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The Valley Forge Rug Braiding Guild is pleased to announce our Spring Braid Conference!
WHEN:  March 30, 2023 to April 2, 2023
WHERE:  St. Francis Friary
                3918 Chipman Road, Easton, Pennsylvania

WHO:  Rug Braiders of All Levels and All Folds!
REGISTRATION:  Opens February 1, 2023
SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFO!

2023 Valley Forge Rug Braiding Guild's Spring Braid Conference

Since 2007, the Valley Forge Rug Braiding Guild has had yearly gatherings in eastern Pennsylvania.... with a break in 2020 and 2021 for the pandemic.  We happily resumed our gatherings in 2022, and are looking forward to another great Braid Conference!   We welcome new braiders and are happy to help you in make beautiful rugs for your home, your family, and friends!

Schedule
Classes

VF Spring Braid Conference Classes & Demos & Review

Demo:  Thursday Night -- Loom-Woven Squares with Pam Rowan

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Instructor:  Cathy Winship with Assistant Pam Rowan
Class Description:  Students will learn to braid a rug with a continuous braid. Class instruction includes learning how to flip and lace the braid. The result is a strip rug without a fringe.
2 Continuous Sessions:  Friday and Saturday AM
Cost:   $40
Kit:  None
Prerequisites: Class Prep instructions will cover braiding a T-Start.
Level:  Basic
Folds:  Cathy Winship is RO; Pam Rowan will work with LO braiders.
Maximum number of students:  10

Minimum number of students:  4
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  Maybe
Supplies Needed:  Regular braiding supplies.

 

Flip Flop Rug

Instructor:  Bobbi Mahler (RO) with Asst. Christine Manges (LO)
Class Description:  Learn to braid a beautiful hexagon trivet or, with additional rows, a hexagon rug.  Stacked double corners make the hexagon shape.  Use the Triangle Butt to butt the rows.  
2 Continuous Sessions:  Friday and Saturday AM
Cost:   $40
Kit:  None
Prerequisites: 
Level:  Intermediate
Folds:  RO and LO
Maximum number of students:  10

Minimum number of students:  4
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  Maybe
Supplies Needed:  Regular braiding supplies.

 

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Butted Hexagon

Instructor:  Debra Weinhold (RO) 
Class Description:  This sweet kitty is made up of round and oval braided rug skills.
2 Continuous Sessions:  Friday and Saturday AM
Cost:   $40
Kit:  None
Prerequisites: None
Level:  Basic
Folds:  RO and LO
Maximum number of students:  8

Minimum number of students:  3
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  Maybe
Supplies Needed:  Regular braiding supplies.

 

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Kitty Cat Rug

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Beginner Braided Oval

Instructor:  Mary Hibbard
Class Description:
 Participants will complete a 9 x 18 " braided table mat using wool strips.   We’ll cover: Preparing wool strips for braiding, folding your strip, the anatomy of an oval rug, calculating the length of the center braid, getting started with a “T” start, braiding the “Hairpin Turn," straight braiding, lacing your

braids, adding on wool strips and changing colors, shaping the oval with increases, and how to end your rug.  Participants will receive a comprehensive handout, complete with illustrations, created by Christine Manges.   This is an excellent support and will be a useful resource.  The skills learned in this class will enable you to make an oval rug of any size!
3 Continuous Sessions:  Friday, Saturday, & Sunday AM
Cost:   $60
Kits:  Wool kit fee $15.  An optional kit including the following supplies:   braidkin, cotton splicing cord, #13 & #18 tapestry needles, clothespin, needle-nose pliers or hemostat, safety pins small medium & large is available for $20.

Prerequisites: None
Level:  Basic
Folds:   Left opening folds
Maximum number of students:  8 - 10

Minimum number of students:  2
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  Yes

Supplies Needed:   Items listed in the supplies kit above, also about 25 ball-head straight pins, needle & thread.  Optional supplies:  Braid Stand or Clamp from Halcyon Yarn or Dorr Mill or Country Braid House.  Braid-Aids or Braid-Masters.

Instructors:  Multiple


Class Description: Tables with different teachers and different braiding techniques will be set up in the main gathering area.  Rotate through the tables to see demonstrations of various braiding techniques -- e-lacing, shoe-lacing, tapering, butting, Left-Handed LO braiding and lacing, and more.  Bring sample braids to work on your skills at these tables.  Left and Right Opening Fold teachers are available.

No Registration Necessary -- the instruction will be inforrmal.

Time:  Friday PM-1 Session

Basic Techniques Review

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Instructor:  Christine Manges (LO) with Assistant Pam Rowan (RO)
Class Description:
 Learn to braid a beautiful heart!  The pattern will make a continuously braided triple corner heart ending with a taper and -- if there is enough time -- an optional butted final row.  Make the dot pattern as shown, or choose your own design.  Learn to stack and alternate the triple corners.  Continue with a multistrand border on Sunday, if desired.

Continuous Braided Heart

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2 Continuous Sessions:  Friday PM-2 and Saturday PM-1
Cost:   $40
Kits:  None
Prerequisites: None

Level:  Intermediate due to alternating triple corners and careful counting required
Folds:   Left opening  and Right Opening Folds
Maximum number of students:  16

Minimum number of students:  4
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  Maybe

Supplies Needed:  Basic Braid Supplies
 

2-Braid Spiral Tote with Mystery Braid Leather Handles

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Instructor:  Peggyann Watts

Class Description:  Learn to make a 2-braid spiral  braid

tote bag or purse.  No butting!  Finish it off with "mystery

braid" leather handles.

2 Continuous Sessions:  Friday PM-2 and Saturday PM-2
Cost:   $40
Kit:  pair of split 24" leather handles:  $25
Prerequisites: comfortable braider and able to lace with

some assistance
Level:  Basic
Folds:   Teacher is Right Opening but works with Left Opening Braiders also
Maximum number of students:  12

Minimum number of students:  4
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  Maybe

Supplies Needed:  Basic Braid Supplies
 

Demo:  Friday Night -- Strip Rug Finishing Technique (no sewing machine) with Jenn Kiarsis

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Proddy Sunflower

Instructor:  Mary Bird

Class Description:  Learn to proddy
sunflower petals.  The center may be
hooked or punched. This is an
opportunity to try Oxford punching if
you haven’t tried it before.  Teacher
will have rug hooks and rug punches
to try if student doesn’t already have
one to bring. The hooks and punches
are not part of the kit, but may be used
in class.

2 Continuous Sessions:  Saturday PM-1 and Saturday PM-2
Cost:   $40
Kit:  $8 will include all wool for flower centers, petals and backing. Stuffing, linen, stick, glue.
Prerequisites: none

Level:  Non-Braiding
Folds:   Teacher is Right Opening but works with Left Opening Braiders also
Maximum number of students:  6

Minimum number of students:  1
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  Yes

 

After the Hooking / Punching / Felting... Comes  Braiding!

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Instructor:  Kris McDermet

Class Description:  Students

will learn to attach different

rug hooked or rug punched

or felted shapes together

to make interesting

patterns using BRAID!  Bring

2, 3, or 4 pieces to join with

braid.  We will explore the

open spaces created by

joining different shapes.

2 Continuous Sessions:  Saturday PM-2 and Sunday PM-2
Cost:   $40
Kit: $6 includes padding, lining, and thread for needlework pieces
Prerequisites:
  Students must be able to Butt independently

Level:  Intermediate
Folds:   Teacher is Left Opening but works with Right Opening Braiders also
Maximum number of students:  6

Minimum number of students:  4
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  Maybe

 

Quillie Trivet

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Instructor:  Jenn Kiarsis

Class Description: 

Use your scrap wool to create 
standing wool trivets!  

1 Session:  

Saturday PM-2
Cost:   $20
Kit: $5 for curved needle and upholstery thread
Prerequisites:
  Basic hand-sewing skills

Level:  Non-Braiding
Folds:   N/A
Maximum number of students:  10

Minimum number of students:  4
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  yes

Braid and Butt the Double-Double Border

Instructor:  Cathy Winship with Assistant Pam Rowan

Class Description: Students will learn how to braid,
butt, and lace a double-double braid as a border
onto a round or oval. If time, we will make an ornament.

1 Session:  Sunday AM 

Cost:   $20
Kit: None
Prerequisites:
  Students will need to bring a round or oval
mat/rug ending with a butted row. 

Level:  Basic
Folds:   Left Opening and Right Opening
Maximum number of students:  10

Minimum number of students:  4
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  yes

Multistrand Border to Heart

Instructor:  Christine Manges with Assistant Peggyann Watts

Class Description: Learn to Braid and Butt a MultiStrand

Braid around a Heart.  Learn to make both inside and

outside corners in the braid, and tips for putting the braid

around a heart shape.

2 Sessions:  Sunday AM and PM-1

Cost:   $40
Kit: None
Prerequisites:
  Experience with general principles of butting

Level:  Advanced
Folds:   Left Opening and Right Opening
Maximum number of students:  16

Minimum number of students:  4
Available spots left:  all
Finish at braid in:  probably

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Skill levels

Braider Skill Levels for Classes

Scholarship

$$$    Scholarships Are Available     $$$
for Lodging and Meals at the Braid Conference, although Transportation, Extra Nights, and Classes are on you.  If a scholarship would help you out, please fill out the application linked below by January 28, 2023 (names, financial information, and recipients are not disclosed). Thanks to our generous donors and the Fundraising/Scholarship Committee for making this assistance possible!

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Site Information

The St. Francis Retreat House is located at:   

3918 Chipman Rd, Easton, PA 18045

Website:  https://stfrancisretreathouse.org

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Meals

Meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch 

are included

Vegetarian & Gluten-Free options available

Rooms

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Rooms

There are 4 types of rooms available: 

1.  Single with Twin bed, some with Queen bed, and private bath;

2.  Double with 2 twin beds and private bath for 2

3.  Jack & Jill Doubles --separate bedrooms with twin beds, share a bathroom with 1 other only

4.  Dorm-style twin bed in small room with bathroom down the hall

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Great Room

The large first floor gathering room accommodates many work tables for rug braiders.

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Seating Areas

There are several seating areas scattered throughout the building for smaller gatherings

Vendors

Vendor Table Rental Fee is $20.  There are 10 spots available.  Table:  30" wide X 6' long.  Must be braiding-related:  wool, braiding supplies, books, wool kits,  etc.  

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Ability Access

The friary is wheelchair-accessible and has several rooms with private baths adapted for handicap access, including walk-in shower.  There are elevators on all levels.  Please indicate the need for a differently-abled room when registering, and we will do everything we can to accommodate your needs.

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School Bus
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Transportation -- A Transportation Coordinator (her contact info will be in your emailed registration receipt) will help you get a ride but we don't 100% guarantee it 

The Friary is located near 3 airports.  The closest is ABE (Lehigh International) which is 11 miles away.  If you fly in to ABE, we will pick you up.  The next closest is Newark International (EWR), which is 68 miles away.  If you fly to EWR, rent a car or take the Trans-Bridge Lines bus (1 hr, 15 min drive) to Easton Station and we will pick you up from there.  Schedules:  transbridgelines.com.  Cost is $30-$40 for the bus.  The farthest away is Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) which is 83 miles away.  Let us know your arrival and departure details and we will do our best to help you out but again, we cannot guarantee it 100%:  your transportation is, ultimately, your responsibility.

Covid Safety

We want to do everything we can

to keep everyone safe and well!  

• All registrations must be accompanied by proof of vaccination and booster against Covid, with the most recent dose received since July 1, 2022.  

• All persons will undergo a rapid Covid test at entry to the Conference and must be negative to enter.

Masks are optional at the braid conference.  

If the CDC or local guidelines change at the time of the braid conference, then these guidelines will be updated.

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Early/Late Arrivals

Early Arrivals can leave luggage/belongings in main conference room.
Late Arrivals:  Will receive a cell phone number  as well as keypad code to get into the building.

Cancellations

If youmust cancel your attendance for any reason, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible so that we can contact braiders on the Wait List. 

***All cancellations will be assessed a $25 fee to cover our credit card and Paypal fees.

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Costs

These costs are charged by the ROOM you sleep in.  They include Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, as well as meals Thursday evening through Sunday lunch, plus all activities and events.  They do not include classes or kit fees.  **For a Double or Jack & Jill room, the prices shown are per person and not per room. 

             

   Single Room  - One larger room with one private bathroom and a queen or a twin bed.   $520

   Double  -  Two people in one larger room having two twin beds and share the same bathroom.  $410

   Jack & Jill - 2 separate small rooms, each with twin bed and shared bathroom between them.  $440

   Dorm -   small single room with twin bed and common bathroom down the hall for 15 people.   $370

   

   Commuter:  See below.

   Trailing Spouse:  See below.

   Stay over an extra night, Sunday, with no meals: 

                       Single = $85;

                       Double or Jack and Jill = $75;

                       Dorm = $65.   

Trailing Spouse/Friend 

Spouses and friends are welcome to accompany braiders.  However, we are charged by person and not by room... which means the spouse/friend would ALSO have to pay the room rate for a Single or Double Room, and all meals included.  For couples choosing a Single, we will place you in a room with a Queen bed.

Commuters

 

 

By Day:  $85/day

Full Conference:  $230 (all 3 days)

Commuters get full access of the facility, all meals for the day, all activities and events, and all classes that they have paid for.  The only exclusion is that they do not get lodging.

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2023 Tea Cup Auction!

On Friday night, the Fundraising / Scholarship Committee holds its Tea Cup Auction to benefit Scholarships to the Braid In and the workings of the guild.  The Committee has made items for auction and has solicited donations of objects related to braiding and fiber art.  Purchase tickets on Thursday and Friday, and place tickets in the "tea cups" (mason jars) next to the items you would like to win. 

 

If you have items that you would like to donate for the Auction, please contact Kris McDermet at:  kmcdermet1@gmail.com.  

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Some Auction Items:  Pam Rowan & others made this pretty rug of loom-woven squares; Janice Lyle made this pretty hit or miss rug
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Karen Levendusky made the lovely "feather" wreath,  Laura Ennis made this pretty chair pad, and Cathy Winship made the candy dish -- featured in one of our demo videos!

2023 Rug Challenge:  Braided Bugs!

On Saturday night, we will present this year's rug challenge:  braided bugs.  Think:  butterflies, moths, dragonflies, crickets, ants, bees, spiders, centipedes....we ask that the entries are at least 50% braided, but no one is going to measure.  Other techniques besides braiding are welcome as part of your bug rug -- rug hooking, felting, macrame, etc.  Scuiptured pieces are welcome also! 

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Inspirational Photos:  above left:  Dragonfly, Delsie Hoyt, 2015; Middle:  Debra Weinhold, Ladybug, 2015; above Right:  Butterfly on Thistle Flower, 2015, Delsie Hoyt.

Teacher Training

One of the missions of the guild is to train teachers how to teach rug braiding.  All of you are potential teachers!  The guild's president, Christine Manges, will give two BRIEF sessions on teaching rug braiding over Zoom.  The first session will go over how to set up a Zoom class, and the second session will go over equipment and lighting to film your hands working.  

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Lodging
Airports
Covid
Costs
Commuter
Spouse
Rug Challenge
Tea cup
Teaching
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