Monday, June 19, 2017

Midwest Weavers Conference

I got home yesterday from Indianapolis. What a week!! Midwest is a wonderful conference. It's one of the best conferences. We love it. The instructors love it and hopefully the vendors did well!! 
So, I got there a week ago Sunday.
Class started Monday. When I sign up for Midwest, I've gone for the whole thing. Preconference is 3 days long. It's hard to decide on which class to take. I decided to take Daryl Lancaster's class on clothing. In 3 days we got 6 days worth of lectures, time to practice stitches on our sewing machines and she measured us for her pattern which we could then copy for ourselves. If we do things right, we should have awesome jackets to show in 2 years...or less.
Here Daryl is checking the size on her sample jacket. She spent the last year making samples using bed sheets. If it's a bit tight, it'll fit great in handwovens.  That striped jacket is a sheet. She brought a bunch of her things for us to look at, photo and get ideas from. She is a serious couture seamstress!!
She had samples of fabrics she'd woven, then cut into 3 sections. One section unwashed, one hand washed and one stuck in the machine with regular laundry. It reaffirms that, yes, you must wash your handwovens before they're considered ready to sew or use.
Thursday was a free day. They had tours you could sign up for but I like the break. Sometimes vendors are open on Thursday altho that hasn't happened in 8 years. We keep hoping....
This year they brought us an old quilt for us to see. This is old and time hadn't been kind. However at the museum where it was they also have a weaving/spinning room. Some of the ladies took pity on this quilt and decided to replicate it.
This photo doesn't show it well but some of those small blocks are made up of several pieces of fabric, using all scraps of handwoven fabrics.
This is the reproduction. They spun some of it, got yarn for some, dyed some, got some dyed. It looks good but the yarns aren't as fine as the original. You can see a lot that you can't see on the original, like that they used dinner plates for the pattern to quilt and that there were at least 8 different plaids. They used small looms for a lot of the pieces since they needed small pieces and a wider loom for the backing plaid. Pretty nicely done, for sure!!
I had a full day class Friday with Madelyn Van der Hoogt.  It was on blocks. We got good handouts and she explained it well. Turns out that this is her last class. She will be at MAFA but not doing a class like this. From now on, if you want to have her class, you have  to go to her school and take class there for a week. Tempting!
At Midwest they have guild exhibits. There were about 8 of them. I really found this one poignant. It was a tribute to Madelyn. I hear it made her cry. The shuttles each have words on there that are important to her like places she taught, etc.
Madelyn also did the keynote address Thursday evening. Memorable. 
Friday evening was the fashion show. If you go to facebook and look up Midwest Weavers, you can see some video of the fashion show. The people that were everywhere and willingly helping with anything wore aprons. Lots of different weaves. It was easy to find someone to ask.
Ok, so Friday  morning my class was with Robyn Spady. I totally forgot to take a picture but she talked about 4 shaft structures that are complicated looking but easy to weave.

Midwest is every 2 years, sometime in June. They announced where it's going to be next time....Grinell College in Grinell, Iowa. We've been there before, 8 years ago. It's a good campus, nice and flat and easy to get around. It was fun last time. I took Robyn's preconference class which included weaving velvet. 
One thing about Midwest is like it's a family reunion. You see the other Midwest junkies that come and you see and chat with lots of the same people and encourage each other. They're people who understand you. Then, you don't see them for 2 years when you do it all over again.
So, until next time, we'll all keep weaving and dreaming about possibilities.
Until next week

No comments: