(Above: "Happy" by Paintbrush Studios.)
This week our Quilter's Stash Box subscribers receive their September box, curated by Luke Haynes.
Luke helped us select fabric from Paintbrush Studios, a division of Fabri-Quilt, to include with his original pattern as the centerpiece of the September Stash Box. Subscribers receive more than three yards of Paintbrush Studios fabric for the primary September project, plus a very special bonus bundle of fabric. We can't tell you which fabric line we've included yet, because the surprise is part of the fun of being a subscriber.
More than 50 Years in the Industry
Fabri-Quilt dates back to 1962, founded by Lionel Kunst, and to this day sells only to retailers and manufacturers of fabric goods. Quilters will find Fabri-Quilt's products at independently owned quilt shops. Many of their lines are produced through their Paintbrush Studios division, including an impressive array of solid colors. There are currently well over 100 solids available with even more on the way. Of course they also feature abundant lines of prints, including unique themes such as Cityscapes, Asian Fanfare, Into the Woods, and many more by designers Ro Gregg, Shannon Brinkley, and Judy Hansen - as well as in-house designs.
It was in the 1970s that Fabri-Quilt followed up on their success in the apparel fabric industry by recognizing the opportunities within the quilting and crafting markets. About 25% of their current business is through the quilting industry.
(Above: Samples from "Cityscapes," "Samsara," and "C'est La Vie" by Paintbrush Studios)
Designers & Product Lines
Head Stylist Sue Linam started at Fabri-Quilt in 1975. In those days, the job description was "office girl," but in time she began exploring fabric design at night and honed her creativity. "I love it," she told us. "My favorite part is working on a new collection. I fall in love with each one."
Fabri-Quilt can identify many design factors that contribute to the success of a fabric line, but any quilter will understand that the most gorgeous colors and patterns are only as useful as their quality. "We pride ourselves on producing high-quality fabrics with a soft hand," a representative told us.
We asked which lines the company considers to be their most compelling.
The Painter’s Palette Solids will always be some of our favorites, but we’re very excited about a few new collections available this fall. “Freeform” is a line that looks like batik, but it’s printed. It’s very contemporary and comes in a cool palette of greens and purples. “Windfall” is a lush line of leaf-printed tonals. The colors are really intense. And of course there’s “Happy.” These prints are just that - they make you happy just to look at them! Our website has a free quilt pattern featuring the collection, and Sue is planning to hang the quilt in her office when it returns from trunk shows so she can see “Happy” every day!
With so many years in the industry, Fabri-Quilt has come to understand the type of designers that offer the most value to a product line. A designer should bring something new and fresh to the brand, but there's more:
It’s also helpful if the designers are great merchandisers so they can help to promote their fabric line. In today’s quilting world, getting the word out is key, and having designers who are well-versed in social media, as well as having solid connections with quilt shops and quilters, helps to spread the word about new collections.
There are also vintage themes available under the Paintbrush Studios brand.
We love vintage collections, including primitive and Civil War. We feel the key for these types of line is authenticity. The time period must be accurately represented in both the prints and the colors used. Barbara J. Eikmeier, our current vintage collection designer, spends a great deal of time researching the time period featured before finalizing fabrics to ensure they’re as accurate as possible.
The Paintbrush Studios line of solid colors is aptly named Painter's Palette Solids:
We created the Painter’s Palette Solids collection after talking to quilt shops. A common complaint we heard was about the quality of solids being offered. We felt we were up to the challenge to create a higher quality fabric. We worked closely with our Korean mills, starting with better greige goods that were woven specially. We use 54” goods that are shrunk down to 45”, which eliminates shrinking concerns for quilters. We use the best mill in Korea and pride ourselves on the solids’ consistency. We currently have 124 different colors and we’re adding 44 more for a total of 168. We debuted the solids collection last year. QuiltCon attendees crowded into the booth, stroking the fabrics. Sue has ¼ yard cuts of all the colors, and she likes to take them off the shelf and pet them. We’re very excited about these solids and have heard fantastic feedback from quilt shops and quilters alike. We’ve even had shops pre-ordering the new colors without seeing them.
(Above: "Painter's Palette Solids" by Paintbrush Studios.)
Get Your Stash Box!
Here at Quilter's Stash Box, our job is to inspire your creativity with each month's box, challenge you to try new concepts and techniques, and introduce you to products you may not have seen yet. If you enjoy the Paintbrush Studios fabrics included in this month's Stash Box but your local quilt shop doesn't already carry them, mention the brand to your favorite shop owner. They might appreciate your insight.
If you haven't already subscribed, there are a limited number of the September box featuring Paintbrush Studios fabrics remaining. Subscribe monthly, quarterly, or annually by October 8, 2016, and you have the option of receiving the September box while supplies last.
Each U.S. subscription term offers incentives!
Monthly U.S. subscribers enjoy discounted shipping. Quarterly U.S. subscribers also receive bonus patterns. Annual U.S. subscribers save more than $200 with free shipping. And of course we have an International option as well. Shop here.
Contact us with any questions.
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