Behind the Scenes at Connecting Threads: meet Jenna, the Catalog Manager

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14 comments » catalog, fun

Hi, I’m Jenna. I’ve been with Connecting Threads about 3-1/2 years now, and have the pleasure of designing and laying out the catalog. Some of my favorite things in the world are happy, bright and modern colors and designs. I was introduced to sewing when I was young, but I just started quilting when I got this job and have fallen in love with it. I love making modern baby quilts for my 3 year old daughter, and soon-to-be second child coming this April. Some of my current favorite fabric collections to work from are: Rhapsody of RedsQuilter’s Candy Flannel, and our Quilter’s Candy Basics (because you can’t ever have enough coordinating fabrics!).

There are a lot of people involved in getting the catalog together, and it all starts with the design and production of our fabrics, up to a year in advance!

I work closely with Teri, our Connecting Threads director, who provides me with a general layout to work from in an Excel document. Each ‘cycle’ (as we call it, about every 6-8 weeks) includes a variety of new fabric collections, books, tools, batting, and thread. Once everything is laid out in InDesign, then comes the photography. I style the tools, thread, and fabric glamour shots along with Katrina, our web graphic designer, and Jenni, our fabric designer, styles the new fabric collections which are shot at different locations around Portland, OR from Bed & Breakfasts to our own in-house photography studio. Once the photography is complete, I’ll import the photos into the InDesign document, and adjust as necessary. I also make sure all the text is input correctly, from part number and price to book and kit descriptions. From there, the catalog gets printed and routed to a number of people who help proof the pages to make sure everything looks good. Then, the changes get made and are thoroughly checked. 

Another very important part of the catalog process is touching up the photographs and adjusting the colors. Each fabric sku and photograph is professionally color-corrected by our photography team to match the real world colors of the fabrics reflect what you see in the catalog. Finally, when the catalog goes to print, the big printer in Maple Grove, MN strive to match our fabrics as accurately as possible. You can read all about my previous blog post doing a press check with the printers here

Stay tuned for more of our staff’s blog posts in the near future so you can discover what happens ‘behind the scenes’ here at Connecting Threads!

Remember, you can always download a PDF of our current catalog here, or at the bottom of our home page.


14 responses to “Behind the Scenes at Connecting Threads: meet Jenna, the Catalog Manager”

  1. Debbie Says:
    03/06/2013 10:36 am

    Thank you so much Jenni, the catalogs are beautiful. I am so interested in quilting. I love the colors and designs of the quilts. I have not sown in many years. Raising my family. I have a question that I have not seen on any site. I have been looking for a sewing machine that is good but not to much money. Money is tight and want to buy one but have no idea which machine is good and not a lot of money. Any help you could give me would be so helpful. But if not i understand.
    Thank you

    Reply
  2. marjorie Says:
    03/06/2013 11:57 am

    Thank you so mucy Jenni…love Connecting Threads!!

    Reply
  3. Diane Says:
    03/06/2013 1:07 pm

    LOL at fabrics and threads having “glamour shots”. Hopefully, they aren’t divas dictating every detail of their photo shoot.
    I adore the catalog, and spend quite a bit of time on it when it comes. Love the kits, and the fabric collections are always a treat.

    Reply
  4. Val Says:
    03/06/2013 1:45 pm

    Hi Jenna
    Thanks you for the wonderful Catalog. I enjoy receiving each copy and hord it like its candy!!. They are so inspirational. Cheers

    Reply
  5. Avery Says:
    03/06/2013 2:26 pm

    I think you’re the best cataloge designer ever!! Thanks for making a spread that’s artistic, organized and fun for new customers, like me.
    Connecting Threads is lucky to have you! <3

    Reply
  6. Richard Levin Says:
    03/06/2013 3:33 pm

    Great job Jenna. It would be nice to see more guy items in the catalog though. Sometimes we forget that men are a growing part of the quilting expereience and we offer a new look at some of the old fashioned feminine ways (LOL)

    Reply
  7. Ann Says:
    03/06/2013 6:47 pm

    Look forward to each new catalog and drool over the contents until each catalog is raggedy. Love the fabric, thread and patterns and have enough quilt tops to last a lifetime. My friends constantly question me about “finishing” some of my projects. What? And miss out on making something new?

    Reply
  8. Cindy Radtke Says:
    03/06/2013 10:40 pm

    Love these glimpses into all the hard work that goes into getting your wonderful fabrics/supplies, etc. to us. Look forward to getting your catalogs in the mail. The layout, styling, etc. is top notch. I also keep my out dated ones and look back to them for inspiration and ideas. Thank you everyone. Your work is so appreciated and I for one, definitely do not take it for granted.

    Reply
  9. pam Says:
    03/07/2013 3:49 am

    Terrific catalog! You keep me inspired and “drooling” over the new products! I love the contents and beautiful fabric collections.

    Reply
  10. donna pina Says:
    03/07/2013 6:04 am

    question: When I machine quilts together,should I be using cotton or polyester threads,I also have been using all purpose thread.Now I’m wondering if I have been using the wrong type of thread ALL THESE YEARS? Thank-you.donna p.

    Reply
  11. Jenna Says:
    03/07/2013 7:52 am

    Thank you all for your comments!
    @Donna, it’s all up to you what thread you use for quilting. Mari uses only polyester threads to quilt, but many people use 100% cotton. Just make sure it’s a high quality thread like Essential Threads *blush*. http://www.connectingthreads.com/threads/quilting_threads.html
    @Richard, thank you for your comment as well about catering to more guy quilts. What are your favorite colors and pattern styles? We have a great flannel collection, Big Sky Lodge. http://www.connectingthreads.com/cffabric/collection_list.cfm?id=173&show=kits
    @Debbie, I’m glad you enjoy the catalog. Choosing the ‘right’ sewing machine is always a big topic. I started off borrowing many old ones (I’ve been through 3 now, and I use a cheaper Brother 5600 which I find very limiting now). There are so many different preferences and levels of sewing machines, just like cars! Here’s a couple of guides I found online to how to pick a sewing machine that’s right for you. http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Sewing-Machine and this one: http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/2009/06/buying-a-new-sewing-machine/
    I hope this helps!
    -Jenna

    Reply
  12. Mary Lynn Forrest Says:
    03/07/2013 8:29 am

    When Connecting Threads cataloge comes in the mail I get excited knowing that there will always be lots of great colour candy inside! I really enjoy the catalogues and pour over them many times in the weeks to come . The prices are fabulous too!I especially love the kits.I was nervous to make my first purchase, worried that the fabric quality would be inferiour. Boy, was I surprised when it arrived and could feel the fabulous quality of the fabric!
    Keep up the great work you do! You make the products very appealing! This is my favorite “Quilting Magazine”!

    Reply
  13. Ruth Naser Says:
    03/07/2013 8:48 am

    Beautiful catalog. I not only keep them to look at for pleasure, but like buying from you. Thanks.

    Reply
  14. Rose Says:
    03/07/2013 9:38 am

    I love the Connecting Threads magazine. I too get really excited when I see it in the mailbox. I usually make myself wait till I can sit down and drool over it in a moment of relaxation.
    I love the prices most of all!! Keep up the great work at Connecting Threads.
    From a loyal customer in Ohio.
    And keep us posted on that new little one about to join your life!
    Congratulations!

    Reply

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