Day Three – a Time for Good-Byes

The last day of Market is always crazy!  Everyone is running around trying to place orders and talk to everyone that they haven’t had time to see the previous two days.  And, everyone is tired because they have been putting in 16 hour days!

Being a vendor at Market is exhausting!  Remember, these people have designed their booth, shipped it to Houston – and then had a day to set everything up and get organized before you even walk in the door.  AND, if they are teaching at schoolhouse or participating in Sample Spree, their time is even more limited. 

Then, they arrive an hour and a half before Market opens to clean and organize their booths and get ready to meet all of you.  When Market closes, there are sales meetings and appointments that can continue until midnight!

When Market closes, they have a 5 hours to load up their entire booth and ship everything back home!  But, we are not complaining – it is SOOO worth it!  It gives us a chance to interact with the most creative people in the world – and we love every minute of it!  We get a chance to catch up with old friends – and make new ones – and it is hard to say good-bye!

For the Checker buyers, they spend three days running around market talking to our favorite designers – and meeting new ones who are joining our family soon!  They will spend the next several weeks entering all of the new items into our system so you can order immediately.  Many of the designers sent their “new stuff” before Market so we could get a jump on the paperwork, so you may want to check out everything that has been added since the middle of August – just so you don’t miss anything!

I spent the last day running around to the booths taking pictures of the new notions, patterns, and books that the buyers have just added!  Some of the pictures are a little blurry – but, at this point, I was a little blurry-eyed myself, so I didn’t notice!

Buggy Barn has a new book out – so new that we don’t have a picture on our website, but the picture of the booth came out great! 

Debbie Caffrey has two new books – Delectably Simple Mountains #DCM110 and It’s Hip to be Square #DCM111 – which are full of great patterns and helpful hints.

June Taylor has some new rulers, mats, and a spool rack that will be on the website soon.  The most popular is a large mat that is great for shop owners.

One of my favorite new vendors is “X Blocks”.  They designed a ruler that makes it easy to make some absolutely beautiful quilts that are very geometric!  And, because you sew – and then cut out the blocks, it is a great project for beginners.  And, if you are a shop owner looking for a technique to demo, this can be done in 15 minutes or less!  You will love their techniques and patterns!  They will be entered into the system soon.

We also picked up Michelle’s Designs.  She designs machine embroidery patterns that are affordable, doable, and beautiful!  Her customized buttonholes were spectacular.  And, her instructions are easy to follow.  You will love her designs.

Suzy’s Hobby Baskets made with Kaye England’s Spice Market fabric collection are a new item picked up by Lynn.  If you need a quality sewing basket, these are great.  This is NOT your grandmother’s sewing basket!  They have that nostalgic look – but the quality is great!

Mary Ellen has come out with gallon jugs of her spray starch – and a new unscented version.  She has also added a product called Fabric Smell Away which eliminates odors from everything! 

CM Designs has added an “add-three-eighths” ruler that works with flannels!  They have also added the original 6″ and 12″ Add-A-Quarter rulers in pink to help fight breast cancer.  They have introduced a new product – “Add-Enough” that helps determine how big to cut the fabric pieces when paper-piecing.  And, they will be introducing an “add-a-quarter” 18″ ruler soon!

Fairfield has introduced a line of battings that are made with bamboo and cotton.  This is a new “Earth Friendly” product that has gotten rave reviews from some of the world’s top quilters.  

And, Debby Kratovil stopped by to explain her new “Calendar Girls Quilt Shop Program”.  The 12 month program is free to shop owners.  Their customers use the blocks in her calendar to make a different project each month.  The shop owners can download the patterns to teach in classes – a win/win for everyone.  Shop owners, if you are interested in this program, contact Debby at

For those of you who did not get to go to Market, join us at our Open House at the Checker Warehouse on November 16th.  We will have all of the new products displayed so you can see them first hand.  We look forward to seeing you – it’s always a good time! 

Two – and The Fun is Just Beginning!

Our booth was so busy, we barely had time to see the rest of Market – but some how we managed!  Believe me, we managed!  How could we resist???

Margo Duke started our day by demonstrating her new Needle Felting Magic book.  I should have stayed away!!!!  I was determined not to love one more thing – and then I saw her samples.  She just sucks you in…the way she combines needle felting with the look of crazy quilting…in such soft colors…so cottage chic…

Then Pat Sloan came by to sign copies of her new book – Tour Ireland.  She is such a fun lady with loads of personality, you can’t help but have a good time!

Lynne Farris demonstrated how she makes her “Fresh Felted Flowers” – another show stopper.

Then, Sara Moe demonstrated her new book and templates for her “Spinning Pinwheels”.  The bright fun colors in her quilts come alive with motion when you use her techniques.

Amy Butler signed copies of Midwest Modern – what a gracious lady!  It was so much fun to see the next generation of quilters meeting their mentor and role model!

Rita Fishel demonstrated the new Creative Grid rulers – including a prototype for a new Charming Strip Stashbuster.  It is a ruler designed specifically to cut 5″ squares and 2 1/2″ strips.  By the way, one of the Art Bin containers holds 240 2 1/2″ strips or 960 5″ squares – there is finally a way to store them!

Then we got to run out and see the latest designs by Favorite Things.  Leslie has designed new crop pants for mother and child and my personal favorite – ballet slippers!  She also has designed some new totes which are absolutely adorable.

Indygo Junction has some great new yo-yo patterns out and has a new book on re-vamping vintage clothing that makes you want to stop at the nearest flea market.

We also spent some time at the Ta Dah Designs booth.  She has the cutest packaging for the cutest designs.  I loved her quilts that were backed by bath towels!  They are the comfiest, snuggliest blankies that I have ever seen! 

Laurel Burch’s son had a booth in tribute to his late mother.  Seeing a montage of her art work over the years was a moving experience.  The quilting world will truly miss her!

And, don’t think that we forgot the long armers!  We have been checking out new vendors every day and have some exciting new products to share.  More tomorrow!

And so it begins……the First Day at Market

What is not to love!  We get to spend the next three days surrounded by fabric, quilts, patterns, books, notions, and quilters – especially the quilters!  You can feel the excitement in the halls before they open the doors. 

We went to a presentation by Jean Wells this morning on how she has transitioned sewing into her quilt shop.  Jean has been in the business for over 30 years and is a wealth of information!  I’ll share more of that later after we all have a chance to compare notes and digest everything discussed.

Then we all ran back to our booth to open for the day – well, most of us ran!  Rita Fishel – the Creative Grid Diva, broke her foot right before market.  She’s been hobbling around on crutches – complete with her own version of Halloween decorations!

Holly Holderman is featuring a quilt in our booth for a new pattern based on a block of the month that is the prettiest pattern I have seen in a long, long time.

Terri Degenkolb of Whimsicals shared her new book with me – Cabin Fever!  She has outdone herself this time!  The house quilt is absolutely gorgeous and I love what she is doing with the Shiva Paintsticks.  I always thought of them as a product for “art quilts”.  Well, not anymore!  Terri’s book shows simple, easy ways to make some absoloutely beautiful ornaments and a wall hanging – that can be completed in a matter of hours.

Terri and I visited the Cedar Canyon booth to see some samples they had done using the Paintsticks and silk!  They had taken some of Joan Hawley’s Lazy Girl Designs patterns and made them in silk.  Wait until you see the pictures!  And, speaking of Joan, her new Miranda bag pattern was visible everywhere – in all sorts of fabrics and colors.  It is so versatile, it is the perfect Market tote!

Clover introduced a new product – “smock by number”.  I fell in love with the wedding purse.  It was so pretty that the buyers made some calls so that Checker could carry the silks needed to make the free pattern!  It would be a great class that results in a treasured heirloom!

Jayme picked up some new lines of trim that I love – wide rickracks, twill tapes, and cording that coordinate!  And, the color choices are so yummy, they call them cotton candy!

I noticed a lot of rickrack being used in tote bags, aprons, and quilts.  Lakehouse used it in the Block of the Month quilt and as the “sashing” between blocks in a pattern that showcases there new pre-printed panels.

Then, some of our favorite authors stopped by to sign copies of their books.  We got to spend some time with Beth Wheeler who shared one of her beautiful quilts from Altered Photo Artistry. 

Linda Griepentrog and Pauline Richards shared their needle felting techniques and expertise from their new book “Needle Felting by Hand or Machine”. 

Marci Baker from Alicia’s Attic shared her new notion that guarantees a perfect quarter inch seam.  And, she also shared her “laminated sheets” that give step by step instructions on everything from applying the perfect mitred binding to paper-piecing. 

Joan Hawley demonstrated techniques that make her Miranda Bag a dream to sew.

Pat Durbin demonstrated methods used in her new book Mosaic Picture Quilts.  She had an advanced copy of the book to share since it won’t be available until December.  That is the beauty of market – you get to see all of the latest and greatest – and what is to come!

And we got to end the day with Ellen Highsmith Silver who wrote the book “Floor Quilts”.  It has been the talk of market!  Her floor cloths are so much fun – and are displayed in at least eight booths around market.  It is so much fun to see them in all of the different fabrics.  Avlyn has a new panel out for boys with roads, etc.  A shop owner suggested combiing Ellen’s techniques with this panel for the perfect “boy” gift!

I can’t wait to see what Sunday will bring!  The buyers are picking up some new pattern lines.  We will share pictures of their booths.  I get to go meet them – and will share pictures tomorrow!  Talk to you soon! 

Enjoy the slide show

Taking the Mystery out of Needle Felting

If you are considering getting into needle felting, this book is a must! Grab a cup of coffee, a quilt, and nestle down in your favorite chair. This is a good read!

Needle Felting by Hand or Machine is truly an educational resource. These ladies cover everything from the “tools of the trade” to the fibers you should use. And, it is the first book I’ve seen that explains the difference between wet felting and dry felting – and has projects for both.

Needle Felting by Hand or Machine
By Linda Turner Griepentrog and Pauline Wilde Richards
Item #Z0749
Retail $22.99And, for those of you who have been interested in needle felting machines, they have done all of the legwork for you. Linda and Pauline compare eight different brands and the pros and cons of each. Two companies offer conversion packages for existing sewing machines, and they cover that too. They also include a wonderful resource guide that includes websites to obtain additional information. They have thought of everything.Many of the projects are quick, easy gifts that aren’t the least bit intimidating – thanks to the detailed photography. But, they have also included artwork from some of the top women in the field. The pieces by Pat Spark are stunning – and show the potential that this technique has to offer.

But, do yourself a favor and don’t just skip to the projects – take the time to savor this book! You’ll be glad you did!


Linda and Pauline in the Checker Booth at Quilt Market demonstrating how to do needle felting.


Turn Your Photos Into Works of Art

Lori Marquette and Beth Wheeler are best friends who have combined their love of photography and quilting.  They create unique art quilts that have unbelievable texture and dimension.  And, now they have written a book to share their techniques with you!

They start with a favorite photo and transfer it to fabric.  In many cases, a beautiful rose is manipulated – enlarged, reduced or multiplied to make a striking image – but they don’t stop there.  Then, it is all in the details!  By using different weights and colors of threads, they bring the pictures to life. 


And, the best part is, you don’t need anything fancy.  Any machine that has a straight stitch and allows you to drop the feed dogs will work.  If you love machine quilting, you will love the “free motion” detailing that this technique adds to your work.

They have experimented with different threads, interfacings and photo transferring techniques so that you don’t have to!  And, they share step by step instructions – with pictures – so that you can re-create their techniques – with confidence – from the very beginning!

And, don’t think that you are limited to an 8 1/2? x 11? canvas!  They show you how to combine several pictures to create a large work of art – our favorite is 30? x 40?!

 Beth signed copies of their new release at the Checker booth at Market this morning. 


 If you are NOT going to market, and would like to book a trunk show or have them teach classes at your shop, please contact them at:

Beth Wheeler:, Telephone: 1-260-348-4077

Lori Marquette:, Telephone: 1-260-348-5147

Book Signing and Demo Times At Houston Quilt Market

If you are attending the Houston Quilt Market at the end of this week, stop buy the Checker booth, 624, 724, 824 and watch our demonstrations,  get a book signed, and meet the authors of these great book titles.  Also Ricky Tims will be in our booth signing his latest book release  Saturday at 3:30.  To see the schedule,  click

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Be In The Know:What Bobbins Work With The Sidewinder

Bobbins that DO NOT WORK with the SideWinder

Machine/Series Bobbin Designation

Husqvarna Viking Bobbins:

Designer SE 412 56 15-45 (green)
Designer I 412 56 15-45 (green)
Quilt Designer II 412 56 15-45 (green)
Quilt Designer 412 56 15-45 (green)
Platinum, Interlude, Rose 412 56 15-45 (green)
Prelude, Daisy 412 56 15-45 (green)

Orchidea, #1+ 412 09 75-45 (new style)

Prisma 412 06 12-45 (“old style”)
Optima 412 06 12-45 (“old style”)
Classica 412 06 12-45 (“old style”)


Centaur II

Bobbins that DO Work with the SideWinder

Dritz Bobbins
Bobbin Designation: Fits Sewing Machines:
933 Fits all Singer Class 15 Models and some of the following machines: Baby Lock, Brother, Riccar, Simplicity & White
937 Fits all Singer Class 15 Models and some of the following machines: Baby Lock, Brother, Riccar, Simplicity & White
939 Fits all Singer Class 15 Models and some of the following machines: Baby Lock, Brother, Riccar, Simplicity & White
925 Fits all Singer Class 66 Models and some of the following machines: Baby Lock, Brother, & Simplicity
928 Fits all Singer Class 66 Models and some of the following machines: Baby Lock, Brother, & Simplicity

Gingham Square
Bobbin Designation: Fits Sewing Machines:
Art. 1700 Bernina
Art. 1702 Viking
Art. 1761 Fits the following Pfaff Sewing Machines:905/17/27/47, 1025/27/35/47/50/41/67/69, 1150/51/71, 1213/14/16/17/22/29, 1371, 1467/69/71/75, 1520/30/40, 2010/14/20/22/52, 6230/50/70, 7000 Series

Bobbin Designation:
“M” Class Lightweight Aluminum Bobbin HQ Sixteen Non-Regulated Quilting Machine, HQ Sixteen Stitch-Regulated Quilting Machine, HQ Sixteen Quilting Machine, Simply Sixteen

Bobbin Designation: Fits Sewing Machines:
2137 For Singer sewing machine models 221 & 301
2134 Bobbins Class 15- For Singer sewing machine models including 6400 Series, White (rotary), New Home (rotary/old style) Necchi, Pfaff, Elna, Wizard, Brother, Morse, Atlas, Kenmore (rotary), Universal, Sewmore, Domestic (rotary)

N0726.00 Class 15 (plastic)

Style and Design – Alive and well in the Midwest

Midwest Modern by Amy Butler

Every young girl who dreams of being a designer needs this book under her Christmas tree!  And, for those of you who are raising these daughters, this book will awaken the creative and imaginative side of your personality that has lain dormant for way too long!!!

Midwest Modern
Item #STC581-6
Retail $35.00 

Amy is a catalyst for bringing generations of women together who share a common bond – the desire to let their spirit soar!  She shares her personal journey through photography. 

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The Perfect Quarter Inch Seam

Marci Baker of Alicia’s Attic is constantly looking for a better mousetrap!  And every quilter is glad she does.  She loves to take intimidating patterns and techniques and teach us how to do it better, faster, and easier!

One of her newest gadgets is a must for every quilter!  Her sewing edge tool lets you sew consistent seam allowances simply by running your fabric next to the edge.  The thickness of the tape creates a guide well in front of the foot to give you plenty of time to align your fabrics before it ever reaches the needle. 

Sewing Edge Guide
Retail $4.95 

This is not just a product for beginners.  Any of you who are over 50 and have trouble threading a needle should also be using this product.  There is much less eyestrain – and much greater accuracy.  Believe it or not, this product also alleviates backaches – you don’t have to hunch over your machine or spend hours staring at a presser foot ever again!

But, Marci has been around for a long time and is first and foremost a teacher.  She has written a series of laminated cards that have explicit step-by-step instructions – with illustrations. 

These cards should be displayed at every cash register in every quilt shop!  Topics range from sewing a perfect binding to foundation piecing – (my personal favorites).  Just keep them with your sewing machine so you can refer to them when the need arises.

They also would be perfect for a series of demos or beginning classes.  Marci has done all of the work – she’s written all of the handouts! 

Guilds would love this too.  Different members could learn the techniques and be the instructors.  The participants could stop at each station and learn the best way to do everything!  What a great way to spend an evening! 

Take advantage of Marci’s techniques and we guarantee that your next quilt project will be a success!

Marci will be demonstrating in the Checker booth 624,626…….., at Quilt Market from 12:00 til 2:00 Saturday and Sunday and 11:45 to 1:45 on Monday.