Tote Bags are Hotter than Ever and Should be in Every Quilt Shop

When over half of the Top 20 patterns are tote bags and purses on any given day, it is time to do an inventory of your shop and see if your selections represent the national trend!  Enter Paradiso Designs.  These bags are easy to make in just a few hours.  They are uncomplicated and charming – the perfect beginning class!

Item #PD006  Retail $13.00
Xine Basket Bag

Adding a bamboo handle and a polka dot cuff turns this simple purse into a designer original.

Item #PD003  Retail $11.00
Every Day Bag

By adding a band of color, this every day bag will stand out from the crowd!

Item #PD007  Retail $9.00
Be Green Market Bag

Go Green never looked so good!  Why not make some of these bags for everyone on your Christmas list?  What a great way to use up your fabric stash – and play with color!

Item #PD004  Retail $13.00
Okashi Courier Bag

The strap and top treatment showcase the beautiful fabrics in this courier bag.  Cheryl Kuczek takes the ordinary and turns it into extraordinary by adding her decorative touches and sense of style.  Check them out at our Open House and add some to your pattern inventory today!

We’ve opened the covers on three new books!

Melinda Bula is best known for her beautiful floral quilts – and the applique technique that she has perfected to create them.  Her first book – Cutting Garden Quilts – taught us how to take a photograph and break it down into manageable segments like the old fashioned paint by number sets.  She is one of those people who is so enthusiastic about what she does, that she convinces you that you can do it too!

When I heard that she was sending quilts from her new book – Candy Cane Lane – to our Open House next month, I assumed it would be in a similar vein!  Wrong!  Melinda is full of surprises!  This book -and the projects in it – are whimsical, charming, and just plain fun.  It is a happy book that is guaranteed to make you smile!

Item #B988T  Retail $14.99

Turn the page – blog style – and see the treats that await you inside!  We all love polka dots – and who could resist this little charmer???

Who can resist candy canes, pinwheels and yo yos – and throw in some snowflakes – just for good measure!

And who can resist snowmen????

Cynthia Tomaszewski is sending some of her latest designs from her new book Quilts from Paradise.  Anyone who loves the beach, will love this book!  Her sense of color and the distinctive appliques give her her own sense of style!

Item #B974T  Retail $28.99

I love her quirky flower designs that are showcased so beautifully in this quilt.

Since I just returned from Flagstaff, this quilt has a desert feel.  The sand and Terra cotta colors are the perfect backdrop for her appliques.

And, then there is just charming!  Who can resist a blue and rose quilt – that is the perfect project to showcase your batiks!

Lorraine Olsen’s new book – Little Lone Star Quilts features seven different projects showcasing one of quilting’s all time favorite patterns.  And, you don’t have to be from Texas to enjoy it!

Item #10668  Retail $19.95

I love minis – and these definitely make an impact – no matter what colorway you choose!

Check out what happens when she adds dramatic color to these designs!  Breathtaking!

Don’t you just love the border treatment on this one???  And the diamonds in each segment are not the same color – what a difference????

I can’t wait to hang these quilts at the Open House and transform it for one magical moment into a quilter’s delight!

Meet the Next Generation – Orion Burns!

We are thrilled to announce that Orion Burns is coming to the Checker Open House in August!  He has been involved in the business for years – and will be demonstrating and talking with all of our customers.

Quilt in a Day has earned their place as one of the top selling quilting companies of all time.  Each book features hundreds of illustrations that show – step by step –  how to produce the quilt.  She also includes – what I call – fudge factors.  In many cases you cut the quilts one step at a time, measure the block to that point, and then cut the following pieces accordingly.  That is why Eleanor has been so successful – and created a dynasty!

She includes cutting instructions in ALL sizes so the shop owners don’t have to adapt the pattern if someone walks in and wants to make a queen size quilt!  And the quilts are shown in several different color ways so a customer can picture how it will look in her own decor.  Eleanor, Orion, and the folks at Quilt in a Day do everything right – period!  And they deserve – and have earned – all good things that come their way!

Orion will show you how to make the quilt named after him – Orion’s Star.

Item #1081QD  $19.95

This beautiful quilt combines the Evening Star block with a Log Cabin to create a dramatic design.  Come learn how to use the Flying Geese rulers that make it quick and easy to sew the star points used in this quilt.

Item #2007CC  Retail $9.00 – Large

These rulers come in a variety of sizes.  Each ruler makes two different sizes.  The large size creates either 2″ x 4″ or 4″ x 8″ sizes.

The small size makes 3″ x 6″ and 1 1/2″ x 3″ sizes.

Item #2006CC  Retail $7.00 – Small

Or for those of you – like me – who love miniatures, they offer a mini set that includes rulers to make 3/4″ x 1 1/2″; 1″ x 2″; 1 1/2″ x 3″; and 2″ x 4″ flying geese units.  And as a bonus, you get a 2 1/2″ fussy cut square.

Item #2020CC  Retail $13.95

And, last but not least, Orion will show you how to make the newest addition to the Quilt in a Day library – Day & Night.  This book includes the ruler that makes it possible to make these complicated blocks quickly and easily.

Item #1080QD  Retail $27.95

Come join in all of the fun – and pick up some great ideas for classes and demo days along the way.  You are guaranteed to have a good time!

Black, White & Bold

A great title is a great title!  Black, White & Bold is the latest book by Design Originals.  These folks always recognize the latest quilting craze and design projects that utilize it! They were one of the first to design books that use 2 1/2″ strips – and this is the latest in that series.

Many of you have been collecting those popular black and white prints – but didn’t quite know what to do with them until now!

Item #DO5351  Retail $14.99

By adding touches of color to your favorite black and whites, you can create eye catching quilts with dramatic effects!  Many of you are making quilts for your favorite college student to take off to college.  These quilts would certainly fit the bill.  Just add the school colors to the black and whites – and they will fit in any dorm room!

These quilts will be featured at our Open House next month.  Come and see the originals – and plan your fall classes around them!

Pumpkin and Spice and Whimsicals is Nice!

Terri Degenkolb is one of my favorite designers – and her newest creations are no exception!  She is a true artist who has an instantly recognizable style.  But, she manages to grow and expand with each fabric line and book so she is NEVER boring!

Her newest book and fabric line – Pumpkin and Spice – is her first self-published – all color book!  It is absolutely gorgeous.  Her eye for color is reflected in every photograph!  I dream about creating these vignettes in every room of my home!

Item #WH317 – Retail $24.00

Here is a picture from her website that shows the projects from the book.  Terri adds rickrack, wools, and embroidery to add a three dimensional effect and the ahhh factor to every project.  

All of these projects feature her new fabric line with Red Rooster.  I love the “Shaker” feel of the trees.  And, the muted colors are subtle and refreshing.

Terri is sending samples from this book to our Open House next month.  A picture – no matter how good – can never do justice to the original.  So come see why she is one of the most popular designers today!

Be the First to Own the Next Generation of Iron

Usually I don’t want to tempt you with a product that won’t be available until next month – but in this case, I wanted to make sure you pre-ordered it so our buyer would know how many to order.  Yes, it is THAT good!

This iron is made by Reliable – a company that has produced irons for the dry cleaning industry for over 50 years.  They have an amazing track record in that industry and brought their talents to the quilting world a few years ago.  They came to Quilt Market and asked quilters what they truly would want in their dream iron – and then produced it!

Item #V95

I have talked to the engineers and they explained why it works – but frankly, we care about what it does!  It has two separate heating elements so the distilled water is not heated by the same element that heats the sole plate.  That means that the water will never spit and leave marks on your fabric.  It also means that you can steam ANY fabric because the sole plate does not have to be hot to produce steam!  Absolutely amazing!

The iron has eco intelligence which saves water and energy.  Simply put, if there is no motion, there is no steam. The steam shuts off automatically.  And it has a larger water tank so it doesn’t need filled as often.

The iron comes with an anit-scale cartridge which filters the water so no mineral residues will collect and clog the iron.  If this filter is replaced every six months – the iron will continue to work at optimum efficiency for years!  It’s like getting the oil changed in your car – just do it!

The biggest difference between the V95 and the V100 is the automatic shut off feature.  Both irons have it – but the V100 which is coming out next month, has an over-ride feature. By simply pushing a button you can leave it on – at the ready – until you turn it off or unplug it.  This over-ride feature has to be engaged every time the iron is turned on so YOU can choose if you want to use it.  They both are corded irons.

ITEM #V100

If sewing is your business – and you want the best of the best, consider the Iron Maven.  This is the first ironing system equipped with an anti-calc warning system to let you know when it’s time to use the de-scaling powder that is supplied. It features continuous steam, has a low water light indicator, and an auto shut off for the boiler.   Professional dressmakers swear by it.  This iron may be just the thing for your classroom – after all your customers don’t know what they are missing until you put it in their hot little hands!  Let them take it for a test drive!

Item #J490A

Have you noticed that the quality of ironing boards has deteriorated to the point that quilters are looking for old wooden ironing boards at flea markets?  Reliable produces an ironing system that should be in every sewing room and classroom.  This ironing board comes with a “large extention”.  It also features a better pad, a more stable foundation, and a hot plate for the iron.  There is also a storage shelf underneath.  Most of us are still using the ironing boards we got as shower gifts – isn’t it time we upgraded???

Item #C60LB

And, for those of you who need better lighting in your sewing room – or any nook and cranny – this LED light has a life expectancy of 60,000 hours – which means you will never have to replace a bulb! Think of the savings!  It is energy efficient and produces less heat than a halogen light.

It has a special mounting plate for the bulbs so it diffuses the light and does not produce the blinding light that is common among the cheaper models. It has a C-clamp so it can be positioned exactly where you need it.  Machine quilters love it.  It is the closest thing to moving your machine outside – natural light allows you to not only see the detail of your work – but also the true colors.

Item #UL8000C

All of these items are currently available except for the V100 iron which won’t be available until next month.  If you are coming to the Checker Open House, you can try out the different models and talk to an expert.  As for me, it took just five minutes to win me over!

Learn How to Machine Quilt from one of the Masters

I had an opportunity to talk to Renae Allen of RGA Designs today.  She is the one woman show that has created quilt panels that make it possible for anyone to learn how to machine quilt!  The quilting designs are printed on the fabric so all of the marking is eliminated – and you can get right to the fun stuff!  These panels now come in a series of designs so that machine quilters can perfect their skills and continue to grow.

So in her own words – and descriptions – check out her products!

Item #RGA502  $11 a panel retail – sold by the bolt

This panel features 16 border designs, nine blocks, and three motifs.  Your customers may also choose to buy the companion book that explains all of the basics of machine quilting.  This combination is the basis for a great class!

Item #RGA501 $11.00 Retail

Skillbuilder 2 gives you an opportunity to perfect feathers.  And, you end up with a white on white quilt that can actually be used!

Item #RGA503  Retail $11 Retail a Panel
Sold by the Bolt

This colorful panel features blocks, borders, and triangles printed with 46 different designs.  Why not offer a series of classes – each focusing on different designs!

Item #RGA5 $12.00 a Panel
Sold by the Bolt

The Skillbuilder Mastery CD-ROM contains new printable designs in multiple sizes from Skillbuilder Mastery and Skillbuilder panel. It also includes designs from the first three Skillbuilder panels – and many more. The CD includes a conversion calculator so you can reduce and enlarge the patterns to fit any block.

Item #RGA508  Retail $14.50

If you are not comfortable with C.D.’s, browse through this book.  Skillbuilder Mastery adds to the learning process by helping the novice select, transfer and create designs. Along with tips and suggestions, it contains templates and continuous line designs for square triangle, star and octagon shapes. Three colorful quilt samplers illustrate quilted designs.

Item #RGA507 Retail $13.00

And the fun continues….

Item #RGA510  $12 Retail a Panel
Sold by the Bolt

This kit includes it all – the lesson, the panel, AND a C.D.  This kit is for the more advanced machine quilter.  By this point, Renae assumes you know the basics of machine quilting. The book and C.D. contain 72 traditional & original designs plus ideas for borders, sashings & corners. The CD includes designs that can be printed on a home printer in a variety of sizes.

Item #RGA511  Retail $32.50

Or now that you know how to quilt, use your own fabrics and quilt blocks and use this book and C.D. to help you choose your designs.  There are 72 to choose from!

Item #RGA509  Retail $19.00

Renae will be sharing her techniques and products with us at the Checker Open House.  Come and visit with her and learn how shops use her patterns and fabrics to teach classes.  It is so simple…..

Checker 61st Anniversary Open House Sunday Classes….

We are getting ready for the biggest party of the year – and it just gets better and better!  I will be at the warehouse this week finalizing details with everyone – and the good news is, we know all of the details!

The event starts on Sunday.  We will be offering three classes – or lectures – that will knock your socks off!  Gail Whadley is an expert on Electric Quilt 6 and is going to do a three hour session from 9:30 – 12:30 on Electric Quilt.  She has been teaching these classes for ten years.

This presentations will cover:

How to make a quilt
Print It
Add Borders
Explore Different Lay-outs
Print Foundation Patterns
using the Rotate Block/Symmetry Tools
And how to get help on the EQ website

Bring your laptop with EQ^ pre-loaded.  If you don’t have a lap top, Checker does have a limited number of computers available on a first come/first serve basis – RSVP to reserve one!

We’ll take a half hour break for lunch and refreshments provided by yours truly.

At 1:00, Karen Montgomery of the Quilt Company in Allison Park, Pennsylvania is going to teach you how to successfully buy for your store.  Karen is a successful shop owner, fabric designer for Timeless Treasures and creator of The Quilt Company pattern line.  She is a wealth of information so come and learn from one of the best!

Then, from 2:15 – 4:15, McKenna Ryan will present “From My Heart to Yours”.  It is a historical retrospective on McKenna’s personal history, inspirations and how she developed her wildly successful Pine Needles quilting patterns and fabric designs.  There will be a question and answer session following the presentation.

The demand for these classes and lectures is so great that we do limit them to one customer per store.  Let the fun begin…..

Remember, these classes are only open to our wholesale customers!  If you are not a shop owner, tell your favorite shop to attend – and tell you all about it!

Welcome to a Designer Original Quilt Show

The 61st Anniversary Open House also features trunk shows from many of our top designers.  At this point, 16 vendors are sending examples of their top selling books and patterns so you will have an opportunity to see them up close and personal.  Take the time to look around and dream about what these projects would look like hanging in your shop!

Silk Road Creations features whimsical designs that are fun and easy to do.  Every child should grow up with seasonal table settings that watch the seasons go by….or picture them hanging on a wall or door anywhere in your house!

What a great way to add a seasonal touch to your shop – by kitting and pulling fabrics that you already have in stock!  Just add a sample and a stash of these patterns to create a seasonal display in just a few hours!

Item #SRC097 Retail $8.00

Item #SRC092 Retail $8.00

Item #SRC091  Retail $8.00

Item #SRC083  Retail $8.00

Item #SRC093  Retail $8.00

Consider teaching them in a make it/take it class!  Provide your students with a few hours of uninterrupted sewing – and they will go home with a finished project!

Marcia Russell also designed a great series of totes, wallets, and purses that all have the ahhh factor!  This purse, for instance, has a reversible cover!

Item #SRC081 Retail $8.00

This little pirse has pleated sides so it holds an Ipod, cell phone, coins, credit cards – and all of your essentials.

Item #SRC102  Retail $8.00

This checkbook called “Checks and Balances” has added detailing that adds style.

Item #SRC087  Retail $8.00

This bag is the perfect catch-all for any day on the town – or the beach!  And all of these purses and accessories can be made in a few hours or less!

Item #SRC094  Retail $8.00

Check out her other patterns and designs on our website – but look for the originals at the Open House!