JavaScript Menu by North House Folk School - Courses, Classes, Workshops  
North House Folk School
North House Folk School

History to Handcraft: Highlight on Fiber Arts

Join historical textile expert Carol Colburn for a behind the scenes look at local history. This course will highlight various pieces of the Cook County Historical Society collection. After a brief introduction at North House, the class will visit the local museum, located just a few blocks away. Students will have an opportunity to observe close-up the fiber craft currently on display, as well as pieces from the archives. Selections of household textiles will be featured, as well as garments, textile tools, and historic photographs depicting these items in context. Some of the techniques represented include spinning, weaving, knitting, garment making, embroidery, and a variety of rug making techniques. Some of the artifacts have personal history available about the makers. Connections between handcraft we learn at North House and life in earlier days of Grand Marais will make the artifacts come to life. Besides this unique look at an aspect of the history of Grand Marais, the morning’s tour provides an introduction to utilizing an historical collection for inspiration for handcraft today and can serve as inspiration for further exploration in students' own communities.

Accompanying photo is a 'Crazy Quilt' that belonged to the Mayhew family. Joseph Mayhew was the first Grand Marais lighthouse keeper and his family was the first to live in the house that is now the museum. They were some of the first European settlers and landowners in Grand Marais. Find out more on the Cook County Historical Society website.


New! Thu, Feb 16, 2017
(Early bird tuition deadline: 01/05/17)

Course Details

Length in days:


$50.00 per student (Regular rate)
$45.00 per student (Early-bird rate)


Beginner to Advanced

* The Feb 16, 2017 course is part of the Northern Fiber Retreat event

Making it happen:
  • When should I enroll?
  • Do you take last minute registrations?
  • When will new course dates be posted?

All required tools/materials are provided by your instructor and North House and will be available once the course begins.

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that may offer additional optional tool recommendations and suggested reading.

Carol Colburn Carol Colburn

Carol teaches sewing workshops at North House that incorporate traditional Scandinavian textile traditions along with contemporary craft. Through her travels, she has found inspiration in everyday as well as the festive textile and clothing traditions of Scandinavia. Her numerous publications discuss the design, techniques, and meanings behind Norwegian folk textiles, including clothing and household items. She taught period clothing design, pattern making, and sewing in universities before she began teaching focused heritage sewing workshops at Vesaas Farm Studio in Telemark, Norway, Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, and at North House. Students in her sewing workshops are introduced to an appreciation of traditional techniques while creating contemporary custom garments that are ultimately practical for the northern climate.

More about Carol Colburn
History to Handcraft: Highlight on Fiber Arts