We Need More Words for Craft

The word craft is used for everything from the work of highly regarded makers, such as Faith Ringold and Beatrice Wood, to hobbyists who sew, knit, make pots, turn wood, and hammer iron, to the awful foam stickers that appear for birthday party ‘crafts.’ While none of these are less valid for what they are, there is a big difference. 

And with that comes the devaluing of the sublime, and the minimizing of what we hold dear. So, why don’t we have different words?

Fabric Depot Shutting Its Doors After 26 Years

Fabric Depot, Portland, Oregon’s famously enormous fabric store, is closing. Founded in 1992 in a space formerly occupied by a Fred Meyer supermarket in Southeast Portland, Fabric Depot was one of the largest, locally and independently owned stores in the United States.

Scrapbook News Update

Nancy Nally is the owner of Nally Studios and the publisher and editor of Scrapbook Update and Craft Critique, two websites focused on the scrapbooking industry. And avid scrapbooker for more than 20 years, Nancy has a keen interest in news and trends that affect the industry. This year she’s been bringing us quarterly reports on the scrapbooking industry. Check out her first one here. Today Nancy is back with her second update.

F+W to Cease Publication of Modern Patchwork, Cloth Paper Scissors, Quilty, and Knit.Wear Magazines Amidst New Round of Layoffs

F+W is shutting down Modern Patchwork, Cloth Paper Scissors, Quilty, and Knit.Wear magazines. The issues currently in production will be the last. A letter will be going out informing contributors later this week and Tiffany Warble, Director of Content, says the company is working on a plan for existing subscribers. A round of layoffs accompanied the closures.

Craft Industry Fears Major Fallout from New Tariff Activity

Recently imposed 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods includes a large quantity of craft supplies, such as cotton fabric. Craft-industry businesses now have to contend with the likelihood of a price increase soon on supplies imported from China.

Craftsy Unlimited to Rebrand as Bluprint

Craftsy Unlimited, the subscription streaming portion of Craftsy.com, will rebrand as Bluprint on July 17. The new site will be available at myblueprint.com.

JOANN Opens Concept Store in Columbus, Ohio

JOANN is hoping their new concept store in Columbus, Ohio will leave guest inspired to tackle their crafty vision boards one project at a time. The grand opening unveiled their new store, with a Creator’s Studio inside, which signals a new direction for the company, one of the largest craft retail chains in the nation.

For P&B Textiles, an Acquisition Leads to a Hopeful Future

In February, the Odessas sold General Fabrics to Brand & Oppenheimer, another Rhode Island-based textile company. The sale has given their family business a fresh start right when they needed it and now the company is poised for growth for the first time in years.

‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’: The Craftiest Show on TV

In the show “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, Kimmy and Titus are industrious in making things work, and in fact the costume and set designers for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” really DIY a lot of the outfits and props.

Cotton+Steel Designers Depart RJR Due to Management and Systems Upheaval

At RJR out-of-date systems, a botched effort to update them, and a radical shift in leadership, created an unstable climate that caused the original five designers of industry darling, Cotton+Steel, to walk away earlier this month from the modern fabric division they’d built from scratch.

Cotton+Steel Designers to Move on From the Company

In a press release sent to quilt shops today RJR Fabrics announced that the original Cotton+Steel designers will be leaving the company. The collections released at Spring Quilt Market will be their last.

DMC Stitch Contest Provokes Artists to Submit Subversive Designs

DMC, the embroidery floss, company, is running a contest that has cross stitch designers feeling stabby.

On April 16 we reported on DMC’s contest soliciting artists for designs to be published as free patterns on the DMC website. The winners would receive no financial compensation. Although in the past DMC has paid artists for designs, those collaborations were suddenly ended late last year and, according to the social media manager at DMC whom we spoke with for the April 16 article, the company’s current plan is to run unpaid contests to generate new patterns.

On the DMC website the artist doesn’t get a web link on his or her pattern’s page nor do they have a full profile, making it difficult to understand how even the promise of exposure as a prize could be meaningful.

The free patterns are used by DMC to sell embroidery floss. They are sent out weekly to DMC’s email list of 100,000 subscribers and each pattern is linked to a kit of DMC floss for consumers to purchase.

To enter the contest artists use the #dmcxstitchcontest hashtag on Instagram. At the beginning of the week, we began seeing subversive entries appear on the hashtag, and they’ve continued to flow in all week. Here are some of the highlights to date. DMC has yet to respond.

F+W Sells Keepsake Quilting to Steelcity

F+W has sold Keepsake Quilting, the quilt shop and catalog business, to Steelcity LLC, the parent company of Swatchcraft and Pineapple Fabrics. The sale was announced this week. The Keepsake Quilting shop is located in Center Harbor, New Hampshire and the catalog business has its headquarters eight miles away in Moltonborough.

DMC Contest Asks Artists to Work For Free

DMC, the embroidery floss company, is running a contest asking artists to submit designs to be part of their 1,000 Patterns Project, a library of free patterns on the DMC website. Each pattern is kitted with DMC floss. The winning artists receive no monetary compensation and give up the right to republish their pattern elsewhere.

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