Modern Fabrics. Manhattan Style. So what’s it all about?
Well, tucked away between the skyscrapers and hustle-and-bustle of New York is a place where fabric magic happens. Inspired by the runways, the trendy street kiosks of Soho, by the colors and lights and music of the city, the Contempo studio was born. This is contemporary and modern fabric design, Manhattan style, which means fresh, new, sophisticated and trend-setting. Contempo’s Modern Manhattan-inspired prints really adds a unique addition to the Benartex fabric world. Perfect for the modern chic home, these fabrics are great for quilts and wall-hangs to really tie a modern loft together.
Meet Our Designers
Quilters, artists, authors, teachers...we're proud of our design family! Designers are listed in alphabetical order for your convenience.
Shelley is the self-taught quilter and designer behind the pattern label Cora’s Quilts. She makes her home near Sacramento, CA with her husband and their two young boys. She loves drawing inspiration from her favorite haunts in the nearby Sierra Nevadas. Shelley has a passion for modern, intricate, mosaic-inspired quilts, with just a little bit of Fair Isle Knitting and Pixel-Art inspiration mixed in. She’s a huge fan of bold colors against crisp, white backgrounds, and loves bringing classic quilt blocks back to life with vibrant prints. For info on quilt patterns and online classes visit www.CorasQuilts.com. View Shelley's collections: Gloaming
Amy Friend is a former museum curator turned designer. She designs modern quilts and specializes in paper pieced designs. She authored the books "Intentional Piecing" and "Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design". She is an award winning quilter and her quilts have been exhibited at quilt shows as well as museums. Amy visits quilt guilds to speak about her quilts and to teach workshops. She is an active member of the Modern Quilt Guild having cofounded the Seacoast MQG where she served as the first president, she is also Project Manager for the annual QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. You can follow her creative path on her blog, duringquiettime.com. View Amy's collections: Improv
Cherry is a professional longarm quilter/designer from Cherry Blossoms Quilting Studio. She loves fabric, color, polka dots, and spending lots of time at her sewing and longarm machines. Her patterns and prints are wonderful and whimsical and so popular. Cherry hopes that her work will inspire you to create something beautiful today. Her prints just pop with color. Be sure to look for accompanying quilts and project patterns from Cherry. Cherry also designs fabrics for Benartex. View Cherry's collections: Sunday Ride, Soul Blossoms, Kitchen Love, Mulberry Lane, My Little Sunshine
In between being a wife and a mother to three children, she is sketching and researching new designs and patterns. She is always looking in the latest fabric/pattern books, or sitting at her computer reading and writing blogs. Her blog page is hollyhelgeson.blogspot.com. Holly’s signature style is playful and quirky with a hand drawn feel and lots of color. Her designs are available for licensing and direct sale. See her first fabric line Lemon Squeezy!
Amanda Murphy has been designing, drawing, and sewing since she was a child. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, she worked as a graphic designer and art director in Virginia and New York City. After moving to North Carolina, Amanda soon discovered quilting, an art that marries her passion for design with her enthusiasm for handwork. Amanda markets a full-color pattern line under the Amanda Murphy Design label and has designed several fabric collections. Amanda also is a BERNINA Artisan, and teaches online classes in quilting and embroidery. View Amanda's collections: Sparkle and Carina.
Sally is a freelance surface pattern designer and Illustrator. She primarily focuses on designing for childrens wear and artwork for the juvenile sector. Sally has worked in many sectors over the past few years including stationary/greeting cards, logo and branding designs, editorial illustration,packaging design, childrenswear
and fabric design.. View Sally's collection: Little Friends.
Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr
Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr are professional quiltmakers and co-founders of Modern Quilt
Studio.. Bill and Weeks are pioneers of the Modern Quilt Movement having written the first book on Modern Quilting, The Modern Quilt Workshop. Weeks made her first modern quilt in 1987 to rethink the possibilities of the American quilt as being expressive of the time in which we live. Having sewn since he was 8, Bill began designing and making modern quilts in 1995. They have been making modern quilts together full time since opening their studio in 1999. View their collections: Dot Crazy
In 1982 Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan joined forces to establish Great American Quilt Factory, Inc. The store specialized in quilting patterns, fabrics, classes, and supplies. Four years later, they began designing patterns for quilts, stuffed animals, and dolls. They formed DreamSpinners, the pattern division of Great American Quilt Factory, Inc. Subsequently, DreamSpinners continued to grow and eventually became the largest independent patterns company in the United States. Although Nancy has retired from the retail store, she continues to publish books, patterns, and design fabric collections. View Nancy's collection: Tangle Time
Sarah Vedeler combines her love of quilting & embroidery to create stunning embroidered applique quilts featuring her own intricate digitized designs, reflecting her stated purpose in life of creating beauty, inspiration and infinite creative joy. View Sarah's collections: Transformation, Transformation Black & White
Christa began her love of quilting in 1994 when a group of church friends invited her to tie quilts for charity. It was love at first stitch. Christa lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada where her husband and 3 kids all think it’s normal to have a house full of fabric! Christa is the author of two machine quilting books and she loves helping others discover the joy of quilting their own quilts! She considers herself to be a perfectly imperfect quilter and she enjoys the look of hand-crafted quilting where you can tell that a person made it rather than a computer. Check out her website at christaquilts.com. View Christa's collection: Modern Marks
Kelsey Boes Williams
Kelsey is a total nerd both when it comes to chemistry and when it comes to design. Textile
chemistry researcher by day and fabric designer by night, she is obsessed with mid-century
modern furniture and good books.You can find her most Saturday mornings sipping a chai latte
and scheming about her next project. View Kelsey's collection: Coastal Orchards
Frequently Asked Questions
What is “Contempo?”
Contempo is Benartex’s young, modern studio. We design fabrics for the younger sewer (or the young at heart!)
Where do you get your inspiration?
From the streets of Manhattan! We’re located in the middle of Manhattan - loads of store windows, mannequins, street vendors, fashionistas, college kids. We like to say Contempo is modern fabrics, Manhattan style!
What makes fabric “modern?”
Color certainly plays an important role, and trendy motifs and design. Ultimately, it’s the way the fabric is used that creates a “modern” look. (Even a traditional paisley can look modern when surrounded by lots of negative space!)