Programs and Workshops

June 14, 2023 | Annual Meeting, Picnic, and Members Sale

Guild Annual Meeting 

10:30 am, Stevens Pavilion, Veterans Memorial Park in person 

Please bring:

  • Your Brown Bag Picnic
  • A Lawn Chair
  • Show 'n Tell
  • Your membership renewal checks
  • Committee reports!
  • Items for trunk sale to members (optional)



September 13, 2023 | “How Close Can We Get?” with Rabbit Goody

Guild Monthly Meeting

9:30am, First Baptist Church in person and on zoom

Rabbit Goody

The joys and woes of reproducing historic textiles for museums and private clients.
Rabbit will talk very briefly about her experiences and then launch into an understanding of interpreting fabrics from a historic point of view and what the problems are in reproducing historic textiles.


I started weaving when I was in my late teens, without any real instruction – the first book I had was Sunset’s How to Weave book, but it came very naturally to me.

My curiosity and my interest in hand and early power technology was something that I developed throughout high school and college. The under­standing of process – how things come into being – is the guiding question in all my work. My main academic interest is the transition from hand to powered technology in the textile industries.

I was a hand weaver making my living producing men’s scarves for the New York City and Boston stores during the 1970’s. I understood two very important things about hand weaving: First, no matter how good or fast I was, I could never make enough scarves to compete with machine made scarves, so I chose to weave only very exotic high-end cashmere and silk. The second thing that I recognized was that my body would not survive that type of work forever. I did fairly well in that business but my love of machinery and my understanding that the old shuttle looms could be made to produce what I wanted more efficiently led me to find mills that were going out of business and procure old com­mercial looms that would have been destroyed for the value of the iron.

I established the mill after working for many years at the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY as the head of Domestic Arts and as Assistant Curator for Textiles, using all American-made industrial textile machinery. There are very few mills still running this type of loom in this country and there are no American companies still producing textile equipment. The mill has been producing fabrics for over 26 years. 

Being able to combine several aspects of textiles is what makes my approach unique. I have spent a great deal of time studying historic textiles in museum collections because being a curator gave me access to many, many collections. I have studied weavers’ draft books and have learned to read the weavers’ recipes and receipts from the past so that I can recreate textiles that have not been seen for hundreds of years. My area of interest for historic textiles is the period between 1600 and 1870, a time when the textile industry went through changes from hand production to powered process in Europe and the United States. Woven coverlets and ingrain carpet are my most deeply researched textiles.

In addition to historic patterns, I now design very modern textiles that look as if they were hand woven but are in fact woven on our power looms. These are primarily upholstery fabrics. We are able to make our looms do things that they were never designed to do partly because they are mechanical and not electronic. We are able to fabricate parts and to change them when necessary, giving us unheard of flexibility. 

September 13, 2023 | “Understanding and Translating Weaver’s Draft from the 17th 18th and 19th century” with Rabbit Goody

Guild Half Day Workshop

1:00pm, First Baptist Church in person and on zoom

We will look at historic weavers drafts, both published and unpublished, and try to get a better understanding of what weavers were learning, what equipment they were using and how we can interpret these drafts. 

Join us for a great exercise in graph paper & pencil pattern design session, for weavers and designers looking to expand their skills!

Fee: $20 Sign up TBA


October 11, 2023 | “Mushroom Dye Musings: A foray for color in our backyards" with Tonya Pettit & Heather Palmer

Guild Monthly Meeting

9:30am, First Baptist Church in person and on zoom

Heather Palmer and Tonya Pettit

Heather and Tonya will challenge our imaginations by introducing the possibilities of color hidden in unexpected places with a display filled with wonder. They met in the online community called Mushroom and Lichen Dyers United, which led to friendship, supporting and encouraging each other in collaboration and comparison of dye techniques and identification of unknown species. This talk will address the ethics, safety and sustainability of natural dye derived from the lichens and fungi of the Rochester and Finger Lake region. 


Tonya Pettit

Tonya is happiest when totally immersing herself in a new skill or taking a previous skill further. From basket making to fiber arts, Tonya has learned each skill in order to teach her homeschooling family in an immersive way, with hands on experience that extends into the living history community that she demonstrates in. While turning those things into an artistic expression Tonya begins with research and attempts to create an accurate portrayal, then asks the question "what happens if?" in order to stretch the possibilities.  Currently she is developing her skills in Natural Dyes and chemistry with mushrooms and lichens, dabbling in biology with an herb garden, and exploring ways to dye porcupine quills with locally foraged dye materials.  Summer can find her at rendezvous demonstrating pine needle basket making and the skills of a country wife of the Fur Trade Era.

Heather Palmer

Rochester based artist Heather Palmer has a love for science, art, and the outdoors that started as a child and never stopped. After joining the Rochester Area Mycological Association 13 years ago, she learned of the wonders of mushroom pigments. Dyeing with mushrooms and experimenting with known and new dyeing strategies is a seasonal passion. Professionally, she works at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetic's as a graphic designer, creating scientific illustrations. In her free time, and while raising her three young children, Heather has been expanding her knowledge of mushrooms and their dye potential. Forms of her fiber art include sewing, felting, and crochet. Some of her favorite fibers to work with have been wool and silk, which have almost exclusively been acquired either second hand or from local farms. Heather's latest mushroom explorations have been papermaking and pigment creation.


Coming Up: 2023-2024 Programs


Sept 13, 2023 – Rabbit Goody, “How Close Can We Get?” and half day workshop (in person)

Oct 11, 2023 – Tonya Pettit & Heather Palmer, "Mushroom Dyeing" 

Nov 8, 2023 – Tami Fuller, "Swedish/American Gotland breed" and half day Needle Felting workshop

Jan 10, 2024 – Pat Pauly. "Presentation and Trunk Show" (in person)

Feb 14, 2024 – Megan MacBride, "Icelandic Textiles" (zoom lecture)

March 13, 2024 – Themed Share and “Just the Ticket” 

Apr 10, 2024 – Kennita Tully, "Color Blending" and 2 ½ days Tapestry Design/Color workshop

May 8, 2024 – Ernie Motz, "Pine Needle Basket Maker" 

June 12, 2024 – Picnic and Annual Meeting