MAFA Workshop Weekend 2015 — Now a Fond Memory

We’re weaving off our warps, admiring our sample books, showing off our finished projects, and practicing our new skills. Now it’s time to take a deep breath and congratulate ourselves on a job well done.

2015 was MAFA’s largest Workshop Weekend to date! We had 306 students from 24 states and 2 Canadian provinces. 31 vendors provided necessities and enticements from their booths in the vendor hall. 12 guilds created exhibits that highlighted special projects or the work of their guild in general. 35 instructors taught 34 classes that embraced a wide spectrum of the fiber arts. 7 novice weavers and 5 novice spinners were awarded Allan Fannin scholarships. 4 Fiber Fellowships were awarded — we can look forward to reading about the recipients’ fellowship projects on MAFA’s website in the coming year. 71 people took the opportunity to show their work in the “fashion show” —from gorgeous wearables and wall hangings to a practical seat cushion and a whimsical felt flamingo. In our first-ever door-prize drawing, one lucky person won a bag and books donated by the Handweavers Guild of America; an even luckier person won class tuition donated by the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Congratulations are due not only to award-winners, instructors, vendors, and committee members, but everyone who participated in creating the Workshop Weekend and making it a success. Particular thanks are due to the many volunteers — some of whom were not even taking a class! — who stored boxes at their homes, crafted treasures for the goodie bags, transported instructors to and from the University, babysat the guild exhibits, helped unload equipment, assisted with registration and set-up, acted as “workshop angels,” and lent helping hands in so many other ways. Some people contributed even though they were not able to be physically present, participating in social media and establishing and maintaining the MAFA website and conference-specific domain. Cyber-participants, know that MAFA appreciates your interest and support and hopes you will be able to participate in a not-just-virtual way at a future event.

Volunteers continue to work on the last few activities for the 2015 Workshop Weekend. Some are assembling a slide-show program. Others are analyzing the anecdotal, survey, and other data so that MAFA can repeat the good aspects of 2015 and improve future Workshop Weekends. Over half of the people who participated as students have already sent in responses to the survey and provided feedback. Although corporate America would kill to have a response rate this high, MAFA still wants to hear from as many participants as possible. If you haven’t sent in your survey, please take a moment to fill it out.

It’s not too early to start thinking about and working on MAFA Workshop Weekend 2017. Won’t you join us? Find out more by visiting or emailing us at

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