Memo to Members

January 1, 2018 and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year

1. The Conference

The conference committee has been hard at work this fall and the results will soon be made public. Your conference package will be arriving in your email inbox around the 15th of January. Check your computer inboxes for all the information.

Registration starts February 1st. For the first time, you can now pay for conference with an e-transfer of funds as well as the usual cheque in the mail.

Here is a peak at some of the Saturday classes- Yurts for birds, Spin like a Viking, Bow loom weaving and stained glass scarves are some of the exciting classes at conference this year. We are delighted to tell you that Jennifer Salahub, Craft and Art History instructor at ACAD, will be our keynote speaker, talking about “the controversial language of textiles”.

This year’s conference schedule includes two Pre-conference classes which are open to everybody. They are a two day workshop by Dianne Totten ( and a one day workshop by Diana Twiss ( Both classes will be held at the Best Western Hotel- same location as the conference.

Dianne Totten                                             Diana Twiss

Your membership renewal form will be enclosed in the conference package.

2. Who's Coming to Town

Laurie Steffler, feltmaker extraordinaire, specialising in garments, will be in Alberta twice this year.  In June she will teach a 3 day –designing your own garments-- class at Olds Fibre week (which always sells out very quickly, book early!) She will also be back in Alberta in September, we are hoping to bring her to the Calgary area. Look on her website for scheduling:

 3. Worth a Listen   Rayon has been part of the fabric of our lives for more than a century, but what you might not know about rayon is the dangerous process used to make its silky smooth fibres is killing many industry workers.

4. Worth a Look


Victoria Crowe’s celebrated painting, Large Tree Group (1975), was chosen by Dovecot Studio in Edinburgh to be woven into a large tapestry as part of their centenary celebrations in 2012.

Fleece to Fibre: the making of The Large Tree Group Tapestry explored the process behind the project, tracing the journey from sheep through to yarn and then into the completed tapestry. Some 70 producers across Great Britain, from small-scale crofters to large estates, provided wool from diverse sheep breeds then spun by a range of specialists – again from individual spinners and small groups to commercial operations on a semi-industrial scale.



2.  cSPACE King Edward, Calgary:   some of the SCW who were out on the town before Christmas paid a visit to cSPACE, the recently renovated King Edward School in Marda Loop.   Unfortunately the organiser of the field trip didn’t realise that the Alberta Craft Council store and Gallery is not open on a Tuesday (oops, me!) but we were fortunate to run into some wonderful young women who have studio space in the building, and who were kind enough to give us a personalised tour.  Natalie Gerber, screen printer par excellence, showed us around her beautiful studio, and the wonderful building.  (This picture is of her skilled and imaginative work.)  We admired the work of Anne Kirsten, of  Assemble Work/Shop, who wants to “help grow the conversation around slow and ethical fashion”, and Work/Shop’s cofounder Kristi Woo showed us her chic and innovative “conscious clothing”.    We could see in the Craft Council store and gallery through the window, and will return next month, when it is open, to see their new show  Uncommon Blends, coming in January...see     We highly recommend cSPACE for a visit for both it's intriguing renovations and its beautiful art and craft.

3. Two great exhibitions at the Glenbow, the Black Gold Tapestry,  Sandra Sawatzky's 220-foot hand-embroidered The Black Gold Tapestry telling the story of how oil has impacted human civilizations around the world, and  highlighting fascinating vignettes from the past and the present.



And  Eye of the Needle, which explores how the humble needle and thread, the shiny bead and sequin, the porcupine quill and tuft of moose hair have been used in the hands of skilled creators to create objects of incredible beauty.




5. Need Your Help

Our members would realy appreciate knowing from YOU about events coming into your area...teachers, shows, popup sales, etc...please email Lyn at


December 1, 2017

1. Conference:  Look for this logo each month   …

Make Mine Take Away!   HWSDA Conference 2018   

May 11, 12 &13 at the Best Western Village Park Inn, Calgary AB    

 The idea behind our theme is what knowledge or skill you can ‘take away’ from conference.  Perhaps it is a new technique or idea that you have been wishing to explore. With summer approaching, maybe there is a new project idea that you can pack and ‘take away’ during your travels, sitting on the deck, at the cottage or simply hiding out in your garden.

There will be an exciting list of instructors for you to choose from, and most will be new to our conference lists.  We are so pleased to tell you that Diana Twiss and Dianne Totten  are two international “names”, and will be offering pre-conference workshops!!!!

Judy Sysak and the Conference Team led by Ruth Blazenko have put together a really amazing group of teachers, and the only problem for participants will be choosing!  Look in the next Running Threads for more information about the workshops, and the other conference activities.

2. We are grateful to:  Loretta Melnychuk, Karen Martinoski and Lynne Bryan Lair from the Heritage Weavers, and Marijane Rose, Cheryl Renwick, and Kathy Sosnowski from Sheep Creek Weavers for auditing the HWSDA finances (needed urgently for compliance with the Societies Act.)

3. Partnering for executive positions: would you really like to be able to take a position on the executive, but you travel frequently, or there are other uncertainties in your schedule? Maybe you and a friend could share a position, each fill in for the other, or at least be standing by to do so….

4. Running Threads:  “Do you have a tip you’d like to share with others regarding your craft?  I’m hoping to have a Tips and Tricks column in Running Threads on a regular basis and know that our members have all kinds of information worth sharing.  Please send them in Word format with pictures separate in jpg format (if possible) to me by December 15 and we’ll get them in the Winter issue.  Think of it as a Christmas present to your fellow HWSDA buddies. 

And a reminder that I need to receive all submissions for the Winter issue of Running Threads by December 15.”   Velma Hudson

5. Learning Opportunities:  Olds is putting the finishing touches on the workshop list for Fibre Week… look at their website in mid-January. 

6. Book Review

two magazines, No Serial Number  (great issue for plant printing) and Selvedge  , both available digitally at a fraction of the cost for the hard copies (comes from UK)… I (Lyn) wholeheartedly recommend them both.  Please send a review/recommendation for a favourite book or magazine.

7. Share a Link:

8.  Stash Savvy:   from Norma Westcott, who plied together a number of cellulose yarns and dyed them, then wove “rep style” placemats…. The perfect weight, great texture and colour








November 1, 2017

1. Retreat:

We all had such a great time, our heartfelt thanks to Joyce, Val, and Dorothy for organising the weekend, and ensuring that everything went smoothly and that there was always coffee...

While many of the group printed leaves with Lyn, using the beautiful gas stove in the kitchen (what a mess we made!), others spun, knit, chatted and generally relaxed.  The weather was wonderful, so after a fascinating slide presentation by Norma about the “how” of being inspired by nature, ways of using pictures for both structure and colour, we all set off on a picture-taking walk.  Later we had a second session to look at our inspirations...

Unveiling the leaf prints was really exciting, lots of ooohs and aaahs, and some thrilling results.

On Sunday morning we had a big discussion about ways to keep the guild moving forward.  There were lots of great ideas about how to make the executive positions easier to take on, how to attract new members, ways of disseminating more information to more Alberta fibre artisans, publicising the guild, finding more learning opportunities within and outside our local areas.  This Memo will report on a few of these ideas each month, and WE WOULD LOVE YOUR INPUT!  The consensus, as we had found in our survey, was that our focus is t be on learning and community.

We had such a good time at Terratima, we have booked it for Sept 28,28,30 next year.  We are looking for someone to take on the registration and details... the choosing and booking are done, the place is a real draw (fabulous food, did I mention), and we have some ideas to pass on for fibre activities.  Of course if someone would prefer to organise a retreat in a different area instead, that too would be very welcome.

2. Continuing Search:

We still desperately need leadership at the helm of HWSDA. Would anyone consider working with a partner as co-VP to move on to co-President? This idea arose at the Retreat, and we feel that this may also make other positions easier to Treasurer

Contact Lyn:or Norma

We do hope to streamline the exec positions, and one really terrific result of the weekend discussion is that Lois has persuaded Virginia Rogers, from Camrose, who was a member previously, to take on the AFA grant application!!! We are enormously grateful, that is a difficult and onerous task for a non-accountant (this has previously been done by the President).

 3. Learning Opportunities:

I have been able to contact some of the Workshop organisers of our member guilds, and would love to be able to have a complete list... so

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