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?

lgd141

 

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?

“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….

ATK176

Item #ATK176  Retail $9.50

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

LGD135

Item #LGD135  Retail $10.00

The hardware is included in the pattern:

LGD137

Item #LGD137  Retail $13.50

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

FQG120

Item #FQG120  Retail $13.00

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

SMC824

Item #SMC824  Retail $10.00

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

TLP1234

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

LGD137

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.

ATK520

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.

LGD713

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.

LGD135

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!

LGD136

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.

Item #ATK790Z

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

The Bendy Bag – The Newest Member of the Lazy Girl Family

The Lazy Girl Bendy Bag is the #1 tote bag this week in the Checker 100 for a reason.

LGD134

Item #LGD134  Retail $9.00

The clean lines and simple angles are visibly showcased in clear bright solid fabrics with contrasting zippers and accents.  It is easier than it looks.  Sew the zipper in straight, then bend the bag and stitch to create this funky shape.  The 3″ x 6″ x 6″ size makes it the perfect choice for storing cords, sewing supplies, or make-up.  The three inch width guarantees that the bag stands up whether open or closed – and the curved zipper opens wide to reveal all of the treasures inside.  Use the zipper “scraps” to create a pull tab – what could be cuter???  Of course, she chose an Atkinson 14″ zipper so there are a multitude of colors to choose from.  After all, when the zipper is part of the statement, you only want the best!

But to create a quality bag, you must have quality tools and notions.  Proper pressing can make the difference between a designer look – and a “Mom” made.

Joan recommends her pressing tool line created with the folks at Clover:

This 2×4 Mighty Mini Board makes it easy to press all of those nooks and crannies that give the bag its unique shape.

7800CV

Item #7800CV  Retail $46.95

This Iron Safe protects the fabric while pressing so scorching is no longer a concern.  A pressing cloth is a thing of the past…

7804CV

Item #7804CV  Retail $27.95

The Iron Finger is heat resistant so you can get up close and personal with your iron without burning anything!

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Item #7802CV  Retail $15.75

A quality product starts from the inside out, however.  And this bag is no exception.  Dreamy Fusible Fleece provides the body needed when a stand-up job is required!

SLG106

Item #SLG106

You won’t be able to make just one!

Sew Lazy Interfacing at Market and New Products

A Checker Distributors’ exclusive, Lazy Girl’s new Sew Lazy Interfacing line is going gangbusters! In fact, we have a couple of new items to tell you about since our introductory post here.  If you’ll be at Quilt Market later this month in Houston, you’ll have a few chances to hear Joan Hawley talk about this incredible line of new products and see the whole line in our booth.

New Products
– Slicker Tote pattern, LGD131, $5/ea retail
– Stiff Stuff 20 yd bolt, SLG10720, $5.29/yd + freight
– Sew Lazy sample card, SLGCARD, free, one per store

Perfect Kit Under $15
The Slicker Tote pattern, along with a cut of Slicker and Stiff Stuff creates a kit that comes in just under $15 retail.
The Slicker Tote is printed project-sheet style, available in 10 packs.

A pack of patterns, a bolt each of Slicker and Stiff Stuff will make 10 projects. Clover Wonder Clips work nicely with this project.
– LGD131 Slicker Tote (10 pattern pack)
– SLG102 Slicker Glossy Iron-On Vinyl (10 yd bolt)
– SLG107 Stiff Stuff Firm 10 yd bolt (10 yd bolt)

What you’ll learn in making the Slicker Tote
– Laminate your own fabric using Slicker Glossy Iron-On Vinyl
– Work with Stiff Stuff Firm interfacing
– Work with laminates including using clips instead of pins
– Make ‘wrap n fold’ handles the Lazy Girl way
– Box the bottom of a bag

At Market
SchoolHouse 5:30 – 6:00, room 352F

Demonstration: Sunday, 10:00 – 10:30, Checker Demo Table
Joan will introduce the whole line of 7 fantastic products as well as the new Slicker Tote pattern.

Checker You Video
Joan will be creating a video demonstration of the new Slicker Tote project to be available soon on Checker You.

Sew Lazy Products Click here to view Sew Lazy at Checker’s website.

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:  //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!!!

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 jplomaritis@www.checkernewsletter.comcheckerdist.com or call her at 419-893-3636  ext. 624