This book has me all weak-in-the-knees and wobbly for good quilting. You should have heard Amy and I in the store the other day, "did you see...? I mean really!??! What in the...?". Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke have outdone themselves with their second book, Material Obsession 2: More Modern Quilts With Traditional Roots (published in the US by STC). The book contains patterns and instructions for 21 amazing quilts. They built their patterns around ten concepts, with all but one quilt having been interpreted and designed separately.
For example, Kathy's Over the Border (left) and Sarah's Sunday (right) are both derived from the traditional Lone Star pattern. The cover quilt (which makes me crazy with happiness) is Charlotte Sometimes and was inspired by an antique quilt in Sarah's collection.
Another one from Sarah Fielke, Gypsy Kisses, employs foundation piecing. Kathy Doughty's Fruit Tingles uses the same method with equally stunning results (not pictured but awesome).
This is a beautiful, soft cover book (pull-out pattern insert in the back) with loads of full colour photos, diagrams and how-tos. They cover block buildilng, foundation piecing and applique with projects ranging from straight-foward piecing (one star) to complex piecing (four stars). The Seasons (above) is a three star.
I still love the first Material Obsession and either book would be a beautiful gift for yourself or the quilter (or would-be quilter) in your life. Pair it with a stack of Kaufman solid fat quarters, and get crazy with your stash. I can't think of a better welcome to October.
This month's Organization of the Month is Coffee Creek Quilters. Amy, from the store, introduced the group to the shop and we're glad she did so! It's a great organization and one that many of us could easily support just by cleaning up our overloaded stash baskets/ drawers/ bins, whatever method you maintain. A portion of our sales from the first day of our big, store-wide sale, starting Friday, October 22nd, will be donated to CCQ. Please come out and help us support them!
The mission of Coffee Creek Quilters is to use quilting as a vehicle for incarcerated women at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility to learn life-enhancing skills, such as patience, perseverance, problem-solving, and the importance of quality work. Students also learn basic math, color theory, and have the opportunity to explore their creativity. In the process, the women develop self-esteem and self-confidence, which we hope will improve their opportunities for success after they leave prison.
The program is entirely run by volunteers. Over 20 volunteers teach in one of four weekly two-hour quilting classes held inside the minimum security area of the prison. Eighty students attend one of these classes and the waiting list to get into the program is long. In order to build relationships, each student works with one primary instructor. As our founder Koko Sutton said, “It’s more about the conversation than the quilting”. Students attend class for 12-18 months during which they make three quilts. The first two are donated to a variety of charities and the third quilt is for her or a loved one. Each year, students make approximately 120 quilts that are donated to nursing homes, hospices, children’s programs, and other organizations. One of our volunteers takes pictures of the two donation quilts so each student has a photograph of their work to keep.
The majority of our students have experienced interpersonal violence, homelessness, and the absence of a positive role model growing up. Most have mental health and substance abuse concerns and many suffer from chronic medical conditions. Very few have ever used a sewing machine let alone made a quilt. However, initial fears soon give way to pride over a good quarter-inch seam, points that match, and their first block. When students finish their first quilt, the most common thing we hear is, “This is the first time I have ever finished anything! “ Everyone stops and applauds when finished quilts are held up by a beaming student.
What Students Say About the Program
The importance of finishing the first quilt is universal. One woman said, “Making my first quilt gave me the self-confidence that I could finish something”. Another recurrent theme is feeling “normal” in class. We are often told this is the only time they feel like normal women, being with and doing things “normal” women do. Many tell us quilting is the best two hours of their week. Giving back to the community is also very meaningful to our students and they often speculate about who the recipient of their donation quilts will be. Women never fail to thank the instructors before leaving class and continuously let us know how important it is to them that we “show up” every week for them.
How to Support CCQ
We rely on fabric donations for our quilts – 100% cotton, half yard or more, preferably pre-washed.
Our volunteer opportunities include teaching, fabric sorting, quilt-kit making, fundraising, and public relations.
We need donated sewing machines, basic notions and fabric for a quilt project to give eligible students when they are released. These “release kits” are described in our brochure and web page.
We welcome any cash donation. It costs us $100 a year for each student. Our “sponsor a quilter” opportunity is also described in our brochure and web page www.coffeecreekquilters.org
Coffee Creek Quilters is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. For additional information contact us at:
leave a message at: 503-257-1320
Coffee Creek Quilters
P.O. Box 2672
Wilsonville, OR 97070
Not surprisingly October rushed up on me. It’s my business’s five year birthday. Sort of a big deal in the land of businesses, and I want to acknowledge it in a few different ways. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve / we’ve gotten to this milestone and how many people I want to thank. Warning, I’m going to gush and it’s a long winded one. (The acceptance speech wrap up music would probably start around the second paragraph.) I don’t often “go personal,” but feel strongly that the folks who have made this possible need to be acknowledged out loud.
Through the years I have been so extremely fortunate to have the most wonderful of people work at the store and stay with it. John got me started and through the first couple of years, thank you a million times, sir! Along the way I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kat, Lauren, Margie and Julia, all of whom brought their own special talents to share with all of us. And, of course the current stellar crew: Amy, April and Hannah. These three continue to make it possible for me to manage a growing business, have a life away from the shop, to see my family and friends and get away now and again. For that and for their willingness to bring their kindness, helpfulness and dedication to the store every day, I am ever grateful.
There are and have been many people in the background helping make Bolt what it is and they too deserve a big ol’ thanks! Mo was one of the first sample makers for the store. Her amazing talent helped me show off fabric and patterns in such a beautiful way and her encouragement helped me feel like I was on the right track while I found my way through the first couple of years. There have been a group of talented folks willing to share their skills through teaching classes at the store, enabling us to promote the craft of sewing to many, many people. Some of them—Sally, Autumn, Shelly—have shifted with us as we moved our classes to Modern Domestic, continuing to bring their greatness to the new venture.
Most recently, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with Melissa, Lupine and Michelle in a whole different capacity. Melissa has been patient, creative and dedicated to Bolt Neighborhood, the store’s blog. I say “patient” because I am not the most tech-savvy person and she gently pushes me along this techno-communication path we all seem to be on these days. She has cheered on the store through her smart and inspiring blog work and has jumped behind the counter when we have been too busy to get things put back on the shelves. Lupine has worked with me in quite a variety of ways, starting out as a rep, counseling me on merchandising and ensuring me that we needed a thread cabinet upon opening. She introduced me to John and Mo and came back to the store as a teacher and blog-launcher. I continue to appreciate her endless enthusiasm and thoughtful ideas. She and Michelle have provided me with a tremendous opportunity in Modern Domestic. They welcomed me into a partnership that has been amazing. Their devotion and drive is inspiring and I have truly, truly appreciated the chance to work with them in a business partnership.
I need to say a huge thank you to my family. Jason, my partner, has been exactly that—a partner, standing by my side and encouraging me along the way. Never once being discouraging about me working long hours, evening meetings, working weekends, and always willing to step in and back me up whenever I need it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. He’s also quite skilled with repairs and construction sorts of things around the shop. I have somewhat jokingly referred to my mom as the store’s PR department, but in truth, she really has been so supportive, always handing someone a business card as soon as “Portland” passing through their lips. My dad too is so incredibly supportive and encouraging, always willing to “talk shop” and is genuinely interested in the latest developments.
Last and certainly not least, you. Our customers have been tremendous. Thank you. I am acutely aware that without your support there would not be a 5th birthday. I appreciate so much that you choose to support Bolt, share your projects with us, and spread a good word. I have relied a lot on the kind words of you all to help the business grow. I have so enjoyed seeing what everyone is doing with the goodies they pick up from us. It has been a wonderful five years. Thank you, thank you.
Now, for the celebration! As a way to say thanks, we are giving out coupons the first three weeks of the month, leading up to our big October sale. Every day, purchases of $50 and more will earn you a 20% off coupon on your next purchase. The coupons will be good through September 30, 2011.
And, our sale details: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 22nd-24th will be our big, store-wide sale. All fabric will be marked down 10-50%, some even more than that at $3/yard! Our organization of the month will benefit from Friday’s sales. We will have a post up on them in the next couple of days.
Thank you again and I hope to see you soon!