Connecting Threads may just be one of the best kept secrets in the quilting world. I rarely see it mentioned anywhere on the web and when I do, it’s usually people enticed by the prices who are afraid to purchase the fabric.
The Vancouver, Washington based fabric company really seems too good to be true – the prices are mind blowing and it made me immediately question the quality. But after my mother (a long-time quilter) wholeheartedly recommended the fabric, I gave in and placed my first order.
Fabric Cost & Shipping
When you visit the Connecting Threads web site, you’ll immediately notice how well-designed the site is and how easy it is to navigate. Secondly, you’ll be shocked at the low prices. Basic solid colors are $4.96 per yard while designer prints are only $5.96. If you venture into the clearance section, you’ll find yards of fabric from $1.96 to $3.96 per yard.
I purchased the Charlottesville series fat quarter pack consisting of 35 fabrics for $52. I also bought yardage of several prints that were on clearance because they were so darn cheap. In particular, I love this apricot and blue vintage looking fabric for only $2.96 per yard (on clearance):
Connecting Threads ships outside the U.S. and for those of us in Canada, they collect 10% duty and drive items to the border. The packages to Canada are mailed from within the Canada Post system. Shipping for my order was only $7. Although low-cost shipping, I wished they offered expedited service to Canada, which they do not. So for now, we are at the mercy of the Canada Post … of which I’m not a huge fan.
You’ll notice that Connecting Threads doesn’t carry the super popular designer fabrics found elsewhere. No Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, or any of the Moda herd.
Instead, the company designs and sells their own fabric creations. It took me a few minutes to get past not seeing all the trendy names. I felt a little snobbish, to be honest.
Photo: Charlottesville fabric line, based on reproduction patterns and traditional colors, which I’m cutting into squares for an upcoming ‘Plus Quilt‘
But, once I looked beyond designer labels, I did find that fabric lines were on trend with other designer fabrics. And like designer fabrics, they designed fabrics into color families so you can easily color coordinate a project. The site also allows you to put fabric selections into a design table for viewing next to one another.
If anything, some of the fabric lines seem a little ‘one-note’ with only a few color variances within a fabric line. For this reason, some of the fabric lines don’t seem as robust as designer lines found elsewhere.
Fabric Quality, Hand-Feel
When my order arrived, I could hardly wait to crack open the box. I worried that my $80 order would result in less than wonderful fabric. As soon as the fabric slipped between my fingers, I was hooked. The fabric has the same richness and thick feel as any Moda fabric. The colors are also rich and designs precisely printed.
As the company states on their web site, “We start with super-combed cotton that’s spun and woven according to our exacting standards and finished with our own top secret formula to create a flawless, smooth, silken surface. You need to touch our fabric and threads only once to see it’s almost too good to be true.”
I’ve begun sewing the fabrics and they zip happily through my machine. Although I haven’t yet washed the fabric, I’ve been told that it washes extremely well (no color running, minimal shrinkage). Once I complete my first project using the Connecting Threads fabric, I’ll update this post to include any additional thoughts.
I should note that the company seems to cut fabrics ‘exact’, however I’ve found them to be generous in some cases. Of the three half-yard cuts I ordered, one measured exactly 18″, one measured 23″, and one measured 56″. The two with longer measurements were clearance fabrics, so likely near end of bolt and they just threw in the extra.
As for now, I’d love to place another order. There are about 300 fabrics currently in the end of year clearance section so it’s tempting to load up. I already have several projects lined up and keep telling myself that I can’t buy (or find storage) for any more fabric until I get these projects finished.
Have you used Connecting Threads fabric for your projects — what are your thoughts? I created a Flickr pool for sharing Connecting Threads projects — join and post your photos!