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Friday, February 9, 2007

Kallisti Quilts

Yesterday was another great guild meeting! We had Michelle Dunn from Kallisti Quilts do a trunk show for us. She is an amazing woman. She is a woman who lives on her own terms and I really admire that. She's been sewing since she was 9 years old and worked in a quilt store for 11 years since she was 15 years old. She always thought she would open up her own quilting store but instead found that she "likes to work in her pajamas". So, she created her own job, working from her home in Waterloo, importing specialty fabrics from countries such as Japan, Tanzania, Ghana, Australia, Indonesia and more. She is "passionate about providing a diverse collection of imported fabrics for the discerning and innovative quiltmakers of Ontario and beyond". She does about 2 dozen quilt shows a year and as many trunk shows her schedule will allow, as well as selling from her website http://www.kallistiquilts.com/ and on ebay. She holds one open house a year to introduce the new fabrics for the year. This year's open house is on February 23 & 24, from 10-4. More details can be found on her website under events.

Her trunk show consists of quilts that highlight these wonderful imported fabrics. She tends to use the same 4 or 5 simple patterns, because they show off the fabric so well. When she finds a pattern she likes she sticks to it and sells them on her website.

In 2000, she started her business, selling just the imported Japanese fabrics but soon branched out to carry fabrics from Africa. She told a very interesting story of how she happened to purchase batik fabric from a rural village in Ghana, especially when this small village of 1000 people has only one phone. She had heard about this women's co-operative in this village that got together to hand block and dye batik fabric. Finding a liason, she found out how much fabric they would be able to buy to get a discount and ordered that much and sent them the money and awaited her first purchase! She continues to carry these exclusive fabrics. Her fabric purchases helps this village and these women obtain self-sufficiency and education for their children. If this village is able to build their own school their government will provide the teachers and the supplies. This helps to contribute to that goal.

So, ladies check out her webpage or visit her open house, she says she will have tea and cake!

Carol V.

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