July 25, 2020
Slowly, I am tweaking Webfabrics to a new kind of fabric business, that is not only an online shop but also an online source for 'color consulting'. It takes time, but it makes me smile to see how many local people are picking up on this already. They know me much better personally and they have always been able to come to the shop whenever they had an issue with colors. They are finding their way to me again online and several times these last weeks have I been able to design quilts just with a few swatches and some questions. Love this! It's also so nice to get that trust.
This idea of making it easier to work with colors, to help you with selecting colors, is probably what I love most about this business. It's super custom. We have always done this, starting by putting labels on our basics so that you have a reference. In my previous newsletter I told you about the swatches we have made of the entire Grunge collection and oh my, we had to make them twice again! The first batch sold out within a few hours, so Kerry and I had our work cut out. Clearly, customers are craving more detail. We did it and by now, everyone has their packages of all the Grunge colors with labels. How wonderful is this? It slightly delayed other plans, but that is OK. We will get to everything else...
Kits. I don't mean ready to go kits that one can order from the manufacturer. With Kits, I mean creating fabric combinations that have the future maker in mind. Something that YOU would like for a nursery, something that YOU would enjoy making in your preferred colors. After all the mask sewing, there is a group of brand new customers that wants to keep sewing. Where do they start? What would be an easy pattern to make? How does one select colors if one has never done this before? Atkinson has created for this group of customers a brand-new pattern: Mini Brick Road. Yes, it is the mini version of their very beloved Yellow Brick Road. One can get a kit for just $29.50, make the place mats, table runner and get quick satisfaction form this cute sewing project that is not hard at all. You can order the kit and tell me which colors you would like it to be....in brights, in muted, in batiks... anything! It would also make a perfect gift for someone to get such a nice package of more sewing.
Another kind of kit can be found under "Coming Soon" as the pattern is not out yet. Freebird Quilting makes really beautiful modern applique quilts, that can be done by hand or machine. Harlequin Garland is her newest pattern that will come out in September and you can pre-order the pattern or the kit right now. It will all come to you as soon as the pattern is here. The colors can be like the pattern (which are gorgeous), but you can also change it to a Christmas wreath if you would like to. Just a matter of asking. This wall-hanging will be beautiful in many different combinations!
'Color consulting' is also applicable to our bundles. We haven't been able yet to do all the plans I have in my head, but this week a start was made. You can order online complete collections. These can be bundles in fat quarters of half yards of all our basics and blenders. Some of these bundles are huge, can hardly be lifted because there are so many fabrics in the complete collections. They can also be bundles made by the manufacturer of new collections in fat quarters. Robert Kaufman sent to us Nara Homespun, which is a beautiful bundle of very authentic Sashiko wovens. Windham has these too, they even have their own sashiko version!
More custom are the smaller bundles. Sometimes you don't need the entire collection, but you want to get a nice representation. This is where the partial bundles come in handy. We make those and online they are presented with a generic logo. You can't really see the colors you are getting, but you are getting 10-15-20-25 or whatever number. The reason there is no picture is because each and everyone of these bundles can be slightly different. One person may get an extra blue, another person an extra green. These bundles are not good when you want to see the exact color, but they are wonderful to get a good variety of a basic collection.
The same for the basic color bundles. For instance, you need some more variety in blues? A blue bundle could be nice. The fabrics in these bundles are completely random and coming from different collections. The fabrics are all blenders and small prints (no big flowers or novelties), but any blue could go in there. It's not a gradation from dark to light and the colors blue don't make a nice flow. (Those kind of bundles will come next!) Many more contemporary patterns are asking for random colors, so that is where these bundles come in handy.
Next step is the 'one-of-a-kind' bundles and this week I put for the first time those bundles online. In the shop and at shows we had many of these bundles. I selected the colors, my team put ribbon around them and they were all-over the shop. I never put these online before, because we have only a few of each and quite frankly they sold so fast it didn't make much sense to put them online. But that is now changing. Instead of putting a ribbon around the bundle, I take a picture and post it online. As soon as the bundle is sold, it will have to come off our website again. Yes, it may be that a particular bundle is sold out, but that could also happen in the shop when someone else was there first. The good thing is that you can get these now! So I started with the Kaffe Fassett bundles and you can see the pictures of individual bundles with the exact colors. No surprise. Many more will follow in the next few weeks and once I have the color gradating bundles available, I will mention it here in my next newsletter. Much more later.
This week, in the evening, I was playing with one of our Bricks packages as I was making a pumpkin pattern. The pattern is asking for many orange scraps and since the bricks are 3.5" x 6" and have 20 different pieces, making the pumpkins was super easy and fun! The pumpkins can be a quilt, but I decided to make some sets of placemats following the pattern. My daughters like to decorate their houses with seasonal decorations that are fun for the little children as well, so I hope they would like to get these sets. Here is a picture of the work in progress and you can see that you can make with one simple set of orange Bricks many pumpkins!
I'm glad to see restock of fabrics coming back in. It's not so easy to have complete collections in bolts available all the time, because manufacturers don't have them in stock all the time either. With every shipment we are getting closer to where we want to be again. More Quilter's Linen, more Cotton Couture, more Peppered Cottons came in this week. Quilter's Linen and Peppered Cottons are still missing a decent number of bolts, but Cotton Couture is almost complete again. The softest solid cotton. Nice for your hands to work with, but also the best fabric to have against your face for masks.
The first month of Webfabrics as an 'online-shop-only' has passed. I'm very pleased with the changes. I have been able to do some emergency baby-sitting for my oldest daughter. I drove to NY up and down in one day to pick up our youngest daughter for a longer stay. Brought her back again yesterday. My husband and I bought an RV to drive out in a safe way to our son in Denver soon. I am still working very hard with Webfabrics, but that is exactly what I would like to do. It's just so nice to have flexible time for other things as well and by having Kerry, I know you are all in the best hands! Thank you for your continued support!
As always, it's fun to work with fabrics and "fabric" people!