The Newest Must Haves from Atkinson Designs

You might as well schedule the class right now because who could resist these Hippie Zips?  And who could make just one??  We have everything you need -hooks, line and
zippers to create these Market releases!

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Bacon and Biscuits – a perfect name for an apron – is pieced and fully lined by turning it inside out through the arm openings.  The binding over the raw edges is extended to fit around the neck and create the ties.  Simply brilliant and oh so easy!  Both of these patterns feature her Creative Grids Round Up Tool.

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Although Terry is the queen of fast and fun, her roots are in quilting.  Her newest quilt pattern – Birthday Presents – is striking in its simplicity!

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Visit our website to see everything by Atkinson Designs.  Her designs are truly classic!

Christmas Throughout the Year – Part Two

The holiday season is all about  food – and the gifts can be as well!  These gifts can add that awe factor as well.  Invited to Thanksgiving dinner?  Why not give the hostess a table runner for a hostess gift?  This Triangle Frenzy Runner is a great way to showcase a beautiful stripe and can be completed in an afternoon!  It only has 14 pieces so you can definitely make more than one!

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Giving a kitchen related gift?  Why not include a set of place mats?  Here are two great options!  Take Four uses four fat quarters so it is easy to kit and fast to make!  Inside Out Mats feature a no binding technique that means a set of four can be completed in an afternoon!

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Baking cookies a family tradition?  Why not make matching aprons for everyone?  I love this version which comes in Mother/Daughter sizes and is lined.  Why not make the lining a light fabric?  Then everyone can sign each other’s aprons as a lasting memory!

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Do you give gifts of candy?  Why not present it in a Fat Quarter Pop-Up?  The gift that keeps on giving!

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Think outside of the box!

 

Prepping for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday

This blog has two different audiences – and today I am speaking to both!  Quilters – use this holiday season to support your local quilt shop.  Quilt shops who don’t sell machines are historically not as busy this time of year because most of you have already made your gifts and are busy cooking, cleaning, decorating – you get the picture!

How can we make this a win/win for everyone?  As a shop owner, take a minute to look at your shop through your customers’ eyes.  Set up vignettes that will interest everyone!

For those of us who have friends who want to learn to quilt, why not buy them a kit? For instance, the new Stripology Squared #GE-512, ruler by Creative Grids® #CGRGE2 is a perfect companion to the book.  Add a bundle of 10″ squares to complete the package.

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Go through all of the books and patterns in your store and “kit” everything that is based on fat quarters and other pre-cuts.  If they require a specific tool or ruler, include that in the display.  And, if you have a sample of it, all the better.  Bringing that sample to the forefront may have everyone looking at it with fresh eyes!

One of my favorite families who quilt buy each other a “kit” each year.  They pick out a project that they know the other will love.  Everyone has a year to finish them – and bring the finished project to the get together the following year.  Past “kits” have included a baby quilt for the sister that was going to be a first time grandmother; a collection of musical fabrics for the piano teacher – you get the idea.  And what a great tradition!  As newbies marry into the family, they are asked to join the group  – and taught how to quilt!  Talk about paying it forward!

And for that beginner?  Have a display of rotary cutters, mats, and rulers as well.  Be sure to include lots of gift certificates so they can buy a beginning class to go to with their new tools.  Be sure to include some beginning patterns such as Yellow Brick Road and kits to go with them.

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Have written copies of your class schedule that starts in January so they can give that as part of the gift!

Now, lets move onto stocking stuffers!  Go through all of your notions, buttons, and embellishments and make a display that is eye appealing!

Last but not least, tell your customers that you are ready for them!  Facebook is your friend!  My best idea?  Ask your customers to come in and fill out a wishlist.  Have them give you their spouses email.  Then, send their significant other an email with the items on the wishlist and prices.  Offer to get everything together and wrap it for them.  Be their one stop shop!!!  And don’t forget to ask them if they want to add a gift certificate to the order.  Believe me – they will be so thrilled they will actually be buying something that their partner wants, that they will be thanking you – and want to repeat this for other holidays!

Ready, set, go!  Wishing you all a great weekend!

Deck the Halls Part Two

If you are like me, every year you get out the Christmas tree and regret that you didn’t plan ahead and make a new tree skirt.  Here are several of my favorites that can literally be made in an afternoon.  Most come in multiple sizes and can be used as table toppers as well.

Triangle Frenzy showcases wonderful Christmas stripes and is easy to piece since it uses the Creative Grids 12 1/2″ sixty degree ruler.  Happy Holidays also uses a sixty degree ruler and is fast and easy to piece.

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Be sure to display the ruler next to the patterns.  It is our best selling triangle!

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Or piece this darling Dresden version created by Erin Underwood – who also created the Creative Grids 15 degree ruler that makes piecing it a breeze. And, it is a quilt as you go technique so you CAN finish it in an afternoon!

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This is my go to when I need a quick wedding gift.  What couple won’t be thrilled to find this under their tree!  The whole tree skirt only has 48 pieces!  This one features the Creative Grids 30 degree triangle.

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Or get out your strips and piece strip sets that are then cut with the Creative Grids 120 degree ruler.  So this one is a piece of cake!

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Why not get started and give these as “Thanksgiving” gifts so they will have them when they are setting up their tree?

The Newest from Atkinson Designs

Terry has single-handedly changed every quilter’s perception of zippers.  She has made their installation so simple that everyone can install them successfully the very first time.

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In her latest pattern – Bubbly Bags – zippers add that awe factor when they are used as the handles in these great gift bags.  And since each bag only uses two fabrics, they can be made to carry that gift the day of the party!  Don’t you love it when the “wrapping” is part of the gift???  And, what a great way to use up scraps!

 

 

 

 
ATK-791She also released three new colors of 22 inch zippers.

Terry is such a great merchandiser!  It occurred to me that her zippers in the appropriate colors would look great in any holiday display!

Why not pull zippers that match the Christmas fabrics that just arrived and display them with this pattern?  What a great quick class.  You know they can’t make just one!

“Round Up” these Projects in an Afternoon

The latest Creative Grids “Round Up” tool designed by Terry Atkinson is so popular that two of our favorite designers have used it in their own projects.  

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Item #CGRATK1  Retail $22.45

This place mat designed by Margaret Travis is so fast and simple that you won’t make just one…or two…or four….

Berries and Leaves Place Mat

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Item #CLPMTR014

This table runner by Deb Heatherly  is a simple version of an old fashioned Cathedral Window pattern — and so much easier!

Alley-Oop

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Item #CLPDHE007      

Or combine this tool with the Strippy Stars Tool for a spectacular effect…

Blooming Stars Runner

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Item #CLPDHE008

 

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Item #CGRDH2  Retail $17.95

Display these with Terry’s patterns to create a complete display.  All, can be completed in an afternoon…

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Orange Peel Table Runner

So striking – and a great way to show off some machine quilting!

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Item #CLPTAK001

Krista’s Kitchen Hot Pads

I used this pattern as a Make It/Take It in a class last month.  Ten women went home and made 56 more for gifts!  Now that is a great pattern!

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Item #ATK183  Retail $9.50

Terry’s Table Placemats

Can’t you picture these on a table with your favorite Fiestaware?  Mixing and matching is even more fun.

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Item #ATK184  Retail $9.50

Triplets

The colors in these baby quilts are the perfect choice for the new generations of babies!

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Item #ATK185  Retail $9.50

Why not let your customers enjoy creating a project in an afternoon!

“Quilt Shop” is a Misnomer

If you truly are just a “quilt shop”, you are missing a wealth of business!  Over 80% of the top 100 patterns on the Checker website are NOT quilts.  Creating a quilt is an amazing experience but everyone wants instant gratification.  Why not offer a series of classes that can actually be completed in class?  And, as a bonus, choose projects that make great gifts as well.  Make one in class, and then send them home with the supplies to make them for all of their friends!

Here are my top six choices to get you started:

This apron pattern is one of my favorites.  It comes in two sizes so kids can have fun in the kitchen as well….

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Item #ATK176  Retail $9.50

These Sweetpea Pods can be made with 10″ squares.  Talk about easy to kit!

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Item #LGD135  Retail $10.00

The hardware is included in the pattern:

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Item #LGD137  Retail $13.50

It just takes a fat quarter – and the hardware is included in the pattern!  How easy is that???

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Item #FQG120  Retail $13.00

This is the new version of he classic Diva Wallet.  Choose a different option – with the same great clasp.

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Item #SMC824  Retail $10.00

This placemat or table runner has a classic look and is quilt as you go!

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Item #TLP1234  Retail $9.50

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Why not help your customers have a stockpile of gifts for the coming year?  These would all be great Valentine’s Day; birthday; Mother’s Day gifts…

You can make ALL of these samples in the amount of time it would take to make ONE quilt sample!  Use your time wisely.  Don’t forget to take the time to display all of the companions with the projects and include pre-cuts!

Zip It!

Terry Atkinson and Joan Hawley have made zippers the new fashion statement – and the must see at Market.  Joan figured out a way to remove the start and stop from zippers – and then add the pull AFTER it is sewn into your project!  No more trying to sew around them!  This One-Zip technique works with polyester, all-purpose zippers by Atkinson Designs, Coats & Clark, Talon, and YKK.   (It does not work with invisible, metal, sport weight, or Sullivan brand zippers.)

Fobio

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Item #LGD137  Retail $13.50

This lanyard-style key fob pattern includes the hardware to complete two wrist size versions.  Clip to a pouch for an instant wristlet! Use the One-Zip technique to cut the zipper, sew one side of the zipper in straight and flat, bend to make loop, then use Joan’s trick to easily add one or more zipper pulls.  If you would like to make a true lanyard, do what Terry does – use two 22″ zippers sewn to create a 44″ length.

Since you are basically getting two zippers for the price of one, additional zipper pulls are available.  There are at least 30 per pack of assorted colors.  Combine your favorite colors for an additional design element.

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Item #ATK520  Retail $8.99

Additional hardware is available in two different sizes.  The hardware to make four additional fobs is just $10.00 (Item #LGD711).  Or, buy the party pack which includes the hardware for 25 for $45.00.  (Item #LGD712).

To close the metal clasp with just one press, use these special pliers that have a padded clamp so it doesn’t leave an impression.

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Item #LGD713  Retail $25.00

Sweetpea Pods measures just 3″ x 6″ is just the right size to hold your treasures – the perfect gift wrap this season.  Two zips and two 10 inch squares make two pods.

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Item #LGD135  Retail $10.00

The Becca Bag is larger and the perfect bag for gals on the go.  Once again use the One-Zip technique to create this bag in a matter of minutes!

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Item #LGD136  Retail $11.00

Don’t forget to stock the glue for the fobs (Item #E6000) and the Fusible Fleece (Item #SLG106) as well.

The Atkinson Designs zippers that work beautifully for this technique are available in an assortment of six each of ten colors.  The display includes hang tags and plastic clips.

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This is the perfect demo for your holiday event!  Fobio is a perfect make it/take it.  Who can stop at just one???

The Savviest Designer Enters the Kitchen – Part Three

I LOVED this pattern – and wrote about it back in May.  And THEN I watched the video on our website:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/ATK180?  If this doesn’t make you run out and buy a chenille cutter (CHN-1), NOTHING will!

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Item #ATK180  Retail $9.50

These are perfect shower gifts, luncheon gifts, boutique items – you name it because they can be mass produced in no time.  And, lets face it, they are so darned cute, you won’t be able to stop at just one!

You can cut the curves with the Creative Grids Curved Corner Cutter (Item #CGRCCC).  Insul-bright (Item #6320WN) makes them user friendly.

Why not make a shop sample with a matching apron?  What a great shower gift!

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Item #ATK176  Retail $9.50

And, in typical Atkinson style, the pattern comes in three sizes – Adult, child, and toddler.  The off-center fold over top with a button accent gives this apron its style.  It is fulling lined so it sews up quickly and has body.  And don’t you love the pockets???

This is the perfect gardening, cooking AND cleaning apron!  The pattern includes a round chenille hot pad.  Once again, these are great class projects – and a great way to introduce children to sewing.  Why not offer a mother/daughter, grandmother/granddaughter class?  Who wouldn’t love to make matching aprons – just in time for Christmas baking!

This Savvy Designer gets us Organized – Part Two

Terry Atkinson loves playing with new products and gadgets – and provides patterns that introduce these new products to us – no intimidation allowed!

School season is upon us so many of her organizational patterns have hit center stage!  Her latest – Stowables – includes several sizes – which also her popular zippers.

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Item #ATK181  Retail $9.50

She gave each version a name – Doc; Sudsy; Snippy; Scrunchy; Sneezy; and Sassy. Don’t you love it???  They feature her zippers.  And, they are fat quarter friendly!

Bridget’s Bagettes includes three different sizes – and introduces quilters to the world of vinyl!

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Item #ATK162  Retail $6.50

Classmate not only features vinyl, it also features Soft and Stable.  Shop owners and manufacturers love how Terry introduces new products to the world – and makes them mainstream!

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Item #ATK164  Retail $9.50

Pockets to Go is the answer to everyone’s organizational issues – and once again she offers a choice of sizes.

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Item #ATK160  Retail $9.50

Once again, Terry has showcased a product that many quilters have never used – Pel-Tex.

ALL of these projects are great class options.  Terry removes the intimidation factor every step of the way and shares helpful hints so your customers won’t even know that they have stepped outside of their comfort zone!