Announcing the formation of the Threaded Streams Fiber Arts Trail!
Hello Fiber Enthusiasts,
Our Fiber Arts Trail is just starting up! It’s an excellent opportunity to create awareness of your fiber and textile work. We’re collaborative, fun, it’s a great networking and learning opportunity for artists who are looking for a way to engage with fellow artists and fiber enthusiasts.
Join our Fiber Arts Trail! Here is a link for more information: Midwest Fiber Arts Trails Program.
Char terBeest and Maday Delgado contacted me to collaborate with them on a Fiber Arts Trail in their area. When I heard they were in the Baraboo area, I became very interested to learn about the fiber arts culture and how place has informed its identity. Char and Maday were so welcoming. I learned so much about them and how much their local community means to them.
Local fiber artists active in community
They are both very active in making the Baraboo area a wonderful place to live. After our meeting, they showed me their adopted forlorn corner of curb and sidewalk and how they beautified it with perennials. How many of us adopt a sidewalk without getting our name on a sign? Char has worked on almost every arts initiative in Sauk County and 23 years ago she was a founding member of the prestigious Fall Art Tour. Char supports her local community by showing up and getting involved. She and her husband have something called a ‘Pumpkin Showcase’ at their house in October. I’ve heard the pumpkins are huge and arrive by the dozens. People just drop them off! Can’t wait to see it! I’m sure Char will have loads of pictures on Facebook.
Maday, who is originally from Cuba, has made the Midwest her home. She, too, is an active supporter of the community. Sewing and teaching are a passion for her, so she and her family donate sewing machines to local libraries within Sauk County. While quilting, sewing and embroidery are seeing resurgence in popularity with upcoming generations, Home Ec curriculum is long gone. Maday will passionately say there is incredible value in teaching people how to make things. So they know. So they understand and appreciate what it takes to hold that thing you made. Maybe it is decorative or maybe it is practical. The important lesson is to know how to make something because it fosters a sense of appreciation and respect. I couldn’t agree with her more.
Roberta Condon and Kipp Inglis came to the first meeting we held at Ardyth’s Sew ‘n’ Vac in downtown Baraboo. A delightful conversation all around, but I’m going to focus on how the trail name was decided. Names are important. They say as much about what it is as what it isn’t. It isn’t Driftless. The area is on the cusp of the Driftless region, but a little too far east. This area was covered by the glaciers. That big, old glacial ‘conveyor belt’ of sand, rocks, dirt, trees and ice did a number on the face of Sauk County. The results is an area of diverse waterways, forests, hills and farmland.
Fiber Arts Trail name is artful reference to local geology
The name Threaded Streams Fiber Arts Trail is an artful reference to the geological formation that makes up this part of Wisconsin. The beautiful Baraboo Hills that hug the city of Baraboo were the terminal moraine of the most recent advance of glaciers in the area. Melt water from under the ice sheet formed rivers that cut valleys as rocks and sediment was deposited along their routes. As the water flow subsided, crisscrossing channels in the river beds formed. The small channels that weave across sandbars and sediment are called braided streams. They are like shimmering ribbons, rippling along the surface of the land.
The Baraboo-Lodi-Portage area is located approximately 45 miles northwest of Madison. (And yes, we have one outlier who will participate in our Fiber Arts Weekend in Portage.) The trail encompasses an area from Baraboo south to Prairie du Sac east to Lodi on the southern boundary, up to Portage along the Wisconsin River and back to Baraboo. Trail members can and do include studio artists & artisans, shops, teachers and farms that dye, spin, felt, make baskets, quilt, needle arts, sew, weave and more. Trail members exhibit their work, participate in art fairs, teach workshops and classes, hold memberships in local and state-wide arts organizations and are very active in their communities. They are professional makers.
Visit Threaded Streams Fiber Arts Trail any time of year!
There is so much to do in this area (even if you don’t include the Wisconsin Dells)! If you love to get outside and leave the car in the parking lot, Devil’s Lake State Park is abundant with trails and vistas where you can rock climb, hike, camp and picnic. Devil’s Gate is a very popular rock climbing destination! If you’re interested in geology and glaciers, the Ice Age Trail offers hiking loops and interpretive locations throughout the area, too. The Reedsburg Area Historical Society has a restored village that’s open May to October and the International Crane Foundation is located near Baraboo. More species of cranes nest in this area than anywhere else in the world. And, the 15 minute ferry ride at Merrimac is a fun way to cross the Wisconsin River—complete with ice cream stands coming and going!