every few months I skip out of dinner and drive about an hour and half to Montclair, NJ to attend the North Jersey Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I’m not much of a quilter, really, and I hate driving, especially on the congested roads that take me north. but I am a member of this guild and a passionate one at that. you gotta understand, the people in this group of quilters are really extraordinary. by that I mean open and accepting, warm and encouraging, non-competitive, bright and downright giddy about quilts. it’s like being back home in Minnesota, for goodness sake.
so when the guild arranged a field trip I jumped at the chance. I love these people, of course I’ll go on a field trip! we went as a big group to what looked like a regular old industrial zone in Cranford, NJ but inside was this:
beautiful Cloud 9 fabrics! Cloud 9 is an all-organic fabric manufacturer with an incredible ability to keep organic fabric both affordable and stunningly beautiful. this is Gina (she made her dress, of course) discussing the business side of their operations. at the bottom of the picture, on the table, are the latest gorgeous flannels from Rae and above that are the latest from Lisa Congdon. don’t worry, I touched all of it, lovingly.
and, this is Michelle, (she made her shirt, of course) who also designs the fabric in addition to working with all the artists they work with. she gave us sneak peeks into upcoming collections and shared the complete ins-and-outs of how they work with artists and what they are looking for.
both Gina and Michelle were 100% transparent about where their textiles come from and what mills they use to print their fabric, what kinds of working conditions they look for when they choose a mill to work with. their fabric is 100% organic cotton from India, uses low-impact dyes and workers, mostly in China, are treated to fair wages and good working conditions for their labor. they kept saying “What is the point of calling it organic if it doesn’t meet all three of those criteria?” for example, did you know that clothing, in a store, can be called organic if only 5% of the cotton in it is organic? Cloud 9 is not like that.
I will confess I walked in to Cloud 9 knowing that I “liked” their fabric but I walked out completed devoted to them. I’m a full-blown groupie! I was even lucky enough to get a chance to show them my new reversible hobo bag made with their geocentric canvas. I’m not anxiously waiting for them to release koi by rashida colmean-hale so I can make a dress and I’m dreaming up projects (maybe even a quilt!) for a creative mint by leslie shredding. needless to say, I came home ridiculously inspired. and before I knew it my studio desk looked like this:
others from the guild have told me they came home and got started quilting like made or designing a quilt like a crazy woman…for me, the inspiration translated into a need to hand-carve some stamps and get printing. so it was all bees and hot air balloons for me. who knew? and, wouldn’t you know it’s a rainy, wet day here and I have more supplies waiting for me…I think it’s a good time to get back to carving.
wow, i love those hot air balloons…and that little bee! that does sound ridiculously inspiring!! 🙂 i too can’t wait for the koi line to be released! 🙂
Thanks Jane. We got a sneak peek of koi and it is scrumptious. Rashida is so super talented!
claudia Krusch says
love it! I would love to be able to sew!
I’ll bet I could teach you! 🙂
Janeane Davis says
This has renewed my desire to make a quilt for each of the children from their old clothes.
You absolutely should, Janeane!
I LOVE this! I am an amateur sewer waiting for the day when I have more time to devote to it (it will come right?). My mom is quilter extraordinaire, a founder of the Newtown Quilter’s Guild and I live in total awe of her. I can’t wait to tell her about this place!
OOh, you have sewing in your blood! It will be a breeze when you do get time to sit and sew. Yes! Cloud 9 is fantastic, definitely tell your mom to look for their fabric when she is out shopping for her next project.
Stephinie (gypsyforest) says
What an awesome field trip! I love Gina too 🙂 When I used to order wholesale for fabric she was the sweetest ever to work with. Still dreaming of an organic fabric store……
Ooh fun! I have a strange obsession with ordering wholesale. Gina is great and the two of them have the dream work situation…beautiful office, great coworkers, great job, surrounded by fabric. Check and check.
Aida Ingram says
This looks great. I love some of these materials. Wow! How coo, now all I need is the time to actually get them done!
Thanks Aida! Good luck!