Holiday Wish List Options

Tis the season – and time to welcome your customer’s families into your shop.  Embrace them!  You have to encourage relatives who are willing to support their loved ones – and their obsessive hobby!  Here are some of my favorite choices for those last minute gifts…

This assortment of Frixion Gel Pens offers the favorite new tool of the year in a variety of colors…

Item #FX7C8001-P  Retail $21.04

Visit our website:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=frixion&relatedto= to see all of your options.

We all love Mary Ellen’s Spray Starch but have not had an opportunity to try all of the scents (and no scent) versions.  Who wouldn’t love an assortment in the perfect 2 oz. travel size – great for classes….

Item #60071  Retail $19.99

Why not sell this assortment with a gift certificate for a gallon of their favorite scent?

This C.D. includes a collection of quilt labels – many of them can be colored with pigma pens….

Item #20153  Retail $9.95
Pigma Pens are now available in an assortment of “Heritage” colors.  These country colors will fly off the shelves!
Item #30069  Retail $16.74
Why not display gift certificates for classes next to the sample for that class?
Put Christmas bows on those larger ticket items that customers don’t generally buy for themselves:  the large Creative Grids squares, large cutting mats, irons, sewing machine travel cases, Big Boards – you get the picture.  Move these gift items front and center – and create a display.  A little redecorating can be all that is needed to “Deck the Halls”!!!  Ho! Ho! Ho!

Schnibbles Times Two

I am a big fan of Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co.  She has an amazing color sense that make her scrap quilts sing!  Every one of her quilts can be showcased in a class on fabric selection.  She makes combining up to 50 fabrics in one project look effortless.  Her first book – “Schnibbles Times Two” – is full of projects that will have you coming back for more.  Use 10″ squares to make one size – and 5″ squares to make the other.  What a clever idea!  .

Item #B1028T  Retail $26.99

Check out this quilt in the lap size  – and then in the smaller size.  Check out the sherbet colors in the first version and the country colors in the second.  They look like totally different patterns!

Pastels can make a statement….

Bubble gum prints just make you smile…

Patriotic prints never looked so good….

Soft colors can steal the show….

She has followed this success with her new book – Another Bite of Schnibbles – same concept – more great quilts!  In this case, you CAN judge a book by its cover.  Here is an example of the great quilts inside…..

Item #B1099T  Retail $26.99

Nine patches never looked so good!

And check out the half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles in this mini…..

Set up a display of all of your pre-cuts along with these books and inspire your customers.  Why not choose four of your favorites and offer a “Quilt a Quarter” Class.  Over the course of a year, your customers could make four quilt tops – and have them done in time for Christmas presents next year.  Offer three – three hour classes per quarter and they should be able to complete their tops in class.  Give your customers an opportunity to make an appointment to sew — they deserve it!

The Twelve Months of Christmas

This time of year, your customers all have one thing in common – they all need more TIME!  Unfortunately, you can’t give them more time to finish those Christmas gifts that were the “perfect choice” in January – but you CAN help them plan for next year…Why not start a “Twelve Months of Christmas” program?  Don’t put those Christmas fabrics on sale!   Pull coordinating reds, greens, golds and blues off of your shelves and start a new tradition.

Each month offer a different Christmas project – and once each quarter, make one of the projects more difficult….Here are my pics for the first six months.  Next week I’ll finish the year. And, in each class, have a teachable moment.

Month One:

Everyone has a Judy Niemeyer project on their bucket list.  Teach your students how to paper-piece with this gorgeous tree skirt pattern.  Offer this the first month so they can work on it over the next three months – and get help if needed.  Be sure to pull your batiks into your Christmas display.

Item #JNQ61P  Retail $25.00
(Includes the paper-piecing foundations)

Month Two

Teach a red work class.  This is a great opportunity to demonstrate and explain the difference between Pearl Cotton and floss.  Many prefer an eight weight pearl cotton for redwork since it is twisted and does not break and fray.  I prefer to embroider on a “Snow” Kona Cotton – it is not as stark of a white.  Some prefer to embroider through a double layer to hide the knots and tails.  Others prefer to stitch through a thin batting.  Show them an example of both – or add your favorite technique.

Item #BBD145  Retail $9.00

Demonstrate how to use Transfer-Eze(Item #TE10) and have it printed for them for the class.  (Just remember that they have to buy the pattern before you can provide them with the transfers!).

Most importantly, teach them how to finish them when they are done.  Red wool makes a beautiful backing.  Buy the wool first – and match the embroidery cotton to the wool for a classic look.  This is great handwork so be sure to have a wide variety of patterns on hand.  Visit our website at: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=Bird+Brain+Designs&relatedto= to see all of the options.

Month Three

These Pick a Posie Placemats can be quilted as you go.  Use a fusible batting to make it even easier to complete.  And, use the octagon version to show how to do a binding with odd angles.  Creative Grids makes the Angle Finder (Item #CGRAF) so everyone can be successful binding these odd shapes and use the Creative Grids Fussy Cut Square (CGRRSQ6) to fussy cut the design in the middle.

Item #JC102  Retail $9.50

Month Four

It is the beginning of the second quarter so this month, we will have a larger project – a table topper by Terry Atkinson.  Again, this table topper has odd angles so it is a great binding demo.  It could also be easily turned into a tree skirt.  I can’t be the only one that has a tree in every room!  This picture has a fall theme but works up beautifully in Christmas fabrics as well.  The pattern includes yardage requirements in three different sizes – don’t forget to ask which size they want kitted before class!

Item #ATK147  Retail $9.00

This is not a difficult project, but it does need to be quilted so it is a perfect opportunity to offer an additional class on machine quilting.  Demonstrate hand quilting in class.  This is a small project so it is not intimidating for a beginner.

Month Five

By now, it is May and your customers are busy with graduations, baseball, and the end of the school year.  It is the perfect time to offer a Make and Take It class.  When we are frazzled, it is the best time to offer some instant gratification!  These make great gifts – and are a great opportunity to tell your customers about Insul-Bright (Item #6320WN).   Since they are machine quilted, they can actually finish them in class!

Item #ST935  Retail $5.95

Month Six

Your Christmas fabrics are starting to arrive so now is the time to work on projects that take more yardage.  These aprons are quick, easy, and charming!  They can easily be done in a class and give you an opportunity to teach them how to add all of those finishing touches.  It even comes in a children’s version for those who want to cook with Mom (Item #VHD137).


Item #VHD132  Retail $9.00

Remember, the projects reel them in, but for classes to be successful, it must be worth their time.  They have to learn something valuable in every class.  Add the techniques that will be covered as part of the class description.  I know how to embroider so a red work class may not interest me – but sign me up if that class is also going to show me how to use Transfer-Eze and wool to finish them professionally.  THAT is worth my time!

Have the projects and kits ready at least a month in advance.  They can “reserve” their space from month to month by purchasing the kit.  If they skip a month, they have to wait until an opening becomes available.  Your classes will all be full!  Make a Christmas version as well as a traditional one when appropriate.  This apron would be a great gift any time of year.

It is up to you to inspire your customers!  Next week we will complete the program….





So Charming the Sheep are Jealous!

We just picked up a line of five inch charm squares from In the Patch Designs that are over-dyed wool.  This is a case of – you can’t stop at just one.  The packaging also enhances the “charm” of these samples.  Who could resist???

Item #WC4522  Retail $8.50

Each hand-dyed wool color is one recipe, over-dyed on 5 different wools. When it’s over-dyed, you get color variations great for shading & definition. Each wool pack will vary according to what wools are currently available in the market.

Visit our website to see over 30 colors:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?v=B397

They have also created a series of small projects that incorporate these squares. And, at just $4.99 – that is RETAIL – they are a bargain! These pumpkins are adorable and can be made in no time at all…

Item WC4689  Retail $4.99

This strawberry pin cushion shows the quality and texture of their wools.  Who can resist this kind of quality?

Item #WC4767  Retail $4.99

This three-dimensional sunflower will make everyone smile…

Item #WC4768  Retail $4.99

But personally, I love to applique in wool and add decorative embroideries with #8 Pearl Cottons.  Try creating your favorite block of the month project in wool appliqued on a high quality flannel such as this Maywood line: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/fabrics/?f_l=561&page=1&limit=100&f_v=M459

It is great handwork -and easy enough for a beginner.  This is a great way to introduce your customers to the world of applique!

These fabrics are due in any day – so place your orders now to be the first ones to get them in your shop.  Sometimes a product is so good, it is worth the wait!!!



Christmas Cards are NOT a Thing of the Past

Christmas cards are quickly becoming a thing of the past.  Soon the only place you will be able to find them will be in antique stores.  How sad is that!  And, now, when you do go to the mailbox and find a card, doesn’t it bring a smile???  Even better, when you open up the card and see a note from a friend, it brightens your whole day!  Many of us still send cards to friends far away – but what about the friends and family that support us every day?  Why not take the time to send them a special note saying what we think – but don’t often put into words???

Many of my friends are school teachers – and those heart felt cards are treasured.  Why not create a treasure today???  We have an assortment of cards and package tags on special just for the holidays.

When I had a quilt shop, I had several customers who were well known in the shop – and had become shut ins.  I provided the cards if their quilting friends wanted to send them a note – and insert a fat quarter.  It was a win/win for everyone! We called them Fat Quarter Showers.  There were lots of tears when I delivered these bundles of Christmas cheer – and you can do the same for your customers.

Visit our website to see the entire collection:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/gifts?c=32510&u=32517, but here are a few of my favorites….

Item #BDX165  Retail $9.50 for a box of 15

Item #BDX196  Retail $9.50 for a box of 15

Item #LBL23  Retail $6.95 for a package of 10

These coordinating gift tags are always a nice touch – and will sell out at the register…




Item #XGT080  Retail $3.50
But, we carry an entire selection of cards.  Why not offer “fat quarter showers” to your homebound customers ALL year?  A quilt shop is the heart of the community.  Why not show your customers how big your heart is???

“Gather” Together your Samples for a Demo Day

My favorite notion this Market is a brilliant idea from Clover – a fusible gathering tape.  It is so simple – iron on a strip of interfacing that has a thread running through it.  Then pull on the thread and gather the fabric to the width you need.  It is a quick demo – but when you give a quilter a new toy, you need to give them a reason to buy it – and these patterns are just the ticket.  Set up a display of “ruffles” and your customers will love it.  These projects are sew simple that you can use your demo strips to complete a project in an afternoon.

Item #9526CV
(6 yards) $7.95
Item #9527CV
(15 yards) 14.75

Ruffles are everywhere this season.  These are just a few of my favorites…

This “Girly Tool Belt” by Vanilla House is absolutely adorable – a modern version of an apron.  Who doesn’t need an extra pocket or two???

Item #VHD188  Retail $9.50

This “Apron Dress” has a sense of style with a wrap around waist that creates the illusion of a skirt…

Item #A514  Retail $15.00

“Pillow Party” by Indygo Junction is one pattern with a punch!  Each pillow features a different technique – which can turn into a series of demo days – covered buttons, cording, etc.  Don’t forget to have pillows on hand.  Why not start a pillow of the month club.  These pillows are perfect Make and Take projects!  And, since eight patterns are combined in one, the cost can be affordable!

Item IJ843  Retail $12.99

What grandmother could resist these diaper covers in “Too Cute to Boot”?  Who could stop at just one?  What a cute way to sell fat eighths!

Item #EMD102  Retail $11.99

“Apron Strings” by Teacher’s Pet is a great way to showcase a line of fabric.  Make a sample to show your customers how well the fabrics go together….

Item #TP305  Retail $8.00

Tote bags are incredibly popular – adding ruffles is just the icing on the cake…

Item #IID134  Retail $12.50

Three dimensional broaches are all the rage – and this ruffled versioon of a rose has never been easier.


Item #SSP602  Retail $8.50
For even more ideas, visit our website and type in “ruffles”:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=ruffles&relatedto=
The possibilities are endless!

A Checker Ap comes to your iPhone

Tuesday I will officially become the cool Mom and Grandma – if it starts with an “I”, I’ve got it!  But why?  What technology is so revolutionary that I have jumped on the latest craze voluntarily – no kicking and screaming required?

It all started last year when Rob Krieger shadowed Kathy Seal – the owner of The Quilt Patch in Tecumseh, Michigan.  Fab Shop asked him to spend a day in the shoes of a quilt shop owner and it changed his perception of the entire industry!  He discovered very quickly that time was of the essence – and if we could save our customers time, they could do their jobs better!

A brainstorming session resulted in our I T department developing our very own Checker App!  Now search and order with a touch of a button – on your iPhone!!!  Pull up the newest items, top sellers, sale items, open orders – and even back orders – with the touch of a button.  You can even start a “favorites” list to make it as simple as possible to re-order.

Then, we started embedding MS Tags in the acrylic of Creative Grids rulers.  These little 7/8″ squares make it possible for anyone with a SmartPhone to scan them – and see a video demonstration on how to use the ruler instantly.

So, when my current phone contract expired, I opted for an iPhone – and believe me, it is worth it!  Visit:http://mobile.checkerdist.com/info/ to learn more about the ap – and download it to your iPhone.

Rob believes that education and technology are the key to the success of our customers – and he has made me a believer!  What about you????

The Accessories you need to Throw a Quilting Party

Whether you are throwing the party – or your customers are hosting their quilting group, these quilt designed plates, cups, and napkins are sure to be a hit!  They come in two different designs – Pine Tree and Trip around the World…

Item #CUP-PINE  Retail $6.95
Item #CUP-TRIP

Item #NAP-PINE  Retail $4.95
Item #NAP-TRIP

Item #PL-PINE  Retail $6.95
Item #PL-TRIP

And, each package contains 20 – don’t you love it when the hot dogs match the buns???

Decorate your Register for the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner so it is time to order those cute little stocking stuffers that fly off the shelves and should be the showcase of a register display.  In some cases it is all about the packaging.  These haberdashery button tins are irresistible – and come in a variety of colors.  At this price, they won’t be able to stop at just one….Check out the selection:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=Haberdashery+Button+Tins&relatedto=

Item #BGHAB500  Retail $4.99

These tins of moisturizers by Lavishea smell great – and actually work!

Item #OP125L  Retail $8.00


Item #WB125L  Retail $8.00

Do you notice a theme here???  This year, tins are really popular – no matter what is in them – and make a great display!  This tin features finger thimbles from Jillily Studios.

Item #JILL1050  Retail $8.98

But some of your customers may need to make a little something as a last minute gift – and these little animals are child safe – and can be personalized in a matter of minutes.  What’s not for a grandmother to love?  Be it monkey, duck, or pig???

Item #GN072  Retal $9.99

Item #GN125  Retail $9.99

Item #GN324  Retail $9.99

Start putting your display together now!  Ho, Ho, Ho!!!




Houston – Thanks for the Memories

Houston is actually two shows that overlap.  Quilt Market is  a wholesale show that is scheduled for the last Saturday, Sunday and Monday in October each year.  But if you have ever attended, you know that there are so many special events surrounding the show that three days is just not enough!

For me, the kick off to the long week-end is the Fab Shop dinner.  It is always Thursday night and is  an opportunity for quilt shops all over the country to sit down to a wonderful dinner and share ideas.  I love to hear what is popular in different areas of the country and what innovative shop owners are teaching  and demonstrating in their neck of the woods.

Once again, Checker gave the Grand Prize – and the winner was Laura of the Fig Leaf in Colorado who won a $1,500 credit memo!

Friday, school houses began.  School houses are 15 to 30 minute sessions that are mini classes and demonstrations by the top names in the industry.  Checker sponsored 12 different sessions – and video taped them all!  We will be sharing many of them with you as soon as the editing is complete.  What an experience!  These ladies have a wealth of knowledge to share with you!

Saturday, Market officially opens.  Checker and Creative Grids had three different demonstration areas.  We believe that education is thee key to a strong company and if you don’t know how to use the products, you certainly can’t sell them!  Demonstrations are simply a must!

Karen LePage is showing how easy it is to Sew for Boys (Item #94955-9).  As you can see, these events are always popular!

Rita Fishel demonstrated the entire line of Creative Grids.  Rita just started a pattern company under her shop name – Creations Sew Clever.  These patterns use some of the unusual rulers by Creative Grids.  They should be available to ship by the end of the month:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=Rita+Fishel&relatedto=

Karla Alexander demonstrated her line of Creative Grids curved rulers.  Her new book with Martingale featuring these rulers will be available early next year:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=karla+alexander&relatedto=

As you can see, the Checker booth was a happening place….

Pam and Nicky Lintott of the Jelly Roll book series stopped by.  This mother//daughter teacm are launching a pattern series in the very near future – and yes Checker will have all 12 patterns!  I will keep you posted.

Market would be nothing without the designers!  I took a short walk, and snapped these pictures in less than 15 minutes!  Your favorite designers are literally on every corner!

Kay Whitt:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=kay+whitt&relatedto=

Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=blackbird+designs&relatedto=

Ricky Tims:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=Ricky+Tims&relatedto=

Kathy Brown of Teacher’s Pet:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?d=30247

Marianne Fons:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=mariann+fons&relatedto=

Rachel Cross of Ceative Grids with Larene Smith of the Quilted Button:

Quilt Market does fall on Halloween so you never quite know who you might run into!  Elvis was in the house at the Primitive Gatherings booth:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?v=B045

And, Houston, we have a problem….Eleanor may be flying that shuttle!

What can I tell you!  Only at Market!!!