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Weaver of the Month, Projects, Events

Weaver of the Month

December 2018     Mary Dehlinger- Mary joined the weavers in 2006. She passed away in 2019 but she knew she was selected as the first “Weaver of the Month”. Some of her fellow weavers commented about her….”I began my weaving experience in 2008 when I enrolled in WW beginning weaving course. Mary Dehlinger was one of the mentors I met when she graciously helped me as a new beginner. She was so helpful and encouraging and her enthusiasm for weaving was contagious. In the years to follow, I often sought out her advice about many weaving projects. I admired her skill and color sense and she always shared her time to help. I will miss her greatly as will our Guild…she leaves behind an admirable legacy. –  Mary Claesson……….Mary was one of my “elves” who helped untangle one of my grand messes. When I was discouraged, she would not let me quit. (I am still here because of her!) Mary always took time to answer questions about fiber, and how much I needed to buy, and helped me with our challenging math chart. Mostly, Mary taught me about the “sisterhood” in the studios (sorry, guys). Through her example of giving help, I have learned to carry on her spirit of support. Along with other members, it was my pleasure to deliver food to her home when meals were needed, really a small gesture to return her kindness. I was treated to an artist’s tour and saw her completed woven masterpieces. – Diane Stern………..Hopefully Mary found a loom in heaven. We will all miss her!

January 2019         Gayle Smith-“My sister and brother-in-law had a home in SCW and my husband and I came to visit and escape Minnesota winter.  We visited the wood shop and the weaving studio and then we bought a house. I was one of those people who waited a couple of years to get into a beginning class.  I strongly suspect that sheer persistence is what finally got me a spot in a class. I loved it from the beginning and put my first project on a loom the morning after the beginner’s class ended.  I rarely have an empty loom. There are so many possibilities and so little time!”

February 2019       Sue Fitzsimons- “I joined WW in Jan. of 2010 just after I moved here and immediately took the beginning class.  WW taught me all I know…………I never wove until I got here 9 years ago, tho I have been sewing all my life.  I had a small table loom that I had purchased for my mother many years ago so I dragged that here from Wisconsin.  That was my incentive along with the tour of Kuentz weaving rooms in Dec. when I arrived.  I am not fussy about looms—any loom is ok and it really depends on the project.  I recently acquired a Baby Wolf from Maxine Jordahl for my new craft room, so I will abandon my ancient student type table loom and use the 8 shafts. I usually take the classes offered so in the first few years my partner in crime, Diane Conery, and I learned tapestry, overshot, southwest, lace, double weave, waffle weave, krokbragd, rag rugs, kumihimo, peg weaving, Inkle, rigid heddle, Ripsmata, plastic bag totes, space dyed log cabin and probably some others.  My favorite project is Saori, maybe since it is one of the newer classes and has a focus on clothing.  I love using wild colors, funky fiber and the freedom to choose a different pattern every few inches.”

March 2019           Char Heins- “My husband and I were  blessed to be able to rent in SCW for short periods of time from a friend.  We had never heard of SCW before and barely knew where Arizona was!  After the second time of renting I pushed to buy something here.  When I walked into the weaving room I knew instantly this is were I would be.  Did I know anything about weaving?  No actually I avoided having any of the rag rugs when I was young and dumb!  Anyway I signed up for the class after we bought our place and were somewhat settled.  I was told the list was lengthy and there was little hope of getting in the first season .  The Lord thought differently and I suddenly took the next class.  Too be honest I think we are starting the 5th winter but not sure!  Pauline and Phil took me under their wings so to speak and pulled me into helping with the teaching and in other ways.  They exampled many tricks that I have learned along the way. I had worked with fiber in some form all my life it seemed so guess weaving was just another step in that area.  I now have two looms in CO. and two looms here that I own but love being at the club also.  I guess making rugs are my first love on the loom. But I have to say I like to try just about anything and color catches my eye before any pattern and technique.  The Lord has blessed me with so many things to learn why not do as much as I can!”

Sue Fritzsimons


Char Heins

Mary Dehlinger

Gayle Smith

April 2019- Pam Chumbley- “I joined WW  a few years after moving to Sun City West, thinking that I had finally come full circle with my study of textiles. I studied textiles and chemistry in college at Iowa State University and knew a lot about fiber and fabric construction but never learned how to weave.   I was lucky enough to get into a beginning class right away. My teacher, Gayle Smith, remains my friend even though I most likely was a challenge to teach.I found some ‘lumber’ in one of the cabinets one day at the guild while cleaning and became determined to put it together to discover it was a rigid heddle loom. From that point on I was eager to find out more about rigid heddle weaving, teaching myself how to warp and weave on the looms in our studio. I found it to be a great way to teach new weavers the basics in spite of all the resistance from the ‘real’ weavers in WW. In 2015 I started a public art sharing in the courtyard at Kuentz, sharing and Out of the Box experience with other Sun City West residents, by hanging small weavings from the branches of the trees. The following years we hung ‘woven birds” in the trees, then Ojos de Dios creating a real natural exhibit for the guild.
To date, my favorite projects have been the out of the box style weaving or Saori. Last summer I took a tapestry course at the Montana Association of  Weavers and Spinners and found that I could mix the Saori and tapestry techniques, all on a rigid heddle loom. 
You will find me happily weaving on my rigid heddle loom on my deck this summer in Big Sky, MT.”