Southern Highland Craft Guild hosts Fiber Weekend, May 12 & 13

Photo courtesy of Southern Highland Craft Guild

Press release from Southern Highland Craft Guild:

A most celebrated weekend of fiber will return to the Folk Art Center for Mother’s Day on May 12 and 13th with the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s Fiber Weekend. For more than two decades, felters, quilters, weavers, knitters, tatters, spinners, and many more fiber makers convene at Milepost 382 to share handmade skills with visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This year more than two dozen Guild members and friends will be demonstrating a variety of techniques from 10am-4pm. Sunday will host the 20th and final Fiber Wearables Fashion Shows with member Liz Spear at 1pm and 3pm. This free event for the community invites visitors to get a close-up look at how fiber products are made and the stories of these makers.

There will be several activities for children of all ages. New to this year will be the Farmhouse Barbecue wagon to serve locally made food for visitors throughout the day on Saturday.

Haywood Community College will be demonstrating the dye process, with Professor and Guild member, Amy Putansu. They also will bring looms and other tools to show how fibers can be transformed. “At Haywood we have seen an increase in younger students coming into the fiber program over the recent years,” says Putansu. “This is exciting because it is imperative to keep the practice alive, and fresh perspectives enrich the contemporary craft field overall.”

Lorraine Cathey will be passing on her knowledge of needle felting as a way to continue sharing fiber traditions. “My career began when I was very young, influenced by my great grandmother who would sit in her rocker near the pot-bellied stove and make my sisters and I doll blankets and clothes out of recycled cemetery ribbons. I remember watching in awe as she made small intricate stitches,” says Cathey. “Demonstrating the technique allows me to continue to pass on that knowledge. I find that children of all ages are intrigued by the amount of detail you can achieve with needle felting, and younger kids really enjoy playing with the fiber and needles to create their own works of art.”

On Sunday, the Guild will celebrate the 20th and final Fiber Wearables Fashion Show produced by weaver Liz Spear. The first Guild Fashion Show in 1987 was a private event for North Carolina car dealer spouses. It was held at the Grove Park Inn and organized by Robbie Spivey.

A member since 1996, Spear has been instrumental in building the Guild’s fiber network with her annual show. Well-known for including a range of skill and technique, the show will have two showings, starting at 1pm and 3pm. This year, Liz anticipates a retrospective show that highlights how one’s craft is woven into their life. “The best part of producing this Fashion Show all these years has always been getting to know my fellow fiber members, through their work and their words, and I thank all of you, new and old,” states Spear.

Textile arts are known for building a sense of community, and to celebrate this, the Guild invites visitors to Fiber Weekend to bring their own handwork, whatever it may be. Weather permitting we would like to fill the hill behind the Folk Art Center auditorium with people engaged in fiber arts. Bring a blanket and enjoy a spring afternoon of craft!

Fiber Weekend is a free event on May 12 (10am – 4pm) and May 13 (two fashion shows, 1 and 3pm) at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in east Asheville. For more information, visit or call 828-298-7928.

The Southern Highland Craft Guild is a non-profit, educational organization established in 1930 to cultivate the crafts and makers of the Southern Highlands for the purpose of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation. The Southern Highland Craft Guild is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

Fiber Weekend 2018, Demonstrating Makers:
Barbara Miller & French Broad Weavers, woven book marks
Rita de Maintenon, crochet
Robin Ford, batik
Martine House, embroidery
Teena Tuenge, weaving
Carlson Tuttle, lace making
Chad Alice Hagen, felting
Mary Nichols, spinning & knitting
Joanna White, silk painting (NEW MEMBER!)
Joan Berner, felting
Elizabeth Garlington, quilting
Connie Griggs Brown, quilting
Rug Hookers with Sharon Richmond
Eileen Hallman, spinning
Lorraine Cathey, felting
Lin Oglesby, knitting
Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Program with Amy Putansu
EGA with Barbara Decker
Julie Wilson, spinning & shearing & carding
Anthony Cole, shearing


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