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.
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)
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.
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
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.
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
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….