Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sew Happy Together

In a marriage made in needleworker heaven, the Colonial Needle Company is happy to announce that it has bought the Presencia Thread Company USA. Be still my heart! Less than four weeks ago while teaching in the Denver, Colorado area I went to Presencia in Evergreen with my friend Cindy Brick. It was a courtesy call to see my friend Karlin Allen who has been my designer liaison whenever I needed #8 perle cotton for Big Stitch kits or to do sashiko. Somehow, Karlin didn't let the cat out of the bag when I was there although she knew the sale was imminent.

The Presencia warehouse holds thousands of skeins and spools of thread. Envision the ironic last scene from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark where the guy's trundling the Ark off to storage and you get the picture--thread, as far as the eye could see.

While I didn't give in to my animal instincts--to run in circles and whoop for joy--you'll have to believe when I say that's truly how I feel about this sale. Needle-plus-thread. Wonderful. Both companies will get better but most of all, needleworkers will benefit since their beloved supplies and notions will be available from one source.

The timeline's still in play but if all goes right, Presencia Threads USA will move to the Colonial Needle Company's home address in White Plains, New York by the end of June and hopefully be up and integrated into the Colonial family system in July. It's a big job--storage units in, dropped ceilings out, offices moving to the second floor as the first floor fills up with thread.

FYI: Presencia USA is the American office of Presencia Threads from Valencia, Spain. The company has been in business since 1949 and is acknowledged as the supplier of superior embroidery and sewing threads. You know their products even if you've never bought a spool of their thread. Presencia Threads are used in many high-quality clothing lines.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Big News! And what you'll want to put on your Christmas wish list this year

Big Stitch needles are here--yippee--I have been waiting for this one! The boxes of Big Stitch needle packs  arrived from England and Colonial Needle is shipping them out to distributors and shops ASAP. There's fourteen needles in the pack and represent four different sizes of needles. The pack retails for $7.30. Ask at your local quilt shop or if you cannot find them, try the Colonial Needle's website store at

Why the variety? People like to use different thicker threads to do Big Stitch and we wanted to offer needles for them all. You can use doubled quilting thread, a #8 perle cotton (the most common thread used). a #5 perle (thicker for a really visible stitch), or even a #12 perle, a thinner but still a "make a statement" thread. Our feedback finds that lots of people are first quilting by machine along easy to follow seam lines in their patchwork but then coming back and adding Big Stitch quilting where it shows best. No sense in hiding these stitches--it's quilting with an ATTITUDE.

Also upcoming is a sweet little zippered box from Lee's Needle Arts. I predict that The Elegant Sewing Box will become your favorite take-along sewing accessory. It comes in either classic black or red faux croc-grain leather and you get to personalize the box cover with your own needlework. The inside of the box is lined with  ivory flannel and large enough to accommodate even a full-size pairs of scissors, your needles, thread, and a small project. The box retails for $49.95.

If you're a little OCD, you can make a Log Cabin insert with less than 1/4" wide strips of silk. Or try the Crazy Quilt patch that comes as a free pattern when you buy the box.  Of course you could also do any sort of needlework such as needlepoint, sashiko, or cross stitch in the top.

The Elegant Sewing Box would be an excellent addition to your wish list. What list? You know, that list you hand a family member the day after Thanksgiving or when your spouse says, "What would you like for your anniversary?"  Much nicer than an anonymous gift certificate but cheaper than the latest Bernina. Your family members will appreciate your thoughtfulness!