Friday, September 30, 2005

We'll tell you all about Stitches soon (we're still trying to unpack, prepare for our quilting block of the month, and at the same time get ready to go to Knitters' Day Out next week), but in the meantime, take a look at this quilt:

Here's a closer look:
It was made by the Centre Pieces Quilt Guild and reflects different aspects of Centre County. (It is blue and white for some reason.)

It is being raffled off to support the guild. Stop by our shop to see the quilt in person, and when you're there, we have the raffle tickets for only $1.00 each. Support the guild--and in the process you might even win this special quilt!

And then be sure to go to the guild's show, which is coming up on Saturday, October 15, from 10-5 and Sunday, October 16, from 1-5, at the South Hills Business School in State College, PA. There will be many beautiful quilts, and vendors and activities for all! Bring the family!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Stitches is coming up later this week, and we're starting to get just a little nervous and excited. We have rented a truck:

We have long-ago made hotel reservations, and we have finished gathering up what we're going to take. We have bought a cheap (probably disposable) carpet in a beautiful color of teal for the booth to cover the convention center's cement floors. And the babysitters for the shop have been long-ago scheduled. Be sure that you go in to keep them company!

Our Saturday helper, Kirsten, had volunteered to make the Kimono shrug that we're going to put in the Friday night fashion show. She finished it Monday. We are still doing the final sewing, but it will be done by this Friday with ease. After Kirsten started making it, we started getting a little worried that the shrug would embarrass us in the fashion show; after all, we had never actually seen it when we mailed off the entry form. We had designed it by using a plastic garbage bag, and although the drape of a plastic garbage bag is amazingly similar to the drape of yarn, it's still not quite the same.

The shrug had only been a vision in our minds and Kirsten's needles, and there was no time to change it at this point. We remained comforted by the idea that on a 6-foot fashion-show model, even the plastic garbage bag would look good. Surely the same thing made from yarn would have to look better. These were our thoughts.

But in the end all was well. The Kimono is gorgeous. Whew. Pictures later.

Most of our yarn is still in the shop. Our customers will notice only a few things missing other than us. We're planning to leave supplies of almost all the yarns there but lower--so there will be plenty of yarn to make things for the next 4 days. (Psssst.... we left all the baby Alpaca at home just for you. Go and get it.)

Our packing list is ready. We can't possibly describe or picture everything, but here are a few highlights.

First on it is Laurel Burch bags...

These are fun! They come in quite a few designs, and they make great knitting bags. Her designs are whimsical, bright, and delightful. We also have some of her socks. Sometimes it's nice just to be able to find a quick gift for someone.

We also have a new yarn from Mountain Colors called "Twizzle":

It's a dk weight merino. Good luck figuring out which color is best.

Then there is the Daria Multi for making this cool purse:

And a wool wash in the most beautiful little jar.

MagKnit necklace clasps.

Oh. And yarn. We are bringing yarn. Of course we are bringing the the Kimono kits. How about some Cherry Tree Hill Oceania... Manos Del Uruaguay (Cynthia just finished felting a hat out of it with some Wool in the Woods boucle, and is hoping it will be dry by Stitches)...

We have many hanks of Mountain Colors Bearfoot sock yarn.

Kits for a cute little capelet made from Jo Sharp yarn...

Kits for a Berroco Quest and Lavish sweater...

Kits for a poncho made from Mango Moon recycled silk...

Broadway yarn, a mohair with a sparkled bead that runs through it...

Fusion yarn (wait till you see the sweater you can make from it).... A few Harrisville needlefelting wizard kits for you wizard fans...

Going to the show? Want to know where we are? Look for booth number 610 and several large pictures of Pirates:

Avast! At our booth ye will find plenty of treasures, matie!

Friday, September 16, 2005

New Arrivals

It's always exciting when new fabric and yarn arrives. We are happy with the shipments that arrived recently! We got new fabrics from Kona Bay and Moda:

We also received some exciting hand-dyed yarns from Steadfast Fibers. The colors could be described as--if this makes any sense--"intense pastels," with delightful names such as "carrot cake":

Although we're not showing all the colors here, each mohair has a coordinating worsted wool to go with it. We're excited to see what people decide to do with them!

And we received our Alpaca from Catalina Fibers. It is just as soft and glorious as we remembered from yarn market, and the colors are even better than on your computer screen:

We're sorry that you're not able to feel it from the vantage point of your computer. Perhaps this is something that Bill Gates could work on next.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Alzheimer's Quilt

This beautiful quilt could be yours:

It was made by our local quilt guild with, we are proud to say, our fabrics. The camera does not do it justice; the colors are shades of gorgeous purple. It was pieced by a number of guild members and quilted as a gift by Barbara Dann.

How do you get this quilt? You just have to take a chance. It is being raffled by the Alzheimer's Association. If you would like to buy a ticket, call Shirley Springman at (814) 237-2550.

Hurry. Time is running out before the raffle in October.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


We received the following email from the director of the International Quilt Festival regarding their efforts to help the refugees from Hurricane Katrina.
A Cooperative Project To Comfort Victims of Hurricane Katrina

To quilters everywhere: The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast isbeyond belief. Here in Houston our hearts are heavy with sorrow for all the horrible losses, and we are preparing to welcome the thousands of refugees that are being bussed to us because they have lost their homes or have no access to whatever is left of their homes. Like so many other people, we want to help. Knowing quilters, we think you want to help, too, because there are nomore generous, giving, open-hearted people than quilters. Therefore, we are launching a two-part drive for Hurricane Katrina relief, and we urge you to join us in this project. We're calling it QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA.

PART 1: Urgent Donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. We will match EVERY donation made by quilters to the American RedCross, up to a maximum of $10,000, on a dollar for dollar basis.In other words, if you make a $25 donation, we'll match that with another $25 donation. If you make a $100 donation, we'll match that with another $100 donation, right up to the maximum. To avoid delays in your donations reaching the Red Cross, and because we have trusted quilters for more than 30 years now, just email us with the amount of your donation that you sent to the American RedCross Disaster Relief Fund. Every penny of every donation--up to $10,000--will be matched by International Quilt Festival. You have my word on that. Please use this email address: exec5@quilts.comand use the subject line: RED CROSS DONATION.

PART 2: QUILTS FOR COMFORT Many thousands of the Katrina refugees are being sent to Houston RIGHT NOW, and no one knows how long they will have to be here.Most of them escaped the hurricane's fury with only the clothes on their backs--nothing more--and they may have absolutely nothing to go home to. They don't even know. The Astrodome is ready as temporary housing, but there is a serious shortage of bedding.

Part 2 of QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA is the collection of quilts of all kinds to be distributed to the refugees here in Houston so that they have something soft to sleep on instead of the hardc oncrete floors of the temporary shelters and something warm to cover up with against the chill of otherwise welcome air-conditioning (we've been in the 90s and 100s for weeks now). Many of us have unfinished projects filling our closets and cupboards. Get out one of those projects--twin size preferred but no smaller than baby quilt size, please--and finish it up for this. Use lightweight batting--do whatever binding is the quickest, even a close zigzag stitch. You don't have to quilt it--tie it! If you have only small projects, add borders.

Think about a mother lying on the floor cradling her baby--that's the size quilt we need to provide. These quilts are not meant to be heirlooms, although they will probably be treasured for many years as a symbol of the caring of strangers. Tie them, machine quilt them, work in a group with your friends and finish several on an assembly line, do whatever it takes to get these finished quickly. THE NEED FOR THESE QUILTS IS RIGHT NOW! If you already have some finished pieces that you don't have plans for, send them too, as long as they are no smaller than baby quilt size. If you are a professional, you may have sample quilts that have become shop-worn or faded but are still clean and very usable in an emergency--send them!--we are IN an emergency! Be sure to put a label on the back of your quilt or sign it with a kind thought and your name and date. Every piece will go to a refugee family driven from their homes by the hurricane.

To participate in QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA, send an email (subject line: COMFORT AMERICA) to let us know how many quilts you are sending. That will help us help the RedCross in its planning. Please do not expect a confirmation that your quilt has been received or any kind of nice thank-you. Sometimes we just have to do things because they are the RIGHTthings to do--this is one of those times. People need help...the kind of help WE can give. Use this address to send your quilt/s: COMFORT AMERICA PROJECTc/o International Festival7660 Woodway, Suite 550Houston, TX 77063 Please note: for security, do NOT use the word 'quilt' ANYWHERE in your address label!

Many of us have also amassed linen closets full of old but completely usable sheets--perhaps a size you no longer use, or juvenile prints that your college age kids don't like anymore. Clean sheets and blankets are also most welcome to QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA. Naturally, everything should be clean and fresh.These folks have lived with enough mud and dirt to last them the rest of their lives--let's give them a clean bed to rest in. Please note that we cannot use fabric, patterns, scraps, etc. Quilt Festival will serve as the collection point for theseq uilts, and we will deliver them DAILY to the American Red Cross staffing the refugee centers in Houston, where they will be distributed by the Red Cross volunteers. Because we are right here in Houston where more than 10,000 of the refugees will be, we can make a difference RIGHT NOW...if you'll help. Time is critical--the need is NOW! People are arriving by the hour, children are bedding down on the cold concrete, bedding is needed by people of all ages who have lost everything in this horrible storm. Please help if you can. If you live in or around Houston, you are welcome to hand deliver your donations to us. Our address is 7660 Woodway, Suite 550, Houston 77063. You can find it on Mapquest. Please note that this is one block of Woodway that runs perpendicular to all the rest of Woodway. Thanks to everyone!

Karey Patterson Bresenhan
Director, International Quilt Festival--Houston and Chicago