At the Library 2/2/23

At the Library
by LeAnn Kunz
Fiber Arts February is here and we have the largest one ever planned for you at your Washington Public
Library. I began working on this celebration back in August of 2022 by applying for a Creative Places Project
Grant through the Iowa Arts Council. This grant requires you to have one-to-one matching funds and due to the
generosity of our Washington Public Library Foundation, I was able to acquire this grant. The annual Fiber Arts
February is enhanced this year by our partnerships with Art Domestique and Studio on the Square. It is also
made possible with the help of those in the community and surrounding communities who have a love and
appreciation for fiber and textiles and are willing to share their talents and pieces.

This year, we are offering a variety of workshops, presentations, and exhibits that are all free and open to the
public. On Thursday afternoons we will be hosting Beginning Knitting with Molly Jennings. This class filled up
quickly and our participants will be learning to knit a simple cup cozy.

On Friday, February 3 at 2 pm, Jenisa Harris has a fun afternoon planned for tweens and teens. 5 th through 12 th
graders can come create a piece of clothing from recycled books, magazines, and newspapers. All supplies are
provided. If you are a teen who loves fashion, this is your chance to design and create in the field.

Artist Catherine Reinhart will be our special guest on February 3 at 6 pm and February 4 at 10 am. She will be
presenting the Collective Mending Sessions, a socially engaged project which asks “how can craft become a
catalyst for social repair? These sessions resemble a quilting bee. They cultivate care for cloth and community
through mending together and discussing the value of repair. You can join us for one or both sessions. They are
free and all supplies are provided. We ask that 12 & under attend with an adult.

On Friday, February 10 at noon we will hold a special version of WPL’s Sticks & Strings. We will have
potholder looms, loops, and all supplies available for adults to weave your own potholder for free. You will
make and take your piece! Participants may also bring their own fiber arts projects and simply enjoy the
fellowship of fellow crafters.

Artist Kathleen Almelien will be presenting a Spinning Workshop on Wednesday, February 15 at 7 pm in our
partnership with the Art Domestique. Kathleen will exhibit and demonstrate on her collection of spinning
wheels at the Gallery. Participants will get the opportunity to make their own drop spindle from a potato and a
crochet hook and try spinning with it. Some supplies will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring
a size J crochet hook and a small potato. This workshop is free for all ages but 12 and under must attend with an
adult. We have a limit of 15, so register now at

The WPL also has a partnership with Studio on the Square this year. Artists Nancy Albert and June Henderson
will teach a Fabric Scraps Painting workshop on Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. Participants will create a
fabric work of art using either their own scraps or provided materials at Studio on the Square. Note: there are
stairs to get to the studio. This is free to ages 14 and up with a limit of 8. Register on the Facebook Event or
email or call 319-461-0421. The spots are going fast for this one.

We haven’t forgotten the kids! During a special Tinkering Lab on Friday, February 24 at 1:45 pm grades 3 rd
through 6 th are invited to come weave a potholder with Jenisa. We will have potholder looms, loops, and all
supplies available to make and take your piece!

The grand finale of Fiber Arts February will be a presentation called The Art of the Apron by Tami Finley. This
will cover apron history, apron trivia, and more! Finley has amassed a collection of over 200 aprons and brings
their art and history to her programs along with anecdotal stories. The apron conjures up many memories and
you are encouraged to bring an apron and share your own stories.

We are also excited to be featuring a record number of fiber arts exhibits for you to enjoy throughout the entire
month of Fiber Arts February. Our Helen Wilson Gallery is going to be filled with a multi-artist exhibit entitled
Color Expressions in Fiber. Artist Christine Williamson has curated a colorful exhibit of pieces made by herself
and artists Meg Prange, Maria Montalvo, and Zetta Pilch. They include weavings, quiltings, and dyings, an
exquisite and wide range of techniques and applications of fiber and color.

Art Domestique Gallery will be hosting an outstanding exhibit by fiber artists Wendy Read and Mary Kay
Hymes for the month. The Library will host Kathleen Almelien’s Bandweaving Exhibit on the 2 nd level as well
as a Community Aprons Exhibit on the 1 st level. And finally, our whimsical exhibit this year is Sea Splashes II
and will be in the 2 nd level cabinet at the Library. Members of Sticks & Strings have been hard at work over the
past months creating aquatic fiber creations for our faux aquarium. Make sure to send the kids up to see it!
Stop by the Washington Public Library, visit the website at, or call 319-653-2726 if
you have any questions about the upcoming events and celebrate Fiber Arts February with us!