The Open House in Pictures – Part Three

The calm before the storm…The aisles are polished, the fabric is organized, and the carts are waiting….

Special sales for the event were displayed….

And then the doors opened!!!!

Customers took advantage of the books and patterns displayed in the showroom – and enjoyed the air conditioned comfort…

These two have their running shoes on because they were in charge of keeping the vendors stocked at all times!

Brad always has a smile on his face when he sees happy customers!

The vendors shared a wealth of useful information with our customers…

Cart corrals helped keep the chaos down to a minimum…

360 days a year this is the Receiving Department – run by the guy in blue….but for Open House, it is transformed!!!

The tunnel is full of one of a kind bargains…and do you see those shelving units on wheels???   They were moved from the lunchroom area so 60 more people could be seated at each setting!  A little extreme?  Not if you are Rob Krieger and it comes to customer service!!!

Midwest barbecue is always a high light of the day!

Join us next year – August 18th and 19th.  But for now, thanks for the memories…..

The Open House in Pictures – Part Two

Rob never wastes an inch of space so for two days, the warehouse is transformed.  The end caps become educational displays…

Checker is the North American home for Creative Grids so this was a perfect opportunity to showcase our new additions:

In just a few short years, we have become the premier ruler company for specialty rulers.

Batiks flew off the shelves!  Who would not be inspired by Judy’s quilts?

Did you know that Checker also carries supplies for your store – paper bags, display racks, bolt buddies, etc.  Save shipping by picking them up when you visit.

Chlldren’s wear has become a hot seller….

And, this market has it’s own notions to support it….



Checker also carries a wide variety of pre-cuts from a multitude of vendors.

Brad always shops for some special sales as well…

The lunchroom becomes eye candy when the diners are surrounded by over one hundred quilts!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does a quilt say???


The Open House – School Houses and Checker You

This year, we offered six school houses over two days so more shop owners would have an opportunity to participate – and did they ever!  The week before, Rob had to redesign the room to hold 30 more people!  That is a great problem to have!!!

Five of these school houses were filmed so they are/will be available on CheckerYOU.   If you are a Checker customer, you have access to CheckerYOU!

To access this information, go to the home page:  http://www.checkerdist.com/index.cfm, and click on the CheckerYOU icon.  Use the same number and password that you use to order from our website.

The Checker technology videos and Alex Anderson were posted this week.  Sue Hausmann, Judy Niemeyer and Karen Montgomery will be up this week.  They have even edited the Checker technology video so it is broken down into manageable bites.  We aim to please!

The festivities began with a welcome from the man who has 360 degree vision and sees the importance of technology – Rob Krieger.

He MAY have been slightly influenced by Gina Krieger, the brains behind our website.  She heads the IT department and is constantly inventing new ways to make your life easier!

Checker also prides itself on bringing quality products to independent businesses that are not available in the chains.  Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs launched her new line of interfacings called Sew Lazy which will be distributed exclusively through Checker.  These short bolts make them affordable – and take the confusion out of it for you and your customers.

Karen Montgomery’s talks are always a big draw.  She always shares lots of useful information that you can incorporate into your shop immediately!  I don’t know if she intentionally color coordinated her outfit to match the decor – but I wouldn’t put it past her.  Karen always thinks of everything!!!

Todd Gibson shared how to write a business plan for your business – and take control of your future….

Judy Niemeyer launched her new Creative Grids ruler that makes cutting her Double Wedding Ring quilts a breeze!

She shared how you could become certified shops,

and her new patterns based on a log cabin foundation – I see a new ruler in her future!!!  What a talented lady!

Sue Hausmann was the talk of the show.  We asked her to teach YOU how to sell products like she does when you bring her in for an event.  She sold everything in site! The Swirly Girls had a booth next to her for two days and said they bought two of everything so it became a very expensive trip!!!  And, guess what – she is coming back next year!!!

Alex gave us an up close and personal look at how she became a T.V. – and now cable personality…

We love it when we draw a crowd – and are already talking about what we can do to top this!!!

If there is something you would us to cover, please let us know.  We listen!!!

The Open House in Pictures…

Thanks to all of our vendors who were so willing to share their knowledge and expertise with all of our customers at our Open House.  It truly was a magical week-end.  For the vendors and us, it was like going away to camp for the week-end!  We made friendships and connections that will last a lifetime.  I will share a lot more pictures on Monday, but here are a few taken just before the doors were open to our customers….

All of the booths were organized, manned and ready for them to walk through the door – the quiet before the storm!

Mario with Shannon Fabrics shared all of the great Cuddle fabrics that are so soft that you just want to pet them – and many of you did!  Luckily, this wasn’t a white glove show so everyone got their tactile fix!

Gina, Laura, and Nick explained the latest available technologies from Checker – and how to save you your most valuable commodity – TIME!

Penny Sturgis and Darci Wright shared their bag patterns and Rita demonstrated the Creative Grids rulers that made all of these quilts possible.

Sue Hausmann sold out of anything she mentioned  – simply crazy!  And, her school house was so successful, she is coming back next year!

Penny and Janice are “bonding” before the doors open…

Joan Hawley launched her new line of interfacings – Sew Lazy…..

Mary Pierson showed the potential of her product – Transfer-Eze…

Alex Anderson showed the new designs she has created with Accuquilt…

Lanette Edens of The Gypsy Quilter demonstrated a host of products – including a new drink holder that will be released later this year.

Daniela Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs shared her patterns and ruler that support pre-cuts…

Carol Porter of Clover Needlecraft shared their latest products…more to come on that later….

This husband and wife team from In the Patches shared their new wools and chubbies….

Stacy West from Buttermilk Basin showed off her new designs and had a great time drooling over the In the Patches wool….

Katie from June Tailor shared her favorite products…and now some of them are mine….

Kathy Seal was a super star and had customers waiting in line to buy her new quilt as you go place mats.  Watch for four more this Fall…

Karen Montgomery is ready for the doors to open.   She gave us a sneak preview of her new products coming out this Fall….

Brenda Miller taught us all how to use the PUL fabric and shared her wonderful designs…

When there are hugs and tears when you say good-bye, you know you have had a successful event!  Next time see what happens when the doors opened…..

Showcase Cuddle in Critter Corners and Stuffed Animals

McKay Manor Musers knew a good thing when they saw it – and gave us support for the Cuddle fabrics that we all love – but were nervous about sewing them!  Many of their samples will be displayed at the Shannon booth at the Open House so come see what all of the fuss is about!  Shannon Fabrics will have helpful hints to share – and take away that fear factor.  When your customers feel it, they WANT it!!!  Here is a sample of the type of eye candy that will be displayed at the Open House…

So Soft Chinchilla Rug:

Item #MMM0011  Retail $9.00

6 So Simple Baby Blankets

Item #MMM0012  Retail $9.00

Happy Scrappy Whoo Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0016  Retail $9.00

Moose on the Loose Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0018  Retail $9.00

Cuddle Up Kitty Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0020  Retail $9.00

Sentinel the Fox Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0022  Retail $9.00

Tuotumne the Pika Stuffed Animal:

Item #MMM0026  Retail $9.00

El Captain Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0040  Retail $9.00

To see the entire collection, visit our website at:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=mckay+muser&relatedto= Why not choose your favorites now and come prepared to pick out your fabric?  Talk about being organized!  Pat yourself on the back!!!


Think Christmas with Valdani

When I was a little girl, I loved to go to the craft department at Ben Franklin and get anything variegated…Remember the Red Heart 4 ply yarns that came in baby colors and brights?  LOVED THEM!  And, that is probably why girls like me have grown up to LOVE Valdani!  Their muted colors are to die for – and your customers will want them all.

They are available in three strand floss and 8 & 12 weight pearl cottons.  There is a great selection of solid colors – with the same great finish – but my heart sings when I see their boxed collections!

Artist Pallette
Item #APPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #APPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #AP3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

Vintage Hues
Item #VHPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #VHPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #VHP3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

Earthly Treasures
Item #ETPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #ETPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #ETP3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

Heirloom Collection
Item #HPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #HPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #H3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

Muddy Monet
Item #MMPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #MMPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #MM3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

To see the complete collection, visit our website at:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?page=1&limit=100&sort=score

We have received a small order of these collections that will be available at the Open House and more will follow based on your orders.  Stacy of Buttermilk Basin fame loves them so they will be displayed by her booth.  Place your orders now so the buyer knows you love them as much as I do and will get in plenty for the holidays.  THINK CHRISTMAS!!!



You can’t get Any Smarter than This

We call it schlepping – and every quilter and shop owner hates it!  Schlepping is having to pack and move all of our stuff anywhere – whether it is to a retreat, a class, a sewing day, a guild meeting, a vendor’s mall, or around the shop or house.  After all, quilt supplies come in all shapes and sizes – and they are not light!

These Smart Carts will be a top seller – one is just not enough!  Your customers will want them for their husbands and children too!  They come in two sizes.  The Smart Cart measures 13″  18″ x22″ and weighs less than 3 pounds.  It holds up to 110 pounds and folds up to only 2 inches.  Made out of waterproof vinyl, these carts are on rollers so you can take (and store) them anywhere.

Item #01-016
Item #01-017
Item #01-018
Retail $32.99

The Bigger Smart Carts have all of the features you love but measure 16″ x 18″ x 22″.  Choose black, red or blue…


Item #01-003BSC – Blue
Item #01-002BSC – Red
Item #01-004BSC – Black
Retail $46.99

Keep one in your car at all times.  Since it only take up two inches, you can keep on hand for everything – including carrying in the groceries!  Think Christmas – and tie a bow on it!!!

Place Mats hit the Trifecta

Kathy Seal is a shop owner who has provided you with the means to create the perfect trifecta – class/demo/and kit!  These patterns are already into their second printing – and if you move now – will be kitted with a display sample by the end of the week!

The concept is brilliant!  Each placemat is a quilt as you go project so when they are done, they are DONE!  The backing is brought to the front for the binding so that will be completed too!  When is the last time you taught a class and they walked out with a gift ready to wrap???  These are so simple, they will want to make them for every occasion…

Framed Seasons has a perfect center section that can showcase great holiday prints or your customers can personalize it by adding a name or applique.

Item #PMFS  Retail $4.99

On the Side features a strip to place the silverware and has a more modern look….

Item #PMOTS  Retail $4.99

Picture Perfect…

Item #PMPP  Retail $4.99

Woven Wonder…

Item #PMWW  Retail $4.99

Kathy is coming down next week to do a demonstration of these placemats for CheckerYOU.  By the time you have everything in stock and pick out your fabric, you will be able to watch how to demo it to your customers.  Checker aims to please!  If you are coming to the Open House, Kathy will tell you exactly how she has sold hundreds of these kits and patterns in her store – learn from the best!!!





Alex Anderson Takes Center Stage

Many of us fell in love with quilting because we watched Alex Anderson on T.V.  I belonged to a generation that was surrounded by quilts – but didn’t consider making them until I was exposed to the step by step examples on her show!  Once the entire process was broken down into do-able segments, I was hooked!  Alex is sharing her life story in her school house – “How the Heck did I get on T.V.?”

She will also be sharing tips from her books – and signing them – both days.  Come and visit with one of the legends in the industry and see what her plans are for the future!

Many of you use her books as the Bible for classes in your shop.  Why not have her sign them so the students who sign up for Fall classes get signed copies???

Item #10708  Retail $14.95


Item #10673  Retail $19.95


Item #10768  Retail $14.95


Item #10486  Retail $17.95

Alex has also joined forces with Accuquilt to create die cuts…

Quarter-Square Triangles:


Item #ACQ55047  Retail $59.99

Baskets:

Item #ACQ55048  Retail $69.99

Grapes of Wrath:


Item #ACQ55070  Retail $34.99

Pomegranate:

Item #ACQ55071  Retail $34.99

Why not start a Wall of Fame at your shop and have your picture taken?  Let your customers know that you have learned from the best!  See you August 19 & 20.


Judy Niemeyer Premiers….

It’s hard to keep a secret – especially when that secret is about one of the legends in our industry!  We mentioned that Judy Niemeyer was going to be showing new patterns and products at our Open House.  Well, guess what!  I’ve got pictures – and permission to share them with you now!!!

We are proud to announce that Judy has joined forces with Creative Grids to produce templates for her Double Wedding Ring collection of patterns.  The gripper strips around the entire outside edges of the templates make short work of cutting these shapes from the paper-pieced units.

Item #CGRDWR  Retail $33.45
Available at the Open House

These templates are the perfect companion for those of you who have one of these quilts on your bucket list.  Or, why not make a bed runner or table runner for  a wedding or anniversary gift?

Bali Wedding Star  Item #JNQ70P  Retail $50.00
Available Now

Bali Bed Runner Item #JNP85P  Retail $25.00
Available Now

Grandma’s Weddng Ring Item #JNQ96P  Retail $25.00
Available Now

Flowers for my Wedding Item #JNQ93P  Retail $32.00
Available Now

Forever Yours Table Runner  Item #JNP74P  Retail $18.00
Available Now

Wedding Ring Table Runner Item #JNP85P  Retail $25.00
Available Now

And, here are the new patterns that will be shown at the Open House and in her school house!!!

Feathered Star Item #JNP97P  Retail $32.00

Cactus Flower Item #JNP98P  Retail $24.00


Split Log Cabin Item #JNP99P  Retail $26.00

This one won’t be available until October – but you can see it now if you join us at the Open House…..

Arizona Cactus Item #JNP100P  Retail $24.00

It doesn’t get any better than this!!!