Free Spirit Fabrics to Be Shut Down by Coats Effective Immediately

Free Spirit Fabrics will be shut down by parent company Coats. In a letter sent to designers today Stephanie Leichtweis, who became president of North American Crafts at Coats in October, stated, “We have worked diligently for the past few years to make this a successful part of the Coats Craft business here in North America.  But I am sorry to say that, despite our best efforts, we have continued to struggle with an inherent weakness in the business model and have not been able to demonstrate a profit.” The letter goes on to say, “We will not be producing new Westminster or FreeSpirit Fabrics from today onwards.”

How to Use Trello for Small Business

As small business owners (and individuals for that matter), staying organized is a constant challenge. Trello is a useful tool to help with organization and today Erin Weisbart shares the variety of ways she’s been using it and perhaps you’ll want to begin using Trello for your own small business as well.

Etsy Neglects Established Programs While Tightening Focus on Core Marketplace

Handmade marketplace Etsy is neglecting programs other than the core marketplace and sellers are feeling the effects. Some of these programs, like Etsy Wholesale, were established years ago and serve thousands of sellers, while others, like Etsy Studio, were launched more recently and haven’t yet built momentum. Now, they seem to be abandoned.

TNNA Winter Show 2018 Report

he Winter TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) show felt completely different this year. But of course it would because the show happened in a new and different format from previous years. Instead of the traditional convention center / booth format, this year TNNA tried a hotel / suite format. Gwen Bortner was there and brings us this report.

Creativation 2018 Show Report

Crafters spent about $36.2 billion dollars on creative products in 2017, mostly at physical stores but also on the internet and through catalogs, according to a study commissioned by the Association For Creative Industries (AFCI). Learn more of the results from this study, plus get a glimpse into trends and new products spotted at Creativation 2018 in Phoenix.

Travel to Mexico For a Embroidery, Weaving, and Natural Dyeing Workshops

For many of us an ideal vacation involves not only traveling somewhere new, but also the opportunity to immerse ourselves in making. Stephanie Echeveste recently visited Oaxaca, Mexico to take a series of craft workshops. Here she describes the experience and provides information if you’d like to book a similar crafty trip of your own.

The New Year’s ‘Not To-Do List’

New Year’s resolutions are a wonderful way to “should” on ourselves. Life coach Alissa Norton has stopped making these resolutions, and doesn’t recommend them to her clients, either. Not because they aren’t kept, but because she believes that to move forward, we must first let go. And sometimes, that’s the hard part.

She’s created a a Not to Do List instead and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

Winter Reading List for Creatives

Throughout 2018 we’ll be bringing you curated lists of books for craft business owners. Erin Dollar, founder of Cotton & Flax, a home decor products company based in California, is an avid reader with a library of books to share. She’ll be choosing a selection each season and describing what each book has to offer. To kick things off here is Erin with our winter book picks!

2018 Craft Industry Trend Forecast

Trend analysis adds context to what’s relevant and timely. These trends can help you find marketing opportunities and growth potential for your business.

How To Use the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet

Andrea Tsang Jackson trained as an architect and educator. She’s now a quilt designer and artist and today she’s sharing expert tips on how designers and crafters can incorporate Ultra Violet, the Pantone Color of the Year, into their work. Learn how to pair this color to make it shine!

F+W Media Ousts Top Executives in Effort to Accelerate Digital Growth

The board of directors of F+W Media has ousted the company’s top leadership. A letter to staff sent out this morning stated that CEO Tom Beusse, COO Joe Siebert, and CTO Joe Romello are no longer with the company. The board has appointed Greg Osberg as interim CEO.

Midwest Craft Con Offers Makers Opportunities for Growth and Connection

Midwest Craft Con is a craft and business conference offering workshops, speakers, and networking for creative business owners of all stripes. Now in its third year, the event will take place February 16-18 in Columbus, Ohio. Keynote speakers include knitter and television host Vickie Howell, the Crafty Chica Kathy Cano Murillo, and cartoonist and pub parent Gemma Correll.

Celebrating 2017

2017 has been an exciting year for Craft Industry Alliance and today, as the year draws to a close, we wanted to look back at some of the highlights.

McCall’s Simplicity Merger Points to the Market Impact of Independent Sewing Pattern Companies

The home sewing industry is sorely lacking in good longitudinal data. The Association for Creative Industries does a survey every few years about the crafts industry as a whole, and Quilts, Inc. does the same for quilting but granular data about the sewing pattern market is very hard to come by. This makes it hard to know how the industry is changing.

Those of us who are involved in the sewing community know that over the past 10-15 years independent sewing pattern designers have poured onto the scene, many of them creating thriving businesses with lots of momentum. This year, I think we’re seeing hard evidence of their impact on the industry for the first time.

Show Report: Makers Arcade

Makers Arcade was founded in 2014, as a celebration of San Diego’s expanding artist and maker movement. Held twice a year in the airy and spacious Broadway Pier, Makers Arcade is the largest indie craft event held in the city, and brings together 150+ artisans and makers for a shopping event that captures the vibrant creativity of San Diego.

5 Tips for Making Your Artist-In-Residence Experience a Success

Andrea Tsang Jackson was the 2017 Artist-in-Residence at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and worked for four months collecting small quilt blocks made by museum visitors. Here, Andrea discusses how to approach a project proposal for a residency program. If you’re considering applying for an artist-residence-program at a museum or arts center, these tips will be helpful to you!

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