My New Venture: Cotton + Steel

I hope you all have been well! Thank you for the sweet and understanding response to my shuttering True Up. It really means a lot to me.

C+S.logo

As promised, I’m finally posting about my new project. At Fall Quilt Market we officially launched Cotton + Steel, a new brand/division of RJR fabrics. Melody Miller is the creative director, and the other designers are myself, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, and Sarah Watts. Oh, we just whipped up a little DOCUMENTARY FILM about all of this. Well, by we, I mostly mean Greg Miller, Melody’s husband, who is an incredible filmmaker and photographer.

Cotton+Steel from Gregory Miller Pictures on Vimeo.

 

It’s really only been nine months in the making so far. What started out as Melody’s search for a new home (around Quiltcon time in February) took on steam and quickly evolved into an idea for an entire new company. She came to me along the way for my thoughts, and by some lucky twist I got brought on as a designer. RJR, by the way, has been simply incredible to work with. We got to visit their Torrance, California headquarters and of course it was super cool for me to see the inner workings of a fabric company for the first time, including art director Yuko Hasegawa‘s studio, the warehouse, the machines that feed fabric from rolls to bolts, the whole operation! Rick Cohan, the owner, is a third generation textile businessman, and knows everything there is to know about the industry. Everyone at the company has been warm and welcoming and everyone is so excited for this new direction. We all wanted to do this the right way.

So, hooray, I’ll be a fabric designer! Finally! My focus will be vintage reproductions, curated and styled into quirky, semi-narrative collections (read: novelty prints!). As you might know, vintage was my first love and it continues to be my strongest, and I’ve always wanted to bring my favorite prints back to be enjoyed and used by a new generation. My first collection is called Homebody, inspired by the joys of solitude and puttering around the house.

homebodyplaque

Despite me wanting to celebrate the antisocial streak that I imagine we all have, I have to say, we all conceived of Cotton + Steel as an old-school textile design studio, emphasizing mutual inspiration and collaborative creativity. At Quiltcon, while Melody was scheming, I was sitting in Kathy Miller‘s lecture on Tammis Keefe, where she talked about imagining working in design studios of old, a bunch of women chatting and painting the day away, bouncing ideas off each other and laughing and complaining and creating. The talk really had a profound effect on me, because I realized that was exactly what I was looking for. We all have a tendency to isolate ourselves behind our screens, but I am not one who can or wants to be creative in a vacuum. I’m not much of a believer in fate, but it does feel like that’s exactly what this all is.

When Melody and Sarah conceived the name, they were thinking of the old American landscape, cotton mills and steel mills. I assumed the steel referred to scissors and Greg thought it meant sewing machines. So, it works on a few levels, which I think is awesome. What is really important to us, though, is honoring the traditions of the industry and the spirit of creativity that drives us all. Though we are inevitably going to be called RJR’s “modern” brand, we really want to draw on the traditions and spirit of our predecessors.

We will be unveiling our collections at Quilt Market, right before they are ready to ship. Which means, no online sneak peeks before that. We want to build the excitement and we definitely don’t want you to be tired of seeing them before they are even available to buy. What I can tell you now is that we will have have our individual collections on quilting cotton, lawn, and cotton-linen canvas (more substrates to come). Being on multiple substrates from the get-go was very important to all of us.

We are all working from a master palette, so there will be many mixing and matching opportunities. We also have a 30-something-piece basics collection and our own C+S solids. So, Homebody, August (Sarah’s collection), Mustang (Melody’s), Hatbox (Alexia’s), and Moonlit (Rashida’s), will be shown first in May in Pittsburgh and be in stores in July. And of course, we are beside ourselves waiting for our big launch.

I have to say, while it was painful for me to not get to see all the new collections at Fall Quilt Market, it was a great change of pace for me to not be running around from appointment to appointment. We got a great response and I feel like I’m home now.

I think that sums it up. Except to point you to all places to find us. We will see you on your social media channel of choice!

Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter

P.S. There has been some interest from other folks in taking over True Up, so I’ll be working on that in the weeks/months to come. Keep your fingers crossed for a 2014 True Up relaunch.

It’s Time for Me to Say Goodbye.

You may have noticed that things have come to a screeching halt around here. I made the decision a few months ago that I had to close down True Up. I’m sorry for trailing off without saying anything, but it’s been difficult to come up with the right farewell post, and to finally pull the plug.

There are many factors that have gone into this decision. Burnout is #1 – my family and non-fabric career have changed quite a bit since I started in April 2008. These days I have almost no time to do anything but the bare minimum to keep the site running. I also work in front of a computer all day, so it’s partially just wanting to get some time away from screens. Another part is that I’m simply not able to keep up with all the fabrics that deserve coverage. I’m not the manager type who wants to wrangle other writers to cover the scene with me. Contrast that with five years ago, when “modern”/however-you-want-to-define-them fabrics were few and far between — the desire to spread the news about these fabrics, and to encourage the industry to produce more of them, is what inspired me to start the blog in the first place! True Up has so many possibilities, now more than ever, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not the one who can/should take the site to the next level. Maybe you are? More on that below.

There is also a happy, positive reason I am moving on. I am involved in a new project, a venture that will be announced in a few short weeks at Quilt Market in Houston. I am so excited about it and I hope you will be too. This will keep me involved in the industry and keep my online presence going in some other, yet-to-be-determined form. So, I am not riding off into the sunset completely. After the announcement, I will come back and here tell you all about it.

I am definitely open to selling the blog. It has provided a decent part-time income for me for years now, and I think it has the potential of being even more to the right person or group. HOWEVER. I have an overwhelming month ahead of me leading up to Quilt Market, and am definitely not in a spot to answer questions or discuss a sale just yet. If you are interested, and will be at Quilt Market, please email me and we can set up a time to meet and talk about it. If you are interested but won’t be at QM, please email me anyway and I’ll get back to you as soon as I humanly can (though it might be a month or more).

This blog has brought the most incredible people, creations, and opportunities into my life and I am so grateful. I hope you also got some value out of it, whether it was discovering a new designer, expanding your sewing or design horizons, or getting hooked up with a source. I will really miss the thrill of discovering new fabrics and having the privilege of being the first to share them with you. Thank you to this awesome community, and the hardworking fabric shops and companies that saw fit to sponsor the site — you are what kept me going all this time.

 

 

Umbrella Prints: Floating World

floatingworld

 

Umbrella Prints has a new collection called Floating World. It’s a mix of classic Umbrella Prints prints on quilting cotton in a palette of burgundy, peach, pink, mint, and kelly green. There  awesome new print called New Horizon that is hand-screenprinted on organic hemp/cotton. These fabrics can be bought through the Umbrella Prints shop or Umbrella Prints on Etsy. Pick up a trimmings pack early in preparation for next year’s trimmings competition!

 

forestfloor

floatingworldstrimmings

floatinworld2

 

Sale Alerts

Bloomerie: 30% off selected spring fabrics, 20% off all patterns, 10% off all embroidery supplies. (through tonight only, 9/2/13)

Britex Fabrics: 20% off all kinds of linen in the online shop – imported, couture, striped, and sheer. (through 9/15/13)

Calico: 20% off storewide. (through 9/21/13)

Connecting Threads: 50% off select books. 40% off select notions and tools. (through 9/9/13) Free shipping on web orders in the contiguous U.S. of $50+.

Contemporary Cloth: 25% off your order with coupon code save. (end date unknown)

nordika

Cucire: All Art Gallery Fabrics $8/yard. (through 9/30/13)

Crafter’s Vision: Extra 30% off all sale fabrics. (through 9/4/13) Free shipping for U.S. orders $30+ and international orders get 10% of their order in store credit.

Delta Patchwork: 10% storewide, including clearance. (through 9/4/13) Always free shipping in contiguous USA for orders $40+.

Drygoods Design: Domestic orders $35+ always ship free.

eQuilter: All clearance categories 45% to 65% off. (through 9/8/13) One yard minimum order on sale fabrics.

The Fabric Fairy: 15% off all fabrics in the summer clearance category with code summer2013. (through 9/2/13)

Fabric.com: 15% off purchases $100+ with coupon code USAVE15. Select Westminster, Kaufman, Riley Blake, Hoffman, and designer batik fabrics 20% off in the Cathy’s Designer Sale secction. (through 9/2/13) Always free shipping on orders $35+.

The Fabric Stash: Extra 20% off the sale section with code laborday. (through 9/3/13)

Fabricworm: 25-60% off tons of new markdowns (through 9/3/13 noon PST). Bundles 10% off (through 9/5/13, 8am PST). Always $5 off your purchase of $50+ with coupon code linus5. Always 10% off orders $100+ with code bulk10.

Fat Quarter Shop: 40% off NFL and College fabric (through 9/9/13) 50% off Simple Marks from Moda and Tiny Prints by Lecien. (while supplies last)

Gorgeous Fabrics: 20% off nearly everything! 5% off orders $100+ with coupon code BONUS5. Additional 10% off orders $200+ with code BONUS10. Orders $500+ get all that plus free shipping. (through 9/2/13)

Hart’s Fabrics: 10% off all dots, checks, and stripe cotton prints. (through 9/2/13)

ImagineGnats: 25% off fabric and patterns with code work25. (through 9/2/13)

Jones and Vandermeer: Echino, Alexander Henry Africa collection, Liberty Japan, and Dear Stella in the sale section. Always free shipping on orders $60+, or $5 flat rate otherwise.

Low Price Fabric: 20% off storewide. (through 9/2/13)

Mad About Patchwork: Color Me Retro, Cosmos, Chicopee, Fortiny, Happi, Pepper, Pirouette, Salt Water, Shelburne Falls, and Winterkist on sale. Save 10% on Garden Spectrum bundles and yardage. (through 9/30/13) Free shipping in Canada on orders $150+ and free worldwide shipping on patterns, not including clearance patterns.

nido: Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Spring $13.20/yard. Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt and more also on sale. Always free shipping on orders $50 + or just $5 for all other orders.

Owl and Drum: 15% off organic fabrics. (through 9/2/13)

Pattern Crush: Labor Day sale with savings storewide, including new arrivals like Koi, Collage, and Briar Rose. (through 9/2/13)

Pink Castle Fabrics: 20% off with code LABOR20. (through 9/2/13)

The Quilted Castle: 20% off Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, and Charm Packs with coupon code CPJRLC. 20% off all items in the Clearance and End of Bolt category with coupon code 20clear (through 9/8/13). More than 75 collections marked down to $4.99-$6.99 per yard in our fabric blowout section.

Quilthome: 20% off orders $60-$99.99 with code QHLDAY20, 25% off orders $100-$199.99 with code QHLDAY25, and 30% off orders $200+ with code QHLDAY30 on the following fabrics: Valori Wells, Jenean Morrison, Kathy Miller, Erin McMorris fabrics, and Laminates, Home Dec, and Specialty fabrics. (through 9/4/13)

Quilt Sandwich: Lots of new additions to the sale section including Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt, Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, plus Michael Miller, Free Spirit, and more. (while supplies last)

Sew Modern: New to our GIANT Sale section, Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry, Asbury Park by Thomas Knauer, Noteworthy by Sweetwater, all 20-40% off! (while supplies last)

Stash Modern Fabric: 10% off your purchase with code LABORDAY13. (through 9/2/13) Free shipping on U.S. orders $50+ and international shipping discounts with code SHIPFREE50. (end date unknown)

Tactile Modern Fabrics: 10-30% off storewide. (through 9/4/13)

International

Kelani Fabric Obsession (Australia): 20% off all regularly-priced fabrics and patterns with code CELEBRATE. (through Sept. 8, 2013)

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Get the Sale Alerts emailed to you weekly! Simply visit this link to have the sales delivered to your email. Use this link for your RSS feed reader. (If you’re already subscribed to the True Up feed or get all the posts by email, you don’t need to change anything; the sale alerts will still be included in there.)

Shops! If you’re tweeting about a fabric sale, please add #fabricsale and I’ll seek them out to add to this post.

Anna Ka Bazaar: New Fabrics

fabric-daisyfabric-fumi

Anna Ka Bazaar in France has just added lots of new fabrics to their already substantial collection of fashion-friendly prints and solids. Worldwide shipping is available!

fabric-house-1fabric-coraline

fabric-bandufabric-house

fabric-billyfabric-berthe

fabric-orpheefabric-pink

fabric-coucou-greyfabric-cyclo-violet

fabric-yvettefabric-caro

Numbers Silk

pettingzoo

Now that I have bought some, I can share with you knowing that it won’t sell out before I made my move. Keli posted this picture of her “fabric petting zoo” (nice) at her shop Drygoods Design and my eyes went straight to the stripey border print. The silk crepe is from a dress designer and has a tossed design of numbers and symbols. Get it online here. And to study up: Tips to Overcome Fear of Sewing Silks from Mood.

numbers-silk

Sale Alerts

cushiondust

Bloomerie: A+ August sale. 40% off Fox Hollow, Little Red Riding Hood, Noteworthy, and lots more. (while supplies last)

Britex Fabrics: 20% off knits online. (through 8/31/13)

Connecting Threads: 50% off select books. 40% off select notions and tools. (through 9/9/13) Free shipping on web orders in the contiguous U.S. of $50+.

Contemporary Cloth: 25% off your order with code save. Yuwa and organic fabric added to clearance, and further reductions just applied to clearance fabrics. (while supplies last)

Cucire: Belle by Amy Butler $8/yard. (through 8/31/13)

Crafter’s Vision: 25% off orders $50+ with code BIGMOVE2013. (through 8/25/13) Free shipping for U.S. orders $30+ and international orders get 10% of their order in store credit. (end date unknown)

Delta Patchwork: 15% off black & white fabrics. (through 8/28/13) Always free shipping in contiguous USA for orders $40+.

Drygoods Design: Domestic orders $35+ always ship free.

eQuilter: Free shipping on U.S. orders and 50% off international shipping on orders $35+ with code SCHOOL. (through 8/27/13) One yard minimum order on sale fabrics.

Fabric.com: $4.95 cotton print sale. 15% off NFL fabrics. 40% off in the fall fashion section. (through 8/26/13) Always free shipping on orders $35+.

Fabricworm: 10% off all Moda fabric (through 8/29/13 8am PST). Always $5 off your purchase of $50+ with coupon code linus5. Always 10% off orders $100+ with code bulk10.

Fat Quarter Shop: Hundreds of batiks on sale for Batik Week! Lots more in the sale section. (while supplies last)

Gorgeous Fabrics: 20% off nearly everything! 5% off orders $100+ with coupon code BONUS5. Additional 10% off orders $200+ with code BONUS10. Orders $500+ get all that plus free shipping. (through 9/2/13)

Hart’s Fabrics: 10% off all faux fur. (through 8/26/13)

Jones and Vandermeer: Echino, Alexander Henry Africa collection, Liberty Japan, and Dear Stella in the sale section. Always free shipping on orders $60+, or $5 flat rate otherwise.

Lowpricefabric.com (Michael Levine): 20% off lace (8/26/13 through 9/1/13). 20% off all home dec fabrics (through 8/31/13).

Mad About Patchwork: Cosmos, Chicopee, Pepper, Remix, and Winterkist on sale. Save 10% on Desert Spectrum bundles and yardage. (through 8/31/13) Free shipping in Canada on orders $150+ and free worldwide shipping on patterns, not including clearance patterns.

nido: Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Spring $13.20/yard. Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt and more also on sale. Always free shipping on orders $50 + or just $5 for all other orders.

The Quilted Castle: 20% off Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, and Charm Packs with coupon code CPJRLC (through 8/31/13). 20% off all items in the Clearance and End of Bolt categories with coupon code 20clear. More than 75 collections marked down to $4.99, $5.99 and $6.99 per yard in our fabric blowout section.

Quilthome: 25% off all currently in-stock Felicity Miller fabrics, Parson Gray fabrics, Dena Designs fabrics & book with coupon code QHDPF. (through 8/26/13) One coupon code per order.

Quilt Sandwich: Lots of new additions to the sale section including Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt, Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, plus Michael Miller, Free Spirit, and more. (while supplies last)

SewBaby is having a big Summer Fabric Blowout Sale with all of our woven cottons on sale at up to 60% off. (through 8/31/13)

Sew Modern: New to our GIANT Sale section, Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry, Asbury Park by Thomas Knauer, Noteworthy by Sweetwater, all 20-40% off! (while supplies last)

Stash Modern Fabric: Free shipping on U.S. orders $50+ and international shipping discounts with code SHIPFREE50. (end date unknown)

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Get the Sale Alerts emailed to you weekly! Simply visit this link to have the sales delivered to your email. Use this link for your RSS feed reader. (If you’re already subscribed to the True Up feed or get all the posts by email, you don’t need to change anything; the sale alerts will still be included in there.)

Shops! If you’re tweeting about a fabric sale, please add #fabricsale and I’ll seek them out to add to this post.

New Knits and Cottons by Hamburger Liebe

Happy, Hamburger Liebe

{ Happy }

Susanne Firmenich aka Hamburger Liebe‘s debut collections for Hilco were (naturally) a big success! Her subsequent collections have been coming out over the past few months and it looks like there will be a steady supply of her great prints for all ages on jersey knits, cottons, and coordinating ribbons. You can see them all here — these are just a few of my favorites!

My Friend Polly, Woof Woof, Hamburger Liebe

{ Woof Woof }

catchawavejersey

{ Catch a Wave }

Cool Stars, Headphonauts, Hamburger Liebe

{ Headphoneauts }

supahero-hamburgerliebe

{ Supahero }

Simply alle hamburger liebe

{ Simply }

New From Sara Lee Parker

storybook-mandarin

Husband-and-wife team Sara Lee Parker and Simon Hunt screenprint original designs by hand on a hemp/organic cotton blend basecloth. These newest designs represent the Spring 2013 collection and are available by the yard from HoneybeGood. Aprons, Totes, napkins, and other finished products can also be found direct from Sara Lee Parker’s shop on Etsy.

berries-bowls-grape

sara lee parker - new

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