Don't you love seeing new things?
My mother-in-law asked if I wanted to go to a fibre arts exhibit - and I hesitated. I had an idea of what fibre arts were: anything from spinning to weaving to knitting to lace making to quilting to mixed media stuff...and I'm not really into that. Then she said there was a quilt show as well. OK then, I'd try to arrange my schedule!
After negotiating child care and dinner preparations with my husband, I left home thinking "at least I'll see some nice quilts!" How right - and wrong - I was!
When we arrived at the Fibre Arts Festival main building, we learned
there were 9 sites participating in the festival, and each site had its
own focus. The main building had the Vendors hall, various workshops,
and pumpkin breakfast. It was here that I found the cutest rug hooking kit. Margot Innes of Hooked Goods (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a really sweet gal who had a sample so we could try the technique right at her table. In less time than it took me to open my wallet, I learned how to hook! I bought the snowman kit and I can't wait to open it up and get started!!
The second table that I loved was Sew Crazy Critters. Mostly using wool, they make the cutest stuffies with great personality! I only wish I'd had my camera to show you!! I picked up this "Hobbit Holder" which I think is the most unique desk accessory I can have! And it would be so easy to make one myself - if I ever get the urge to knit again - which is unlikely unless I really want another one! I also really loved the felted wool covered pencils.
They had a great selection of little items that I love to see at these shows - I only take a small amount of cash and if I really like a vendor, often I'll buy something small then contact them later to make a larger purchase. Does anyone else do that?
There were two other vendors I was especially drawn to - both woodworkers. One nice man makes shaker boxes. He has the most beautiful knitting oval boxes with hinged lids. It almost made me want to try knitting again - almost.
We then went to the local high school for the Northshore Pins & Needles Quilting & Stichery Guild show. There was a large display of quilts, bags and table coverings - both new and heirloom to admire. I had a very hard time trying to choose my viewer's choice - do I pick the appliqued William Morris flowers and birds quilt that I'd love to be good enough to mimic the precision handwork? What about the intricately machine pieced and quilted bedspread with the 1/2 inch wide log-cabin style diamond pieced star? The absolutely adorable baby quilt with a scene of a child's bookcase full of cherished toys and pets? Nope. I chose the one that I want on my bed. A set of cross stitched blocks in blues, simply sashed and bordered in a dark blue - all hand quilted. Gorgeous.
Inspiration was everywhere! I loved seeing the three quilts that were listed as a mystery BOM that I also particiapted in online a few years ago! There was a farmer's wife quilt - the first I've seen in person - and that book sits on my shelf just waiting for me to try another block...
There was an heirloom quilt that someone's mother had made for 1967 Centennial. The quilt had handpainted provincial shields with the '67 maple leaf logos. I loved the maple leaf quilting in the white space and the handwritten labels for each provincial emblem. Wow. I am a Canadiana fan. I have a pattern that I found from that time with iron-on transfers of the same type - could it be the same pattern? I've been waiting until my applique skills are honed a bit so I could complete the blocks that way, maybe I should focus on that some more! Loved it! I need to start that one!!
Running short on time, we stopped at one more exhibit. The Manitoulin Circle Project Textile Exhibit by Judy Martin. Oh wow. I could easily dedicate an entire post to this exhibit. Only 5 quilts, but so much to absorb. Judy was insanely brilliant to show the quilts hanging in the church. The Circle Project was a collaborative effort of 144 people, each of whom sewed a little bit on a quilt. Some came out several times, many others only once, but each one helped to create a beautiful set of quilts over several years. If you get a chance, go see these quilts. A section of one of the quilts is pictured on the Fibre Arts flyer shown above.
So I went beyond my happy little quilting borders to dip my fingers into the world of fibre arts. I think I'll be visiting that world again!
for more information about this festival, visit their website at: www.espanolafibreartsfestival.ca
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