LITTLE FALLS – RANDALL – BRAINERD – STAPLES – WADENA – NEW YORK MILLS, MN (SEPT. 17, 2018) – Weaving Waters Fiber Arts Trail Fall Tour is an annual arts and cultural tour with stops in Little Falls, Randall, Brainerd, Staples, Wadena and New York Mills. The tour takes place Friday and Saturday September 21 – 22, 2018. Hours are 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. both days.

Whether you love to view exhibits, visit arts spaces, 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.

New this year is the Weaving Waters Fiber Arts Trail Fall Tour Passport. Complete the tour and you’ll receive a commemorative pin and be eligible for bonus prize and grand prize drawings. Bonus prizes include two Fiber Art Almanac Quilt Maker Stories books, a Commemorative Cherrywood Challenge book, a table runner from Piecemakers Quilt Club and two tickets to the concert of your choice at New York Mills Cultural Center. Grand Prize drawings include a Fiber Basket from Old Creamery Woolen Mill, a Cherrywood Fabric Pack and an Arts Center Individual membership for a year. Must complete the tour during September 21 – 22, 2018. Passports will be available at each location on the tour or download the passport PDF and see the rules on Midwest Fiber Arts Trails website.

Pam Collins, Artist

Pam Collins, Artist

Artist Talk at Great River Arts

Pam Collins, an artist from Staples, MN will give the Annual Artist Talk at Great River Arts in Little Falls on Friday, September 21, 2018. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the talk begins at 7:00 p.m. The talk is entitled, “The Way of Water.” Pam will talk about her experience of turning fabric, mosaic and paint into art that depicts the western shores of Ireland. Pam Collins is mostly a self-taught artist, who works in watercolors, mosaics, and fabric (not simultaneously). She has studied under nationally known artists in pursuit of her favorite medium.  Collins has lead numerous watercolor and mosaic workshops in her studio, at area art centers and school districts.  Her passion is contagious and inspirational. Join us for an entertaining evening of conversation, food and music. Tickets are $8 in advance or at the door. Cash bar. Many thanks to Cherrywood Fabrics for sponsoring the Keynote Talk.

Fiber arts exhibits at three regional arts centers

Three regional arts centers are presenting fiber arts exhibits in Brainerd, Little Falls and New York Mills. The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd will have a local artist fiber art exhibit. Back by popular demand from last year, Great River Arts will have quilts from local Prairie Point Quilt Guild in their front exhibit space. The New York Mills Cultural Center (NYMCC) presents “Ripping the Seams: Unique and Activist Fibre Art” exhibit highlighting fiber artists on the cutting edge of the fiber art world. NYMCC is hosting a gallery reception on Saturday night, September 22 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Bill & Kate Isles will be in concert capping off a weekend of Weaving Waters activities beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 students.  NYMCC is also debuting a special quilt exhibition of an original 1800s antique quilt in the Chimney Sweep pattern with nearly 70 classic 19th century prints. The Minnesota Quilt Project then recreated the fabric prints and made a replica of the original Lavina Fedderly quilt. Both will be on display side-by-side.

Workshops and mini-classes taught by local artists

Cherrywood Fabrics in Baxter, The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd and New York Mills Cultural Center are offering workshops this year. On Friday, there are three workshops. “Mark-Making with Thickened Dyes” is taught by Carolyn Abbot at Crossing Arts and “Color Wheel Make and Take Class” is taught by Karla Overland at Cherrywood Fabrics. Bruce Engebretson teaches “Backstrap Loom and Weaving” class at the New York Mills Cultural Center. “Make a Spirit Doll” and “Sleepy Baby Mouse Needle-Felting” workshops are taught by Debbie Endres and Lisa Jordan and held at The Crossing Arts Alliance on Saturday in Brainerd. Sign-up and details on Midwest Fiber Arts Trails website.

In Randall, The Old Creamery Woolen Mill celebrates its one-year anniversary. 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 goal farmers who use the products mainly for fiber arts in knitting, weaving, spinning and dyeing. The woolen mill will host tours at 10:00 and 2:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The Quilt Shop will offer weaving, spinning, basketry and knitting demos by local makers.

Piecemakers Quilt Club in Staples will host a quilt raffle at The Landmark Inn in Staples. Tickets are $2. The queen-sized bed quilt pattern is “Duty, Honor and Country” by Kelly Corbridge. Quilt club quilters Mary Theurer, Annette Good, Beth Fabian and Nancy Johnson all contributed to making the quilt. The quilt club is also hosting mini-classes and demonstrations throughout the two-day event and a quilt bed-turning at noon both days. The quilt drawing is at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The winner need not be present to win, but  must have the ticket.

Be sure to stop in Hometown Crafts in Wadena to see a large emporium of supplies, tools, yarn and fabric. It’s stocked and you’ll find a great selection of stash enhancing fiber and fabric. If you are looking for a place to stay while touring, consider The Landmark Inn in Staples. Reservations can be made here.

“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.”

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.


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