Winners of this Week’s Facebook Giveaway! 

Renee Ruddell HootenPlainview, Texas Hexagons

Susan Kramer Blumenshein Washington State Watermark quarter cuts

Emily Callender Pennsylvania Metropia Quarter cuts

Elaine Mercer – Mr Roboto Quarter cuts       


To claim your prize please send an e-mail to LWALKER@FABRICEDITIONS.COM with your NAME, ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER. The package will be put in the mail as soon as possible!


Thank you for your participation! Please keep an eye for more giveaways on our Facebook page!


Tales of a Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Procrastinators Unite For The Peppered Cotton Challenge!

Dear Studioe Blog Reader,

It is now early March and I anxiously await your submissions to the Peppered Cotton Challenge for which you have only had about 6 months to prepare.  Please stop procrastinating! 

As I write this blog, there are only 6 submissions and I imagine there are many more to come at the 23rd hour.  Please don’t wait until the very last moment in case you run into any technical snafus….you don’t want to get excluded over a technicality.  That would be a shame.

Do you like money?  How about free fabric?  How about fame for being a talented artisan?  If you answered yes to any or all of  these questions, it is not too late to start your project for the contest as you have until the end of March.  Come on, let’s do this!  You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. 

In other Peppered Cotton news, let me give you some inside scoop: 

First off, Studioe is selling Peppered Cotton Fat Quarter bundles.  There are two rotations comprising of 10 different colors in each bundle.  These are the top 20 selling colors.  Store owners must buy 8 bundles…4 of each of the two rotations.  That is what will come in a box.  Of course, you can buy more than one box while supplies last.  These are only being sold through sales reps or on the website and the price is very competitive.  So contact your direct Studioe sales rep or go to www.studioefabrics.com to order the bundles.  These will ship April-May.  


Second off, at the May quilt market, Studioe will introduce 15 new Peppered Cotton colors to get to a total of 50 solids.  It seems like we will stop at 50 colors until Pepper and Megan can come up with additional colors that will add some more spice to the current line. 

Finally, and most importantly, at the May market, Studioe will also be offering, let’s call them Peppered Cotton Fancies, which will include:  plaids, checks and stripes.  We have 18 new skus and they will go perfectly together and with many of the Peppered Cotton Solids.  You can expect the same hand and quality as the solids.  Trust me, you will love them.  I am super excited about these…thank you Pepper!  We will have some nice projects to support this new offering.  In addition, there may be another Peppered Cotton Challenge on the horizon.  Stay tuned. 

Make sure to stop by the Studioe booth to say hello to me at the Pittsburgh Quilt Market.


Happy quilting with Studioe Fabrics!


Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Genius Behind It All Part 3: My Father

The Genius Behind It All Part 3:  My Father

Now that my dad survived this ordeal with the blood clots, I wanted to delve into more detail as to why he is the brains behind Jaftex. 

In 1930, my great-grandfather, Jacob A. Fortunoff started Jaftex. 

He mainly dealt in flannelette and cotton fabrics.   So of course he gets the credit for starting the business.  Jacob had 3 sons, but only two ended up in the business, Dan (my uncle) and Everett (my grandfather).  As time went on, the mainstay of the business became women’s lingerie and various types of sleepwear.  Uncle Dan’s son, Glenn, and my dad, Robert, each joined the business too.  My dad started working for Jaftex when he was 17. I am not sure exactly when Glen started, but I think it was when he was in his twenties.

At that time the businesses included Jaftex, E-D Knitting (named after E-verett and D-an), Bertenn Textile (named after Ro-bert and Gl-enn), Andrea Knitting (named after my dad’s sister) and Oxford Printing and Finishing (a textile mill in Oxford, North Carolina).  Recall my earlier blogs about working at the plant in Oxford, North Carolina.

Sometime in the 1980’s, my dad started to make his big moves.  First he bought out his uncle, Dan, and cousin, Glenn.  Thereafter, my dad, and to a lesser degree, my grandfather, were the owners with my dad running the show.

The timing wasn’t great because much of the lingerie and sleepwear business started moving overseas, but this is where the real genius comes in to play.

In the ensuing years, my dad made some critical business decisions that would shape Jaftex to what it is today.  What you will notice is that almost all the companies were purchased and that is why there are so many different names used.  The big question is whether my dad had the foresight to get out of the lingerie business and into the over the counter business or was he just lucky?  I guess at this point, the answer doesn’t really matter because dad is being credited for being the genius either way, but I think he had the foresight.    

In no particular order,

  • He bought A.E. Nathan which owned a plant in the Carolinas.  A.E. Nathan primarily sold fabric to the retail chains as it still does today.  
  • He purchased Henry Glass Fabrics which was the first foray into the over-the-counter quilt shop only business.  
  • He purchased the Stylemaker which specialized in yarn dyed flannels from Portugal.  
  • He purchased Chanteclaire Fabrics which was another company in the quilt shop only business specializing in reproductions.  
  • He hired a gentleman from JP Stephens who brought over a book of business that he built up with the chains when JP Stephens went bankrupt.  He specialized in sourcing fabrics from India.  That was the first foray into sourcing fabrics from India.

Recall from previous blogs that I visited India with this gentleman.  At some point, my dad closed the two plants that we owned and starting working with SNS, a contract warehouse.  This decision also proved to be prescient as we never did well running plants, dealing with unions and labor or running businesses that we could not be intimately involved.  The distance between New York and the Carolinas proved to be a major hurdle. All of this happened between the 1980’s and the early 2000’s. 

More recently, we purchased Fabric Editions in 2011 from which we spun out the Studioe division.  So as of 2014, the business looks like this:

  • Studioe Fabrics sells to quilt shops only worldwide.
  • A.E. Nathan continues to sell mainly to the chains.
  • Henry Glass sells to quilt shops only worldwide.
  • Fabric Editions specializes in pre-cut fabrics mostly for the chains.

All of the other companies were absorbed into what remains to be the current structure.

I hope you enjoyed some of the history of our family business.  I look forward to what lies ahead and hope one day that someone can write about what I did to shape the company.

In the meantime, stay tuned for our 85th anniversary celebrations at the 2015 Houston Quilt Market.  

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: My Lucky Day….The Peppered Cotton Challenge In Full Effect

My Lucky Day….The Peppered Cotton Challenge In Full Effect.

Happy New Year Studioe Fans,

Today is my lucky day.  As I began my early morning workout, the light on my blackberry (yes, I still use a blackberry) lit up, signifying that I had a new message.  The fact that the light was blinking wasn’t a big deal since I get messages daily.  The big deal was the content of the message.  “Hallellujah!” I rejoiced.  What was the message?  Take a guess.  Come on.  I will give you a hint….it has to do with the Peppered Cottons (hopefully you are well aware of this fabric by now….if not I have a problem).  

Alright, enough of the suspense.  Drum roll please…the emailed message was the first submission to the Peppered Cotton Challenge.  Wow!  I was so very impressed with this first submission.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of you submit and I hope to start getting more submissions before the March 31st deadline.  

Time to stop procrastinating people.   Come on folks, it has been super cold around the US, so what better thing to do than to hit your sewing room and work on your Peppered Cotton Challenge project?  Don’t you know that the cold weather really gets your creative juices going.  I just made that up, but it sounded good.  Just go with it.

In any case, as long as this one person has submitted a project for the contest, the contest will not be a total flop.  With that, it is my lucky day someone is participating in the contest.  I am happy.  Oh, the simple things in life.  Good luck and let those submissions start rolling in.  Amen to that!

Talk soon,


Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Genius Behind It All Part 2: My Father

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive:  The Genius Behind It All

Part 2:  My Father

As my sister and I emptied out of the train and jumped into my car, we were both on edge and couldn’t get to the hospital soon enough.  I realized that one’s imagination could be one’s worst enemy.  What ifs were consuming me, but as my dad likes to say, “I don’t do what ifs.”  So I set the ‘what ifs’ aside and rushed into the hospital to see for myself my dad’s status. 

Upon seeing my dad and getting an update from doctors, I was relieved that my imagination was my worst enemy and things were certainly not as bad as what my brain had conjured up.  A sense of relief settled in to some extent.

Now it was time to get to the bottom of what was going on.  Without going into a million details, the long and the short of it was that my dad had somehow gotten blood clots throughout his body.  How?  We will probably never know.  After spending about 5 days in the hospital and taking blood thinners, among other medications, the pain subsided and he slowly got better.

As of today, January 2014, I am happy to report that my dad is back in good health and will soon be ready to fly again.  I guess I bought some time until I have to answer the question….could I run Jaftex on my own?

Hopefully that will be a story for a blog a long time from now.

Stay tuned for part 3.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Genius Behind It All Part 1: My Father

A couple of months ago, I awoke at some ungodly hour and couldn’t fall back asleep.  Rather than sit in bed rolling around thinking, I showered, got dressed, had breakfast and made a 5 am train.  I was in Manhattan by 6 am.

At 7 am, my cell phone rang and my mother asked, “where are you?” “I am in the office, believe it or not.” She said she was at the hospital with my dad.  My heart sunk.  He was having pains in his chest all night, but fortunately it wasn’t a heart attack.  She said everything would be ok and dad didn’t want anyone to visit.  That is just his way, he doesn’t really like to put people out, which is a trait I too possess.  So, I went on with my day, as best I could, staying in touch throughout.

At 3 pm, my mom called in a semi-panic insisting that my siblings and I come to the hospital immediately.  OMG!  Now I am freaking out, but in the back of my mind I keep thinking that nothing could ever happen to my dad…. he is invincible.  


My sister and I immediately ran to Penn Station to catch a train.  On the way over, she was an emotional wreck and kept eluding to death.  My head then started to fill up with morbidity.  My mind was now running out of control.  Not only could I be losing my amazing father, but I could also be losing my business partner and the brains behind the Jaftex Companies.

Could I run Jaftex on my own?  Was I up for the task?  These were questions I knew I would have to address one day…..I just didn’t think that day could come so soon. 

Stay tuned for part 2.


CJ Shells from Glenford, Ohio has won the Studioe Facebook Contest and a fat quarter bundle from our popular Watermark collection.

She said “I live in Glenford, OH. I’ve been making quilts 1 year since Nov 2012. I’ve made 15 quilts in that year. My sister in law had me a shirt made that says “Help I’ve started sewing and I can’t stop” lol”






CJ: To claim your prize please send an e-mail to LWALKER@FABRICEDITIONS.COM with your NAME, ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER. The package will be put in the mail as soon as possible!


Thank you for your participation! Please keep an eye for more giveaways on our Facebook!

Be sure to see the full details on the

COLORFUL PEPPERD COTTONS CHALLENGE http://www.studioefabrics.com/contest_rules/


Things have finally settled down since the Houston quilt market and now I am back to blogging for all my loyal Studioe followers.  So what’s on my mind?  A lot!  Unfortunately I can’t write about everything that is on my mind in one sitting and I highly doubt you would have the time or patience to read something so long and boring.

So today I am going to talk about how quilters are a rare breed and how amazing the quilt industry is.  When I say that quilters are a rare breed, I mean it in a good way.  As you may or may not know, I am from New York.  You might have heard or experienced the fact that New Yorkers aren’t the nicest people in the world. I am not saying that they all aren’t nice, don’t get me wrong, but a good chunk could be considered rude, obnoxious, pushy, impatient and snotty as compared to people from the other 49 states and world.  Of course I am not one of those New Yorkers.  No really!  I swear!  Ok, maybe a little, but I try really hard not to be….seriously.

In any case, quilters are so nice and genuine and hence, they are a rare breed to me. (Quilters from New York are a rare breed too).  I actually look forward to sitting down with many of you quilters and quilt shop owners at market to show you the new Studioe lines.  It is kind of soothing, believe it or not.

I am so lucky to have ended up working in such a great industry.  If you think about it, I could have ended up in a super high pressure industry where everyone was from New York or at least it might have seemed that way.  That would not have been pretty or good for my health.

As many of you know from reading my previous blogs, there is a lot to be said about low stress jobs.  If you recall, I attended law school for 3 very long years and then I traded stocks on Wall Street for about 8 years.  During that time, I experienced some serious stress related issues…tmj, hives, acid reflux, heart palpitations and insomnia to name a few.  The day I stepped into the Jaftex offices, all those ailments astonishingly disappeared like magic.  Needless to say, I now have a quality of life and am a lot happier.  It just shows that having the right job plays such a critical role in your health and happiness.  This really isn’t a joke as life is too short to be unhealthy and unhappy.

So to wrap this all up, because quilters are such rare breeds and the quilting industry as a whole is such a low pressure and amazing industry, many of us are really lucky to be a part of it.  Not only that, but we could be living longer lives because of it.  So amen to the quilting industry and quilters!


Happy Quilting!

Your Happ-e Friend,



This is a general informational sheet brought to you by StudioE Fabrics. Our line of shot cottons, calledPeppered Cottons, has been selling well and we thought a how-to might be a smart idea. Feel free to post this in your shop and share it with your customers.

What Peppered Cottons are. These are 100% shot cotton fabrics that almost fall into the solid color category. The term ‘shot’ means the weft is “shot through” the warp but uses a discernibly different color thread. Because the warp (lengthwise threads) and the weft (side to side threads) are different colors, the resulting shades are muted and variable combinations of the original colors. For instance, a black warp thread plus a blue warp thread woven together makes for a very dark blue such as Ink color# 45. When a fabric like Ink is viewed from different angles, the blues and blacks produce subtly different visual effects. Above all, shot cottons have a tactile handwoven quality and display deep colors well since all threads are dyed prior to weaving. There is no wrong or right side to shot cottons–a plus for quiltmakers.

Peppered Cottons on the bolt. All shot cottons, when being readied for winding on to cardboard bolts, are folded double, pressed, and heated in a process called calendaring. Calendaring makes the winding process easier and tighter on the bolt. Without washing, calendared fabrics have a sheen and very soft hand. Art quilters, who do not need to wash their fabrics, can use shot cottons straight from the bolt. Most quiltmakers will want to wash the fabric prior to starting a quilt project.

How to Wash. Keeping the fabric in its doubled-form, slightly trim a little angled ‘ear’ from both selvedge edges of the length of fabric. Unfold the fabric. If washing small lengths, put the shot cotton pieces into a lingerie bag or knotted pillow case (give the fabric room to move—not a tight knot). Our preference is to wash in warm water and rinse in cold. Use the same sort of soap or detergent you would use to eventually clean a quilt. If washing multiple pieces, sort into several bags by colors. Wash in a full tub of water and use a Color Catcher ™ in the load. FYI: this step is to capture any excess dye particles. Peppered Cottons are color-fast! After washing, take the fabrics out of the bags and ‘fluff.’ Cut any loose threads at that time. Re-insert the damp pieces loosely into their bags and dry about 20 minutes. Do not walk away and let the fabrics over-dry. Unfold the pieces and air-dry completely. If the pieces are small you may iron them at this time. Most of the time, I snip any loose threads, fold the dry shot cottons yardage, and store on shelves. Then when I’m ready to sew with the shot cottons, I only iron as much as I need of the fabric for that project.

Washed Peppered Cottons. Washed and pressed Peppered Cottons have a slightly different hand than when they are on the bolt. The calendaring sheen rinses out. The weave firms up giving these fabrics the hand (texture + weight) of good-quality unbleached muslin. The brilliant colors also slightly intensify when the light-reflective finish is gone. Because of the finish difference between on-the-bolt and washed Peppered Cottons, the best advice is to purchase all you’ll need for a project at one time and to treat that length of fabric the same. In other words, no un-washed and washed of the same color in the same project. Note that Peppered Cottons are a higher thread weight than most shot cottons and it means these fabrics blend well with regular-weight quilting fabrics. You can mix-and-match Peppered Cottons with fabrics from your stash with the assurance that they’ll stand up to use.

Sewing With Peppered CottonsBefore cutting patchwork pieces from the fabric, give it a light mist of spray starch and press. This step gives the fabric even more body. Align selvedges, especially if cutting with the grain, and cut pieces as usual. When sewing, use a good quality #50 or #60 100% cotton sewing thread and use your normal stitch length. Either match the color of thread to the fabric or choose a blendable shade such as taupe, grey or khaki.

Applique Tips. I like to spray-starch shot cotton yardage twice (spray both sides) when doing applique. Since applique requires a lot of handling, a little extra body never hurts, especially when doing needle-turn applique by hand. When sewing machine applique, sample a block first so you can adjust stitch type, length of stitch, and your preferred weight of thread. In most cases, either  #50 or #60 weight thread are good choices for machine applique work.

Pressing.  Always use a clean iron. I prefer a lightweight nonstick-coated iron and I seldom use steam. When ironing shot cotton yardage and sewn patchwork, set your iron on Wool the setting just below Cotton. A too-hot iron can cause crinkling at the edges of the cut patchwork. There’s no need to work at any hotter setting than Wool.

Quilting. When machine-quilting, use a new needle and again, a thin strong thread. I like a flat look in my quilts so prefer a thin cotton or wool batting–almost the flatness of flannel. For quilt backing, choose a quilting-weight cotton fabric, rather than more shot cotton, to give more density to the quilt.

Working With a Professional Quilter. If you hire a professional quilter, be willing to work with him/her in the event they have had no experience with shot cottons. Tip: take the quilter a sandwiched block (top, batting, backing) using the same shot cottons used in your quilt top. This sample is so she can test her stitches. Make the bottom layer (backing) of the quilt sandwich a regular-weight cotton. Shot cottons are easy to quilt but sometimes a professional quilter uses the same size needle for all tasks. FYI: you can tell when a too-large needle has been used in machine quilting–when the finished quilt is held to the light, tiny pin-holes appear through which light shines. Hopefully, these miniscule holes close up after use and washing. But to be sure, when quilting a shot cotton quilt, ask that your quilter use a new, slightly thinner needle and thinner thread for the best combination and plan on a non-shot cotton backing fabric. Work together with the quilter so you can achieve the finest final product.

Quilting by Hand. When quilting by hand on shot cottons, use a good quality thread. Thoroughly baste the three layers so they do not shift while working. The usual weight of hand quilting thread is #40. Since quilting stitches show so well on the surface of Peppered Cottons, this is a great opportunity to experiment with contrasting colors of thread or even try Big Stitch quilting using a #8 or #12 perle cotton.

Finishing and Binding. After quilting but before binding, run basting stitches completely around all sides of the quilt, especially if there any cut bias edges that might stretch. Stitch in from the open cut edges of the quilt 1/8th inch. Basting can be done by either machine or hand. Leave basting stitches in place. After basting (which “closes up” the sandwich of top/batting/backing) decide if you want to trim the quilt exactly to its cut edges or leave a little batting/backing to plump up the binding. Cut binding either with the straight of grain or on the bias. If using shot cotton for the binding and cutting bias, another light spray of starch will help you handle the stretchy bias strips better.

We hope you enjoy working with Peppered Cottons and find them a great addition to your quilting palette!

-Pepper Cory


Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive:  Jackson Hole-e  Cow “I Am Cured”

Notes from Day 2.

My Jackson euphoria has faded away fast, but the memories remain ingrained.  Now I am back to the real world.  With that, it is 5:30 a.m. and my daddy duties were in full effect last night.  Poor Ace got sick just as my wife and I fell asleep.  We spent the next hour in the laundry room gagging from the stench and stuff.  It was kind of funny.  I hate to gross you out, but it shows that there is more to life than just selling fabric and working.

Family is so important and I love my two boys (the 5th Generation)and my wife.

It was hard to fall back asleep after the excitement of the night, so I took a 5:43 a.m. train into Manhattan.  When I arrived, it was dark, but the air was fresh like in Jackson Hole.  Speaking of Jackson, day 2 was full of adventure.  At 9 a.m. Thad, the guide, picked me up to go fly fishing.  You know what they say, when in Jackson, you have to go fly fishing.   We first got a mandatory fishing license and then drove to a takeoff spot.  On the way, I saw a coyote which was neat.  It was now just me, Thad, our boat, oars, the river, my life vest, the cold air, wildlife, fishing poles and lures.  Thad taught me all the basics of fly fishing and before I knew it, I was catching fish.  He knew his stuff and I learned a lot from him, not only about fishing, but about wildlife, Wyoming politics, life and more.  In all, I caught 5 fish….Whitties and Cutthroats.  5 miles and 5 hours later, we were done.  In a word, awesome!

I was so tired after the fishing that I took a 2 hour nap….NOT!  Life is too short to nap…especially in Jackson Hole.   I showered up and got dolled up for the rest of the day’s events.  I wore grey pants, a clean white button down and my lucky blue sport coat.  I always say, if you want to be important, you need to look important.  I headed over to “Stitch ‘n Time” and hung out for a bit.  It was hopping at the shop as classes had just let out.  A lot of people were chatting with me as everyone knew who I was.  At around 5:15, I gave Kim, the shop owner, the sign that it was time to go for dinner.  It was me and 5 lovely guild members.  I forget the name of the restaurant that we went to, but they had a wicked good lamb chop.   After dinner, we went to the Teton Valley Fair Building for the big event.

The big event was the Evening Social.  It was a big event for me because it was my first real speaking debut.  As my blog followers know, I am not fond of public speaking (recall glossophobia), but I have to do it because it is a fact of my life and it is important to help me grow as a businessperson.  To be honest, it is so much easier to just write a blog and take the easy way out.  After a warm introduction from Janet, a guild leader, I was handed the microphone.  At that moment, I had a bad flashback to my Bar-Mitzvah, December 7, 1986.  Like that day, I felt queasy, nervous and sweaty, until I uttered my first word.  That was all it took for me to calm down…..one single word.  Imagine that?  In all, I spoke for about one and a half hours with some breaks.

Since I came with minimal prepared comments, the “speech” took a life of its own.  It was amazing to see nearly 100 people watching and listening to me so intently.  I covered so many different topics and as time went on and became more and more comfortable speaking.  Believe it or not, I think I might have cured my glossophobia in Jackson Hole.  Who would have thunk?  It only took 40 years and the perfect audience to overcome my fear.

The truth is that I don’t remember everything that I spoke about, as it was kind of like an out of body experience for me, but here are some things I do remember.  Many of the topics were things that I have covered in my blogs.

  • The Peppered Cotton Challenge!
  • Work travels to the south, India and throughout the U.S.
  • The roots of the family business.
  • How lines are created and developed.
  • Licensing.
  • Selling.
  • Different fabrics.
  • All the countries where we buy our fabrics and the difference in quality and pricing.
  • I showed old photos from my grandfather’s scrapbook of our offices in the 1930’s.
  • How we owned plants in the past, but not anymore.
  • How goods are double and rolled.
  • My life and how I got to where I am today.

That is the gist of it, so if you want to know more, you will have to come and see me the next time I have another speaking engagement.  Looking forward to receiving more invites to speak in front of guilds…bring it on and keep on quilting.  Don’t forget that Studioe customers are the best!  Make sure to come and visit me at booth #328 at the quilt market in Houston. The secret password to get my attention is “Let’s Go Fly-Fishing”

Stay tuned for Day 3 in Jackson Hole.


Dadde Scott (as my son calls me)