background is a wet felted base.  But you can also create detail like the lines on the butterflies wings with a bit of needle felting.

Maggie's landscape

Maggie has used a similar technique to produce this lovely landscape with some embellished poppies in the foreground.


The child's blanket shown below began with a lightly wet felted base layer.  Then images were created as "prefelts", very lightly felted pieces that just hold together.  Then the prefelts are laid onto the partly felted base and the combination is carefully felted as one.  The trick is not to over process either the base or the prefelts.

 You can apply this same technique to nuno felting.  Nuno felting introduces a thin open weave material to stabilize the wool felt so that you can create a thin but stable cloth for making garments.  The wool fibres penetrate the silk so it is completely covered by the felted wool.

Pauline's vest

Darrell's embellished garden

In the photo above Darrell has added another element with embellishment to create the flowers in the foreground.  She has also made use of the raw wool fibres that tend to be curly and whispy to create clouds in the background.

Felting Workshop

If any of this interests you, Darrell is giving a workshop that will teach you the basics of wet felting and set you on your way to painting with wool.  You will come home with your own version of a flower garden. Darrell is doing two sessions, Friday April 19th or Saturday April 20th so you have two choices.  For more details go to our web site Qualicum Weavers and Spinners

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Workshops and Websites

learning together

 Our workshop committee has organized an exciting series of workshops for 2024.  We started off the year with our popular beginner series, beginner spinning and beginner weaving.  These classes book up ahead but if you missed the January sessions, we keep a waiting list.  

Beginning Spinning is being offered a second time February 5th and 7th.  This course will get you started.  Later in February 23 Linda Raven will take members deeper into the world of worsted and woolen.

Our Beginner Weaving Level 1, starting Feb 16, is unfortunately full but if you are interested and would like to be on our waiting list for the next time then contact  For those of you who have taken a beginner course and want to explore more we have Introduction to Weaving, Level 3.  In this course you will expand your skills and learn how to design and execute your own pieces.  Participants will create a boucle tea towel of their own design.  The course takes place March 1 to 3.

For more advanced weavers we have two interesting and very different courses.  

An Introduction to Bound Weave takes place March 9th.  This workshop will have you making figured pieces using a weft dominant technique similar to Krokbragd.  Participants will create a figured design on their own table loom.  If you need a table loom for this course we may be able to help with that.  Contact Gillian Best for more information at  
Woven Shibori
with Linda Wilson is a 4 day workshop that starts on March 12th.  Linda will take participants through the process of creating a unique textured cloth with pleats and ruffles.

  For more information about these courses please go to our website at

There you can click on the course title to find out the costs and more details about the instructor and the course content.  If you decide this is the course for you then you can go on to register and pay to secure your spot on-line.  

If you have any issues or concerns about the system or need some assistance then contact Gillian Best,

Friday, January 19, 2024

QWSG Web Site


home page 

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners have launched a new web site.  We invite you to check it out at

There you will find information about the guild, events, workshops, resources and membership.  Some areas are still "under construction" but here are some of the features

upcoming events
If you are interested in what we are up to or would like to attend a meeting check out the studio calendar.  There you can find our meeting schedule, events, special interest groups and what is going on in the studio
studio projects?

Books and periodicals

Under resources you can check out our library listing.  We have complete collections of Handwoven and Spin-Off including the very first issues and a host of books on fiber arts topics.

basket workshop in progress
If you are interested in fibre arts workshops then you can check out what we have planned.  If you find a course that you would like to take, you can secure your spot in the workshop by registering and paying on line.

market baskets

If you think this is a group that you would like to join you can pay the membership fee on line and set up your member profile.  Registered members have access to guild documents, discounted pricing for workshops and receive notifications via the web site


Below is an updated photo of the free-form "tapestry" that was started during our Elegant Threads Show.  Many hands, a lot of them new to weaving, contributed and it is still a work in progress however it appears to be turning into a landscape.

our "sale" tapestry is turning into a landscape