Attracting New Quilters by Guest Writer, Meg Cox

Meg Cox, author of “The Complete Quilter’s Catalog”, taught a schoolhouse at Quilt Market for us. She shared so many creative ideas on how to increase your customer base, that we wanted to share them with all of you.


Item #13881 Retail $18.95

Enjoy:

OK, the economy sucks and smart shop-owners are showering customers with extra love and discounts. But that isn’t enough. Especially now!  Quilt shops need to attract new customers, people who don’t already have too much fabric.  Shops need to reach the 85% of U.S. households that don’t contain a quilter.

How?

Not all of these people will become quilters, but many don’t quilt largely because they don’t know what they’re missing. They don’t know that quilting today is fast, easy, personal, high-tech, and that the fabric will make them drool. You need to leave your shop and show these people what they’re missing.

Here are six smart ideas for creating new quilters now:

Offer to send a teacher/staff person to a local meeting of a new moms’ group.

These groups, which meet in members’ homes or community spaces like libraries, love free presentations and are a ripe demographic for starting to quilt: take some easy crib quilts, samples from beginner classes, and some basic kits. Two national groups with many local chapters are Mothers and More, MOMS Club and MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers): each group has a website to help you find the local affiliate.

Help the Girl Scouts earn a badge.

There are several badges that cover sewing and crafts and kids this age think DIY is cool. Overworked troop
leaders are hungry for fresh ideas and somebody else to supervise a project.  They’ll be happy to collect money for supplies from each girl, so they can complete a table runner or simple quilted bag in one session – either at your shop or their regular meeting place in the community.

Do outreach for senior citizens.

Baby boomers now have AARP cards and most took Home Ec. They’ve got the time for an addictive new hobby. Put together a show-and-tell program for local community centers that cater to this age
group. Museums, libraries and other institutions are looking for fresh ideas for seniors’ events, or introduce yourself to Active Seniors housing developments in your area.

Tempt teens.

Reach out to high schools looking for community service projects and offer to help teens make a group quilt for charity or quick fabric totes for green grocery bags. Be sure to take Show and Tell projects that will bring them into your shop afterwards, like t-shirt quilts.

Hold a monthly Open House for Beginners, and advertise it.

Some non-quilters will venture out to a shop, if they’re convinced it embraces novices and wannabes. At your regular Open House, showcase easy projects and classes but also create a simple Make and Take project anyone can do, even if it’s a quilted glasses case or pot-holder. Show them that a recession is the perfect time to start quilting: how about an easy apron, bag or pillow made from recycled shirts?

Host a Learn-to-Quilt Party at a bookstore or library in your community.

I’ve done two of these so far at a local bookstore with the help of my local quilt shop, one just for grown-ups and another for mothers and daughters.  People who don’t quilt might not walk into a quilt shop, but bookstores and libraries are places to learn new things. The important thing is that we made it fun, with mocktails called quiltinis (for the adults), and we got them started on a real project.

Now, I’m an author and obligated to push my book, but the truth is “The Quilter’s Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide” is the perfect companion book for all of these suggested events. It’s full of great resources for beginners and most of the 12 projects included are beginner-friendly. One that I designed is a super-easy tied quilt made of 10 and a half inch squares (I used Amy Butler fabric) and even if participants don’t want to buy the book, that pattern is provided FREE on my website, www.megcox.com. What I’ve done at beginner events is pre-cut squares so that wannabe quilters can get started sewing the first two blocks together of that quilt, called Need a Gift Next Week Tied Quilt in the book: I work with my local quilt shop, the Pennington Quilt Works here in New Jersey, to make sure I’m giving away fabric that’s in stock, so
anybody who gets hooked at these events, can get the same fabric to finish what they’ve started.

Go forth, now and make new quilters!

The Ultimate Quilter’s Glue

This water based, water reversible glue is a true Go Green product.  Frankly, up until six months ago, I didn’t even know what “water reversible” meant.  For those of you who are new to this movement too, it is the industry term that simply means it washes out!

It is also “acid free and PH neutral” which means that it won’t bleach or fade your fabric or harm it in any way.     But as quilters, we expect the manufacturers to take care of all of that.  What we really want is a product that works!


Item #JILL800; Retail $9.59

The anti-clog precision tip lets you control the amount of glue you apply to the applique piece.  Simply lay out your entire applique project on your background piece.  Insert the thin tip cap under the edge of each piece and apply a thin line of glue.  You will love it!

Those Crazy Kids from the “Barn”

Buggy Barn has done it again!  They just get better and better.  This latest book includes some great projects – and when I can envision EVERY quilt in the book in the hands of a child on my Christmas list, you know this book is a winner.  

Item# BUG611 Retail $22.00

The cover quilt is perfect for every Bob the Builder fan.  The book even includes patterns for pillows and crib accessories.  The “Crazy Sails” quilt is just the ticket for the play room for some friends that live on the lake – but I’m not so sure it isn’t perfect for the parents as well! 

And, kites is just too darn cute – who can resist those tails????  I would love to make it in fun stripes and plaids – the perfect scrappy quilt out of fabrics I would usually avoid!  In this case, if the prints don’t match, it’s just part of the charm.

But, my daughter-in-laws never saw a purse they didn’t like – so they would love this quilt – after all, aren’t we just big kids at heart?  Talk about an opportunity to play with some fun fabric!!!  Can you picture this in a Valori Wells print?

  

Why not host a series of classes based on this book?  Kites in March; purses for Mother’s Day; boats in July – the perfect two month classes!  Encourage your students to choose different colorways for their quilts – it will make show and tell so much fun!  And, don’t forget to take pictures to display by the book – so everyone can appreciate these quilts in a variety of colorways!

Batting that takes the Heat

Insul-Bright is a product created by The Warm Company.  According to their website, “The hollow fibers resist conduction while the reflective metalized poly film resists radiant energy.”  That means, in layman’s terms – that it is the perfect batting for all of your table runners; hot pads; and oven mitts.


Item #6345WN  1 Yard x 45″
Retail $6.90

They have produced a batting that reflects heat and cold – and stands up to machine washing and drying.  They suggest using a layer of this batting with a layer of cotton batting for oven mitts or pot holders.   The Insul-Bright reflects the heat, the cottong batting absorbs any moisture – for the perfect combination. 

I use a single layer of Insul-Bright in all of my table runners – but since I also use quilts as tablecloths, I’ve never noticed the need for two layers.  I always back my table runners with a beautiful seasonal print so I can use the “wrong side” during holiday dinners.  All of the casserole dishes can rest on the table – no trivets required.

It is available in two widths 22 1/2″ and 45″ on a bolt (#6320WN or 6340WN); but I love the new 1 yard package.  That is usually enough for two table runners – at $3.45 a piece!  What a steal!


Item #6320WN – 22 1/2″ Width
Item #6340WN – 45″ Width
 

Two of the top 20 books this week are perfect complements to this batting.  Terry Atkinson’s Let’s Do Lunch has 16 projects that are great gifts – and can be done in an afternoon.  They all have that ahhh factor combined with Terry’s easy to read, accurate patterns that everyone loves.  And all of this for about $1.00 a pattern – talk about a bargain!


Item #ATK606 Retail $16.95

Toppers for Every Table includes seven patterns for seasonal table runners.  Make the samples and decorate your shop at the same time!


Item #172368 Retail $11.95

Don’t forget to recommend this batting for other projects as well.  In these days of Go Green, it is the perfect lining for those adorable insulated lunch bags.  Favorite Things has a great pattern that sews up in a flash!


Lunch Bags Item #FT077
Retail $14.00


And what about making Iron Cozies for all of your sewing friends?  They’ll love it!  The possibilities are endless…….

 

The Quilter’s Version of the Swiss Army Knife

Nancy Zieman has worked with Clover to design a must have quality tool that should be in every sewing box.  This 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge is the perfect notion to demo at your next Open House.


Item #9506CV
Retail $14.50

It starts with a 6″ T-Square with a center slot.  Each side of this slot is 1/4″ wide so you can quickly and easily mark seam allowances.  But there are also markings for 1/8″ and 5/8″ so this is not just a quilting product!  But quilting is my area of expertise, so I love the fact that the top of the “T” is also 1/4″ so you can quickly and easily check your seams.

Use this guide to turn down a perfect 1/4″ hem on projects.  Then, press in a hem – up to 5″ – for the perfect finish to clothing as well as pillowcases!

The ruler itself has ridges so you can click the T-square into position – and it will stay put at 1/8″ increments.  It is so easy!

You can also use it as a compass.  There is a hole drilled into the base that swivels so you can draw a circle – up to 5″ – quickly and easily. 

And last but not least, you can use the center slot to mark buttonholes – or placement of straps on tote bags – or quilting lines.  You will use this versatile tool over and over again.  But you can only use it if you can find it – so keep it in your sewing basket!  You’ll reach for it again and again! 

To see a view a video on this tool from an earlier post , click here

Christmas Shop your Way through your UFO’s

This article comes with a warning!  There are no pictures – just a lot of information that you need to share with your quilting friends and customers! 

Now that everyone has achieved their number one resolution this year and cleaned and organized their shop/sewing room, it’s time to finish those UFO’s.  For newbies, UFO’s are unfinished objects – and in this economy, they are as good as gold!

Take a moment to make a list of everyone who received a gift from you this year – and don’t forget the White Elephant exchanges; Secret Sis presents; and teacher gifts.  If you are like me – and have an ever expanding family – don’t leave off those new babies or in-laws that you already know are going to be a welcome addition in the months ahead!

Now you can look at UFO’s in a whole new way – you have already started your Christmas shopping – and are way ahead of the game!  This is a win/win for everyone.  The holidays will be more personal when you give gifts from your heart – and hands.  It will be more economical because you already have most of what you need.  And – my favorite part – it’s like the old fashioned Christmas clubs!  You will be paying to finish these projects throughout the year – so there won’t be those dreaded Credit Card bills come next January.

But what does this mean for the shop owner?  Embrace the idea!  Offer a class in figuring and choosing the three B’s – backings; bindings; and battings.  Show them how to attach a binding correctly.

Fleece Backing

Many of my customers liked to put fleece on the backs of their quilts.  Checker carries a fine selection from Baum and David Textiles.  Just choose “fleece” from the category drop down menu – and choose solids, prints, etc., as a sub-category.  This is a wonderful choice.  It is 60″ wide so it doesn’t have to be pieced for smaller quilts.  In fact, I started designing all of my throw patterns so that they were no wider than 57″ so this backing is an option.

Fleece is soft – and the most economical because batting is not required.  But, remember – not all fleece is created equal!  It comes in three weights – and the quality is not always the same.  They need to use a medium weight, no-pill variety – the only kind we carry.  The cheaper stuff pills (those little balls that form all over the top) and stretches like crazy so it creates a nightmare for machine quilters.

Fleece does not stretch at all in one direction.  The machine quilters need to put it on the frame so that the “no-stretch” direction is on the bars.  The stretch can be controlled by relieving tension on the side clamps.  They will quilt beautifully.

Don’t forget to tell them that fleece is a polyester product.  That means it doesn’t shrink – but the cotton top will.  When the quilt is washed for the first time, it will look like an antique quilt.  If they don’t want that look, then they would have to prewash the cotton fabric.  I always had a washed and unwashed quilt in the shop so they could see the difference.  Not one customer ever cared.

If they are machine quilting the project themselves, a basting spray works great – and it is easier to quilt when you are only working with two layers instead of three.  It is much easier to avoid those puckers on the back! 

If they want to avoid the time and expense of machine quilting, tying fleece is a breeze.  But, please recommend that they use a double strand of #5 Pearl Cotton for this job.  Floss is not strong enough – and yarn will look terrible after it is washed! 

Let’s do the math:

Yesterday, a woman wanted a backing for a quilt that measured 58″ x 72″.  There was a 6″ border around the outside.  She found some fleece that was $10.00 a yard and was able to back her quilt with 2 1/8 yards of backing – at a cost of roughly $21.50.  And, remember – no batting was required!  She told the machine quilter that she was willing to shave the borders if needed so the backing would work – it wasn’t necessary.

If she would have chosen a 40″ wide cotton fabric – and pieced it with a horizontal seam – she would have had to buy 3 1/2 yards of fabric and 1 3/4 yards of a 90″ wide batting.  At $10.00 a yard, this alternative would have cost $52.50!  Fleece was less than half the cost!

Minkee, Oh So Soft, etc.   

These products came from the lingerie industry and are thinner and only textured on one side so they work better with a lightweight batting.  The same rules apply – the machine quilter must put the backing on the machine so that the stretch is perpendicular to the bars!  In some cases, since this product is 60″ wide, it is no more expensive to use this backing than it is a 40″ cotton that needs to be pieced.  Do the math – and your customers may be pleasantly surprised.  Avlyn and Benartex have a great selection.

Wide Quilt Backings

Most quilt backings are now 108″ wide – and they have come a long way!  They used to be a poorer quality grade of cotton – but not any more.  And the variety of prints has increased dramatically.  Muslin is not your only option!  Batiks are even available at a reasonable price!  Merrivale Fabrics has a great selection.  Ask your sales rep to show you the fabrics so you can actually feel the quality – they are not all created equal – but the quality industry wide is improving every day.  My personal favorites are the Fabri-Quilt backings.  They feel like satin – and quilt like a dream!

Shop owners – please TEAR these backings!  Since this fabric is stretched when rolled and folded on the bolt, it needs to be torn so your customers are actually getting what they pay for – along the entire 108″ width of the fabric!

Scrappy Backs:

This is a great way for your customers to use up their stash – and pieced backings add interest to the quilt.  The back doesn’t have to be little pieces.  For the example we used above, a customer could use a 2 1/4 yard piece from their stash of a coordinating fabric.  10″ squares could be cut, pieced and sewn to each side. 

Reversible Projects:

Make table runners and quilts reversible – the only thing that has to match both sides is the binding!  I use the “wrong side” of quilts as tablecloths all of the time.  And by choosing a holiday print for the backs of my table runners, they work for two seasons.  In  most cases, a gold, green, or red binding work for fall and Christmas., etc.

Scrappy Bindings:

We almost always have scraps left over from our quilts.  Why not use them to create a scrappy binding?  Just cut up the scraps into 2″ – 2 1/2″ strips – whichever width you prefer – and sew them together on the diagonal.  I do most of my quilts this way – and no one notices until I point it out – and then they love it!  It adds interest to the quilt – and if it is a scrappy quilt, no one notices if I add a fabric strip that is not actually IN the quilt!  In some cases, the fabric trimmed from the backing makes an excellent binding fabric – and coordinates beautifully!

Machine Quilting:

Use this class as an opportunity to educate your customers on how to prepare a quilt for the machine quilters.  Remove selvages from pieced backings; press the backing and top and deliver on a hanger; etc.  And, check with the machine quilters in your area.  The ladies I use charge a minimum – but will quilt several projects to the same backing.  We had one woman piece together 15 different backings for 15 different table runners – and everybody was happy.  Check with your machine quilters and see if they are willing to do the same thing.  Find out what is most convenient for the quilters – and most economical for your customers.

Hand Quilting Classes:

Now may be the perfect time to teach a hand quilting class.  I love to hand quilt and use a lightweight polyester batting; a 17″ Q-Snap frame; and a #9 Colonial needle.  I can quilt a 12″ square in an evening.  Pillows and table runners are good candidates for the beginning hand quilter.  And, consider letting them bring their UFO’s to the class.  It will give you an opportunity to share ideas for quilting motifs from several different projects with your students. 

Creating New Quilters

Remember – every time a quilter finishes a project, they show and share it with all of their friends.  So make sure you have plans for a beginning class for everyone they convert!  They are a walking billboard for your shop and the best advertising ever!  An unfinished project does no one any good – it is just guilt in a bag!  Make it your goal to help these projects see the light of day – even if it is not in the form that was originally planned!

Creating New Projects

In some cases, we haven’t finished those projects because we found out that paper-piecing wasn’t our thing; that hand embroidery wasn’t our cup of tea; etc.  Who will ever know if all of those blocks that were supposed to be a king sized quilt are sewn into a lap throw, three table runners and matching placemats instead? 

Or, maybe you need to combine two projects into one – and cut your UFO’s in half immediately!  The fabric in that kit looked so pretty in the store – and now you can’t even find the pattern – but it may include the perfect fabric for the backs and borders of another project.  You are allowed to change your mind! 

Don’t Ignore the other Occasions

When you are going through your stash, don’t forget birthdays; Mother’s Day; Father’s Day, etc.  AND, don’t forget those projects you didn’t have time to make this year!  Those matching aprons when you get together to bake holiday cookies; matching tote bags for that shop hop road trip; even a block of the month for your Secret Sis are only a few hours away – and now is the time to do it.  These are the perfect projects to finish on these cold winter days…….

 

 

Quilt Shops need to use up their “Stashes” too

Our customers aren’t the only ones that need to clean up and organize their sewing projects.  Shop owners just have bigger stashes – and bigger sewing rooms!  But, cleaning and reorganizing doesn’t mean that you have to have a big sale.  Why not try cutting those ends of bolts into kits – no discounts required!

And, coincidentally, some of your favorite designers have released new patterns that would be perfect for this!  Many of them are smaller projects that are easy to kit, easy to sample, and great for classes.  Your customers could actually finish them for Christmas presents next year! 

Remember the Bento Box quilt?  This is still a best seller – but they have up-dated it with four more pages, twelve new designs, and cutting instructions for six different sizes of blocks from 3″ to 9″!  At $10, this pattern is a bargain!


Item #07707-N  Retail $10.00

There are literally hundreds of patterns available for 2 1/2″ strips; 5″ Squares; and 10″ Squares – and every combination imaginable.  Let’s face it – this trend is not going away – so  let’s embrace it.  Instead of paying a premium to buy them pre-cut, why not cut your own????  Why not cut kits for your favorite scrap patterns???

The reason these sizes are so popular is because they are so easy to cut – with absolutely no waste. 

Do the math:

Fourteen 2 1/2″ strips can be cut from a yard of fabric – with just an inch left over to straighten the edge of the fabric.

Fifty-Six 5″ squares can be cut from a yard of fabric (Eight from each 5″ Strip).

Twelve 10″ squares can be cut from a yard of fabric (Four from each 10″ Strip) plus you’ll have a bonus 5″ strip left over to cut 8 additional 5″ squares.

Fat Quarter Cutting:

A fat quarter can be cut into two – 10″ squares; four – 5″ squares; and a 2 1/2″ strip!

Miss Rosie’s Quilts has added to her line of “Schnibbles” – scrappy little quilts that are fun to make – and easy to kit!  And, at $6.50 a pattern, who can resist?


Item #RQC428  Retail $6.50


Item #RQC429  Retail $6.50

Choosing the Fabrics:

Let’s face it!  We don’t buy “ugly” and love every bolt of fabric or line that we buy.  But, there is always that line that didn’t sell because you just didn’t find time to make the sample you dreamed about.  Or they were no longer printing the border print, so the coordinates are still on the shelves.

The beauty of these scrappy quilts is that they use such a variety of fabrics that you can use ends of bolts, substitute fabrics as needed, and no one will even notice – or care!  And most have scrappy borders too – so you don’t NEED that showy border print! 

For the Jan Patek fans, her new pattern screams kits and classes for every primitive lover! 


Item #JPQ2055  Retail $9.00

And, Country Threads has a table topper that would be a quick and easy class!  The size can be easily changed to meet everyone’s needs.  And how cute would this be in pastels – or fifties prints?


Item #616TH Retail $8.00

Schedule a beginner class based on this “Charming Baby Log Cabin” quilt designed by Threaded Pear Studio!  They will literally be able to finish it in class – and it is a great way to use up a stash!  Consider personalizing it by decorating the center square with a favorite applique or embroidery pattern – who could resist – and the possibilities are endless!


Item #TPS401 Retail $9.00Consider keeping bins under the counter – and cutting all of the shop scraps into these sizes.  Scrap bags will be a thing of the past!

 

 

 

Save Time and Money by Organizing your Sewing Room Part Two

It’s all in the details – and sometimes the smallest items in our sewing rooms are the most expensive – and the hardest to find – and the least organized….  This year, don’t stop at organizing your UFO’s – sweat the small stuff!

I rarely wind bobbins these days – the disposables are just too convenient – but they always fall to the bottom of the basket.  And the ones I did wind are constantly becoming unwound and tangled with my spools.  Choose from my three favorite options:

Item #8155AB  Retail $4.49This little 3 1/2″ x 6″ ArtBin container holds 30 bobbins and fits easily into my sewing machine case. 

 

Or you may prefer the Bobbin Saver.  It comes in three different colors.  Store different weights or types of threads in different colors – cotton in one, polyester in another, decorative threads in another.


Item #BBSV (Blue); LBSV (Lavendar);RBSV (Red)
Retail $6.95
This wooden bobbin rack by June Taylor holds over 30 bobbins.  It can be hung on a wall or placed on a counter.  And, lets face it – it’s just so darn cute!

 


Item #JT679  Retail $9.49But, what about all of those buttons and beads that are just irresistable?  Lets find a home for them as well.  Consider these ArtBin containers that have 24 different compartments.  Organize by size or color.  These can be stacked as well so there is no waste of space.  The lid is flush with the container so the buttons and beads don’t migrate from one compartment to another.

 


Item #8924AB  Retail $11.89

But who can resist a button jar.  And, this one is the best.  It is divided into eight compartments – one for each primary color.  The top swivels so that only one color will “pour” at a time.  All you have to do is provide the buttons!


Item #JT687  Retail $10.49

And then there are all of those rulers – in every shape and size.  I swear – I break more of them by sitting and stepping on them than I ever have by dropping them!  For the cost of one ruler, I can protect and store ALL of them!  O.K., in my case, I need two racks – a big and a little!  After all, a quilter’s got to have the perfect tool for every job!


Item #M15001  Retail $12.00
7″ Square


Item #O15001  Retail $24.00
7 1/2″ x 19″

Then there is everything else!  Not everything can be wrapped up and stored in its own little package.  That’s where this tote from ArtBin comes in! 

 It folds up easily so you can take it with you – and has enough pockets to hold every other odd sized notion in your sewing room.  In my case, it holds a boatload of rotary cutters and scissors.  The table top version is amazing, but if counter space is at a premium, try the floor stand.  Since I move my sewing machine from table to table – and room to room – the floor stand holds all of my basics.  I can sit it right next to where I’m working – anywhere!

Item #6911AM  Retail $32.99


Item #6910AM  Retail $55.99

All that is left are the patterns and books.  The books are beautiful on a shelf.  The patterns are another matter.  Add a touch of vintage with these pattern boxes.  Martha Stewart would be so proud!


Item #KP5893  Retail $6.50Now that there is a place for everything – and everything in its place – you may not have to make this same New Year’s Resolution next year!

 


 

 

Find the Newest Fabrics Easily with Checker’s New Date Search

 

Keep up with the newest fabrics. Checker’s new ‘Search by Date and Vendor’ on our Fabric Page allows you to quickly and easily see the newest collections.

 

Search by Date and Vendor

You can’t always wait for your rep’s visit to find out what’s new in fabrics. Checker’s new fabric search allows you to search by date and by your favorite fabric vendors.

 How it works

1. First, select the date range you want to search by clicking on the down arrow beside ‘New In the Last Month’. This allows you to select New in the Last Month, 2 Months, 3 Months or 4 Months.  These date ranges are from when the fabric was entered into our system. Ordering fabric quickly should get your order shipped when we receive the first printing of the fabric.

 Many of these new fabrics will not be in stock for 2-4 months after the date range. To see expected  delivery dates, you’ll need to be logged in and look at specific fabrics.  Looking at the expected  delivery dates gives you an indication of when a fabric will arrive from the vendor. Please note  this date when ordering and plan on it to ship after this expected delivery date.  See below (#5) for more details on how to find the expected delivery date.

 

Using the date range feature also will help alert you to fabrics (other than basics) that are 5 months old or older and reduce the possibility that some of these older fabrics might not  ship because of discontinuation by the vendor.

 

2. Next click on the down arrow beside All Vendors. You can select to search all our  vendors or a specific vendor using this pull down menu.

 

3. Once you have  selected the time frame and the vendor whom you want to search – click the SEARCH! button

 

4. When you hit search, a results page will bring you collections according to your date and vendor selection.

 

5. To find out when the fabric is expected to ship, make sure you are logged in. Click on a fabric collection and then click on one of the fabric swatches. This takes you to the item detail page. If the item is not in stock, there will be an Expected Release Date above the image. This date is provided by the vendor and is subject to change depending on the manufacturing process & deliveries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day is just Around the Corner

I know, I know!  We just got through Christmas and we are already talking about the next holiday.  The problem is that if you don’t start making samples NOW – and planning classes – you won’t have time to prepare for the holiday.  After all, it is only seven weeks away.

Luckily, Barri Sue Gaudet has made it easy this year.  She has just come out with a new book called “Pretty & Cozy” that is a shop owner’s dream!  My favorite quilt is called Flowers & Four Patches.  It is a soft pastel quilt made up of simple four-patches interspersed with simple heart and flower appliques that are embellished with embroidery.  But the basic quilt foundation can be made in an afternoon!


Item #BR169  Retail $18.00

I love Bare Root designs.  She always adds embellishments that give every project that “ahhh” factor.  In this case one of the hearts is just too big to fit in the square.  And, at 52″, it can be a baby quilt too.  Versatility is the key.

For those of you who love wool, check out the Hearts and Flowers Table Runner.  This project combines seven flower shapes in four sizes that meander across the table.  Hearts and flowers are the perfect appliques for this project that would be perfect for Easter too.  Don’t you love a shop sample that has some staying power???

There are so many cute patterns in here that you will have trouble choosing – but your customers won’t!  They will love them all!  And, what a great way to introduce them to working with wool and the joy of hand embroidery – I see a class or two in your future…..