More than 45 fiber destinations located across Maine will open to the public for a Fiber Arts Tour Weekend, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Aug. 5-7. The weekend, sponsored by the nonprofit Maine Fiberarts in Topsham, is a chance to visit working studios and farms and to take part in demonstrations, workshops, studio tours, children’s crafts and farm living.
All activities are free and open to the public. Sites to tour include a new yarn shop in Millinocket, a Pygora goat farm in Argyle Township, a feltmaker’s studio in Garland, natural dye demonstrations in Lovell and a rug-hooking studio on Westport Island. Hand-dyed yarns, cashmere fiber, collectible art quilts, needlework images and freshly shorn fleeces will be on view.
Complete information is posted at mainefiberarts.org, including site descriptions, photos, driving directions, websites and contact info for each location. The online material is innovative in that each site has an illustrated “profile page” with geographic map, and all are connected with locators on a statewide map. Demonstrations offered during the Fiber Arts Tour Weekend also are posted online to help visitors plan itineraries. Printed 2011 Weekend Brochures listing all participants may be obtained at Maine Fiberarts in Topsham, Halcyon Yarn in Bath or at participating sites.
“Our Fiber Arts Tour Weekend is a wonderful way to step inside a working studio or farm and see how craft is made. Thousands of people toured studios in past years, and we are pleased to host this event annually — always the first weekend in August,” said Christine Macchi, executive director of Maine Fiberarts. “Last time, participants sold artwork, met neighbors, showed off farm animals and products, talked shop and made some long-lasting contacts. This is a great way to get to know Maine’s vibrant fiber scene.”
In addition to this event, visitors may use the Maine Fiberarts Tour Map throughout the year to visit 134 sites on a “call-ahead” basis. The Tour Map may be picked up at Maine State Visitor Information Centers or at Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main St., Topsham. Maps can be mailed for a small fee by calling 721-0678.
The fiber scene continues to flourish in Maine and includes artists working with fabric, collage, thread, paint or paper. These artists paint quilts, stitch books, coil baskets, felt masks and knit sculpture. Small farms producing mohair, alpaca, llama and wool are also a part of this scene. Curious travelers can find hand-knit sweaters, hand-spun yarns and other treasures or experience craft demonstrations, working studios, or farm chores firsthand.
Visitors can learn more about Maine’s thriving fiber scene by visiting Maine Fiberarts in Topsham. A statewide nonprofit organization formed in 2000, the center and gallery houses revolving exhibitions, photo libraries, informative newsletters and other visuals to introduce the public to Maine fiber art and farms. On view at the gallery through Aug. 31 is “Pioneers: Quilt Art by Busch, Carlson, Chaisson and Levy.”
For information about the Fiber Arts Tour Weekend, drop by Maine Fiberarts 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays at 13 Main St., Topsham, or call 721-0678, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mainefiberarts.org.
The art of quilting will dazzle attendees at the Pine Tree Quilters Guild annual show, “Maine Quilts 2011” 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, July 29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, July 30, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, July 31, at the Augusta Civic Center. More than 600 quilts will be on display, including special exhibits “Bear Necessities Challenge,” “Quilt A Wish Collection,” “Maine’s Quilt Heritage: Part I,” “Thread Tails and Vapor Trails, and the eighth annual Maine Shop Hop “Shop Challenge.”
A Champagne Preview will be held 7-9 p.m. Thursday, July 28.
A Gala featuring The Delightful Diva’s Whimsical Wearables with Karen Boutte will be held Friday, July 29.
A silent auction will be conducted during the show with proceeds to benefit the Maine Cancer Foundation Women’s Cancer.
Admission is $8 daily or $12 multiday, free to children 12 and under with paid adult, $7 group of 14 or more with advance registration. To download a copy of the registration brochure, email email@example.com. For more information, call 415-4417.