For artist Kate Fiebing, sewing is second nature.
“I’ve always enjoyed sewing. I find it relaxing and creative,” she said.
Fiebing of Suttons Bay will be the featured artist in the eighth annual Fiber Festival being held in the Old Art Building Friday and Saturday, part of a deep lineup of weekend events signaling that fall is peaking in Leelanau County.
It promises to be a great time to live in or visit Leelanau County. Autumn color is also working toward a grand finale, and weekend temperatures are expected to bypass 60 degrees under sunny skies.
Art lovers should be in heaven attending the Fiber Festival and an annual Fall for Art tour of county galleries.
Contrary to popular opinion, the “fiber” in the festival does not refer to the kind you eat. Cloth, yard, string, and just about any variation on the elements are included in this unique art form.
Sponsored by the Leelanau Community Cultural Center, the Fiber Festival provides a stage for county and regional artists who work in the medium. Judy Livingston, the center’s director, said you will see pieces from a knitted scarf or sweater, to hand bags, slippers and jackets. “These items are all unique and quite different from each other. It is a fun show to put together,” she said.
Fiebing has a degree in engineering from Michigan State University. When she had children, Fiebing returned to sewing as a less costly measure for making new clothes and putting her own touches on patterns and shapes.
“I find sewing to be calming, I just love it. I actually enjoy making patterns, the novelty sewing allows for in your creations,” she said.
Fiebing enjoys her “work,” especially the creation of a crocodile costume made for a Suttons Bay school production of Peter Pan. “It was so much fun. The eyes lit up, the tail swished, it was a very fun costume to make and a bit of a challenge,” she said.
The items Fiebing creates as part of her business, Leelanau Designs, range from new clothing to redesigning an existing handbag design and adding a patch to it.
“My thing is to take something, a coat or slippers, and made it my own, make it a one-of-a-kind,” she said.
In addition to clothing and accessories, Fiebing makes fabric dolls and puppets. She has created puppets that were part of the Tiffany’s department store Christmas windows display for its Detroit store.
Fiebing will have coats, jackets, hats, gloves, bags and other items on display at the Fiber Festival which runs from 5-8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. She is one of 18 artist who will have fiber art items on exhibit. Part of the proceeds from the show will go to the Leelanau Community Cultural Center’s effort to raise awareness about art in the county.
Galleries and artists from around the county have teamed up for the fourth annual Fall for Art in Leelanau County. The “tour” of the county will take place Friday through Sunday with participating galleries and stores staying open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The event will conclude with a reception at 3 p.m. at the Homestead in Glen Arbor.
Each participating gallery will have a bright yellow “fall for art” sign displayed on the front its building. Participants may start at any gallery, where they can pick up a descriptive brochure about the event and the locations of each gallery. Art “treasure hunters” gather signatures at participating galleries. Brochures with signatures from each gallery are eligible for a prize drawing at the closing reception.
Organized by the Glen Arbor Art Association, this year’s event is chaired by John Huston of the Glen Arbor Artists’ Gallery.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to get out, see the fall colors and get to know some of the galleries in our county,” he said.
The Empire Heritage Day celebration will t ake place Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at the Empire Area Museum Complex on Saturday. The event will feature a classic and antique car and vehicle show:
demonstrations on old-time food preparation like making apple butter, maple sugar candy, sauerkraut, and other items such as shingles using turn of the century methods. Other activities on display include black smiths, wood working, recorded old phonograph and music box music and player piano demonstrations. Empire area has been celebrating Heritage Day for 36 years according to co-chairs Bob and Rita Quinn.
“The day marks the end of another great season of keeping our past alive,” Bob Quinn said.
The museum complex is located next to the village fire hall and includes the main building, a one-room school house, the 1911 Hose House, and the Billy Beeman barn.