Minnesota’s Newest Fiber Arts Trail
Grand Opening Weekend September 22 – 23, 2017
The newest Fiber Arts Trail in Minnesota is an art and cultural destination located in Central Minnesota. The fourteen members of the Weaving Waters Fiber Arts Trail will host their Grand Opening weekend event on September 22 – 23, 2017. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days.
Whether you love to view exhibits, take a fall drive through the countryside, tour a woolen mill or fabric-dyeing business, get your hands dirty or take a class; the best part of visiting Fiber Arts Trails are the conversations with local people making the fiber art scene happen. Trail members include fiber artists, businesses, arts centers, shops and non-profits whose work and focus is on fiber and textile arts. The Trail cuts diagonally along the US Hwy 10 – MN Hwy 210 corridor. It meanders through Little Falls, Randall, Brainerd, Staples, Wadena, Deer Creek and New York Mills.
In Little Falls, Great River Arts is exhibiting quilts made by members of the local Prairie Point Quilt Guild. The exhibit runs from Sept. 5 – 30, 2017. A special ‘Conversation with Quilters’ reception is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23 from 11 – 2 p.m.
In Randall, The Old Creamery Woolen Mill celebrates its grand opening. The woolen mill is owned by The Old Creamery Quilt Shop proprietors, Linda Thesing and Janelle Johnson. The new woolen mill is a welcome opportunity for small scale sheep, alpaca, llama and goat farmers who use the products mainly for fiber arts in knitting, weaving, spinning and dyeing. The woolen mill will host tours ‘on the hour’ during Weaving Waters Grand Opening weekend. The Quilt Shop will offer weaving, spinning, basketry and knitting demos by local makers. The quilt shop offers two drop-in classes; ‘Cathedral Window Block’ on Friday, September 22, 2017 2:00 p.m. and ‘Card Trick Block’ on Saturday, September 23, 2017 2:00 p.m. The quilt shop will have two maker stations set up to make ‘Folded and Stuffed Fabric Pumpkins” and to try a drop spindle.
The Landmark Inn, located in Staples, is hosting the Textile Artist Keynote Talk on Friday, September 22, 2017. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. for the Artist’s Reception which includes wine, tea, coffee, water and appetizers and music from a local band. Karla Overland, owner of Cherrywood Fabrics in Baxter, will present “A Challenging Study in Color” which is about a little contest idea that has gone global: The Cherrywood Challenge. Overland’s talk begins at 7:00 p.m.
Landmark Inn will also host the first Heritage Arts Fiber Festival at their retreat center. Stop by the ‘Sanctuary Lounge’ for a bit of downtime while you travel the trail. Pam Collins, also from Staples, will demo her unique approach to art which includes pastels, textiles and ceramics. Demos are throughout both days of the event. Free Spirit Designs’ Maday Delgado Lange, who is a member of the Threaded Streams Fiber Arts Trail in Wisconsin, is a guest teacher at Landmark Inn and has two workshops planned. ‘Sashiko Slow Stitching’ and ‘Barn Quilt Workshop.’ Registration is required by Sept 15.
“The textile artists, businesses, farms and art centers featured on this unique art trail are a part of the new tradition of makers that is fueling the resurgence of textile arts,” said Jennifer Wilder, founder and owner of Midwest Fiber Arts Trails, who developed the fiber arts trail concept in the Midwest. “Joining together, the trail members have formed a vibrant and diverse gathering place that fosters creativity and innovation.”
At the historic railroad depot in Staples, Barn Quilts of Central Minnesota will have barn quilt painting demos and share how they organized a barn quilt trail in the area. Stop by the depot to pick up a map of the barn quilt locations.
In Brainerd at The Crossing Arts Alliance new location at 711 Laurel Street, visitors can view their first exhibit in the new space. It’s called “Wearable Art: Textiles and Beyond.” Not all entries are wearable in function but definitely in form. The exhibit runs Sept. 9 – 28, 2017. Lisa Jordan, who is a felt maker, will demo her needle felting techniques on Friday and Saturday. Lisa works primarily in miniatures. Also visit A2Z Yarn Shop at Franklin Arts Center for a full service knit and crochet shop experience.
Cherrywood Fabrics in Baxter is offering dye house tours where visitors can see the basic process behind dyeing thousands of yards of cotton in hundreds of colors. This is ongoing both days. Demonstrations at Cherrywood include improvisational piecing techniques, long-arm quilting and art-quilt design. Visitors will also get a sneak peek at the latest Cherrywood Challenge — Van Gogh Quilt Exhibit — before it hits the road. A fabric ‘cobblestoning’ demonstration is planned and and Karla Overland will have personal work including art quilts and wearable art displayed at Cherrywood.
Hometown Crafts and The Gray Horse Quilt Shop are the Trail’s Wadena stops. Hometown Crafts is offering a needle felted pumpkin make ‘n’ take. In neighboring Deer Creek, Deer Creek Farm is a part of the local Amish community and is offering farm tours at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. each day. Farm tours include buggy rides, an Amish bake sale and handcrafted items for sale. Two sessions of hand quilting using Amish techniques taught by an Amish quilt maker, who has made over 500 quilts, is on Friday for a $25 class fee. Homemade ice cream is served on Saturday between 11 and 2:00 p.m.
New York Mills Regional Cultural Center is at the ‘top’ of the Trail and has a full slate of activities for all fiber enthusiasts. A special exhibit called ‘Unraveling the Thread’ curated just for Weaving Waters is planned featuring regional fiber artists. An Artist Talk and Reception is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23 followed by an Annie Humphrey Concert at 7:30 p.m. Reception is free, though there is admission for the concert.
The Sit ‘n’ Stich Group which meets regularly at the Cultural Center has three classes planned for the weekend. Pam Robinson’s ‘Sit ‘n’ Stitch’ Workshop: Crochet Shopping Tote. $5.00 Learn how to make ‘plarn’ and begin producing your own tote made from recycled plastic bags. Shelly Johnson’s ‘Sit ‘n’ Stitch’ Workshop: ‘Nifty-knit’ a Child’s Hat. $9 members/$10 non-members. Shelley Johnson has been creating hats, slippers, and scarves and ‘Niftyknit’ looms for ten years. Working Off the Grid: Wire Felting Class with Kristi Kudor is working with deconstructed aluminum wire mesh. Participants will felt the fibers to create beautiful, airy bowls or wall hangings. $36 members/$45 non-members. Registrations requested but not required. Call 218.385.3339 to register.
Additional information is available at: https://midwestfiberartstrails.org/weaving-waters/grand-opening-weaving-waters-fiber-arts-trail/
Weaving Waters Fiber Arts Trail is a part of Midwest Fiber Arts Trails, founded by Minneapolis-based publisher Jennifer Wilder, who writes about Midwest fiber artists. The mission of the Midwest Fiber Arts Trails is to honor the rich textile heritage and celebrate and promote the work of contemporary fiber artists in the Midwest.