Bead your Way to Christmas Presents

When I first saw this “French Knitter”, I smiled.  Back in the old days – when they had wooden spools – my father would make one of these out of a wooden spool and four nails!  We would “knit” ropes for hours, were partial to variegated yarn, and didn’t do anything with them but enjoy the process!  Oh, baby, Clover has now made this tool for adults – and you will be shocked at the results!

Item #3100CV  Retail $13.95

Carol Porter demonstrated this tool at our Open House.  I had admired her jewelry earlier in the day and was shocked to see that she made it!  Check these out….

There are project sheets available:

Item #CT0101

Item #CT0103

It is so easy!  Just string the beads on embroidery thread before “knitting” it with the tool.  If you want your jewelry to be really clunky, add a bead with every stitch.  If you want it to be more sleek, add a bead with every other stitch.  It really is that easy!

We carry Bead Soup in a multitude of colors – which would be perfect with this tool!

See the entire selection at our website:

If you don’t have time to make a sample, that is O.K.  Just start a bracelet and have the tool and an assortment of Bead Soups by the register.  Invite them to do a round!  I guarantee you it will make them smile and bring back happy memories of their childhood.  How often do we have the opportunity to revisit our youth with such sophisticated results???

If you are doing an open house, this is a great demo item.  Your customers will have time to make them for Christmas giving.

Think Christmas

When I owned a quilt shop, the madness started the day school started!  That’s when quilters start planning for Christmas and harried mothers have a little time for themselves!  These same ladies are thinking about what they would like for Christmas – so why not entice them with your top picks???  You could even have gift cards nearby so they could give them to their significant other to guarantee that he buys the right thing!

This is much simpler than you think!  With very little effort you can increase sales.  For the Open House, we ran out and got some pretty red ribbon and tied a few bows!  Turn ordinary into festive just by tying a knot!

Nancy Zieman has designed a new template for Clover that makes quick work out of covers for your Kindle, IPAD, and Nook.  Teach this as a class so your customers can make them for everyone on their wish list.

Item #9570CV  Retail $19.95

Buttermilk Basin has some great Block of the Month programs that would be great gift sets.  Check out our website to see the complete collection:

Throw in some wools by In the Patch Designs and your customers will be thrilled! Did I mention that they debuted neutrals at the Open House???

Rita Fishel turned the CGR Corner to Corner Curve ruler into a must have when she wrote Curvalicious.  Why not display them as a set???

Item #CGRSRC3  Retail $25.95
Curvalicious – Item #CSC003 Retail $10.00

Rita also wrote out instructions for the Storm at Sea quilt using the CGR ruler of the same name – another great combo….

Item #CGRSAS Retail $27.45
Storm at Sea Item #CSC002  Retail $10.00

Here is Janice Pope sharing her new Bias Binding ruler – a must have for every quilter!

Item #CGRABB1  Retail $18.95

Why not partner it with her new pattern – Streak ‘O Lightin?

Item #CGRABB1207  Retail $8.00

Leaves Galore is a great system to cut petals and leaves – all the same size – in a matter of minutes!  What quilter wouldn’t love the complete set???

Item #MGLST  $65.95

The Creative Grids Circle Savvy ruler is finally back in stock!  When production can’t keep up with demand, you know you have a winner!  Combine it with one of the many support patterns such as Insider Trading by Swirly Girls Design?

Item #CGRSAV1  Retail $35.95
Item #SGD022  Retail $9.00

The Lazy Angle ruler by Joan Hawley continues to be a top seller.  Why not pair it with the book that is the quintessential companion for this ruler?

Item #CGR3754  Retail $21.95
Lazy and Lovin’ It Item #LGD901  Retail $24.95

The place mats patterns by QP Quilts were the hit of the show and Kathy knows how to sell the patterns as well as the fabric kits.  I got to sit in on her taping for CheckerYOU and it was amazing!  She can actually talk faster than I can!!!  It should be up very soon, so check it out!

Patterns Retail for $4.99

Why not kit this new pattern by Among Brenda’s Quilts?  This would also be a great class before the holidays….

Item #ABQ165  Retail $9.99

Remember!  Men love tools – they get why you need the right tool for the job.  They may not know a batik from a homespun – and will run screaming from the store if you start to explain – but they LOVE gadgets so make sure you have plenty on hand for the quilter in their life!

New Releases Launched at the Open House

Part of the excitement of the Open House is seeing the debut of many products from our favorite designers and vendors a full two months before they are shown at Quilt Market!  And this year is no exception.  Your response to these new products makes it possible for our buyers to place educated buys to meet your needs in the upcoming season.

Primrose Lane shared two new patterns featuring embroidered barns.  The detailing is absolutely gorgeous.  They look like pen and ink drawings.  Make a wall hanging for a treasured friend or a large quilt for the farmer in your life.  Simply beautiful!!!

Hole in the Barn Door
Item #MG-009  Retail $9.00

Appalachian Memories
Item #MG-010  Retail $20.00

Valdani 3 strand embroidery floss and 8 or 12 pearl cotton are luscious!   Two new collections were shown – and sold out the first day!  In fact, your response was so positive that we have several new collections on order.  Check out the website:

Variegated Vintage Hues

Item #VHPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00
Item #VHPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00
Item #VH3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00

Variegated Twisted Tweed

Item #TTPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00
Item #TTPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00
Item #TT3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00

The Creative Grids Log Cabin Trim Tool is so popular that we introduced two new sizes – in one tool.  Many of you wanted a 6″ or 12″ version so we combined them!  And it was a huge success!

Item #CGRJAW2  Retail $24.95

Lanette Edens, our favorite Gypsy Quilter, shared her new Sensational Sip and Snip that will be shipping before Market.  This will be the last time you spill your drink all over your work space!  You will only tea dye your quilt when you actually want to!

Item #TGQ011  Retail $23.95

Judy Niemeyer premiered her new Creative Grids Double Wedding Ring Template series – and sold out immediately!  Don’t worry – a new shipment is due in this week.  She also showcased two new patterns – one features the ruler…

Item #CGRDWR  Retail $33.45

Wedding Ring Bed Runner

Item #JNQ95P  Retail $22.00

Cactus Flower

Item #JNQ98P  Retail $24.00

Kathy Brown, The Teacher’s Pet, released a new line of patterns called “Chubbies”.  These little wonders retail for just $5.00 and use her Fat Quarter Cutter – CGRY1.   The response was so positive that five more will be released at Market!

Five and Dime

Item #TP002  Retail $5.00

Bread & Butter

Item #TP003  Retail $5.00

Points on the Prairie

Item #TP004  Retail $5.00

Subway Station

Item #TP005  Retail $5.00

Joan Hawley launched her new line of interfacing called Sew Lazy.  Interfacing have never been more simple – and easier to understand.  With names like Stiff Stuff and Sicker – the name says it all (but if you still have questions, there are  simple explanations on the end of each bolt!)  This interfacing is available as an assortment or buy the bolt!

Item #SLQ101 – Fusi-Bond Lite
Item #SLQ102 – Slicker
Item #SLQ103 – Face It Soft
Item #SLQ104 – Face It Firm
Item #SLQ105 – Dreamy Sew-In
Item #SLQ106 – Dreamy Fusible
Item #SLQ107 – Stiff Stuff

Any items that sold out at the Open House have already been re-ordered by our buyers so order now so it will be shipped as soon as the orders hit the doors.

Checker Exclusive: Sew Lazy Interfacing

Lazy Girl Joan Hawley feels interfacing has been a bad bedtime story for too long. Bad product names, mystery properties, generic instructions – ack! Sew Lazy interfacing turns that bad bedtime story into a fairy tale come true. It’s Sew Lazy and the 7 Dwarfs! Sew Lazy is seven of Joan’s favorite products for bag making, small crafts, table runners, apparel and more. Good names, instructions, project icons, color coding, etc, etc. Finally, we can make sense of these confusing products and know exactly what to buy, how to use it and what it will do for our projects.

Sew Lazy Interfacing Assortment #SLGASST

Please Meet Sew Lazy
While Snow White had Grumpy, Dopey and Sleepy, Joan has: Stiff Stuff, Slicker, Dreamy (2: sew-in and fusible), Face-It (2: soft and firm), and Fusi-Bond. Products that work. Names that make sense. Get to know these names, we’ll be seeing a lot more of them. Joan’s spent so much time with these little bolts, she’s come to think of them as my 7 Dwarfs.

Why Sew Lazy is Special
– Products selected, tested and approved by me, so you know they’re good and will work for you.
– Names that make sense and are relatable. Stiff Stuff to make your bag stand up – perfect!
– Bolt end labels clearly marked with all the info you need to make sure you’re buying the right thing.
– Instructions and descriptions wound with each product. It’s like Joan’s right there talking to you!
– These are the basic items plus a thing or two that might be new to you.
– Checker exclusive so it is only available to local quilt shops.
– Made in the USA

Claire Handbag (LGD125) made with Stiff Stuff in place of fleece
and Face-It Firm to interface the lining.

Products: Details and How They Got Their Names
Fusi-Bond Lite (SLG101, 17?, $2.99 yd)
An adhesive web perfect for applique and bonding layers of fabric together. Similar to Heat N Bond Lite/Wonder Under. It won’t gum up your sewing machine needle, offers an even and consistent bond and won’t add weight or stiffness to your project. Fusi-Bond = fusible bond.

Slicker (SLG102, 17?, $5.79 yd)
Iron-on glossy vinyl. Hey, we can laminate our own fabric! Fabric stays soft and is easy to work with. Slicker = it makes fabric slicker.

Face-It Soft (SLG103, 22?, $5.79 yd)
Lightweight woven 100% cotton fusible interfacing. Slightly more delicate than Pellon Shape Flex. Face-It = interface it. There is no nickname for interfacing, so let’s just ‘Face-It’.

Face-It Firm (SLG104, 20?, $3.39 yd)
Medium/heavy weight non-woven fusible interfacing. Nicer than Decor Bond. Face-It = interface it, same category as above, just a different weight.

Dreamy Sew-In Fleece (SLG105, 45?, $5.59 yd)
100% polyester high loft sew-in fleece. Use in place of batting for small projects or in soft-sided crafts when you want more drape or softness than fusible fleece. Dreamy = creamy/dreamy consistency.

Dreamy Fusible Fleece (SLG106, 45?, $8.59 yd)
100% polyester high loft fusible fleece. If you like Pellon fusible fleece, you are going to love this. Great consistency and no dimpling from over-fusing. Dreamy = creamy/dreamy consistency. It’s as if fresh cream were whipped into a fleece, perfectly yummy with no calories and just the right loft.

Stiff Stuff (SLG107, 20?, $5.29 yd)
The new love of Joan’s bag-making life. Firm, yet flexible sew-in dense interfacing. Similar to, but softer than Timtex/Peltex. It’s forgiving and doesn’t hold the fold like those other guys. You can crumple a bag into a ball and it will bounce right back and stand up straight. Use it in place of fleece or batting in a structured bag. Great for table runners and placemats, too. Stiff Stuff = I need some of that stiff stuff to make my bag stand up.

Slicker Tote (pattern late fall), outside fabric laminated with Slicker,
Stiff Stuff used in place of fleece or batting for great stand-up-i-tude, dude!

Revolutionary Bolt End Labels
Tired of those confusing and non-sensical labels on the bolt ends? You know the ones. They say something like this: 100% polyester, all-purpose, non-woven, medium weight, fusible, I-stopped-listening-five-minutes-ago… Goodness! Just tell me what I need to know. Name, properties, what it will do for my project and how to care for it.

Interleaf Information and Instructions
Yes, those instruction thingies that come wrapped in the bolt have a name – interleaf. All five fusible products come wrapped with the pink interleaf. Hot pink = hot iron, therefore it’s fusible. Easy peasy. Both sew-in products are wrapped with the blue linterleaf. Here’s a snippet of the fusible interleaf, showing the clear labeling, project icons such as soft purse or apparel, product descriptions and instructions for use. Click to enlarge image.

Store Owners – Need to Know Info
Sew Lazy is exclusively available through Checker Distributors. Contact Checker to place an order.
Skinny bolts – put-ups of 10-20 yards instead of 15-35 for other name brand comparables.
Buy by the individual bolt or get started with an assortment of one each of the seven products.
All Sew Lazy Interfacing products: Click here to view all Sew Lazy Interfacing

The Open House in Pictures – Part Three

The calm before the storm…The aisles are polished, the fabric is organized, and the carts are waiting….

Special sales for the event were displayed….

And then the doors opened!!!!

Customers took advantage of the books and patterns displayed in the showroom – and enjoyed the air conditioned comfort…

These two have their running shoes on because they were in charge of keeping the vendors stocked at all times!

Brad always has a smile on his face when he sees happy customers!

The vendors shared a wealth of useful information with our customers…

Cart corrals helped keep the chaos down to a minimum…

360 days a year this is the Receiving Department – run by the guy in blue….but for Open House, it is transformed!!!

The tunnel is full of one of a kind bargains…and do you see those shelving units on wheels???   They were moved from the lunchroom area so 60 more people could be seated at each setting!  A little extreme?  Not if you are Rob Krieger and it comes to customer service!!!

Midwest barbecue is always a high light of the day!

Join us next year – August 18th and 19th.  But for now, thanks for the memories…..

The Open House in Pictures – Part Two

Rob never wastes an inch of space so for two days, the warehouse is transformed.  The end caps become educational displays…

Checker is the North American home for Creative Grids so this was a perfect opportunity to showcase our new additions:

In just a few short years, we have become the premier ruler company for specialty rulers.

Batiks flew off the shelves!  Who would not be inspired by Judy’s quilts?

Did you know that Checker also carries supplies for your store – paper bags, display racks, bolt buddies, etc.  Save shipping by picking them up when you visit.

Chlldren’s wear has become a hot seller….

And, this market has it’s own notions to support it….

Checker also carries a wide variety of pre-cuts from a multitude of vendors.

Brad always shops for some special sales as well…

The lunchroom becomes eye candy when the diners are surrounded by over one hundred quilts!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does a quilt say???

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:  //, 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!!!

Showcase Cuddle in Critter Corners and Stuffed Animals

McKay Manor Musers knew a good thing when they saw it – and gave us support for the Cuddle fabrics that we all love – but were nervous about sewing them!  Many of their samples will be displayed at the Shannon booth at the Open House so come see what all of the fuss is about!  Shannon Fabrics will have helpful hints to share – and take away that fear factor.  When your customers feel it, they WANT it!!!  Here is a sample of the type of eye candy that will be displayed at the Open House…

So Soft Chinchilla Rug:

Item #MMM0011  Retail $9.00

6 So Simple Baby Blankets

Item #MMM0012  Retail $9.00

Happy Scrappy Whoo Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0016  Retail $9.00

Moose on the Loose Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0018  Retail $9.00

Cuddle Up Kitty Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0020  Retail $9.00

Sentinel the Fox Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0022  Retail $9.00

Tuotumne the Pika Stuffed Animal:

Item #MMM0026  Retail $9.00

El Captain Critter Corner:

Item #MMM0040  Retail $9.00

To see the entire collection, visit our website at:  // Why not choose your favorites now and come prepared to pick out your fabric?  Talk about being organized!  Pat yourself on the back!!!

Think Christmas with Valdani

When I was a little girl, I loved to go to the craft department at Ben Franklin and get anything variegated…Remember the Red Heart 4 ply yarns that came in baby colors and brights?  LOVED THEM!  And, that is probably why girls like me have grown up to LOVE Valdani!  Their muted colors are to die for – and your customers will want them all.

They are available in three strand floss and 8 & 12 weight pearl cottons.  There is a great selection of solid colors – with the same great finish – but my heart sings when I see their boxed collections!

Artist Pallette
Item #APPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #APPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #AP3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

Vintage Hues
Item #VHPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #VHPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #VHP3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

Earthly Treasures
Item #ETPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #ETPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #ETP3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

Heirloom Collection
Item #HPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #HPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #H3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

Muddy Monet
Item #MMPC8SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (73 Yard per Ball)
Item #MMPC12SMPLR  Retail $63.00 (109 Yard per Ball)
Item #MM3STSMPLR  Retail $46.00 (30 Yard Ball)

To see the complete collection, visit our website at:  //

We have received a small order of these collections that will be available at the Open House and more will follow based on your orders.  Stacy of Buttermilk Basin fame loves them so they will be displayed by her booth.  Place your orders now so the buyer knows you love them as much as I do and will get in plenty for the holidays.  THINK CHRISTMAS!!!

Place Mats hit the Trifecta

Kathy Seal is a shop owner who has provided you with the means to create the perfect trifecta – class/demo/and kit!  These patterns are already into their second printing – and if you move now – will be kitted with a display sample by the end of the week!

The concept is brilliant!  Each placemat is a quilt as you go project so when they are done, they are DONE!  The backing is brought to the front for the binding so that will be completed too!  When is the last time you taught a class and they walked out with a gift ready to wrap???  These are so simple, they will want to make them for every occasion…

Framed Seasons has a perfect center section that can showcase great holiday prints or your customers can personalize it by adding a name or applique.

Item #PMFS  Retail $4.99

On the Side features a strip to place the silverware and has a more modern look….

Item #PMOTS  Retail $4.99

Picture Perfect…

Item #PMPP  Retail $4.99

Woven Wonder…

Item #PMWW  Retail $4.99

Kathy is coming down next week to do a demonstration of these placemats for CheckerYOU.  By the time you have everything in stock and pick out your fabric, you will be able to watch how to demo it to your customers.  Checker aims to please!  If you are coming to the Open House, Kathy will tell you exactly how she has sold hundreds of these kits and patterns in her store – learn from the best!!!