Surrounded by artistic influences, Winthur's childhood was spent drawing, painting, and sewing clothes for her dolls from her mother's fabric scraps. When it came time for college, she attended the Rhode Island School of Design where she majored in textile design. After graduating, Winthur was hired by a major home products manufacturer in NYC and several of her quilt designs were sold in large retailers like JC Penney's, Sears, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond. In 2006, she moved to Oregon and started work with Pendleton Woolen Mills. Winthur joined Connecting Threads in 2014 and now lives in Portland with her husband and three daughters.
When Connecting Threads first began designing, manufacturing, and selling our own exclusive fabrics online in 2007, Country Essentials was one of our original signature lines. It quickly became a favorite of traditional quilters with its country feel and colors and has since expanded to become its own brand.
Mama’s Cottons was one of the first fabric collections that Connecting Threads designed back in the summer of 2007. Since then, Mama's Cottons had blossomed into a brand inspired by patterns from feed sacks and color palettes from the 1930s.
Jenni Calo is an accomplished artist who got her start in fabric design while working in New York City as an apparel designer. After almost 10 years of designing sleepwear and other clothing items, Jenni moved to Portland, Oregon where she landed as the in-house designer for Connecting Threads. Jenni worked as the sole designer for Connecting Threads for just over four years before moving back to New York in 2014. Jenni still collaborates with Connecting Threads on some of our exclusive collections and brings a unique flair to every fabric she works on. Jenni's designing ability is incredibly versatile; she has created collections that are loved by quilters from all backgrounds.
Designing and creating have always been a huge part of Darlene's life - from sewing clothes as a 6 year old child to illustrating books and designing patterns and fabric for Connecting Threads. Now that she has"retired", she finds that she can't stop! Darlene created her own company, Cranberry Corner, several years ago as a design and long-arm quilting business.
As a Decorative Artist, MaryJo Tuttle of Tuttle's Touches usually paints on wood or other hard surfaces; she's thrilled to see her painted designs come to life in the form a fabric lines.
Lynette Anderson has cultivated a worldwide following unparalleled by any other designer in the quilting industry. Whether you are a lover of embellishing, stitchery, patchwork design, quilting fabric, or a bit of everything rolled into one, Lynette offers a complete package. From her rural upbringing in rural Dorset, England, Lynette has always loved the country life. She learned sewing, knitting, embroidery and painting at a very early age under the instruction of her mother, Ruth, and both her grandmothers. She stumbled into the craft of quilt making while searching for a creative outlet when her three boys were small. Her interest soon grew into a thriving career in teaching and pattern designing, and eventually to the launch of her own business, Lynette Anderson Designs, which she continued to grow after migrating with her family to Australia in 1990.
Kimberly Kight spent a lot of time as a child at the heels of her mom and grandma, shopping for fabric in the aisles of JC Penny and the like. Though she doesn't remember sewing on her own as a child, when she received a sewing machine as a gift in 2001, she was able to thread it without thinking about it. A layoff led to a sewing hobby that led to an interest in fabric. She started the blog True Up in 2008, right as a new era of fabric design was beginning to emerge. An avid collector of vintage fabric, she wants to bring her very favorite prints from the past back for a new generation of sewers to enjoy. Kim lives in the Hill Country just outside of Austin, TX with her husband and two sons.
Sarah Watts is a fabric designer, book illustrator, and licensing artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. After a nomadic childhood filled with characters and interesting narratives, she studied at Ringling College of Art and Design, and put her imagination to great use as an illustrator. Sarah's most recent adventures include skydiving, tattoos, and eloping in Vegas. Sewing has always been her favorite peaceful activity away from her sketch pad and computer. When she is not drawing or sewing she likes going thrifting and adventuring in nature with her awesome husband. Sarah finds bliss the smell of campfire and a good cup of black coffee.
Melody grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, quite possibly the prettiest place on earth. Later, she felt just as much at home in New York City, where she studied industrial design at Pratt Institute, and her love for vintage objects began. In early 2013, Melody had an epic idea, and from that, Cotton+Steel was born. She lives in Atlanta, in picturesque and historic Grant Park with her amazing photographer hubby, two charmingly quirky children, and a very silly Bichon Frise. She loves vintage design, flea markets, her converse sneaks and margaritas. Most times, in moderation.
Alexia Marcelle Abegg was born in Folsom, California. She has been inspired by her mother's and father's creativity and dedication to art throughout her life. An award-winning designer, artist, and writer, Alexia has always been fascinated with the art of sewing. She currently divides her time among creating patterns for their company, Green Bee Design and Patterns; teaching; making art; and writing.
The fabrics housed under the Cotton + Steel name were designed by five reputable, well renowned designers in the industry: Alexia Marchelle Abegg, Kimberly Kight, Melody Miller, Rashida Coleman-Hale, and Sarah Watts. Each of these designers bring their own unique background and inspiring story and together they created Cotton + Steel.
Connecting Threads has built a reputation for producing gorgeous, high quality fabrics at unbeatable prices. Each of our exclusive fabrics are created according to our exacting standards and finished with out top-secret formula to create a flawless and amazingly soft finish. These fabrics are only available at Connecting Threads, and collection prints are only offered for a limited time.
Jody's artistic application is a life-long combination of skills, exhibiting her love for color, and arts and crafts. A detailed blending of watercolor paper, acrylic paint, stencil cutting, pen and ink detailing, and sewing and quilt design skills are revealed in her creations. Her work is truly an original technique of mixed media.
Quilter's Candy is a versatile group of basic flat cotton and flannel cotton fabrics designed to coordinate perfectly with Connecting Threads' limited-edition collections. Connecting Threads offers Quilter's Candy in Solids, Mottled Mirage, Basic Prints in flat cotton as well as Mottled Mirage and Basic Prints in flannel cotton. These designs are available year-round and are ideal for building your stash.
Alyssa Thomas, of Penguin & Fish, is an accomplished illustrator, designer and life-long artist. As a child, Alyssa would make everything from beaded bracelets to large paper mache masks…all to be bartered for at her “trading post”. Now Alyssa offers a line of lovely and quirky hand embroidery patterns, embroidery kits and one-of-a-kind plush animals.
I graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. It was fun but I was tired of being broke so I decided to get a job. I worked briefly as an Exhibit designer for Museums in L.A. and when that became too quiet I relocated to the music industry. After about 6 years of that my ears began to bleed so I left California and went in search of a new home. The plan was to move as far east as I could get without renting a boat and work my way back west until I found a place I liked. I now live in a small mid-western town where my closest neighbor is roughly four miles away. My main function in life is fabric design. I live for it. Through all of the moving and mind changing one thing was constant; fabric and sewing.
Anna Maria has been exhibiting paintings in galleries throughout her whole adult life. Regardless of the medium, the hallmark of Anna Maria's art is her masterful sense of color and her ease of composition. Her knack for versatility and desire to create beautiful things eventually turned her towards freelance product design and so in 2001, she created her own brand. Anna Maria's goal is simple: to create designs that make the consumer feel alive and well. She has a zeal for life and family, and is a busy mother of seven! Anna Maria and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Nashville, where she develops her art collections in her home studio. Juliana, Nicolas, Joseph, Isabela, Eleni, Roman, Mary Anna, and King Leo- the yellow lab keep life at an excitedly fast pace.
Teri Degenkolb of Whimsicals never considered herself an artist. She has been quoted as saying, "I somehow have been blessed to find that 'creating' is my passion and gift. Whether it be with fabric as a new quilt design unfolds, with paints on a canvas, or a mouse and a computer as I design a new fabric line, or with words on a screen as I lay out and write a new book, it’s the process of bringing something to life that brings me joy. In reality, I am a mom, I am a wife, I am a business owner, I am a graphic designer, I am a writer, and I am a quilter. Some may even say I am an artist. And all of these things woven together is what makes me who I am today.... a very blessed person."
Gudrun, quilt designer and owner of GE Designs, was born and raised in Iceland. In 2000, she opened the first online quilt shop in Iceland. A year later, she moved her successful venture to a storefront location. Her primary passion was designing patterns, which were all written in Icelandic at that time. She began translating her patterns into English and created a US based publishing company in early 2003. Later that year, her husband’s career change brought them to Minnesota with their three children. Today, Gudrun is multi-faceted; designing collections for Red Rooster Fabrics, as well as writing books and quilt patterns.
Allison Harris is a Mom to 3 small children and the writer of the popular quilting blog Cluck Cluck Sew. She has a fresh take on quilting, with simple designs, saturated colors and modern color combinations. Allison has designed over 40 original quilt patterns, as well as written and contributed to books.
Lila Tueller has been sewing, drawing, painting, or creating in some form or another for most of her life. She began sewing at the age of 12 when her mother bought her her first sewing machine. After years of creating, Lila signed on to be a fabric designer with Riley Blake Designs, and the rest is history!
Rashida Coleman-Hale has been making things ever since she can remember. She studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Not sure if fashion was her calling, she traded her sewing machine for a computer and worked as a freelance graphic designer. Her passion for sewing was rekindled in 2006 after the arrival of her first child, and she began the blog I Heart Linen to document her re-born creative life and her life as a stay-at-home mommy.
Valori Wells and her mother Jean Wells are a well-known duo involved in quiltmaking, fabric design, and operating The Stitchin' Post in Sisters, Oregon. When Valori was in college, she and Jean began collaborating on quilting books with a garden flair. Valori's talents as a photographer captured nature at its best, and her inspirational images soon became the focus of her own distinctive quilting style. Her career came into full blossom when she began designing fabrics for the quilting industry. Valori returned to sisters to join her mother in managing the store.
Though you wouldn't expect it from the fun, quirky illustrations she is known for, Sue Marsh possesses a background in software engineering. This highly technical background provided her with the ideal skill-set for quilt and pattern design. After 15 years working in the petroleum industry as a software engineer, she decided to make her passionate hobby a fulltime venture and launched Whistlepig Creek Productions, her pattern design company. Whistlepig Creek has found great success in its 10 year history, with an extensive website and mail-order business thriving. "I use math-especially trigonometry and geometry-more in quilting than in engineering!" Since she was a child, Sue Marsh has always been drawing characters. Her hand-drawn illustrations reflect a sense of youthfulness, whimsy and fun. Sue's fun, lighthearted collections of novelty prints appeal to both kids and the young-at-heart!
One of the most beloved and influential faces in quilting today, Alex Anderson made her debut on the international quilting scene as the host of HGTV's long running series, Simply Quilts. With more than 30 top selling quilting titles under her belt, and the ongoing success of her online web TV program, The Quilt Show, Alex's personal mission is not only to share her love of quilting with anyone who will listen, but to educate and encourage those interested in the craft, so quilting can continue to be handed down from generation to generation. Alex shares, "It has been a very serendipitous journey. I feel so grateful and thankful to be working in an industry and with a craft that I love and enjoy as so many of you do." Alex resides in Northern California with her husband, John.
Having parents involved in fashion design, Deborah was surrounded by textiles from a very young age. As a teen, she rummaged through flea markets and thrift stores looking for vintage textiles and lace, not realizing her passion for textiles would evolve into a life-long career starting with a degree in textile design from the Ontario College of Art and Design. For more than two decades she worked as VP of Design for an international company designing fabric, bedding, wall coverings and area rugs. Looking for a new challenge, she welcomed the opportunity to join Northcott as Design Director.
Jane Spolar of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, has been publishing Quilt Poetry patterns since the autumn of 2004. Her work has been featured in numerous quilting magazines. She has also designed quilts which were featured in Janome's national advertising campaigns. Jane believes that quilts are poetry in fabric. A self-taught artist, Jane was thrilled at the prospect of designing fabric for Northcott. Jane has always been interested in the dynamics of the traditional folk arts of many cultures. They have influenced her love for color, curving, swirling shapes and the joyful feelings they invoke. This influence is evident in her first collection, “Bliss”, but she has translated them with her own distinctive flavor and style. Jane has a family -- husband Bill and son Joe. Her family is her biggest support team and her greatest fans. She's also a confirmed cat lover and has plenty of kitty help when she designs.
Kim Schaefer's fabric collections feature her whimsical contemporary folk art designs. She began sewing at an early age and was quilting seriously by the late 1980’s. In 1986 Kim founded Little Quilt Company, a pattern company focused on designing a variety of small fun to make projects. In addition to designing quilt patterns, Kim is a bestselling author. She lives in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband Gary and their dog Boone.
Michael Miller Fabrics was created in the spring of 1999 after its founders—Michael Steiner and Kathy Miller—had leveraged their lives to obtain an SBA loan, borrowed money from family, and had lived for months on credit cards. The first year in business proved to be just as hard as getting the company off the ground. There were many long days and sleepless nights. As a result of limited funds, Michael’s New York City apartment provided them with the initial space they needed to operate. As time went on, the company grew to a team of around 20 people and finally moved to a “home” of its own in New York City.
Laura Gunn is a mother, artist, and compulsive crafter. She loves to paint flowers because she can move them around to get the composition she desires. She can change their color or shape - they don't have to be completely realistic. Laura's paintings are really about color and texture; seeing the designs on fabric has been just plain fun and so satisfying to her.
Jeanne has been creative from a young age. She's always been drawn to vintage quilts and antiques. She opened her quilt shop, Country Sampler, in the city of Spring Green in 1987. Twenty-eight years later, she's still as excited as the first day. Jeanne hopes her collection brings you joy and inspiration.
After more than 30 years, Mary Koval has emerged as a leading expert in the field of American Quilts and Antique fabric. Mary frequently exhibits in quilt and antique shows, and she assembles quilt exhibits for museums and other venues all over the world. Mary's many accomplishments include publishing several books and writing articles for some of the most well-known and respected quilting magazines. Mary's fabric collections exemplify her love of antiques and pays tribute to classic design.
Natalie Lymer lives in Geelong, Australia with her partner and two children. While growing up, she was often found capturing and drawing ideas that filled her mind in little sketchbooks, loose paper and note books. She began combining her unique drawings with embroidery stitches back in 2004 and from that point on, her days have been full of sketching, designing & creating unique patterns, lovable textile designs, and illustrations that inspire. You can find Natalie writing about her latest creation or just regular life in the Cinderberry home studio at www.cinderberrystitches.typepad.com.
One of the pioneering women of quilting, Jinny Beyer was the first designers to create a line of fabric exclusively for quilters. She alone is responsible for setting the industry standard for quality and design for quilters all over the world. Jinny's strength as a designer lies in her contemporary, sophisticated styling and in her remarkable sense of color and shading, a skill which she honed while living in India and making her first quilt. Jinny pieces and quilts by hand. An award-wining quilter, Jinny is best known for her color shading technique used to create dimensional designs that stretch the imaginations of quilters, challenging them to go one step beyond and expand their skill levels
It began with a love of scrapbooking, and transformed into a love for all things patterned and bright. Established in 2008 by Graphic Artist, Stephanie Hunt, Bella Blvd continues to provide crafters with her signature happy and bright color palette. Bella Blvd, a name that derived from Stephanies's Italian heritage and travel experiences.
Maria Kalinowski is the creative force behind Kanvas, a new division of Benartex which features novelty prints and more. If you’ve been in the fabric world, chances are you are already familiar with Maria. For the past 14 years, her fabric prints have delighted collectors, manufacturers and designers. From food, to race cars to rock stars, Maria’s eye for subject and color has provided quilt shops some of the most unique and best-loved prints in the industry. Her designs have graced the covers of Women’s Wear Daily and People magazine and have even appeared in music videos. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Maria comes from a long line of creative talent beginning with her grandparents who immigrated to the U.S. and established a successful dress design business in the 1940s. Today, Maria’s inspiration comes from the energized streets of NYC, as well as the serenity of her Connecticut home. Her innovative designs makes it easy to say: “There’s no place like Kanvas!”
Violet was born in the Old West into a ridiculously talented family of weekend artists and musicians. She was always drawn to art, craft and make-ing, but pursued her education in business and finance. As often happens, the birth of her first daughter compelled her to seek out her passion in design. Violet's first fabric collection debuted with Michael Miller Fabrics in Spring 2011 along with the first Violet Craft Distinctive Lifestyle Sewing Patterns. She teaches sewing and design workshops and is an active member of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.
Kona Bay Studios are reknowned for fabulous Asian-inspired fabric collections, however, they also offer a selection of beautiful non-Asian prints as well as fabulous tonal blender fabrics.
Heather Ross is an illustrator and fabric designer whose crafty creations have found commercial success and a massive online following. She has illustrated the Crafty Chloe books Crafty Chloe and Dress-Up Mess-Up and is also the author of the craft book Weekend Sewing. She grew up in the Vermont countryside and has a tremendous appreciation for nature, which continues to influence her work now that she lives with her husband in New York City.
After a lifetime of collecting vintage fabrics and clothing, Nancy has amassed an impressive collection of both. "It's my pleasure to bring some of my most wonderful fabric finds to life in authentic reproductions. How wonderful to take a single fabric "scrap" and turn it into an exact replica that thousands of quilters can enjoy." Nancy lives with her husband in Maryland. She spends her summers on Nantucket Island.
American artist, Kaffe Fassett has made his home in London, England for the past 40 years. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Big Sur where his interest in art was nurtured by his mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, all painters. A free spirit, he found work painting commissioned murals, illustrating books, doing set designs for theatre, and selling paintings. Philip Jacobs works freelance and has over the years built up a vast archive of antique textiles and wallpapers from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The archive is stored in an old converted stable at his home in Dorset and acts as a source of inspiration for new designs. He is now producing furnishing and wallpaper designs for Andrew Martin, Colefax & Fowler, Sanderson, Zoffany, and is working with Kaffe Fassett producing the quilting designs for Westminster fabrics.
Amanda Jean Nyberg shares her scrappy philosophy through her blog Crazy Mom Quilts and her book Sunday Morning Quilts, co-authored with Cheryl Arkison.
Pattern designer, fabric designer, speaker, and teacher, Amanda Jean loves to share and inspire. She has completed more than 260 quilts and can't wait to make 260 more! She lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children.
Observation and contemplation coupled with the intense desire to create something gorgeous and tangible are the main ingredients that drive Jennifer’s work as an artist. Since childhood she has enjoyed hobbies such as creating lush terrariums in glass jugs, etching decorative leather belts in her dad’s workshop, and sewing elaborate sequined ornaments for the Christmas tree with her mom. Creativity was an everyday part of life while growing up in Massachusetts. Her path was clear from an early age: to combine her love of art, sewing and travel. As a young woman she studied Surface Design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and worked in Wales, UK, with Laura Ashley. In 2010 the Sampou Hensley family made their dream of living abroad come true and moved to Mexico. There they to could experience a different culture, learn another language, and delve into a new life
As a child, McKenna's greatest joy and solace came from immersing herself in nature, collecting driftwood, rocks, and wildflowers to create natural one-of-a-kind art pieces. She often told her family that someday she would live surrounded by mountains, flowers, and wildlife, near lakes and streams. She decided to live closer to these dreams, by leaving a successful, corporate lifestyle in Boston and moving to the wilds of Montana. It was on the way that, by chance, she wandered into a quilt shop for the first time. She was awe struck, "It was as if time stood still. The colors, textures, and designs of the quilts moved me beyond words and the seeds were planted." Soon these seeds took root. She took an appliqué quilting class, bought her first sewing machine for $50.00, and found a passion she had never known before. McKenna remembers, "I wanted to reflect this, in quilts, but at the time there were few nature-inspired patterns, so I started making my own." Over the years, McKenna has
Lynnea has worked in the art licensing industry since 1989 in a variety of roles including Art Director, Writer, and Artist. She has worked in a variety of mediums, but enjoys the mercurial nature of watercolor above all. Lynnea's work can be found on products for home decor, gifts, and stationery, as well as on fabric. Lynnea lives in Washington and finds inspiration in nature, life's challenges, family, friends, and faith. Among the many blessings she counts are her husband and three sons, her health, community and church, the natural beauty of the emerald state...and lots of Starbucks coffee.
Pattern and fabric designer Audrey Wright of Legacy Patterns offers a new twist on traditional living, creating classic fabric designs with a modern touch. "In designing collections, I start with colors. Blending them together in a focal piece or strong border print, and using many colors in the range. Next, I incorporate coordinating prints that accentuate the focal designs and add contrast to create depth and dimension. I love to encourage quilters to work with a group of fabrics that take them out of their comfort zone."
Art is a universal language, and through imagery that is understood and recognized by all people everywhere, I believe that we can share the grace of birds in flight, feel the warmth of friendships, explore the exquisite beauty and mysteries of the earth and savor the preciousness of life. When I design and paint, I remember that it is you, my friends and kindred spirits all over the world, who have inspired me to speak in a common language. I wish to express my deepest gratitude for your appreciation of my art and for the opportunity this has provided me to live my life with courage, purpose, and joy. Thank you… for all you are and for all we are to each other.
Thimbleberries is the brainchild of internationally-known designer and quilting authority, Lynette Jensen of Hutchinson, Minnesota. With the introduction of her first quilt pattern, Lynette transitioned from an avid quilt collector to an accomplished quilt and fabric designer. Lynette is also a best-selling author who has inspired a generation of dedicated quilters to feather their nests with Thimbleberries fabrics, quilt patterns, and books. Her books are an excellent resource for all quilters, whether you're a beginner, or a master.
Sue Schlabach has worked as a designer, art director, and artist for 15 years. Her love of the arts began as a child in southeastern Pennsylvania where she grew up in a house filled with botany references, towers of books, antique quilts, and the tick-tocking of many heirloom clocks. Such a place inspires the making of things, and it jump-started a lifelong obsession for Sue. Sue’s art includes painted works in acrylics and oils, multi-media collage, and photographic collage.
Whistler Studios is a design studio specializing in collections for today’s quilter. They feature designs addressing current trends found in today’s market place. Finding inspiration from fashion, home decor, photography, and vintage art, Whistler Studios artists seek to create timeless collections with broad appeal.
Lizzy House is a printmaker, textile designer, and illustrator. Armed with a BFA in Printmaking, she travels the world in search of inspiration. A born entrepreneur, Lizzy was the youngest designer in the textile industry when she began three years ago. She continues to make leaps and bounds. When she isn't printing or designing fabric, she is probably sleeping on an airplane, planning a party, or writing a list. If neither of those is underway, she can find her tying a bow on something and/or someone.
After acquiring more than 10 years of brand development experience in a wide variety of industries including the home and textile market, Joel realized his ultimate reward by launching his own textiles brand, Joel Dewberry Eclectic Modern, in May 2007. As a prolific designer, artist and craftsman, Joel is thrilled to express his passion for design on the medium of fabric. Joel's superb sense of harmonizing an eclectic mix of design styles into a cohesive collection has drawn him respect and attention as it delivers a modern yet timeless style.