Tools for Aging Quilters – Part Three

Traditional irons are heavy and most of the time it is sending a “woman to do a child’s job”. After all, most of quilting is pressing seams that are less than 12″. A smaller, more mobile iron is just the ticket. The lighter weight is a big plus. From Steamfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memory also becomes an issue. These ruler stickers from G.E. Design can be used on mats, rulers, patterns, and fabrics. Keep them EVERYWHERE!  Don’t waste time checking measurements for a second or third time….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least – rotary cutting. The Splash by Olfa offers a quick change blade system that is super simple. You no longer have to take a picture to remember how to put the thing back together – and there are no little parts to deal with!

 

 

 

Although this series is written for aging quilters, young quilters take note!  If you use these tools from the very beginning, maybe you won’t develop the issues that we are dealing with now!

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.

GE-512 CGRGE2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

RM-SG CGR24

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATK126

small_RTY2CPR_01_01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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!

Notions Revisited or Improved!

When I travel and teach, I receive multiple requests from applique enthusiasts for a sandpaper board.  Sue Daley delivers!  The sandpaper stops the fabric from slipping when tracing templates and is mounted to a sturdy board so it is the perfect work surface.

PWBSPB

We once again carry Klutz Gloves in a medium and large size.  Wear these gloves when rotary cutting to protect your fingers from those sharp blades!

FP7858

RB45H-1

The new kid on the block is this new endurance blade by Olfa.  I can’t wait to try one!  For just a few dollars more, this blade is supposed to last twice as long as the current blades on the market!  Let’s face it everyone, we NEVER replace our blade as often as we should so this puppy is a godsend!

Learn to Quilt – the Perfect Gift

Tis the season when you have an opportunity to introduce new customers to quilting.  Be prepared!  When family members walk in and want to buy something because a relative wants to learn how to quilt, have a display ready.  Don’t forget to include information on beginning quilting classes that will be starting after the first of the year – and gift certificates to classes as well.

Here are a few suggestions which you probably already have in stock!  It is all in the presentation…

There are several beginning quilting books on the market.  This is my favorite because it not only teaches the basics of quilting, it also explains the terminology!  Jeri includes the  “language” of quilting that experienced quilters take for granted such as fat quarters.  Now that is a TRUE beginners guide!

L113350

Item #L113350  Retail $24.95

For those who are inspired to learn to quilt by watching Alex Anderson on T.V., her book is always a top seller.

10708

Item #10708  Retail $14.95

We all know that the tools make a difference.  Why not start with the best?  The #1 selling Creative Grids ruler of all time is the 6 1/2″ x 24 1/2″ ruler.  It spans the width of a rotary mat and is the width of the most common border width – a must have for all quilters.  This should be in every quilter’s sewing room.

CGR24

Item CGR24  Retail $24.00

Or, why not choose the Stripology ruler?  It is the perfect choice for beginners or those who are afraid of a traditional cutter or may have carpal tunnel issues.  Why not teach them how to cut their rotary cutting time by 75% right from the beginning????

CGRGE1

Item #CGRGE1  Retail $54.95

The 18″ x 24″ Olfa cutting mat is the most popular size.

RM-SG

Item #RM-SG  Retail $32.99

This quick change rotary cutter is the best selling rotary cutter…

small_RTY2C_01_01

Item #RTY2C  Retail $17.99

Display these items – or your personal preferences – in one place and let your staff know to recommend these products when the questions arise.  Have newsletters right there so the newbies know how to contact you!  Remind your customers that these are the perfect gifts for THEIR friends.  Why not offer a free class to everyone who brings a new quilter to a class?

Olfa has Revolutionized Cutting Mats!

This is the greatest innovation since the invention of the rotary cutting mat.  Olfa has created a folding mat – which makes your mat totally portable.  Reducing your mat to “half size” means you can take it to retreats and classes easily – and it is easier to protect it from temperature variations when traveling!

small_FCM-12X17_01_01

The 12″ x 17″ size – Item #FCM-12×17  Retail $49.99

small_FCM-17X24_01_01

The 17″ x 24″ Size – Item #FCM-17×24 Retail $69.99

The wavy edge interconnects and is seamless when opened.  I got to try one – and seriously – you can’t see it and the rotary cutter went right over it.  A piece of black tape runs the height of the mat so the two halves mesh perfectly every time.

These mats won’t be available until July but order them now so you get the first order.  I have a feeling these are going to sell like crazy to those quilters who travel and quilt!  How could they resist???

Quick Change with a Splash

Am I the only one that didn’t know that OLFA released a reasonably priced version of their awesome quick change rotary cutter???  This puppy retails for less than $20.  The contoured handle is comfortable to use.  And the ribs stop your fingers from slipping but lets you get close to the blade for precise cutting!

Item #RTY2C  Retail $17.99

This new color was just announced and will begin shipping in March…

RTY2CPR

Item #RTY2CPR  Retail $17.99

Both have the quick change feature.  Replace the blade with one click!  Both us the standard replacement blades (Item #RB45).