Think Spring while the Snow Flies

Lynn Ann Majidmehr is a textile artist who has combined pieced foundations with stunning floral appliques to create works of art.  Her new book that features ten of these designs is simply striking.  In this case, a picture is definitely worth 1,ooo words – so I’ll just shut up!

Item #B1006T  Retail $27.99

The cover quilt is gorgeous!  The pieced background is simply quarter-square triangles – sashed with corner stones.  What a difference a background makes!

Asian Spider Mums have never been prettier on a neutral pieced background.

This table runner screams Spring with it’s soft color wash look.

The book is worth the price simply for the settings!  Look how three blocks can be showcased into a striking quilt!

Nine-patches have never looked so good….

And, one big block can be just the backdrop you need…

For those traditionalists, this setting can be used for any applique….

Use Lynn’s quilts as inspirations for your own works of art.  Piecing and applique have never combined so successfully!


The Perfect 30 Minute Purse for Christmas Open House

My favorite booth at Market – bar none – was the Ellen Medlock booth!  Quirky with quality at every turn – all displayed with more than a touch of class!

As an over 50 mother of five, I am constantly looking for something that will excite my daughters and suck them into the world of quilting.  These heart shaped purses fit the bill!  They are absolutely adorable and take just 30 minutes to complete.  Simply cut out the fabric using the enclosed template and glue the fabric in place with Tacky Glue.  It will take longer to pick out the fabric than to finish the clutch.

At Market, they showcased one in a bird cage with love birds fussy cut on the purse….who could resist….the perfect awe factor!

What a great way to showcase the large prints that are so popular today!

Item #EMP116B  Retail $29.99

This same purse comes in an oblong shape.  Look what happens with stripes…

Item #EMP115A  Retail $29.99

Who doesn’t love Mary Janes – and wouldn’t adore this little change purse?  And, it can be made in a matter of minutes…

Item #EMP705A Retail $15.99

Now that you have made an adorable purse in 30 minutes or less, why not make a matching bangle bracelet?  Or several – multiples come in each package.  Use those scraps to their best advantage.

Item #EMP403M  Retail $14.99

Or make a set of twelve napkin rings – just in time for those holiday dinners.

Item #EMP404  Retail $14.99

With just a little more effort, you can make the Interchangeable Bag.  The details are what make these purses special – the purse closure that is off kilter, the option of adding a chain, a coordinating bow.

Item #EMP105E  Retail $35.99

Check out this same purse in other fabrics!  The handles are made so that the fabrics can be changed to match any outfit….holiday…..or mood!  These bags hung in their booth at Market – and showed how the right embellishments can make all of the difference.

All of these purse handles come in a variety of finishes – silver, brass, antique silver, gold, and black.  Optional chains are also available.  The patterns and handles are available separately.  Check out our website to personalize your own project:  Ellen Medlock Products


Brenda Henning’s Strip Therapy books are always best sellers – and this one is no exception.  This latest addition includes patterns for six quilts that use 2 1/2″ strips.

Item #BBP540  Retail $20.00

Check out our selection of Tonga Treats by Timeless Treasures.  These packs make it easy to sew, easy to kit – and therefore, easy to sell!  They come in a variety of color pallettes that are sure to please your customers.

http://www.checkerdist.com/products/fabrics/?f_l=5136&page=1&f_c=40787&f_u=40788

Here is an example of these packs of 40 strips – what is not to love????

Item #STRIP-COFFEE

Cassini has a very modern look – masculine and geometric.

Curved Log Cabin puts a whole new twist on a Trip Around the World.

Electric Fan is striking and simple – a perfect pattern to explore color…

Spinning looks complicated but is easy to piece with stripped units.

Seeing Stars fits a King size bed and will make any room sparkle!
Stock all of Brenda’s books for those last minute Christmas shoppers.  The price point is perfect.

http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=strip+therapy&relatedto=

Display the books with a selection of 2 1/2″ strips for that perfect companion.    Consider offering one of these quilts as a class next year.  The class could even be part of the gift – a quilter’s trifecta!

Quick and Easy Christmas Gifts for the Kitchen

At our house, the holidays are all about the food – and any gift for the kitchen is always a big hit.  Your customers can combine one of these handmade gifts with some of their favorite holiday treats for the perfect gift!

Aprons are always a hit – and in great holiday fabric – they can turn cookie baking into a family tradition.  This one is available in adult and child sizes – who can resist that???

Item #VHD132  Retail $ 8.00

Item #VHD137  Retail $9.00

Who could resist a basket of homemade muffins with these adorable muffin or cupcake shaped pot holders?  These are quick, easy, and a great way to use up those scraps of batting.

Item #ST935  Retail $5.75

Or, what if they combine these “pot pinchers” with a favorite casserole….cute, easy, and again a great way to use up scraps!

Item #VHD156  Retail $ 9.00

Table toppers are a great hostess gift – and these are a few of my favorites.  Both of them can be finished in an afternoon.  Karen Montgomery’s Easy Striped Table Runner lets the fabric shine – fast, easy, and impressive.

Item #TQC272  Retail $8.50

Terry Atkinson’s Happy Holidays is shown here in Fall colors but is spectacular in Christmas fabrics too – and is the perfect compliment to a round table!

Item #ATK147  Retail $9.00

And how about a nice casserole carrier by Auntie’s Too?

Item AT221   Retail $9.00

All of these gifts are perfect to keep on hand for those moments when a last minute gift is just the ticket.  And, all of these projects could be the showcase of classes during the coming year.  Help your customers get ahead of the season next year!




Quick and Easy Christmas Gifts

It is the week before Thanksgiving and the holidays are upon us.  Now is the time for your customers to make those last minute gifts – but they can only do that if you have the ideas and patterns to help them!

All of these patterns are in the top 20 – which means shops across the country have chosen them as their quick and easy, go to favorites.  And, they can all be made in less than two hours – and are great choices for mass production!

Snap Happy bags come in three sizes – and can truly be made in less than an hour – which makes them the perfect last minute project.  A carpenter’s rule is the secret ingredient that adds the “snap” to these bags.  They are the perfect wrapping paper for gift cards; cell phones; cameras; and even cash!  You may want to even make them for your own gift certificates – talk about an added bonus…..

Snap Happy
Item #53SH  Retail $7.50

Same concept – but bigger bag – 7″ x 10″!  The Snap Happy 2 is a great cosmetic bag – and a great gift wrapping for perfumes; scarves; and yes, even cosmetics!

Snap Happy 2
Item #59SH2  Retail $8.50

Terry Atkinson is a perennial favorite – and has designed these simple bags that incorporate her line of zippers.  Use these patterns as an opportunity to show your customers a fast, easy way to install a zipper.  Again, these projects can be finished in less than an hour and are a great way to showcase special trims and buttons.  How easy to add that personal touch!

Cash & Carry
Item #ATK148  Retail $8.00

The Zippy Stripy comes in three sizes – so the perfect size is totally up to you!

Zippy Stripy
Item #ATK149  Retail $8.00

Why not include these patterns in a new series of classes starting the first of the year?  Help your customers plan for next year – and be ahead of the game!


Tote Bags – a Quilter’s Christmas Stockings

There are lots of tote bags in the top 20 – and all of them would be great gifts for anyone for the holidays.  Fill it with goodies – and you have a great substitute for a stocking!

The Two Hour Tulip Purse comes in several sizes – and really can be made in just a few hours!

Item #ABB07084  Retail $12.00

The Margo bag is the perfect size for everyone’s needs.  This one could even hold a couple bottles of wine….

Item #LGD127  Retail $12.00

Grids and Grommets is a fun easy bag that looks great in any color way.  The grommets are fast, fun and easy – and a great opportunity for a demo.

Item #IJ805  Retail $9.99

Pockets to go is made to fit as a lining in a purse – or use it to organize your desk or sewing area.  Wouldn’t this be cute filled with all of your favorite quilting notions???

Item #ATK150  Retail $9.00

Who doesn’t love a present with a surprise inside?  And, in this case, the possibilities are endless….

The Great Bandana Quilt Challenge

One of the themes I noticed at Market this year were programs designed to support charities and causes:  The Rose of Sharon program supports Alzheimer’s; Under our Wings supports Quilts of Valor; and the Great Bandanna Quilt Challenge supports breast cancer research.

That is what I love about out industry – our customers care, and support causes that they believe in.  Simplicity Creative Group has put together a program that honors this tradition – and they kept it simple:

Design an original quilt that measures 45″ x 54″ that incorporates one of the featured “Cherish” bandannas.  These bandannas come in a variety of designs and retail for under $3.00 – so this program is affordable for everyone!

Item #1933731061  Retail $2.40

Item #1933734061  Retail $2.40

Item #1933735061  Retail $2.40

Item #1933782061  Retail $2.40

You must use one of the Pink EZ Quilting tools:

Item #882104001  Retail $10.60

Item #882103001  Retail $13.10

Item #882105001  Retail $10.00

Item #882106001 Retail $14.10

Item #882107001  Retail $13.20
You can even order the sign up sheets and the rules – on-line – for free!
Item #906T151EF10  Free

Twelve finalists will be selected.  Then four cash prizes ranging from $250 – $1,000 will be awarded. AND, the shop that sponsors the winning entry gets a free trip to Fall Quilt Market in 2011!  Now that got your attention!!!
What a great program – and an opportunity to support a great cause! Why not sign up today!

Count on It by Nancy Halvorsen

Every time I think that Nancy can’t top herself, she does!  Her newest book – Count On It – is a fabric calendar with changeable banners for each month, each holiday, and even bonus ideas to help each family celebrate their own special moments!  I shared a little bit about this in an earlier post, but there is nothing like seeing the real thing!

What a great Block of the Month program!  You could even have these kitted by the register – and have them pick up a kit each month.  But don’t forget to kit the numbers!  There are also additional banners for birthdays, etc. so you won’t be able to stop at 12!  More than enough is always a good thing…..

Item #ATH543B  Retail $18.00

In the past, it was not easy to kit these kinds of projects….but that just got a whole lot easier!  To keep her books affordable, Nancy overlaps shapes in her books.  This saved on printing costs and was not a problem when tracing.  Now, however, she offers these patterns on her website by project.  They are grouped by color so that it is easy to kit and sew these projects.

For a nominal fee, you can download the templates so that they can be copied directly to Print-N-Fuse and included with the fabric in the kits.  Your customers will feel so spoiled, they will be beside themselves!  In class they simply chop around the shapes for each fabric, iron it on and start cutting.  They can easily cut and position a banner – and even finish the stitching if they bring a sewing machine.  When is the last time your customers actually finished their project in class???

We want them to take it to work the next day and tell everyone how easy it was!  And it WAS easy because Nancy did so much of the work for you!  But, remember!  If we expect our designers to spoil us like this, we need to respect their copyrights!  You can not run copies on paper OR Print-N-Fuse without having each customer buy the book!!!  It just isn’t fair!

Item #PNF12 Retail $11.99 (12 Sheets)
Item #PNF25 Retail $18.99 (25 Sheets)
Item #PNF100 Retail $55.99 (100 Sheets)

Start a Calendar of the Month program today!  After all, they need to get the numbers and January done before the first of the year!  Cut out fabric squares; run the appropriate patterns on Print-N-Fuse; and order a boatload of books because you will need them!

The frames are due to arrive the end of the month, so order them now!  These are going to be a hot item – and keeping up with demand is always a problem!

Item #89487  Retail $ 22.00

And the buttons and pins that go with this book are absolutely adorable – and give each month that awe factor!

Item #ATH9281G  Retail $35.36

Check out her latest fabric line that will make these banners shine!  Visit our website: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/fabrics/?f_l=5612&page=1&f_d=30114

Get organized now so your customers know you are planning this for the coming year.  The stand, buttons, and book would be great Christmas gifts!  And remember, your customers will want to give these as gifts too!  How fun is it to send friends and relatives a banner each month to keep in touch.  That is what memories are made of!  My grandchildren will love it!

Quilts of Valor Foundation and the Under our Wings Program

Marianne Fons has joined forced with Catherine Roberts – the founder of Quilts of Valor – to design a program that provides quilts to our servicemen AND encourages new quilters!  What a brilliant idea – and a win/win for everyone.

Quilts of Valor has teamed up with nine different fabric companies who have produced patriotic lines of fabric that will be available in the next few months.  To join the team, simply buy one of these lines of fabric and register your shop at:

QOVF.org/quiltshopsonly/wings

This site offers a wealth of information and helpful tools.  You can download posters to advertise your event; learn how to make quilt labels; get information on how to contact a long arm quilter who will donate her time as well as the batting and thread to complete your donation; and choose a destination for your quilt.  This site will help you find servicemen in your area or you can choose to turn it over to the Quilts of Valor program and let them decide.

The lines of fabric are as varied as the designers who created them.  To give you an example, Windham’s line is perfect for fussy cutting and brighter than most lines I have seen in awhile.

Item #VALOR

Red Rooster is not only producing a line of fabric, but designed labels for the quilts that are available on 5 yard bolts!  That is a must for everyone quilt shop.


Item #21846-MUL1

Once you have purchased a collection of fabrics from one of the participants, you are ready to launch your program.  Recruit experienced quilters who are willing to cut, press and mentor a new quilter who wants to make a quilt for this program.  Sometime in May, host an event and bring these teams together.  The veteran takes a newbie “Under her Wing” and teaches her how to quilt.  Once the top is complete, it can be sent to a long armer who has donated her time to do the quilting.  Then it is returned to the shop so the quilters can join forces again and bind and label the quilt.

To date, this program has distributed over 33,770 quilts to our dedicated servicemen – and those are only the quilts that have been registered!  Many guilds work directly with a local unit – so those quilts may not be reported.  What an amazing grass roots effort!

These quilts must be at least 55″ X 65″  to 72″ x 90″ – big enough to comfort someone, but still fit a hospital bed.  And, while we want to support the companies who have sponsored this program, the quilts can be made out of any fabric.  Share your scraps with a new quilter and show her why this is not just a hobby!  Make a quilt together to donate to a deserving member of our armed forces…..you will be glad you did!


Order your Calendars NOW

I am in Houston for Festival this week and everyone is buying calendars!  I have been so busy getting ready for Market, that I was shocked to realize that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away – and Christmas is next month!  How time flies when you are having fun.  So if you are like me – and forget what month it is – it is time to order your calendars!  There is a great selection to choose from this year!

Landauer Publishing has two calendars that are flying off the shelves.  Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket quilts showcases quilts featuring triangles and includes three new patterns.  Diane Phalen’s paintings that feature quilts are simply a work of art!

Item #L11257  Retail $12.95

Item #L11256  Retail $12.95

American Quilter’s Society’s 2011 calendar features award winning quilts from their museum.

Item #AQS8233  Retail $12.95

Their engagement calendar will inspire you 52 weeks a year!

Item #AQS8011  Retail $13.95

That Patchwork Place’s calendar includes the patterns for the quilts – you can’t get any better than that!

Item #C131  $14.99

And for the sheer WOW factor, check out their calendar of award-winning quilts:

Item #C132  Retail $12.99

Kansas City Star has two calendars out this year that will make you smile.  One features are favorite cantankerous quilter and the other is a drop dead gorgeous engagement calendar by Alma Allen.

Item #KCS19073     Retail $12.95

Item #KCS19072  Retail $19.95

For those of you who have been at this awhile, the annual Piecemakers calendar is ALWAYS a hit – and this year will be no exception!  This nativity quilt is truly a work of art – and the instructions are included!

Item #C2011  Retail $19.00

Order these NOW so they are sitting by your register when your customers need great gifts – or decide to get their own lives organized!