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Foothills Crafts to hold 30th Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival Friday, Saturday

Posted on Friday, November 13, 2015 at 6:00 am

top photo (2)By John Coffelt, staff writer

 Foothills Crafts will offer Manchester shoppers the opportunity to find unique holiday gifts during its 30th annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center.

“Customers come from as far away as Nashville, Chattanooga and Huntsville,” said Foothills treasurer Phyllis Dix.

Parking and admission are free, and the conference center will offer lunch for purchase. Available will be sandwiches, salads and hot meals both days.

Foothills Crafts will also hold its annual bake sale fundraiser. The results of the silent auction will be announced at the close of the day Saturday as well.

Featured this year will be Tullahoma artists Luise Richards with needlework, Susan Frame with Christmas florals, Hattie Beavers, doll clothes, Jack McKinney wooden toys and Shirlee Ferrell with home décor.

From local Manchester artists, look for Dix’s draped figures, Nancy Graham’s pincushions, Joe Heinfz’s bird feeders Judy Pugh’s wreaths, Sheila Wiser’s Christmas ornaments and Maureen Peirce and Meri Lapham’s knitting and crocheting.

Attending from outside the area are Susie Whitfield, of Lynchburg, with paintings, Christine Barrett of Woodbury, with jewelry, Sharon Jones of Shelbyville, with sewing, Carolyn Tocco of Sewanee, with paintings, the Sickels family of Greenbrier with jewelry, and Denise Miller of Estill Springs, with paintings, who will show with Brenda and Gerald Ferguson with pottery.

From Hillsboro, Michelle Taylor will offer steampunk jewelry and Amy Carter will have loom crocheting.

From Pelham, Hattie Nunley will offer her quilts.

Mary McElwain of Tracy City will bring yard art and jewelry.

Allardt, Tenn. resident Henry Hoover will offer musical instruments and Kim Condra of Sparta, will bring cloth and snowmen.

Betty Hooper of Smyrna will have tole painting, a flowery folk art painted on household items.

Cowan’s Dianne Bass will offer crocheting and Amanda Neighbors of Nashville will have wreaths.

Bringing an assortment of Christmas decorations will be Penny Meade, of Columbia, Tenn. From Murfreesboro, Linda Feagans will have jewelry, Randy Kelly, wood turned pens, Rick Clark, lamps and Donna Hauger with crocheting.

Brenda Cunningham, of Clarksville will offer woodworking and Jennifer Kress and Nancy Crum, of Lebanon, Tenn., will have cloth dolls. Ron and Pat Thomas, of Athens, Ala., will offer turned pens.

Also from Manchester, Lucille Lundquist will offer Christmas ornaments, Teresa Cravens will have fused glass, Laura and Chip Schultz will offer soap and candles, Mary Ferber will have home décor and Diane Weibert will offer doll clothes.

The Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center is located at 147 Hospitality Blvd.

Foothills Crafts is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. The shop is located at 418 Woodbury Highway in Manchester. For more information, call 728-9236.

Foothills celebrates 35th anniversary

Foothills Crafts is the dream realized of past Coffee County Extension Home Economics Agent Jeanne G. Webb. After receiving a fellowship from the University of Tennessee for a resource development project, Webb traveled throughout North Carolina researching the success of many shops organized and operated by its members. With ideas in mind and the belief that the Coffee County Craft Association, formed in 1981, would be successful as well, she returned and shared her findings with the committee formed to assist her. Members were Mary Parks, Missy Prowell, Norma Crooks, Evelyn Wilson, Doris Mason and Annie Ruth Norvell.

The committee had a firm belief that the same sort of shop would be successful in Manchester because of the several Family and Consumer Education Clubs located throughout Coffee County who on a regular basis had members creating beautiful homemade wares.

The first location was the Art Gordon’s former Grocery on the McMinnville Hwy. was rented with the original 100 Association members each contributing ten dollars for the payment.

In Aug. 20, 1990, with the shop’s continued success, the Association was able to expand the building adding 1,200 square feet of sales space and a classroom downstairs.

Throughout the years, Foothills Crafts has developed quite the reputation worldwide as being known as a place to find homemade, handcrafted items created from skills passed down through the generations. The shop has been featured in state, national and worldwide publications, including the Tennessean, Southern Living Magazine, Country Handcrafts Magazine, the German newspaper, AUF-BAU and just recently, the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Dix, current treasurer of the shop, credits the volunteers for Foothills Crafts success.

“We appreciate all the volunteers who donate their time to make the shop successful,” said Dix. “Without their efforts we would not be where we are today.”