Monday, January 6, 2014

A Visit to Colonial Needle in White Plains, New York, Part 1



In December, I was fortunate enough to spend the morning with Tom Collingham, Vice President at Colonial Needle headquarters,in White Plains, New York. Not only did I learn a lot, which I am excited to share with you. 


Honestly, I also had way too much fun on that very frigid morning, learning about needles, thread and notions. http://www.colonialneedle.com/



















Colonial Needle is more than just a needle company, which I never knew. They have an amazing thread division; Presencia, notions and some other surprises to me, which I will get to later, in Part 2 of this post. They sell mostly to small independent shops.

Tom Collingham, Vice President and his wife Jameson, are the third generation of this quality-oriented family business, which is the sole distributor of English needles in the U.S.A.

A little quick history first. Jim Collingham, CEO, and his wife Terry, President, (second generation) are very active in the business too.

The beginning of this story starts in Watertown, New York. (Very, very cold winters. Just below Canada). Mr. Brabant was approached by F.W. Woolworth, and asked if he knew where he could purchase needles for his store. In 1925, Mr. Brabant found a supplier, Colonial Needle, in England and started a needle business in the U.S.

The small business eventually moved to 11 E. 31st. Street in New York City, then to Yonkers in the early 1990's. Jim worked there after school and during summer vacations. Eventually he bought the entire company, and in 1999 they moved to a larger space in their current building in White Plains, NY.

Throughout the years Colonial Needles acquired Roxanne Needles, S.Thomas, 
John James, Richard Hemmings, and Mary Arden. Interesting fact - Mary Arden was started by William Shakespere's mother.http://www.colonialneedle.com/html/trade-tools.html 

Colonial Needle offers a wide variety of needles for quilting, sewing, machine quilting, darning, weaving, crocheting and knitting. I enjoyed these displays, which is part of their archives. There's a lot to be proud of here!!














Okay, how many of you have trouble remembering that the higher the number of the eye of the needle, the smaller the eye of the needle actually is? And the shorter the needle? This pop quiz only applies to hand sewing needles.     I do!!


Below is a great visual to keep by your sewing machine.  I had to photograph this in three parts, close-up so you can read it, and it's still not as clear as I would like. I will find a camera or a scanner that will provide you with the entire chart all on one page, clearer, and re-post. It's so helpful.




 
The very kind and very smart team at Colonial Needle put together this incredible gift basket. We took a lot of photos, because it is so big that I wanted you to really be able to see all of it. And of course, our other cat Biscuit, Emma is featured on the masthead sitting on my sewing basket, had to check it out and, he loved it.

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 In order  to win this beautiful basket, please leave me a message subscribe to this blog, and like Hudson Valley Quilts and Colonial Needle on facebook, and let me know that you did, in the comments box. Also, just for fun, tell me what city you live in and what the temperature is; this is optional. I'll start. In Ossining, NY it's 20 F, but feels like 12 F.

Please leave your e-mail address in the comments box, so I can get in touch with the winner. I will also post the winner on my blog on Sunday. This great offer ends on Sunday, January 12 at 12:01 AM.

Look for Part 2 of this post this by the end of the week.                 

In the meantime, for those of you who are feeling and experiencing this extremely cold spell,and icy weather, as we are in the northeast, STAY SAFE, STAY WARM, and QUILT.  Or at least wrap yourself up in a few :)

Happy Quilting!!


17 comments:

  1. Thank you for all the wonderful information! I follow your blog through Blog Lovin' and like both you and Colonial Needle on Facebook!

    Sandy A (scotty4me39 At Yahoo (dot) com)

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  2. I live about 2 hours away from Colonial in England, and do keep meaning to visit their museum. Reading your report makes me think I must go sooner rather than later.

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    1. Go visit and let me know what it's like. If I get back to London, I want to visit a The Quilt Room. It looks like a great quilt shop.

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  3. What a great giveaway!! Thanks so much!!

    I'm in Fort Worth, TX...current temperature 21, feels like 13. Yesterday at this time it was 19, feels like 10. So...a slight improvement. Thank goodness by Friday, it's supposed to get up to the low 60's...I wasn't made for this COLD weather!!

    I follow via email. Like both You & colonial Need on Facebook

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    Replies
    1. It's 5 F here. It's usually so much warmer in Ft. Worth area.

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  4. How interesting - I love Prescencia thread (60 wt for piecing) but did not realize it was part of this company. In Davidson, NC it is 9 degrees but feels like -5. It is very, very cold for us here.

    Lynn (ledamewood at gmail dot com)

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    Replies
    1. That is really cold for your area of the country. I didn't know about Prescencia either. I tried it in my sewing machine and did not get any thread dust bunnies above the needle or in the bobbin case. I am a new fan.

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  5. A needle company right here in my backyard...who knew?? What else is hiding in plain sight here in the Hudson Valley. I totally enjoyed read the post especially the needle size charts. Although small they are legible and very useful.

    7 degrees right now in Montrose, NY.

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    Replies
    1. I know Montrose very well. Very close to Ossining. Lovely town. It's 5F here right now.

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  6. What a nice giveaway package! I follow your blog and I follow you and Colonial Needle on Facebook. I live in Lynchburg, VA and it was 4 degrees this morning. yoyopattycakes@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Very cold for you too!! Stay warm.

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  7. What a sweet little box of goodies! Thanks for the chance to win, Annie!
    I live in Huron County, Ontario, Canada and it is very cold. We have had so much snow in the last two days that all the roads are closed here and the kids have not even gone back to school yet since the Christmas break. Thankful for the wood stove! I liked your facebook page and shared the news of your generous giveaway on my page at http://facebook.com/sewfreshquilts

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    1. Hi Lorna, We lived in Almonte, Ontario for about 6 months and it was during the winter. But it feels colder here than I remember, maybe because we live near water. BTW I joined your linky party. I have never done one before. Sounds like fun.

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  8. I subscribed to your blog via email. I also liked Hudson Valley Quilts and Colonial Needle on facebook.
    I am living in Kansas, Ohio and the temp is very cold!! I am not sure what it is right now, but it has been -40 with the wind chill lately and we have had alot of snow, wind, and level 3 road conditions. We live near the Toledo, OH area. I LOVE your post and giveaway! I look forward to keeping in touch! midwayfarms@hughes.net

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    Replies
    1. You definitely have most of us beat on the weather issue. The news has been broadcasting and showing areas in Ohio and Chicago. My cousin who lives in Chicago has posted pictures of her shoveling and the snow piling up. Stay safe. And definitely keep in touch.
      I love to hear stories from others about what it's like where they live, so thanks for sharing.

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    2. Congratulations Kathy!! You are the lucky winner of the Colonial Needles Basket!!
      Enjoy. I think you are going to love it.
      Anne

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