Thursday, January 28, 2010

Life is Sweet...

Here's a little sneek peek of some of the new Fresh and Fancy Table Runners I have been working on. I hope to show you July through December soon!

It was fun to hear all the things that you LOVE and hands down it was Family, Faith and Fabric! Thanks for all the comments!

Congratulations to the winner ...... Life is Sweet! She loves, quiet, color and family.
Please e-mail me your address so this topper can be on your table for Valentines Day!
There is also a little something for those of you that didn't win. If you place an order on our website at from now until Valentines Day and put the word valentine in the comments section you will get 25% off your order!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

All you need is LOVE...and fabric, of course!

Thanks to everyone for the 20 year Anniversary LOVE. Your comments were so sweet! Thanks for letting me reminisce. It was fun to hear some of your memories as well. It is definitely something I never imagined I would celebrate, but as I mentioned earlier on my blog, this is going to be a year long CELEBRATION! I promised more give a ways, so here we go again.

I have decided to give away this Valentines Day table topper from my Cherry Chocolate Valentine pattern. To enter all you have to do is tell me what you LOVE in three words or less. The winner will be announced this thursday, January 28th.

What do you LOVE?

I'll start it off...

Grandchildren, Chocolate, MODA

Monday, January 11, 2010

20 years

It's very hard for me to believe Cotton Way is celebrating it's 20th year. Way, way back (before some of you were even in grade school) in January of 1990 I started Cotton Way. I never imagined it would be such an amazing journey. Looking back so much in the industry has changed.
This is a picture of me at my very first Quilt Market in Houston Fall of 1990. Yes, I did start my company designing dolls and I looked alot younger then. I shared a booth with a friend who designed quilts, so the quilts are hers and the dolls are mine. I have the deer in the headlights look I know, but thats because I had no idea what I was doing. It was pretty overwhelming to say the least. Dolls were in high demand in 1990 and I loved making them.
These are some of the dolls I took to market, my two little boys wanted to pose with them. These boys are now 23 and 24. (They felt a little left out a few weeks ago when I posted about our crazy creative family and didn't include them... this is for you boys!)

Cotton Way really grew my second year in business when I came up with the Long Leggins Series. (Tall dolls with dowel legs and egg heads) Many of you may have some of the Long Leggins patterns that you made for friends and family or even the craft show circut. I know I can't even count how many I made. Folkart Friends was my best selling pattern back then and still stands after all these years. Yes, girls, they really were the hot pattern back then (hard to believe, I know!)
In 1993 my local newpaper did a feature article on my company with the headline reading "Rigby entrepreneur expands home doll pattern business". I was invited to design some patterns for Simplicity Pattern Company that year and that was big news in our small one stop light town, so I made the paper. Interestingly enough they quoted me saying "The biggest challenge for me is balancing family and business and my family always comes first" and thats still how I feel to this day.

This was my booth in 1996 and yes, I am wearing a Kuin Felt vest with a garden theme in this lovely picture, (felt was all the rage and everyone was wearing embellished vests, everyone!) my pants are pegged and my hair is really big and I look pretty chubby. Go ahead and laugh, I did, I look ridiculous, but remember it was the 90's. I have many other embarrassing pictures, but I don't have room to show them all.

On my 10 year Anniversary at Quilt Market in Minneapolis, MN I introduced my first quilts. The doll phase was slowing down and I was ready for a change after 10 years of crafting. I loved making quilts, my mom and grandmother were avid quilters and so I decided to give designing quilts a try. I also designed some chenille jackets that year and I am happy to say, I am still selling patterns for some of them. At that point I remember thinking "I can't believe I have been doing this for 10 years! Wow! I wonder how much longer I can come up with ideas."

Leisure Arts approached me in 2002 and asked if I would do a baby book, I ended up doing two. In 2005 I designed some quilts for the Leisure Arts Quilt Along with Emily Richards books. Last year I did another book for Leisure Arts called "Lots of Dots".
One of the hightlights of my Cotton Way journey was when I received an exciting phone call in December of 2007 from Cheryl Freydburg from Moda. She left a message on my machine saying she wondered if I would be intersted in designing a line of fabric with my daughter Camille. Wow! Designing fabric was something I had not done at that point and designing for Moda, well, a woman can only dream such things! The answer to that question was a definite "Yes"! Flying to Dallas and meeting with Cheryl, Lissa and the Moda crew was amazing. Can't say enough about how fun that was. Fabric line #3 should be coming out this spring!
While I was looking through pictures and trying to decide what to include in this post I started wondering just how many patterns I have actually designed. At the moment I have 335 printed patterns and 7 books. That is alot of designing, shopping, measuring, cutting, sewing, gluing, writing instructions, photographing, printing, marketing, taking orders and shipping. Wow, that makes me tired to think about!

This is me at last Quilt Market, in Pittsburgh. I have learned so much and have reason to celebrate! I will make sure to take a picture at spring Quilt Market in Minneappolis to add to my scrapbook for my 20 Year Anniversary!

I must say "Thanks" to my husband for all the support, juggling the kids and endless hours of help with wood cutting, computer issues, and last minute market errands and so many more things. (We have 5 kids, so he had to help alot) Thanks to my amazing kids for folding all those patterns, putting kits together, drilling buttons, helping with lots of chores and answering the question "how do you think this looks" honestly. It has definitely been a family business and everyone has had to sacrafice. Thanks to my Mom and Grandmother for their inspiration. The quilting blood runs deep in my veins. Thanks to all of you fellow designers! We have spent many markets having dinner, laughing until all hours of the night, sharing business ideas and asking the big question "What do you think the next hot trend will be"? It's like a family reunion going to Quilt Market each year. Thanks to all of you Quilt Shop owners and loyal customers who have shared the wonderful journey with me! Thanks for buying my patterns all these years. I love your kind phone calls, e-mails and blog comments, thats what keeps me going and makes this experience so sweet. I feel so blessed to be in such a wonderful industry with such talented and amazing friends.

Wow! I can't believe it has been 20 years!

Thanks to all of you and here's to many years to come!