UT Extension offers Heritage Skills Seminars

UT Extension offers Heritage Skills Seminars

Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:01 pm

We live in a high-tech, fancy-gadget age, but that doesn’t mean we should forget our traditions and proud past in Tennessee — when we made many household items by hand.
That’s the idea behind the Heritage Skills Seminars coming soon in Crossville, an event put together by University of Tennessee Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences Unit and the Tennessee Family and Community Education Council.
The seminars are planned for Oct. 4-7 at the Clyde York 4-H Center in Crossville. Participants can choose from one of three seminars — quilting, weaving and basketry. The cost is $275 for weaving and basketry and $190 for quilting, and that fee includes housing, materials and meals. The deadline to register is Wednesday. Register with the UT Extension office or online at http://easternregion.org/fcs/Heritage
UT Extension leaders say the Heritage Skills Seminars are a great way to keep these craft-making skills alive in modern times. “People have a renewed interest in the traditions learned in the past. If we don’t teach these skills, they could be lost to future generations,” says Linda Bower, program leader for UT Extension’s Eastern Region.
The event has been jokingly called “Boot Camp for the Crafty,” but organizers say it’s actually a relaxing time in a beautiful setting. However, Bower says there’s an economic benefit to preserving these skills as well. “In today’s economy, people could take these skills and turn them into income by having a business,” she says.
Bower says camp participants go at it all day, sewing, stitching and creating. By week’s end, they have many beautiful creations such as hats, scarves, home decorations and blankets and quilts.
One seminar is titled “Quilting on the Mountain,” and the idea is to promote this centuries-old Tennessee tradition and to teach modern-day techniques for making stunning quilts. “Quilting on the Mountain’ is a wonderful experience for all who attend,” says Debra Carroll of Clinton, the chairman of the seminar. “There are many opportunities to learn things such as needle-turn applications, basic machine quilting, thread painting and folded flower embellishments.”
Ready to start knocking out your Christmas shopping list? You can do that at the Heritage Skills Seminars. There will be sessions on making a Christmas Dresden Table Topper and classes on hand-made holiday ornaments.
The “Heritage Skills Seminars” also include a service project where participants will make “Heart Pillows” for breast cancer patients at area hospitals.
Published in The Messenger 8.31.10

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