How one Minneapolis brand is putting a handsome spin on a humble handicraft.
Quilts used to be a thing of the past. But over the last few years, a new generation of artisans have been updating the centuries-old craft for the modern home. Case in point: Louise Gray, a Minneapolis-based company owned by Alexandra Gray Bennett and Jocelin Johnson. The duo, who met in a previous job working in sales and creative direction respectively, noticed that quilts weren’t catching up to present-day aesthetics. So they set out to redefine the market by using refined color palettes and clean patterns more relevant to contemporary customers. The quilted No. 101 throw is their latest design, made exclusively for us. “CB2 has an incredible customer base that’s very design-oriented, so our modern products are such a great fit,” says Bennett.
So what goes into the making of a single quilt? They gave us a tour of their production process, which involves a detailed design process and a team of skilled artisans. Follow along as a single quilt (in this case their Quilt No. 1), is made from start to finish.
The design process begins with gathered inspiration and sketches, as well as a careful selection of colors. Shades are compared and colors are analyzed until the designer lands on a winner. Louise Gray quilts are made with 100 percent cotton fabric, which means they’re incredibly soft and can go right in the washing machine. They also wear well over time.
The selected fabric is laid out and carefully cut using a cutting machine. This step takes a lot of skill, so they rely on mathematical programs and machinery to cut precise patterns.
Once cut, the fabric pieces are carefully stitched together with 100 percent cotton thread, creating the top layer of the quilt.
Cotton batting (made in the USA) is rolled out and cut to size. A seamstress trims the edges of both the batting and the top fabric layer, and then sandwiches the batting between the top fabric layer and a solid fabric layer below. She pins the layers in place before stitching them all together, folding over the edges and sewing around the perimeter for extra reinforcement.
Depending on the quilt’s design, a label is either stitched or embroidered on.