BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE For centuries Adirondackers have spun, woven, and sewn -making textiles that are both functional and beautiful. Visit the Adirondack Museum for a celebration of traditional and contemporary fiber arts at the first Adirondack Fiber & Fabric Arts Festival on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Activities are planned from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and will include demonstrations, presentations, textile appraisal, displays, vendors, and hands-on opportunities for visitors of all ages. Each is included in the price of general museum admission.
The Mark W. Potter Education Center will host a display of rarely seen textiles from the museum's collection. Early domestic textiles-clothing, tea towels, or rugs-are rare in the Adirondack Museum collections. They were meant for everyday use and did not survive. The museum does have showpieces- crazy quilts with silks and embroidery, wedding dresses, intricately patterned buff mittens.
Demonstrations will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Members of the Northern Needles Quilting Guild of Long Lake will demonstrate both hand and machine quilting. The Serendipity Spinners - a "loosely knit" group of women who have been spinning together for many years - will demonstrate the various aspects of wool processing. Lindy Dolan will offer a demonstration of Redwork embroidery. The name Redwork is derived from the red cotton thread that was used to create this charming style of embroidery. Redwork is believed to have originated in Europe in the 19th century and traveled to America prior to the War Between the States.
Textile appraiser and historian Rabbit Goody of Thistle Hill Weavers, Cherry Valley, N.Y. will help visitors discover more about personal antique and collectible fabric pieces. For a small donation to the Adirondack Museum ($5 per piece, three pieces for $10) she will examine vintage textiles and evaluate them for historical importance and value. Only verbal appraisals will be provided.
At noon, museum Curator Hallie Bond will offer a Brown Bag Lunch program in the museum's auditorium. Entitled "Women's Work in the Adirondacks," the informal presentation will be based on Bond's research into the daily lives and work of Adirondack women, with special emphasis on creativity and tasks related to textiles.
Shelburne Museum Curator Jean Burks will share information about the Shelburne's world-class collection of quilts and rugs at 1:30 p.m. Her talk will illustrate how women throughout the northeast expressed creativity and demonstrated skill in the production of quilts, rugs, and other textiles.
Regional vendors will offer handmade and specialty items at the Adirondack Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival. Visitors can use treadle sewing machines to make a souvenir balsam sachet or do laundry the old-fashioned way with washboards and pounders.
For more information about exhibits and programs in 2007, call 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org .