Quilts and Space Collide – Part Two

Jeri Simon, editor of Landauer Publishing, is also the proud mother of four children.  Cory is a Human Interface Engineer with NASA.


I know they look like brother and sister – but this is actually mother and son.  And what happens when an engineer grows up with a mother that sews?  He develops wearable technology for the space program!

According to NASA, “Advances in Smart Fabrics technology are enabling an exciting array of new applications for NASA exploration missions, the biomedical community, and consumer electronics.This report summarizes the findings of a brief investigation into the state of the art and potential applications of smart fabrics to address challenges in human spaceflight.”

But there is much more to this story – and I love American creativity!  As we know, the space program has experienced massive budget cuts in the last few years which would have devastated most programs.  But Cory and NASA deveoped a program that was a win/win for everyone!

Cory and his team mentor students from such prestigious universities as Georgia Tech; Virginia Tech, and the University of Minnesota.  These students work on projects that contain sensors, displays and controls that will assist future astronauts.

The concept is simple:  Develop threads that will transmit data so that NASA will be able to monitor medical data 24/7.  The astronauts’ garments will transmit the data.  But, once this technology is developed, it will have far reaching implications for everyone on Earth as well.

In the medical field, doctors will be able to monitor stroke victims, preemies, and coma patients 24/7 without disturbing them.  And, on a greater scale, imagine a hospital stay without being woken up – a nurse wouldn’t have to take your pulse, blood pressure, or temperature!

In sports, trainers and coaches would be able to monitor their athletes.  If a football player was injured on the field, they would be able to treat him instantly.  Runners would be able to monitor their heart rates – and fans would know just how fast they were running at any given time.  The technology would take sports to a whole new level.

If you ever have an opportunity to tour NASA while in Houston, please go!  For those of us who grew up watching the space missions on television, it truly is a Brave New World!

Quilts and Space Collide – Part One

International Quilt Market in Houston featured a NASA exhibit this year to launch a joint quilt project to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this event in 2014.  Why?  We have out first quilter in space – Karen Nyberg!







Fellow astronaut, Chris Hatfield, amassed over 1,000,000 Twitter followers when he shared pictures from space.  When his assignment ended, Karen took up the torch.  To see these amazing pictures, visit:   //www.weather.com/news/science/space/karen-nyberg-space-images-20131104

While on her mission, Karen sewed a star block. We often talk about the engenuity of our ancestors who created beautiful quilts without proper lighting, rotary cutters, and all of the tools at our disposal.  Look at the creative techniques she developed to make sewing this block possible: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0c1CijmH7o

In typical quilter fashion, she also made a dinosaur for her son from a Velcro-like material that lines the Russian food containers!  Talk about using your scraps!

Let’s honor her by contributing a star block!  Why not create an event in your shop and ask your customers to participate as well? For details – which include a printable flyer – visit:  //www.quilts.com/pressreleases/y2013/FQF13QuiltChallengeFlyer.pdf

The 9″ finished star blocks must be returned by August 1, 2014 so you have time to organize an impressive event.  Why not set up a display featuring star patterns and patriotic fabrics?  We have over 200 star books on our website:  //www.checkerdist.com/products/search?limit=100&sort=score&f_cat1=31863

Don’t forget to include marking pens since every block is to be signed.  I prefer 08 Micron pens because it has a wider tip so it is easier to write on fabrics.


Item #XSDK0849  Retail $2.89


A Walk Down the Aisles – Part One

Many of you couldn’t make it to Market, so I wanted to give you a taste of what it is like to walk the aisles at Market….all pictures….

Renee Shook – the assistant notions buyer – with our favorite guys from Weeks Dye Works…like father like son….
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Christine of Swirly Girls showed us their new fabric line with Michael Miller…
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Best Press has a new mint scent….
Best Press new Mint scent








Izzy and Ivy…
Izzy and Ivy








Judy Niemeyer….
Judy Niemeyer








Sue Spargo….
Sue Spargo book on top 20
















Marlous Designs…
Marlous Designs
There is inspiration around every corner!  We will feature many of these vendors in the upcoming weeks but wanted to give you a feel for this event.  It is worth the trip!



Home During Market – Checker was Everywhere

And so it begins….the crates arrive and the guys are ready…

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New arches welcomed our guests….

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The kiosks are loaded with new merchandise….

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While they were putting the finishing touches on the booth, we were upstairs sponsoring two school houses – standing room only!!!  Creative Grids always draws a crowd!

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Then, Judy and Judell Niemeyer wowed everyone with their new program….

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One of their quilts was displayed right next door in the Kauffman booth…..and look how they displayed their basics lines….
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We got back in the booth just in time for the daily sales meeting.  AdornIt showed their new lines…
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And, later wowed everyone in their booth….
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Before Market even opened, we hosted a Take and Teach session with Kathy Brown based on Strip Smart Quilts II and the Creative Grids double strip 90 ruler…
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As soon as Market opened, Jean Ann was demonstrating her new Creative Grids Hexie ruler in the booth….
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The CGR rack showcased just one block made with the new ruler.  What a visual – and a great way for you to showcase the rulers in your shop….
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And, we topped off the day at the Creative Grids dinner….and learned not to give a knife to a gal from Montana!  She might just break the plate!!!  Judell did her mother proud….
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Book Signings At Market – Booth #138

Come to the Checker Booth to meet the authors and receive a signed copy of their newest book.  This year I have the honor of being the first author to participate!  A picture is worth a thousand words – but having the schedule for the book signings is priceless!

Quilt Block Fusion – Penny Haren
Saturday 11:30
Item #L113008  Retail $24.95

Knockout Neutrals – Pat Wys
Saturday 12:30








Item #B1180T  Retail $24.99

Just a Quilt? – Dalen Keys
Saturday 1:30








Item #DK568  Retail $16.00

Gimme 5 & Make It Scrappy – Tricia Cribbs
Saturday 2:30









Item #FF127  Retail $14.95

Get Adicted to Free-Motion Quilting – Sheila Sinclair Snyder
Saturday 3:30







Item #11011  Retail $19.95

Sew Classic Clothes for Girls – Lindsay Wilkes
Sunday – 11:30







Item #U2256  Retail $27.99

Stitch it for Fall – Lynette Anderson
Sunday – 12:30







Item #U7133  Retail $12.99

Strip Smart Quilts II – Kathy Brown
Sunday – 1:30



Item #B1176T  Retail $24.99

Easy, Elegant Punchneedle – Marinda Stewart
Sunday 2:30








Item #STB1226-2  Retail $19.95

Come join us to spend some quality time with the authors!


Make an Impression with Charm Elements

Checker is pleased to host a school house at Fall Market featuring the talented Judell and Judy Niemeyer.  Visit us in Room #362B at 4:15 p.m. to learn more about their new programs – Elements and Impressions – and how they incorporate Cut Loose Press!

Pinecone Mocha Placemats

Item #CLPQLT002

This is the perfect introduction to Judy’s amazing techniques!  These placemats are created with a paper-pieced flying geese “charm element”.  All three points of these flying geese triangles actually float!   Even beginners will be able to produce them in a matter of minutes with every point and angle perfectly aligned!  Ten Flying Geese paper-piecing foundation units (with the cutting instructions) are available in Charm Element Pack #2….

Item #JNQ132P  Retail $6.00

Think of these Charm Elements as a notion that is required to make a pattern.  They are simply packages of paper-piecing foundations that you can pull out when needed and incorporate into your own designs. The placemats above, for instance, are made with four of the ten flying geese foundations in Pack #2.

Once you have removed the intimidation factor, you can move on to the Farmhouse Window Table Runner that combines this flying geese technique with the Compass Rose in Charm Element Pack #1…

Farmhouse Window Table Runner

Item #CLPQLT003

The intimidation factor in these Compass Roses is eliminated because the bulk created by multiple seams meeting in the middle is halved – and the seams are pressed toward the sashings.

Item #JNQ119P  Retail $10.00

Then combine them in Midnight Blooms…

Item #CLPQLT001
In this pattern, two new techniques are introduced:  paper-piecing complete compass rose designs and adding the new Quiltworx Impressions.  These Impressions are laser cut applique shapes that are already backed with a fusible – just place and press!

Desert Blossoms
Item #IDB-JNQ-01  Retail $23.50






Item #ILP-JNQ-01  Retail $29.00

Once your customers have learned Judy’s paper-piecing techniques, anyone can move on to her complete pattern series.  The techniques they have learned with the Cut Loose Press and Charm Element series opens the door to these quilts.  These true heirloom quality quilts are no longer intimidating!

Compass Rose Table Runner

Item #JNQ114P  Retail $26.00
Captain’s Wheel

Item #JNQ116P  Retail $61.00

If you want to add a little bit of Judy to your next project, consider inserting some Charm Elements.  Or add a touch of applique with the Quiltworx Impressions.  The possibilities are endless…..