Sunday, September 08, 2013

Fun At Fibrefest

Almonte is a charming village nestled along the shores of the Mississippi River. It's about an hour's drive from us and in the mid 1800s was home to a thriving woolen mill. For the past 18 years the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, which is in the annex of the former Rosamond Woolen Company, has been hosting Fibrefest. It celebrates textile and fibre arts and includes exhibits from local guilds demonstrating knitting, lacemaking, smocking, weaving, spinning, quilting, and penny rugs. Jane and Linda have been in the past and this year Betty and I decided that we could use a road trip too, so off we all went. Included in the festival were several vendors so we had lots of fun browsing and shopping.

I was particularly interested in getting to the Mad About Patchwork booth as I had come across her online shop recently. She has a great selection and wonderful prices. I had to restrain myself, but somehow all of these lovely little fat quarters followed me home.

I was also finally bitten by the Farmer's Wife bug and bought the book. I don't have any plans to make the full quilt but it's beautifully laid out and there are several blocks in it that really appeal to me. When I discovered that they finish off at 6 inches that was all the convincing that I needed.

This block is really pretty.

As is this one.

Lovely little basket.

And this is another favourite.

Nadine Sculland is another exhibitor that I was looking for. She makes these incredibly tiny paper pieced quilts and cards - just beautiful. The Ottawa Valley Button Club was there too (who knew that there were button clubs?) so I spent some time digging through baskets of shiny things and picked up a few lovely shell buttons that I'm thinking I'll integrate into the yoyo heart.

And these pretty little snowflakes were too cute to pass up - they are about 1.5 inches wide and will be perfect to tuck into a few Christmas cards.
After a tour of the downtown shops - which was crawling with women from the festival - we dropped by the museum. It is one of Canada's National Historic Sites and now features a blend of the old and new. Upstairs was a small, but amazing, exhibit by Noelle Hamlyn called Sweetness of the Work, a collection created in homage to hand work to 'showcase the stitches, labour and hours invested in traditional women’s hand work. Many pieces have been washed and treated to encourage the formation of salt crystals to represent the sweat and salt tears of the seamstress - a gentle meditation on the loss of these traditional skills, the repetitive nature of hand work, and the social role of women'. Noelle was there so Betty and I had a great chat with her; such an amazing young talent. All in all, a great road trip, start to finish....M


Doniene said...

I've enjoyed the book! I haven't made the whole quilt, but have enjoyed stitching up several of the blocks!

Those snowflakes are adorable!!! What a fun time you had!!


bettyb said...

Gotta borrow that book!

bettyb said...

BTW -- Noella's work is definitely worth looking into. She has a sensibility that truly reflects that of all those who dedicate a good part of our lives to working fibre with our hands.

Rachaeldaisy said...

What a great stack of fabrics!! I bought the Farmers Wife book too, just to have as a reference book for blocks, though I admire people who make the whole quilt. I like the blocks you've picked out.

Anne said...

I love the sweat and tears salt. With all of our modern technology we no longer have to labour under the conditions of our mothers and grandmothers who long ago shed that sweat and tears by the light of a nearby candle or sunlight through a window. This is certainly an amazing visual tribute to those hard working women.