Start your own “Fabric” Garden Club

La Todera will be releasing two new flowers this month.  Not only are the new additions absolutely stunning, there are now plenty of designs to choose from.  That means you could host a “Garden Club” in your own shop – but this time, fabric takes center stage…

The newest additions to the family inncludes a beautiful daffodil.  Easter isn’t until April this year, so there is still time to pre-order this project and plan a demo around the holiday…

Item #LATOD025  Retail $9.00

Or, if cooking is your passion, try this pot holder.  Why not make a few extra for the happy host/hostess of that holiday feast??

Item #LATOD023  Retail $9.00

But, while you are waiting for the newest additions to the line to arrive, why not whet their appetites with some gorgeous Spring flowers…  Here in the Midwest, we have had such a mild winter that the gardeners are ready to get their hand dirty – but you can’t rush nature.  These flowers look great in “Fairy Frosts”, but  will never wilt – no matter what mother nature throws our way!

Camelia

Item #LAT013CAM  Retail $9.00

Dinner Plate Dahlia

Item #LAT014DAH  Retail $9.00

Cymbidium

Item #LATOD06  Retail $9.00

Slipper Orchid

Item #LATOD07  Retail $9.00

Many guilds are looking for spectacular ribbons for their quilt shows.  Check these out….

Item #LAT020KFB  Retail $9.00

To check out the entire collection, visit our website at:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=la+todera&relatedto=

Many of these flowers are readily available at your favorite home and garden store.  Why not offer the live version as a door prize???  Let your students be inspired by the real thing!

Sliders aren’t just for Baseball…

When I visit a vendor’s mall, I gravitate toward the booths with great demos.  Because, lets face it, demos draw a crowd!  The Original Supreme Slider and the Queen Slider were the stars of many booths this year – for a reason.  For anyone who machine quilts on a home sewing machine, moving the quilt over the bed of the machine is work!  Within minutes, your shoulders ache, you feel carpal tunnel setting in, and the fun is gone…until now!

Item #SS7  Retail $33.95

The Supreme Slider by La Pierre Studio is a teflon sheet that sticks to your sewing table.  The quilt slides over the white side of the sheet because there is absolutely NO friction!  The pink side sticks to the table like a PostIt note and is removable for easy cleaning.  The original comes in an 8″ x 11 1/2″ sheet.  The sheet can be easily cut with scissors to fit your specific machine.  When lint begins to build up on the slider, it is time to clean.  Simply run it under warm water and let it air dry.  Place the self-sticking pink back in the correct position on your machine and sew….

In this day and age, sometimes bigger is better.  And, if you have a larger home machine such as the Janome 6600 or the Bernina 8 series, you need the Queen Slider….

Item #SQ8  Retail $68.00

The Queen Slider is twice the size of the original.  The new size won’t be available until April, but if you are a machine dealer, you better place your order now…

These are the perfect accessory for any machine quilting class.  Let them sit down for a test drive and they sell themselves.  When a product is this good, you just have to let them know you carry it – and educate them before they see it at a national show!!!  They will be glad you did….

Will the Supreme Slider fit on my machine?

There is a Supreme Freemotion Slider to fit any sewing machine.

The ORIGINAL SUPREME SLIDER measures 8″ x 11.5″ and is perfect for most home sewing machines. It is easily trimmed with scissors if you want to adjust the size.

The new QUEEN SLIDER measures 11.5″ x 17″ and is especially sized for longarm machines. It is perfect for the new Bernina 8 series and Janome 6600. For smaller home machines that are set into a table, it completely covers all the surrounding cracks, giving you one large, smooth, snag-free work area for your quilting.

CUSTOM SIZES are available also. Just send us an email and let us know what size you need.

How do I clean my SUPREME SLIDER?

It’s SO EASY to keep your SUPREME SLIDER clean. Simply remove from the sewing machine bed, and run under warm water to remove any lint, and let dry. After it is dry, the pink self-sticking back lets you lay the SUPREME SLIDER back on the machine, no messy tape or adhesives needed!

How do I attach the SUPREME SLIDER to my machine?

The white top of the SUPREME SLIDER lets your fabric slide around with no friction for easy quiling. The PINK BOTTOM of the slider is SELF-STICKING and grips your machine bed without messy tape or adhesives! Our patented special sticky bottom holds on without any problem!

Make sure the Slider does not hang over the sides, where the weight of a quilt could lift it from the machine bed. If necessary, trim to fit your machine bed with scissors.

If you are having trouble with the SLIDER moving and not sticking, it is time to clean the slider under warm water to remove any lint or dirt. Simply let air dry, and replace on your machine.


Sew Simple has done it again…

Karin Hellaby has published a series of books that are a quilt shop’s dream!  These reasonably priced books offer  a technique that is perfect for any demo day.  Her latest book, “Sew Simple Pinwheels” is due any day – so order now!

Item #L2887  Retaill $14.95

Karin is known worldwide for creating techniques that make it fast, fun and easy for anyone to sew a fun quilt in an afternoon.  In this case, Karin cuts segments from half-square triangles that are easily turned into pinwheels.  And,  unlike a traditional pinwheel that has eight seams meeting in the middle, this version has four!  No bulk, no difficulty matching seams, no hassle!

The book features the basic pinwheel – that can be demonstrated in less than ten minutes – and then offers three different variations of the basic block.  There are also several color photos of quilts to entice your customers.  The small quilt can be made in no time at all – and is a perfect baby quilt.  But if you don’t have time to make a quilt, there is a cute table runner as well.

A cute border never hurts…

A simple change creates a secondary pattern in this quilt.  “Butterflies” are created when the blocks are sewn together.  And the “trip around the world” pattern adds additional interest.

The individual blocks are sew cute that samples of each variation is probably enough.  Don’t you love it when a technique is sooooo good that a block and the book is enough to entice your customers???  And, these all started with a half-square triangle…..

Heirloom Ornaments aren’t just Christmas any More

Carol Steffensen of Chickadee Hollow Designs has created a series of ornaments just in time for Easter that are adorable!

These patterns come with the pre-printed fabric that is just waiting for your customers to add embroidery and embellishments. These are great take along projects – and with Spring break coming up, your customers will be looking for cute, fun and portable designs. And with Easter falling in April this year, they have plenty of time to decorate a branch for the season.

Wouldn’t these be wonderful displayed on each place setting?

Item #CDHH18 Retail $7.00

Or personalize this little guy and hang it from the handle of Easter baskets.

Item #CDHH14 Retail $7.00

What little girl wouldn’t love a princess basket – complete with flower butterflies?

Item #CDHH09 Retail $7.00

But, Christmas is just around the corner – and many of you will host a Christmas in July, so these should be on your class list…

Your customers could always personalize this house with a name and number…

Item #CDHV012 Retail $7.00

What quilter can resist this?

Item #CDHV018 Retail $7.00

Who can resist sweets – of any kind!


Item #CDHV04 Retail $7.00

To see the entire selection, visit our website: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=chickadee+hollow&relatedto=



Color Takes Center Stage

I have loved the designs that Kellie Wulfsohn of Don’t Look Now has designed – but shipping the patterns from Australia was just too cost prohibitive. But, now they are printed in the U.S., so they are affordable tor everyone! They are just plain happy – and will make your customers smile as well. Spring is just around the corner so why not pull your “happy” fabrics and display them with these patterns. Grab some fat quarters as well so they can “play” with the fabrics until they get a pleasing combination. Who can resist? Don’t forget to add some flesh tones, grays and browns for the animals, hair and faces.

Quilts for boys have never been more fun! Check out Robot Riot…

Item #DNL01 Retail $18.00

With the success of the Disney movies, this Little Monster quilt will be a sure hit. Why not combine it with the movie as a special gift for your favorite little one…

Item #DNL15 Retail $18.00

Since Kellie is from Australia, this Animal Alphabet quilt features some creatures that aren”t necessarily native to this hemisphere – and adds to the fun!

Item #DNL02 Retail $20.00

Worry Dolls is a great quilt to work on with the recipient. Why not let them “dress” the dolls by choosing the fabrics. They could pick out the fat quarters the store.

Item #DNL13 Retail $18.00

What child doesn’t love to be the star of their own theater production?

Item #DNL26 Retail $15.00

But her designs are not just for children. Adults will love them too…

Item #DNL03 Retail $20.00

After all, we can be happy at any age. Check out her full line of patterns on our website: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?v=D650

These patterns will not be available until the end of the month, but do our buyers a favor and order now! I have a feeling that that everyone is going to want them – so if you order now, you will be one of the first shops to receive them!





Support the Twister Movement

Many of you have sold enough of the Twister and Lil Twister templates to pay your shop rent. And, now that all of your customers know how much fun it is, two designers have created lines of patterns to make your customers excited all over again!

Simply Twisted Designs has some fun designs that bring a smile…

Square Dance reminds me of a jigsaw puzzle and is a great way to use up scraps.

Item #STD110 Retail $9.00

The holidays will never be the same – no matter which holiday – if you add one of these classes to your schedule…

Item #STD106 Retail $8.50

Item #STD112 Retail $8.50

To see her other designs, visit our website at: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?v=S412

Amy’s Wagon Wheel Creations has also joined the “Twister” craze…

These place mats and table runner would be a perfect intro class.

Item #AWWC6 Retail $ 9.00

Who wouldn’t love this bright and happy baby quilt – Baby Charmed Twister…

Item #AWWC6 Retail $9.00

And what is good for the babies is even better for adults. Look what a change in fabrics – and size can do…

Item #AWWC2 Retail $9.00

To see the rest of her patterns, visit our website at: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=Amy%27s+Wagon+Wheel&relatedto=

And for those of you who haven’t yet joined the Twister craze, here is the tool that is now famous!

Item #LILTWISTER Retail $9.85

Cutting 5″ squares is fast and easy. And, by doing it yourself, you can use any fabric – not just what is offered in pre-cut packaging. Why not give the Creative Grids Fat Quarter Cutter a try. It has all of the markings required to cut the pre-cuts on the Market.

Item #CGRY1 Retail $25.95

If you would like to bust that stash, use the Creative Grids Charming 5 Square….

Item #CGRFFQ1 Retail $14.45

However you cut it, these combos are winners!

Your Shop as a Destination

Bev left a message on the blog and  asked how to start a book club – and it got me thinking….

When I owned a shop, my goal was to get people through the door.  If I sucked them in, they would see something they just had to have – and a quilter was born!  But, in some cases, they didn’t come in to quilt!

Weight Watchers

In the “old days”, a shop could host a Weight Watchers meeting if you had 20 participants.  My shop hosted a weekly meeting.  The weight watcher staff set up the scale in a back room so everyone could weigh in privately.  Check with your local office for details.

While they were weighing in, I taught the participants how to applique.  I designed a simple heart block that they got for free when they signed up for the ten week program.

Each person set a goal – and when they reached it, they received another heart block.  Each week I would share new embroidery stitches, new products, etc. while they were waiting – what teacher can resist a captive audience!

We had a walking trail a block from the shop, so some of these women started meeting at the walking trail to fulfill the exercise part of the program.

They became friends, became healthier, and learned to quilt!  Who could resist a triple win for everyone!

Book Club

There are several authors that feature quilts or knitting in their novels:  Earlene Fowler; Emilie Richards; and Jennifer Chiaverini come to mind.

Item #95264-0  Retail $25.95
Due out this month!

Many of their books feature traditional quilt patterns.  Why not start a Block of the Month program based on these quilt patterns.  If they buy the book from you, the 12″ block kit is free – if they don’t, there is a charge for the kit.

Item #24098-4  Retail $25.95

In the book club, teach them how to make the block – and feature the companion items that make it simple.  For instance, if the block features half-square triangles, show how to use Triangle Paper on a Roll; the Creative Grids half-square triangle rulers (CGR78 or CGRST3878); or your favorite method.  If half-square triangles are featured in more than one block, show them different methods each month – and let them play before they pay!  Give them a section of Triangle Paper, for instance, instead of requiring them to buy a whole roll.

Item #MB2647-2  Retail $7.99

Then, while everyone is working on their project, discuss the book!

Make it a party!  Incorporate an autograph block so they can sign each other’s quilts.  Take a picture of the class and show them how to do photo transfer on fabric .  Teaching opportunities are everywhere!

Baby and Bridal Showers

Why not offer a “shower package”?  The participants can come and make blocks for a quilt for the guest of honor.  Include the price of putting the blocks together, quilting and binding it.

An autograph quilt that can be signed at the wedding would also be great.  Think outside of the box so everyone can contribute.  What a way to expose people to quilting – their friends invite them into your shop!  With a little ingenuity, your customer base will soar!

Children’s Class

Why not offer pillow cases that can be colored for a group of children?  Visit the Checker website:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?v=F185 to see all of the options available.

Or, let your customers know these are available!  What a great project for a slumber party!

As a shop owner, have an arsenal of ideas organized so when you are asked for an idea you are ready with the answers.  You could even keep a notebook of these ideas and let them leaf through it.  Won’t you look impressive!

A Jiggle every Woman will Like

I am starting to feel comfortable with my iPhone – and that means that I am downloading apps (applications – like a computer program) and my screen is getting crowded.  Let’s write a disclaimer right now – I am not a techie which means I may not use the correct terms, etc. – but if you are my age, you wouldn’t understand it if I did!

Setting up folders is simple.  To obtain “jiggle mode” simply place a finger over one of the icons – and hold it there –  for a few seconds.  All of the icons will begin to jiggle – like an old jello commercial!  (You may have to explain to your children who Bill Cosby is!)  This image is a little blurry because I took the picture when they were jiggling…

In these examples, I am combining games into one folder.  To combine 7 Words with the Game Center, just place your finger on one icon and slide it over the other.  (I have taken down my Christmas decorations – but now that includes changing my screen on my phone.  Who knew????  Ignore the Christmas tree in the background.)

A suggested folder name will appear.  If you don’t like their choice, touch the name and your keyboard will appear so you can name it anything you want!  Then, while the icons are still jiggling, I can continue to drag games into this new folder.  When I am done – and want to turn off “jiggle mode”, I click the round button that turns on my phone and they stop.

When I want to play a game, I click on the games icon and all of the games appear:

The “2” in the upper right hand corner means that it is my turn in to Words with Friends games.  If you have not tried this game, it is an excellent way to stay in touch with your family and friends.  It is an on-line “Scrabble” type game.  You can also instant message during the game and trash talk your opponents (not that I would ever do that!)

If you want to “break up” a folder, just initiate “jiggle mode” and drag the icon out of that folder.  This is so simple, I got an “A” on my very first lesson!




Find my iPhone

There is a reason that Checker chose the iPhone for their app – the technology is simply amazing!  Because of the Checker app – and the addition of MS Tags on the Creative Grids rulers – I changed to an iPhone when my contract was up and promptly bought an iPad.

My geeky children are impressed – and are constantly amused by my excitement when I figure out how to use something on my own.  But most of the time, I make a list of something I wish I could do, don’t know how to do, heard that I could do…and ask for a lesson when we get together.  If they try to teach me more than one thing at a time, I go on information overload!  So for those of you who still remember party lines – but have to explain them to your children, these posts are for you!

Find My iPhone

It takes less than five minutes to download this app (which is free) to your iPhone or iPad – but it can save you loads of frustration!  Just search for “Find My iPhone” in the app store and register.  Then if your iPhone/iPad/iPod is lost or stolen, you can go to:  https://www.icloud.com/ and find it.  (I have it bookmarked on my Dell laptop – doesn’t have to be an Apple product.)

This is the screen that will appear.  Click on the Find iPhone tab.

The devices that are registered will appear in the top left corner.  Click on the one you are looking for, and a satellite map will appear showing the location of your phone.

In this case, I was looking for my phone (which was in my jean’s pocket).  I clicked on my phone and it rang – at full volume – until I found it.  It doesn’t matter if you have the volume turned down or on vibrate!  I wish they would do this for the T.V. remote!

But it gets better, if you did leave it at a restaurant, etc., you can write a message that will appear on the front of the phone:  Oops – I’m lost, please call my owner at — — —–.  Or, if you call the restaurant, it will continue to ring until they find what cushion it fell under!

Worst case scenario – if someone steals your phone, you can wipe all of the information and lock the device by logging into:  https://www.icloud.com/.  But, if the phone is found – or you have to get a new one – the information is stored on the “icloud” and you can download everything onto your new device.  This “icloud” is the same technology that makes it possible for your “iDevices” to be synced at all times.

For those of us who are over 50 – and have fingers that prefer a keyboard – you can also edit all of your contact information on this site.  It is much faster and easier for me to do this on a full size screen!  Now, go explain typewriters and shorthand to your children!!!

Karla’s Curves are Quiltable!

Karla Alexander has designed five rulers for Creative Grids (and is working on a sixth).  There is a reason for that.  She is simply brilliant!  She creates breathtaking quilts that most of us would never dream of making – and then designs a ruler and a technique that makes it possible for anyone to make them!  And, I mean anyone – including me!

Item #B1121T  Retail $ 24.99

I was forced to use all of her rulers – yes forced!  You see, I test all of the new Creative Grids rulers to see if they are viable.  When I got these rulers, I thought they were crazy…didn’t they know that quilters didn’t sew curves?  Didn’t they know that THIS quilter avoids curves at all costs?

Then, I got to sew with them – and I was sold.  She had me sewing curves – and loving it – in one afternoon!  These rulers are designed to sew asymmetrical curves – and then trim them down to size.  But there are sweet spots built into every ruler so the center seams match every time.  You don’t have to know why it works – Karla figured that out for you – you just need to know that you will be sewing curves successfully!  And, your customers will too….And it is actually fun!!!

Her latest book, “Dynamic Quilts with Easy Curves”  includes 19 spectacular quilts.  Here is just a sampling of some of my favorites…

While you don’t have to have the rulers to make the quilts, the rulers do guarantee success.  The cover quilt, Diamond Back, was made with the CGR Curves for Rectangle ruler (CGRKA2).  Don’t you love the name???

Bounce is just plain fun.  Karla uses a lot of batiks – and this quilt makes them sing!  This one features the CGR Curves for Square Ruler (CGRKA1).

I am collecting red, white and blacks for “Wild Heart” as we speak!  This one uses CGRKA4.  I love the border – and everyone I love is just a little wacky – so this one is at the top of my to do list!  I love the way she blends whites and creams with the reds and blacks.  It reminds me of a zebra in love…

“BIV” is made with the CGR Split Seconds Ruler (CGRKA5). Don’t you love the movement in this quilt???

Village News is an entirely different look – solids combine to make a very modern “Village”.

This book will be out next month – so order now to guarantee immediate delivery.  Why not offer a series of classes based on a different quilt and ruler?  The hardest part will be choosing which one!!!