Studio E Fabrics recently finalised the purchase of the Freespirit brand and from time to time we will be featuring his personal blog for you here.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a few FreeSpirit price increases that were necessary to implement immediately. The increased prices were, in my opinion, based on things that were clearly mis-priced under the previous regime. Today, on the other hand, I am going to talk about some lower pricing. Yes, you heard that right…lower pricing. More about that in a little bit after I introduce you to the amazingly talented Keiko Goke.

Have you heard about Keiko Goke? She is an international self-taught quilt icon from Sendai, Japan who has embraced quilting for over 40 years. She graduated from Setsu Mode Seminar fashion school in 1969. In 1978, she founded Quilt Circle Kei and had her first exhibition of many in 1979. She has participated in many domestic and international competitions and, of course, has received many prestigious awards.

Keiko’s style includes a variety of irregular piecing and applique techniques. In addition, she sometimes utilizes hand quilting to create a more rustic vibe. Other times, she uses embroidery. Needless to say, she has tons of tools in her arsenal to make remarkable art pieces. Keiko loves to play with colors and this helps her to create explosive pieces that stand out among the crowd. Check out this beauty below that is called “To Tomorrow.” Wowser!

Keiko has written many books. Her most recent one being “All My Thanks & Love to Quilts” which brings together 70 of her most extraordinary pieces created during her lengthy career. If you are a Keiko fan or just love looking at beautiful quilts, this is a must.

You should also check out her website. Her work will blow your mind. After fishing around the website, I have serious respect for her amazing talents and am glad to know that she is a part of the FreeSpirit team. What she creates is nothing short of magnificent works of art. It’s absolutely mesmerizing. Here’s another beauty.

What was the point of this post anyway? Oh yeah, lower pricing. Now that you know all about Keiko and have the resources to learn a lot more, you should know that we are lowering the pricing of her line called “How do you do?” I re-costed Keiko’s fabric and determined that it was way too expensive and what would result would be that her fabrics would be priced out of the market and wouldn’t sell much. There are limits to what the ultimate consumer can bear with respect to fabric prices. That is the reality.

With that, we have significantly lowered the price for future orders and we are also lowering the price for all orders on the books. Yes, I really did just say that. For all you quilt shop owners, please revisit this line with your sales rep and reconsider purchasing it based on this new and more reasonable pricing, but also because Keiko is an absolute master. The line is still higher priced than most other fabrics, but know that these goods are printed in Japan and they are printed on a higher quality piece of fabric.

To wrap things up, I wanted you to know that it isn’t always about higher pricing. It’s more about fair pricing and trying to sell as much fabric as possible so everyone can enjoy the beautiful products we are producing. It also shows that we are paying attention to the reality of our market and that we are not just trying to gouge everyone with outrageous prices. We like to stay within the realm of where fabrics are priced…preferably in the middle and not the top. My family is in this for the long haul and we are about building the brand, building the designers and building the relationships.

Have a great week!

Scott “How Do You Do?” Fortunoff

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