School Starts Early at the Open House

School Houses have become so popular that we have made them a two day event – which means the entire Open House is a two day event.  The vendors are setting up on Saturday so you will be able to visit with them, attend school houses, and shop to your hearts content Sunday AND Monday.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

9:00 – 10:15

Making the Independent Shop Owner More Successful

I can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for you!  The folks at Checker have been busy developing exclusive products that will never be available in chains.  Don’t you love it when you get to compete on an even playing field???  We are working with many of your favorite designers to create quality products that will have your customers returning over and over again.  Combine these products with education and demonstrations on Checker You and your entire Fall schedule will be set before summer is even over!

10:30 – 11:45

“Know How You’ll Grow – Develop a Strategic Plan for Your Business”, with Todd Gibson from Liesl  & Co., Inc.

Todd Gibson has a business background and combined forces with Checker and FabShop to survey quilt shops and develop a plan to grow your business.  I have heard so much about this one – I can’t wait to see what all of the buzz is about!

1:00 – 2:15

“How to Host A Successful Demo Event: Tips That Will Sell Product!”, with Sue Hausmann

Sue and Herb are like family – but this branch of the family is selling their house in Ohio and moving to Arizona.  They will still be back for visits, but will no longer be just a few hours away.  And, Sue is so busy travelling that she can no longer visit all of the shops that invite her so she is telling you exactly how she hosts successful demo days all over the country!  She will tell you how to do it – and then literally show you!  You will have a front row seat and watch her demonstrate just like she would if she came to your shop!!!  Learn from a legend – and see her favorite products.  In fact, she is giving you  a list of them and all the information you will need to duplicate it in your neck of the woods!

2:30 – 4:00

“How the Heck Did I End Up on TV?”,
with Alex Anderson. Note: Alex will also be availalbe for book signing in her booth.

Many of you became quilters because you watched the great T.V. shows on quilting.  Come meet one of the legends in that genre and learn how it all happened.  She will be available in her booth for book signings and pictures during the Open House.

Monday, August 20, 2012

8:45 – 10:00

“Be the First to See Her New Products – Rulers, Fabrics and Patterns”, with Judy Niemeyer.

If you are a Judy Niemeyer certified shop or instructor – or would like to be one – this is a must!  Judy will be sharing four new patterns, a new Creative Grids template set, and a new series of classes that will be launched next year!   You can have the patterns, your samples done, and the rulers in stock two months before Fall Market!  All I can say is WOW!
10:15 – 11:30

“Five Easy Tips That Increase Your Bottom Line” with Karen Montgomery.

Learn how suggestive selling and knowing your products can increase sales at the register!  Karen will also share how intelligent buying and management can reap profits!  Karen’s lectures at Quilt Market are always standing room only – but at this event, you will be able to sit down and enjoy the show!!!

Come learn from the best and the brightest in our industry!  You will be glad you did!

Portable Ironing Caddies Make Great Gifts

I fell in love with these ironing caddies when a student brought one to a class.  And I am thrilled to announce that Checker is now carrying them.  It comes in three different sizes – all of them are due in stock by the middle of next month.  This should definitely be a class on your fall schedule!

Caddy Pad Full

Item #SCT10103  Retail $17.00

Caddy Pad Jr.

Item #SCT10114  Retail $15.00

Travel Iron Tote

Item #SCT10105  Retail $12.00

Use these caddies to transport your iron to class.  Then, open it up to press when you get there.  And the whole thing is held together with a great decorative button!  Dill buttons are great choices.  Check out our website for a complete selection:

All of the patterns include enough Thermal Flec to complete one tote – but who can stop at just one?  Have more available…

Item #103714

Insul-Bright is the perfect batting to use as well….

Item #6320WN

These are great Christmas gifts and great kits.  Be sure to include the Insul-Bright and Thermal Flec as part of the display.  Why not do step by steps for your next demo?  Show them how easy it is to sew one up in an afternoon????

Cuddle isn’t just for babies any more

Cuddling is not just for babies any more!  The latest line of Cuddle fabrics has sophistication and style that everyone will love – no matter how old you are!  Check out our website to see the wide variety of colors and textures – and when they will be available.  The selection continues to grow:

This textured pine needles design would take center stage in any log cabin or rustic quilt.


Paisleys are always popular.  Your customers will love this embossed design.


And look at the fashion colors…


There are classic prints as well…


These lush fabrics come in a variety of pre-cut kits as well.  Make any child smile…


There are adult versions too…

Item #CQ6072-BRNAN

You and your customers love these fabrics – now come to the Open House and learn the tricks that make sewing these fabrics a piece of cake!

Machine Quilting on a Longaram Machine

They are actually very easy to machine quilt if you know the basics.

These fabrics are all 60″ wide so they are great backings for throws.  The fabric stretches from selvage to selvage but doesn’t stretch at all parallel to the selvage.  So to machine quilt these fabrics, pin the selvages to the bars so that you can control the stretch.  Simply don’t put tension on the fabric.

This is a polyester fabric so it does not shrink.  Therefore, if you have not pre-shrunk the cotton fabric and batting quilted to this backing, they will shrink slightly when washed – and the backing will not.  This doesn’t bother me at all – in fact, I think it adds interest and texture to the quilt so I never pre-wash.

Machine Quilting on a Domestic Machine

If you would like to machine quilt on a domestic machine, use a basting spray such as 505.  This will stabilize the stretch.  Be sure to support the quilt while machine piecing – that helps too!

Item #505  Retail $12.99

Use a 90 Stretch needle.

Item #1713  Retail $4.99


This product does not fray so you can use it for three dimensional appliques without turning the outside edges.  This is easy if you stabilize the fabric with a product such as Easy Knit (EK130PWHT).  That stops the fabric from stretching or curling when appliqueing it in place.

Combining Cuddle with other Fabrics

Tactile quilts are all the rage.  They add a shabby chic look to an adult decor and provide endless entertainment to the younger set.  You can either stabilize the entire fabric with Easy Knit and cut it up or use one of my favorite products – Heat Press Batting Together.

Item #HP1574  Retail $7.99

It comes on a 15 yard roll and is 1 1/2″ wide.  I draw the cutting lines on the wrong side of the fabric and press this tape over the lines.  Then when I cut it, the edges are entirely stable and there is absolutely no stretch!  You can use this product to sew together the strips in kits as well.  I butted the strips next to each other on my ironing board – wrong side up – and pressed this on both.  Then I folded the strips right sides together and sewed.  There was absolutely no distortion or stretch!  The fabric is stabilized 3/4″ on each strip.  I sew with 1/2″ seams because of the thickness of the fabric so this is perfect.

If you are sewing pillow cases and backings together, this works beautifully!

Just remember – use a light touch when pressing.  Many of these designs are heat embossed so aggressive pressing can remove the design.  And, these fabrics have a nap so you sew it like you would velvet or corduroy.  Piece it so the fabric nap is going in the same direction.

When I lectured at a recent quilt show on this product, it was standing room only!  Your customers want it, they just don’t know how to use it.  That is where you come in.  Offer a class or lecture, teaching them the basics, and you won’t be able to keep it in stock!

Come to the Open House and see the entire collection.  Talk to the folks from Shannon Fabrics, who have created the next big profit center for your store!

Why Wait Until Market? Open House Part Three

We are always thrilled when we can offer you an exclusive!  We strive to provide independent quilt shops with quality products that are not available in the chains – and the education to sell them.  In the Patch Designs is a case in point.  They hand-dye beautiful wools that are only available in quilt shops.  The packaging is adorable, the quality is superb, and they will be at the Open House to answer all of your questions about wool!  The wool now comes in 5″ square assortments as well as Chubbies – 16″ squares.

Item #CP4926

We know you don’t just want to buy wool, you want to use it!  So we have invited Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin to participate.  She has several block of the month programs in wool and embroidery that would be great kits.  And, now that Checker carries Valdani pearl cotton, why not offer it for the embroidery???

Item #BMB1084  Retail $9.00

Penny Sturgis will be sharing her techniques that make her purses so special.  Learn what products make her purses look like the designer originals.  After all, they ARE designer originals – that can be made in classes in your store!

Item #PS008  Retail $9.00

Liesl Gibson will be sharing her book and patterns for your favorite child – and share the finishing techniques that add that professional touch.

Item #STC9910-8  Retail $27.50

Mary Pierson of Transfer-Eze will show you how to transfer designs for your favorite embroidery patterns.  What a great addition to your kits…your customers will love it and come back for more.

Item #TE814  Retail $18.95

Lanette Edens of The Gypsy Quilter will be demonstrating a host of products.  Let Lanette teach you how!  She is one of the best demonstrators I have ever seen and will share her tricks with you!

Item #TGQ002  Retail $17.00

Karen Montgomery of The Quilt Company is doing a school house on Monday as well as demonstrating in her booth throughout the show.

Item #TQC272  Retail $8.50

Cathy Wierzbicki will be sharing her two latest members of The Quilter’s Boot notion family.

Item #TTQBOOT  Retail $8.00

And  to top off the event, Sue Hausmann will be demonstrating all of her favorite notions – and teaching you how to do it!

Contact Janis Plomaritis at or call her at 419-893-3636  ext. 624 to register.

Why Wait Until Market? Open House Part Two

Judy Niemeyer was so popular last year, we asked her to come back.  This time she is launching new products that will be the basis of your next class!  Brad ordered every batik he could find for this event.  She will be presenting a school house on Monday to launch the new products.  Start your Monday with a bang!!!

Item #JNQ70P  Retail $50.00

Daniela Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs is the queen of the 2 1/2″ strip!  That’s right – she started designing quilts for her shop that started a national craze!

Item #CQD04006  Retail $18.95

Rita Fishel of Creations Sew Clever will be demonstrating Creative Grids rulers and the patterns that she created to support them!

Item #CSC003  Retail $10.00

The folks from Lecien will be sharing their latest fabrics and taking orders.  Come sit down for a spell….

Inkwell designed by Meg Hawkey

The folks from June Tailor will be sharing and demonstrating their wares…

Item #JT720  Retail $34.59

Joan Hawley from Lazy Girl Designs will be sharing her new line of products designed exclusively for quilt shops – Sew Lazy!  What is not to love….

Item #LGD123  Retail $9.00

Kathleen Connor of Smith Street Designs has produced many patterns that have been the basis of block of the month programs.  Come see the latest and greatest from this talented designer.

Item #SS5003  Retail $30.00

Register early to be eligible for 64 door prizes that could be worth as much as the price of the trip!  Mark your calendars for August 19 and 20 and call or e-mail janis today:  Contact Janis Plomaritis at or call her at 419-893-3636  ext. 624

Why Wait Until Market? Open House Part One

Join us August 19 and 20 for our annual Open House.  It is bigger and better than ever!!!  It was so big, we couldn’t pack it into one day so it has become a two day event…two days of school houses, two days of vendors, and two days of shopping!

This event has become so big, many of the designers are releasing new books, patterns, and notions at the Open House instead of waiting for Quilt Market.  Be the first to see new products from the likes of Judy Niemeyer, Kathy Brown,  Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs and Buttermilk Basin…

Alex Anderson

Alex is presenting a school house entitled “How the Heck Did I End Up on TV?” Sunday at 2:30 and will be signing books in her booth the rest of the event.

Item #10768  Retail $14.95

Brenda Miller from Among Brenda’s Quilts will be demonstrating and sharing her best selling patterns.

Item #ABQ145    Retail $9.99

Janice Pope of Anything but Boring will be sharing how to teach the bag that has paid the rent for many shops this last year – as well as her new Binding Tool by Creative Grids.

Item #ABB07084  Retail $12.00

The folks from Clover will be demonstrating new notions.  Learn how to make a Clam Shell.  The samples are so creative you won’t be able to stop at just one…

Item #8412CV  Retail $6.95

Kathy Brown couldn’t make it to Spring Market, so she is releasing her new pattern line here!  Be the first to see them and have her sign her books.  This lady has two in the top 20!

Item #B1097T  Retail $24.99

Kathy Seal is sharing her new Basic Quilts line and will explain how these can be the basis for a great demo schedule.

Item #BQOS  Retail $5.99

The Swirly Girls Design will be demonstrating the new Creative Grids Circle Savvy ruler as well as their new button line with Dill.

Item #CGRSAV1  Retaill $34.45

The folks from Shannon Fabrics will be taking orders on their latest releases such as these snuggle kits…

Item #CQ6072-BRNAN  Check Store for Pricing

Contact Janis Plomaritis at or call her at 419-893-3636  ext. 624 to register.

The Twister – The Next Generation

Let’s Twist Again has renewed interest in the popular Twister and Lil Twister templates – both templates have been in the top 20 since their release!  You already know that your customers love this tool – and know how to use it.  This book plays with fabric placement, combining sizes and takes this tool to a whole new level!

Item #LTOMT  Retail $19.99

It’s time to spruce up your display – but don’t forget the basics:

Item #TWISTER  Retail $19.15
Item #LILTWISTER  Retail $9.85

New quilters may not have caught the original craze – or resisted it  – but now that it has taken on a life of its own, stock the original as well….

Item #LETSTWIST  Retail $18.00

I love mini’s, and additional companions for them is available for them as well.  The original pattern by Primitive Gatherings is still in the top 20….

Item #PRI946  Retail $12.00

This pattern is a great way for you to use up your scraps!  Offer pre-cut squares cut from inventory!  Order now – this one is arriving any day!

Item #PRI956  Retail $8.00

And then there is micro-mini!

Item #PRI321  Retail $10.00

Every shop seems to accumulate neutrals by osmosis.  This quilt gives you an opportunity to cut them up and provide your customers with the variety they need!

Item #PRI350 Retail $6.50

I do believe that these tools have now become a classic!!!

It’s Summertime and the Quilting is Easy

For those quilters who want the world to know they are quilters, these products are for you!  When traveling wear the fact that you are a quilter – you will be amazed at the friends you will make!

These flip flops come in a variety of sizes.  Check out our website to see the complete list: At $7.99 a pair, who could resist???

If sun and sand are in your future, these shades may be just the ticket!

Item #SG1  Retail $9.95

Dress up your car as well with this sun visor…

Item #ASS01  Retail $12.95

Are you ready for a road trip???

Sewing Tables are a “Dream”

Dream World extensions for sewing machines have always been a hit – and now they are available through Checker as a drop ship item!  Check out our website to see the complete list of machine sizes.  (They are custom made to fit each model):

When you are ordering these tables for your customers,you MUST order the add-ons at the same time!  These add-ons include a centering ruler to attach to the underside of the table, a drawer that attaches to the side, and holes in the table to sew perfect circles.

Item #SST-SP  Retail $18.00

They may also want the sew straight guide which attaches to all sizes of these tables – instructions are included.

Item #USSG-11  Retail $21.00

Keep your acrylic sewing table scratch free with this polishing kit. Kit includes 1 tin of polish paste, an applicator sponge and 1 cotton polishing mitt. Tin of paste stores in polishing mitt when not in use.

Item #SSPK  Retail $9.99

They may also like bags so they can easily take it to classes….

Item #TRVLBAGBIG  Retail $45.00
Item #TRVLBAGLG  Retail $36.00

Needleturn Applique – The basics and beyond

Angela Lawrence has written the definitive guide to needleturn applique in this latest addition to the incredibly popular “Basics and Beyond” series by Landauer Publishing.

Item #L11276  Retail $27.95

In typical Landauer style, this book is pack full of photographs that walk you through every step of the process.  There is a reason that they have acquired a reputation for being the best technique publisher in the business!  They take an expert like Angela, and let her unique color sense and style shine through in every design.  These quilts make you smile!  They are just plain happy….

The cover quilt – Simple Delight – features a black and white inner border that is the perfect contrast to the bright fabrics.

Vintage Venetian combines a wide pieced border that is the perfect accent to a beautiful appliqued block.  It gives it a three-dimensional effect that is striking!

“Fandango” is my choice for the perfect class.  Here it is shown in bright fabrics, but there is a muted version in the book at well.  That version is appliqued on a striped background to add even more interest to the piece.  And, this smaller project includes bias tape, layered appliques, reverse applique, circles, and a curved binding.  Now that is a productive class!

You will love all ten designs.  This is one of those books that should be in every quilter’s library – it is THAT good!