Working with our Kids and Community
The MANY HANDS FIBER ARTS FESTIVAL.
Our 5th festival will take place the weekend of July 27 through July 29, 2018, at the Telluride Middle/High School. We showcase quilting, weaving, knitting, needlepoint and textiles from local, regional and further afield fiber artists. We also display antique quilts and fiber pieces from private collections. Around the perimeter of the exhibition are many different fiber vendors, from Navajo Weavers to yarn purveyors and original silk batiks!
On Saturdays we have an outdoor exhibition of fiber bearing animals including yaks, cashmere goats, angora rabbits, merino sheep and llamas to let kids see where the fibers from their sweaters come from. A good time was had by all at our festival last year and we are excited about this year!
Always with an eye to educating kids about the joys of fiber arts, we have sponsored classes through the Summer Reading Program at Wilkinson Public Library. In the past, we did a Needlepoint Sampler class from 1-4 every Thursday for eight weeks through the summer. We did a KID’S QUILT DAY where kids came in and made a quilt square for an original quilt. In 2014 we had kids paint quilt squares for the TELLURIDE HISTORIC QUILT TRAIL. In 2015 the kids painted more quilt squares and made fabric award ribbons for the festival!
In 2016 our project with the kids was to teach a fabric dyeing process known as Ice Dyeing. Students were introduced to the process by retired Board of Director Deree Brand with much help from Board members Jenny Sullivan, Kathy Green, and Jim Brand. Jeannie Stewart and Paula Cibray from Wilkinson Library rounded out the adults. 44 kids took part in the program which created 34 two foot by three foot flags to be flown during the week of the Festival and created 45 tye-dyed T-shirts, one for them to take home and one to be sold at the Festival!
Safety while dealing with dyes is also stressed. Masks are a good idea to prevent the inhilation of dye particles and causing breathing issues. Aprons and gloves also prevent the inadvertant coloring of hands, clothes, and other items not intended for dyeing! Plastic coverings on the tables and tarps on the floor as protection against spills.
And when all is said and done the results are guarenteed to surprise and please! The really great thing besides the interactions between the kids and the adults (who also tied their own shirts and dyed them) is the excitement generated in the kids and knowing that they can continue the artform at home. Simple Kool-Aid can be substituted for reactive dyes and get much the same results if somewhat more pastel!
Every year of the MHFAF has teamed up with the Wilkinson Public Library of Telluride for a Fiber Arts Program. Previous years have included making ice-dyed T-shirts and flags. Kids were also making the Festival prize ribbons.
These programs have been well received and have been asked for by locals and visitors for their children to participate over several years. Of course, they have been well received by the librarians to add fiber arts to their library programs!
This year is geared for 8-12 years old focusing on self-portraits out of fabrics and yarn and buttons. This is a cool thing to allow children the freedom to express themselves and their emotions in a creative artistic way. It can help to portray a child's personality and identity in a simple matter. This is much like the Mr.& Mrs. Potato Head in a fabric medium. This program will be to make our ribbons for the Many Hands Festival and also a T-shirt with their self-portrait appliqued for each child to take home.
Also this year we are taking the program to the Norwood Lone Cone Library. This will be our first year to expand to our close neighbor. The Norwood Lone Cone Library will be building their own NEW Library, and we would like to assist in bringing fiber arts to their children's library programs.
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO OUR PROGRAMS OF THE MANY HANDS FIBER ARTS FESTIVAL FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND THE CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS. GIVE DIRECTLY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR GOALS TO EXPAND FIBER ARTS AND FIBER ART PROGRAMS IN SAN MIGUELCOUNTY.