Friday, May 30, 2014

Guild Newletter, June 2014

                      President’s Column                           

Hello Fiber Friends!

I trust everyone is managing to stay cool! I don't know about you, but I have difficulty knitting wool when it gets very hot outside! Those who know me know I have never been a big fan of cotton...either to knit or spin! Well, last month at the picnic, one of our members brought a lot of cotton yarn to share as she was de-stashing! I wasn't going to take any but a lovely orange cotton and bamboo mix called my name! I have been working on my cowl and it is almost finished...I love it! The yarn has made a soft fabric with a lovely drape! So now I've decided to give cotton another look and my next project is Janet Weinstein's shawl from KnitPicks in a soft shade of green!!! Never say never!!! Maybe this summer it's time for you to revisit something you swore to never do might find it's no longer as difficult or fussy as you remembered!

Hope to see you all at the June meeting!

Karen Ford


June Meeting - Making Fiber Embellished Cards with Barbara Mitchell

Saturday, June 14th, 10:00 am
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church
2061 Patton Chapel Rd
Birmingham, AL  (205) 822-4480


Do you ever have pieces of yarn or fabric that are too small to use but too good to throw away?  Have these bits outgrown a bag or drawer, or do they haunt you because “they might be good for something?”  Come join us at the June meeting as Barbara Mitchell guides us in turning these small treasures into greeting cards.

Please bring your scraps of fabrics, yarns, or small weavings and be willing to share, as sometimes the most unexpected color combinations can be stunning.  Don’t worry if you don’t have any scraps, as Barbara has enough for everyone.  Sewing skills are NOT needed as others can sew for you.  But if you have a portable sewing machine you may wish to bring it.  Please thread your machine with a neutral color (taupe, beige, grey) and remember to bring your cord, foot pedal, zig-zag foot, and perhaps an extra needle.  This will also be an opportunity to play with your machine’s decorative stitches.

Each person will choose a prepared fabric base that you may enhance with yarns or even small beads.  We’ll decorate them, cut out the pieces, and attach them to cards.  Each person will be given supplies to make at least four cards.  These instructions can also be adapted to make decorative hang tags with care instructions or your contact info.  Most people enjoy receiving a hand-made card, and now you can match a card to your fiber project.  The cards can also be framed for display.  We look forward to seeing you in June.

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


Mark your Calendars for the
GBFG Fiber Frenzy Day


Posey, the llama, just heard that the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild, is having a FIBER FRENZY day, Saturday, September  13, 2014,  from 10:00 a.m.  - 2:00 p.m. @St. Peter's Catholic Church, Room C, directly across the hall from our regular meeting room.   So, what is a FIBER FRENZY?...

....This is a hands-on opportunity workshop to participate in all types of fiber activity, to learn and share, some of those unusual and crafty tools such as a rigid heddle loom, drop spindles, nostepinde or niddy-noddy, or various types of spinning wheels you always wanted to try.  We will have areas set-up in the room for you to a try a hands-on tool, and ask questions, as well as help you.  There will be a drum-carder there for you to card some of your favorite fleece or fiber.  We do ask that all fiber to be carded, be washed and clean.   This is a day dedicated to all of our guild members to try out some of those tools you don't know much about and learn something new.  We will have spinning wheels, small looms, the drum carder, various tools set-up for you to try and learn about.  We will also have various sheep fibers, alpaca, camel, and mohair on display and explain the differences. 

Bring a salad and light snacks to share, and, a drink if you want.  Coffee, and, bottled water will be provided.   Let us know no later than Saturday, September 1, if you are planning to attend.  This helps in our final preparation.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU!  Wear comfortable clothes.

Mark your calendars!    Sorry, Posey won't be there but her fiber will! 


Interesting Fiber Items to Check Out from and about our Members...
From Karen Ford - It's a free pattern from Ravelry called Sanibel Cowl....really fun to knit, goes quickly! It's worked in the round and the eyelet is made by purling a row then a row of purl 2 tog, yo....then another purl space them however you like! It's been a fun project! Check it out -

Congrats to Janice Weinstein! Her pattern 'Sitting Pretty' is featured in the newly released Knit Picks' book - 'Comfy' 2014 Collection.

It is also available to purchase individually. 'It is fun to knit and fun to wear'! 


Homewood Library Guild Show

September, 2014

For more than fifteen years, the Homewood Library has hosted our annual Guild exhibit.  This is a great opportunity to have our best work on display in a well-attended, museum-quality setting for an entire month.

The Homewood Show provides our guild with multiple opportunities. It allows professional fiber artists to show their work, but even more importantly, it’s a chance for those of us who don’t sell our work to display the beautiful things we make where they can inspire the public and attract new guild members.

This year’s theme is the use of natural fibers, including wool, cotton and other plant fibers, silk, rayon, and tencel.  Pieces can be knitted, handwoven,
handspun, felted, tatted, embroidered, crocheted, or in bobbin lace. 

Please bring your finished piece or pieces (no limit), with an exhibit form (see below), to either the June or the August guild meeting.   We will prepare a museum-quality label for each piece, based on the information on your form.  That information will also allow us to track and protect your work, and get it back safely to you at the October guild meeting.

We will be setting up the show on Friday, August 29, and taking the show down on Tuesday, September 30.  If you would like to help with either day, we’d welcome you.  More information will appear in the August and September newsletters. 


Remember the New Guild Blog!


We're trying something new for sharing information online about guild activities. Please check out the new guild blog at:

The blog has been very successful in its first months of existence. People from all over the world have found  our blog and clicked on it to read about our happenings. Make sure YOU are one of those who click on the above link on a regular basis to read about regional Museums of interest to fiber artists, what's happening with our guild members, and fun fiber related stories. And this is also a place to put 'your pen', by writing a post or making a comment!


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.

Thanks and Good Luck!

We want to say thank you again to our past president, Janelle Zorko Schultz and to wish her and her husband, Rich, the very best in their recent move to Atlanta. We will miss her presence in the Guild and know that we can keep up with her fiber pursuits on Facebook. Janelle's move is our loss and the Chattahoochee Fiber Guild's gain!


Newsletter News - and HELP!!

HELP!!!! I really need YOUR articles, stories, photos, book suggestions, fun fiber places, etc, etc!!!
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 phot

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