Friday, May 15, 2015

Margo Duke Workshop June 28

 Making Machine-Embellished, Hand-Felted Wrist Cuffs with Margo Duke

Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild will host a sure-to-be memorable workshop with Felting Artist Margo Duke on Saturday, June 28, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Margo will teach machine needle-felting and wet-felting techniques, plus tips on free motion stitching that will help you achieve maximum texture. You'll be able to apply all the techniques in your own project and even incorporate hand stitching and beading.

Margo goes by Her Majesty Margo Duke, and you'll see why -- her felting is worthy of royalty! Author of two books on felting and now a resident of Bluffton, SC, she is too close to us for us not to invite her up to Charleston!

This workshop will be limited in size, so it will be an ideal setting to learn and apply what you've learned to a small scale project -- very doable in a day.

Plus, very affordable. Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild members, $65, Non-members, $80, includes your materials kit.

The workshop location is off of Folly Road on James Island, easily accessible via The Connector.

Deadline for registration is June 10. Please print out the registration form, complete the information and mail to Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild, P O Box 31341, Charleston, SC  29417. If you have questions contact our workshop coordinator, Judy Warren at 843-573-9093 or
Thanks to Margo Duke for lovely images of her work

Thursday, May 14, 2015

PFAG at North Charleston Arts Festival, 2015

PFAG was in the Arts & Crafts Vending area at the North Charleston Arts Festival again this year. Members demonstrated an array of fiber arts and gave the public the opportunity to see, touch, and feel AND try felting, spinning with a drop spindle, carding wool, weaving, knitting, crocheting, lace making, and more.

Nancy answers questions about weaving.
Barbara cards a little wool.
Kayleigh makes it look so easy!
There was lots to see at our table -- These folks are checking out embroidery (lower right), lace making (on blue pillow), and knitted socks
Barbara is showing these girls raw wool and roving.
Judy drew quite a crowd to see her felting.
This little girl loved it all! Maybe she'll join Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild soon.

Friday, April 17, 2015

An Afternoon at the Charleston Museum

In February, Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild convened at the Charleston Museum to go "Behind the Scenes" with Jan Hiester in the museum's fine textile collection. Jan knows us well because she brought out one beautiful specimen after another -- and she touched all the bases our members are especially interested in -- weaving, quilting, embroidery, knitting, rug hooking, clothing . . . you name it, they've got it.

Embroidered samplers carefully displayed for us on felt sheets.
Showing its age, but still a remarkable example of the classic Blooming Leaf pattern. Look carefully and you can see this coverlet was pieced in  three panels, each two pattern repeats wide.
Samples of needlepoint and the back of a quilt top.
We were excited to hear that Kate Larson, blogger for Interweave's Spinning Daily, had noticed our announcement of this program. She contacted us and asked if we could send pictures and a brief summary of our experience at the Museum. We were delighted to do so -- you can see Spinning Daily's blog post here

Big thanks go to Jan Hiester, curator of this extensive collection, for sharing with us some of the museum's treasures that aren't typically on display.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Winter This & That

Odds and Ends

Corinne Appleton sent us this one:

Seems Vickie Howell, familiar to many as the Host and Creative Consultant of DIY Network & HGTV’s show, Knitty Gritty, has been browsing through Google Trends and found this chart representing the ebb and flow of interest in knitting and crochet over the years. Here are a few fun facts she discovered:
  • Knitting hit its peak in popularity in 2005. Crochet? It's Right Now, Baby!
  • In the US, the highest concentration of knitters are found in Spokane, Reno, & Boise
  • American crocheters congregate primarily in Chicago, Atlanta, and LA
  • But if you crochet, Argentina is the place to be
The Google chart is here . This one may be easier to see and lets you manipulate the displays more than the one embedded in Vickie's article.

And Peggy Pye sent this one in. . .

A. C. Moore collects knitted and crocheted items to distribute to those in need in the US and in 20 different countries of Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. 

Noted in the Winter 2014/2015 issue of Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot, an exhibit entitled Man-Made: The Masculine Aesthetic in Contemporary Quiltmaking is currently at the Craft & Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles through May 3.
". . . This exhibition seeks to examine whether there is a male aesthetic in quiltmaking. Utilizing contemporary techniques, materials, technology, and perspectives, the eight exhibiting artists are part of a growing, loosely-knit network of male quilters who negotiate through their interests and concerns through the junctures of quilting with new technologies and machine aesthetics; with expression of masculinity and sexuality; and with person faxcinations such as heavy metal or science fiction. . . "

Continuing in this vein of random miscellaneous:

Meyriel Edge, presenter of January's program on hat making. She taught art to middle/high school students locally for 25 years. During this teaching career, she took advantage of professional develeopment opportunities that included an intensive course in millinery at the London College of Design and later, more hat making with two well-known milliners in France and England.

Our Kayleigh, ready for the runway.
And Valentine's Day is upon us. Here are two great craft ideas blending sewing, quilting, felting, embroidery -- and of course, hearts..
Hugs and Kisses.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

PFAG Expresses Appreciation for Michaela McIntosh

Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild 
Ten Years & Growing!

This year, with very little to-do, Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild, reached its 10th anniversary. At our year-end holiday pot-luck, we gathered at Michaela's house and celebrated that birthday -- and to her surprise, we also took a bit of time to express our appreciation to Michaela -- for her efforts to found the Guild and for the way she has supported and served the organization and nurtured all of us for these ten years.
Happy 10th Anniversary to Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild. And Thank You, Michaela!
There was a group of people who were instrumental in the founding and the establishment of the Guild, but they did not start to organize or meet together before Michaela moved to town, and all of them have now moved away or moved on.  Michaela has been "the one" from the beginning with the vision and the unflagging faith in us.

Many know her well, for for those who don't yet, Michaela had a full accomplished life before she ever moved to Charleston. Her former husband was a doctor, so there were the medical school years and the residency years. She raised 3 children. She taught school. She had long been a knitter. She became interested in weaving and joined Weaving Guilds wherever she lived, significantly in Oregon. She took workshops from weaving experts and attended conferences and became a very accomplished, adventurous weaver – always eager to try new projects that would help her learn more, and better understand the finer nuances, whether in regards to pattern, texture, color play, or fiber.

She told me once that she was quite happy in Oregon, but after September 11, 2001, she asked herself what she was doing on the West Coast when all of her children were East – and she moved to Charleston.
Michaela at her loom in her upstairs room in Charleston. The license plates above the window are from Oregon and North Carolina.
Finding no fiber guild here, she joined and actively participated in the Western North Carolina Fibers/Handweavers Guild. She tapped resources available through the national Handweavers Guild of America to connect with South Carolina weavers – but they were mostly in the Upstate or Midlands. She was left to her own to find fellow fiber-philes close to home.

Fortunately, Michaela started working as the demonstration weaver at Middleton Plantation and this put her in an ideal position to meet others interested in the  "old-timey" fiber arts and crafts. As Michaela came into contact with people who either knew how to weave (or spin, dye, knit, quilt, etc. etc.) or wanted to -- her interest in their projects often led them to be interested in her fondest dream - a local fiber guild. Eventually a group of started meeting and took the first steps to organizing Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild.

Michaela at the dye-pot at Middleton Plantation's Sheep and Wool Festival 2009 or 2010.
At Middleton, Michaela dressed in costume and warped and worked a loom with historical faithfulness to the 16th century. She helped the plantation host sheep festivals, sheep to shawl demonstration days, and natural dye-pot demonstrations. She was able to experiment with growing indigo and other dye producing plants and dying wool spun from sheep raised at Middleton Plantation. Her skills grew, as did her sphere of contacts and influence. And the visibility of the fledgling guild grew as well.

Ultimately the founding group filed Articles of Incorporation with the South Carolina Secretary of State's office in March of 2004.

Most of us can relate a story about how Michaela invited us to a meeting, or welcomed us, or taught a workshop or a class, or helped us warp a loom until we could do it ourselves, or loaned us some equipment (like a loom) until we could afford to buy our own, or otherwise encouraged us in some important way.
Beth Parrott is our active member who has been in the Guild the longest. She got to know Michaela through a West Ashley knitting group and was one of the early Guild members – since 2004 or 2005, she thinks. Beth remembers a trip with Michaela to the Asheville area to attend a meeting of the Western NC Guild.

When asked  how she has experienced and remembers Michaela’s role in founding our Guild and nurturing it through the years, Beth mentioned a long list of Michaela’s efforts and contributions:
  • She held the group together by serving as President multiple times
  • Always made sure there was an interesting program
  • Recruited members, and encouraged sharing knowledge and skills
  • Taught weaving, and housed looms at her house so they would be available for teaching
  • Continued to attend distant workshops, conference,s and events and brought back information/ideas to share with us
  • As HGA representative for SC, she connects weavers and fiber artists statewide with national resources available including learning opportunities, scholarships, the Certificate of Excellence process, and all important – connecting isolated fiber people with like-minded people close-by.
  • And she continues to hold out a vision of our Guild with a physical home.
Many people say they want to spend their time in a way that "makes a difference." Members of Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild know Michaela has done this for us. Ten years. . . You would think she would be tired of us. . . . but when we thought about where to gather for our year-end holiday pot-luck, she didn't hesitate to invite us to her house. . . so she must not be completely exhausted with us yet.

Thank You Michaela!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Putting 2014 to Bed

Just a few notes to close out 2014.
Right after Thanksgiving, our traveling buddy, Linda L. sent us greetings from New York City. She's heading to Portugal next and plans to be back with us in February.
It was a great year for us. Thanks to our officers, Nancy Warren, Peggy Pye, Barbara Vanselow, Kayleigh Osborne and Sandy Hutchinson. Nancy, Barbara, and Kayleigh will all be stepping down after serving in their roles for two years.

The incoming board elected at our holiday pot-luck in December is: Beth Parrott as President, Peggy Pye as 1st Vice President (Peggy takes care of publicity for us). Ashley Shifano will be 2nd Vice President - primarily responsible for programs, but everyone will help on this one. Maria Luisa Castillo de Gulick steps up as Secretary and Sandy will continue as Treasurer.

Before Christmas, Barbara Vanselow and Judy Warren delivered fleece blankets to Charleston Area Senior Center and Carolina Youth Development's Charleston Emergency Shelter.

As always, our holiday pot-luck was a lot of fun this year. Just a few pictures for you to enjoy. Thanks to all who took pictures!
Fun times. More to come in 2015!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Stash Busting Is Not For Sissies

While traveling this summer, member Michaela McIntosh enjoyed reading an article on stash busting written primarily for quilters in a small newspaper she picked up in New England.  Michaela has adapted that article for us here, expanding the audience to weavers, knitters, beaders, and all kindred spirits.

Do you ever look at your stash and feel like it's closing in on you? Do you get the urge to run out to Lowe's or the Container Store and get a whole lot more plastic containers? Do you find yourself mentally having a conversation with your husband as to why he doesn't need to put the car in garage or worry that he will discover you have used the bottom half of the freezer (hidden beneath the 1/2 side of beef he insisted would save you money), to store your qivuit? (editor's note:  qivuit definition: the wool of the undercoat of the musk ox).  

Maybe your stash is mostly made up of UFO's (unfinished objects). Here are some suggestions to help you the next time you are in a fiber, fabric or bead shop and temptation rears it's head. 
Shop your own stash first.  Go through it and re-organize it, re-familiarize yourself with what you have. Divide it into thirds. Newest and Favorites is one third, some You Like But Are Not Sure What You Want To Do With It is another third, and the Why Did I Ever Buy That?! is the last third. We'll talk more about that third in a minute.

Go through your books and magazines. Donate or give away to a newbie any that you have used and know you won't use again, better yet, donate to a library.

Equipment, notions  and UFO's go in another pile. What do you actually use? If you are like most of us, well meaning folks often give you the contents of their mother's (grandmother's, aunt's, friend's, friend of a friend's. . .) sewing or knitting basket, because they don't sew or knit.  If it's old, soiled, or faded -- toss it.  If it's dried up, won't open, is only a thimbleful left -- toss it!   If it's usable but you don't need/want it put it in the Guild yard sale or teach a young person with it.  

Get your guild to have a special Show & Tell/program of UFO"s (they usually have stories that go with them). Why has a particular UFO become a UFO? Analyze what you need to finish it. If you just plain don't like it, you have choices: take it apart and use the fiber, fabric, beads, yarn, or threads for something else, finish it anyway and give it away, or if you are just completely over it -- toss it! Do not give UFOs to Goodwill -- they will just throw them away.

Getting back to the last third -- remember. . . the Why Did I Ever Buy That?! pile
Fabric and yarn that is something you know isn't right for you can be made into simple items for raffles or giveaways.  For example nursing homes and hospitals need wheel chair bags that patients can keep their personal items in and then take home.  Protective services in most states need lap quilts for adults and children who are in need of something soft, cuddly and that can help them feel cared for.

Reward yourself for finishing a UFO.  Alternate those projects with new ones.  When your stash is down to the first third, then you can go shopping.  Have fun!

Great ideas! Thanks Michaela