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At RJR out-of-date systems, a botched effort to update them, and a radical shift in leadership, created an unstable climate that caused the original five designers of industry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.

Northcott to Add Modern Fabric Division, FIGO

Northcott Fabrics is launching a modern fabric division later this month. Called FIGO (meaning “cool” in Italian), the new division will allow the Toronto-based company to compete in the modern quilting market. 

A look Inside the WEBS Acquisition of Tahki Stacy Charles

Stacy Charles has a close relationship with Kathy and Steve Elkins, the owners of the Massachusetts yarn store WEBS, so when it came time to look at a new business model for his yarn company, Tahki Stacy Charles, he knew exactly who to approach. Lisa Chamoff talks with the leadership at both companies to get the inside story on this acquisition.

Simplicity and McCall’s Likely to Launch New Digital Pattern System Shortly

Simplicity and McCalls sewing patterns, along with the other major sewing pattern brands, will likely launch a new system for digital pattern downloads in the coming months. CSS Industries, which acquired McCalls in 2016 and Simplicity in 2017, now owns all of the major sewing pattern brands.

WEBS Acquires Tahki Stacy Charles and String

The owners of WEBS, a Massachusetts and online yarn store, are purchasing yarn company Tahki Stacy Charles and String, a retail shop in New York City, joining forces to take on what they say are changes in the knitting industry.

Etsy to Close Etsy Studio & Etsy Manufacturing, Focus on Sales Growth Continues

On Tuesday evening Etsy announced the company’s first $1 billion quarter. In its fourth-quarter earnings call Etsy’s CEO, Josh Silverman, said sales grew 17.8% over the fourth quarter of 2016.

“In a sea of sameness Etsy stands for something special and we need that now more than ever,” Silverman said. “We believe we have a long runway of growth and we’re acting with urgency to move faster.” There are now 50 million items for sale on Etsy, 1.9 million active sellers, and 33 million active buyers.

Free Spirit’s Closure Signals Weakening of Quilting Cotton Market

Coats and Clark took the quilting community by surprise last week when the company announced they’d be closing Free Spirit Fabrics, their premium quilting cotton brand, effective May 1. The closure signals a softening of the market for quilting cotton after a 20-year boom.

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.”

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