Saturday, November 8, 2008

Southwest Fiber Festival

Well, my fellow fiberholics. Right now my house looks like a bomb has gone off and they just need to bring the dogs in to search for survivors. This is entirely due to the fact my house is in a different place than it was last time we talked. The good news is that the chaos cannot possibly last forever. The bad news is that it sure feels that way. The other good news is that now I have taken over the second bedroom as my studio. We'll talk more about that when it is all put together and ready for public viewing.

First, let's catch up by chatting about the Southwest Fiber Festival. I have to say, for a first time event of what I hope will be many more to come, it was really well organized. Setting up seemed to run smoothly and all the vendors seemed happy with how things were going. Having done booths at farmers markets longer than I care to think about, I just knew that I could sail down to Amado that morning and get all set up in half an hour. Piece of cake. Unless, of course, one forgets to bring one's table. I thought someone else was bringing it, she knew she wasn't and knew that I was bringing the table. But thanks to the kindness of another vendor I managed to locate a sub and my very panicked start to the morning went smoothly.

My friend Monica and I were right next to Lynn's booth for Kiwi Knitting. Lynn brought lots of roving, some hand-dyed yarns, baskets from Lantern Moon, and some great books. We saw a lot of our shop regulars there, as well as new faces that were excited to hear about Kiwi.

And, of course, her knitting bag. During down times I would look across to Lynn in her chair as we both sat in the shade and worked on Christmas gifts for family.

I had the great fun of sharing a booth with my friend and knitting student, Monica Durazo. Monica, I'm delighted to say, was a huge hit with her nuno-felted silk organza blouses. Some where all white, others started with her hand-dyed rovings and/or hand-dyed silks. They were just gorgeous, and it was great fun to see her hard work so appreciated by the festival goers.

My side of the booth was all about my knitted and fulled pieces, which were then embellished with some combination of hand-worked embroidery, beading, crochet or needle-felting.

Because of the heat, I didn't explore the other vendor booths as much as I would have liked, but here is one that I really loved. The business is called Bags by Coral Lou. They had wonderful hand-made felted bags. The bags themselves are knitted by Coral Lou, and her husband does the needle-felted embellishments. I think the man is an incredible artist.

They had a number of bags at their booth, in a wide variety of styles. Once her husband finishes embellishing the outside of the bag, he hand paints the fabrics for the lining. Next Cora Lou sews the painted fabrics into the most meticulous, detailed linings.

As you can tell, I was really inspired by their pieces.

This design, of bamboo, really caught my eye with the wonderful detail.

Then she flipped the bag over and I saw that the other side of the bag has another panel of needle-felted bamboo.

And I just had to get another picture of both of them together with their wonderful art piece.

The dates are already set for next year's show with vendors and classes, and I hope that you will keep an eye out for it. I'd love to see more people from Tucson make the trip down. Amado is only a very easy half-hour trip once you are on I-19, and it would be nigh unto impossible for you to miss seeing it from the freeway. You just couldn't get lost. This year I was a vendor, next year I'm planning to take the classes that I drooled over enviously this time around.

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