Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

The CARON Collectionis pleased to feature one of the outstanding shops who so ably provide stitchers with not only supplies but guidance, technical expertise, and inspiration. We hope you'll support your local shops and browse through our extensive SHOP LISTINGS. Revel in the holiday spirit and join us as we pay a visit to Haus Tirol in Williamsburg, Virginia, where the Christmas season is a truly magical time of year.

Haus Tirol
Williamsburg, Virginia

The first weekend in December heralds the Grand Illumination festivities in the colonial village, which is just 3 miles from the quaint shopping center, where the the store is located. The chill in the air just serves to intensify the atmosphere of excitement in the town, which will entice thousands of visitors to witness the lighting of the yule log, the playing of the Fife and Drum Corps, the caroling of the Colonial Costumed Troops, the lighting of the beeswax candles, decorating the windows of all the restored colonial homes and buildings, and the extravagant display of fireworks over the Colonial Governor's Palace.

Haus Tirol began in 1979 as a shop stocking fine handcrafted European gifts and needlework. The store is owned and operated by the mother and daughter team of Lydia Veditz and Paula Marotta. Initially, needlework was not the main focus of the shop, but was merely an extension of the love that Lydia, who hails from Austria, had for the beautiful linens and fine needlepoint canvases available in her homeland, but not easily found in America. The inclusion of these linens in the store's selections, would prove to be an auspicious one. At the time, however, neither Lydia nor Paula, had a clue that in the years to come, these very items would evolve as the driving force behind the shop.

In the early years, customers would indeed come into the store inquiring about the then, little known, needleart of counted cross stitch and Lydia and Paula would refer them to the very same shops, where they themselves, went to purchase their supplies. Before long it became apparent, that in order to meet these repeated requests, they would need to stock these items themselves. When a store behind their own shop became available, they cut through a back wall to create a space for these increasingly popular needlework items. This became the genesis of the Stitching Well portion of Haus Tirol.

At the outset, there was so little available on the market, that the needlework inventory occupied only about 25% of the shop space. But, as we all now know, this was not a fad that was to fade away, but rather the beginning of a resurgence to bring needlework back as an art. Today Haus Tirol has grown to cover 1600 square feet of just about the best in evenweave fabrics, threads and fibers, books and charts, kits, novelty frames, stitching accessories and the "can't live without trying it" items that give their shop part of its esoteric appeal. They also stock books and canvases for canvaswork and needlepoint, as well as top of the line needlepoint kits. The needlework selections are, in fact, so extensive, that rather than being relegated to the back room, they have now usurped the bulk of the store space. One aspect of their enterprise that has not, however, changed over the years, is that Haus Tirol has retained and still exudes a nostalgic Old World charm and attention to detail and quality. How appropriate that they are located in one of the 13 original colonies, where the craftsmanship and resourcefulness of the first European settlers are preserved and celebrated to this day.

Because they are located in a true tourist destination spot, they are fortunate to have made the acquaintance of people from around the globe. Customers have included stitchers from Japan, Canada, Russia, Puerto Rico, England, Germany, Italy as well as from all over the US, and they regularly ship orders to these and other destinations. They also have a sizable male clientele and, as stitchers, Lydia and Paula find these men to be more adventuresome than women, in their approach to needlework design.

Being a mother and daughter small shop enterprise, a common lament is that there is never enough time to implement new ideas. However, what they lack in time, they make up for in quality, selection and personal attention. Since the shop is open six days a week, they are able to offer one-on-one instruction to customers as they need assistance in learning a new stitch or technique. In this, they excel. Because they stitch all of the shop models themselves, they are very familiar with the many designers' styles and techniques and can always offer suggestions to their customers, on working with various fabrics and the myriad of wonderful fibers and threads that are currently available.

Even though the needlework has virtually taken over the shop, Haus Tirol does still carry the unique line of June McKenna Antique Santas and the exquisite Margaret Furlong Angel series as gift items. For those who wish to purchase a needlework piece already finished, they first offer to teach them how to do the embroidery, crewel, needlepoint or counted thread work themselves. If that is not enough incentive, however, they will offer the services of an expert local needleworker to create the piece desired.

Williamsburg is a wonderful place to visit at any time; after all, it is the Colonial Capital of the New World. But to experience the town at this particular time of year, is a an unforgettable and fabulous memory. The store is located three miles from the restored village on Route 60 East, just across from Busch Gardens and the famed Kingsmill Golf Course. Their winter hours are Monday to Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Come and visit. Paula and Lydia look forward to meeting you, and sharing with you the heart warming Yuletide spirit that envelops this landmark village.It may also be just the place to find those elusive last minute gifts.

1915 Pocahantas Trail, Village Shops Kings Mill, Williamsburg, VA
Telephone: (757) 220-0313

© 1997 The Caron Collection Ltd./ Voice: (203) 381-9999, Fax: 203 381-9003

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