Pat Collins shows off her piece “Ice Storm Kimono

Pat Collins shows off her piece “Ice Storm Kimono

Qualicum weavers warm winter

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild showcase work at The Old School House Arts Centre Oct. 27 - Nov. 17

Winter is coming fast, but the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild are prepared. From Oct. 27-Nov. 17, 17 members of the artisan group will showcase their projects at a show titled Keep me Warm at the Old School House Arts Centre.

“We asked our members to think about things that would make people warm physically or … reminds them of warmth,” said Pat Collins, event co-ordinator for the guild. “They like the challenge of interpreting the theme.”

Indeed, it was such a broad subject that participating members came up with a number of different ideas. John Fitzpatrick decided to make a blanket featuring a unique Chinese tartan he researched. Linda Alexander, on the other hand, made a dog blanket titled “Keep my Friend Warm.” As for Collins, she took her inspiration from childhood winters and wove a kimono reminiscent of an ice storm. “I remember the ways the trees would glitter,” she recalled.

No matter the subject matter, however, all artists had to use the traditional techniques fostered by the guild. Member Jan Curtis really took this instruction to heart. Not only did she hand spin alpaca wool into the yarn she used for her shawl, but she raised the alpaca herself.

Collins said this show encouraged members to try something they’d never done before. “You’re not alone with the group,” said Collins. “It helps people to stretch a little bit.”

If you’d like to hear more of the stories behind the pieces in Keep me Warm (all of which are for sale), be sure to attend the opening reception on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at TOSH. Members of the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild will be there to answer your questions.

For more information on the guild, contact Pat Collins at 250-951-0178. You can also find their blog online at qualicumweaversandspinners.blogspot.ca.