The Journal for Weavers Spinners and Dyers

Virtual Design Challenge

Virtual Design Challenge

Above image: Dyeing the fabric using the design colour scheme

Whilst there are hints of things going back to normal, it’s still going to be a while before Guilds can meet in person again. We’re using The Journal blog to suggest meeting ideas that you can do using the wonders of modern technology.

We’re always after more ideas to share, so if your guild has any good suggestions please get in touch using

You may find our introductory post, which talks through using technology, and explains how you might want to format your meeting, helpful-

This meeting idea comes courtesy of Montgomeryshire Guild. It’s the first workshop meeting they’d held online, and is a great multi-discipline workshop. It only uses materials that people have on hand, and is completely adaptable no matter the participants skill set and area of interest.

In essence it takes the format of the Chairmans Challenge that will be familiar to many guilds, but shortens the time frame!

Preparation before the meeting is also very quick and easy, you can do it in less than 30 minutes.

Before the meeting go to a website that contains lots of images that you can download. We used Design Seeds-

This site has the added bonus of already picking out colour palettes which makes it easier for those who are somewhat afraid of colour.

These were saved in a folder on the computer of the workshop leader, and re-numbered from 1 to 20 (if you have a bigger guild you may need more images, we wanted enough for every guild member to get a picture, and have enough for a few people to swap if required).

At the beginning of the meeting the plan was explained and every guild member picked a number from 1 to 20. As pictures were chosen they were shared using the Chat Function in Skype, allowing members to access a copy of the photo, and letting the rest of the guild see the picture that had been chosen.

Once an image had been picked it was no longer available, and if a member really felt that they couldn’t work with their chosen image they were allowed one swap, and could chose to either stick with their original, or change to their new picture.

This took around 45 minutes. Members were now tasked to go off and create something, or come up with a plan to create something using their image as inspiration.

To get people thinking we suggested that they could blend some fibre on a drum carder, plan a weaving draft and colours to use in a warp, do some dyeing, pick out knitting patterns and matching yarn, try some tapestry weaving, spin some art yarn…

Basically anything that linked their picture and the core crafts of the Guild. They didn’t have to have finished, or even started work by the time the meeting reconvened later that afternoon, but they did need to have thought about what they could create. The picture could be used for colour inspiration, texture inspiration, graphic inspiration or any combination of these!

After 3 or 4 hours of work, and a lunch break we all met back up, and discussed what we’d created, or planned to create. The challenge allowed us to view our stashes in new lights, encouraged us to use skills we’d learned in previous guild workshops, and prompted ideas for future workshops we felt we could do virtually.


Featured below are a few of our creations, and we hope they inspire you to have a go at this really simple, but fun virtual workshop.

spring Image via: @derkleineklecks
freeform tapestry
Freeform Tapestry in a Hoop, originally intended for The National Exhibition, Open Category- Still Waters



As time has gone on people have carried on sharing their work in our private Guild Facebook Group. Some were completed in the couple of hours of the workshop, others are longer term plans involving the commissioning of hand dyed warps for a handwoven scarf.




Peg Loom weaving with embroidered details and hand knitted leaves
flowers image via: @fairynuffflowers
Cotton Fabric dyed with Procion dyes
Hat made from handspun yarn from the colours in the photo.
by Admin Website

Categories: Weaving Spinning Dyeing Design

Comments and responses

Leave a comment