Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weeks Dye Works

Let me introduce you to a great North Carolina company, Weeks Dye Works. If you embellish quilts, embroider, needlepoint, punchneedle, rug hook, or make wool appliqué projects or penny rugs, you are going to want to know them.

I met Miranda Weeks McGahey (below) and her husband John at Fall Quilt Market in Houston, where I was drooling over their spectacular varigated embroidery threads and perle cottons. (Some of the ones that came home with me are shown above, and now I want more! more! more!) must... have... more...

Miranda started dyeing fabric and thread in her apartment bathtub in 1992, after graduating from the School of Design at North Carolina State University. Today, her company has 10 full time and 9 part time employees. They have a 6,000-square-foot facility in Garner, N.C., and do 13,000 dye baths a day!

Weeks makes a bunch of wonderful products: over-dyed, 6-stranded cotton embroidery floss; hand-dyed wool fabric; size 40 sewing thread; and perle cotton (sizes #3, #5 and #8). And as you can see from my photo at the top, the colors are rich, with subtle color variations. I’ve used them in some recent free-style embroidery work, and in punch-needle embroidery, and I absolutely love them!

Weeks does not sell to individual customers on their website; they only sell wholesale. But you can find retailers across the U.S. and around the world on their “Find a Retailer” webpage. If you go to some of the bigger quilt shows, you can often find their products in booths selling punch-needle or embroidery designs and threads.

Another chance to win my book!

Here’s an opportunity to get a copy of my new book, Applique Petal Party, for free! Appliqué artist extraordinaire Kay Mackenzie is giving away an autographed copy to one lucky person who leaves a comment on her blog post before the ghouls come out to play on Halloween evening.

If you’ve never visited Kay’s blog, All About Appliqué, you are in for a treat. Great tips for appliqué; beautiful quilts; and links to quilt organizations, appliqué designers and pattern companies. Kay is the author of a bunch of books (most recently, Easy Appliqué Blocks by That Patchwork Place/Martingale) and produces patterns through her company, Quilt Puppy.

And she is a very sweet person to boot!