Save Time And Money By Organizing Your Sewing Room Part One

This is definitely a case of do what I say – not as I do – or did!  I decided that this was the year that I was going to give myself a sewing room.   I literally have sewing supplies and projects in every room of my house.  If there is an empty drawer or basket – anywhere – I have filled it with something sewing related! 

When I started organizing everything into one room, I realized that I have spent a lot of money buying duplicates of items – and fabric- that I already had!  I would have saved a fortune if I would have just bit the bullet and bought the containers I needed to get organized in the very beginning.  And, ArtBin has the answer for everything!


Item #6855SC  Retail $54.99

This is my all time favorite organizational product!  This storage cube holds 6 slim or 4 regular ArtBin Satchels.  You can add coasters to the bottom so they can be rolled around your sewing room.  They can even be stacked on top of each other for twice the storage in half the floor space.  But this is just the beginning!


Item #6859SC  Retail $19.99This ArtBin canvas tote is made to fit perfectly over a cube.  One side has a variety of pockets.  The other side features elastic strips to hold marking pens and smaller supplies.  Talk about utilizing every square inch of space!!!

 

The most popular Super Satchel is one big container with a molded handle.  This 14″ container holds 12 1/2″ block projects – no folding required.  It even comes with 4 plastic tabs so you can separate your projects into layers.  Place your borders and bindings on the bottom under a plastic tab so you are never tempted to cut into them! 


Item #9000AB  Retail $16.79

But these satchels have been made with compartments to store ALL of your supplies.  After finding five spools of red thread, my personal favorite has become the Thread Box.  It holds 224 – 20mm spools; 108 – 32mm spools; or 30 – 45 mm spools.  Now that is a LOT of thread!


Item #9002AB  Retail $25.99

Or try the 6 Compartment size.  It holds just about everything else.  Or choose not to limit your options – customize your fit with the three fixed compartments and 12 removable dividers.


Item #9001AB  Retail $16.79


Item #9007AB  Retail $16.79

The Slim Line versions give you even more options.  They fit in the cube – but aren’t as deep – so they realistically work for most projects.


Item #9100AB  Retail $13.49

The compartment version can be customized to adapt to your specific needs.


Item #9101AB  Retail $ 16.79

But your customers can’t buy what they can’t see!  Order one of every size (two of the cube) so they can see how everything fits together – and customize their own sewing room.  Then take special orders of  the pieces they need. Don’t forget the casters – who can resist a sewing room on wheels?


Item #6856SW  Retail $7.79

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Inch is a Cinch!

Five Inch is a Cinch is the new name of Pat Speth’s pattern company – and rightly so!  She created a sensation years ago with the release of her first book “Nickel Quilts”. Pat showed how beautiful scrappy quilts could be made by simply cutting your stash into 5″ squares.  This book of 20 quilts is a classic that should be in every quilt library.  She followed that first book with More Nickel Quilts – another classic!

 
Item #B543T Retail $27.95              Item #3653T Retail $27.95

Her latest release, “Amazing Nickel Quilts”, includes 11 quilts in three different sizes.  And, you will love them all!  Pat creates her projects in a variety of colorways – one of them will surely strike your fancy. 

 
Item #PSD502 Retail $21.95             From Amazing Nickel Quilts

She takes the tedium out of cutting scrappy quilts.  Just grab your Stashbuster ruler (Item #CGRCSS) and cut your scraps into 5″squares.  You can get a dozen out of each fat quarter – and have a strip left over for a scrappy binding.  Just layer and press the fat quarters so you can cut up to eight at a time.  You can literally cut out 96 with seven cuts of a rotary cutter!  How quick is that!


From Amazing Nickel Quilts


From Amazing Nickel Quilts

Every quilter has the same two New Year’s resolutions:  I’m not buying any more fabric until I use up my stash AND I’m not starting anything new until I finish up some of my UFO’s!

As shop owners, lets help them keep those resolutions this year!  Why not host some open sews in January?  Have your customers come in and cut up their stashes.  You provide the snacks and the inspiration.  Showcase your favorite patterns and books – the supply is endless.  Check out the Top Twenty books and patterns.  Half of them are made from 5″ squares or 2 1/2″ strips. 

Have Art Bin containers (Item #9000AB) on hand so they can organize them as they cut.  And, what’s good for the customer is good for the shop owner!  Cut up the shop scraps and kit them with a pattern or book.  After all, our customers aren’t the only ones who make Resolutions – and this year, we might even keep them! 

 

 

 

Quick-Change Rotary Cutters put Safety First

Olfa has quite simply invented a better mousetrap – or in this case, a better rotary cutter!  But this particular mousetrap has been improved in every way…the simplicity is genius.  There are only three pieces – the handle, the blade, and that magical little black button.


Item #RTY2NS  Retail $29.99

Obviously, the quick change feature of this rotary cutter is the star of the show.  Simply hold the cutter – blade side down – over a flat surface, and click.  The black button is released so the blade can be quickly, easily and SAFELY replaced!  

The blade protector has been updated too.  It is made in two pieces.  You can choose to expose either side of the blade – so it works for both left and right handers!  This simple improvement makes it the perfect cutter for any classroom setting.   

But, don’t ignore the handle.  The black cushioned grip is weighted and curved  so it fits comfortably in your palm.  The yellow sides have ridges so that you have better control while cutting without having to worry about a finger sliding onto the blade – which is protected by the blade protector anyway!

These improvements also add to the safety of the product.  And, this is a quality cutter from a quality company – Olfa guarantees the handle for life!  It comes in two sizes – 45mm and 60 mm.  The 45 mm is the most popular size but I prefer the 60mm when I am trimming quilts or cutting fleece.


Item #RTY3NS  Retail $44.99

This is the perfect demo product!  But, it is not going to sell unless you OPEN the package!  Keep one by the register and demo the quick-change feature while their receipt is printing.  Actually, you may want to demo it BEFORE you total the sale – because they are going to want one – in both sizes……

 

     

New Stencils from Indigo Junction

I had the opportunity to met with Amy Barrickman at the Houston Quikt Market and she gave me a tour of her Stencils and how she used them. Let her tell you in her own words..enjoy the video.

If unable to see view it you can also view it by clicking here

 

 Here are the stencils that Indygo Junction now has available.

 IJSS101 Retail $12.99

 

 

 

 

 

IJSS102 Retail $12.99

 

 IJSS103 Retail $12.99

And to see the full range of paints and markers that can be used click HERE

 

Label your Quilts

I know – everyone says to date and label your quilts – but in my life the quilt is usually done at the last minute.  There have even been times that a wedding quilt has morphed into an anniversary quilt and I had to add borders to a baby quilt when that same baby had grown into a twin bed!  Time flies….

From time to time, the fabric companies have come out with a panel of labels, but most of the time they were cutesy and in colors that didn’t match my quilts!  AND, I had to buy a whole bolt of them! 

Block Party has come out with two assortments that are beautifully done – and generic enough to work on ninety percent of my projects!


Item #BP658BN  Retail $7.00


Item #BP659BN  Retail $7.00

They are sold by the package – not by the bolt!  They are printed on a natural background that blends with almost anything.  Use a black pigma pen to ink your label and you can finish one in a matter of minutes.  Just don’t forget to iron the label AFTER inking it to set the ink!  I prefer to use a size 8 pigma pen – the tip of this pen is thicker so it is like writing with a regular pen.  You don’t have to go over it again and again to get it dark enough.  (Black .50mm pigma pen – Item #XSDK0849; Retail $2.69).

See the little cross-hairs printed betweend the labels?  Just lay your ruler on these markings so you can cut the labels apart with a quarter inch on all sides!  Very clever….and usable!  You can tell that this panel was designed by quilters!  Display a package by your register and you won’t be able to keep them in stock!

The Incredible In-Between…..

I got to talk to Lanette this week – the wonderful lady that brought you the Gypsy Gripper and Little Gypsy Gripper.  Guess what!  The new size – the Incredible In-Between Gripper will be arriving in our warehouse, and available for shipment – in January.  But, you won’t get it as soon as it arrives unless you PRE-ORDER it now. 


Incredible In-Between Gripper
Item #TGQ002  Retail $15.95

This is one of those cases when being a “no back order” customer just doesn’t make sense because that also means that you won’t ever be included in these initial orders – and will miss those sales of the “hot new products”!  Frankly, I don’t understand how all of that works – and if you don’t either, contact your sales rep.  Start the New Year out right – by giving yourself the opportunity to maximize sales by reviewing all of your ordering options. 

Enough of that – let’s get back to the Gypsy Grippers.  When I checked today, the two sizes that are currently available are still one and two on the top twenty notions!  This product has taken on a life of its own.  Quilters have found other reasons to use these products that have increased sales.


Gypsy Gripper
Item #TGQ002  Retail $20.00

The original Gypsy Gripper measures 3 3/4″ x 11 1/2″ and works great with the rectangular rulers.  The suction cups firmly grip the ruler so that you can comfortably grip the handle and no longer have to spread your hand out across the surface of the ruler to apply pressure.  When you cut every day like I do, this can kill your thumbs!  All of our customers with arthritis and strength issues embraced this product immediately.  But, then, shop owners discovered that it also was a great safety feature.  When your hand is on the Gripper, it can’t possibly be cut with a rotary blade.  This also makes it the perfect addition when working with children!


Little Gypsy Gripper
Item #TGQ003  Retail $6.50

The Little Gypsy Gripper was originally designed for small rulers and templates.  The base is only 2 1/4″ across.  I never bought and carried the small sizes – I didn’t think it was safe to have a rotary blade that close to my hands.  Not any more – this gripper makes it possible to use ANY of the templates and rulers.  Rita, our Creative Grids demonstrator, says that the girls in her shop use them to hold the templates for long-arm quilting. 

The Incredible In-Between GripperThis new size meets the rest of our needs!  When the original Gypsy Gripper was released, Lanette said that you could use it for those squares – just use one of the suction cup ends.  And, that worked O.K. but quilters wanted the correct size for the ruler – and this is it.  This 4″ wide Gripper is like having half of the original – which is perfect for the square rulers.  I can’t wait to see what other uses you all find for this baby – enjoy!!!

 

Quilting Christmas Carol by Judie Bellingham

Judie Bellingham over at http://quilting.bellaonline.com wrote this cute Quilting Christmas Carol and has given me permission to use in our newsletter. 

Every year about this time, I put together a little “ditty” in keeping with the Christmas season that is heading our way. I like to pick a traditional carol and then write lyrics that suit the topic I select. My topics change depending on my mood at the time.

This year in keeping with my Quilting life I’ve decided to write one for the Quilting Guilds and Cottage Groups out there, who will be organising their Christmas parties and end of year gatherings. So here it is fellow quilters. I give my permission for all non-for profit Quilting Guilds and non-for profit cottage groups to use this carol as part of their entertainment. This carol is sung to the traditional carol “Deck the Halls” and with tongue firmly in cheek.
Enjoy!

The Quilt Gift Shuffle

Tis the season to be busy
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
So much quiltin’ makes me dizzy
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Gifts to make and wrap a plenty
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Quilt till midnight, don’t get sleepy
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Tis the time to get artistic
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Not much time, so get realistic
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Scrappy handbags, easy piecing
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Prairie points and beads repeating
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Teachers thankyou’s, Secret Santas
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Quilted toppers, doggie blankets
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Stuffed pincushions, small etui’s
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Gifts for Betty, Jan and Ruthie
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Gorgeous fabrics wrapped in laces
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Labels for those traveling cases
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Block rolls tied with satin ribbons
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Can’t wait to see their smiling faces
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Love the Christmas Quilt Gift Shuffle
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Made to give a heartfelt chuckle
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Give with love and generous spirit
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.
Sing out loud, so all can hear it
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Copyright Judie Bellingham 2008

The Perfect Baby Gift that can Span Generations

Jayme, the threads buyer, just picked up a new line from Ammee’s Babies that I just love!    We have needed a gift set like this for a long time!  Each gift box includes a 36″ square receiving blanket; an 8 1/2″ x 18″ burp towel; crochet thread; an embroidery hook; and instructions for both left and right handers.  When the project is complete, you simply put it back in the box for a beautiful presentation. 


White Christening Receiving Blanket
Item #AB802B  Retail $26.50

What I love about this kit is that EVERYTHING is included!  If your shop is located in a tourist area, this is the perfect kit.  They can pick it up, crochet, and finish the project on a great road trip!  It is totally self-contained!  And what baby could resist the soft, luxurious feel of flannel?


Pink Blanket Kit
Item #AB011  Retail $27.50


Blue Blanket Kit
Item #AB111  Retail $27.50

The gift sets are available in a variety of colors. It comes in the traditional pink and blue; the generic green and yellow; and even a few fun prints.


Green Dots and Gingham
Item #AB800  Retail $27.50


King of the Jungle
Item #AB126  Retail $27.50


Flower Burst
Item #AB026  Retail $27.50

Consider making this a generational gift.  My grandmother crocheted afghans for everyone in the family.  I wish she was still here so she could have taught my daughter how to crochet on the burp towel, done her own exquisite edging on the receiving blanket, and created a gift that wouls have spanned four generations.  And, what would my contribution to this heirloom have been?  I bought the kit!  After all, somebody has to FIND the good stuff!

Luckily, I learned to crochet at my grandmother’s house – so I will do the stitching.  Three generations participating in a kit is good too…….

 

There’s Never Enough Time

There is a reason that quilters are so much fun – and have a zest for life!  We all have a passion that is separate from our families and our jobs.  We have an identity that is beyond being someone’s wife…or Mom…or boss…

We are quilters!  And that means there are never enough hours in a day to do what we need to do – let alone what we WANT to do.  That’s why we are some of the most organized people I know.  We organize our lives so there is enough time to do what we love…and it just so happens that we can do that by looking at beautiful quilts every day!

Here is just a sampling of over 40 calendars that we currently carry.  There are perpetual calendars, engagement calendars, wall calendars, and pocket calendars.  Following is just a sampling – go to our website www.checkerdist.com and click on gifts/calendars.  Order NOW – these are available on a first come/first served basis.  We won’t be re-ordering this late in the year, so take advantage of our great selection! 

And, then, take a few moments to personalize your gift!  Include special dates- birthdays, quilt meetings, national quilt shows.  Why not even throw in a few retreats and quilting days!  This could become an annual tradition!

WALL CALENDARS

Who can resist the photography on the annual quilt calendars?  We can dream about all of those quilts we want to make – and maybe this year turn them into a reality. 

Lynette Jensen’s 2009 calendar features beautiful photography, lots of room to make notes AND instructions for two projects!  You could actually schedule some time to SEW!!!!!

Item #L11223 Retail $12.95

Anna Griffin designs beautiful fabrics – but came from the scrapbooking world.  This calendar offers the best of both worlds – beautiful photography with Anna’s special touches.  It includes stickers so that you can make note of special events – and envelopes so you can save momentos so that at the end of the year, you have a heartwarming keepsake.

Item #AM7671-7 Retail $16.99

Times and Seasons by Piecemaker offers the complete pattern for the cover quilt.  These calendars have become true collector’s items over the years – and this edition is no exception.  Consider making this block of the month that will become a family heirloom!

Times and Seasons

 Item #C2009  Retail $19.00

That Patchwork Place has put together a calendar that includes quilts and patterns from many of their favorite designers.  This calendar includes the patterns along with the beautiful photography.  What a wonderful Christmas gift!

Quilt Calendar 2009


Item #C127 Retail $16.95

ENGAGEMENT CALENDARS

AQS comes out with a beautiful engagement calendar every year – and this one is no exception!  This calendar combines beautiful photography and still has lots of room to organize your day…week….year….

Quilt Art Engagement Calendar


Item # AQS7509 Retail $13.95

Perpetual CalendarsAnd, then there are the calendars that never go out of style.  Just flip the page every day to view a new block or pattern.  Where else can you get 365 patterns for less than $20?  And, they can be used year after year – unless, of course, you actually MAKE each block each day!

 

365 Quilt Blocks a Year Calendar


Item #C103 Retail $18.95


Block-A-Day Calendar
Item #C123 Retail $19.95

Pocket Calendar

And, if you are still looking for that little gift for all of your quillting friends – why not give them a pocket calendar?  A great gift at a great price!

 

 Item #TPP51 Retail $4.00

Item #HPP76 Retail $4.00