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The Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association (MAFA) recently held it’s conference (they refer to it as a retreat) at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA . . . and what a marvelous event it was!  Even before I arrived, my fashion and fiber adventure kicked in to high gear.  Because of the distance and time zone change, I chose to take a red-eye flight which connected me through the Atlanta airport.  After landing, I had a nearly three-hour long layover.  I enjoy hanging out in airports since the people-watching is so marvelous . . . however, as soon as I entered the airport terminal I was greeted with a fashion exhibit of the work by Nancy Judd of Recycled Runway.    Eighteen of Recycle Runway’s eco-fashion sculptures are installed in nine cases located throughout international Concourse E.  Ms. Judd’s creations show couture fashion from trash “as an innovative way to provide education about conservation”  I doubt I’ve had so much fun on a layover or was more surprised by the materials used to create such exceptional fashions!  This airport-based exhibit can be seen at http://recyclerunway.com/atl/.

After viewing the innovative fashions and sitting down for a quick breakfast, I was off to Baltimore where I was picked up and taken to Gettysburg.  Living in the Pacific Northwest, the majority of our architecture is relatively new . . . so I’m captivated by the homes and buildings that show lines and details that are not built anymore.  It’s almost like driving through a period novel or movie set.

After getting settled into our dorms rooms and classrooms at MAFA, we headed off to dinner . . . and following dinner were then treated to the MAFA fashion show.  I’m always inspired by fashion shows when weavers and other fiber artists get together and this was no different.  The following night was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . . . a fashion show of Virginia West’s work that included fashions from the late 60s to her recent work.  Regardless of when a garment was made, it was timeless and still the height of fashion.  I had not had the pleasure of meeting Virginia West before, but she’s been a tremendous inspiration to me and many other weavers.  Not only did I get to meet her, but she was also one of my roommates!  Her show showed garment after garment . . . and best of all, Virginia herself was the event commentator.  To hear firsthand her insight and remarks offered incredible insight to one of the true icons in the weaving community.

With over 20 workshops going on simultaneously, meals were an exciting time to listen to what others were doing.  Saturday evening’s workshop tour was scheduled from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  I don’t recall so many people visiting workshops and I was in my room until 8:40 pm chatting away with visitors about what we were doing in my workshop Extreme Warp Makeover.

After the workshop open house, I headed back to my dorm room and was entertained by fireflies along the way.  Fireflies are nonexistent in western Oregon (where I grew up) and Washington (where I’ve lived for over 20 years) and I find them charming.  The following day was the end of the workshop . . . and hence, the end of MAFA.  As much as I was sorry to see MAFA end, I headed home with wonderful memories and new inspirations.  Now, I just need to find the time to make new ideas come to life!

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