Organizers of Umpqua Fiber Fest 2018 consider it a celebration of all things related to fiber arts.
The Umpqua Weavers & Spinners Guild, with members including Clare Matthews, Kimberly Carter and Cindy Hutchison, are putting on the free event Saturday at the First United Methodist Church in Roseburg. The Umpqua Valley Farmers Market will be going on outside the church during Fiber Fest.
“We have a very talented group with diverse skills and we want to put our crafts out there and attract new people to join the guild,” Matthews said.
Hutchison said Umpqua Fiber Fest will feature classes, presentations and demonstrations of weaving, spinning and embroidery, and give participants opportunities to get hands-on with fiber crafts.
“It’s going to be really fun,” she said.
Carter said Fiber Fest started as a small celebration of fiber for guild members until last year, when the guild opened up the festival to teach the community of Douglas County about the art of spinning and weaving.
“When it was conceived there was a large gap of knowledge in this community, not just of weaving and spinning, but of all aspects of fiber,” Carter said. She said the process of creating fiber can be extensive, from sheering a sheep to washing the wool, milling it, dying it and spinning and weaving it.
Matthews added some fiber artists do the entire process, while others specialize in different parts of the process.
Carter said the event is meant for all ages, and there is a fiber presentation and story time geared toward kids up to 7 years old.
Matthews said the Fiber Fest is for weavers and spinners of all ability levels, whether they’ve never touched wool before or they’ve been selling their creations for years.
A group of guest demonstrators, called Brazilian Embroidery “Sew”cial Time, will show those at the festival how to create three-dimensional embroidery projects.
Guild member Valerie Knowles of Sutherlin said she plans to teach festival goers how to weave yarn to create “fiber monsters,” which she called “cute little characters that can be used as bookmarks or just decorations.” Knowles said participants can use a variety of colors and types of yarn to create different textures.
“It’s just wonderful to work with fiber in any number of ways, felting, painting it, knitting or crocheting,” Knowles said. “We’d love to share our love of this craft with a lot of people and we’re hoping some with take it up.”
Another weaver will teach participants how to create felted animals to take home. A $10 class fee covers materials.
A variety of vendors plan to attend the festival, including those selling fabric and scarves from Guatemala.
The day before the event, owners of a fiber arts business called Above the Fray will give a presentation about their experiences with the weaving community of Laos at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Umpqua Valley Arts Association in Roseburg. They will give the presentation again during Fiber Fest and sell their publication, “Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos: Textiles, Traditions and Well-Being.”
Funds raised in a raffle at Fiber Fest will go toward future education programs through the guild. Raffle items at Fiber Fest include a $250 gift certificate for processing fiber at Rodger Family Farm, a shawl, a table runner, a blanket and a spinning basket.
Examples of some of the raffle prizes are currently on display in the window of Gallery Northwest in downtown Roseburg. Participants can buy raffle tickets in advance at the gallery, or at Fiber Fest on the day of the event.