Offcut Challenge with Qld Spinners Weavers & Fibre Artists
Offcut Challenge 2023!
Jane Milburn, sustainability consultant & slow clothing pioneer from Textile Beat, and our CEO, Kerrie, have known each other for a long time and regularly swap ideas and information. Kerrie was delighted when Jane asked her to speak at the QLD Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists (QSWFA) about how Merino Country started on the family sheep station and the journey we've taken over the last thirty years with all our triumphs, trials & tribulations.
Phillipa Rook, felt maker and Kerrie, who met many years ago! Phillipa is wearing Merino Country dress and skirt that she has had for many years! The little black tag says "Australian Wool" and was one of the first tags we used in the early days!
Kerrie caught up with the talented fibre artist Phillipa Rook who was wearing items she bought from Merino Country about 25 years ago which are still going strong with a little floral embellishment to cover some holes. Kerrie first met Phillipa about 30 years ago when Phillipa sent out a heap of hand felted products to the wool group in Western Queensland to promote wool. Later on when we had the shop in Latrobe Terrace, Phillipa ran some of her felting workshops in our store.
Kerrie left a bag of Merino knitted fabric offcuts for members of QSWFA to repurpose and the idea of the Offcut Challenge was born.
Qld Spinners Weavers & Fibre Artists are artists and artisans with a desire to realise their creative potential using fibre and textiles.
Their purpose is:
- To promote the practice and love of fibre and textile arts
- To share their collective skills with others
- To create a positive, friendly, caring atmosphere in all our interactions
- To present and demonstrate skills and knowledge through community involvement
As a group, QSWFA value creativity, knowledge, collaboration, mastery, tradition, innovation, beauty and art. They are a strong not-for-profit community of volunteers with members throughout Queensland, Australia and overseas who come from all walks of life and different backgrounds, but share their passion for fibre and textile arts.
Shannon from Merino Country - the Queen of Creativity!
Shannon went along to QSWFA Christmas party on Saturday 2nd December to present the winners with Merino Country gift vouchers and our Merino Country socks. Shannon is one of our fabulous machinists who has a love of sewing and making things & is always coming up with great ideas. It was a great opportunity for her to represent Merino Country and have a chat with the QSWFA members about all things creative!
Below are some of the winning entries in the 2023 Offcut Challenge:
Rosa Hirakata - Culottes
"I'm making a pair of culottes. The base is a cotton linen fabric in teal colour.
The bottom panel has been woven using mainly Merino Country off-cuts. Some of them have been braided, some others have been shredded and added to carded roving which was spun on a drop spindle. Some of the shredded off-cuts were dry felted (needle felted) into circles as shown in the picture."
Lulu Geraghty - Toys
"My Merino offcut entry. In keeping with the idea of reducing waste, the additional fabric (mini clothes) was 2nd hand- repurposed fabric. It was a fun project."
Annette Waraker - Christmas Wreath
Jonna MacFadyen - Necklace, Woven Mat, Tunic and Hat
"I embraced the offcut challenge and I was inspired to make a few entries."