Dear Friends,

Meanwhile, back here at Midwest Fiber Arts Trails HQ, things have been hopping this fall! Of course, we’re thinking way ahead to 2018 Trail events. Which is not so way ahead now if you’re measuring things in marketing-dog years.

Before I launch into 2018 news, I need to track back to Weaving Waters Grand Opening weekend in late September. If you’ll recall, Weaving Waters is in the Central Minnesota lakes district. The Trail runs from Brainerd up along Highway 10 to New York Mills. It’s quite a big area and I’m not sure two days was enough time for people to make it to all places. There are two ways to look at that. The optimist says, “there’s next year!” And there is—mark September 21-22, 2018 on your calendar. The person who is at a location on the end of the Trail might not be as happy. The Old Creamery Woolen Mill received 500 visitors between the two days. It was their grand opening as well; double the marketing really paid off.

Karla Overland of Cherrywood Fabrics, gave the keynote talk at The Landmark Inn Retreat Center in Staples. Fifty+ people turned out for her talk and social hour and to see many of the new Van Gogh quilts from the 2017 Cherrywood Challenge. The quilts are phenomenal. Check out Cherrywood’s website to see their exhibit schedule.

Trails are meant to be collaborative and Weaving Waters is a good example. Three regional arts centers are members of the trail. For the grand opening they each hosted an exhibit in their gallery space that featured fiber and textiles. Each exhibit was unique and different from the others.  The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd hosted a fun take on ‘wearable art’ where the exhibit items were quite literally art pieces made into ensembles worn in the fashion show. Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary How Does Your Garden Grow?  was a gathering designed and worn by Carolyn Abbott. The base was a full-length grass green dress with large flowers and garden tools fastened to the ‘sheer’ green plastic fencing that served as an overskirt. New York Mills Cultural Center hosted an exhibit that was called Unraveling the Thread and it included wire mesh pieces by Kristi Kuder, installation pieces, embroidered house hold items such as paper towels and toilet paper just to outline a few. The eclectic style of the exhibit showed off the breadth of contemporary fiber art. Great River Arts in Little Falls took a more traditional approach and invited local Prairie Point Quilt Guild to hang their biennial quilt show in their gallery space. The place was packed the entire month of September. It’s pretty cool to think that because of our coordinated effort, area visitors experienced three regional arts centers in one weekend.  That’s big.

Many thanks to Janet Kiley for her amazing efforts in working the local scene to get this Trail off the ground. Janet has a retreat center in Staples, MN, in what was a Lutheran church. Here’s a link to Landmark Inn. I always like to point out that the congregation outgrew the facilities.  For some reason, that distinction is important to me.

2018 Fiber Arts Trail Weekend Announcement

All four Trails are hosting weekend events in 2018. This year, Trail members are focusing on workshops, open studios and exhibits with an emphasis on workshops. Did I say workshops? Each Trail reflects a unique view of what members think is important about their work, community and creative expression. And, all the workshops are different. So far, I believe the workshop count is 35+ and Weaving Waters hasn’t begun planning for 2018.

Cedarburg Spur

It’s the 4th Annual Cedarburg Spur weekend in Cedarburg, WI. Four years!! Their event is always the third weekend in March unless its Easter weekend. March 16 – 17, 2018. So far, we haven’t been snowed out, but now that I’ve said it, all bets are off. Look for more information over the next week or so. Click here to learn about the Spur, see member portfolios, find other fun things to do in Cedarburg and general info. Their Fiber Arts Weekend webpage is here and being updated as we speak. The. Commemorating His Purple Reign: A Textile Tribute to Prince opens at Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts that weekend and as customarily done for the Spur weekend, admission is free. Look for all day workshops, morning and afternoon classes and a fun improv class involving  ‘Spirit Sticks’ with Laura Weber and Tammie Strause at The Pink Llama Gallery. See below.

Threaded Streams

A week later from March 22 – 24, 2018 and in another part of Wisconsin close to the Dells and Madison, the Threaded Streams Fiber Arts Trail is really puttin’ on the dog. It’s a three-day blast of workshops, a Fashion Show, a keynote speaker and studio tour. The schedule is full, and I don’t think one person could do everything, so you’ll have to bring friends and feed off each other. Mariella terBeest Schladweiler, who is half of Helen’s Daughters, is teaching a framing class. As with most fine craft, the finishing is what makes the piece. I’ve seen so many beautiful art quilts and the framing doesn’t do the piece justice. Mariella is a professional framer. Char, who is the other half of Helen’s Daughters is teaching business workshops. The Business of Fiber Art, Marketing Your Business From Your Android Phone, and The ART of Event Planning. Char.Is.A.Pro. Listen to her and your life will be easier. I do and mine is. The full workshop roster is here. Please contact the organizer as listed in the workshop to register.

Pine to Prairie

In April, the Pine to Prairie Fiber Arts Trail, located in northern Minnesota, is hosting a month-long member exhibit at a local coffee shop in downtown Bemidji. Wild Hare Bistro is known for supporting local artists and people have come to expect great art on exhibit there. Of course, we’ll have a social hour where everyone is welcome to join us during the tour weekend. The exhibit runs from April 6 – 30, 2018 and the Tour weekend is April 27 – 28, 2018.  Here’s a link to the Bemidji page where you can see portfolios of their work, studios and businesses. Check out the 2018 event page here. More info coming very soon!

And now we’re back to Weaving Waters booked for September 2018. Stay tuned! Planning begins shortly.

Please check back to these webpage for updated information about each Trail weekend!



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