Austin Fiber Artists

History of Austin Fiber Artists

The Fiber Artist's Way Back Machine


Owls Fiber Artwork

Ruthie Powers

Jean Dahlgren

Mary Macaulay

Sue Foss

Diane Barney

Malissa Long

Diane Sandlin

Meg Wilson

Carol Ikard

Linda Miles

Martha Tsihlas

Vivian Mahlab

Here is a timeline of the milestones of AFA’s development:

  • 2007
    • The Austin Fiber Artists Yahoo Group is established
    • “Play-dates” at member’s homes are held to share fiber techniques and encouragement
    • Austin Fiber Artists Bylaws are developed
  • 2008
    • The first Austin Fiber Artists e-newsletter is published by Sandi Smith
    • The first members’ exhibit at Wesley Gallery in Dripping Springs
    • Austin Fiber Artists website is developed
  • 2009
    • Austin Fiber Artists was invited to exhibit at Austin Bergstrom International Airport
    • Diane Sandlin is elected as president and serves 2 one-year terms
    • The second non-juried exhibition at Wesley Gallery is held
  • 2010
    • Austin Fiber Artists’ first juried show is held at Tokyo Electron in Austin.
    • The interactive fiber art exhibit, To Be Touched, is displayed in four senior facilities in Austin
    • The annual non-juried exhibition at Wesley Gallery is held
  • 2011
    • The annual non-juried exhibition at Wesley Gallery in April is held
    • Austin Fiber Artists participates in a “Knitted Wonderland” at the University of Texas, Blanton Museum Plaza
    • Austin Fiber Artists is accepted by the City of Austin to exhibit in August, at the Dougherty Arts Center, Butridge Gallery
    • Austin Fiber Artists is invited to exhibit at Arts for Rural Texas in Fayetteville and re-invited with a juried exhibit in 2012
    • Austin Fiber Artists Bylaws are revised
    • Pam Farley is elected president and serves two one-year terms.
  • 2012
    • The annual non-juried exhibition at Wesley Gallery is held
    • AFA’s first Style Show, Fashion Fusion, is presented in collaboration with the Weavers and Spinners Society of Austin
    • Sherri Lipman McCauley (4 year term) and Pam Farley (2 year term) were elected as representatives to the Texas Federation of Fiber Artists
    • AFA participates at Badgerdog Literary Summer Camp.
  • 2013
    • A juried members’ exhibition is held at Tokyo Electron in February
    • The annual non-juried exhibition at Wesley Gallery is held
    • A juried exhibit at the Dougherty Arts Center is displayed in August
    • Dee Merrill is elected President and serves one and a half terms
    • The group receives approval to become a 501(c)3 organization
  • 2014
    • A three-month long juried exhibit is displayed at Austin Bergstrom airport
    • AFA participates in the Texas Federation of Fiber Artists’ “Fiber Explosion” exhibit
    • The annual non-juried exhibition at Wesley Gallery is held in April
    • AFA supports hands-on creativity with a booth at Makefaire.  Kids of all ages enjoy creating fiber collage bookmarks.
    • This years’ workshops include textile painting with Judy Coates Perez, shibori dying with Joy-Lily, and repetitive patterns and stamp-making with Beverly Pedersen
    • Lorraine Bier succeeds Dee Merrill as President
  • 2015
    • We held an Open House in June, full of demonstrations and participatory fiber arts as well as food, drink, and good fun.
    • The northern group started meeting on the 2nd Tuesdays of the month in Round Rock
    • We filled the Buttridge Gallery with “Threads in the Tapestry of Austin”, juried by Mickie Rodriquez. The members’ wall held work depicting motifs of Austin life, done in black, white and one color
    • The Carver Library’s glass exhibit case held examples of all types of fiber art in our “Make It Small” show
    • The annual non-juried exhibition at Wesley Gallery is held in April
    • AFA members returned to MakerFaire with the fiber collage bookmarks and added a vertical burlap frame to stitch with colorful yarn.  Felting, weaving and spinning were demonstrated.
    • This years’ workshops include Nicole Brown’s 2-day felting workshop, Susie Monday’s nature-inspired surface design, and Nina Mihm’s multi-media collage project workshop
  • 2016
    • AFA held a booth at Quiltfest, allowing members to show their skills and sell their works.  The booth was filled with attractive items and had a steady stream of visitors over the 3 day show.
    • AFA supported MakerFaire for the 3rd year, returning with the popular fiber collage bookmarks and stitching panel and adding finger knitting.  We demonstrated triangle loom weaving, regular loom weaving, and spinning as well.
    • AFA offered 4 workshops throughout the year.  Miki Rodriquez taught us how to use non-traditional techniques and materials.  Sue Foss led a nozome fabric painting session.  Marinda Steward taught the art of making 3 dimensional flowers and vines, and Meg Wilson taught a nunofelting class, where beautiful silk and wool scarves were created.
    • AFA members showed their skills in using all types of fiber techniques and media at the Pflugerville library’s show “Referencing Fiber”. 
  • 2017
    • AFA joined with the Weavers and Spinners Society of Austin (WSSA) to host a lecture by California writer Stephen Yafa.  He spoke about cotton and the place it has in American history.

    • AFA offered 3 workshops;
      • painting with dye on silk by Washington artist Beverly Pedersen,
      • making baskets with Cricket Rose, and
      • learning how to design from your strengths with San Antonio artist Susie Monday.
    • AFA held three exhibits of work at three places:
      • the Austin airport,
      • the Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, and
      • the Gallery At The J – Shalom Austin
  • 2018

      AFA continued its tradition of combining education with fun by giving all members fiber challenge boxes. Each box contained similar bits and pieces of textiles and embellishments, which the artists combined to create art that was uniquely their own.

    • AFA offered workshops;
      • So, What’s It Worth? Appraising and Pricing Textiles with Cheryl Christian
      • Felting Workshop with Marie Spaulding, owner of “Living Felt” felting supply company
      • Boro – Japanese mending technique workshop with Carol Ziogas
    • AFA contributed to the community through educational projects;
      • AFA had a booth at Sunset Valley’s Art Fest, where kids of all ages could learn about weaving, embroidery and make fiber collage bookmarks to take home
      • AFA contributed fashion fabrics to the Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Academy
      • AFA created hand-made fiber arts holiday cards for all of Holy Cross Lutheran Church’s Meals on Wheels recipients
    • AFA held exhibits of work at:
      • Our own traveling Trunk Show
      • Images of Austin- “Framed in Fiber”
  • 2019
    • AFA contributed to the community through educational projects:
      • Valentines: We donated hand-made valentines to people in state-supported housing.
      • Clothing repair fix-it clinic: We succeeded in using our talents and materials at a clothing fix-it clinic at Ruiz Library and had fun doing it.
      • Austin Arts Fair Activity Booth: we ran an activity for people to make fiber collage bookmarks.
      • Donations: we gave art supplies to various teachers and schools around Austin.
    • AFA held exhibits of work at:
      • West Austin Studio Tour at WSSA’s site
      • Jerry’s Art-a-Rama
      • Images of Austin
      • Additionally, the AFA trunk show was displayed several times this year
    • We held a workshop on Silk Ribbon Embroidery with Marinda Stewart