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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Warm blankets for Young and Old

Our October meeting, coming on the heels of the Lowcountry Fiber Fair the week before, was jammed packed.  Jan Heister, curator of the remarkable textile collection at the Charleston Museum spoke to us about opportunities we might further explore at the museum AND we made fleece lap robes to donate to seniors at Charleston Area Senior Citizens and fleece blankets for young people at Carolina Youth Development's Charleston Emergency Shelter.

Jan Heister, Curator of Textiles, Charleston Museum
Members get busy on fleece lap robes and blankets at the October meeting of the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild.

Barbara ties off short fringe for a lap robe that will not catch in the spokes of a wheelchair.

Peggy found this wonderful piece of fleece for a boy's blanket.
Directions for a No-Sew Fleece Blanket with a Braided Edge

This will be a two-layer blanket (extra soft and warm) so you might want to use a solid color for one side and a contrasting print for the other. You'll also need scissors or a rotary cutter and a cutting mat.

Trim selvages and cut your two pieces of fleece fabric 30" X 36". Layer one on top of the other with the right sides out.

Draw a line 1 1/2" in on all sides. Cut out the 1 1/2" square from all four corners. then using the lines on the mat, make 1" wide cuts along all four sides up to the  1 1/2" line. Then fold each strip in half and make another small slit through both layers in the middle. 

Starting along a long side in the middle of the blanket, take a top layer strip and pull up the bottom strip through the hole in the middle of the top strip. Pull to the left (for right handed people it is easier to work from right to left). Then pull up the next top strip strip though that strip, then the bottom strip alternating all the way around. 

Before you know it, you'll be all the way arourn your blanket and be left with the last fringe that you've pulled through the fringe before it. Here you'll need to cut the fringe in half, through the slit, so you've to two skinny fringes. Use them to tie a knot around the first fringe. Make sure to make at least a double knot. . . triple if the fringe is long enough. That will be the only knot on your entire blanket.

Here's a You Tube tutorial that shows you how to do the directions above. Have Fun!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2nd Annual Lowcountry Fiber Fair Photo Album

 The Colleton County Museum and Farmer's Market once again held the Lowcountry Fiber Fair on Oct. 11 -- and Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild members turned out to participate as workshop leaders, demonstrators, vendors, and fiber art fans. What a great event bringing together the farmers who raise fiber animals, fiber artists, and fiber art fans -- and right in our backyard in Walterboro!  Here are photos from a good day.

Marie and Anita holding down the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild table. Samples of members' work was on display and they were able to distribute information about the Guild to anyone who was interested. These events are great for meeting more people who love to do fiber arts.
You've heard of "Dyed in the Wool"?
Beautiful knitted and woven shawls
Lots of PFAG workshop teachers
Two novices learn the basics of Bobbin Lace making from Barbara Vanselow.
Kayleigh and Kelly taught needle felting.
Ron chats with visitors who are interested in weaving.
Maria Luisa demonstrates weaving on a triangle loom.
Emily demonstrates rug hooking.
This Festival vendor (not a member of PFAG) was demonstrating the use of this antique sock loom. It was used to make wool socks for soldiers in WWI. Many soldiers died as a result of trench foot (can you imagine the misery?) so fresh socks were in high demand.
This little sheep was right at home at the Lowcountry Fiber Fair.

The folks at Colleton Museum and Farmers Market did a great job growing this fiber fair after their first run last year. Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild looks forward to continuing to partner with them to build the momentum for a great fiber fair close to home.

Many thanks to all who came out to the event -- and BIG thanks to Corinne Appleton for coordinating PFAG's participation this year.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Watch for the next "Pop-Up" Art Show. They're Fun!

On Oct. 8, our own Nancy Warren participated in a small "Pop-Up" art show sponsored by Passport 72 -- an emerging organization dedicated to generating financial and support resources for local charities. One of their ways of generating funds and support is to organize local artists for these quick shows -- a cut of proceeds goes to help charities identified by Passport 72, tickets sales go to the expenses for the show -- and local artists get great exposure in a very comfortable and intimate setting. Great for everyone!

This show was upstairs at Southend Brewery & Smokehouse downtown on East Bay Street -- The ticket was $5 and could be exchanged for an appetizer or a drink. Eight artists participated -- several painters, one who constructed pieces from found objects , one who made marbled paper -- and Nancy, who had a group of lovely deconstructed screen prints.
Nancy Warren, President Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild, 2013 - 2015
It was also fun to run into abstract painter Karole Turner Campbell who is friends with Arianne King Comer (batik dyer)and Cookie Washington (quilter, doll maker, curator) -- two extraordinary fiber artists close to Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild.
Check out this link to see profiles of all eight artists who were in the Oct. 8 show. And watch for more Pop-Up shows from Gallery 72.  This is a new model of raising funds and helping artists gain recognition and sales!