Free Spirit is closing, here is what it means for your orders
Yesterday designers at the Free Spirit/Coats team received word that Westminister Fibers, the parent company, is shutting down the fabric company and will not be filling any orders after May 31, 2018.
A copy of the email was posted on the Craft Industry Alliance blog yesterday. You can read it here. Obviously this is a sad day for the quilting industry. Free Spirit and Coats was home to some of the top designers in the industry including Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler and more. We have orders coming from them almost every month because the collections are always beautiful.
But having been a journalist during the recession when layoffs and closing were a constant threat, I understand what the employees are going through. The designers will get contracts with new fabric companies if they want them. And we will continue to order fabric lines from those designers when they come out. The employees who travel across the country selling fabric, pack orders for shipment, answer the phone for customer service, post to social media and keep everything running are the ones I feel for. One email turned their worlds upside down.
I have heard from my Free Spirit fabric rep who has confirmed that we will receive Tula Pink All Stars, including the Pom Pom kits many have pre-ordered. That line is already in their warehouse being prepped for shipment on March 1. Kaffe Fassett Spring 2018 and Shell Rummell Bloom Beautiful will also be arriving. Orders are being filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. I ordered all these collections at Quilt Market last October, so I am hopeful I will receive all the prints, but will not be taking pre-orders in the event I do not receive a complete collection.
Everything happening after that is unclear, like whether Tula Pink’s De La Luna will be printed, or if there will be a massive sale of fabric left over after the closing.
I have heard that I will be receiving one of the three Amy Butler Night Music bolts that is on backorder, but don’t know about the remaining two. I will wait to hear one way or another and then either refund pre-orders or ship fabric. This is all the information I have at this time.