C & T Turns 30, Launches Kids’ Imprint, Supports Art Education (Whew!)
CONCORD, CA—Three decades ago, Carolie Hensley agreed to publish quilting teacher Roberta Horton’s book about Amish quilting. She and her husband, Tony, knew nothing about publishing, but set up a business in their garage and took a self-taught crash course in publishing to make good on Carolie’s promise. Their first title was An Amish Adventure by Roberta, and since then, C & T Publishing has published more than 400 books for quilters, sewists and crafters.
Thirty years later, An Amish Adventure is still in print, but nearly everything else has changed. Carolie and Tom’s sons, Todd and Tony, now run the business, assisted by a staff of more than 50. The scope of C & T’s operations now includes retail products for fiber artists, and two specialty imprints, the popular Stash Books imprint created for the modern quilting and a brand-new imprint for children launching this year, FunStitch Studio.
Recognizing the growing popularity of the burgeoning modern quilting movement, C&T launched its highly successful Stash Books imprint in 2010, showcasing such modern quilt experts as Cherri House of Cherry House Quilts, Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side and Angela Walters of Quilt Is My Therapy.
FunStitch Studio will strive to build on that by instilling a love of handmade in the next generation and encourage kids to “Stitch Your Art Out,” as the imprint’s tagline says. The titles in this latest imprint will be inspirational and educational, including stitchy basics but emphasizing the importance of skill-building while having fun. The imprint launches its first book next month with Annabel Wrigley’s We Love to Sew, followed by four more titles this year.
C&T also plans to celebrate its 30th anniversary in part with the publication of a new Amish, title, Amish Quilts–The Adventure Continues. Releasing in October this year, the book features 21 Amish-inspired quilts designed by some of today’s leading quilters. Some use traditional 19th-century patterns while others offer distinctly modern takes on Amish ideas.
In other news, C & T is helping support art education by donating some of the proceeds from sales of its new Sliced—Wheat Fields Eco Tote to the NAMTA Council for Art Advocacy. The tote features a one-of-a-kind art quilt made by C & T staff and inspired by Van Gogh’s painting, Wheat Fields with Cypresses.
Designed and quilted by a group of C & T editors, the Wheat Fields with Cypresses image was enlarged and “sliced” into six vertical sections, which were then distributed among the artists. Fabric choice and embellishments were left entirely up to each artist, so that each panel is unique. Eventually, all six slices were brought together and quilted with stitching designed to unify the pieces into one cohesive quilt.
The NAMTA council’s mission is to “sustain, strengthen and support the art material industry through advocacy, awareness, and increased funding of art and art education.”
Quilt Alliance Enlarges Index, S.O.S Project
Florida has joined 20 other state quilt documentation projects in the Quilt Indexby providing records on more than 150 years of quilts, says the Quilt Alliance. The Sunshine State Quilters Association documented 726 quilts made between 1850 and the last decade during the Florida Quilt Project, and these records are now available to the world via the Quilt Index.
Counting the Florida project, the Index now includes 21 documentation projects covering specific states from Hawaii to North Carolina. These projects give a detailed glimpse into the styles of quilts popular in different times and regions of the country. With every new collection, the Index becomes more inspiring and useful for today’s quilters, curators and scholars.
The Florida archival work was completed between 2009 and 2012. For a quilt to be included, the person who brought it to be documented had to live in Florida. Part of what makes this project an interesting one is the strong representation of patterns popular in the 1930s and 1940s, plus many quilts made in the past 20 years.
The Alliance also reports that the Quilters’ S.O.S.–Save Our Stories project is now the largest collection of its kind. The project now has more than 1,000 interviews with quilters archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, as well as on the Quilt Alliance website.