Creston library showing work by Creston fibre artisans

Web Lead

Now showing at the Creston and District Public Library through Jan. 14 is the Red Bag Challenge, featuring the Creston Fabric Artisans.

The challenge: Each artisan was to come up with a theme/vision, and include an originating inspiring “block” or “foundation” (with or without fabric and fibres to be used at their discretion) and some “loose” instructions.

They all were presented with an enormous red Christmas gift bag in which they placed their challenge items. The anonymity of the bag was part of the challenge. The bags were then gathered and numbered, and only the originator of each bag knew the number assigned to their challenge bag. The themes were as varied as the artisans themselves, with tea, hyacinth, sun and sunshine being just a few.

Spanning 15 months, the bags went from artisan to artisan, creating excitement and curiosity within the group as the variety of techniques, designs and visions unfolded. The final challenge, of course, was for the originator of each bag to pull together the diverse offerings into a cohesive artistic quilt — anything from panels to wall hangings to near full-sized quilts.

So, the mystery of all those women walking into the museum and library in the months of July and August carrying huge Christmas bags has now been solved, and the results are now presented in the Red Bag Challenge for all to enjoy!

The Creston Fibre Artisans includes Merilyn Arms, Doreen Hill, Syd Chihonik, Donna Krane, Mary Johnston, Brigitte Langevin, Linda Macullo, Lori Wilson, Kate Hall, Nora McDowell, Mary Lou May, Karen Persad, Kitty McCulloch, Cheryl Place and Darlene Purnell, who have taken their quilting, sewing, needlework and painting artistry to a different level. Their penchant for manipulating, embellishing, twisting, burning and dyeing diverse fibres produces works with decided dimensional and unusual effects. Always eager to pursue new techniques and take on challenges, they take every opportunity to take advantage of new learning opportunities.

— ART IN THE LIBRARY