Friday, April 24, 2009

Kona Bay Appearing Daily On Etsy

Every day, I spend time on the internet—posting tweets to our fast growing league of Twitter followers and reviewing the many amazing products people have created with fabrics from Kona Bay. Along with enjoying photos of projects I’m emailed, Etsy has become one of my favorite places to linger.

Since 100% cotton fabrics are the norm for quilts, it’s often the first use people think of when they think of Kona Bay. Although there are, no doubt, thousands of quilts created every year by quilters around the globe, perhaps just as many other creative projects are made. I have found hundreds of examples on Etsy.

Of course, you recently saw our nations’ first lady wearing a stylish designer dress made completely with Kona Bay Fabric. Did I mention how excited we were to see that photo pop up in national papers? The thought still makes me smile!

In case you have never heard of Etsy—it’s an online marketplace where you can buy and sell handmade items. There may be no other place online that exhibits such a phenomenal display of talent all at one site. Launched in 2005 and not even five years old, Etsy is a runaway success story.

The Etsy community boasts nearly 2 million members and growth doesn’t seem to be slowing. Each seller has their own shop where you can buy their products and learn more about them. It’s boutique shopper’s paradise! I’ve also heard that it’s a source of inspiration for many.
I wanted to share a few fun products I found today.

KOALACaddie has developed a unique craft apron for knitters and chrocheters. I think these clever aprons could be appreciated by handywomen (and men!) of all kinds.

Pink Sweetie offers pendants, magnets and hair adornments using fabric covered buttons. These delightful little gems are the perfect option the next time you need an affordable gift (it’s ok to give yourself a gift).

Sandra's Creations’ stylish bags will take you from the beach to the office and grocery shopping in between.

These are just a few examples of the creative ways folks are using Kona Bay. Visit Kona Bay to see what’s new and Etsy for inspiring ideas on how to use your stash so you can make room for new designs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quilting Their Way To A Better Tommorrow

These are challenging times for families from every corner of the country. Almost all of us know people who have been impacted by the downturn in our nations economy and the strife of war. And for many, the reality is hitting close to home.

Yet, every day, I see heartfelt examples of quilters stepping up to help to help their neighbors, communities and countries.
Oregon now has the 2nd highest unemployment ranking in the country but the Quilts from Caring Hands group, in Corvallis, Oregon, continues their important effort in the midst of it. Each year, the volunteer group sews about 400 quilts that are donated to local public service agencies. Up to 50 women participate.

A recent effort will benefit the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence. Women from the group worked with an elementary class at Franklin School. Students, ages 5 and 6 stitched colorful blocks and were able to experience first hand the satisfaction of helping another.

Across the country in Mascoutah, Illinois, Lillian Heberer (pictured here), age 99, was the star of the 30th Annual Quilt Show held at the St. John United Church of Christ in Muscoutah this past weekend. Mrs. Heberer quilts with her group, which she was very instrumental in keeping together, once a week.

Lillian has plenty fans since everybody that gets married in her circle of friends, gets one of her quilts. She generously shares her knowledge and the experience gained from a century of staying busy and having something to look forward to—the secrets to a long life, according to Mrs. Heberer.

The Quilt of Valor Foundation, headed up by Catherine Roberts, is moving towards comforting 22,000 service members and veterans from the War on Terror with a tactile reminder of a caring community. Their Mission is to cover all war wounded and injured (physically and/or psychologically) with Quilts of Valor (QOV).

The QOV Foundation is a well-organized national effort that directly supports the men and women who are keeping our country safe. They rely on people like you and I to continue their work.

As our country works to move past an unfortunate recession, I am proud to work in an industry that supports quilters. In my nearly twenty years in this business, I am constantly touched by the generosity and kindness I have seen and experienced from quilters across the country. Should you need a new pattern to work with, remember, you can always visit the Kona Bay Fabrics site to download a lovely free pattern. Thank you for all you do!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kona Bay Makes International News!

Kona Bay Fabrics and our nations’ first lady, Michelle Obama, have made the news again. When I made my earlier post, The First Lady Wears Kona Bay, a couple months ago, we were so excited to see Ms. Obama in photos all over the internet and I many publications wearing a lovely and oh so stylish designer dress made with a Kona Bay Fabric design.

Apparently, they caught wind of it in Japan, too. Earlier this month I received an email from one of our artists. As the proud creator of the featured fabric, EMPE-23 Black, from our Emperor’s Collection, he was anxious to share news of Kona Bay’s recognition in Japan.

The artists who worked on this design are trained in the kyo-yuzen method. EMPE-23 features pines and wisteria, two very common kyo-yuzen motifs. The herons were added as an accent. Rich colors are used in kyo-yuzen designs that typically feature picturesque scenes akin to life in Japan.

The yuzen dyeing method was introduced to Japan in the 8th century in Kyoto. Kyo-yuzen dyeing is traditionally used for kimonos and haori (short coats). The method is still practiced in the Kyoto region of Japan and was officially designated as a traditional craft in 1976. Kona Bay is fortunate to work with some of the finest artists who still practice the art.

We appreciate the good taste of our lovely First Lady and want to again thank her for choosing a Kona Bay fabric. Kona Bay Fabrics EMPE-23 is still available. Be sure to visit the Kona Bay Fabric website to see what’s new and many designs created in the kyo-yuzen method!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

We’re In Our New Offices!

We’re nearing the end of the first week settling in to our newly consolidated office and warehouse in Redmond, Washington.

It’s been a busy week. Fifteen pallets arrived from Honolulu this week. Can you picture it!? Additional phone lines are in and the light bulbs have been changed in the offices that have sat empty for years waiting for our arrival. It’s good to have all the staff in one location—Kona Bay Fabrics is humming!

I’ve always traveled back and forth between Honolulu and Redmond and love the cool weather of the Pacific Northwest. The staff, though, is facing a little bit of an adjustment. It’s been a rainy and cool this week and I’m seeing warm boots and coats I’ve never laid eyes on before. Kristina’s little dog, Tiffany, even got a stylin’ new sweater for her Northwest outings.

I’m excited about all the new ideas and events we’ll be able to craft now that we’re here. We’ve been celebrating the move by making over 100 different six yard bolts available to quilt shops. This translates into more variety. It’s also translates into a quick sale through so quilters should get into their local shops and strike while the iron is hot! Visit our website and take a look at the four pages of six yard bolts available.

Don’t forget to make the change in your address books:

Kona Bay Fabrics, 15036 NE 95th Street Suite A, Redmond, WA 98052

We also have a new fax number: 1-425-867-3054. The phone 1-800-531-7913 remains the same.

I’ll tell you one thing…my coffee sure tastes good while I watch it rain outside. I’d love your comments about the “must do’s “ for the Pacific Northwest. We're all looking forward to exploring more.