Celebrating Teams

One of the many reasons I opened gather here was because I just didn't want to make things alone. I have always crafted in my studio, spending days creating with just NPR and audio-books. I missed my afternoons in the costume shop at all the schools I was fortunate enough to study and work at. There is something special about the camaraderie of a summer-stock-theatre shop stitching all night long for that season's rendition of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

above: Danielle, Carla, Maggie, Sophie (she's actually happy) and Stacie (focused knitter)<PREVIEWEND>

I've gotten to know so many awesome folks. Particularly the talented and fabulous folks that we have hired. Hiring is the hardest thing we do... we don't always hit the mark but wow, we always manage to have an excellent team at gather here. They are friendly, hilarious, generous, gifted crafters that choose to make gather here a part of their lives. I can't even believe how fortunate we are.


above: Maggie in a Wiksten Tank and Alison in a self-drafted Briar Rose & grey Jersey T

We don't often get to celebrate ourselves especially since we're only closed a few days each year but we wanted to do something as a team and there's really no better way than cheering on your home team. For us, that's the Red Sox. Even though I'm a Cubs fan. And Sophie's a Tigers fan. And Noah's a Blue Jays fan. And for all we know, Maggie is a Mariners fan. And in honor of the World Series I thought I'd blog about our day at the Sox game back in September.

above: Noah (that's his "what are you doing?" face) in a Negroni in Andover chambray and Sophie in a vintage Simplicity pattern

Alison (manager extraordinaire) made a casual suggestion that we all wear something made from the strawberry print in Heather Ross's latest collection, Briar Rose. The suggestion became a mandate and we all arrived at Fenway in matching fabric. Just call us the "Von Trapps"! From jersey to button-up shirts to gorgeous shorts - we rocked our strawberry fabric.


 above: Carla in a self-drafted jersey tank with bias straps with her awesome boyfriend, Robby and Mo knitting in a v-neck Renfrew.

And yes, there was crafting happening at the game. Socks and sweaters were knit. And beer was drunk. And Fenway Franks consumed. And even though the Tigers won that day... we had a pretty awesome day.


above: my favorite picture ever. Waiting for the rest of the gang.

Here's to being winners! And to winning teams! Go Sox!

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Why we run like an antelope


Last year we were stoked to be a small sponsor of the first ever Megan Lally Memorial 5K out in Worcester. Perhaps you read about Megan over here. We were fortunate enough to have gotten to know Megan when we were new to the neighborhood, just opened and learning the ropes. When I learned she had lost her battle with cancer I was stunned. The Memorial 5K was a way to put that energy towards something productive. Noah and I ran/walked the 5K along with some real runners like Sophie (the store manager) and awesome customers Jenna, Suzin and Kate. The Megan Lally Memorial Fund raised $26K for metastatic breast cancer research last year. <PREVIEWEND>

We had always intended on helping out this year. It even came up at our summer staff meeting. And then I went in for a physical - you know, like you do in the middle of the summer so you get it taken care of before the busy fall. On just another Tuesday I went from discussing how driving a standard has started giving me a leg cramp to checking in at the Hoffman Breast Center at Mt. Auburn for a mammogram. The irregularity I had blamed on the intense two weeks of DIY and moving the Annex down a floor was actually "something" not just a tight muscle.

Breast cancer is a thing in our family. So is ovarian cancer. The chance that what we felt could be cancerous caused me to become hysterical. For those of you who know me, I am pretty level-headed. Sure I'm passionate about lots of stuff but I'm not over-the-top-emotional. That day I was. Even before we had the diagnostic mammogram results. And the next morning when I was called back for more testing my immediate reaction was "Hell, no." And then more sobbing.

I'm okay. It was the hardest couple of weeks of my adult life. Whenever anyone complained about the weather I wanted to scream. My sister texted me the morning of the biopsy to see if I FELT like I was filled with cancer. My response was, "Yep. Totally. Just like a week ago I was the healthiest (maybe a little tired) person on Earth." End result: I don't have cancer.

And woah, I'm relieved. Because there is still so much I want to do. And see. And people I haven't met. And people that I have met but I haven't gotten to know well. And dreams I have yet to share with my spouse. And books I want to read. And things I want to make.


We doubled our sponsorship of the Megan Lally Memorial 5K this year. And even though Noah and I haven't run more than a mile in months we'll be jogging/walking on Sunday, October 6th in Worcester. Because we can. And I hope that there will come a day when learning there's a "shadow" on your mammogram doesn't immediately cause you to think the worse. Until then we'll continue to Run Like an Antelope.

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Summer Camp 2013

This is the second year of our summer day camp for kids and it's been a really awesome 6 weeks so far. If you aren't on Instagram you might have missed the photos from last week's Quilt Camp which are too awesome not to share on the blog. The kids learned not just one block but four traditional blocks! They picked out their fabrics, did the cutting and piecing and put it all together. There was handquilting and tying involved as well as some fabric painting for the kids who wanted to make sure everyone knew who's quilt this belonged to.


So proud of these 7 quilters! And excited that some of them are returning to Fashion Camp and Fiber Camp! It's so awesome that handcraft is actually something kids are not only excited about but can excel at. When I look at these pictures all I can see is the absolute joy and pride. The imperfections (can you believe someone pointed out to us that an 8 year old's  points weren't perfect?) make these quilts that much more perfect.

Have an eager young stitcher in your life? Give him/her the gift of summer camp at Gather Here! There are still spaces available in our August sessions.

Fashion Camp August 5th - Monday thru Friday, 9:30-12:30 all materials included

Fiber Camp August 16th - Monday thru Friday, 9:30-12:30 all materials included

Back-to-School Backpack August 23rd - Monday thru Friday, 9:30-12:30 all materials included

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Let us throw you a party!

We've had the pleasure of hosting a handful of birthday parties in the Annex space and it's been one of the highlights of opening the space. From ties to potholders to unlined bags people get to celebrate with their friends while also making something. What's not to love?


above photo courtesy of Jenny Rushmore via Cashmerette.

<PREVIEWEND>Reserving the Annex for your party takes a bit of planning. We need at least six weeks to reserve the space and schedule instructors and/or monitors for the event. The focus of your party is a collaboration between one of our managers to find a project that will suit the various skill sets of your guests and that can be accomplished in a couple of hours while also leaving plenty of time for snacks, conversation and celebration. How about a baby shower where guests learn basic embroidery and create quilt blocks that can be stitched together? Or a staff retreat where team members speed craft (an intro to a half-dozen crafts in just ten minute lessons)? Or do what Jenny did and throw yourself a birthday party and introduce your friends to the craft you love?

There are already TWO parties scheduled for this fall. Is one of them yours?

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Harriet Goodall

We are thrilled to have Harriet Goodall join us in June for a two-day workshop before she heads up to Squam Lake to teach at the most heavenly art escape, Squam. Harriet is an Australian fibre artist who's creations will take your breath away. Her basketry will turn whatever preconceived notions you have about basket weaving on end. From baskets to furniture to gorgeous baskets of light, Harriet's pieces are a celebration of nature and the artist.<PREVIEWEND>

Day One of Harriet's workshop will focus on random weaving with a pop of fluoro. In Day Two you'll learn traditional open weaving techniques with the opportunity to incorporate recycled materials. In both classes students are encouraged to experiment and explore their own notions of art, craft and object. You'll make two vessels over the weekend and have the opportunity to spend time with an inspiring and talented artist.

We'll be transforming the studio space to accommodate tubs for soaking cane, buckets of fluoro and racks to hang the weavings from. There will be music and cake. And plenty of time to dream as you weave. All you are required to bring is your paint clothes or apron and perhaps some recycled fiber/paper/etc to weave into your vessels. 

We wouldn't be able to host Harriet without the generosity of Elizabeth Duvivier and Squam. Thanks to Elizabeth's outreach we were introduced to Harriet and we hope this is one of many future collaborations.

Check out this vimeo to see what's in store! And don't forget to register HERE!

Fluoro Basketry at Megan Morton's The School from Caroline McCredie on Vimeo.

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For Pansy Maiden


If you didn't know that Pansy Maiden aka Laura Collins has an Indiegogo campaign going on right now hurry and check it out! Laura's expecting her first small person and really could use YOUR help to keep Pansy Maiden moving forward. I love makers. I love creative entrepreneurs. I love Laura. And I love her bags. <PREVIEWEND>

To help make this happen for this incredible woman that I find so inspiring I'm going to give away my "Octopus Garden" prizes (1 Roadrunner tote, Canteen Pouch (I love mine!), free shipping for a year!, a mystery perk & so much love) to a contributor. Yep. One random contributor will be chosen and my prize will become his/her prize. So if you have $5. $10. $25. $50. how about $100? Then help a girl out. She wanted to raise $12,000 but would be thrilled to raise $6000. I don't see why we can't meet that goal in the next 11 hours. Let's do this.


The yet to be released, Roadrunner Tote! EEEEP!

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So Many Feelings

image by Danielle Shields, knitting instructor, awesome employee, and friend. Paper cranes she and her family folded while in lock-down in Watertown last Friday.

Who said it first? This week can't get any worse. Maybe The Onion. Marathon Monday aka Patriot's Day is my favorite holiday. I didn't even know it was a holiday until 13 years ago when I moved to Boston to teach at Tufts. We had the day off. I took the train into the city with hundreds of other people to experience the marathon that year. The city is perhaps at its best on that Monday. No matter the weather. The people, all the people from everywhere, make the city just incredible. <PREVIEWEND>

Over the years if you asked me where I was from I would say with ease, Iowa. But to be honest, I've lived in Greater Boston the longest (we moved around a lot when I was a kid). And after last week, I think my tune has officially changed. I'm from here. This is home. By choice. I invested my life-savings into opening a store in Cambridge because this city needed a stitch lounge. And I needed a home. We are signing a lease for another five years because this is where we belong.

My heart breaks whenever I think about all those people injured in the course of last week's events. And for the lives lost. And the women and men in uniform risking their lives to make sure more lives weren't lost. And the families hunkered down in their homes Friday. I'm not naive. I know this is a way of life in some parts of the world. And that breaks my heart, too.

Card we sent out on Friday, April 19th. For everyone in the Gather Here family.

But my heart also swells with love when I look at those paper cranes Danielle and her family made. And when I think of all the people who sent messages of love and care via social media/email/phone over the past week. Of the amazing companies that I could not be prouder of supporting like Daisy Janie, Andover, Dropcloth, Penguin & Fish, Robert Kaufman, and Soak who made personal calls/emails/texts/wall-posts to us to make sure we were okay. I am so glad that the entire Gather Here family is safe and sound. And my eyes well-up with tears at YOUR messages. Your love for one another. Your drop-ins on Saturday. Your check-ins on Facebook. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your community. Thank you for being awesome human beings.

We will be hosting a fundraising craft event on Friday, May 10th from 7 PM to 9 PM. It's a "pay what you can" event with all proceeds benefiting the One Fund. We hope you'll join us for some bunting fun times and snacks. Plus I'm sure there will be free hugs. If you need one.

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Finish It!


We have developed a number of classes and workshops this year dedicated to helping folks "finish it!" Not everyone sews/knits/crochets quickly. No one is perfect. Sometimes life gets in the way between two class sessions and you don't find the time to do your "homework". We get it. But you aren't going to finish your project in class. Which is fine with us. But perhaps you need more assistance? Perhaps you've put a project on the back burner and now that you have it in hand you have no idea where to start? These projects are perfect for one of the FINISH IT! workshops. <PREVIEWEND>

Or say you took the Weekender Bag workshop but despite your best efforts just struggled to get the exterior together and still have to put in your lining? Well, why not sign up the Weekender Bag Office Hours workshop? The instructor of the class is available to assist you getting through the final steps of your bag. Or provide you with feedback on how to make the bag better next go around. And if you are the kind of person that won't do your homework between sessions then sign up for those Office Hours and get the work done so you can be prepared for the next meeting.

And these workshops are not just for sewing. We have a Knitting and Crochet Finish It workshop for anyone who has ever stashed an unfinished project in the bottom of a bag or deep in the closet. Pull that project out and get the professional advice your project deserves. Figure out how to set your sleeves. Add that last bit of edging. Make that i-cord. Heaven forbid you made a mistake (gasp) but no need to fear, you can tackle that mistake with some assistance. And get back on track.

Finish It! isn't just for beginners. It's for the person who just isn't "getting it" from a YouTube video. Or the kind of learner that needs hands-on instruction. It's for anyone that could use a pep-talk because "going it alone" really doesn't need to be how we craft. And sometimes you can't get any of our attention for long enough to help you "figure it out" because when we're in the store not teaching, we're helping customers make informed choices about products or stocking the shelves or checking the inventory so our online shop can launch without inventory mistakes. We created these workshops because everyone deserves one-on-one attention.

Join us and get it done! Challenge us. Share with us. Above all, FINISH IT!

March 5th Sewing Finish it! (pants still need a hem? never put in the buttonholes? all the pieces are cut out but the instructions don't make any sense?)

March 12th Knitting Crochet Finish It! (you can't just make one sock... and you might want to weave in those end...)

March 23rd Weekender Bag Office Hours (perfect for getting your homework done or getting through the last steps of your bag that you started last year!)

March 24th Modern Drunkard's Path Office Hours (took this class in 2012 and haven't quilted it? Need assistance binding? Sign up!)

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March Guest Artist: Cynthia Treen


You have probably seen the lovely thread follower stuffie kits we've been carrying for over a year in the shop and at our Bazaar Bizarre Boston show table. Designed by Cynthia Treen in nearby Rhode Island, they are one of our most popular gifts. These small hand-stitching projects are a wonderful introduction to sewing for all ages and use products sourced in New England. We're huge fans of Cynthia's!

But did you know that Cynthia is the author of Last-Minute Fabric Gifts? And you may not be familiar with Cynthia's other talent - appliqué. We are truly honored to have Cynthia be the next special guest teaching in The Annex. <PREVIEWEND> Cynthia's one-day workshop on Saturday the 23rd from 1 to 7 PM will focus on layered appliqué - something we have never offered at gather here but we think will be a great addition to anyone's arsenal of skills. You'll learn how to utilize appliqué in your work and how to take your class creation and use it as the cornerstone or centerpiece of future projects.

Here are some amazing examples of Cynthia's work. We hope you'll join us on March 23rd for what we hope will be one of many workshops with Cynthia Treen.

All images by Cynthia Treen.

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Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Sale


Thursday, January 24th is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day and we wanted to say thank you! We aren't "just" a quilt shop even though we sell some awesome quilting fabric and teach a number of quilting classes. We also consider ourselves a pretty fabulous knitting, crochet, needlecraft and sewing shop. (Have you seen the two dozen wools we have in stock? And the new Spud & Chloe yarns?)


I think nearly every single person that works at gather here has patchworked something - a tree skirt, a laptop case, a baby quilt, a potholder. Every new order of fabric that arrives inspires me to make another quilt. I'm currently sneaking in a few minutes each day to work on my Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt that was inspired by Aneela Hoey. <PREVIEWEND>


Abby Glassenberg wrote the absolute NICEST blog post about why she loves Gather Here for the Visit Your Local Quilt Shop blog-hop and we hope that you feel the same way. We hope that we've been providing you with inspiration, quality products and a community of makers that was missing from your life. Because honestly, that's what you've provided for us. We get to share our love of craft with YOU every single day. We not only teach the crafts we are passionate about but also learn from the talented folks that come to the store. We are blown away with all that YOU manage to create and how awesome everything is.


As our way of saying thanks for making us your local quilt shop, we're offering 25% off all quilting cotton. And for just this day only, buy 4 fat quarters and get 2 free. PLUS, with a $50 purchase you can enter to win a fat quarter bundle of our favorite Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets (pictured above) or a fat quarter bundle of our favorite prints from Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures! We can't wait to see what you make!

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gather here's blog chronicling the opening of our stitch lounge, experiments in craftiness, and all things fiber.


Susan Wilson patchwork Events aaron bouvier livingsocial Heather Ross quilting bee socktober Boston gather here assistant manager Good Stuff constellations Academy Awards disaster relief documentary handmade Carrie Adams Quilt-A-Long Kids War of the Worlds The Spun Monkey Craft Party Movember Fiber Camp we are family What We're Making 12 days of Constellations Eling Chang Betz White Future Eling Chen Margravine carla goodwin bmqg The Orange Owl to boston with love sidewalk sale Shortcake Scraps Boston Strong Jenean Morrison Kitty Kitty Craft Raffle fashion handmade fashion week zine Red Cross Donation Virginia Johnson Kickstarter one heart boston Fluoro handmade holiday Abby Berkson Ceramics Toil and Trouble Ryan Johnson 5K donations Enting Fibercraft ignite craft Boston Made in Lowell thread follower Egg-a-go-go Mission: Small Business Red Sox craft show Vendor Feature props Eat Boutique Debbie Bliss Quilt for Japan Oscars K'Obrien Jewelry Marathon Monday Annex Megan Nielsen Red Gate Stitchery Superstorm Sandy fiber trunk show Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet Susan Gibbs Classes Julie Vician opening flickr pool, Ravelry group, thank you Cat Dress In the News Fashion Camp Present solutions at work Dirty Water DyeWorks kids sewing Japan party Something's Hiding in Here Sara Honeywell The Forger Sale One Fund Boston Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Guest Artist Briar Rose boston modern quilt guild make something appliqué bias tape maker Andover Fabrics giveaway Red Cross, Disaster Relief The Merriweather Council movies NJStacie Made Liz Smith By Hand Acadia emma fritschel Liberty Tana Lawn kids craft camp Kim O'Brien Happy Owl Glassworks Zooguu Summer Camp American Hustle 15 Strawberry Lane Handmade Holiday Show team gh City by the Sea Ceramics Sweet Lydia's Pansy Maiden flickr Maritza Soto holiday party Catnap The Annex Monta Lertpachin Rident Cynthia Treen Juniper Moon Farm Cloud 9 Architextures KnittinK introductions Bama Bound Quilts skinny tie Thank You cynthia rowley grant costumes mfa fairbanks fancy goods Donate Spun Monkey seam ripper handcrafted Etsy MB by brigid Migration Goods Pints n Purls Basket Weaving Noah Dubreuil team gather here guest post Rhinofluff Marissa Falco yarn SewMaryAnn team work Mimi Kirchner Event Indiegogo trunk show Harriet Goodall Emily Chionchio Basketry charity Joplin Missouri Needle and Spatula quilts for boston RIPD Crafty Cocktails Chase Feelings New Leaf Past Mike Burke special guest Moda Squam Prizes reservations help workshop Memorial 5K Run and Fun Walk for Megan Lally to benefit Metastatic Breast Cancer community Community Catreach Fleur de Fiber kid president Daisy Janie seed stitch cowl, magnum semi-annual washi
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