Fibre Arts Festival returning for sixth year

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Darrell Cole
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Full schedule set for October celebration of all things fibre

For the sixth consecutive year, Amherst will host the Fibre Arts Festival from Oct. 15-19

Carol McCall (left) and Phyllis Cameron look over a few items for this year’s sixth Fibre Arts Festival that runs from Oct. 15 to 19 in Amherst.

AMHERST – Organizers are preparing for what could be the biggest and most successful Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival yet.

The sixth fibre arts festival runs from Oct. 15 to 19 at locations around Amherst and will include a number of returning artists along with plenty of new ones.

“We’re going to have another full schedule of events again this year with people coming from far and wide to participate as exhibitors, instructors and participants,” committee chairwoman Phyllis Cameron said. “It really showcases the wonderful talent that we have among our local fibre artists. It’s an excellent opportunity for them to show their work and to learn from some of the best fibre artists in our region.”

Among some of the new courses this year are beaded moccasin creation with Ali Squire, tatting by Karen Negus and sculpture felting with Carol McCall, while those returning include Deanne Fitzpatrick, whose three-day rug-hooking course has attracted people from as far as California and Europe.

“I saw Karen at a Zonta Bazaar and was blown away with what she is doing with tatting. Tatting is something that is so difficult to do and what she is doing is just amazing,” Cameron said of Negus.

Cameron herself is hosting an Irish crocheting course, adding it’s an art form that’s beginning to make a resurgence of sorts with more uses for the crochet style.

McCall, who moved to Amherst recently from St. John’s, N.L., can’t get over the talent of the area’s fibre artists.

“I really didn’t know much about it when I first moved here, but I went to a rug-hooking course and started learning more about this festival,” McCall said. “It’s definitely one way to get to know more people in the community.”

Karen Neary is also returning with her quilting workshops, Patty Chasse is back with her weaving creations, Kathy Tidswell is back with thread painting techniques and Mary Farrow Sinclair will give instruction on Japanese quilting.

The festival’s official opening is Oct. 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Amherst town hall, while Victoria’s Quilts Canada will be holding demonstrations throughout the five-day festival.

Dr. Halina Bienkowski is holding a rug show on Oct. 16, the Twisted Stitchers will be at the Four Fathers Library on Oct. 17, there will be a Sew-in at First Baptist Church on Oct. 17, lunch box theatre, and a community fibre arts auction at Tantramar Community Radio and a children’s book launch and signing featuring Sheree Fitch and Deanne Fitzpatrick at Fitzpatrick’s rug-hooking studio on Church Street on Oct. 18.

One of the highlights of the festival will be the annual Fibre Art Walking Tour that will take place each day, while the Cumberland County Museum is hosting a display of antique samplers, rugs and stitchery during the festival.

“In the beginning the festival was mostly about rug-hooking and quilting, but now it has expanded into so many forms of fibre art,” said Cameron. “It also gives participants the opportunity to try a few things.”

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Quilts Canada, First Baptist Church, Tantramar Community Radio Cumberland County Museum

Geographic location: California, AMHERST, Nova Scotia Europe Victoria Church Street

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