AMHERST - Eleanor Crowley said you can see it in the colours a person chooses for their home, or the care they put into building a cupboard.
"Everybody's creative," said the organizer of the Fiber Fair, a celebration of quilting, hooking, sewing and other like crafts taking place at the Oxford Pioneer Heritage Center, May 26.
It's a belief that's in keeping with a populist art form that grew out of a practical need. Crowley said activities like quilting were a way to make idle time more productive. Along the way, the women - and it was almost always women - could weave storylines into their work
The stories were subtly embodied in traditional patterns. In quilting, it could be Jacob's ladder, drunkard's trail or log cabin.
"The quilts now are a lot different than they used to be," she said.
The stories they tell are more overt. Elements of life may no longer be represented by repetitive geometric forms, but may be pictures composed of fabric.
"I think the world at large sees it as an art form now," said Crowley.
And a new generation is taking up hooks and needles.
"My granddaughter went to St. FX...one of the first things she did was join a knitting club."
Works old and new will be on display at the fair. Some will be for sale.
"We have quilts and mats, different kinds of fancy work..."
The Northport Loopers will be having a hook-in upstairs, and lunch will be available.
Admission is $2, $5 with lunch.