Northeast Indiana Fiber Festival
April 22
9 a.m.-7 p.m.
April 23
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Noble County Fairgrounds
Kendallville, IN
Admission: $1
Demonstration/classes-pre-registration not required, but preferred
Featuring fibers, yarn, finished products and equipment
Fish & Tenderloin Dinner:
4:30-7:00 p.m.
Gwen Swogger
260-347-1129 for more information/class registration

Without fiber there is no thread or cloth. It’s as simple as that. A Fiber Festival promotes and praises natural fibers-wool, cotton, flax and silk. No spun Polyester here! Along with the fiber makers, the spindlers and spinners it brings together the craftspeople and artisans who work with fibers-the felters, crocheters and knitters. How dull the fibers would be without the dyers who create the vibrant colors.

Now most people when they think of wool generally associate it with sheep. At a fiber festival the types of animal fibers are expanded to include llama/alpaca wool, Angora goats’ fine Mohair and Angora rabbit wool. One fiber conspicuously missing from the festival: Turkish Angora cat wool. Thanks to Vanilla Weiss, there is plenty of that around the Eubank household. Allow Vanilla to sprawl on a white thrift store sweater and voilà he transforms it into an angora sweater!

Having never attended a fiber festival I am intrigued when Festival Chairman Gwen Swogger invites me to not only be a vendor, but a teacher as well. When restoring quilts, “Know thy fabric and from whence it came” is important. Some antique/vintage fabrics are made of the same fiber. Others have mixed warps and wefts made of cotton/wool or linen/wool. The more you know the better you can blend in pieces to match the surrounding ones.

Gwen became interested in spinning as a young adult after purchasing her first spinning wheel. She sometimes feels like she was born in the wrong century. Happily for us, she was born in the 20th Century where she shares her love and expertise through SWIFT (Spinners and Weavers of Indiana Fibers and Textiles) the state guild. Living on a farm she raises sheep guaranteeing a steady supply of wool. She is a member of SWIFT. After talking to area spinners and fiber artists, it becomes clear that NE Indiana is ready to promote and produce their own show and NEIFF is born. What better connection than to hold it at a county fairground? The fair board hosts the fish & tenderloin dinner to raise funds to keep the grounds looking beautiful.

At the festival I will be teaching both days from 1-3 p.m. “Ten questions to ask yourself before starting a quilt restoration.” Participants are encouraged to bring in their quilts in need of restoration so they can receive practical advice on how to bring them back to life.

Other class offerings include a mini socks (knitting), folded fabric mug mat using two fat quarters, T-Shirt rag rug (crochet), spinning and spindling.

So plan now to attend this inaugural event and watch it grow next year!

A Special Farewell: Pieced Together Quilt Shop closes its doors on April 23

I spent many an enjoyable hour there searching for the perfect fabric with the assistance of owner Julie and her mom Sue. Located at 6037 E. State Blvd., Fort Wayne, the final sale is now in progress. You will be missed!

You can contact Lois at 260-515-9446 or visit

Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer