Saturday, April 19, 2014

Festival of Alabama Fiber Arts, April 25-26

The third annual Festival of Alabama Fiber Arts will be held Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, at the Alabama National Fairgrounds (1570 Federal Drive) in Montgomery. There will be workshops, demonstrations, vendors, and fiber animals. Check their web site for more information,, or call Jen Lambert at 334-782-9711.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Guild Newsletter, April 2014

President’s Column                           

Hello Fiber Friends!

As I sit here and listen to the rain, engulfed in the grey of the day, my mind goes to
COLOR! Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a beige girl. And if you're anything like me, you find that it is more motivating to knit and spin in a diversity of color!

That said, I had so much fun dyeing my yarn  for the scarf project but realized that I really don't know that much about color theory.....mine tends to be more intuitive. I tend to stay in a certain color way and frankly looked at the dyes with confusion.

This Fall, Debbie Scott and Terry Martin will reduce our confusion with their expert knowledge of color. Stay tuned for information on our dyeing workshop in September and the fun we will have in August at our meeting preparing ourselves to make informed color decisions rather than with fingers crossed!

I hope to see you all in April at the meeting. I can't wait to see the presentation given by Bib and Tucker!


Karen Ford



April Meeting - Bib and Tucker Sew-Op

Saturday, April 12th, 10:00 am
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church
2061 Patton Chapel Rd
Birmingham, AL  (205) 822-4480


For our program this month, we welcome Lilis Taylor, founder of the Bib and Tucker Sew-Op -  Lilis, an art-school graduate who has worked in textile design, began the sew-op with a Kickstarter campaign.  Beginning with a small sewing bee at Inglenook Library in Tarrant, AL, Lilis expanded her quilting classes to Woodlawn through ArtReach (a program of Alys Stephens Center’s ArtPlay). Bib and Tucker looks forward to building a cottage industry within Woodlawn.
The members of Bib and Tucker, who range in age from teens to seventies, meet once a week for sewing lessons and work sessions at the group’s workspace at the Desert Island Supply Company, at 5500 1st Ave. No.  Members of Bib and Tucker have built their independent sewing businesses, and they work together to create garments for local boutiques, like Molly Green in Homewood.  Members also join together to sew for the community—currently they are making ten quilts for the YWCA, for example.

At the program, we will get a chance to meet Lilis and other members of the sew-op and see samples of their work.  We’ll be inspired by Bib and Tucker’s history, and maybe get some ideas for ways to share our fiber craft as well.

Thanks,  Mary Kaiser


Note new time and location!  When you arrive at the church, park and then look for an awning at the front left of the church.  Enter through the door under the awning


 ColorWorks -The Crafter's Guide to Color
by Deb Menz

Deb Menz has created a classic book on color theory for the fiber artist or hobbyist. From the vivid photos of fabrics and fibers which illustrate Deb's concepts, one is able to visualize and apply the principles in her book. With clarity, she present concepts to help one describe a color, through its hue family, value, and saturation. There is then is an exploration of the basic color relationships - complex colors, warm and cool colors, undertones, complementary and analogous colors, to name a few.  Deb presents principles of colors for  spinning, weaving, knitting, embroidering and quilting fibers. With the visual examples and detachable color tools, one can play with the theories in the book and then apply them to one's craft. ColorWorks is a great addition to any fiber artist's library. One to sit and study as a self-directed course or to just pick up and explore one concept or another and then apply to YOUR project!
Deb's website -
Interesting Fiber Items to Check Out...
Stiches South will be in Atlanta from April 10-13. Check out their website - to register for many of the classes with still available spaces. In the past, there have been demonstrations of weaving, spinning, knitting, and crocheting.  If you are interested in carpooling or sharing housing, post your request on our blog to let others know! And be prepared to share with the Guild the new techniques, tools and fibers that you bring back from Atlanta!

Wild Fibers Magazine - is the magazine often called 'the National Geographic of Fibers'. Linda Cortright brings her love of fiber, travel, adventure, and exotic cultures to the magazine's pages.  It's mission is
'to understand the role natural fibers have played in developing cultures and supporting communities throughout the world. We are as devoted to the people who spin, weave, and create "magic" with fiber, as we are to the farmers, nomads, and shepherds who have tended these endearing creatures from the start.'  Check out their website -

Clara Yarn - In 2000, Clara Parkes founded Knitter's Review  and in 2013 embarked on a 12 month crash course in yarn making.  'As we care about what we're putting in our bodies, so we must begin to think about what we put on them. Where it came from, how it came to us, and who touched it along the way.' She purchased a 676 pound bale of Saxon Merino wool and with 750 other adventurers, she called the adventure The Great White Bale. Her blog is to read more about her adventures and find out about her yarns.


Membership dues are $25 per year.   They may be paid to Nancy Lavender at April's meeting or mailed to: GBFG, P.O. Box 660723, Birmingham, AL 35266-0723. Please make your check out to 'GBFG' or Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild, thanks!

We always encourage guests to attend our meetings but if you come more than a few times in the year, we kindly ask that you join.
Remember that as a GBFG Member you get priority workshop registration and possible reduced fees for GBFG workshops, and equipment rental.


In Between Meetings and Newsletters, Keep up with the Guild on the Web:
Visit the Guild Blog at


When things happen during the month--in between meetings and in between newsletters--we post them on the guild blog. We also post the newsletter there, so if you are away from your email inbox or want to look back at old issues, you will find the guild newsletter there.

We want to support our members and would love to show your work on the blog. Send photos of your work and a description to Mary Spanos, the blog support person, at You can provide a link to your own web site, your Ravelry page, your blog, or any fiber-related site.

We also want to share information about upcoming fiber events on the blog. If you know of fiber-related activities or events, please send that information to Mary and we'll post it on the blog.

If you want to make sure you don't miss any new blog posts, you can sign up to receive an email when the blog is updated. Click on the "Follow by email" link in the sidebar on the right of the blog page. Also, if you ever need to get in touch with anyone on the guild board, you can find links to their email addresses at the bottom of the sidebar on the right of the blog page.


Study Groups Meet Monthly

  • Spinning Study Group:  4th Wednesday of the month from 10 a.m to 2 pm at St. Peter’s Church in Hoover.  Please check out the GBFG Blog  for cancellations or schedule changes.
  • Nancy Clemmons is interested in sharing her love of tatting with others by teaching one or more in her home. Please contact her if you are interested.
  • More groups may meet in the future.  Watch the newsletter for more information and let a board member know if you are interested in a study group.

Design Ideas Can Come From Anywhere -
where are these Photos from???





The Fiber Guild will be displaying items once again at the Homewood Library during the month of September. Our theme this year is Natural Fibers. So the handmade items can be knitted, crochetting, sewn, woven, quilted, whatever AS LONG as they are made from Natural Fibers. Items will be collected at the September meeting and returned at the November meeting. Please have your items labeled with your name and fiber content. Display labels will be prepared for each item. If you are interested in helping with the setting up and breaking down of the display, please tell Deb Kattus.

Newsletter News...

Each month, I am planning to have items coming from YOU, our Guild members. These will include short book reviews related to any fiber art; a tip you have discovered and used that make your fiber art a little bit easier to execute; any fiber related articles; and a fiber question you would love answers or suggestions from other guild members. Please send your ideas, suggestions, book recommendations, questions to me (Susie Strauss) by the 20th of the month to go into the following month's newsletter. Email me at and put GBFG Newsletter in the subject line.


Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild
The Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild is comprised of individuals dedicated to the dissemination and preservation of fiber arts.  Meetings are the second Saturday of the month, 10:00-12:00 (no meeting in July and August). Visitors are welcome.  The Guild offers programs almost monthly, focused workshops several times a year, and equipment rental (see below).  Southern Strands, the Guild newsletter, is published monthly (no issue in August); deadline for submission of material is the 20th of each month).  Send items to Susie Strauss at
 2014 Officers and Board 
Karen Ford – President
Mary Kaiser – Program
Debbie Scott – Workshops
Emily Levitan - Membership
Nancy Lavender – Treasurer
Janice Weinstein - Secretary
Mary Spanos – Website
Susie Strauss - Newsletter
Janelle Zorko Schultz - Past President


Rental of Guild Equipment & Materials

The Guild has available, for rental to members, the following:
  • Looms of various types (floor, table, rigid heddle, tapestry), spinning wheels, drum carder, and more. Rental fee is $10 dollars per month with a deposit of $100 per item. Deposits will be returned when equipment is returned in good condition. 
  • Lucy Neatby's DVD knitting collection. Deposit of $30 per DVD. This is the current replacement cost. One-month checkout. See for description of DVD contents.
  • See inventory list and photos of Guild equipment in the Yahoo group folders section (you must be a paid member to access the Yahoo Group files and photos)