Patchwork Folk & Fabric Festival celebrates Appalachian crafts

The traditions of spinning, weaving, quilting, caning, blacksmithing, sewing, hand stitchery, and other folk arts have survived in the Appalachian culture through the generations.

At the Patchwork Folk and Fabric Festival, these skills will be showcased and honored, demonstrated and shared. The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 5, at the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee.

During the week before the festival, sponsors have taken the arts and crafts a step further by offering classes to the public. Not only is this an opportunity for interested people to learn an old-time craft, but also share time and tales with the instructors.

• Annie Lee Bryson, age 88, will be teaching corn shuck doll making.

• Pat Purdy will make available the art of Red Sock monkey dolls.

• Dot Conner takes you to yesteryear with old-fashioned tin punching.

• Judy Rhodes will be teaching the skill of ballad singing.

• Nan Smith shares crocheting.

• Judy Chliger’s students will quilt a “Rail Fence” wall hanging

• Krista Robb will teach cross-stitching from Seizing the Moment, a book of stitchery showcasing wild flowers found on the Blue Ridge Parkway

• Betsey Sloan teaches gourd art.

• Doreyl Ammons Cain will lead a botanical drawing class, encouraging wildflower art

• Ron Yount will teach wood-carving.

On the morning of the festival, Anne Lough will teach a two-hour class on the dulcimer. The students will assemble a sample dulcimer and learn to play.

Appalachian Homestead Farm & Preserve will also host an after school “Children’s Cultural Activities” class from 3:15 until 5:15 p.m. each day from June 1 to 4.

All products produced during all of the classes will be exhibited during the day-long Patchwork Folk & Fabric Festival Call 828.293.1013 to register for the children’s cultural activities class. For all other classes, call 828.399.0958 to register. For more information on the festival call 828.293.3053.

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