Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thanks to Laura Stacy for a great presentation!

Batik by Laura Stacy

Our meeting on Saturday was great! Laura Stacy, our guest speaker, discussed her batik art. Batik is a wax resist dyeing technique. Laura's method seems like painting with dyes and wax. Laura has been painting/dyeing amazing batik pieces since she was a teenager. Currently she uses her batik fabrics to make bags, purses, and pouches, and she is moving toward creating wall hangings.

Laura described her process while showing a time-lapsed video of her work, starting from canvas on which she had drawn an octopus (Laura's designs often focus on nature: flowers, animals, insects, birds, and fish). Then came the many steps of applying melted wax, mixing dye into a painting medium, removing some wax, applying more wax, more painting, and many repeats.

Laura uses fiber reactive Procion dyes and recommended Dharma Trading Company for dye supplies.

Laura suggested two books for color inspiration: Josef Albers', Formulation: Articulation and Tricia Guild's White Hot.

Laura will be teaching batik at ArtPlay in January.

Batik by Laura Stacy

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Guild newsletter, October 2014

             President’s Column                           

Hello Fiber Friends!

What a wonderful month the guild has had! Our Fiber Frenzy was successful even beyond the imaginations of the planners! I am happy to report we acquired 9 new members! It is now on the calendar as an annual event, along with our Christmas party and the Spring picnic!

Also, Spinning Study was hopping with 3 relatively new spinners joining us! The advent of new fiber enthusiasts in our midst, takes me back to my beginnings, and remembering what a wonderful adventure it was and has been! Also recalling all our fabulous mentors, like Pia Cusick, Mary Spanos and Mary Geier, who made sure we stayed the course and didn't get discouraged! And of course, with the advent of new spinners/weavers there is the inevitable shift of equipment! My own very first wheel has found a new home and is providing hours of pleasure for her new spinner!

Enjoy this beautiful weather and take your wheel, spindle, or knitting out to the porch! This kind of weather gets the creative juices flowing at my house! Francis had just completed his first batch of spinning fiber....nothing like the flyer/bobbin skipping across the floor to keep you humble! The double drive has been a bit of a challenge but I figure another 8 oz. of fiber and I might have it tamed

See you at the October meeting!

Karen Ford


October Meeting
Laura Stacy - Batik Artist

Saturday, October 11th
10:00am - noon
  St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church
2061 Patton Chapel Rd
Birmingham, AL  (205) 822-4480


On Saturday, October 11, we will welcome acclaimed batik artist Laura Stacy.  Laura is well-known in the Birmingham area, because she has sold her work in venues such as the annual Alabama Designer and Craftsmen show, at the Linn Part Art Show, at Pepper Place, and in many other art shows.  She has won many awards and has won even more loyal customers for her colorful, beautifully crafted bags.  Laura will share with us her creative process and her love of the batik technique, and she will also bring her bags to sell.  If you own one  (or more) of Laura’s bags, please bring them for show and tell!



We need YOU  to return your Workshop Questionnaire, if you haven't done so already. Your input is so important for the Guild's board to plan for workshops in the upcoming year. So, please bring it to the next meeting or put it in the mail to:

Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild
P.O. Box 660723
Birmingham, AL 35266-0723


Interesting Fiber Items to Read and Check Out...

From Emily Levitan...

Carbon fiber cloth is incredibly strong and light. Infused with resin, it's used in structural parts of aircraft, high-end bicycles, and all sorts of other high-tech products. It turns out it can be woven on a simple rigid heddle loom. These are some pictures of an experiment in weaving carbon fiber that I (Emily) am doing with members of the Red Mountain Makers ( The goal is to eventually use the carbon fiber cloth to make components of yet to be determined projects.


From Janice Weinstein...

Fun blog with entries on Swing-Knitting Workshops. Check out the amazing knitting projects and photos, will definitely spark your imagination!

From the NY Times...

Grandma Never Knit Like This Josh Bennett Brings High Fashion to Knitting -{%221%22%3A%22RI%3A5%22}&_r=0

From Facebook and Craftsy ...

Meet Carol Milne who's work is truly inspiring. It is a wonder what you (actually SHE) can do with glass!


It's Fall and Time for Fall Art Shows
Mark Your Calendars

10.4 - 51st Annual Bluff Park Art Show: 9 am - 5 pm

10.4 - Artists on the Bluff Open House: 9 am - 4 pm

10.11 - Handmade Show: Patriot Park, 710 Oak Grove Road, Homewood. 9 am - 5 pm.  Susie Strauss will be selling her Handwoven and Handknitted items.

10.11 - 32nd Annual Highlands Own Arts and Crafts Show - Highlands, NC. 9 am - 5 pm.
Janice Weinstein will be selling her Handknitted items.

(send Susie announcements of upcoming shows with or without GBFG participants)
Fiber Equipment for Sale...   

LOOM for sale - 4 harness, 36" Schacht high castle floor loom with bench.  Good condition.   Included are inserted eye heddles, along with extra heddles.  Also, includes 3 reeds - 10", 12" that are for 36" loom, additional 15" reed that is for a smaller loom, 15"-20" in length.    $650.00.   Negotiable.

Available for pickup only - Columbus, Ms.
Contact:  Becky Coward     662-251-2753
Email -

SPINNING WHEEL for sale - Ashford Upright Traveler Spinning wheel - Never used.
Finished wheel.  Double drive spinning wheel with the ability to convert to Scotch tension.  Included with the wheel are 4 Ashford bobbins, and a built in lazy Kate.  $450.00

Available for pick- up only - Columbus,MS. 
Contact:  Becky Coward - 662-251-2753
email -


Pick Up Your Work
from the Homewood  Library Show!

Thanks to everyone who contributed work to our annual exhibit at the Homewood Library!  The exhibit is now over, and Mary Kaiser will bring the pieces to the October meeting so you can pick them up.  You can also take home the beautiful label we used in the show describing your piece.  If you won’t be able to attend the meeting, please contact Mary at, to make other arrangements to pick up


   Start thinking about the Guild's December Gift Exchange!

Our Holiday Lunch will be held at Mary Kaiser’s house on December 13.  Our gift exchange this year is “gadgets.”  Wrap up your favorite little tools or fiber gadgets (limit is $15), and bring them to the party to exchange.

         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.

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). Visitors are welcome.  The Guild offers programs almost monthly, focused workshops several times a year, and equipment rental (see below). 
 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: