Thursday, May 25, 2017

Buellwood Best Fiber Challenge 2017 May 20, 2017

FULL HOUSE our guild is growing

Buellwood Best Fiber Challenge 2017

We planned this challenge at the suggestion of one of our members, to encourage our members to enter Fiber Art into local shows. This followed a program Phyllis did for us on 'Judging a Fiber Show in Michigan' , we were inspired to have own fiber Show. Our plan was to have the full year to create a quality piece of Fiber Art and bring it to the guild meeting in the Spring. Phyllis was asked to give a critique of our work, we first voted on the entries for a Peoples Choice Award of $25. This was followed by an explanation of our fiber work by each person. Then Phyllis was to critique our work for entry in a show. We had a nice turn out for the first 'Buellwood Best Fiber Challenge 2017'

The entries were:

'Soar' tabby weave and spinning by Carol
Lace bookmark by Anita

Beaded Butterfly by Sarah
Natural Dyed Linen stitch neck warmer by Dawn

Coiled Red Osier Dogwood, Spruce Roots by Karen
10/2 cottolin Hucklace towel by Melissa
Natural wool fleece felted pillows by Laura
'Looking at the World through my Eyes' silk fusion by Jean
'Spring Polka Fest' handwoven by Mary

And our 'Peoples Choice' winner is Carol
Congrats Carol

Show and Tell

Carol started our show and and tell with a simple felt marker dye demonstration. She stretched her untreated cotton cloth over a a cottage cheese container then decorated the circle with sharpie magic markers. She then used a cotton ball to apply rubbing alcohol (70%) to the cloth, waited a few minutes for the colors to bleed out and then she has a beautiful pinwheel design. 


Melissa has had a whole winter of weaving to share with our guild today. She just came back from a color weave workshop in Sonoma, CA with Sarah Jackson. Her samples were beautiful, although this is not her normal color palette, she was very pleased with the results. She mentioned she had never seen the tracking in weaving which she experienced in this workshop (see sample on the left). It was a 2.5 day workshop using summer and winter weave pattern with 8\2 unmercerized cotton. She mentioned that Webs has a unmercerized cotton that is a better quality. She also mentioned they used a color palette program to analyze a photo for colors. I believe I saw one on the Halcyon or Webs site last week. If I come across the name of it I will let you know.

summer and winter color sampler

Melissa also brought in some blue cotton mats that she wove using one warp and many different weaving patterns.

She shared a number of scarves she wove using cotton and a silk blend ribbon yarn, she washed the scarves in the washing machine and dried in the dryer. Unfortunately the scarves now have some permanent pleats in them. I am wondering if the silk ribbon had some polyester in it.

Last she showed us a knit 100% cotton baby blanket with cables that she has been knitting. Bright colors that baby will sure love.

blue cotton mats
Baby blanket

Karen showed some books she has come across this one is titled 'Beautiful Sheep Portraits of Companion Breeds' sorry I cut off the full name of this little fellow. It appears as if the sheep are posing in each of the pictures. A magazine that is like the Mother Earth News meets fiber arts called 'Taproot'.

Laura with one of her pillows
Laura has been felting with sheep fleece. Her samples of these felted pillows are delightful. She wet felted the backside of the cut wool together then backing fabric and embellishment to her finished pillows. She also uses needle felting in her work.  I am in love with the gray plaid pillow!
She suggested a book called Field Guide to Fleece by Deborah Robson for fleece identification. 


I was taking notes but I did not get the breeds of these fleeces she used. I think this is a new idea for a guild presentation?

Check out her lovely wrist warmers she made.
wrist warmers by Laura
Sarah shared her beautiful Grapevine basket which she calls 'Birds Nest' it is a a freehand, random weave basket. A lovely project with embellishment.

She also showed us a twined rug which turned out lovely, she a very good sense of color.

Last of all she shared a Pandora Box of beaded items she has produced over a few years. Some of the beading was on a loom and some not. My very favorite was the long green and white beaded dangle earrings that reminded me of the earrings we wore in the 60's She was a trooper and tried to model them for us, but they kept falling off. They are made of beads and Porcupine Quills.

Porcupine Quill earrings

Thank you to all our guild members for participating in the first Buellwood Best Fiber Challenge. 
It was a fun experience and I have to say it got me busy finishing something I have been working on.

I found a picture in some folders I was given of Mrs. Buell (our founder) 
that I would like to share with you.

The Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Artist Guild will meet next month on June 19th at Gloria Dei Church in Hancock, MI at noon. Bring your lunch and sometime to show. Our topic will be Central American Woven and Embroidered Garments. A number of our guild members were interested in her ware. A friend of mine who paints but does not weave and spent a lot of time in Central America has lots of handmade garments to show us. We will bring as much as we can carry.

July 17  Come Spin, knit, weave and chat, no formal meeting for July.

Also planning is in the works for our October 7-8 Retreat at the Marsin Retreat Center. If you have any ideas or what to help out planning we will be talking about the retreat at our June meeting. Contact Carol, Karen or Dawn if you want to teach or bring something for an activity. Contact Katie Jo or Donna if you have something for our pot luck lunch.

This Retreat is free to paid members and open to the interested public.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cordage for Fiber Artists - April 2017

We had a big turn out in April for Karen's Cordage presentation. Nice to see some young faces visiting our Guild meetings. The topic for this meeting was Cordage but we always do 'show and tell' first and we have a lot of wonderful items to share each month.

Show and tell was again inspiring! We were happy to see Lynn this month, she made a lovely ribbed cowl scarf out of Malibu Yarn. A very interesting pattern and beautiful colors. She also shared a beaded square she made this beaded piece in a class with Cynthia Cotes.

Lynn's Beaded piece
Rib knit scarf

Dawn shared some interesting reading 'Fleece and Fiber Source book' and 'Ply Magazine'. She knit a lovely hat out of handspun chunky Border Leicester wool. A series of yarn skeins dyed with dried Black Holly Hock flowers. She noted that the colors ranged from blue green tones with the first dyed skein and then blue purple with the second skein and alternating with the following several skeins she dyed. Dawn will be teaching a 'Natural Dye' class at the Porkies folk School on July 22nd 2017.
The rose colored slippers she brought to show us are a pattern she has planned for us to knit and felt at our fall retreat which is a beginning knitter pattern. 

We are starting to plan now for a number of other fiber demonstration techniques for October 7-8, 2017 'Buellwood Fiber Retreat' Free for guild members and open to the public for new members.

Dyed with Dried Black Holly Hock flowers
Fall felted slippers
Border Leicester handspun yarn.
Karen embellished her Dogwood Basket with Spruce Roots, she is a master basket weaver. Karen will also be teaching a class August 17th 'Basketry Petals and Stars' at the Porkies Folk School.
For her lovely 'Bark Pouch' class you will need to travel to Sievers  on magical Washington Island, off Door County WI.
Dogwood basket by Karen with spruce roots embellishment.
interior spruce root embellishment.

Anita shared her latest amazing find at a resale shop. This is silk embroidery yarn from a silk mill in Petaluma, CA. The Perfection Filo Silk was made by Carlson Currier Company and was a lovely shade of bright pink.
Phyllis shared her Jacquard woven fabric. This year she let a friend design the fabric for her. His choice was a design using the word LEVEL. The design is entered into a computer program by Phyllis in her class then the completed file is sent off to Montreal Canada to be woven on a Jacquard loom. The finished cloth is then returned to each student for their personal use. The company gets to keep the design and the students receive a finished sample of their design. This is a nice arrangement for Finlandia University Fiber Students.

Jean brought some coiled and corded baskets from India and a sample of glow in the dark roving that she plans to use as accent around the neck or sleeves. It would also look great to highlight wall piece.
cordage baskets from India

Peter ' Pekka' volunteered to make some wooden shuttles for the Midwest Weavers Conference for our guild to donate. He brought in his Gutter Bowl hand made out of basswood and painted. In the bowl he had a number of hand carved fish Shuttles that he embellished with paints. A few lucky attendees of the Midwest Weavers Conference in Indianapolis will receive one of Pekka's hand painted and carved shuttles or one of Buellwood Weavers goodie bag fiber pins that a few members helped to produce.

Gutter bowl with handcarved fish shuttles

Katie Jo is making what she calls a 'Life Project' one she is sure will take the lifetime to finish. The pattern is 'the Beekeepers Quilt' available on Ravelry at Tiny Owl Knits. These are stuffed honeycomb shaped puffy pockets called Hexipuffs. They are joined at the corners with simple quilt ties for better flop-a-bility. Cute, cute, cute what a great idea to use up that leftover sock yarn and oh so portable.
Katie Jo with basket of knitting
hexipuffs in a basket
 Carol brought in a basket she crocheted out exactly 'one' cut up  T-Shirt.
One cut up T- Shirt = one red bowl
linen collapse weave scarf
 Mary finished weaving two Linen Collapse weave scarves for this weeks show and tell.

 Cordage: was presented by Karen  

Karen in motion
At this meeting we were shown how to make Basswood Bark Cordage for our fiber Art. Karen prepared the basswood bark for her demonstration by stripping the bark off a cut down tree. She then had to soak the fiber for 3 weeks to Rett, which rots away the flesh of the inner bark so to remove it.
The outer bark comes off and leaves the paper thin inner bark which is what she uses to make the Cordage for her baskets. She also uses Japanese Iris leaves for cordage. We got to try out her her twisting method and take home some fiber to practice making cordage for future use. Basswood also takes dye very readily which adds to its usage.
The technique
Supplies for cordage making and finished samples of Karen's Baskets
Our next guild meeting will be Monday May 15th at Gloria Dei Church in Hancock MI
We will present our 'Buellwood Best Show' and a critique will be given by Phyllis on our work and entering a Fiber Show. Please bring along your best work for this educational experience.

We will also have a peoples choice award that will be given out. 

On June 19th we will have a presentation of  Central American Folk Art Garments. I have seen some of the samples and you will be impressed with the hand crafted quality that will be presented.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fiber Color Theory Buellwood March Meeting 2017

Fiber Color Wheel
 The Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Artist Guild had another great meeting on March 20, 2017. As usual we had another enthusiastic Show and Tell by our members. This was followed by a great hands on presentation of Color Theory by Phyllis. We are so happy to have new members joining our guild and bringing excitement and new ideas for our fiber guild. Although everyone cannot make all meetings we are now having a nice turn out each month.
Anita found a handmade lace doily at a local second hand shop

and all these lovely colors the result of the Coreopsis?

  Dawn shows us Madder Red vs Dawn's red from dried Coreopsis Major dried flowers. One quart of dried flowers died (I believe?) 1400 yards of worsted weight wool yarn. The deepest color being a red close to Madder Red.
Then a bag of Rose colored yarn that was dyed with Lichen and the rose ball in the front was a dye bath created by soaking Buck-horn Bark for 2 weeks with an ammonia thickener.
The brown bag was dyed with lichen.
Although I did try to take notes and pay attention at the meeting in March, there was a lot going on. Dawn please correct me if this is wrong. I will better versed at these natural dyes after I take Dawn's natural dye class this summer at the Porkies Folk School. 

Rose bag of yarn
lichen dye

dried Coreopsis flowers

Dawn also dyed and knit this hat for a fellow artist who's calling card is next to the hat. She sure did a nice job of matching the colors of the artwork on the card.
Clare is our expert knitter, who is also learning to weave. Clare brought in her Icelandic yarn she purchased on her travels to Iceland. these fragile yarns are called Plates.
 Plötulopi (plotulopi = unspun plates) can be worked one, two or more ply at a time, depending on how bulky a yarn you want. Gently wind the required number of strands together into a ball by taking the end from the centre and the end from the outside of the plate, or plates.

 Clare is also experimenting with weaving bracelets this winter and will bring in a number to share with us in April.
Iceland Plates of yarn
Clare's bracelet

Karen has been knitting and brought in a lovely scarf she is knitting with a hand paint yarn and she shared the double yarn over scarf pattern with those of us who wanted a copy. She also brought a woven basket of dogwood and cotton cord. Note the base she is using these days for her baskets.


Katie Jo shared an antique spinning wheel she found with the guild. She would very much like to find out more about this wheel. Being small it was suggested it might be a salesman sample wheel.
If you might know the history of this wheel please comment on the blog below.

It was especially nice to see Debra making a guild meeting. She brought in a shawl and hat she has been knitting. Although I know she has some weaving on her loom at home!

 Kathy brought in some weaving she has been doing. The blue table runner is beautiful, then to finish off the warp she used two very different weft yarns to complete the warp. What a different result she got with the same warp.

Also she is taking Clare's knitting class and has made a few beanie caps for gifts. A beginner project but very nice work Kathy.

same warp as runner but a whole new look.
caps knit by Kathy

 Phyllis has been weaving off the warps her students left on the loom with weft from another students weaving project. This is an undulating twill warp on an 8-shaft loom with saturated colors in the weft.

She also showed us a felted piece that she is planning on gathering with a strong tread and then redyeing. Her felted pieces will be on display at Art Start at Nicolet College in Rhinelander WI for the month of April.
cotton resist dyed bag.
The large bag Phyllis brought to show was dyed with thickened MX dyes on cotton. She used a cornmeal resist that is 6 parts water to one part cornmeal along with tape resist. Once the cornmeal is dry she scarped away the cornmeal and applied the dye with a thickener and let set up for 24 hours.
Color Theory
Phyllis did a nice Color Theory presentation for our Guild. Which was very understandable and it was followed by some hands on activities for our members to help show how color works.
Fiber color wheel
Fiber arranged by value
She had us create a color wheel with the yarn samples we brought in. Surprising how we quickly arranged the yarn into a color wheel.

Then we rearranged the yarn into a value wheel. Last of all she showed the group how to create a sample card of colors that we would like to put together in our fiber art.
wrapping our colors on a card

up coming workshops:

Karen and Dawn will be teaching at the Porkies Folk School this coming summer , Karen on Friday, August 18th and Dawn on Saturday July 22th.

Karen will also be teaching at Siever's  on Washington Island, WI July 12 2017 a lovely ,Birch Pouch Basket' Workshop.

upcoming meetings:

 Join the Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Guild for our next meeting on Monday April 17th at noon at Gloria Dei church in Hancock MI,

Show and tell and a presentation by Karen on Coiling with plant materials

Our May 15th meeting will the presentation of our 'Buellwood Best Fiber Challenge'. Be sure to bring in a completed piece of Fiber for our examination and presentation of a 'Viewers Choice Award'. I hope you all are working on your entries and will participate in this learning experience.
Maybe we can even find a place to exhibit our work.

John and Clare will have work in the Finlandia Student Art Exhibit  at the Finnish American Heritage Center until April 18th.