Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2ND Annual Holiday Open House + Studio Sale




SATURDAY . DECEMBER 8th . 10 - 3 ❄ 
SATURDAY . DECEMBER 15th . 10 - 3 


From Montpelier follow Route 2 East to Plainfield. Drive through Plainfield, continuing on Route 2 East. As you drive out of town, Tim’s Convenience will be on your left, and shortly after that, opposite the sign for LuckyDayCo. is Hollister Hill Road on the left. Turn left onto Hollister Hill Road and follow up a long hill, about 1.4 miles. At the top of the hill at Newton Farm, Hollister Hill Road makes a sharp turn to the left in front of a big ochre Victorian house with dark red trim. Bear straight ahead and to the right of this house onto Eaton Cemetery Road. The Marshfield School of Weaving is the third driveway on the right {#589} once you pass the big house, about 3/10ths of a mile down the hill. If you pass Jake Martin Road on the left, you’ve gone too far. Pull into the driveway and park back behind the white farmhouse. The studio is in the barn behind the house.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the words of Garrison Keillor...."it has been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone".  It has been quiet here too as students and staff take most of the week off to get ready to spend the holiday with friends and family.  This year I am here to hold down the fort and to celebrate Thanksgiving on the quiet side and to give thanks for all the bounty that we've been  given for the past year.  Thank you all for making this year so special!
Not too much new going on in the barn but Lynnette is getting ready to weave curtain fabric for the DAR Museum in DC in this lovely blue color.

Alison is weaving some shawls for the studio sale with a wool/silk warp...hand-dyed by yours truly...and chenille for the weft.  They are absolutely lovely!

More of the shawls in a bronze color.

 And a sneak preview of what is going on in the upholstery shed....

This lovely settee arrived a few months ago from one of my client's and we all fell in love with it.  Ellie was excited to get it "undressed" as it's age and provenance were somewhat of a mystery.  We wove the red embossed fabric and trim to match but more on that later.

When Ellie removed the show fabric she found springs...that weren't original to the piece....and some very interesting fibers underneath the fabric.  Here is tow linen used as the first layer of padding.

On the back there was some very old handspun, handwoven linen fabric and some very French looking webbing.

Another great find was this tiny fragment of yellow silk which was probably the original show fabric.
Underneath the tow linen was an even coarser handspun/handwoven linen fabric.

And under that was what appeared to be some kind of dried grass or hay covering matted cow hair.

And underneath that was this hand printed wall paper! Talk about using what one has on hand.

Since uncovering all of these treasures, Ellie has been in touch with a colleague in England about the mysteries of this settee and it is his idea that it is mid 18th c. and very definitely French.  There are many things to research about the original style of upholstery, where it was done, etc. but it is going to be quite an exciting project.  We'll keep you updated about the progress on our Eaton Hill blog....www.eatonhilltextileworks.blogspot.com.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Joann Darling grows some flax!

This fall our student Joann Darling was honored with a grant from the Vermont Folklife Center to document the process of growing a field of flax and processing it all the way through to a piece of woven cloth. It was a very ambitious undertaking and we were happy and excited to share our knowledge of flax production with her. In the early spring Joann readied one of the fields on her farm and sowed it was a rare variety of flax. The summer weather was perfect for growing this year and by late August the field was ready for harvesting. A group of willing volunteers arrived to help with the pulling and the first stage of the process had begun. We'll keep you posted on how things progress!
The flax field.

Isn't it beautiful!

The bundler's.
Joann with her harvest.

Two of the happy harvester's.

Breaking the flax.
Grand-daughter, Lily, with one of the flax bundles.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Quiet of November......

November is here and the pace of life has certainly slowed down.  We've had no new students for three weeks now but our regulars are busy finishing up projects and getting ready for the Christmas sale.  Eaton Hill has also had a brief reprieve so we  have had time to catch up from the busy summer and fall and weave some dishtowels ourselves!  Here are a few of the things on the looms at the moment....and in the upholstery shed.  Stayed tuned for a newsletter coming your way in a few weeks...at last!

Cotton Baby Blankets

Alpaca Silk & Chenille Scarves

Cotton Worsted Trim for the next upholstery project.

Sandra's weft face rug.

Susan's Wool Silk Scarves in M's & O's.

Worsted upholstery fabric.

The start of our dishtowel inventory!

The current upholstery project (by Ellie) with our handwoven worsted wool in a herringbone.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


In record time, both Barbara and Linda (of the previous blog post) finished the sewing of the center seam and hemming their overshot panels woven here in early October. It was a great exercise in planning and weaving to scale so that the two panels joined together in the middle. A job well done!
Barbara's finished coverlet!

Linda's finished covelet!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weaving Historic Bedcover Fabrics....Overshot

Last week we had two new students come up to take the Historic Bedcovers class....Linda Healy and Barbara Gordon. They both decided to tackle overshot and Linda chose a pattern from the book "Of Coverlets" and Barbara picked one from a Swedish book. The idea was to plan a piece that had a side border and a half block so that two pieces could be seamed together in preparation for doing a full sized piece in the future. It was an ambitious project for both of them .....not just the warping and threading but to also weave four yards of fabric in five days. Not to be daunted, they both dove right in and although there were some late nights in the studio, they both finished two spectacular warps!
Linda Healy, with her pattern just starting.

Linda choose to weave with four colors ....teal blue, green, gold and red.

Barbara Gordon starting her second panel.

The back side of Barbara's block and rose design.

A close-up of Linda's pattern....beautiful!

The full two panels ready to seam together.

Barbara's finished piece...also beautiful!

Her two panels...

and a closeup!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Knitted Heddle Workshop

Last month we had a workshop on making knitted heddles ....requested by Penny Lacroix, who was restoring a barn loom and wanted to make the kind of heddles that were correct to the period of the loom. I had inheirted an antique heddle making frame a few years ago and another historic textile enthusiast, Wendy Regier, had asked about learning to make knitted heddles this summer. Norman is one of the few people left who knew how to make knitted heddles so he taught Alison, Lynnette and I so that we could continue to pass on this lost art. When Penny emailed me to ask if she and two of her friends, Laura Busky and Diane Howe could come and learn how to do this we said "Yes!"
The procedure is actually quite simple ....once you know how...and involves tying two sets of loops around
a dowel and joining them together to form the eye.  This type of heddle/harness arrangement is made with a pre-determined ends per inch for a specific project and the exact number of heddles must  be tied in each inch section.  It is a slow tedious process and gives one a taste of how skilled the harness maker was how valuable the finished harness set was to them.  I have many old sets with the reed still attached and in some cases the woven fabric that would have been woven with them.  It was heart warming to be a part of continuing a long, lost tradition.
Alison demonstrating the setting of the loops and joining the two loops together.
Tools of the trade....19th c. ~  seine twine and harness frame....21st.c....the digital camera and the cell phone!
Here are Diane and Laura working on tying the heddles on my frame.

Penny working on a frame that belongs to Diane.

Alsion checking the "Oracle"...aka Google...about where to find netting needles to use in tying the knots.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's been a busy summer!!

I apologize for our absence here this summer but there weren't enough hours in the day to do it all! Needless to say, we had alot going on...both in our regular classes and our special workshops. Starting in July we had two of our regulars come back for a month intensive....Zoe, who had just spent the three previous months in Italy, and Lisa Hardaway who was here last summer from Texas. Here is Lisa weaving an incredible tapestry rug from her handspun, hand-dyed wool which came after a beautiful warp of 40/2's dyed linen napkins (which I don't have pictures of unfortuneately!)

The finished rug....

Detail of triangles
And then there was Zoe.....she had three or four goals for her month here....one of them to help us design a plate for our eembossing that we could use for the moired fabric and the rest involved weaving fine cotton and doing some printing experiments with madder.  Here she is with some of the test fabrics lined up with different mordants.

Before going in the dye bath....

After the dye bath....

One of our big projects this summer for Eaton Hill was to weave 20 yards of black calimanco to be glazed for the tailors at Colonial Williamsburg.  After soaking the fabric in hide glue it was necessary to dry it without creases or wrinkles so Zoe came up with this arrangement that worked wonderfully.
One end nailed to a beam and then tied to a tree.....

Norman, Lisa and Alison tying the other end to the shed.

Norman, Zoe and Alison with the end result.

Stevie was busy this summer reproducing a blanket
from a fragment of an early bird's eye blanket in three colors.  She dyed the yarn and then wove enough yardage for a double bed blanket.
Sandra and Pat admiring Stevie's blanket
The first weekend of August was our second Indigo Intensive and it was a blistering hot weekend with four new students.  The indigo vats....all four of them...were working well ...thanks to the heat and everyone dyed lots of beautiful yarn, fabric and fleece.  Besides the fiber dyeing we also did some resist printing and shibori tieing.
Some of the printed fabrics hanging out to dry.

Alison's printed piece from the Zinc/Lime vat.


Anne's Ikat dyed warp chains...
Two of our weekend students were going to stay and weave their indigo dyed yarn the following week and here is Anne Johnson who wove this incredible ikat dyed warp faced carpet.
Eileen Crawford and her indigo dyed linen for napkins.
The next week we had two new students who came to weave the striped throw.  Here is Dana (7 months pregnant!) with her husband, Colin, wrapped in her throw....which will no doubt serve as a baby blanket for
baby Silas when he arrives in October!

Celia Lesh, from Berkeley, CA with her throw and Alpaca scarf.

Lisa's final project of a rainbow striped blanket warp and son Noah, who was here studying music at the Adamant music school.