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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Interview: Kim Kight - True Up Blog

I learned about your True Up Blog through a customer, it is a great resource for fabric lovers, crafters, retailers and fabric shoppers… name a few. I think of it as a clearinghouse for new and vintage fabric information, fabric education, ideas for creating with fabrics and much more. (Photo of Kim below.)

How did you develop the concept of True Up? And please share with us what your unique title means!

It was really one of those light-bulb moments. I used to post about fabric a lot on my personal/crafting blog Dioramarama, and I just realized one day that there should be a blog devoted to fabric and nothing but fabric. I knew I had a lot to learn about different fabrics and this would force me to do my research.
I learned about the technique of "trueing up" through my sewing teacher in Austin, Leslie Bonnell. I liked how it sounded sort of newsy, and sort of hip-hop.

What do you provide for fabric lovers on your blog? Any contests, I know that you do informative interviews with sponsors.

We (my new writer Mary Beth Eastman and I) post designer interviews, new fabric collection previews, indie designer spotlights, fabric education (What is a twill, anyway? How is silk made?), and tons of links to inspiring fabrics and textiles. I also post a "daily swatch" -- a piece of vintage fabric based on a weekly theme, and sale alerts for the U.S. and the world every Sunday.

We have giveaways pretty often. I've never done any kind of design contest, but I've thought about it!

What do you enjoy most about doing your blog? And what are the challenges? I can only imagine the time that the blog involves since you are always on target with the latest information.

I'm kind of a fabric designer wannabe so I love learning about repeats, color, and the more technical aspects of fabric. And I love talking with other fabric lovers and professionals in the business.

The biggest challenge for me is keeping up with email! Also, sometimes I have weeks where I can't come up with anything I'm excited to write about. But history has told me that feeling will pass in no time and the next week I'll have more topics than I have time.

Here is "a tiny bit" of Kim's personal stash!

You provide such a wide range of information on domestic and international textiles and designers, do you have people that source the information for you or do you find it all?

Mostly it's just a matter of keeping up with my favorite fabric shop, craft, fashion, and design blogs through the miracle of Google Reader. I also get a few tips through readers and industry people. As I mentioned earlier, I brought in an additional writer to help me out, and hopefully I'll be able to expand to include more voices and perspectives in the near future.

I know that you have a family (son and husband), and work part time as a Speech Therapist, how do balance everything?

You've caught me, Sondra -- I don't balance everything! Have you ever heard the expression "a working mother is always disappointing someone?" :) Well, we are fortunate to be able to keep our son at home during the day -- I work on True Up when he sleeps, and my awesome mom takes care of him on the days when I work outside the house. The therapy clinic at which I work is open on Saturday mornings, so I work then too and my husband takes care of the kiddo.

We share a love of vintage fabrics, what are your fabric styles and designs? What is your favorite era?

I love the quirky novelty prints and geometrics of the 40s-60s. I've been into Pennsylvania Dutch motifs lately, and bold/graphic juvenile and floral European prints from the 60s-70s (Jane Foster has a lot of great ones - ). Oh, and I can't resist a good painterly floral. I've also started collecting vintage handkerchiefs by Tammis Keefe and her contemporaries. And like you, I love Lucienne Day, but I've never actually seen any of her fabric in person!

What do you enjoy making/creating the most and what are your favorite materials to use?

I think of myself as a quilter, though it's been slow going since I had my son two years ago! I have been making more garments lately, and stuffed toys. I'm all about the cotton (and wool felt for the toys) -- I haven't ventured much into silk or rayon or anything else, though that's on my wish list.

What inspires your creations? Oh my.

Just hop into the True Up or Dioramarama archives ... everyone I've covered there!

Do you have any other creative interests that you hope to pursue in the future?

I've had screenprinting supplies for over a year now that I have yet to bust into. I suspect that happens more often than not with screenprinting ... sigh.

Who are your favorite designers or artists?

Again I could write an encyclopedia, so I'll stick with the textile artists that inspire me most: Denyse Schmidt, the women of Gee's Bend, FunQuilts, Angela Moll, Ian Hundley, Kaffe Fassett, Valerie Goodwin , Denise Burge, Anna Von Mertens, embroidery artist Tilleke Schwarz ...

What are your “great places to visit” online? Blogs, Etsy stores, websites?

Other than Contemporary Cloth?! Well, I guess if I had to have one desert island site it would be Flickr. I love their new gallery feature -- here are some I've made so far.

Any future plans for True Up?

Yes, big ones! But they are un-finalized, so I will just leave you with that teaser.

Thank you, Kim for the great interview and for all that you do on True Up. We all appreciate you!


  1. Thanks for posting this interview. I admire Kim's work on TrueUp – she's got an impeccable taste. I totally rely on her blog for keeping up with latest textile happenings.

  2. That makes two of us! Thanks for the input.

  3. It's great to read Kim's answers, as she's usually the one who makes all the questions! :)

    I love TrueUp and visit everyday!


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