Gift Card Holders are Part of the Gift

Gift cards have become a staple.  And, this time of year, it is always smart to purchase some for those unexpected gift opportunities.  But why stop there?  Why not have some small purses on hand?

These whimsical critters will make everyone smile – not just the little ones in your life.  And, at just $5.00, they are great stocking stuffers as well.  They come in packages of six.  Your customers will want to collect them all!  Meet….


Item #BGFAB-8004  Retail $5.00 (Pack of 6)

Rosie Day….

Item #BGFAB-8005  Retail $5.00 (Pack of 6)

Item #BGFAB-8006  Retail $5.00 (Pack of 6)

Item #BGFAB-8006  Retail $5.00 (Pack of 6)

Or, make your own.  The Little Wallet by Valorie Wells is always in the top 20 and includes several pockets.
Item #VWD52  Retail $3.00

This cell phone wallet is one of the top selling Cut Loose Press patterns.
Item #CLPSMA001

Or, make one of these new Cut Loose Press bags that are perfect for organizing the clutter in your purse.

Cat’s Meow

Item #CLPHVA002

Doggie Bag
Item #CLPHVA002


Item #CLPHVA003

For those of you who are old school, all of these options hold cash as well…….





Clean and Fresh – Quilter’s Staples

Bear Thread Designs has added another staple to every quilt shop.  Sew Fresh removes the odors from all of your textiles.  This all natural product is a must have for machine quilters as well.  It is odor free – but removes the musty smell from quilts.  Better yet, it removes the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke so you can quilt without holding your breath!







Item #BTD217  Retail $10.99

They also produce a product that removes marks and stains from quilts.  That’s right it removes many of the pencil and pen markings that may still mar the beauty of some of your projects.  A friend says it also removes pet stains – and swears by it.  The orange scent is  fresh and clean.








Item #BTD207  Retail $10.99

Keep these at the register so your customers know you have them.  Soon they will be recommending them to all of their friends so get the conversation started.

Meet the Sidekick

Hexies and 60 degree angles are definitely the hottest trend in quilting for 2013.

The Sidekick cuts 60 degree; diamonds, and half triangles with just one tool.   And this newest companion to Julie Herman’s Hex n More (Item #JBQ201)  has launched two patterns in the top 20.
Item #JBQ202  Retail $17.95

Rock Candy is a charming table topper that measures 20 1/2″ from side to side; 23″ from point to point and is the perfect center piece for any table.









Item #JBQ135  Retail $6.50

Night Sky showcases 60 degree diamond stars and is striking in these color choices.  The pattern includes instructions for baby to king size.








Item #JBQ137  Retail $10.00

Julie has also designed a block of the month program that utilizes both rulers.  It is not due until January so why not start with the projects above too familiarize your customers with the tools.  Then they will be waiting in line to sign up for this one…..







Item #JBQ139  Retail $29.95










Cut Loose Press Place Mat of the Month Program

The Quilt Branch are the proud inventors of the House and Cottage rulers by Creative Grids.  This ruler literally cuts every shape under the roof!  We wanted to give you an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of this ruler in a series of demos and classes.







Item #CGRQB1  Retail $26.45

Each Cut Loose Press place mat features a different shape that can be cut with the ruler.  The entire series consists of six patterns and are numbered accordingly.

Morning Flight
Item #CLPQBR001

Happy Hour
Item #CLPQBR002

Power Point
Item #CLPQBR003

Item #CLPQBR004

Hot Tin Roof
Item #CLPQBR005

45th Parallel
Item #CLPQBR006

Why not use different battings in each place mat – and label them accordingly?  What a great opportunity to educate your customers about Soft and Stable, Stiff Stuff, InsulBright, 100% cotton batting; the 80/20 blends, etc…

For instance, in the photos above, the black binding could showcase a Halloween fabric on the backing.  Power Point; Hot Tin Roof and 45th Parallel feature red bindings so the backing could showcase patriotic, Valentine, or Christmas fabrics.  Happy Hour could feature St. Patrick’s Day or Easter fabrics….you get the picture.  With a little bit of planning, you can showcase – and sell – focal fabrics as well.

Don’t forget to include tips on binding; using basting sprays; and machine quilting.  Have fabric options available for backings.  Each place mat can showcase a holiday fabric on the back as long as the binding coordinates with both.

Kits – the Perfect Christmas Gifts

Let’s face it – 99% percent of our customers are women.  That means that 99% of the people who are buying them Christmas presents are men – and men are not comfortable in a quilt shop.  Therefore, we need to make it as easy as possible for them to shop OUR stores!

Wish lists are great – and if your customers are willing to give you their husband’s email so you can play Santa, even better!  Send their husbands the wish list – along with pricing – and offer to wrap the gifts if they call with credit card information.

Kits are a great choice.  Did you know that Checker has a great selection of containers that are ideal for displaying them?

These heavy duty plastic storage boxes come in three sizes and are reasonably priced.  Your customers will be able to use them again once this project is complete.  In fact, they will want to buy them as is to organize their own sewing room so don’t let the case quantity dissuade you!

This size is flying off the shelves because the 8 1/2″ x 11″ size is perfect for kitting Cut Loose Press projects since the pattern fits perfectly on top of the kit.







Item #1028-19  60 per case

These 12″ squares are perfect for projects that feature 10″ pre-cut squares….

Item #1203-66    40 per case

These 5″ x 7″ containers are the perfect size to kit projects based on a pattern….






Item #1206-34  24 per case

For projects that require less fabric, these heavy duty plastic bags may be just the ticket!  They come in four sizes and are available in packages of six.







Item #KITBAGXS Retail $1.00 (4″ x 6″)
Item #KITBAGSM  Retail $1.50 (7″ x 10″)
Item #KITBAGMD Retail $2.00 (9 3/8″ x 11 1/2″)
Item #KITBAGLG  Retail $2.00 (12 1/2″ x 16″)

Order now.  We can’t keep these babies in stock!  A few are out of stock, but they are due in this week, so if you order now, you will have plenty of time to get those kits cut.  Tie a ribbon around them for a cute Christmas display.  Why not put some under the tree????





Race for the Cure

With all of the Quilt Market hype, October was crazy busy but the Checker family found time to participate in this annual event.

2013-09-28 20.40.13

The Wellness Committee organized this event.  Yes, Checker has a Wellness Committee that works with employees to improve health and wellness.  The poster child for this committee is Renee Shook, assistant buyer.  She lost 65 pounds and has become a fitness nut!  Her excercise of choice?  Mud Runs!!!

2013-09-28 21.38.05









This mother of three has become the go to person for anyone who has questions about diet, nutrition and exercise.

In fact, if you walk all of the aisles in the warehouse, it equals 1 mile.  Employees come in before work to walk this route and make exercise a part of their daily routine.

Janis not only is the go to person for our customers, she used her organizational skills to guarantee that this event went off without a hitch!

2013-09-28 20.27.29

Before it begins….
2013-09-28 20.25.53

Look at the crowds….
2013-09-28 21.05.42

Some ran….
2013-09-28 22.06.45
Some hitched a ride….
2013-09-28 22.11.14
enee carried a sign displaying the names of everyone who inspired the runners….
2013-09-28 22.10.05
Whether they walked or ran, they all crossed the finish line…
2013-09-28 22.06.50
Including the future employees of Checker….
2013-09-28 20.23.55




And, thank you to our photographer, Craig who made his outfit out of duck tape!

Thank you for inspiring everyone to do better….be better… better…..








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:   //

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: //

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:  //

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:  //

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


Nancy Halvorsen has done it again!

Table Please is Nancy’s new book which features 15 different projects including 9 table toppers, table runners, and place mats.
Item #ATH549B  Retail $19.00

This book will give you enough classes and projects to fill classes through next summer! I love the three dimensional aspects of the LOVE table runner.

Start the year by creating this birthday celebration.  Then everyone will have it for all of their personal celebrations the entire year!


I love the dimensions added to the place mat – created with the layers of the cake!  And rick rack is the perfect trim!

Then move on to Valentine’s Day.  The letters are attached with buttons – how cute is that!  There is also a chair cover with a pocket to hold everyone’s Valentines – but you’ll have to buy the book to see it!

St. Patrick’s Day in March?  No problem!  Who doesn’t love shamrocks – and turn Irish for only for one day???
Then it is time to get ready for Easter….
And Spring….the flowers are embellished with buttons – which are available separately.  To see all of the button kits, visit our website:  //

Prepare for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day with this great table topper…
These are great projects to kit as well.  They are colorful, affordable, and fun!  The best part about this book?  It is Part One!  Which means there will be a Part Two….

A Walk Down the Aisles – Part Two

Sometimes you turn a corner and just have to laugh….this pattern is by and features In the Patch wools…

2013-10-25 11.40.48
ottage at Cardiff Farms…
Cottage at Cardiff Farms 3








Green Bee….
Green Bee








Olive Ann…..
Olive Ann 2







Pickle Pie Designs…
Pickle Pie Zipper in a hoop
A Quilter’s Dream
Quilters Dream 3








Villa Rosa
Villa Rosa








Wooden Bear Lil Woolies Block of the Month program….
Wooden Bear Lil Woolies BOM








Teacher’s Pet….
Teachers Pet








I am still in Houston and am enjoying visiting with everyone at Festival.  When you come to Market, it is a good idea to at least stay for one day at Market so you can get a feel for what is hot!  Why not get the pulse of 65,000 quilters????