Uncommon Threads – Conference 2019

Grinnell, Iowa
June 20 - 22, 2019

The Craft Guild of Iowa City hosted our Midwest Weavers’ Conference 2019, Uncommon Threads, on the Grinnell College campus in Grinnell, IA June 20-22, 2019.

The conference celebrated all that is unique about handwoven, handspun, and handmade textiles and included: three-day workshops, one-day workshops, half day lectures, a fashion show, members exhibit, guild exhibits, vendors and a special exhibit of the work of Iowa fiber artists in the college art gallery, The Falconer Gallery.

The conference opened with a keynote address given by our own Amy Norris and John Mullarkey who shared how Midwest conferences led to their friendship and textile collaborations.


Weave a traditional overshot pattern following the rules of overshot, then explore the many possibilities that can be woven using treadling from other types of

Techniques for making mixed-media collages that incorporate multiple materials and feature handwoven

Learn techniques of Diné wedge weaving and create a small rug on a traditional upright

Learn a wet-felting technique to make a classic hat shape using resist techniques and final shaping on a hat


Registration opened on Sunday, June 16, 2019.  Three-day pre-conference workshops ran from June 17 through June 19, 2019.  On Thursday, June 20, 2019, several short hands-on events called “Time-Out Thursday” while exhibits were being set up by volunteers.  The conference officially opened with the keynote address that evening.  Half-day and full-day classes were held on Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22, 2019. The Fashion Show was held on Saturday evening, June 22, 2019, and the conference closed on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

Fashion Show

Saturday night’s activity was an inspiring Fashion Show followed by a reception with the models circulating so that attendees could see the garments up close.


The Uncommon Threads conference hosted several fiber-related exhibits:

  • Members Exhibit
    • All MWA members were invited to share their fiber creations by participating in the Member Exhibit. The exhibit was nonjuried for entry but was judged for several awards. Categories included:
      • Home Décor: wall hanging, rug, pillow, curtains, afghan, basket
      • Linens: towels, runner, mat, napkins
      • Wearable accessories: scarf, shawl, jewelry, belt, hat, purse
      • Handspun: woven, knit, crocheted, skein
  • Guild/Study Group Exhibit


  • A host of fiber-related vendors filled the college gymnasium, and attendees were able to purchase knitting and weaving yarns, spinning fiber, equipment, beads and buttons, jewelry and all sorts of fiber-related goodies.

For any additions, deletions, or changes to this website, email midwestweavers@gmail.com

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