As the Creative Director and Founding Designer for Cotton + Steel Fabrics, Melody Miller has become a leader in the sewing and quilting industry. Leading a group of talented designers including Alexia Abegg, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Kim Kight and Sarah Watts, who have produced over a thousand unique prints since 2013, is a testament to consistency and vision. In addition, Cotton + Steel has collaborated with Anna Rifle Bond of Rifle Bond Co., created a thread collection with Sulky Threads, a line of sewing machines with Bernina, and the newly announced subscription box program called the Fan Club. With a recognizable aesthetic, Cotton + Steel is a dependable source for creativity and inspiration.
The story of how Cotton + Steel rose to this influential place is centered with Melody Miller. Her creative journey is one of exploration, self confidence and perseverance. With a degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, Melody worked in a variety of jobs and only after the popularity of her Etsy store led to a physical injury did she pursue fabric design. Her lines for Kokka Fabrics established her vintage aesthetic and prints from those collections are love and hoarded to this day. Determined to make fabric design a profitable career, she turned to Tula Pink for advice. Tula advised her to put “her business hat on” and Melody pivoted her career. Envisioning an unconventional way to bring forward her aesthetic, Melody wrote an “epic email” to RJR Fabrics. Her vision created the Cotton + Steel division and firmly established the modern design in the industry.
Ever since the debut of Cotton + Steel at the Spring 2014 Quilt Market, I have admired Melody’s designs and business acumen. During our podcast recorded at Quilt Con, we talk about her journey, why she didn’t feel the need to have a contract for her work with RJR Fabrics, her personal and professional vision and more. I left the conversation reaffirmed in my belief in collaboration, self confidence and friendship. I hope you enjoy the episode.
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