I spent this past weekend with 250 fibre artists. Quilters, felters, rug hookers, knitters, tatters, spinners, and I’m sure I’m missing some. MFAR – the Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat – is a yearly event held a little under an hour outside Halifax, NS. This year was, I think, my 6th year at the retreat – the first one I went to was in 2010, and somewhere in the middle I missed a year.
I’ve met some of the best people I know at MFAR. Every year I look forward to catching up, sharing things I’ve been working on and seeing what everyone else has been up to. There is always so much to see! The projects that people bring amaze me – quilts, hooked rugs, wall hangings, knit dresses, life-like felted animals, intricate lace. It’s hard to describe how much talent, expertise and beauty gets displayed every year.
There are no workshops, no seminars, no vendors – no scheduled or organized events outside of a fashion show to show off what we’ve made. The whole weekend is a time to relax, catch up with friends, and work on whatever projects you’ve brought along. That isn’t to say people don’t learn things! Since there is no organized teaching time, everyone has the chance to become teacher and student. Over the years, I’ve had a chance to try my hand at needle felting and bobbin lace and I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a few people how to spin. If it weren’t for this retreat (and the people I’ve gotten to know at it) I doubt I’d have taken up weaving. Being in a space with so many people who are so passionate and so talented at what they do is such an inspiration – it’s hard not to want to try everything!