Behind the Scenes of our catalog printer

As some of you might know, I am the catalog manager for Connecting Threads. I am responsible for laying out and designing the catalog from start to finish, but I couldn’t do it without the wonderful team of people here at Connecting Threads. After months of prep work, and after all the photographs of our quilts have been color-corrected by our fabulous in-house photo department, I will send the catalog to print.

As a relatively new quilter, I already know how important it is to be able to order the fabric in “just the right color”. That’s our goal for the catalog: to represent our collections as closely as possible to the real thing when you flip through the pages, (plus, we love to ‘ooh and ahh’ just as much as you do!)

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to our printer, R.R. Donnelly, in Maple Grove, MN to tour the facility and perform what’s called a “press check”. Doing a press check means that I will watch the catalog as it’s being printed, and have the color analysts make any necessary changes to make sure our catalog’s color is spot-on. When it’s all done, they fold and staple the pages into 8-page signatures, trim the pages, and then send it off to the appropriate locations all over the country. As a graphic designer, this stuff thrills me. It was a really great experience to watch the catalog come to fruition. Did you know that you can download our current catalog here? There is also a link on our Connecting Threads home page, in the lower left-hand corner.


  1. Stephanie - December 27, 2012

    How rewarding for you. You do a fantastic job!!!

  2. Erin - December 27, 2012

    Very cool – my father in law was a press man for years, neat to see that machinery again!

  3. kathy - December 27, 2012

    thanks for sharing. most interesting

  4. Jamie - December 27, 2012

    Sounds like a fun job! I love love love getting your catalog in the mail. You do great work!

  5. Jenna - December 27, 2012

    Thanks everyone! We have a team of people who help make it possible. Erin, I find that the pressmen who work are ‘lifers’ The manager I worked with that day had been on the job for over 40 years! Neat stuff.

  6. shannon - December 27, 2012

    sounds like you enjoy your work!! I would too!!
    one suggestion: is it possible to print actual photos of the entire line rather than graphic squares? The kit photos are helpful but seeing the whole line photographed would be awesome!
    thanks in advance.

  7. Jenna - December 28, 2012

    Thank you Shannon for the suggestion!

  8. Judy Abel - December 28, 2012

    It was interesting to read and see the process of printing the catalog. It also was a surprise to find out that the printing is actually done in Maple Grove, MN. I’m in WI and not too many miles away from Maple Grove. Thanks for a good article! 🙂

  9. Kelly - December 28, 2012

    I received your catalog in October for the first time, and absolutley loved it. I just received the sewing table package for Christmas, can’t wait to get it all set up, very time consuming with 10 large boxes to put together. I have not received another catalog since the October issue and would LOVE to receive it in the mail. I am a hands on person to look at the pages. Is there anyway to receive a catalog everytime it is published?

  10. Alice - December 29, 2012

    I receive your catalog and spend lots of time dreaming. You do a wonderful job and sounds like an exciting job. I have ordered several times from your company and have never been disappointed in the fabric, thread or books I have ordered. Happy New Year!

  11. Irene Gallway - December 30, 2012

    It was your catalog that introduced Connecting Threads to me and in turn Quilt With Us. You do a fantastic job. I would love to see this catalog on “How’s it Made” on t.v. I’m sure it would be terrific to watch the catalog being made from start to finish.

  12. Debbie - January 8, 2013

    Great Job! I always look forward to receiving your catalogue.Keep up the good work!