Gay McGeary

Gay McGeary is a scholar-weaver based in Central Pennsylvania. She has been weaving, collecting, and researching early coverlet and counterpane patterns and weave structures for over thirty years. While her weaving is inspired by her research, her research is enhanced by her weaving explorations of the early craftsmen.

She shares her research as a regular contributor to various weaving periodicals, including the Complex Weavers Journal. She is the chair of the Complex Weavers Early American Coverlets and Counterpanes Study Group. One of her star work coverlets is featured in the Complex Weavers book entitled Eight Shafts: Beyond the Beginning. She enjoys giving workshops and lectures to interested groups. Recently she wove a series of three coverlet wall hangings inspired by a 19th century Pennsylvania German star work draft and matching coverlet. Each has appeared in a juried exhibit: (1) Complexity 2022, (2) Interpreting Change: Weaver’s Guild of Boston 1922-2022, and (3) Art of the State (Pennsylvania) 2022.

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The Legacy of Star Work Coverlets

305 Monday AM

German linen weavers, who immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th century, brought their linen patterns with them. They enlarged the star point twill patterns to create their handwoven coverlets. Heinrich Boschor labeled this new weave structure, gestern arbeit” or star work” in his 1819 manuscript.

19th century extant coverlets and handwritten pattern manuscripts have been the basis of Gay McGearys research and weaving of these star work beauties. She will share with us many examples of the coverlets and drafts that she has found. While she purchased a 24-shaft Toika computer-assist loom to weave her 14 to 24-shaft star work patterns, she will explain how she designs 5 and 6 block patterns in the star work weave to be woven on 7 and 8 shafts.

Materials fee:  None

Supplies:  None

This seminar will be presented by Gay remotely via Zoom for in-person attendees.

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