First and Foremost….It is about the People

Rob Krieger is the President of Checker and has created a family based company.  He is like that bunny that never stops!  He pitches in where needed – doing whatever is needed!  And his pride in his company – and employees – shines through during events like this.Here he is introducing one of the speakers during Sunday presentations…

There were no lines since almost everyone pre-registered.

Customers just stopped by the front desk and picked up their packet -which includes name tags, order forms, address labels, lunch tickets, etc…

Our sales reps wore red shirts so our customers could recognize them immediately.  They all had IPads so they could check inventory and answer questions from anywhere in the building…

Instant Internet access…

Computers were also stationed throughout the building so everyone had access the internet…and no one ever went hungry!

Brad Krieger is the fabric buyer and helped customers find whatever they needed.  If they needed a bolt of kitten paw fabric, he knew exactly where to find it!  Now that is organization!

Support staff wore charcoal shirts.  Deb manned the computer and Renee re-filled the roll-around shelves so merchandise was always available.

George made sure that there was plenty of food during the six lunch periods….

we only had one problem….surrounded by this much inspiration, no one wanted to leave – and make room for the next group!

And, when it was time to go home, our guys loaded the vans and trailers so the customers didn’t have to carry – until they got back to their stores….No, you can’t take them with you!

Thanks to all of you, we had a wonderful anniversary celebration!  We hope to see each and everyone of you next year – August 19th and 20th.



Thanks for the Memories….How it all Began

The Monday of Open House is the only day that UPS ships – and Checker does not!  Our company holidays coincide with the major shipping companies so you always get the best service.  If it can be shipped, it will be shipped.  And, because of that, the entire shipping department worked overtime and Saturday to keep all of our customers that could not attend the Open House happy!  That means that in the midst of preparing for the Open House, we were operating at maximum efficiency – literally pulling orders while the vendors were setting up their booths.

To give you an idea of what a major undertaking this is, a picture is worth a thousand words!  This picture was taken on Tuesday in the area that would become the lunchroom for the event on Wednesday.  These shelving units are used to sort the donations for Clara’s Calling.  Notice the wooden crates at the top of the picture.  These are the huge crates we use to ship everything to Market.

Wednesday, everything was moved and the curtains were hung.  By 3:00, three of our best gals began hanging trunk shows and transformed this space into a quilter’s dream….notice the crates…and yes, there is now carpet on the concrete….

Every quilt was labeled and included the name and item number of the project so our customers could eat and shop at the same time.  We are well aware that we are not the only ones that multi-task!

Surrounded by inspiration….

Everywhere you looked….

Thursday, the gals decorated the end caps…Oliver + S…
Ellen Medlock LLC…
Laurel Burch….
Patterns by Annie….
Sewing Pottery by Machine….
CrabApple Hill and Anna Maria Horner….
This is the staging area where all of your gift bags were stuffed….
??
which became the classroom for the Sunday presenters….
Friday afternoon, shipping was literally moved into semis….
And, at 3:00, they started setting up the booths…
The boxes were moved to allow for cart corals…..
And, this aisle became the buffet….
And, that folks, is how a warehouse is transformed into a two day party for over a thousand people….and what a party we had!!!  Save the date – August 19 – 20, 2o12!




Sunday….Let the Party Begin….

As many of the demonstrators were setting up their booths, customers started arriving.  Schoolhouse sessions started at 8:45 – and every session was packed.  (Rob has already figured out how to make the classroom bigger next year – don’t even ask!)  Although quilting is a hobby with a long history, the way we quilt – and spread the word about our craft – has drastically changed over the last 10 years.  As a company, we realize that in order to thrive in a quickly changing economy, our customers must be educated.  School houses were born…

Karen Montgomery started off the day by showing how to host a demo day or class by choosing merchandise from our sales flyer.  What a way to start the day!

Then, Sue Hausmann explained stabilizers.  This market is exploding and we all need to keep up.

Judy Niemeyer gave a lecture on color.  What a trooper!  She actually arrived a day early to hand pick fabrics from our warehouse that could be used in many of her popular designs…

Kathy Brown demonstrated how each class should include a “teachable moment”.  Even the easiest quilt can include learning opportunities for everyone – you just have to look!

With a short break for lunch, classes resumed…Allysa McCoy, Susan Emory, Ellen Medlock, and Kathy Brown shared how to use blogs, MS Tags, and Facebook to increase sales and develop relationships with your customers…

Then, Steve Butler gave a lecture on threads and needles.  With the popularity of embroidery and quilting machines, this market has exploded.  Shops can no longer just carry 50 weight cotton thread and think they are fulfilling their customer’s needs!

By 2:00, the vendors were ready to start demonstrating – and the party moved to the warehouse.  Many customers were already shopping the fabric aisles!

Carts were full to overflowing….

Deb and Alyssa were ready to bring our customers into the 21st century technology…

Shelly Stokes of Cedar Canyon Textiles was teaching everyone how to use her popular Paintstiks ans Terri Degenkolb of Whimsicals was showing how they could have a Country flavor in her booth next door.

Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts shared her new book, along with many of her popular patterns, stencils, and templates…

Karen Montgomery switched gears and began demonstrating…we even videotaped each demonstrator.  Our sales staff needs to be educated too…

Susan Knapp and Mary Jane Mattingly demonstrated their House ruler and the Cottage ruler by Creative Grids…

Clara shared her experiences in Afghanistan…

H.D. Willbanks shared the new Pellon store display – and the products on it…

Nick Coman of Kandi Corp. demonstrated their new deColourant products…

Kim of Little Quilt Company shared projects from her books with Martingale….

Karla Alexander showed how curves were not only doable – but fun!

Rita demonstrated many of the Creative Grids rulers – including her own template series…

Me and My Sister Designs showed their quilts – in three colorways…..always over achievers!!!

Ellen Medlock’s booth was very popular.  Her purses are classes in the making!

Joan Hawley and Julie Herman showed several of their quilts made with the Lazy Angle ruler by Creative Grids…

Joan Ford shared samples from her new Scrap Therapy book and Snap Sacks with our customers…

Terry Atkinson shared many of her top 20 designs…

Kathy Brown was everywhere – and having the time of her life!

Linda Pumphrey had Accuquilt covered….

Our favorite Gypsy Quilter – Lanette Edens – showed new ways to use her popular notions…

Marci Baker always draws a crowd…

Kari Carr was delayed since O’Hare was closed due to storms – but arrived with a smile….you would never know she was stranded in Fargo!

Sue and Jason continued to wow everyone with their knowledge of stabilizers…

Terri of Whimsicals shared her new book …along with many of her Christmas projects….

What an amazing event!  We thank our vendors who were so willing to share their expertise with all of our customers and be up close and personal for two days!  Save the date:  next year’s event will be August 19th and 20th.  We look forward to seeing you – and have already looked at ways to improve!  Look for a larger classroom and lunch area next year….and more smiling faces!















Preparing for the Open House

Let’s face it….our Open House is a BIG deal! And this year is bigger than ever – we have added 10 more vendors! We are bringing in the top designers and vendors from Quilt Market, East of the Mississippi….so you can meet and greet them for a a fraction of the cost! Consider this:

There is no admission charge…..

Parking is free…..

Hotel rooms are right across the street – and reasonable…..

Breakfast, lunch, and drinks (soda and water) are on the house….

Merchandise is available for sale both days…..

Your car (or truck, or trailer) is loaded by our great shipping department…..

Every account receives a gift bag at check out that includes enough goodies to equal a tank of gas (or more) – no matter WHAT you are driving….

Pre-registration entitles you to over 60 door prizes – worth thousands of dollars…..

30 vendors are ready and waiting to answer your questions to help you run a successful business……

We offer a day of lectures that feature experts in the industry who will share their knowledge with you – and follow up with a question and answer session….

Trunk Shows are displayed that feature hundreds of quilts from top designers…..

This is an opportunity for us to meet with our customers – up close and personal – and thank you for your business.

Your Open House experience can be even more profitable with a little planning! Come prepared. The warehouse can be intimidating if this is your first visit so it helps to have something in mind…..

Take a moment to pre-order. Many times the savings on shipping for rolls of battings, etc., can pay for the trip. If you pre-order, these items will be packaged and waiting for you when you check out.

Check your basics. Brad has thousands of bolts of fabric on hand. Save shipping by taking black and white Kona, muslins, etc. home with you.

Walk through your store and see what colors and groupings need replenishing. We have thousands of bolts of tonal fabrics, civil war fabrics, feed sack fabrics, etc. Fill in those gaps in your inventory with our sale fabrics.

If you have a large selection of focal fabrics, bring a fat quarter of each so you can pull sale fabrics to coordinate with them.

Jot down ideas that you are considering for fall and winter classes. And, figure out where you have gaps in your schedule. A good class schedule should include something for everyone – an heirloom quality quilt; applique projects; quick and easy pieced quilts; seasonal selections; and great gift ideas. When you are talking with the vendors, choose projects that will fill in your schedule.

If you know what you are missing, you can make the best use of your time.

Consider events that you will be hosting this fall and winter. Ask the vendors for ideas for demo days, Christmas Open Houses, etc. Learn from the experts! Watch their demos – and take this information home and share it with your customers.

Bring your camera! The vendors will gladly have their pictures taken with you. I see great blog posts in your future! And, you can take pictures of the projects and trunk shows as well. Many of your phones now have video capabilities. Take videos of the demonstrations so you remember why you were so excited when you get home!

This event runs like a fine tuned clock! Waiting in line – and fighting crowds just doesn’t happen. But if you want to guarantee that you are next in line, shop Monday afternoon. Many of the shops arrive Sunday to attend the presentations and visit with the vendors. After lunch on Monday, they start heading home. So, there will be no crowds – and you will have our undivided attention!

But, no matter when you come, be prepared to have a good time! We truly do appreciate your business and strive to improve every day. We have been voted Distributor of the Year two years in a row by the members of Fab Shop – and we take that honor very seriously. Thank you – and see you soon!

Baby, Baby, Baby….Quilts, that is…..

One of my favorite parts of the Open House is the arrival of the trunk shows. It is like Christmas – we open the boxes and ooh and aah over all of the projects! Yes, we have seen the books and patterns – but a picture never is as good as the real thing.

Bean Counter Quilts makes adorable baby quilts. I am a little prejudice since I am expecting a grandchild this week – and have baby on the brain. And, yes, I knew I had nine months to make a quilt – but that just gave me nine months to procrastinate!

These quilts are not only adorable….they are also doable in no time at all – so even if you wait until the last minute (like I did), the quilt can still be done in time to wrap up that newborn!

“Candy for the Baby” is a bright and happy pinwheel quilt that can be made to match any decor…

Item #NM-109 Retail $9.00

“With a Twist” uses the Lil Twister (Item #Lil Twister) template that everyone loves….

Item #NM-124 Retail $9.00

The “animal” quilts are precious – and fit in any nursery… “Sheep little Baby” is fast, easy, and a great way to showcase neutrals….

Item #NM-119 Retail $9.00

Jungle themes are always popular….

Item #NM-125 Retail $9.00

Sometimes, a simple, cheerful design is just the ticket….

Nieces and Nephews
Item #NM-116 Retail $9.00

Quick Delivery
Item #NM-121 Retail $9.00

Not all of her designs are for babies, however. Check out this kitchen ensemble…

One in the Oven
Item #NM-126 Retail $9.00

Check out a variety of these great quilts at the Open House. A picture is worth a thousand words, but the original? Priceless!

Nancy Halvorsen shines in Bittersweet

Nancy’s new book – Bittersweet – is shipping this week. Rarely, do I write about a book that I haven’t even seen, but rarely is there an author that has such a loyal following! As a shop owner, you know that Nancy’s books and fabrics are instant best sellers – so much so that your customers will make a trip to your shop just to see the new arrivals! That, in a nutshell, is why we love Nancy Halvorsen!

Item #ATH545B Retail $18.00

She continues to up-date her look, but at the same time, she does not force her loyal customers to step outside of their comfort zone. And, her fabric lines are no exception. Let’s look at Bittersweet – the fabric line that supports this book….

Nancy always starts with a fabulous focal print. Studies have shown that quilters fall into two categories: those that love blue and those that love green. Nancy always has color options for both groups. In this case, the focal print comes in plum and berry for those that love blues; and spruce and russet for those that love greens…

Item #2092B-60

Item #2092B-10

Item #2092B-40

Item #2092B-22

But, each of the prints include ALL of the colors.

Then, the companions are pretty neutral. Therefore, the fabric collection is a beautiful focus for a fall display, but when the season is over, they do not have to be placed on the sale rack. They can be placed on your shelves because nothing screams fall – no witches, ghosts and goblins, thank you very much! That means you can get full retail for every yard of fabric. No wonder shop owners love her!!!

Her coordinates always include a stripe in a variety of colors that makes a gorgeous binding or inner border…With this line, it comes in shades of berry, shades of bittersweet, and shades of moss…

Item #2096B-48

And then there are her plaids…again available in three color ways….this is the berry….

Item #2097B-22

And then Nancy includes tone on tones that are absolutely gorgeous in the three main color ways – and seven shades of dark, medium and lights so they are fantastic coordinates and backgrounds.

Item #2093B-32

But sometimes we need a transition fabric between the pieces, so Nancy includes tone on tones with a bit more color….enter “spearmint”…

Item #2095B-42

And, a line always needs a great neutral that blends with all of the coordinates…

Item #2094B-03

And a great two-tone print….

Item #2099B-10

To view the complete line, visit our website at: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/fabrics?l=5863

Now, look at this line from a kitting perspective – only the focal prints are a must. The other prints can be mixed and matched as inventory dictates so kitting is a breeze. And, when Thanksgiving is over, the gold, burgundy and green fabrics can be showcased in your Christmas display. No sales required!
Many of the leaves in this line are spearmint or a grape leaf type print. They make great kitchen coordinates, wine caddies, etc. Again, no ghosts or goblins that scream Halloween – and require a sale on November 1st!
Now, combine these fabrics with the projects in her new book – and none of the fabric will be left anyway!
It gets even better! Her fabric line hit our warehouse this month – and the book hit last week. AND, Nancy is sending a trunk show of her new book for our Open House! Come to the Open House and check out the actual samples in the book. You can even take pictures for your newsletter! We aim to please – and Nancy always does!!!

Open House School Houses…Sign Up NOW!!!

It is hard to believe that after all of the preparation, the Checker Open House is less than two weeks away! That means, for all of you who have procrastinated, it is time to register. You don’t HAVE to register, but there are several advantages if you do….

A package will be waiting for you at the front desk that includes your name tags, order forms, cart labels, etc….but most of all, you will be entered into a drawing to receive one of 63 door prizes. And, these are major prizes – all valued over $100.

But, getting back to the school houses (held on Sunday August 21st)….we have a star studded line up of many of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. And, every session will include a question and answer segment.

Karen Montgomery 8:45 – 9:25
How to Host a Successful Demo Day in your Shop

Karen Montgomery will show you how to schedule your demo days or classes around a Sales Flyer to increase profits.  She will take you step by step through the process with our current sales flyer.

Sue Hausmann 9:35 – 10:15
Stabilizers – How to Use them and How to Sell them

Sue Hausmann is one of the most respected names in the industry for a reason! And, this year she is representing Sulky. Sue will show you their entire line of stabilizers, when to use them, and why. Take notes (we are even providing the notebooks)! This is a perfect demo opportunity for your store. Think about it – if you don’t know, chances are your customers don’t know either. And, if they don’t know what to do with it, they certainly aren’t going to buy it!

Judy Niemeyer 10:25 – 11:05
Choosing Colors for your Quilts

Everyone has a Judy Niemeyer quilt on their bucket list.  Her sense of color is incredible and Judy is going to walk you through how she makes her selections.  She is going to take one of her breathtaking quilts and show you how to pull fabrics from our warehouse to make your own masterpiece.  A lesson in color from an expert – what is not to love???

Kathy Brown 11:15 – 11:55
Planning Classes Around Teachable Moments

Kathy Brown of Teacher’s Pet will show you how to teach successful classes. “Teachable Moments” need to be built into every class. Your customers need to feel that if they miss a class, they missed a true learning opportunity. Yes, they should have a good time – and it is a social experience – but they will only return again and again if they felt they learned something that was worth the price of the class. But these teachable moments do not just have to be about sewing. Incorporate tips on notions as well….

It is so easy! Don’t just tell them to thread their machine with a neutral thread. Take home the information from Steve’s school house – and explain why a 50 weight thread is standard. Then take it one step further and explain what bobbin thread is – and why they might prefer it….

Explain what the numbers mean when they are buying machine needles, etc.

Susan Emory, Ellen Medlock, Alyssa McCoy, and Kathy Brown 12:40 – 1:20
Using Facebook & Social Networking to Increase Sales

Making Social Networking Work for You

Susan Emory, Ellen Medlock, Alyssa McCoy, and Kathy Brown will share with you how to incorporate social networking into your business. In the old days (which was 5 years ago) most of us mailed out a newsletter every quarter that included our class schedule. The class sign ups would be strong in the beginning of the quarter, but would dwindle as time went on. Then we started accumulating e-mail addresses so we could send them out electronically and save postage costs.

If you do not have a website, internet sales, and Facebook, your competitors do – and you are falling behind! Think about it – if they can add a class or announce a sale on a moment’s notice, they can increase profits!

Kathy used a blog hop to make her new book #1 – and will share with you how she did it. Ellen Medlock is an expert in social networking and has thousands of fans. Susan Emory is newer to the game and will tell you how she got started – and what it has done for her business. Alyssa McCoy just turned 21 and will tell you how her generation shops – and why we need to keep up! She will also be available to answer your questions – and set you up – for the two days of the show!

Steve Butler 1:30 – 2:00

Steve Butler of A&E threads will explain all about threads and needles – and how to choose the right one for your projects. Threads have become a world onto themselves. It used to be if you had a 50 wt. cotton thread rack in your store, you could handle your customers needs. Not any more! Come see why 12wt.; 30 wt.; cones; and specialty threads should be prominently displayed in your shop. But, if you don’t know how to use them – and incorporate them into your shop samples and classes – they will never sell! Educate yourself so you can educate your customers.

Needles are also a whole new market. If your customers think a universal needle is all they need – and they only change it when it breaks – you need to educate them as well!

I guarantee you – if you attend these school houses, you will learn enough to demo and teach an entire line-up! The best day you ever spent!!!

BUT, space is limited – and many are almost full. So call or e-mail Janis today: jplomaritis@www.checkernewsletter.comcheckerdist.com

Mark your Calendar

I can give you the important dates for next year:

Spring Market, Kansas City – May 18 – 20, 2012

Checker Open House – August 19 – 20, 2012

Fall Market, Houston – October 29 0 31, 2012

BUT, you can’t save the dates on your calendar – until you have one! And this year’s batch of calendars are better than ever. This is actually the perfect time to display them! Many shops wait until the end of the year – and that is simply too late! In this day and age, when our lives are planned out to the minute, your customers need them now!!

We all carry purse calendars. Checker has a multitude to choose from for under $10. These two year calendars will see your customer’s through to 2013.


Item #PP126 Retail $4.00
Rose with Quilt

Item #EPP111 Retail $4.00
Bloom Wherever you are Planted

Item #RPP77 Retail $4.00
Spools

Item #HPP76 Retail $4.00
Butterfly

Item #RPP78 Retail $4.00
Feathered Star

Item #RPP112 Retail $4.00
Main Street

Item #TPP51 Retail $4.00
Stars

Item #EPP74 Retail $4.00

Mary Engelbreit’s pocket calendar includes perforated paper and a sleeve to protect it – a calendar with attitude!!!

Item #AMO227-3 Retail $7.99

Look for future articles on wall calendars, specialty calendars, perpetual calendars….I visualize a display in your store coming soon!!!


Creative Grids Machine Quilting Templates

Grids Machine Quilting Templates Part 3 of 3 – Concentric Shapes.

This is the final article in a series of 3, which explains how to use the templates with longarm quilting systems. It is worth noting that all the templates can be used for many purposes, but they were designed to be used with longarm quilting systems, which is why they are ¼” thick.

The Concentric Shapes are extremely useful since there are multiple sizes of each shape – AND – you can use the inside edges as well as the outside edges. This is possible because every template has a small slot which provides access to the inside edges. This slot is large enough to get around the shaft of  the hopping foot, but small enough that you can stitch past it and there is no visible flaw in the stitch line.

The benefit of this slot is subtle, but significant. When stitching a geometric shape, the inside edge provides far more control, making it easier to get the perfect shape. Outside edges are still very useful, especially when the shape is being used to control the machine when outlining designs like appliqué.

There are four shapes available:

Item # BDQCIR

Item # BDQSQ

The Circles and Squares have 11 pieces each.

Item # BDQHEART

Item #BDQSTAR

Stars have 4 pieces and Hearts have 6.

Here are examples of what you can do with the Creative Grids Sweet Set Circles. Notice the consistent shape of the stitched circles. It is easy when using the inside edge of the template.

It is always a good idea to measure and mark the quilt before stitching. I use chalk because it is removed easily. The registration marks on the templates allow them to be placed accurately.

The square templates are quickly becoming one of my favorites, especially for inside borders and sashings.

Squares are stitched on point, and connected by stitching a horizontal line from one to the next.

Squares can also be overlapped, creating a gridwork, similar to crosshatching, but much easier to do.

Use one side of the template to create duplicate stitch lines. No need to mark and measure the echo lines! When using the inside of the template as the stitching guide, the corners remain sharp and pointed.

Enhance the square designs by using the Star.

Add some arcs by using just the top of the Heart.

Here is an example of a block design, created using just the heart shape template. There are hundreds of block possibilities using the Creative Grids Sweet Set concentric shapes individually or in combinations.

Use concentric shapes when doing detailing around appliqué. Choose a template that matches the curvature of the appliqué, and use either the inside or outside edge.

I especially like using the Heart shapes for outlining appliqué because they have both a straight edge and a curved edge.

Plus, the top of the heart fits the hopping foot perfectly, so the template can be used to guide the machine for excellent control.

The information contained in here should be enough inspiration for a teacher to develop a class for their longarm owners. For more ideas, go to www.PatBarryQuilts.com

Always “checking” for a better way to quilt! Sewlong,

Pat Barry

ã2011 By Design Quilting, LLC.  This copyright entitles you to reprint this article. All other rights reserved.

www.PatBarryQuilts.com

Open House – Bigger and Better than Ever

If you have an opportunity to come, COME.  There is simply no event like it!!!  I work for Checker on a consulting basis – so I can brag about them. They are the most honest, ethical, hard working folks you will ever meet – and when they throw a party, they take it seriously!

Rob Krieger is the owner and President of Checker and believes that education is key.  With over 80,000 products available, you can only sell it if you know how to use it.  So this year, we are bringing in 30 of the top designers, authors, and manufacturers in the industry to educate our customers!  How do we bring in 10 more demonstrators than last year?  If you are Rob, you remove 24 feet of shelving that is embedded in concrete and add an entire wall of lighting to showcase the demonstrations!  And that is why this event is so successful!  These folks never rest on their laurels – they are always trying to improve and work every day to make you a customer for life!

I thought you might like to see the behind the scenes decisions that are made BEFORE you arrived that make this event such a success!  Brad Krieger is buying thousands of bolts of fabric so there will be plenty of selection – and every bolt is available to take home during the event!

This year, several of the vendors specialize in batiks so they are moving all of the bolts into the same area of the warehouse.  Judy Niemeyer is giving a talk on color – and is even going to show you how to pull fabrics from our inventory to make her most popular projects!  What did I tell you – this is an event like no other!

There are advantages to pre-registering.  Not only does that make you eligible for thousands of dollars in door prizes, it also means that there was a packet waiting for you at the front desk.  That packet includes name tags including your account number; invoices for pre-ordered merchandise; a claim check if you won a door prize; order forms; labels with your store information; etc.  The vast majority of our customers pre-register so you simply walk up to the desk and pick up their packet.  Start shopping and visiting with the demonstrators immediately.

The showroom features displays of the top sellers in every category.

.  

My favorite part of the showroom is the book and pattern area.  These women are taking full advantage of shopping in air-conditioned comfort surrounded by the books and patterns they love!   These items can be ordered at the show and will shipped to you.  Accuquilt will also be demonstrating many of their products and will have a display set up here.

Gina Kreiger, the IT director, had a touch screen computer installed in the showroom so you will have easy access to the website.

Let’s face it – when you are lucky enough to buy fabric by the bolt, instead of the yard – shopping carts need to be bigger too.  So how do you accommodate hundreds of large carts in a limited area?  Remove the lower shelves so carts can be stored there – and the aisles are still accessible!  Mo more traffic jams!!!

How do you serve over 600 people for lunch?  Pass out lunch tickets at the door, of course!  By having six different lunch times, no one has to wait in line.  The food is Southern barbeuce – and they even have someone passing out anti-bacterial wipes so you can “wash” your hands before you get your food.  After all, shopping for fabric is a dirty job – but somebody has to do it!!!

But how do you make eating in a warehouse look appealing?  You call your vendors and have over 250 quilts brought in to make the room eye candy for the soul.  Then you lay carpet – for just one day, bring in tables, cloths and skirts to create an instant restaurant!

But what really makes Checker different is the people.  They love what they do – and it shows!  Pat Berry usually mans the front desk – but will man one of the twelve check-outs at this show!

And, each check-out station has assistants to organize your purchases; sort everything; and pack it for your trip home.  No lines!!!

The packers load the merchandise right into your vehicle.  What a luxury!  The only time you have to touch it is when you put it in your cart!  Last year, one shop owners wanted to strap these guys to her roof so they could unload it when she got back to her store!  (As you can see, there was no room in her car!)  Sorry – we aim to please – but draw the line at breaking several traffic laws!!!

Schoolhouses start Sunday.  They are filling up quickly so reserve your spot today.  The demonstrators will be manning their booths Sunday after 2:00 (as soon as the school houses are over) and Monday until 4:00. this has become a two day event.  Call in and register today – you will make it an annual event!  (This is a wholesale event and is not open to the public.)