Friday Schedule at Market

Drum Roll Please…..Our buyers have done a phenomenal job of lining up demonstrations at our booth at Quilt Market in Minneapolis!  I have broken the schedule into three different posts since there is so much happening.  We will have three demonstrations going on at any given time so there is always something to see and learn.  I will tell you what is going on at the other tables next week, but for now…..  A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is Friday at Market!

Friday – Table #1

9:45 – 10:30

Cathy Wierzbicki – author of Geometric Gems & Inventor of the Quilter’s Boot Tool
Martingale & Time to Quilt

I love this book – and her color sense is divine – what is not to love!

Item #B1025T  Retail $18.99

10:45 – 11:30

Kim Templin – Demonstrating the Double Diamond Ruler
Bright Quilting Notions

This ruler has taken the industry by storm – and is a must have for your next demo day!

Item #BQNDDRULER Retail $21.95

11:45 – 12:30

Kathy Brown author of Take 5 – Quilts from just 5 Fabrics
Martingale Publishing

Her patterns – distributed under Teacher’s Pet – are always best sellers.  This book will not be an exception!

12:45 – 1:30

Kimberly Einmo author of Jelly Roll Quilts & More
American Quilter’s Society

This book should be the basis of a series of quarterly classes in your shop.  Have them come and sew each month – and finish a quilt each quarter!  There are plenty to choose from – you will love it!

Item #AQS8146  Retail $26.95

Jane Davila – author of  Surface Design Essentials
C & T Publishing

Come and learn about the new art program!  Jane explains – step by step – how to use paints, stencils – and everything in between!

Item #10758  Retail $16.95

Jeri Simon- author of Quilting the Basics and Beyond
Landauer Publishing

Come and see why this should be the basis of your next Beginning Quilting class – you’ll be glad you did!

Item #L11252  Retail $27.95

Pat Sloan – author of Camera Color Quilts
Leisure Arts

Choose the palette for your next quilt from your favorite photos – Pat will show you how!

Item #LA4825 Retail $12.95

Carrie Nelson of Rosie’s Quilt Company – author of Spice of Life
Leisure Arts

I have not gotten to see this book yet – but who could resist anything by Carrie?  I can’t wait to meet her in person – and see the book!

Item #LA5026  Retail $24.95

With all of this going on, why would you ever want to leave????

Saturday Schedule of Market

The schedule doesn’t get any better than this…..

Saturday, Table #1

9:45 – 10:30

Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilts & author of Schnibbles Times Two

Carrie is simply a delight!  Come and see what she has created out of 5″ and 10″ squares.

Item #B1028T  Retail $26.99

10:45 – 11:30

Pam Lintott – author of Two from One Jelly Roll Quilts
Krause Publishing

This is the fourth jelly roll book by this great team – Pam and Nicky Lintott.  We love them – keep them coming!

Item Z8586  Retail $24.99

11:45 – 12:30

Susan Knapp & Mary Jane Mattingly of the Quilt Branch

These ladies have designed a ruler with Creative Grids that does everything under the roof – literally!  And, they have published a sample book which is the perfect block of the month program for quilt shops.  Check this out!

Item #QB145

Item #CGRQB1  Retail $25.00

12:45 – 1:30

Lura Schwarz Smith and Kerby Smith – authors of Secrets of Digital Quilting from Camera to Quilt

C & T Publishing

Stay on top of the latest technology and learn how to combine two hobbies into one!

Item #10688  Retail $27.95

1:45 – 2:30

Penny Sturgis of Quiltsillstrated Patterns combines forces with Lakehouse Fabrics

Come here Penny explain this combined effort – Totes on Bolts!  What great kits for any shop!  This bag is simply gorgeous!

Item #PS021 Retail $9.00

2:45 – 3:30

Dodi Lee Poulsen of Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow & Little Londyn pattern designs
Landauer Publishing

Fresh Picked

Item #L11255  Retail $24.95

This book is being printed as we speak – so I can’t share a cover yet – but I got to see an advance copy of the book and it is absolutely adorable!  I will do an article on this one very soon!

3:45 – 4:30

Barbara Groves & Mary Jacobsen of Me and My Sisters Designs
Leisure Arts

This is one of the sweetest baby books that you will grow to love.  These tried and true originals will be your quilts of choice for every newborn in your life!

Item #LA4828  Retail $10.95

4:45 – 5:30

Penny Haren – author of Intricate Blocks Made Easy
Landauer Publishing

That would be me!  Stop by and check out the third book in my Pieced Applique series.  These blocks are mouth dropping easy – they won’t believe you did it!

Item #L11249  Retail $27.95

So much talent in one place!  That is what makes Market great!!!

Sunday Schedule at Market

Sunday is one of our busiest days at Market.  Everyone has had a chance to walk the show and return to drop off their orders.  Since they can order direct from us instead of opening accounts with so many individual companies, Checker is one stop shopping!  While Market is winding down, the party still isn’t over!!!

9:45 – 10:30

Melissa Averinos  author of Small Stash Sewing

J Wiley & Sons

This book is so new, we don’t have a picture of it on the website yet but I have seen excerpts of the book and you will love this book by a young, fun designer!  After I have everything, I will feature this book – but for now, stop by and meet a woman who is to be a rising star in our industry.

10:45 – 11:30

Anna Maria Horner author of Handmade Beginnings – 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby

J Wiley & Sons

This mother of six little ones knows how to dress her babies in style – and wait until you see the home dec projects!  You will love them.

Item #49781  Retail $24.99

11:45 – 12:30

Larisa Bland – author of Piece in the Hoop

Krause Publishing

Larisa is creative and entertaining.  Come learn a new technique.  If you sell sewing machines, this one will be hard to resist!

Item #Z4957  Retail $32.99

It’s not over until it is over!  Come and enjoy the whole show!

Learn to Quilt Successfully

If you are offering a beginning quilting class at your shop, this book should be in the hands of every student!  It is like giving them a dictionary of the terms and materials used by every quilter.  “Quilting The Basics and Beyond” by Jeri Simon is a wonderful resource guide that should be required reading for every teacher!

Item #L11252  Retail $27.95

Let’s face it – many of us have been sewing so long that we forget that the quilting industry has a language of its very own!  “Normal” people – and beginning quilters – think that jelly rolls, layer cakes, honey buns and turnovers are treats you find in a bakery!  A new customer can be overwhelmed when we start throwing out these terms – and take for granted that they know what they mean.  Jeri has explained these terms as well as every aspect of the process and all of the supplies needed.  Fabrics, threads, rulers, needles, rotary mats and cutters, etc. are all covered.

Jeri takes you step by step – and picture by picture – through the process of cutting, sewing, and trimming the most common blocks used in sewing today.  And, in many cases, she shows more than one way to accomplish it so a beginner can try both – and choose her favorite method.  Four-patches, half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, flying geese units…..they are all included with detailed instructions.

And this book does not end with “Quilt as desired.”  She explains exactly how to finish a quilt – how to mark it, baste it, quilt it by machine or hand, and even tie it if you prefer.

The book also includes a DVD with twenty minutes of “Show-Me/Tell-Me instructions so when your students leave the class, they have a tutorial to take with them.

But every quilter will want this book because of the charts!  There are charts for reducing and enlarging blocks; converting yards to inches to decimals to meters; standard mattress sizes; diagonal block measurements – you name it, Jeri has a chart for it to make your life easier!  These charts are an easy reference guide that should be in every quilter’s library.

Most us are self taught so maybe it’s time we got “back to basics” and learn what we may have missed – or what we are forgetting to mention to our students!  Jeri will be signing copies of her book at Quilt Market in Minneapolis.  Stop by as she explains how to turn this book into a great beginning class.  See you in Minneapolis!

Intricate Blocks Made Easy

I am at the Chicago Quilt Festival and saw a copy of my new book – Intricate Blocks Made Easy!  That means that it will be ready to ship to stores in about two weeks.

Item #L11249 Retail $27.95

This is the third book in a series of Pieced Applique books that combine simple pieced foundations with simple appliques to create dramatic results.  This layering technique makes it possible to create any of the blocks in the book in less than an hour.  These are all blocks that I never attempted before I came up with this technique because they had Y-seams, inset points, curves – or just too many tiny pieces!

This slashed album block, for instance, has been the hands down favorite at this show.  The foundation of this block is a Bright Hopes block – which means you only have to rotary cut four rectangles and a square!  By adding simple, straight-sided appliques, this block can be completed in less than an hour – and looks like you spent all day cutting and piecing it by hand!

The center was fussy cut using the Creative Grids Square It Up and Fussy Cut Ruler.  I use the 6 1/2″ size for everything!

Item #CGRSQ6 Retail  $16.50

I used the Creative Grids Square It Up and Fussy Cut Triangle for the triangle appliques.

Item #CGRST65  Retail $20.50

These rulers feature holes so you can center a design mark the fabric through the holes so the design will appear exactly where you want it.  .  It is that easy to add drama to all of your blocks.  In the case of the Bird’s Nest block below, I set a simple block on point and cut the appliques out of half-square triangles.  Simply, easy, and oh sew effective!

I will be signing books in the Checker booth at Spring Market in Minneapolis.  Take a class before Market opens or visit a school house session.  I have written lesson plans so shops can teach a block of the month program from any of the three block books.  Each book includes patterns for 25 blocks.  The foundations are the same in each book, so let your students decide their experience level -and which blocks they prefer.  Show and tell will be spectacular!

Item #L11222  Retail $27.95

Item #L11226  Retail $27.95

Me and My Sisters have Babies Covered

Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobsen have followed the success of their Crazy for Baby book with – what else – STILL Crazy for Baby!  These ladies create quick and easy baby quilts that are sew fun and colorful, you can’t make just one!  Each book has patterns for four quilts that are so fast and fun to make, they can be used – and loved – by that special little one in your life!  And, at $10.95 a book, they are a bargain!

Item #LA4828  Retail $10.95

Item #LA4161  Retail $10.95

Barbara and Mary, better known as Me and My Sister Designs, will be signing copies of their latest book at the Checker Booth at Spring Market.  We will also have updates on all of their patterns.

And, in case you didn’t know, these are the ladies that came up with the idea of the SideWinder – that handy little notion that winds bobbins so you don’t have to unthread your machine.  I talked to them this week and Simplicity is putting out a new and improved version at market.  Stop by and they will explain all about that too!  These girls are marvels – books, patterns and notions – what will they think of next???

Item #88175  Retail $31.50

PBQ Tips – Template & Show Update

Last time I wrote an article about the Creative Grids Sweet Set templates. Specifically, what makes them different and why that is important. McCall’s Quilting Magazine previewed them and has included them as one of the featured products in the “Fresh Picks” section.  It will be arriving at your stores any day, check it out!

If you are interested in learning more about quilting systems – longarm, midarm or shortarm, consider attending one of the big machine quilting shows coming up. There is one next month, Machine Quilters Expo (MQX-East) in Providence, RI., April15–18, 2010.  I will be there (Booth #509 – By Design Quilting) doing demos of the Sweet Set Templates by Creative Grids and would be happy to show them to you.

I will also have a rack display of my favorite products for longarm quilters. I have offered to send this list (My Favorite Products) to any shop that was interested in carrying some quilting products for their customers who use quilting systems (any size). This list has been turned into a mini-catalog called ‘Pat’s Picks’ from Checker Distributors. If you come to the booth and identify yourself as a retail shop, I will give you some information for ordering these products from Checker, but you have to ask for it. I am not giving these to all the quilters, just the shop owners. I will also have a free gift for you!

Always “checking” for a better way to quilt!


Pat Barry

MQX Show, Booth 509, Apr 15-18, 2010,
See you there!

New Patterns for Creative Grids Strip Rulers

Many of you loved the Creative Grids Strip Rulers – but weren’t exactly sure what to do with them!  Carolyn Griffin is not only one of the top sales reps for Checker Distributors, she also is the owner and designer of Far Flung Quilt patterns.  When her customers wanted patterns to support these new rulers, she went back to her studio and got to work – and you will LOVE the results!

Use the 45 Degree Strip Ruler to create Pinwheel Squares.  I love the strips of squares at the top and bottom to make it a great throw size and the way she combines the pinwheels with four-patches to create secondary patterns.

Item #CGRSR45  Retail $25.00

Pinwheel Squares

Item #FFQ016  Retail $8.00

Or cut some trapezoids with the Creative Grids Trapezoid Ruler to create Braids on Parade!  Don’t you just love the name – and the batiks in this quilt are beautiful.  This quilt goes together so fast – especially if you sew all eight braids at one time!

Item #CGRSRTRAP  Retail $25.00

Braids on Parade

Item #FFQ018  Retail $8.00

But, Floating Stars is my favorite! All I can say is WOW!  I love quilts set on point – and combining the stars with nine patches puts a whole new twist on what is, basically, a Single Irish Chain pattern – with class!

Item #CGRSR60  Retail $25.00

Floating Stars

Item #FFQ017  Retail $8.00

Carolyn was kind enough to send it to me in a red, white, and black version too so you can see the possibilities….

Why not make a strip or a block of each in a demo setting?  You don’t always have to make an entire quilt to spark the creativity in your customers – but in these cases, you won’t be able to stop!

Pre-order now, they will be available by the end of May.

Farmer’s Wife Alternative

Item Z2991 Retail $27.99

Have you looked at the best selling Farmers Wife book and thought, “I don’t have reproduction fabrics so this isn’t for me?” Carolyn Griffin has started creating the blocks from batiks, primarily, and is calling hers “I Wouldn’t Have Been a Good Farmers Wife” which she says is true of her personality but not of this quilt. She started working with several batiks she had in her stash but says she has added a piece or two in her travels to quilt shops. “There always seems to be one more batik that wants to come play at my house,” Carolyn says.

She has also used homespuns, a pin dot and, yes, even reproduction fabrics in the first blocks. I can’t wait to see how this looks with the rest of the 111 blocks all sashed and put together. Maybe next year…

Carolyn used the Penny Haren Pieced Appliqué method to do her blocks. If interested in teaching it this way, contact Penny at

Item Z8600 Retail $19.99

Or now you can design your own quilts with the blocks from the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book, using E Quilt Version 5 or 6 to color the blocks with fabrics and match. With 111 blocks your options are endless. Requires EQ5 or EQ6 CD-ROM Drive, 50MB hard drive disk space

Minneapolis Spring Market Here we Come

This is my twice a year – introduction to Quilt Market.  Enjoy!  Spring Quilt Market is held in a different location every year and is in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May, 2010.  This is a return trip for Market – and I can’t wait.   The Minneapolis/St. Paul area is always on everyone’s top 10 list of places to live – and there is a reason for it.  Here is all of the pertinent information you need to have a great visit.

Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota  55403

Quick Facts:


Events – May 19, 2010

Fab Shop Dinner – May 19, 2010

School Houses –  – May 20, 2010

Exhibits – May 21 –  Friday – 9:30 – 6:00
22 – Saturday – 9:00 – 6:00
23 –  Sunday– 9:00 – 4:00

Check the Spring International Quilt Market website for a complete list of events and classes.  Website:

Minneapolis Weather:

During May the weather in Minneapolis is beautiful – highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s!  Flowers will be blooming and everything will be the green of Spring!

Points of Interest

18.3 million people visit every year for a reason.  It is people friendly!  The city boasts 8 miles of sky ways one story above ground.  These sky ways are – in effect- enclosed sidewalks so you can explore the city, rain or shine or snow!  When the weather is beautiful, there are 51 miles of hiking and biking trails.

40,000 people call downtown Minneapolis home so there is always something going on and something to do.    While everyone has heard of the Mall of America, the Nicollet Mall seems more inviting.  It is the second pedestrian mall created in the United States and covers 11 blocks.  This area has limited access to vehicles – mainly delivery trucks – so it is people friendly!

What is Quilt Market?

Quilt Market is the largest wholesale shopping experience for retailers, manufacturers, and the cottage industry.  Fall market is always in Houston.  Spring Market is hosted by different cities each year.  At last count, there were over 550 vendors exhibiting – a true quilter’s dream!

How do I get in the door????

This show is not open to the general public.  Therefore, you must submit your “credentials” to get a badge that will give you entrance into the exhibits.  You need to have them with you when you enter the Convention Center unless you have signed up on-line or participated in a Quilt Market in the last year.

Credentials for Retailers/Manufacturers/Cottage Industry:

1)      Copy of one 2008/2009 wholesale invoice from an industry supplier totaling  $300 or more

2)      Sales tax number; Resale number; OR Federal I.D. number

3)      Business Card

Prospective Retailer:

All of the above except that a letter of reference from a Quilt Market Supplier – such as Checker – or a banker stating that you have a business account may be substituted for the $300 invoice.  Checker will be glad to provide you with a letter of reference.

Where is Checker located?

The Checker booth – actually 14 booths – covers over 1,200 square feet – Booths #1813, 1815. 1817, 1821, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1920, 2012, 2014, 2016.

How do I make an Appointment with a Checker Rep to look at Fabric?

If you would like to make an appointment before you get to market, contact your sales rep directly.

You are welcome to stop by the booth at any time and we will find someone to help you – it just may not be the rep that you have come to know and love!

Can I get a head start by making a fabric appointment before Market officially opens?

Yes.  For those of you on a tight schedule, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.  On Saturday and Sunday you can meet with a sales rep between 8:00 – 9:00.  BUT, the appointment has to be made in advance so that the sales rep can meet you at the convention door and escort you in – using his/her badge.  You can stop by the booth on Friday to make the appointment or call ahead.

How do I buy books, patterns and notions at the Checker booth???

There are always Checker representatives in the booth – they will all be wearing clothing embroidered with the Checker logo.  We try not to bug you – but welcome any questions that you may have.

We have found that our customers like to come and browse so take your time to check out all of the new merchandise.

But, keep in mind; our buyers are there to scope out the latest and greatest new things too.  So over the course of the event, we will be adding new vendors and items every day.  That is part of the excitement of market!  With over 80,000 items in inventory, our “catalog” is forever changing!  We will try to mark the new additions each day so you can tell at a glance what has been added.

Stop by each day and check out the new stuff – you are welcome to place more than one order – believe me, Rob won’t mind!    So, you can place your order and have it delivered to your store the next week!

Can I buy items from Checker that I see at other vendors?

Yes.  Checker already represents the majority of the vendors at market.   As a shop owner, I learned very quickly that if Checker carried it, it was much easier to have one account than over 200 individual ones – and Checker offers free shipping on books, patterns, and notions – so many times we are the best price in town!

Will everything be available immediately after Market?

Many of the books, patterns and notions you order are not yet available and will be released over the next few months.  Remember, at Market, you are seeing the latest and greatest of EVERYTHING!  Many times the publishers and manufacturers wait to see how a product sells before printing or manufacturing.  Therefore, we will ship as soon as we get them.  Ask the vendors when the product will be available before scheduling classes, etc.

Helpful Hints from the Veterans who have attended Markets for years:

Before you go to Market:

  • Check our newsletter at for an update of booth demonstrations and author signings.  The buyers are talking to your favorite designers daily.  There are Creative Grids demonstrations going on at three different stations in our booth the entire show.  There are also author demonstrations and product demonstrations going on through out.
  • Trade cell phone numbers with everyone in your party and program them into your phone.  Then, when you get separated from your group on the sales floor, you can call and re-unite!  This is a great thing to do in the airport when you are killing time!  Heaven forbid we waste a minute!
  • If you have set up appointments in advance, ask for the cell phone numbers of the person you are meeting and program those numbers in too.  Then, if you are running late, you can let the sales reps know.

Don’t forget to include the numbers of old friends that you would like to see – it is always fun to meet someone for lunch or dinner!

  • And, consider scheduling appointments in the afternoon.  Most people want morning appointments.  I prefer the afternoon because I am starting to get tired – and you get to SIT DOWN!  There will be water and snacks available at the Checker booth!  So, come and sit down, take the time to REALLY look at the fabric – and rest those feet!
  • Pack comfortable clothes and shoes. site says that the fashion show at Market stops at the knees!  You will be on your feet for 9 or 10 hours a day for three days – dress your feet accordingly!
  • You may want to have home contact information and medical insurance info for everyone in your party.  If someone hyperventilates and passes out from all of the excitement, you will have the necessary information – with you – to handle that medical emergency!  Remember, every group needs a “Mom”!

At Market

  • Don’t forget to bring your name badge each day!  They will not let you in without it!
  • Contact your credit card company and let them know that you will be making multiple purchases in Minneapolis so they don’t freeze your card.  This is a sign of the times – and something that wasn’t necessary a few short years ago – but it could save you a lot of grief!
  • If you carry a clipboard or binder, put your contact information inside the front cover.  Include your cell phone number!  If you leave it in someone’s booth, they will be able to call you to return it.
  • Take business cards to pass out to the vendors.  Remember, they will use this information to bill and ship your merchandise.  Are your billing and shipping addresses the same as your shop?
  • Resist the temptation to buy anything until you have seen everything.  When a booth interests you, make a note of it on the map included in your program.  Then you can return to it later.  Unless you have an unlimited budget, now is not the time for impulse buying – unless you are at the Checker booth!!!!!
  • And, you will be offered a lot of handouts and freebies.  Do not take anything unless you really want it!  The vendors pay good money for them – and you have to carry everything you take around ALL DAY!  Those free magazines look great at 10:00 – but are darn heavy by 6:00!
  • Make sure you take a bag to carry everything you buy and pick up along the way.  I prefer to leave my purse at home.  Stash your credit card, business cards, and cell phone in your tote bag or a fannie pack.  Believe me; you will be using them often!
  • Enjoy the experience!  You are going to be in a room with 10,000 people who love the same things that you do.   Last year, I passed Nancy Halvorsen, Marie Osmond, AND Ricky Tims walking from the entrance to the Checker Booths – where else would that happen???
  • Take pictures and enjoy the moment!  But ask first!  Most of them will let you take pictures of their booths – and them – to share with friends or use on your website.  But, be polite – and ask first.  And, if you do use a picture of a project or a quilt, make sure that you give the maker and designer credit!  Lord knows they have earned it!
  • But, most of all, stop by the Checker booth and meet everyone.  They are the most honest, ethical, hard-working group of people that you will ever meet and they are there to make your market experience a positive one!  Take advantage of their 60 plus years of experience in this business.  You’ll be glad you did!