Whidbey weavers host uncommonly creative sale

— Created November 2, 2022 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

Whidbey Weavers Guild is pleased to be back Friday and Saturday with the 17th annual Uncommon Threads sale, to be held at the Nordic Hall in Coupeville, 63 Jacobs Road. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The sale has not been held the last couple of years due to the pandemic, which means there will be all kinds of fiber arts to be found at this year’s event.

“It is very hard to list all of the amazing original fiber arts our members make,” said Dianne Bolton, president of the Whidbey Weavers Guild. “Some of them are, clothing, tableware, towels, hats, blankets, throws, rugs, wall art, baskets, hand-spun yarn, jewelry and more. Techniques used to make these creations include: weaving, felting, knitting, crocheting, dyeing, spinning, basket weaving and more.”

All of the wares on display at Uncommon Threads are produced by members of the Whidbey Weavers Guild, whose 150-plus members come from all around the region. The sale began as a way for members to showcase their work and its popularity has not waned.

“The first Uncommon Threads sale was held in 2004,” Bolton shared. “The sale was started as an outlet for guild members to show and sell their work. The name ‘Uncommon Threads’ embraces the incomparable creativity and passion our members have for beautiful textiles. This event is so inspiring because it is the one chance to see all the guild members’ work in one place. Seeing the breadth and variety of the finished display is always breathtaking.”

The sale has been around for 17 years, but the weavers guild itself has been around far longer. It represents fiber artists and hobbyists of all different skill levels, from beginners to experienced, renowned fiber artists. The group provides educational opportunities to those who participate in creating fiber arts. The guild hosts workshops and study groups, has its own lending library of resource material and also offers grants for independent study so members can continue their education in fiber arts.

The pandemic certainly put a lot of in-person events, including the Uncommon Threads sale, on hiatus, but Bolton said COVID was not able to squelch members’ creativity and determination.

“The good news for fiber artists during the pandemic is that most of us work in home studios, so Whidbey Weavers Guild members kept working and have been waiting for a chance to show and sell their treasures,” she said. “Many instructors continued teaching workshops on Zoom. This allowed us to continue our fiber education through the pandemic.”

And now that November is here, this is a perfect time to start thinking about holiday gift-giving – something with which Uncommon Threads may be able to help.

“If you love color, love how soft scarves and hats feel on your skin, love how sturdy place mats and napkins look on your beautifully set table, love thirsty hand towels hanging in your kitchen, love a one-of-a-kind tapestry on your wall — this a the sale for you,” encouraged Bolton. “There is something for everyone. It’s a great opportunity to start your holiday gift shopping for locally handcrafted fiber arts. There are a variety of styles, colors and items for every budget.”

It’s also a great opportunity, according to Bolton, to engage with members of Whidbey Weavers Guild and learn more about the nonprofit organization and fiber arts of all kinds.

“Of course, the Uncommon Threads sale is the best shopping experience ever,” she said. “It is a once-a-year chance to buy beautiful, original, handcrafted pieces in every price range. It is also a chance for someone interested in taking up fiber arts to meet guild members, to see many fibers and techniques, and be inspired.

“We are a welcoming group that shares our interest in learning about and making all kinds of fiber arts,” Bolton continued. “Anyone interested in getting started in the fun of working with fiber will find support and a vast wealth of knowledge to draw from in the Whidbey Weavers Guild.”

Whidbey Weavers Guild meets at 10 a.m. the first Thursday of each month, in person or on Zoom. Learn more at whidbeyweaversguild.org.