CARLYLE - The town of Carlyle was abuzz last weekend as the 34th Homespun Craft Show and Sale took place after a two-year absence.
Fifty-three exhibitors from as far away as Ontario and Alberta set up shop at the Carlyle Sports Arena.
The weekend began with a pancake breakfast served by the Royal Canadian Legion’s Carlyle branch. On Main Street, the 18th annual quilt show was held at the Carlyle Memorial Hall and there was an excellent turnout.
Bev Thompson and offered her assessment of the quilt show.
“Well, the show was amazing, there were great vendors, volunteers and most of all great exhibitors showing off their beautiful quilting work. There was a special tribute given to Cathy Brown, a much beloved quilter in our community as well as a friend. We will miss you and ask that you keep on quilting.
“Also, a special thanks to our high school young men and women for your quilts; it was so exciting to see. Thanks is also extended to the group of teenage boys for helping us old gals dismantle the hall. It was one of the best shows ever.”
The foot traffic at Homespun, especially on the Saturday, was heavy with vendor lineups exceeding 20 or more on several occasions.
Nicole Currie is a long-time volunteer and committee spokesperson for Homespun.
“Whenever you’re planning an event, you want the people to come, you want them to be happy, and we had just that. We are so grateful to have vendors that want to keep coming back. They love our show, our hostesses, and our loyal shoppers. They all say how welcome they feel when they come to Carlyle.
“We must thank all our volunteers, everyone that lives here, and all our businesses that support our show. We had several new vendors this year and they felt the exact same way.
“When talking with our shoppers they expressed how wonderful it was to have Homespun back. They were happy with their purchases and excited to see so many new creations. The kitchen operated jointly with the minor hockey and figure skating committees. It’s a great fundraiser for them and they were hopping the whole time.
The show was a great success this year and thanks to each and every vendor, volunteer, shopper, committee member, business and the community at large. Thank you so much. See you all back here next year.”
One of the regular merchants in attendance was Michaud Toys of Jarvis, Ont. Originally from Gravelbourg, the Michaud family has been handcrafting wooden toys and board games for nearly 40 years.
“Carlyle is one of our favourite stops on the trade show circuit,” said Sandra, a common-law partner of one of the Michauds. “We have been coming for over 20 years and COVID-19 has brought many families together at their kitchen tables. Board game sales were through the roof and this year our best sellers were dice poker, sequence and cribbage boards. We love coming to your town and we will be back next year.”
Charlene Baduik has owned and operated Char’s Designs for three years and travelled from Perdue to attend. This was her first year manning a booth at Homespun. Baduik creates and hand paints one-of-a-kind items such as saws, shelving, benching, planters and signs.
“Business was very good this weekend and Saturday was one of my best sales days ever. We were really pleased with the event. It was very well organized.”
Strong sales and foot traffic also carried over to Main street Carlyle. Tracy Hofos is the manager of the Office Bar & Grill.
“We were happy to see so many familiar faces as well as many new ones. Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers for their great work. Our staff all put in some long hours to make sure we were ready for this weekend and the support we received was fabulous.”
Ken King is the owner of King’s Department Store and is a member of Carlyle’s business district.
“We had an extremely busy few days. It all started Friday as vendors and visitors began arriving. Saturday’s traffic was very strong, probably as strong as any Homespun weekend in the past. Sales stayed steady on Sunday where we saw a significant number of people.
“We are very encouraged by what we saw, the return to some normalcy and the fun that people had attending the events in the area. We wish to tip our hat to the large number of volunteers and leaders that put on Homespun, those that put on the quilt show, and the people that put on the Arcola craft and trade fair. Those events along with the motocross and the lacrosse made for a fantastic weekend.”