Workshops/Study Groups

November 5, 2022, Mary Kircher’s Follow-up Tapestry Workshop

(Thank you, Jackie for the pictures and summary)

Members who had attended the first tapestry workshop eagerly awaited Mary Kircher’s second, knowing that they would now be able to put all the elements previously learned to good use. Now they were ready to create their own unique tapestries.

Mary opened the session with a brief review of the basic techniques. From that point on it was new material. Previously, she had asked students to create a second warp, just two inches wide, on their tapestry frames. On this narrower warp students were able to practice weaving a variety of shapes that Mary provided–a great exercise in translating a cartoon into an actual weaving.

Then, on to learning how to enlarge those shapes in order to weave a similar design on the wider warp–the ultimate goal being to create a 6-inch  tapestry inspired by a picture or illustration that the students had been asked to bring to class.

A wonderful workshop, crammed full of inspiration and information–What could be better!  Thank you Mary.

March 12, 2022, Taste of Tapestry

(Thank you, Amber for the pictures and Linda for being my source of information.)

Mary Kircher, our workshop leader

Ten members braved a very wet weather forecast to attend our first workshop in almost three years–such has been the effect of the pandemic. The Guild had obtained a great deal of tapestry yarn from Nancy’s “Fire Sale,” and what better way to honor her memory than to share her bountiful yarn collection with our members. Hence, the Tapestry Workshop.

It was agreed that participants would wear masks, be vaccinated, and as far as possible, socially distance. But it was exciting to be back together again, so nobody really minded too much. Following a brief overview from our workshop leader Mary Kircher from the Triangle Guild, everyone went to work warping their looms.

The yarn table–decisions, decisions!

Then it was time to decide what colors to use, and the yarn table became the central social spot of the day, with lots of conversation and decision making going on.

Mary explained and demonstrated several basic tapestry weaving techniques, including using appropriately sized warp and weft yarn, how adjacent colors can be joined or not, soumak weaving, and rya. After each demonstration she went from table to table visiting everyone to make sure they had the hang of it. That, together with a comprehensive handout and beautiful samples of each technique, meant that by the end of the day everyone had a sampler and felt they had really learned a great deal–A day well spent.

After the workshop, Mary told Linda that she also taught a follow-up tapestry workshop, in which students actually wove a small tapestry, using the techniques they had learned on their samplers in the first course. Additionally, she teaches a workshop on warp painting. So it sounds as if we have some really good options for upcoming workshops close at hand.

September 7, 2019, Inkle Loom Weaving Workshop

The Inkle loom weaving workshop was a Saturday morning affair–a first for us. Linda introduced our leader, Barbara Koch, with whom she had taken an Inkle loom class some time ago.

Everyone came armed with their looms, and the yarns were covered in the cost of the workshop. There was much to fit in, in a very short time, but everyone went straight to work on threading up their looms, and before the end of the morning there was a whole new group of enthusiastic Inkle loom weavers.

During a follow-up program later that month, workshop participants did a spectacular show and tell of their finished Inkle loom pieces.  Below are some examples of the our instructor, Barbara’s work and our Inkle loom weavers hard at work–well, mostly. But, of course, we had a good time too!

March 9 – 11, 2018, Foundations in Weaving Workshop after the Event


Workshop leaders–From left Linda, Jacque and Jackie

Foundations in Weaving kicked off around 6:00 p.m on Friday evening when we all hauled our looms into the classroom. Jacque, a long-time Guild member, led the workshop, with Linda and Jackie her indispensable helpers.

We had 12 students, several of whom had never woven before, this being their first exposure to the triumphs and pitfalls of dressing a loom. With warps already wound and leaders and fellow students helping out, our new weavers patiently plowed their way through the process.

Saturday morning started out with a session around the table. Jacque talked about the various types of weaving that could be done on the straight twill threading on the students looms and then demonstrated some basic weaving techniques at one of the two community looms. In addition to weaving samples, students were to weave about a yard of fabric with which to make a mobius.

Then it was back to dressing our looms and weaving. (That really should be all caps because it’s a big deal when someone who has never stood in front of a loom before can say I did that: I made that warp, put it on and now I am weaving it. That’s a lot of learning in a very short time.)

It was warm enough to eat lunch outside, and that’s always a treat. We basked in the sun before heading back to Jacque’s second talk about reading weaving drafts and the first steps in planning the challenge project.

Almost everyone was so engrossed in weaving that they wove until about 5:30 p.m. when we closed up shop and headed to a local Thai restaurant for dinner. Delicious and the company–well you know—it was a guild get-together and we had a GOOD time! It was our Guild at its best. Thanks, Teresa, for organizing this.

Sunday morning was cold and raw, more like November than March in the Sandhills.

And we were locked out of the building.

Fifteen freezing women, separated from their looms by a locked door, bordered on mutiny! Jackie solved the problem by calling the College’s President. He came over to let us in—eventually. As you can imagine, he was not too happy about being yanked out of church, but then neither were we standing out there in freezing weather!

Once inside, we drank hot coffee and stoked up on goodies (always available at our workshops) and wove. Only towards the end of the morning when everyone was warm again did we take a quick break for a talk around the table about the math involved in planning a project.

Snow was forecast for Virginia, so Jacque headed home about 4:00 p.m., and Linda conducted the final evaluation, always an important part of our workshops. Some really good suggestions for improving future workshops came out of it. By jumping over to the Members Page you will see a beautifully crafted synopsis of the students’ comments.

Note from web master: Little by little I am building the picture gallery, which I have linked to this article.

From Linda and Jackie

Hello Sandhills Handweavers Guild Weavers!

We are happy to announce that we will hold a Beginning Weaving Workshop at the Ball Gardens Visitors Center at Sandhills Community College on March 9 through the 11th. Set up and initial warping will occur on Friday, March 9th at 6:30pm at the Ball Center Classroom. Bring lunch, snacks and tea to the class on Saturday and Sunday as the class will run from 9-5.

Our member, Jacqueline Stewart, will be traveling from her home in Virginia to teach this class. She will cover the basics–warping, dressing the loom, threading the loom and weaving. The workshop will cover the foundations of weaving and will be an excellent review and “tune up” for those who have some weaving experience.

The class fee for our members will be $115, made payable to the Sandhills Handweavers Guild. Non-members are welcome to sign up for the class for $140. The cost of the workshop includes 4 mini cones of yarn for each participant. This is a very reasonable fee for a comprehensive beginning weaving class, during which you will create a mobius scarf.

We will order the yarn from Halcyon Yarn in Maine for this workshop. They offer a Guild Rewards program that we are in the process of signing up for. We will earn 5% of our total yarn sales back from them at the end of the year and other discounts as they occur.

We would like you to choose twp colors that contrast nicely with each other. One color will be for the warp and the other for the weft. We will use 5/2 perle cotton which has a large color palette. Simply go to the Halcyon Yarn website– and search 5/2 perle cotton 300 yard mini cones. Choose the two colors that you want, and email Jackie the name of the colors so that she can order them as a group. Her email is If you need help with this, please call or email Jackie. We will place one group yarn order as soon as we can, so please respond to Jackie before February 7, 2018.

If you do not own a 4-shaft table or floor loom, we will try to provide a loom for you. We are looking into renting looms from another guild for this class. If anyone has any extra looms, please consider lending them to a member for the class.

Linda Hardison and Jackie Heller will be available to answer any/all questions throughout this process. We plan to hold a “warping” tutorial at our next Guild meeting on Tuesday, February 20. We are trying to make this class as clear and simple as possible so that you will feel confident, successful and eager to explore other weave structures and techniques in the future.

To register for the workshop: Send full payment to Teri McGrady, our treasurer. Make check payable to Sandhills Handweavers Guild. Please check your members’ address roster for Teri’s address.

Select your yarn colors & tell Jackie. Let us know whether or not you have a 4 shaft loom to use.

Please respond as soon as possible. The workshop is limited to 12 participants.

We look forward to this workshop and hope you are as excited about it as we are!

September 30, 2017–Saori Weaving Workshop

Impressions from Nancy

Dawn Hummer

Our workshop leader, Dawn Hummer

When Deborah and I arrived we saw that Dawn Hummer had transformed our classroom with her stash. She had put feathers, paper, yarn, wood flowers and twigs all around the perimeter of the room and had displayed several of her Soari projects on one table.  She was also weaving a lovely piece of her Saori weaving. We all introduced ourselves, after which she explained the principles of Soari weaving to us.

And then we began to weave.

What a wonderful experience! We had music in the background and some conversation as our projects moved toward completion. This was the first time that Mary Bryson had woven.

We broke for lunch at 12:30 p.m. In the afternoon Dawn showed us techniques that added texture and dimension to our projects. We finished by 4:00 p.m. and everyone was pleased with what they had woven in the workshop. 

Please click on the link to the Saori Workshop Pictures to see the wonderful pieces the workshop participants created. In order to see the captions, run your mouse across the bottom of the pictures–sorry about that. It’s a WordPress thing!

Update on the Saori Workshop from Sarah

Here comes a quick overview of all the pertinent information for the Workshop:

It will start at 9:30 on Saturday, September 30 in the Horticultural Visitors Center classroom on the Sandhills Community College campus.

The cost will be $35.00 for members and $50.00 for non-members.

Bring a lunch. Sarah will bring lunch for Dawn.

Read the e-mail from Dawn that Sarah sent out in August for warping instructions and details of what to bring. The e-mail includes Sarah’s phone number in case you need help warping.

Dawn will bring materials for sale. Sarah will bring yarn/material options for all to use.

Let Sarah know soon whether you want to make a wall hanging or a table runner, so she can tell Dawn how many of each.

Also tell Sarah as soon as possible if you want to rent a loom from Dawn. Loom rental is $25.00.

Call or e-mail Sarah with any question.

September 30, 2017: Saori Workshop

Dawn Hummer

Our workshop leader, Dawn Hummer

Please mark your calendars for a one-day workshop on Saturday, September 30th. We will explore a completely different concept of weaving called Saori.

Saori is a way to free up your creativity, designing as you weave and even embracing your mistakes (they will become design elements). You can toss out all the rules and restrictions of traditional weaving. You will create on the fly: no more planning, no more endless worksheets and no more thinking inside the box.

Here is a lovely quote from the Saori website that captures the very essence of Saori. “We don’t weave only a cloth, we weave our true self.”

To learn more about this fascinating approach to Saori weaving go to:

Our Saori Workshop Leader

Our workshop leader will be Dawn Hummer who recently moved to Chapel Hill from Austin, Texas.  An educator by profession and an artist by avocation, her passion is fiber. She has conducted workshops across a wide range of age groups and experience levels. Additionally, she has traveled extensively throughout Europe, South America and the Far East studying early industrial textile manufacturing.

The  Program

Before we get down to weaving Dawn will give us an overview of Saori’s philosophy, the looms that are used and a show us a brief video. Then, if we are allowed to, we could go out into the College’s gardens to forage for plants to add to our creations.

Then we weave.

Equipment and Supplies

Dawn will bring four Saori looms with her, which can be rented at a nominal price. But feel free to bring your own pre-warped loom. (More about warping instructions later—it all depends on the project the class chooses.) Your loom can be a rigid heddle loom, or a table or floor loom.

Bring your stash and anything you can forage.  If you don’t have a stash (lol), Dawn will bring some previously foraged materials and a variety of fiber that you can buy from her.

And let’s not forget all those tools and accessories that make living with your loom so much simpler!

And last but not least, bring a sandwich and drink for lunch. Is there anyone out there who would like to bake a plate of cookies for a mid-morning snack?

Some decisions are yet to be made: Dawn can either concentrate on the class creating a wall hanging or a table runner. Also the cost depends on the number of people that sign up. The more the merrier. We’ve never had a workshop yet that wasn’t a lot of fun!

November 4-6, 2016: Gamp Weave-In Weekend 

Laura and Betty weaving

Laura and Betty hard at it. Laura on the left wove a beautiful color gamp in muted blue/purple and aqua and Betty, a spectacular tea towel.

A little over a month ago we held our Gamp Weave-In Weekend. We got together on the first weekend in November and although not a big group, we were a lively one. There were six of us in all and between talking, joking and eating we actually got a lot of weaving done.

Not all of our projects were gamps, but that was okay too. The point of our Weave-In Weekend was to give us a chance to work together in a fabulously creative atmosphere away from all those everyday distractions we have to cope with at home.

And it worked–let’s do it again next year.

May 23td & 24th, 2015, Acadian Weaving Workshop

Melissa Weaver Dunning

Melissa Weaver Dunning

Please click on the link above to read all about the terrific workshop we had with Melissa Weaver Dunning this past weekend. Eleven of us learned an enormous amount about the Acadians and their weaving traditions. 

They have a rich, but troubled, history. There was a time when they could no longer rely on support from France and had to become self-sustaining. Thus, spinning and weaving became an essential part of their lives. Although mostly limited to looms with only two treadles, their creativity knew no bounds, and the textiles they produced were exquisite.

And for two glorious days, that’s what we explored.

A few of the many variations of Acadian Weaving we'll explore

A few of the many variations of Acadian Weaving we’ll explore

We learned a whole new weaving vocabulary such as couverture de marriage, à la planche, boutonne and cordonne. And then wove samples of each.

Weaving sessions were punctuated with lectures  and a slide show of Acadian textiles from various Canadian museums and private collections in Louisiana.

It was a memorable weekend of weaving, instruction and good friends, old and new. Thank you, Melissa.

 November 1st & 2nd, 2014, Doubleweave Workshop

Jennifer Moore

The Ball Gardens Visitors Center classroom at Sandhills Community College was once again transformed into the best-ever weaving studio as three Guild members moved their looms into the classroom and set them up for a weekend devoted to learning the basics of doubleweave. Our guide was Jennifer Moore’s Doubleweave book. She is the ultimate authority on doubleweave and a terrific teacher.

By 10:00 a.m. we were ready to get down to some serious learning and weaving. But it wasn’t all work. It turned out to be one of those lovely, relaxed workshops, punctuated by good conversation and great food. Thank you, Kate. You’ve raised the bar on Guild snacks!

In addition to learning the principles of doubleweave, everyone practiced a multitude of different techniques, including making tubes, two layers of cloth, double-width cloth, color and weave patterns, piqué, and quilting.

On Sunday we had almost finished working our way through the basics when the lights went out. There simply wasn’t enough light to do any more weaving so we decided to pack up and head home.  And, wouldn’t you know it, just as we started to load up the cars, the power came on again. However, we had completed 95% of the program, we had all learned a lot and done some serious weaving. It really was time to say our goodbyes. Well done everyone.

The Banner worked in doubleweave pick up

 Workshops in our past

During the past several years the Sandhills Weavers Guild has averaged approximately one workshop a year. Before we had a permanent home at Sandhills Community College, we held a couple of them in members’ homes. Now we hold them in a wonderfully lit classroom with all the amenities close at hand, including a kitchen. And best of all, no steps to negotiate with looms.

Sandhills Handweavers Guild fiber workshop study session

Thus far, we have conducted four workshops: The first was Tartan weaving taught by Marjorie Warren, a professional tartan weaver from Western North Carolina. That was followed by a Twills and Tweeds workshop and then a Huck workshop. And finally, last November we had another Tartan Workshop, again taught by Marjorie.

Workshops usually start on Friday evenings with participants moving their looms into the classroom. If time permits there is also an introductory talk. On Saturday and Sunday the workshops run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Throughout the day weaving sessions are interspersed with lectures or media presentations. We bring our own sandwiches for lunch, and the coffee pot and kettle are always on, with plates of cookies and other delectables on the counter!