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Inspiration for Design

Inspiration for Design

Last year our Guild held a challenge called The Crayon Project in which each of us blindly selected three crayons and then, over several months, we had to create a project from that color inspiration. The beauty, creativity, and diversity in the finished items was thoroughly captivating. I wrote about The Crayon Project and shared many photos in this blog post.

For 2019, one of our members collected photos of interesting birds. Again blindly choosing a photo, our challenge was to design a project but this year with an interesting twist. This was not just a color challenge, but also the proportion of color, texture, shape and pattern became potential factors in design.

I’ll start off with my project and then share my fellow Guild members awe-inspiring creations.

bird challenge colors & warp

Here’s my bird with the warp I wound using three colors of Brassard 8/2 Tencel (pale limette, medium blue, magenta) and black 20/2 mulberry silk. I used the pale limette Tencel and black silk for the weft.

feather draft by Debby Greenlaw

I designed the project with the intention of mimicking the feathers (use your imagination) and the proportion of the colors in my bird’s plumage. EPI 24/PPI 24.

Birds of a feather shawlette by Debby Greenlaw

And here is my finished Birds of a Feather shawlette. The drape and sheen of Tencel and silk are gorgeous.

beaded fringe on Birds of a Feather shawlette

To finish I twisted the fringe and separated the bundles with 6/0 glass seed beads.

brass etched closure on Birds of a Feather shawlette

In keeping with the bird theme I made a magnetic closure by etching a brass blank and applying matching colors of patina.

And now the amazing work of our Guild . . .


Lisa, our art yarn queen, blended and spun a textured yarn which included cute little bird charms. So cool!


Kathy made a decorated basket complete with feathery yarn.


Kathryn decided to felt a decor piece inspired by the beak of her puffin.


Astrid nailed her bird’s plumage in the colors of her scarf.


Mary’s brightly colored fabric purse; so cheerful!


Betty A. went all out weaving in bright orange feathers to capture not just the color but the texture of her owl.


Talk about texture! Arlene’s neutral color palette perfectly highlighted the owl’s striping, curves and subtle color variations in her beautiful tapestry weaving.


Cindy masterfully matched her yarn, colors, and pattern right down to those buttons! Oh yeah!


Ann sprinkled her handspun yarn with the colors of both her bird and the background.


What’s so fun about Jean’s two projects is not only the festive design but that Jean created them with her granddaughter. Way to go Grandma!


Rosemary was less than inspired with her pick of an all white bird. Then she had the ah-ha moment, she used the background for color and recreated the dramatic plumage with a giant white furry pompom.


Karen called this her angry bird; but no displeasure here in the flawless selection of her yarn and colors!


Although we give no prizes in our challenges, we’d all probably agree that Wendy would receive ‘most imaginative’ for incorporating the birds stripes in to her knitted teapot cosy.


Jennifer set her brightly colored feathers and flowers on a realistic tree stump . . . these are all made of sugar! Not only was Jennifer’s cake a sight to behold, but also a taste to be thoroughly enjoyed!

By the way, check out Jennifer’s exquisite work on Sweet Pea Sugar Flowers.


Sherrie is our loom knitter among also being a talented spinner and weaver. But with this festive shawl she reminded us she can also knit with needles! And look how she coordinated her dress!

Pearl's bird challenge

Pearl knit this beautiful sweater from her own handspun yarn.


Aren’t they a talented and creative group of ladies? I love each and every one!

You should be thoroughly inspired by now . . . go forth and create!

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The Unexpected Expected

The Unexpected Expected