My Day on the Trail

A few weeks ago in mid-March, the Cedarburg Spur Fiber Arts Trail took place. I had a great viewpoint of the day from the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts lobby – guiding visitors in making their own Gelli® monoprinted “Postcard from the Trail”.

The Cedarburg Spur is part of the Midwest Fiber Arts Trails – a local group of fiber and quilt artists, business owners and organizations who share a love of fiber and textiles. The group wishes to foster the exploration of the Midwest's rich textile community, encourage inspiration, offer opportunity for learning and participation, promote regional fiber artists and showcase the historic and scenic Cedarburg area.

For my part, it was a pleasure introducing 80 people to Gelli monoprinting. Monoprinting is nothing new...it's been around for ages, but the Gelli Plate is an innovative tool that is bringing monoprinting to the masses. This plate is a fun way to make loads of your very own fabric or paper designs for quilts, fiber arts, scrapbooks, cards, art journals, mixed media projects, collages and so much more. I loved watching the faces as people printed their postcards – starting with a “How does this work?” to “Wow, that’s so cool!”.

After I finished at the Museum, I headed out to explore a small portion of the fiber trail. For many years, I’ve wanted to see the machines work at the Cedarburg Woolen Mill. The woolen carding machines have been in service since before the Civil War. The machines are huge and made of cast iron. The wooden slats are worn smooth and run very quietly. This machinery is from the original Cedarburg Woolen Mill, meticulously maintained by owner Kay Walters. It is fascinating to watch the delicate, lighter-than-air wool fleece turned into lofty wool batts by this huge machine. Kay also has a unique collection of vintage fabrics and trims. After watching the woolen machine, I headed up several flights of stairs to see Kay’s own artist studio with a quilt in the making. A little “museum” with a collection of looms, quilts, sewing machines and yarns is also housed in the Woolen Mill building along with several other artist studios. See the photos below.

I also had the great pleasure of meeting and spending time with Jennifer Wilder, who is the master-mind behind the Midwest Fiber Arts Trails and Publisher and Founder of Fiber Art Almanac, Wildwood Press. She has so much enthusiasm for honoring the Midwest’s rich textile heritage and celebrating and promoting the work of contemporary fiber artists.

One last thing, a big shout out to my friend and former Gelli Monoprinting student Debbie Lemke who helped with the printing process of “Postcards from the Trail”. You were amazing and a significant help to all! Thank you!


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