Friday, May 2, 2014

Guild Newsletter, May 2014

    President’s Column                           

Hello Fiber Friends!

I hope everyone is enjoying our spring! I am in the midst of my usual spring cleaning...which is not household but usually possession-oriented! I really am trying to lead a simpler life! Isn't that what spinning, knitting and weaving mean? Then why do I have baskets upon baskets of yarn? And tubs of fleece, washed and unwashed? Boxes and ziplock bags of dyed roving?

I think I have solved the problem.....I'll just have fewer baskets, tubs, boxes and ziplock bags. Did you know they make REALLY big zip lock bags that actually zip? What's a fiber girl to do?

This Spring, rediscover your stash and make plans to use it! I'm really trying....then I have to deal with all my projects that need finishing...oh wait that's what Fall cleaning is for!!

Bring your current stash busting project to Pia's and enjoy a fun day with good food and friends! See you there!


Karen Ford



May Meeting - Annual Fiber Guild Picnic at Pia's Farm

Saturday, May 10th, 10:00 am
Cusick's Farm

436 Foster Road
Birmingham, AL 35094

Saturday, May 10, at 11:00 a.m., we will gather again to celebrate at Pia Cusick’s beautiful farm near Leeds.  Barabara Tucker will provide grilled bratwurst as our main course.  Please bring a salad, vegetable dish, or dessert to share and a chair or blanket to sit on.  Soft drinks will be provided by the guild.

The annual guild picnic is a great place to make new friends and catch up with old ones.  We are always grateful recipients of Pia’s hospitality, and her farm is always delightful.  The only item on the program will be fun!

Pia’s home and farm are located at 436 Foster Road, Birmingham, AL 35094, just off Highway 119 near Leeds.


Thanks,  Mary Kaiser


 Out of Whole Cloth - The Life of Bettye Kimbrell

                                          by Joyce Cauthen                                                             

From Amazon..."This splendid book displays the fabric of a wonderful creative collaboration. Bettye Kimbrell told Joyce Cauthen her life story, and Joyce shaped it for us in book form – but still told in Bettye’s own voice. Bettye’s story provides a broad portrait of life in rural West Alabama. The characters flashing by make for a variegated kaleidoscope: self-destructive and damaging folly and irresponsibility mix unpredictably with creative resourcefulness in making do and generosity toward kin and neighbors. The net result is often painful, often inspiring, but always true to life as Bettye Kimbrell sees it.

In the second half of the book a new story line gradually emerges. Bettye had learned quilting from her stern grandmother, who raised her when her parents could not or would not. That skill was set aside for many years while she struggled to survive and raise a family in the midst of every imaginable adversity. Then quilting sprang up again in the later decades of Bettye’s life, providing the creative lodestar by which she reinvented her life. If quiet suffering while managing life’s vicissitudes dominates her early decades, quiet achievement, growing self-confidence, and public acclaim come to dominate the later decades. As her life shaped her art, simultaneously her art reshaped her life." —Alan Jabbour, Former Director (Retired), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC; author (with Karen Singer Jabbour) of Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians


Interesting Fiber Items to Check Out...
Marathon Scarf Project - Thanks to Jennifer Justiss who shared with us the information about this worthwhile project for the 2014 Boston Marathon runners. Read about and view the success story here -

We in the SE are very fortunate to have several arts and crafts schools within driving distance that offer many interesting and informative fiber classes. Here are some - check them out!
Andean Textile Arts announces its Fall 2014 Andean Textile Arts Discovery Tour
Cusco and the Sacred Valley of Peru - November 5 – 17, 2014
. For more information check out ATA's website -

Weave a Real Peace (WARP) :
     WARP serves as a catalyst for improving the quality of life of weavers and textile artisans in communities-in-need.  We provide information and networking opportunities to individuals and organizations who value the social, cultural, historic, and artistic importance of textiles around the world.
    Weave a Real Peace (WARP) is a networking organization of weavers, academics, and interested supporters who value the importance of textiles to communities around the world.
      Founded in 1992, WARP has members from across the United States, Canada, Central and South American, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  A newsletter is published quarterly telling of weaving, spinning, and dye cooperatives and other member projects from around the world. Once a year we come together for an annual meeting somewhere in the United States in a place rich in regional textile resources or history.
And Check THIS out ...




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.

Where are these Photos from???


(Michell's Alpaca yarn shop in Cusco, Peru)


(Visby, Sweden)

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) 

    Copyright © 2014 Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild, All rights reserved.

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Our mailing address is:
Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild
P.O. Box 660723
Birmingham, AL 35266

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