Press | While She Naps Podcast with Cofounders Michelle & Gina


Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps blog, interviews Cloud9 Fabrics co-owners Michelle Engel Bencsko and Gina Panastico about their professional backgrounds, the what, why and how Cloud9 came to be. Also learn a little about the design and production process and things that are going on in the background of our blossoming business. Listen to the podcast here!

Meet Our Newest Designer | Avril Loreti


Another wonderful designer is on our Collective roster. We welcome Avril Loreti to our family and we look forward to introducing her first collection, a fun voile range, at Quilt Market this October for a spring 2015 delivery. Let’s learn more about Avril!

Avril was always an artsy kid and could always be found painting landscapes, drawing unicorns, running around with a camera, and arranging flowers with her godmother on sunny summer afternoons.


She caught the sewing bug at a really early age and before she was allowed to drive her mom’s Singer, she would often sneak into her mom’s sewing room in the middle of the night and sew up clothes for her dolls out of fabric scraps. Through high school she took every art class she could take, and kept staying up late at night sewing new clothes and handbags for herself.


After graduating from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College with a degree in Art and Art History, Avril worked at various art and design jobs trying to figure out what the perfect fit was for her creative passions. She designed graphics and visual displays at a modern interior design boutique, worked as a photographer’s assistant, administrated at art galleries and worked with artists to develop their portfolios and put on gallery shows. She was always seeking a career that melded her love for modern design, artistic exploration, and the ability to make art accessible to everyone on an everyday basis.

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Avril had always dreamed about one day starting her own business and in the winter of 2007 did just that when she launched Avril Loreti | Modern Home. A collection of home decor and textile accessories for modern and artful living. With her use of bright and crisp colour palettes, playful patterns, and modern design, Avril creates pieces that bring art into the everyday objects of your home.

Avril is thrilled to be working with Cloud9 Fabrics and offer a new collection of prints on fabrics for sewers and makers to enjoy.

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Her pieces have been featured online and in the press over the years including Real Simple Magazine, Better Homes and Garden, House Beautiful, and Canadian Living.

Visit Avril in her studio and see her creative process in this segment from Canadian House and Home Online TV.

Follow Avril on instagram, pinterest, Facebook and twitter @avrilloreti. Avril’s collection is available online at


Meet Our Newest Designer | Monica Solorio-Snow

HZBH (happy zombie bio hazard!) - hey it's me! Monica says her art education came from the Contra Costa County Library and from Mrs. Grufman’s 7th and 8th grade art classes at Foothill Middle School in Walnut Creek, California. As a child Monica loved typeface and logos, and would spend hours in the library looking up books with anything and everything that had typeface and logos. In the mind 90’s when Monica’s brother Marco gifted her with Photoshop (2.0!!), Monica dove in to her new toy and has never stopped. Some of Monica’s most recent work can be seen on Sew, Mama, Sew! as well as on her own website/blog, Happy Zombie.

HZBH (happy zombie bio hazard!) - illoWhile no longer doing client-side logo work, Monica has shifted her focus to fabric design, and her previous collections were with Lecien Fabrics (Holiday Happy, Happy Mochi Yum Yum and Winterkist). Monica says about her fabric collections, “It’s like the Hair Club For Men… ‘I’m not only the president – I’m a client, too’ “. As for Monica’s self proclaimed addiction to buying fabrics, she claims she’s not a hoarder but rather a curator. Yes, a curator, she insists.

Monica is an avid quilter, embroiderer and maker fabric-ish of things. Many of Monica’s patterns and projects can be found in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens’ Quilts and More, American Patchwork & Quilting (she’s profiled in the October 2011 issue!!), Make It Yourself, Scrapbooks etc.; Quilty; Quiltmaker; Studios; various books, calendars, and other publications.

HZBH (happy zombie bio hazard!) - collections

You can see all of Monica’s projects and where she’s in print here and here. Some of Monica’s most well known projects are her Ron Swanson Along, her version of the Farmer’s Wife quilt, her free Poochi Bag pattern and her participation in the Traveling Quilts Bee.

HZBH (happy zombie bio hazard!) - projects

Monica’s says her style is fun, bright, happy with a heaping dash of absurdity – whether it be in fabric design, or illustrations/logs or sewing and quilting projects, and says her style can be summed as, “… so Hello Kitty walks into a tattoo parlor”.

Meet Our Newest Designer | Elizabeth Olwen

Today we introduce another fresh face to our growing family of designers. Elizabeth’s pretty and feminine style is simply eye-catching. Her work, mainly florals, are beautifully refined and elegant in their simplicity and charm. We’re sure her future range, due out early next year, will be as welcome as spring itself.


As a child, Elizabeth was mesmerized by the orange floral drapes in her mother’s kitchen. Surrounded by bold, unapologetic prints, patterns were something that she could lose herself in; a window to faraway places. Through the years, the love of patterns remained and crept its way into her DNA. She would see beautiful wallpapers and her heart would ache a little and it eventually pushed her to wholeheartedly pursue her art.

Elizabeth’s stunning Surtex booth this past May.

Elizabeth went to art school, where she fell in love with graphic design. She worked for years at design agencies where the goal was to create for corporate clients before realizing that something was missing, at which point she quit her job, went to Berlin for three months and rediscovered the desire to create. Elizabeth came home from Berlin with a hefty portfolio of patterns, a creative spark and sense of fulfillment that she hadn’t felt in years. And there was no turning back. A few years later, her patterns are starting to find themselves onto products across the globe, with clients like Target, Madison Park Greetings, teNeues, Dioton,

Not just any ordinary doodles

Elizabeth lives and works in her home in Toronto but loves to escape to the forest when she can. Inspired by pastoral beauty, nature in its most playful forms, and folk art, her work is driven by the desire to leave something beautiful behind with every step she takes. She also loves to bake and you can often find her in her tiny kitchen, whipping up pies and cakes and cookies. She never feels guilty about splurging on a bouquet of flowers for her studio. She loves sifting through thrift shops and collecting old wallpapers, fabrics and ceramics. And she is hopelessly devoted to travel, always daydreaming about her next trip.



 You can see some of her work at or follow her on Twitter (@elizabetholwen).

Meet the Designer | Sarah Watson

Yet another amazing artist to join us! {It just keeps getting better, doesn’t it??} And here’s a sneak peek at her first collection with us (and our first Halloween-y collection to boot!) which will be available in late July.

More about Sarah:

Sarah was raised by two enthusiastic, open-minded parents who urged her to be inquisitive and creative at a young age. When it came time to go to college, her parents wholeheartedly supported her choice to go to art school (the Savannah College of Art and Design), and major in Fibers and Textile Design.

There, she fell in love with repeat pattern design, and the idea that her drawings could go on forever, on rolls of fabric. After graduation she went to work for a large children’s clothing brand where she gained incredible experience, but lost the creative encouragement that she had known earlier in life. After three years of corporate work, Sarah turned to freelance work. She took about 6 months off to settle down and develop her new portfolio of work. This lead to many offshoot endeavors, such as wedding calligraphy, children’s book illustration and packaging design.

Children’s book illustration: Sweet Coco

As a child, one of Sarah’s favorite things to do was to go outside, pick a flower or weed, and bring it inside to draw. She still loves to draw flora from life, it is one of her favorite subjects. She loves weathered wood, small plants in old bottles and traditional textiles.

Hand lettering

In her spare time, she and her husband camp and hike throughout Northeast Brazil, finding incredibly inspiring scenery and vegetation along the way. Sarah always has a small craft project going, and at the moment is really loving hand quilting and stitching.

Indian Summer fabric collection (from Art Gallery Fabrics)

She and her husband’s travels can be found on their personal blog, On the Move, and personal design inspirations and studio updates happen on her design blog, Sarah Watson Illustration. Sarah’s calligraphy has been featured on Brooklyn Bride, and Sweet Coco can be found on and Sarah has two lines of fabric on the market right now, Luxe in Bloom, and Indian Summer.

Pre-Surtex Print Collections

Meet Our Newest Designer | Rae Hoekstra

Bright sewing pattern star, Rae Hoekstra, swings into surface design. Look for a sneak peek of her upcoming August release soon!

Rae Hoekstra has loved fabric ever since her mom taught her to sew as a small child. She began her sewing blog, Made By Rae, shortly after leaving her job as a high school physics teacher six years ago to stay home with her first child. Her website is now a popular spot for DIY and sewing tutorials and has a large and enthusiastic audience.

Look for a special collaborative project between Rae, Rashida Coleman-Hale and Karen LePage next week on Made By Rae!

You can buy the Washi Dress here.

Rae spends her work time blogging and designing sewing patterns for digital and print release. Her patterns include the Charlie TunicFlashback Tee, and Geranium Dress for children and the wildly popular Washi Dress for women. She also has an extensive collection of free online sewing tutorials and patterns on her blog.  

Rae hosts a number of popular online sew-alongs and events on her website, including the Spring Top SewalongKNITerviews (interviews with fellow bloggers about sewing with knit fabric), and Celebrate the BOY. She also hosts monthly sewing meetups and teaches the occasional sewing class in Ann Arbor.

You can buy the Geranium Dress here.

Her work has been featured in Cloth Magazine, Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine and on popular websites such as Sew Mama Sew, True Up, and Instructables. She has contributed sewing projects to the book One Yard Wonders and the online magazine Petite Purls. Rae lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and two children.

Meet Our Newest Designer | Eloise Renouf

If you’re someone who pokes around Pinterest or Etsy, it’s likely you’ve come across Eloise’s gorgeous designs at some point. We’re developing a range slated for the last quarter of this year. We. Can. Not. Wait! {we’re thinking some canvas, as well}

Eloise Renouf began her career as a fashion print designer for studios in both London and New York. In 2000 she established her own stationery company, Eloise R Designs, designing and publishing greetings cards for sale internationally. Alongside this she created giftware ranges for a leading UK gift wrap manufacturer, and undertook design work for organizations such as Unicef. She now designs and sells her own range of limited edition prints and fabric accessories, and teaches part-time on the Fashion/Textiles course at Nottingham Trent University. She also undertakes commission and licensing work for homewares, stationery and illustration. Recent clients include Target, The Land Of Nod, Uppercase Magazine, Betty & Dupree and Quarry Publishing – her first book “Twenty Ways To Draw A Tree” is due for release in May this year.

She lives and works in Nottingham, England, with her partner and three children, surrounding herself with as much nature and mid-century design as possible!

Eloise’s Etsy Shop – brimming with beauties!
Out this May from Quarry Publishing

Notebook for Betty & Dupree

Lamps for The Land of Nod (selling NOW, go get one!)
Target Gift Card

10 Questions with Rashida Coleman-Hale

We’ll be kicking off a new blog series, In the Kitchen with Tsuru, in just a matter of hours. Let’s take this time to get to know Rashida Coleman-Hale a little better as she answers our get-to-know-the-designer questions. Later this week, we’ll be seeing Rashida at QuiltCon. She’s already there busy judging modern quilts. On Thursday, we’ll be presenting her latest collection, Koi and we’ll share it with you here once we return.

Where were you born?
Orlando, Florida

Where are you living today and what brought you here?
Atlanta, Georgia via NY/NJ. My husband’s work is what moved us down South.

Rashida’s first book.

What was your most memorable art or craft project when you were a kid?
The first garment that I sewed one Summer when I was 12. My mother decided that I needed to learn to sew and let me choose the fabric and the pattern. It was this vest and pants pattern in the late 80’s. The fabric was hideous, the pattern was hideous, my sewing was probably equally as hideous, but I was SO darn proud that I had done it all myself with my two hands! I was already into fashion, but learning how to sew garments just sealed the deal for me. I heart sewing!

Sneak peek!

A prestigious art museum will give you any piece in their collection-which would your choose?
Anything by Frida Kahlo! I’m not a huge fan of her art, but I love her and h life story. She such an inspiration to me and learning about all of her trials and tribulations in her life have helped me to be more of a glass half FULL kind of gal.

Mod Hexies quilt

If you could hop on a plane TODAY, where would you go?
Hmm…..let me think……Tokyo, Japan!

What is your most productive time of day?
In terms of creative productivity, I would say at night. I get most of my creative work done after my littles have gone to bed.

What’s your favorite color obsession these days? Aqua! I can’t get enough of it.

What is the one creative tool or supply that you cannot live without?
Linen, obviously. 🙂

Fat Quarter Gang project

Who is one of your favorite fictional characters?
Definitely Anne Shirley. That’s ‘Anne’ with an ‘E’. I truly love the Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea books. I really relate to her awkward beginnings and her finding her place in the world and just boldly coming into her own. I never tire of Anne’s story.

Coffee or tea?
Both. Coffee when I need to keep it moving, tea when I’m in chill mode.