12 Months of Christmas – Bird Brain Designs Style


For the last few months you have heard your customers say that they have way to much to do during the holidays.  Why not offer a series of classes – 12 Months of Christmas?

Each month feature a different project – ornaments, tree skirt, table runners, gift tags, stockings, towels, napkins – you get the picture. Include quick gifts that they may want to make in multiples such as credit card wallets and purses.

The perfect first class?  Bird Brain Designs!  This woman is on a roll!  She has now digitized many of her most popular designs.  Now they are available in a digitized version as well as the original handwork varieties – and are due in in the next few weeks.

Heartfelt Angel










Item #BBD123ME  Retail $24.00


Woodland Snowman










Item #BBD125ME  Retail $24.00


Traditional Redwork Ornaments








Item #BBD144ME  Retail $24.00

Santa Redwork Ornaments








Item #BBD145ME  Retail $12.00

Snowman Redwork Ornaments








Item #BBD146ME  Retail $24.00

Snow Happens Table Runner









Item #BBD568ME  Retail $24.00

Santa Quartet Table Runner








Item #BBD633ME  Retail $24.00

Robin uses Sulky Fabri-Solvy so you don’t need to trace your designs.  Why not run the copies and include the sheets in the class kits?  But, don’t forget, everyone still has to buy the pattern.



Item #457-02  Retail $14.49

At Fall Market Robin showcased her new fabric line that is shipping in the next few weeks:  //www.checkerdist.com/search/fabrics

Why not combine the fabric with these new digitized patterns?  Don’t sell machines?  It doesn’t really matter – your customers have embroidery machines and if you don’t carry the patterns, you are sending them to someone else who does….

Spruce up After the Holidays with Gypsy Quilter

When you are cleaning up the shop after the holidays, take a few moments to look at your classroom through a customer’s eyes.  Are your supplies worn, chipped, and seen better days?  It is time to make your classroom a place to showcase products that your customers will want in their own sewing rooms.

Start out by making each work station an inviting place to sit, sew, and stay awhile….

Sip and Snip Clamp

Provide a place for drinks and trash OFF of the table to avoid spills….

TGQ011 (1)

Item #TGQ011  Retail $24.00

Place these Bitty Buddy’s at the ironing stations….

Item #TGQ107  Retail $9.00

Many of the projects in classes require chain piecing so these Cutting Gizmo’s are a must….


Item #TGQ008  Retail $14.00

The newest addition to the Gypsy Quilter family is this Threading Helper….This threader has an adjustable magnifier for those of us who are visually challenged.  It is a needle threader, a thread cutter, and a spool holder all in one.

Why not pre-order now?

TGQ7218 (1)
Item #TGQ7218  Retail $6.99

Why not check out the top 100 notions and see which ones you should feature in your classroom makeover:  //www.checkerdist.com/top/notions


Rachel Griffith – A Bright New Star

Rachel Griffith is a hot new designer who has released a top selling book with Martingale.

Item #B1193T  Retail $24.99

Quilts made with love includes 19 different quilts that can be personalized for any holiday.  On the new website, you can view the book and several of the projects that are inside.  Feel free to use any of these images in your blog, Facebook page, class descriptions, etc.

B1193T-1 B1193T-2 B1193T-3 B1193T-4 B1193T-5 B1193T-6












































As you can see, none of them are complicated.  They are great beginner quilts.  Many offer designs that would showcase new fabric lines beautifully.  Others could showcase photographs and signatures.

Rachel also has a popular pattern line.  Combine the book and patterns into a top selling display…

Flip Side








Item #RGD101  Retail $9.00











Item #RGD102  Retail $9.00









Item #RGD103  Retail $9.00

Almost Irish








Item #RGD106  Retail $9.00

Visit our website to see the complete line of Rachel Griffith designs:  //www.checkerdist.com/search/all

Celebrate the Premier of Downton Abbey

Who can resist Downton Abbey?  I, for one, am anxiously awaiting the new season premier in January.

Tiffany Hayes of “Needle in a Hayes Stack” has created a series of patterns that would look at home in any abbey.

Why not turn this into an event and host a series of classes based on these quilts inspired by your favorite characters.

Ladies of Downton Abbey


Item #NH1315  Retail $9.00

Regal Mary










Item #NH1316  Retail $9.00

Victorian Violet


Item #NH1317

Sybil’s Spires









Item #NH1318  Retail $9.00

Fans of Edith










Item #NH1319  Retail $9.00

Annie Unrein is a fan as well and has created a beautiful clutch that should be in the hands of Shirley MacLaine…


Item #PBA221  Retail $9.95

Why not plan your event today???


Repairing Quilts

Many of you will be able to relate to this story!  In 1995, a group of women started meeting at my house each month to make a primitive Baltimore album quilt based on an old pattern by Judie Rothmel.  (It is no longer available so stop drooling!)

2013-12-17 12.52.49









I hung the quilt top in my shop and the sun faded some of the appliques so badly that I threw it in a closet and didn’t look at it again until last month!  That’s right – 18 years later!

As you can see in the above picture, reds faded to pink and in other blocks a blue fabric just plain faded!

Two of the gals in that original group still come to my house once a month and I mentioned that I had pulled out this quilt and showed them the sun damage.  They BOTH had the quilt with the exact same fabric in a box in their sewing room.  They hadn’t finished it either!

The next day, Sandy Corbett showed up on my door with fabrics so I could repair my quilt!  She even had a typed list – that’s right – typed on a typewriter with carbons no less – of everyone that was in the class with contact information!  How funny!

With their help, here is how I repaired the quilt…

In the above picture, the two reds on top had faded.  The top left applique has been removed.  I had removed the fabric behind the applique because I had planned to hand quilt it (you can laugh now too.)

I removed all of the faded appliques and literally placed them on the glass of my copier – and ran a copy….

2013-12-17 12.53.41









Then I ironed freezer paper to the wrong side of this copy to create a very crisp template.  When I cut them out, my templates were the exact shape of the applique I removed!

I glued them to the wrong side of the appropriate fabric with the print side down.  (If I would have placed the print side up, the turned applique would be a mirror image of the piece I needed.)

2013-12-17 13.14.36

Then I turned them with a glue stick.  I needed to place these over the “holes” in the quilt top – and since the backing was already cut, they had to fit perfectly.  I placed the block on the ironing board and ironed the shiny side of freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric so the fabric wouldn’t stretch under the applique.

2013-12-17 12.58.19









This freezer paper stabilizer was suggested by another student, Kay Bennett and was brilliant for several reasons.  When I placed the appliques on the right side of the quilt top, I ironed them in place.  The freezer paper “stuck” to the applique and helped keep it in place.  I still glued around the entire outside edge of the applique to hold it in place – but this definitely helped.  And, I also ran basting stitches through the appliques so I wouldn’t loose them.

This freezer paper also made it easier to hand applique these pieces.  Since I was appliqueing pieces in the middle of a full size quilt, there was a lot of bulk.  I could just fold the top under the freezer paper.  My needle glided over the freezer paper so I never caught the rest of the quilt when stitching!

2013-12-17 13.26.23

Worked like a charm!  Now all I have to do is remove my basting stitches (I kept it there so you could see which ones I replaced.  In this particular block, I didn’t match the fabrics because this was originally a scrappy quilt and there were other blocks with multiple colors.

If the quilt top had been quilted, I could have appliqued over what was already there.  To replace the quilting, flip the quilt over and duplicate the stitching by quilting over the lines from the back.

By the way, this method works perfectly for pieced quilts as well.  Run a copy of the square or triangle that needs replaced and applique it on top.

There are two morals to this story!  First, I had spent at least 100 hours on this quilt and put it aside for 18 years – and repaired it and got it ready for the quilter in six hours!!!

Second, get a list of everyone who is in every class you take!  You never know when you may need to “borrow” some fabric!


Our Christmas Present to You





I am in Independent Consultant for Checker Distributors and not a “real” employee so I can brag about the company and everyone that works there!

They are constantly trying to improve across the board to make your life easier.  And the new website premiering Christmas Eve will literally stop you in your tracks!  It is that good.  I got to see a preview at Market but can’t wait to actually USE it every day…

This website features huge improvements that your customers will love as well.  Customers will see a list of shops near their zip code who carry the item they are looking for.  That’s right – Checker is sending customers right to your door!

For shop owners, the websites for Checker You and Checker Distributors have been combined so you will instantly know if there is additional support for a product.

We are also feverishly improving descriptions and images so the site will continue to improve every day.

Patterns, for instance, will show the front and back covers when feasible so you can see what is needed to make the project.

Books will show images of the front, back, table of contents and several projects inside.

Based on your order history, you will see suggested products allowing you to make better purchasing decisions..

PLEASE log in and save the items in your cart – or just order them before Christmas Eve.  When the change is made anything saved will transfer to the new site.

Enjoy – and let us know what you think!

See Green Over the Holidays

Pull those green fabrics that are generic from your depleted Christmas lines and set up a St. Patrick’s Day display.  Many of these patterns include golds as well – which may also be pulled from those Christmas lines….

Don’t you love the way the hearts on these projects form the shamrock and are free form on the table???


Item #DPC213  Retail $9.00

The Primitive Gatherings mini twister is used to create these fun wall hangings…










Item #HBJ004  Retail $9.00

The “mini” holidays are the perfect reason to start a monthly program.  Customers just want a little something….








Item #PMM03  Retail $7.00

And the Ackfeld Hanger that supports it….







Item #88207  Retail $8.32

Don’t forget to pull your fat quarters and buttons that are green as well for this display.  Order the patterns – you already have everything you need to showcase this holiday at your fingertips….


Add the awe factor with pieced borders

We’ve all been there….a customer comes in with a baby quilt and wants you to do the math to turn it into a queen sized masterpiece.  And, when you do the math, they would have to add 24″ borders to all four sides!  Triangle Paper on a Roll has come to the rescue!






Item #QRH15225  Retail $14.00

Triangle Paper on a Roll uses their  Sew and Fold technique to create four different triangle borders.  Each “roll” is 50 feet long – more than enough to piece all four sides of a king size quilt!

The can be pieced in a three inch or a six inch finished size – and in four different angles:  22 1/2 degrees, 36 degrees, 45 degrees, and 60 degrees.







Item #QRH1536  Retail $14.00


Item #QRH1545  Retail $14.00

QRH1560 (1)





Item #QRH1560  Retail $14.00

Why not duplicate angles that are already in the quilt and carry them into the border for that awe factor?  It has never been easier.

Seeing Red in Your Future!

Tis the season and while this season is winding down, as a shop owner, you need to look to the future.  Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  And, preparing for this holiday is easier than you think!

Hearts Intertwined is made from 10 inch fabric squares so not only is it attractive, it is easy to kit!


Item #PM592  Retail $8.50

You already have all of your red and green fabrics pulled for your Christmas displays.  Now it is time to split them for Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day!  Many of the fabrics in your Christmas lines are basic designs that can be incorporated into these next mini holidays.

This Patchwork Table Runner is a great way to use up those ends of bolts in kits.


Item #SF48524  Retail $9.50

Or, why not start a series of mini quilts that are kitted and picked up each month?  These darling additions include an Ackfeld Hanger that give them that awe factor.  Everyone has a spot for these littles…

PMM602 (1)

Item #PMM602  Retail $7.00








Item #27482    Retail $10.80 

To see the entire collection, visit our website:  \//www.checkerdist.com/products/patterns?c=33993&u=40003

Let’s face it, your customers want to celebrate the holiday but don’t have time to go all out so little projects that they can finish in an afternoon are just the ticket.

For those who want to send a special Valentine, Bareroots has just the ticket….


Item #BR130  Retail $5.50

Now, go pull your pinks!!!


A Trend you need to Notice!

When three books or leaflets on embroidery stitches are in the Top 20 books, it is time to sit up and take notice!

Whether quilters are using wool or cottons, the trend is here to stay so it is time to showcase this needle art in your shop!


Item #LA56019  Retail $4.95








Item #SS67  Retail $32.00


Item #56002  Retail $4.95

There are almost 1,000 embroidery patterns on our website:


and over 200 books:


Are you ahead of the trend????