Hugs’ n Kisses

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I love everything by Helen Stubbings of Hugs’ n Kisses.  She is an Australian designer that has a quirky style that is sure to make you smile.  We are expecting these patterns any day.  This redwork table runner would be a great Valentine decoration.  Or, start it now and have it done by Christmas!

Don’t you love the way the hexies extend into the outer edge and are repeated in embroidery between the flowers?  Helen uses Cosmo variegated thread.  Iron on transfers and hexie papers are included.

 

The next three are more Christmas, so let’s get a head start!  This gift bag is darling and you talk about Go Green!  It is so cute, it becomes part of the gift and will be used over and over again!  An added advantage?  It is the perfect portable handwork!  Gather ye Blessings is a great table or foyer decoration.  It can be hung on a wall or on a stand.  Personalize it by adding your own blessings!

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And my favorite?  These snowflake ornaments that can be displayed individually on stands or on a tree…or a package…or a table…

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Help your customers get organized and enjoy the holidays this year – instead of being overwhelmed by them!

 

 

Gift Tags for Every Occasion

You know I love everything Kimberbell and LOVE this new machine embroidery pattern – all done in the hoop!  There is a style for every gift giving occasion.

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The CD includes eight different sizes and over 30 different printable gift tags.  Choose from a variety of sentiments:  Hello, Congrats, Thanks, Happy Birthday, or Thinking of You!

Choose a gift tag or holder for a gift card.  Or, make a larger size that is big enough to hold treasures such as a favorite book, note cards, lotions, or your favorite things.

These are so cute that a gift of giftables would be a gift in itself!  Who wouldn’t love to receive their own personal supply?  Change the fabrics to change the entire look – and holiday!

Easter Should be on your radar

These wooden eggs in three sizes – and two colorways by The Bee Company will be arriving next month.

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These eggs can be purchased individually or come with a pattern for a cross stitch banner.

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But my first thought?  Wouldn’t these be an adorable way to personalize Easter baskets?  Machine embroidery instead of cross stitch would be darling – and give you the opportunity to showcase features of your sewing machines!  Carry Silhouette machines?  Design your own with that machine as well!  Think outside the box and your customers will make ALL variations!  What darling decorations for an Easter tree!

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!

 

Christmas Throughout the Year – Part One

I know that the holidays are now a warm memory, but lets take a moment to reflect and do what we can to minimize stress for 2017.  Sounds crazy – but hear me out!  Make a list, or review the list, of everyone you gave gifts to this year.  Then modify – who did you wish you would have thanked with a little something?

Over half of the top 100 patterns are not quilts!  They are smaller projects that can be made in an afternoon, are easy to mass produce, and would make great little gifts or add that awe factor to others.  Why not start a series of classes to help your customers prepare for the season?

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Gift cards and tickets to events are always a favorite.  Why not make a collection of Gifty Card Holders?  You can make a dozen in an afternoon out of 10″ squares.  An added bonus?  You know the recipient will reuse them as well – Go Green!  Sell sergers?  Show that edging as a quick and easy alternative.

 

 

 

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This Open Wide! bag designed by Annie Unrein is easy to make and comes in three sizes.  A set of all three would be a great gift or split them up and fill them with a little something.  The zipper has never been simpler – it is bound on each side and then attached so anyone can do it – and is a great demo.

 

 

 

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These ornaments also come in three sizes and are the perfect package tag for those special gifts.  Instructions include a six petal or eight petal version.  Date and sign the back for a lasting memory.  These would be great favors for a party.  Picture your table with a star i the center of each plate…..

 

 

 

 

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Everyone loves candles.  Why not add that awe factor by including a holder with the gift?  This is also a great opportunity to play with those decorative stitches on your machine….

 

 

 

 

 

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Have some quilting friends?  Wouldn’t they love this arm chair pin cushion and organizer? Fill it with sewing essentials – the perfect gift for those who are just getting started or need a travel kit.

Many of these are great gifts to make with friends and family as well.  Why not plan family craft days so the kids can help make gifts for their teachers?

My Kinda Town in Nine Easy Steps

Many of you know Laura Heine because you have fallen in love with her collage quilts.  Now she has combined forces with Peggy Larsen to create My Kinda Town.  This paper-pieced pattern includes full sized patterns.

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This 42 x 54 inch quilt is a perfect size for a wall hanging or baby quilt!  It is actually a combination of nine different blocks so it goes together rather quickly.  I know I am still in holiday mode – but my first reaction?  The Grinch would love this town!

Totes with Style

These new totes by Riley Blake are so reasonably priced that they would be great favors for your next quilting event.

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These sturdy, reinforced bags will quickly become top sellers.  Simply display them by the register.  You could even offer their choice of one free with a qualifying purchase!  I know these bags are not due in until April – but many of you are planning your shop hop events now and are looking for something “new”.  You can’t get any newer than this!

 

The Ultimate Quilter’s Planner

This organizer #LNQ120 actually gives quilting the respect it deserves!  You schedule aerobics classes – why not quilting time?  After all, it is the icing on the cake for most of us!

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This Planner includes both weekly and monthly calendars with lots of bonuses for the quilter in all of us.

 

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This laminated calendar includes paper and graph paper to sketch your latest quilt ideas.

 

 

 

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It includes block patterns as well as digital downloads for 14 quilt patterns from top designers. An added bonus?  Practice your machine quilting skills.

What a wonderful gift for any quilter on your list!

 

 

Still Time for Last Minute Gifts

You still have time to get in some special gifts and stocking stuffers for the holidays. Check out our gift tab on the website to see what is in stock and ready to ship. Here are a few ideas:

This cookie cutter collection #CNCCS is great this time of year when everyone is making sugar cookies – but are great year round for all of those quilting events.

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These gift items designed by Lori Holt are adorable.  Start dreaming – and organizing your next quilt project.  This calendar #ST-4150 starts whenever you want it to!  Or, decorate your fridge or machine with this magnet set #ST-4150.

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This beautiful scarf #SCARFVICT can add a touch of class to any quilter.

Go through your store and pull out other items that should be placed center stage for those seeking last minute gifts. Your customers may be surprised that you have more than fabric!

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!