Blue Lamb Boutique pops up Nov. 18 at Emmanuel

Submitted by Emmanuel Parish

Labors of love and exquisite craftsmanship will be featured at the Emmanuel Parish’s Blue Lamb Boutique, Saturday, November 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

In addition to a plethora of offerings by gifted craftspersons, Karen Blinn’s “My Kind of Town,” quilt will be raffled; proceeds will go to Emmanuel’s operating fund.

Blinn’s face lights up when she talks about her hobby: “I hand-quilt all my quilts, after sewing the pieces together by machine,” she explains. “It’s like a puzzle. I love doing it. I like quilts that tell a story.” The setting for this quilt’s story seems to be a little village with a steepled church and a red door and is sure to remind viewers of Eastsound.

Her quilting fingers have been on the job since 1980. Blinn makes about 15 quilts a year that are pieced together from “a whole closet of fabric pieces and scraps….When we built our home, my husband took one side of the loft for his office. The other side houses my stash and studio.”

As a substitute organist, singer and much-respected oboist, music is also a big part of her life.

“When someone asks for a quilt, I usually ask for a donation to Island Symphonia,” she explained. “I don’t do this for money; when I feel there’s a need, I may give a quilt away.”

Emmanuel parishioners and visitors often see Blinn’s work gracing the wall by the church office. There’s usually a quilt hanging, and it’s likely to be one of hers.

Tickets for the raffle will be sold at the Boutique and after church services, and other church activities for the rest of the month with the final drawing to occur at the Dinner Kitchen on the last Thursday of November. $10 will pay for three chances to win.

Although Karen and some of the other artists donate their proceeds to benefit the church, this is not mandatory. As Emmanuel’s rector, Berto Gandarla, points out, “Most of Emmanuel’s activities are meant to benefit the larger community. Blue Lamb is different. It’s a traditional crafts fair, and artisans are allowed to keep their proceeds if they wish.”

“As a nonprofit organization, Emmanuel can hold a few for-profit events each year; this one lets our parishioners show and sell their creations, and possibly benefit financially,” the rector pointed out.