Meet Teri, Director of Connecting Threads

I look at my job as part ship captain, part circus ring leader, and part janitor. I am in charge of keeping everyone moving in the same direction, on schedule, and clean up any messes along the way. (Thank you Katrina for the great graphics to lend a visual my point!)

I have worked at our company for 18 years and have loved every minute of it. I started in Customer Service (Karen hired me and when I started working here my Mom was Customer Service Supervisor, she was one of the first employees our former owner Bob Petkun ever hired) and worked there for about 6 months. I liked helping people but I have a baby voice and it’s hard to hear over the phone, people got tired of listening to me yell, and I couldn’t sit still so I was always running back to my chair to catch my phone. I decided maybe the warehouse would be more suited to me at that point in my life so I started picking and packing orders. I loved the physicality of that job, the challenge of always trying to beat my time picking and then putting together the puzzle of fitting all the items in the correct box was fun. I worked there for about 1 ½ years but decided I was tired of being cold in the winter and hot in the summer and started planning my move to the climate controlled area. An opening for a Purchasing Clerk was my ticket in. I found that spending money suited me so after 6 months I became an Assistant Buyer then another 6 months a Tool and Notion Buyer then another year later the Fabric Buyer. That was my home for about 6 years and I loved every minute of it. I mean really a paid job shopping for fabric?! To die for!! The picture below is me at The Design Library looking for fabric designs.

I have found that every time I start getting too settled in a job and start worrying I might be getting bored another opportunity opens up here and I get a new challenge. At this point the challenge was starting our own fabric brand. In 1996 I became the Fabric Manager and along with Karen and Bob we started researching how to go about printing fabric. That was a huge learning curve and was also a lot of fun. I spent 4 years as Fabric Manager and during that time saw our company grow and change. In the beginning of 2010 I became the Purchasing Director as well as the Director of our sister tole painting catalog The Artist’s Club. I’m taking an informal painting class in the office below.

At this point I focused more on the purchasing side of the business as a whole and learning the business of tole painting, both of which were fun and challenging. This is also when our previous owner Bob Petkun stepped down and his son Matt Petkun took over running the business. Things were going great and I loved what I was doing, then mid 2012 the opportunity to run Connecting Threads opened up. This was the division I had worked in for most of my career at Crafts Americana and that I had invested blood, sweat, and tears in getting the fabric and thread lines started and the more I thought about it the more I couldn’t pass up putting my name in the hat to run it. I am passionate about this company and all the things we have stood for and strived for in the 18 years I have worked here. It is truly a family full an amazing group of people that go out of their way every day to try to do everything in their power to bring quilters products that they will love and delight in. I am one of the lucky ones that get to come to an office and spend 10 plus hours a day with people I enjoy being around and who are all good at what they do. We get an unbelievable amount of work done in the time we spend here and somehow manage to have a good time doing it. I am proud to be the Director to such a great group of people!



  1. Stephanie - May 22, 2013

    Dream job. Dream company! Obviously a fun place to work. The changes that Connecting Threads/Crafts Americana has undergone are terrific. New directions, new ideas also brings in new customers. :o)

  2. Jamie - May 22, 2013

    What an interesting story Teri. It’s so refreshing to hear a work your way up the ladder story at such a great company!

  3. Gene Black - May 22, 2013

    I love Connecting Threads. I have been a customer since I first started quilting. My first quilt had some CT fabric in it. My second quilt top was all CT fabric.
    I am so glad to see that the company has employees that love what they do and have a chance to move up.

  4. Betty Neuse - May 22, 2013

    Love your kits and that you have kept them reasonable even though fabric costs have gone up so.

  5. Letty - May 22, 2013

    You all are a great bunch to work with! LOVE the last picture on this blog. Seems like a really FUN place to work!

  6. Marilyn Lessner - May 22, 2013

    i really enjoyed learning about your many jobs with CT and Crafts America. What a great group to be working for, and with. A fabulous bunch of very talented women. You just keep getting better and better!

  7. Gretchen Whipple - May 22, 2013

    I feel like an old-timer! Reading this blog was like a meet-up with old friends. I starting shopping/sewing Connecting Threads in the late ’90s and have been here ever since. Somewhere in my stash I still have some of the first Connecting Threads fabrics that I purchased back then. Good job, everybody! Love you bunches! Thanks for all you do.

  8. Teri - May 22, 2013

    Thanks so much for all the compliments! We are glad to hear that many of you have been with us since the beginning and that you like the direction we are heading. It makes all the hard work we put in worth it!!!

  9. Linda Froggie Quilter - May 22, 2013

    You are sew lucky to have such a great job that you love! How do you keep Mari in line? Lob fat quarters over the cubicle wall at her?
    ~Hopppy quilting~

  10. Joy - May 23, 2013

    Very nice article .. I didnt know you had been there that long! Congratulations.

  11. Susan - May 23, 2013

    I would do your job for free. It sounds like a lifetime opportunity

  12. Diane S. - May 28, 2013

    I didn’t know Bob Petkun was no longer the owner. Who currently owns Connecting Threads?