Live, Love, Weave aimed to build community among people of diverse backgrounds, skill levels, ages, and lifestyles around the common thread of weaving.
Weaving can be done by anyone, anywhere, with everyday materials. My goal was to make learning to weave more accessible by teaching basic frame loom mechanics that are being used by weavers on every continent around the world. With just a sturdy frame, new and seasoned weavers can explore new weaving techniques and design fabric that speaks to their own personal aesthetic.
Community members joined me at the public library for a 1-hour simple frame loom weaving workshop or came to a Craft-Along hour. During Craft-Along, community members were encouraged to bring their latest fiber art project to share, design, or work on.
Melvenea Hodges is a Fiber Artist residing in South Bend, Indiana. She creates clothing and accessories using traditional techniques such as block printing, sewing, weaving, spinning, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery.
In her early days, she began learning about fiber arts by experimenting with hair braiding, beading, and loom-free weaving. It was through these experiences that she found joy and realized her talent in creating with her hands. Not long afterward, she learned to crochet and sew through trial and error. In 2006 Melvenea earned a bachelor’s in Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising from Eastern Michigan University.
While Melvenea works with an array of fibers, cotton is the fiber that has sent her on a journey of self-discovery as a fiber artist. She was inspired to begin growing, spinning, and weaving cotton as a way to reclaim an undocumented heritage of fiber arts as a Black American maker. Aside from its cultural significance cotton is a remarkable fiber that is a joy to create with. Melvenea finds tremendous joy in helping others learn new skills. In addition to teaching at a primary school, she connects and shares with other textile enthusiasts through social media and at her local weaving guild.
Melvenea’s mission is to honor and preserve our fiber arts heritage through practice. She intermittently blogs about her work and traditional textile techniques on her website where she also offers handcrafted accessories and spinning supplies. She has also published articles with SpinOff magazine on techniques in working with cotton.