From the start, it was Mary Sue Fenner. Her interest in Sievers Looms and weaving became the spark that further motivated Walter Schutz to move forward with his plans for Sievers School. Now 45 years later, with 44 of those years teaching 52 classes to hundreds of students here, Mary Sue has retired from teaching at Sievers. This is how Mary Sue’s and Walter’s correspondence began. Walter wrote, “It took no time for us to get together and immediately, Mary Sue was up here. Sitting in the middle of the mess as the building was being rebuilt, we set up the outline of the first year’s classes. Mary Sue knew other possible teachers and from this list we began the […]
These summer weeks are going by so quickly! In a few days, we’ll have reached the half-way point in our classes for the 2021 season. To continue to catch up with the past several classes, there will be three consecutive “Two at a time” posts to bring you up to date. We start the week of July 19 – 26 and two classes taught by Mary Sue Fenner, “One-Of-A-Kind Jacket” and “Sew a Patchy Vest”. Learning from Mary Sue and using her mix of contemporary and classic methods brings the fabrics, patterns and students together in a special way. Her array of garments is inspiring, fun, eclectic and amazing. Students brought fabulous fabrics for the 5-day jacket class and worked […]
Each day feels more and more like summer with all the leaves and flowers out, stirring in the warm sunshine. Early this spring, a maple tree was transplanted just outside the Walter Studio. It seems to have taken to its new home quite well. We’ve had plenty of water to keep the new tree growing, but not as much as this tree has! Our new neighbors have opened as the Inn at Frog Hollow and are taking reservations. Welcome, Dan and Dawn Nelson! They join our next closest lodging neighbor, Jackson Harbor Inn, in our favorite part of the Island. The Washington Island Ferry Line will be expanding their schedule to eleven trips at day, starting June 11. In Sievers […]
We continue with more news and good things from Washington Island and Sievers. For some of the best nature photos, we like the Washington Island Art and Nature Center Facebook page which is sharing the birds, scenes and sounds of the moment. One of the events in May that will be on pause until next year is the W.I. Birding Festival. Lucky for us, the birds are still coming! A happy surprise greets drivers on West Harbor Road where about a dozen of these simple and meaningful signs along the roadside give a dose of good cheer. Last time we shared lodging news along with a taste of what restaurants are offering. Now we’ll look at shops (as listed by […]
“Just” another week at Sievers…two fashion shows, daily potluck class lunches and a dinner, more than 66 one-of-a-kind garments made by Mary Sue Fenner and at least 22 of Jeanette Biederman’s baskets for inspiration. Plus, at the end of the week, the students went home with the new garments or baskets they made. Wow! An impromptu invitation from the Red Cup Coffee House quickly evolved into the first fashion show of the week. You can see a selection of the garments on our Facebook or Instagram pages, some of which were made by the students and some by Mary Sue. (There are basket photos there and more from the final class fashion show, too!) Using their own handwoven, hand-painted, hand-dyed […]
Of course, we see all of the Sievers classes as “one-of-a-kind’s”, but in this case, it refers not only to the actual title but to the garments and the instructor! Mary Sue Fenner brings dozens of her unique jackets and tops to inspire her students. The option (and challenge) of weaving your fabric in class was taken up by one student this year. The others cut and sewed one or more garments with the goal of wearing the finished piece in the fashion show on the last morning of class. Simply said, Sievers wouldn’t be what it is without Mary Sue Fenner. A chance encounter with an Islander in Green Bay prompted a note and letter to Walter […]
Whether in the studios, at Sunset Resort, the Red Cup Coffee House, Jackson Harbor Soup and Sandwiches or on the boardwalk, last week’s One-of-a-Kind Jacket class with Mary Sue Fenner and Knitting on Location with Carol Anderson had great locations to sew, knit and show. Starting with handwoven or commercial fabrics, a couple of suitcases of patterns and about 70 Mary Sue Fenner Originals, the week was filled with altering patterns and creating fun and inspiring jackets (and more). As always, Carol Anderson brings her full line of Cottage Creations patterns, samples, fun stories and knitting expertise to all locations, Sievers and otherwise. The class worked on specific techniques from some of Carol’s patterns and then had their own projects as […]
Start with handwoven or store-bought fabric, linen and lace tablecloths, chenille throws from Pier 1, bedspreads, sale and resale finds or whatever else your imagination can turn into one-of-a-kind wearables and you have this week at Sievers with Mary Sue Fenner. See if you can find the throws, tablecloths and bedspreads. This is definitely a first. A skirt made with fabric that just happened to match the ironing board cover in the studio! Here’s a few views from the fashion show this morning… It was a very inspiring, one-of-a-kind week!