I’m very excited to be a guest here at Whip Up and have the opportunity to introduce a new online sewing and quilting community – Threadbias.com. We recently launched and are inviting everyone to come join in.
Before I jump into what Threadbias is all about, I’d like to introduce us — the Founders of Threadbias. There are three of us: Alex, Rebecca, and me, Amanda. Alex and Rebecca are married, and Alex is my older brother. We all have a background that’s pretty full of sewing and craftiness.
Alex and I grew up together, of course, and our mom was always sewing, especially when we were younger. She made everything from clothes to Cabbage Patch Dolls. As we got older she started quilting, and she became really involved in the local quilting community. She taught me how to sew clothing, make quilts, and do handwork like embroidery and cross stitch. I still remember doing samplers and hand-piecing my first doll quilt (which I still have, but never finished). I always tended toward the DIY side, even when it wasn’t “cool”. I remember wearing a terrible sweatshirt around age 12 that I had stitched a collection of pewter buttons to, as well as some colorfully embroidered jeans all through high school.
Rebecca also grew up with a mom who sewed, and got her start with cross-stitch. She still remembers going to pick out those little cross-stitch kits that came with everything you needed – aida cloth, floss, needle and plastic frame to make gifts for family and friends. Rebecca’s mom also made her clothes when she was young, and taught her crochet and other hand work. In Junior High Rebecca took a sewing and stitchery class that broadened her interests in sewing and she began to make little patchwork ornaments and try her hand at clothing construction. Being a teenager however, whenever there was a difficult step — zippers, buttonholes, etc, the project would get shoved to the side and she’d be off searching for a new pattern and fabric for her next project.
Alex didn’t get into sewing like I did, though he did make a football shaped pillow in middle school that is still around today. However, sewing and fabric (or waiting in the parking lot of the fabric store for our mom to come out) were always a part of his life. When he and Rebecca got married, she continued her sewing and also learned to quilt from my mother. They now have a 3 year old son and lots of nieces and nephews. Rebecca loves making handmade gifts, especially for the little ones. She also makes really beautiful quilts and enjoys sewing clothes for her son. One of her favorite things is handwork and for her sister’s wedding last year hand-embroidered an amazing sash and matching shoes (inspired by Aimee Ray’s designs in Doodle Stitching).
I am also married (my husband, Jeremy, is a photographer) and have three little girls — ages 6, 5, and 3. I love sewing for them, of course. I’m in the process of making a quilt for each of their beds, and they often get mama-made dresses and skirts and nightgowns. Before we had our girls, I had stopped sewing for several years — I think I made a curtain now and then, but no big projects. Once I became a stay-at-home mom I began to realize how much I could make myself, and how much more fun and special that could be.
Although we live far apart, Rebecca and I spent a lot of time talking, sharing our projects, and sending each other pictures. We had both started to read a lot of sewing blogs and were always passing ideas and tutorials back and forth. Alex, who is a web developer, was around for all of this and it sparked an idea for him. His original idea, in late 2010, was to create a web-based design tool for quilters — a program anyone could access online and use to create quilts and blocks and determine measurements and fabric requirements. He quickly realized that an online community was both complementary to his idea and needed — he looked around and couldn’t find anything like it — no central place for sewists and quilters to gather and share ideas. He proposed his idea to Rebecca and I and we loved it. We knew that we would want to hang out at a place like that, and we figured others would too. Threadbias was founded in January 2011 and Alex developed the website over the course of that year, working with Rebecca and I to determine what would be needed and wanted in an online sewing community. He’s now back at work on his original vision of the quilt and pattern design tool, and expects to release a beta version on Threadbias within a couple of months.
While developing Threadbias, the three of us brainstormed all the features we thought would be fun. We knew a Studio space would be good; a place where you could organize your projects and keep track of fabrics and patterns. We also wanted a lot of fabrics to “stash” and currently have over 40,000 in our database, and are working with manufacturers to add more. I use mine not only to keep track of fabrics I have, but fabrics I want to have as well. It’s sort of a wish list for me and helps me remember when I’m shopping online or even at a local shop.
To help build the community, we knew we needed forums and groups for people to gather and talk. It’s been amazing to see conversations happening, and to watch new groups form. What we want more than anything is for people to feel like they can come to Threadbias and have their own space, have it really be their place. I like to imagine the community growing – but at the same time, everyone being able to find their own little corner. The Internet is huge – endless, really, and it can sometimes feel like you’re writing to no one, or sharing with so many that it’s hard to find people to truly connect with. Our hope is that anyone who joins Threadbias feels like they have a group to share with and people to connect with.
Thank you so much, Kathreen, for hosting us here today. We appreciate the opportunity to get the word out and share our site with your readers! I hope that everyone has fun exploring!