MAFA - Mid Atlantic Fiber Association
MAFA - Mid Atlantic Fiber Association

Welcome to the web site for the MidAtlantic Fiber Association (MAFA). MAFA is a non-profit organization whose objectives are to promote education in the fiber arts, to plan, organize, and conduct conferences, and to facilitate communication among member guilds.

MAFA represents nearly 60 guilds from 8 states and the District of Columbia in the Mid-Atlantic region. Our member guilds are located in NY, PA, MD, VA, NJ, DE, DC, NC, and WV. Individuals become automatic members through membership in a participating guild.

Associate membership is open to commercial enterprises, institutions, organizations, schools and individuals not in affiliated guilds. Associate members have the same status as guilds, with the exception of voting.

Any organized guild of handweavers or related fiber activities located in the Mid-Atlantic region may be considered for membership in MAFA. Membership consists of timely payment of annual dues and entitles members to participation in the biennial conference, the MAFA newsletter, and the opportunity to apply for grants, which support mini-conference venues.

Each guild is allowed one representative and one alternate representative to send to the two annual general meetings held in October and May.

Guilds, individuals, or organizations wishing to join MAFA should go to the Joining MAFA page for further information.

Ellen May Dorosh
May 21, 1941-Dec. 7, 2014

Ellen May Dorosh, 73, of Cascade, Md. died Dec. 7, 2014. She was born May 21, 1941, in Morgantown, W.Va., to Horace L. and Irene R. Sturm. She attended elementary and high school in Shinnston, W.Va. and additional education in Fairmont State College, Fairmont, W.Va.~ and Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown, Md. She is survived by her sons, Mark E. Dorosh of Shepherdstown, and Phillip L. Dorosh of Boise, Idaho and five grandchildren, Will and Kirsten of Shepherdstown, and Isabel, Emma and Audrey, of Boise. Ellen s major career was as sole owner of Antietam Press for 19 years. During that time, she freelanced for CBS Educational Services, Frederick Praeger Co., and Greenwood Press, in the capacity of project editor for college textbooks. In addition to her editorial responsibilities, she formatted the camera­ready copy for the books. Ellen thoroughly enjoyed many different types of crafts, including weaving and knitting, and was the owner of Ellenweaves, selling her hand­woven items at small craft shows throughout the area. She was a member of Hagerstown Weavers Roundtable, Central Pennsylvania Guild of Handweavers, and Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers. She also enjoyed music and dancing. Her ashes will be laid to rest at the discretion of the family.

Contributions to the Allen Fannin Scholarship Fund should be sent to: Dina K. Callow, MAFA Treasurer, 7633 Riverside Farm Road, Marshall, VA 20115.
If you contribute before January 1, 2015, it will count as a tax deduction for 2014.


MAFA lost a good friend and committed advocate with the unexpected death of our President Ellen Dorosh on December 7, 2014. Ellen loved weaving from her first lessons through several years as a production weaver and into more recent years of selling her work at area craft shows. She was one of that rare breed that enjoys weaving the same thing over and over, and her signature tea towels are used in homes up and down the East Coast. She was a member of three weaving guilds, Central Pennsylvania Guild of Handweavers, The Roundtable of Hagerstown, MD and the Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild of VA. She was very interested in strengthening MAFA’s outreach to the weaving community and especially focused on helping make every recent MAFA Conference the very best combination of classes, shopping and fun. 

But Ellen had so many other interests. She loved to travel and learn about other cultures, especially the textiles of those cultures. She had travelled to Scotland, South East Asia, many places in Europe, and this past summer to Guatemala, and had pulled a trailer holding her loom all across this country visiting our national parks. She worked at many of those parks in various capacities and demonstrated weaving on old looms. She taught weaving whenever she had the chance. She gleaned cotton bolls from a field out west and taught herself to spin cotton.

Those of you who have been involved with MAFA for any time will know that Ellen has been an integral member of the leadership team for many years. As Education Chairperson, she organized all the workshops for the conferences of 2007, 2009, and 2011. She carefully managed our finances as Treasurer from 2011-2013, and has served as our inspirational president since 2013. Her dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work have been a model for us all.

Ellen was determined to make our 2015 conference the best one yet, and we hope we can still make that happen.  Our job is much harder without Ellen to lead us, but we hope we can rely on our guild reps and other members to help us make this upcoming conference a great one, as a tribute to Ellen’s desire to spread the love of fiber arts in our community.

The Board is united behind our Vice President, Ellen Turner, as she takes on the role of President, as directed by our by-laws.

The MAFA Board of Directors

Ellen L. Turner

Lori Wall

Karen Miller

Dina K. Callow

Mickie Schneider



         Here it is, the middle of July already. This time next year we will be ending another great MAFA Workshop Weekend!! What an exciting thought!

         With the class list on the website, I'm sure many of you are already choosing your class. There are so many wonderful ones to choose from and the list of instructors is outstanding. Beth has done a bang-up job. Thanks, Beth.

         I encourage you to go on the Workshop Weekend website ( as soon as the brochure comes out on December 1. Classes will fill quickly so it is important to get your registration in on time to get your first choice class. Registration opens January 1, 2015. Be aware, however, that classes close quickly. It has been known to happen. So second and third choices are very important.

         There will be a space on the Registration Form for "Volunteers." Volunteers are what have always made MAFA fly. All of us on the staff are volunteers. No one is paid anything and we have to pay for our tuition, room and board, just like everyone else. So I appeal to you to give a couple hours of your time in volunteering. Volunteers will be needed for the Registration Desk, Instructor meet/greet/help, and "room mothers." See the Volunteer section of the Workshop Weekend website for more detailed information on what these jobs entail.

         Volunteers for manning social media websites are in place and are beginning to talk up the Workshop Weekend. They are doing a great job and will step up efforts once the brochure is online. Thanks so much, ladies and gentleman!

         We are still hoping for more than 4 guilds participating in the Guilds Exhibit. In addition, a general overseer is needed for the Guilds Exhibit Coordinator. See requirements in the Guilds Exhibit section of the Workshop Weekend website.

         The Fall Reps Meeting is when the positions of Recording Secretary and Vice President are elected. This meeting will be in late September because the new Board members take over October 1. The Board is looking for persons willing to take on these 2 jobs. The term of office is 2 years. At this time, all meetings are by conference call, thereby requiring no travel of these persons. The conference calls are recorded, making it much easier for the Recording Secretary to produce a hard copy of the minutes.

         Alternative to actual volunteers, the Board would like to have a nominating committee to come up with names for the ballot. Either way, these are easy volunteer positions. So please consider giving a bit of time to your Regional organization and keep MAFA healthy.

         I hope the remainder of your summer is healthy and happy and filled with fiber projects.        

                                                                        Ellen Dorosh

                                                                        MAFA President



MAFA Conference Weekend 2015


No, this isn't an April fool joke! It is your invitation to become a Vendor at the MAFA 2015 Workshop Weekend Conference beginning Thursday, July 16, through Sunday, July 19, 2015, at Millersville University, located in the town of Millersville, Pennsylvania , in the garden-spot of the mid-Atlantic States - Lancaster County. Being a native, I'm a bit prejudiced, but we do have the most fertile, non-irrigated farmland in the WORLD!

Many people I know think that mid-summer 2015 is a long way away, but most of us in fiber have busy schedules and we need to plan in advance to make our fiber dreams a reality. That being said, let me tell you a bit about what we have to offer.

On this site, you will find a downloadable PDF file containing a Vendor Application and Vendor Agreement. Both are pretty standard for Vendors and provide information on pricing, what you can expect from us, (meaning MAFA) and what we expect from you as a vendor. Why not print out an extra copy for a friend who has a fiber related business?

First, we have decided to establish an Early Bird pricing for booths, if you register and pay before July 31 of this year. We hope many of you will take advantage of this money saving offer. Included in the booth price, are two tables, two chairs, WiFi and electricity. The final deadline is October 31, 2014. We have set this deadline in order that a list of vendors is available for our attendees in the registration packet.

We really want to promote you, the vendor! In addition to providing all prospective attendees with a vendor list, we have a special place on the website for our vendors. As soon as you are accepted as a vendor for the MAFA 2015 Workshop Weekend Conference, all your vendor information will be posted on the vendor page of our website. So check out our website at and be the first vendor on the site by mailing in your Vendor Application.

In addition to the website, we have contacted journalists for local papers about the MAFA 2015 Workshop Weekend Conference and they are primed to do articles to encourage local foot traffic. We will also be sending the vendor lists and Vendor Hall hours to local fiber guilds to increase the foot traffic during class hours.

I'm looking forward to seeing you next summer at Millersville. In the meantime, please post your application to me and, in addition, if you have any ideas on how we can improve the Vendor Hall, please don't hesitate to contact me at

Yours in Fiber,


Donna Mentzer
Vendor Committee Chair


The MAFA Board has approved the following grants through its Member Guild Outreach Program. Congratulations to the successful applicants. Additional information on these projects will be posted once they have been completed, and another round of grant funding will be announced in the future.

Looms for Kids' College, Fiberarts Network (WV) - The fiber education program will be expanded through the purchase of additional looms and accessories, and through scholarships for participants. Classes cover actual weaving techniques, including planning projects, warping, weaving and finishing options.

West Virginia Fiber Festival, Morgantown Fiber Guild (WV) - The guild will design appropriate materials and will make all publicity arrangements for the West Virginia Fiber Festival, to increase attendance and participation in festival activities.

Judith MacKenzie Spinning Workshop, Southern Tier Fiberarts Guild (NY) - Internationally-recognized hand-spinning guru Judith MacKenzie will come to the guild s venue for a two day workshop to improve attendees  spinning skills, and give a talk on hand-spinning for weaving.

MAFA Membership Renewal Forms and Dues

Dues are now due for 2013-2015 for new guilds and for guilds that did not renew their membership in 2012. Go to the Joining MAFA page to download your form!

Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+)

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) was founded on a single simple premise: people caring for one another during tough times. Building upon the grassroots gesture of passing the hat at craft shows for artists dealing with emergency situations, CERF+ created an ongoing pool of funds that are available to professional craft artists when they suffer career-threatening emergencies. In addition to the financial assistance, they help acquire donated goods and services for beneficiaries from individuals, organizations and businesses. CERF+ also provides resources for artists, including a new tool just announced: The Business Insurance Guidebook for Artists distills the key points of business property, liability, and disaster insurance into a pocket-sized booklet.

Thanks to the generosity of MAFA guilds and individuals interested in helping fiber artists with emergency needs, CERF+ now has a Fiber Arts fund. The Harmony Weavers Guild, which led the initiative to get this fund established with $2000 in donations, encourages MAFA guilds to continue donating to this fund, to ensure funds are available if a fiber artist has an emergency situation.

You can learn more about CERF+ here:

MAFA By-Laws May 2012 (pdf version)