Open Thread: Pittsburgh’s Small Press Festival

September 25-26, 2010

Open Thread is an arts & literary service organization based out of Pittsburgh, whose books, events, and online presence highlight emerging artists and writers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The Pittsburgh SPF is Pittsburgh’s annual small press festival, organized by Open Thread, sponsored by AIR: Artists Image Resource, and supported in part by The Heinz Endowments.  The QT Pi(e) Project was one of the artisanal vendors on site.

The Pie Preparation

The Event

Erin was the head pie girl for this event as I (Quelcy) was away camping in Allegany State Park.  Erin added new flags to our supplies and experimented with some new packaging ideas.




Parking Day and Night

September 17, 2010

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement.  The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!

The Polish Hill (Trailer) Park(ing) Day was a collaboration between The Caravan Collective and the lovely folks of Lili Coffee Shop featuring friends from, Copacetic Comics Company, Mind Cure Records, the music of Robin Vote and our delicious pies a la mode!

One of the Polish Hill neighbors brought deliciously deviled and locally sourced eggs.

Then Erin became a ghost, and that was the end of Park(ing) Night.

Hothouse: The Event!

August 2010

Hothouse came and went so quickly.  Our bakery facade exceeded our expectations.  We shared our pie and ice cream mission with several party attendees who made some of the best faces after sampling our pies!  And we still had time to party!  All in all, it was worth the effort.  Special thanks to Dana Leigh Dolney, our official QT Pie photographer for the evening.

All those QT Pies did not last long.

There were just a few remaining crumbs…


… and two HUNGRY QT Pie girls!

Finger licking good QT Pies!

Then it was time to close up the little bakery and enjoy the party!

Slim Cessna and Friends.  Their shows are always a good time, and this show in particular created some sparks!

Hothouse: The Concept & Preparations

August 2010

The Concept…

Part of the impetus behind The QT Pi(e) Project was my desire to have a bakery at a 314 address called “QT Pie’s.”  The hothouse booth will become just that!  It will be a diner façade with side counters for the county regulars to sit and chat with their QT Pie hostesses who will be dressed in proper diner waitress ensembles.  There will be a menu to describe the project and the offerings of the night.  Of course there will be the a la mode option of ice cream made from all local, natural ingredients as well.

Making it happen…

The QT Pi(e) Project is very fortunate indeed to have its own, personal, tremendously talented carpenter!  In exchange for love and pies, Kristian Kaseman often lends a very talented hand.  This time around, Kristian made our QT Pie dream concept a reality.  In an effort to stay out of his way, there aren’t many photos of the making of the booth, but we have some of the finishing touches to show.

A few things changed since the initial scheme.  In the interest of fully using the potential of our space, we opted to use an entire table instead of attaching little countertops to the sides of the booth.  Rather than a brick facade, we went with a bright blue!  The people at the paint store thought we were crazy, but the color reminded us of old French bakeries. With so much work, we opted not to have a pie throwing element.  We’d rather eat our QT Pies then waste them on antics.  The last thing we needed was a menu board.

The next morning after all the glue had set…

Take a look at the event photos to see Kristian’s carpentry work really shine.  Should you be looking for a great carpenter, drop us a line, and we’ll put you in touch!

Hothouse Is Coming!

Hothouse is The Sprout Fund’s annual benefit and showcase event. The event serves as stage to present a sampling of some of the innovative projects and emerging leaders of successful community initiatives supported by Sprout over the past year. Held annually at unique development sites, the event celebrates the organization’s accomplishments and features live music and performances, food and drink by Pittsburgh favorites, a silent auction, and a VIP reception.

As a Seed Award recipient, The QT Pi(e) Project was invited to participate and showcase our project.

Cookspeak Part II: The Event

August 2010

Time for our spotlight!  We arrived with our peach pies, maple ice cream and aprons.  Tom brought a sweet tomato topping, a sweet jam topping and fresh melon, all in concordance with our goal to promote local ingredients.  Quite delicious!  Thanks for having us Tom!  To hear a podcast version of our show and to listen to more of Tom’s interviews, click here.  Thanks also to Dana Leigh Dolney for being our photographer for the morning event.

Cookspeak Part I: The Pie Preparation

August 2010

When we first appeared on an episode at The Waffle Shop, we met Tom Totin, who does a segment called “Cookspeak.”  The regularly scheduled program (Sundays from 11am-noon), is an “Out of the box Culinary Commentary by an experienced Cook who still loves the business in spite of himself.”  We all hit it off smashingly, so Tom invited us to be guests on his program.

We couldn’t appear without pie!


Polish Hill Arts Festival

July 18, 2010

Polish Hill is a small neighborhood nestled on the steep hillside between the Hill District and the Strip District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is situated just a few minutes away from the activity of downtown, but you’d never know with the front porches and doorsteps lining the quiet, residential streets.  Polish Hill boasts some of the best views from its hill tops.  At one time a mostly Polish neighborhood, Polish Hill now has a diverse population, whose members range in age from one to one hundred.  Quelcy is a new addition to the diverse neighborhood of Polish Hill, so it seemed especially fitting to bring The QT Pi(e) Project to the scene.  There was just one snag:  bureaucracy.

Having barely made it up the steep hill of Dobson Street and made one lap around the art festival, we were shut down, stopped, thwarted, closed for business.  We understood the reasoning- no food license or registration to show for our wagon pie mobile- but it still hurt.  Luckily, our good friends at Lili Coffeeshop let us hang on their corner for a bit.  We found some of our friends, and our counter culture pies and ice cream hit the spot!


Happy Flag Day From The QT Pi(e) Project

A Window Display at Wildcard
June 14, 2010

Located in the heart of the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Wildcard is cards, paper, stationery, bags, wallets, buttons, jewelry, t-shirts, craft supplies, original art, vintage, gallery space and a whole lot of creativity under one roof!  With its focus on local artists and crafters, Wildcard often plays host to artists like us!

According to trusty Wikipedia, in the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14.  It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.  This year, we used Flag Day as a celebration of another American tradition:  pie!

Wildcard owner Rebecca peaks through the QT Pie flags.  Thanks for having us!

The Waffle Shop

June 13, 2010

QT Pi(e) and Pals at The Waffle Shop

Here is a bit about The Waffle Shop from the waffle iron masters:

The Waffle Shop is a neighborhood restaurant that produces and broadcasts a live-streaming talk show with its customers, operates a changeable storytelling billboard on its roof, and runs a take-out window that sells food from countries engaged in conflict with the U.S. The shop is a public lab that brings together people from all walks of life to engage in dialogue, experimentation and the co-production of culture. The project functions as a classroom for students from Carnegie Mellon University, an eatery, a TV production studio, a social catalyst, and a business. Our customers are our funders, audience, and participants as we film during open hours, inviting interested patrons to express their unique opinions and personalities.

On June 13, 2010, The QT Pi(e) Project hosted a talk show at The Waffle Shop.  We were the follow up act to a former astronaut who spoke about space food and adventures beyond the bounds of earth.  For our segment, we interviewed participants of our “Pie Luck” and engaged the audience with questions and a contest.

Why would I be yelling at Erin?  I probably wanted more pictures!

For the interview segment to ours, Tom Totin of “Cookspeak” interviewed a former astronaut!  They talked about space food and adventures.

The Sprout Summer Social

June 2010

The Sprout Fund hosted its annual Summer Social (a summertime open house) in conjunction with Penn Avenue Unblurred on Friday, June 4, 2010, in the EDGE studio parking lot next to the Sprout office.  Being it was a Pittsburgh Summer Social, it was a rainy summer social.  The Summer Social featured tabling by supported Sprout projects, a showcase of designs under consideration to become Public Art murals, music, and light refreshments.  The QT Pi(e) Project was one of the highlighted projects.  Click on the flier to learn more about our sponsor, the Sprout Fund.

Joey Kennedy was the photographer for the evening.  He quickly became a friend of The QT Pi(e) Project.  After seeing his Summer Social photos, we want him at all our events!  Click on his collage below to see more of our favorites from Joey’s summer social favorites.

Click on the Pie Girls picture below to see our photos from the event.