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Ely Folk School

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Fabric, Knitting, Sewing, Weaving, Clothing

Autumn’s Awesome Go-Anywhere Tote


with Autumn Cole

Calendar Jun 28, 2019 at 8 am

Friday, June 28, 2019
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $80  Materials: $5.00

This attractive and practical tote can be used as a purse or a carryall for work or projects. It has two large pockets in the inside, is lightweight, washable, and stands upright. It is a great introduction to quilting, as one will learn about rotary cutting, piecing, batting, quilting, and finishing touches. You'll have fun making it and will receive so many compliments on your unique Go Anywhere Tote, you'll be glad you did.

You’ll need to buy your choice of fabric ahead of time, which with supplies will cost about $30. This total includes the 10% discount at Mary’s Spinning Wheel (located in Ely) that Ely Folk School class participants receive. She will have the list of supplies on hand and can also help you choose appropriate fabric. The shop hours vary, so check before you go!

Your supply list for this 11" X 14" X 4" tote:

4 fat quarters of different fabric or 36 five-inch squares (charm pack)
1 yard of complementary fabric for lining and handles
1-1/2 yards of Pellon 987F fusible fleece
1 one-inch button
2 spools of 110 yds of Gutermann thread to match the lining fabric.
The Folk School has sewing machines, but bring your own sewing machine with its manual, if possible, so you can work with a familiar machine. Other sewing supplies will be provided.

About the instructor: Autumn Cole enjoys creating unique and colourful quilts, purses and bags, aprons, and more. She has taught sewing classes for many years, including at the Ely Folk School where some of her quilts and other sewn items are offered for sale.

Autumn says, “As a psychologist, I have enjoyed teaching psychology classes at various colleges, and as a certified Happiness Coach, I teach classes on the keys to happiness. I enjoy teaching!”


Craft a Custom Fit Moccasin


with Donna Mienk

Calendar Aug 24, 2019 at 9 am

Saturday, August 24, 2019
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuition: $80 Materials: $35

Moccasins are the best natural footwear ever devised. Warm, light & lithe, they're said to give you "magic feet" that can be rolled up and taken with you to parties, and worn inside your own home. 

You will learn to create a pattern for deerskin moccasins, customized to fit your feet. This style of moccasins is a two-piece style, all hand-sewn. YAt the end of the class, you will either have a pair of completed moccasins or possibly have some work left to do at home. 

Students should bring pliers and scissors. Feel free to bring any beads you may have to decorate the top with one special bead or a simple design. 

About the Instructor: Donna Mienk has her own moccasin-making business and has taught the process for many years. View her craft at her Mienko's Moccasins facebook site.

Learn to Spin


with Diane Thomson

Calendar Oct 25, 2019 at 4 pm

This is a two-day class. Note that each day has different times.

Friday, October 25, 2019       4:00pm - 9:00pm
Saturday, October 26, 2019   9:00am - 5:00pm

Tuition: $130  Materials: $25

Here's a chance to try spinning on a wheel before buying your own. Many people, including Gandhi, found spinning to be a very meditative activity. You will learn how to turn wool fiber into yarn with the use of a spinning wheel. We will even play with hand spindles, wool prep and yarn finishing.

There will be several wheels available for spinning, and if you have a working wheel bring it along. You will leave class with your own hand spindle, wool fiber, and your own newly spun yarn.

About the instructor: Diane Thomson has been spinning since 1985 and enjoys teaching others. She has taught knitting classes at several yarn shops in the Twin Cities and currently teaches at Sisu Designs Yarn Shop in Ely.


Payment plan available: $100 deposit plus 2 payments of $27.50, paid every four weeks

Learn to Weave


with Diane Thomson

Calendar Jun 29, 2019 at 12 pm

Saturday, June 29, 2019
12:00 PM - 4:00 pm

Tuition: $40 Materials: $5

Learn the basics of weaving on a rigid heddle loom. We will discuss the different types of weaving materials, types of looms available, and the language of weaving. Students will learn how to prepare a warp, dress the loom, and do the actual weaving. You will leave class with a set of handwoven mug rugs of your own.

All materials are included in the class cost. Students should bring scissors, a pen or pencil and a ruler. Looms will be available to rent for a modest fee if you are unable to complete your mug rugs during the class time. 

About the instructor: Diane Thomson has taught previously at several yarn shops in the Twin Cities and at the Ely Folk School. She also currently offers knitting classes at Sisu DesignsYarn Shop in Ely.

Diane enjoys many of the fiber arts and learned to weave in high school. She rediscovered weaving in 1985 when she purchased her first loom. She spent most of her weaving time on rag rugs until the 90’s when she focused on spinning and knitting. She has taught classes in spinning and intricate Latvian and Norwegian knitting at the Folk School. Diane says, “Since retiring to Ely, I am hoping to spend more time weaving.”



Make a Wallet from Fish Leather


with Joe Manthei

Calendar Sep 6, 2019 at 1 pm

Friday, Sept. 6, 2019
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Tuition: $20  Materials: $25

Learn to make a small minimalist wallet out of fish leather. The wallet can be used for credit cards, cash, or business cards. Students will use a pattern to cut out the fish leather pieces and hand-stitch them into a functional, durable minimalist wallet using Tiger thread from Germany. The wallet measures 3" x 4" and contains two card slots.

No experience necessary. Class instruction will include different hand-stitching techniques and how to choose which method will work the best. Students will practice hand-stitching techniques before working on their wallet. Joe will also present a brief history and status of fish skin tanning in the world.

About the instructor: Joe Manthei started working with fish leather during a life-changing vacation to Iceland and turned it into a business, Fiskur Leather. Starting with bookmarks, he moved on to creating quilt-block artwork, cell phone cases, wallets, tote bags, laptop bags, briefcases, toiletry kits, and more.

Joe’s career path started as a chiropractor, specializing in clinical nutrition, in which he offered post-graduate seminars. He  later earned an RN degree, and built medical software and trained personnel to use it. He has taught students of all ages from elementary students to adults. Joe and his wife, Pam, live in Mora Minnesota. Although retired from nursing in 2015, he currently works in the Mora school district as a substitute teacher/substitute school nurse when not creating with fish leather.

Needle Felting with Flair


with Val Wagner

Calendar Jul 13, 2019 at 10 am

Saturday, July 13, 2019
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Tuition: $20  Materials: $8

Have you wondered how someone is able to make those clever or beautiful, soft designs with a delicious array of colored yarn? You can learn how through the fascinating art of flat needle felting. You will use wool roving and a special needle to push it into wool fabric to create a picture. (Roving is a slightly twisted roll or strand of fibers.) You will create a small sampler to learn the technique, and there’s a good chance you’ll get hooked! You’ll be able to use this skill to create designs and personalize wool hats, coats, mittens, pillows, and blankets. Your imagination is the only limit..

About the instructor: Val Wagner is a craft enthusiast and has explored and experimented with different mediums over the years. She has been doing needle felting for seven years and enjoys sharing the fun with others. Val says, “Needle felting has been a great medium, and I have sold many of my creations.”


Weave a Towel - Intermediate Weaving


with Diane Thomson

Calendar Aug 16, 2019 at 1 pm

This is a two-day class: Notes the different times each day

Friday, August 16, 2019       1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday, August 17, 2019   9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuition: $120 Materials: $30

Come join this class to expand your skills on the use of rigid heddle looms. You will learn to warp a rigid heddle loom for a kitchen towel. That when woven, can result in two different patterns, stripes or plaid.

The first day we will plan and warp your towel pattern. On the second day, you will spend most of the day weaving your towel and then learning to finish the ends. If you have your own loom, feel free to bring it, the recommended heddle size is 10 epi.

Prerequisites: Prior experience on the use of a rigid heddle loom or completion of the Learn to Weave class.

About the instructor: Diane Thomson enjoys many of the fiber arts and learned to weave in high school. She rediscovered weaving in 1985 when she purchased her first loom. She spent most of her weaving time on rag rugs until the 90’s, when she focused on spinning and knitting, which she has since taught at several yarn shops in the Twin Cities and at the Ely Folk School. She currently is offering knitting classes at Sisu Designs Yarn Shop in Ely.

Payment plan available: $100 deposit plus 2 payments of $25.00, paid every four weeks

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