120 comments » Behind the Scenes, fabric
It has always been on the forefront of our priorities to provide quilters with a great selection of quality quilting fabrics at affordable prices. In 2007, we began designing and selling our own fabric collections. The biggest difference between Connecting Threads and other manufacturers is that we sell our quilting fabrics directly to the consumer, thereby eliminating the need for middleman markups and allowing us to offer our fabrics at prices that are accessible for most budgets. As a small company, this business model has worked well for us, and we will continue to design and manufacture just as many of our own collections as we have for the last several years.
We have long considered the option of bringing in fabrics from other manufacturers but have battled with the cost difference between our exclusive fabrics and those sold from other companies because affordability is one of the core values at Connecting Threads. As our business continues to grow however, we have received an increase in the demand for additional designs and patterns from our customers. Because our in-house design team can only produce so many fabric collections per year, we’ve called upon some of our favorite designers and manufacturers in the industry. Beginning in early August, we will be selling a variety of prints manufactured by RJR Fabrics. We will continue to roll out more collections from other popular manufacturers and designers in an effort to offer our customers a great selection of fabrics for all tastes and style preferences. We want to underscore that our exclusive collection prints will continue to be produced and released without change, and will still be priced at $5.96/yard for flat cotton.
Some of the collections we are most excited to be introducing to our line up are Cotton + Steel and Pocketful of Daisies from designers like Kim Kight, Sarah Watts, Melody Miller, Rashida Coleman-Hale, and Lynette Anderson.
Cotton + Steel fabrics were a phenomenal hit at Quilt Market this spring, and rightfully so. The fabrics housed under the Cotton + Steel name were designed by five reputable, well renowned designers in the industry, each with their own unique background and inspiring story. We encourage you to learn more about the designers behind these amazing fabrics below.
Melody grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, quite possibly the prettiest place on earth. Later, she felt just as much at home in New York City, where she studied industrial design at Pratt Instute, and her love for vintage objects began. She is the designer behind the Ruby Star fabric lines for Kokka, as well as co-author of the book, Ruby Star Wrapping.
In early 2013, Melody had an epic idea, and from that, Cotton+Steel was born. She lives in Atlanta, in picturesque and historic Grant Park with her amazing photographer hubby, two charmingly quirky children, and a very silly Bichon Frise. She loves vintage design, flea markets, her converse sneaks and margaritas. Most times, in moderation.
Alexia Macelle Abegg
Alexia Marcelle Abegg was born in Folsom, California, on the day Mount St. Helens erupted. She has been inspired by her mother’s and father’s creativity and dedication to art throughout her life. An award-winning designer, artist, and writer, Alexia has always been fascinated with the art of sewing. She studied fashion and fine arts in college.
After trying her hand at photography, production, acting, costuming, hair and makeup for film and television, fashion design, and custom sewing, she found her home in creating fine art quilts and sewing patterns while living in Brooklyn, New York. Alexia and her husband, artist and fabric designer, Rob Bancroft, live in Nashville with their two dogs. She currently divides her time among creating patterns for their company, Green Bee Design and Patterns; teaching; making art; and writing.
Kimberly Kight spent a lot of time as a child at the heels of her mom and grandma, shopping for fabric in the aisles of JC Penny and the like. Though she doesn’t remember sewing on her own as a child, when she received a sewing machine as a gift in 2001, she was able to thread it without thinking about it. A layoff led to a sewing hobby that led to an interest in fabric. She started the blog True Up in 2008, right as a new era of fabric design was beginning to emerge. In 2011, her first book, A Field Guide to Fabric Design, was published. An avid collector of vintage fabric, she wants to bring her very favorite prints from the past back for a new generation of sewers to enjoy. Kim lives in the Hill Country just outside of Austin, TX with her husband and two sons.
Rashida Coleman-Hale has been making things ever since she can remember. She studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Not sure if fashion was her calling, she traded her sewing machine for a computer and worked as a freelance graphic designer. Her passion for sewing was rekindled in 2006 after the arrival of her first child, and she began the blog I Heart Linen to document her re-born creative life and her life as a stay-at-home mommy.
A fabric designer as well as an author, Rashida has designed fabric for Timeless Treasures and Cloud 9 Fabrics. Her first book, I Love Patchwork, was published by Interweave press in Fall 2009 and was awarded the 2010 PubWest Book Design Bronze Medal in the How-To/Crafts category. Her second book, Zakka Style,was published by C&T Publishing in Fall 2011.
Rashida lives in Atlanta with her husband and their three children. Read more about her crafty life at http://www.iheartlinen.typepad.com.
Sarah Watts is a fabric designer, book illustrator, and licensing artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. After a nomadic childhood filled with characters and interesting narratives, she studied at Ringling College of Art and Design, and put her imagination to great use as an illustrator. Sarah has previously designed for Blend Fabrics; Timber and Leaf was her most notable collection. In addition to designing fabric, Sarah has a full line of aprons and kitchen towels, and licenses her art to other products as well. She has also illustrated several YA and children’s books.
Sarah’s most recent adventures include skydiving, tattoos, and eloping in Vegas. Sewing has always been her favorite peaceful activity away from her sketch pad and computer. When she is not drawing or sewing she likes going thrifting and adventuring in nature with her awesome husband. Sarah finds bliss the smell of campfire and a good cup of black coffee.
As a team of quilters, we love fabric and know how important it is to have a great variety to choose from. We hope that you’re as excited about these changes as we are! Keep your eyes open for more manufacturers and designers coming to Connecting Threads in the coming months.