It’s Always Christmas for the Ornament Girl

It’s Christmas all year round for The Ornament Girl, Staci Ann Lowry, who turned an old-fashioned hobby into a business creating handmade, no-sew, fabric-covered ornaments.

How I Got That Gig: 7 of My Quilts Are in Season 3 of Ozark

Who makes the quilts you see on tv? This is a question Lindsey Rhodes had often asked herself whenever she spied a beautiful quilt in the background of her favorite shows. A quilter can recognize fabrics and block patterns and know when something is not mass-produced. Lindsey came to discover the answer to her question in a serendipitous moment! Seven of her quilts were recently bought to be set dressing on Season 3 of the Netflix series Ozark.

Michaels Embraces the Gig Economy With New Community Classroom Program

In a step towards embracing the gig economy, craft chain Michaels has revamped its in-store classes turning instructors into freelancers responsible for designing, pricing, and marketing their own workshops. The new Community Classroom program, which rolled out to 1,258 Michaels stores nationwide in March, allows any creative person to pitch to teach at their local Michaels store.

Yarn Industry News Update

The yarn industry appears to be in the midst of industry-wide consolidation, with this quarter seeing even more acquisitions/mergers. Diversity in the industry and concerns over the inclusion of knitters/crocheters of all races, religions, genders, ages, sizes and socio-economic statuses has been the largest topic of discussion this quarter. Although the topic has simmered for years (decades?), the popular discussion began on Instagram in February and began on Instagram before moving to other social media networks and live events. Here’s a roundup of the latest news.

OLFA Announces Charitable Initiative in Diverse Communities

OLFA has launched a new charitable initiative intended to help support creative endeavors in diverse communities throughout the US. Called OLFA Builds Diversity, the program will gift OLFA cutting solutions to individuals, organizations, classrooms, and training programs that demonstrate a focus on creative and professional skill development for people from diverse backgrounds.

News Roundup from the Scrapbooking Industry

From patent lawsuits to mergers to store closures, there’s a lot going on in the scrapbooking industry. Nancy Nally of Scrapbook Update brings us the latest news in this report.

Jonah Larson is Hooked on Crochet and Doing Good

CBS News has referred to him as “an 11-year-old with a grandmother’s soul” and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has referred to him as “a prodigy.” He’s appeared on “Good Morning, America” and had so many media requests that he actually had to decline appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” But somehow, when we sent Jonah Larson a message to his Instagram account (@JonahHands) last week, he found time and was willing to answer questions about his crocheting and his business experiences for Craft Industry Alliance.

Timeless Treasures Acquires Marcus Fabrics

Timeless Treasures, the manufacturer of quilting cotton, has acquired Marcus Fabrics. Both companies are located in New York City. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

F+W Media Files for Bankruptcy

F+W Media, the major craft publisher, has filed for bankruptcy. In the filing, CEO Gregory Osberg cites the decade long decline in the market for print magazines as a contributing factor. Since 2015, for example, the company’s subscribers have decreased from approximately 33.4 million to 21.5 million and the company’s advertising revenue has decreased from $20.7 million to $13.7 million. But that’s not the whole story.

JOANN Invests in Glowforge, Bringing Laser Cutting to the Mainstream Crafter

Glowforge, the home laser cutter, is about to become available to many more crafters, including those who can’t afford the hefty price tag (the retail price is $4,000, twice what it was during the crowdfunding campaign) and don’t have a dedicated space to house it. At the end of December the nation’s largest fabric and craft retailer, JOANN, announced a significant investment in Glowforge. Here’s how some crafters are reacting to the news.

Makerist Makes Selling Digital Patterns Simple

Berlin-based Makerist would love to work with more American crafters. Makerist—voted one of Germany’s top 20 Internet start-ups last year—is a market leader in Europe for digital patterns and e-learning related to sewing, knitting and crochet. They recently entered the North American market, and founders Axel Heinz and Amber Riedl and their team are particularly interested in working with U.S.-based digital pattern makers and with those who love to instruct via video.

Bluprint Sends Out Instructor Survey Intended to Improve Communication

Bluprint CEO John Levisay sent out a survey to instructors yesterday with questions intended to learn more about their impressions of the company and goals for working together in the future. The survey was accompanied by a letter from Levisay that acknowledged the company’s shortcomings in instructor communication over the past year, as well as the drop in revenue many instructors have experienced since the move to a subscription model and the NBCUniversal buyout.

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