Just in case you haven’t heard, the 5 original designers of Cotton+Steel have departed and are no longer working with RJR, who was their distributor.
Apparently, RJR owns the name of Cotton+Steel outright, so the designers are leaving that behind.
Craft Industry Alliance has a detailed article about the move, which the designers announced on Instagram several weeks ago. It sounds as though RJR was having difficulty with technology, and deliveries weren’t being made to quilt shops in a timely manner, record-keeping and accounting was faulty, with a lack of training and many other issues that make or break businesses.
It’s a shame, as Cotton+Steel was a very recognizable brand. The quality of the fabric was definitely superior, and that was one of the main reasons the brand had such a following. The last collection submitted by the original team was submitted at this spring’s quilt market, which means it will likely hit stores in the fall. After that, RJR has in-house designers who will continue the brand. It’s hard to imagine, as anyone who has ever used Cotton+Steel fabric knows, the designs are unique. Frankly, the designers are the brand.
We’ll keep an eye on what they are up to next.
Machine Quilting Unlimited and Modern Quilts Unlimited
Everyone knows that the magazine industry is truly suffering, as ad sales are plummeting and online content replaces a business model that has outlived its time.
Still, I am someone who prefers to read actual books as opposed to digital, and I like my magazines the same way.
I would rather turn pages while sipping a cup of hot chocolate than stare blankly at another screen. Nevertheless, these are two more magazines that will no longer be available.
I will, however, recommend instead, the folks at Modern Quilt Studio.
They self-publish magazines called Modern Quilts Illustrated which are full of great ideas tips and tricks. They adhere boldly to the modern aesthetic. They have been around for decades and I imagine they will be around for decades more. Their magazines have no ads. This husband and wife team are inspirational, skilled as artists, well-known and respected in the industry, and all-around nice people.
As the industry changes, it can only mean one thing…opportunity. The gals from Cotton+Steel will find their way to new and exciting endeavors and the rest of us will have higher quality designs and talent to choose from…if less assortment for the moment.