October 13, 2014

October 2014 — Issue 119

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  • American Quilt Retailer’s 20 Year Anniversary
  • Industry news and events
  • Personality Plus: Learn to Work Effectively with Every Customer
  • The Story Behind your Brand
  • Designer Spotlight: Nancy Green
  • 15 Steps to Merchandising Magic
  • Quilting Icon: Jean Wells
  • The Texture Trend
  • Website Welcome: Create a Hardworking Home Page
  • Pretty Presentation: Packaging a Unique Customer Experience
  • Seducing the Muse: Ways to Inspire Creativity


Seasonal Sampler

This festive tablerunner would be a fabulous way to get started on your handmade holiday to-do list. Our simple appliqué pattern is a quick-and-easy way to try working with a variety of textures. Other types of fabric could easily be substituted for our burlap, wool and velvet selections. Denim and flannel would feel right at home here. Texture is a delight to see and feel. Dress up your table with our textured Seasonal Sampler — perfect for any season!

Designed and sewn by Heidi Kaisand  — the new Editor of American Quilt Retailer. Heidi also runs a thriving quilt shop called Hen & Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa.

Everyone who has subscribed to or purchased a copy of this issue is welcome to download a copy of the pattern PDF to use in their shop.




Several companies contributed fabric and notions to our texture themed cover photo this month. Our selections include:

  1. Robert Kaufman – Cotton Linen Denim 6oz
  2. Robert Kaufman – Shetland Flannel Ocean
  3. Robert Kaufman – Shetland Flannel Pumpkin
  4. Robert Kaufman – Shetland Flannel Flame
  5. Westminster – Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton Aqua
  6. Aurifil thread and Aurifloss
  7. Renaissance Ribbons — Tula Pink collection
  8. Robert Kaufman – Studio Stash Yarn Dyes Indigo
  9. Moda – Bella Solids Cheddar
  10. Moda – Mixologie Linens Blueberry Ice
  11. Robert Kaufman – Studio Stash Yarn Dyes Cardinal


The next issue of American Quilt Retailer will mail to subscribers approximately December 10, 2014.

For subscription or advertising information please visit AmericanQuiltRetailer.com

August 5, 2014

July 2014 — Issue 118

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  • Shop Profile:  Modern Domestic in Portland, OR
  • Industry news and events
  • Product Reviews
  • Spring Quilt Market Review
  • Collaborating with Quilt Guilds
  • Make your next event a success
  • Selling without Sewing — Using trunk shows to increase sales
  • Kizer & Bender’s Email Marketing 101
  • Bees & Swaps — Fostering Community and New Quilters
  • How & why to schedule Facebook posts
  • Building your community with Instagram
  • Rising to the Hoffman Challenge
  • Class ideas with modern appeal
  • Plays well with others



This quick-sew quilt is the perfect project for summer.  Strip piecing makes it a fast finish. Your choice of five size options makes this a versatile project for many different reasons and seasons.

Designed and sewn by Heidi Kaisand  — the new Editor of American Quilt Retailer. Heidi also runs a top-notch quilt shop called Hen & Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa.

Everyone who has subscribed to or purchased a copy of this issue is welcome to download a copy of the pattern PDF to use in their shop.





118 Cover Photo_RGB_No headerSpecial thanks to Alex Ledgerwood for providing our cover photo quilt.  Read more about Alex’s quilt “The Therapist” at teaginnydesigns.blogspot.com.

Photography by Lauren Hunt at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Fine Art Sculpture Garden in Kansas City, MO.

You can learn more about what Lauren’s creative adventures by visiting her blog at myauntjune.blogspot.com.



The next issue of American Quilt Retailer will mail to subscribers on October 3, 2014.

For subscription or advertising information please visit AmericanQuiltRetailer.com


May 28, 2014

2014 Spring Quilt Market Highlights

With Memorial Day weekend behind us, it’s now safe to say we are fully recovered from Spring Quilt Market 2014.  A few blisters and bruises are to be expected. Quilt Market is a contact sport, right?  It’s definitely a marathon!  The most experienced know that it is important to pace yourself!

This was our first trip to this year’s venue, Pittsburgh, PA.  Even though we arrived during a torrential downpour, this city was beautiful and inviting.  When we thought of Pittsburgh, we pictured steel mills, factories, and soot.  We were pleasantly surprised to see lush trees, interesting terrain, and beautiful bridges.
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The David L. Lawrence Convention Center, with it’s 1.5 million square feet and 75% natural light, was the perfect setting for Spring Market.  Even though there was still a chill in the air outside, the market floor felt like spring when the sun peeked through the clouds and illuminated the gorgeous fabrics and quilts.

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There was so much to take in! It’s difficult to summarize, but among the highlights here are just a few of our favorite moments from the showroom floor…

The debut of RJR Fabrics new division, Cotton+Steel

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The massiveness of Moda!  Their award-winning booth was designed around the exciting new Modern Building Blocks Sampler Quilt.

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We saw a lot of navy as a neutral. The quilting on the dress by Angela Walters is nothing short of stunning.

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So many of the new lines are just downright cheerful!  April Rosenthal’s Best.Day.Ever. fabric was spectacular in her Dahlia pattern.  Doesn’t it just make you smile?

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We loved the mini quilt clothes-line display by Fig Tree & Co.  Mini quilts might just be a great way to introduce quilting to newbies, without being overwhelmed by the idea of an entire quilt!  We’re kinda fond of the idea of “instant gratification!”
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Emily Herrick’s Rustique for Michael Miller Fabrics might have been our favorite new line!  The colors are so vibrant and what’s not to love of about deer?  More on “The Year of the Deer” next week!
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If you weren’t able to attend market, have no fear!  The July issue will include an in-depth market recap.


Photos and copy by Amanda Wray for American Quilt Retailer.

March 31, 2014

Cover by Lauren Hunt

116_Cover_4 inch    Lauren

Our new Cover Girl, Lauren Hunt, artfully captured our awesome cover photo

for the March issue of American Quilt Retailer.



Lauren’s pattern “Studio Stitches – A sewing themed embroidery set” includes the “Maker” sign along with seven other fabulous stitching projects.  Learn more about the pattern at Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio.

Lauren was inspired to make the rainbow-licious embroidered “I am a maker” sign after seeing Jacquie Gering’s lecture given at QuiltCon in 2013.

You can view all of the great QuiltCon lectures for free on the Craftsy site at www.craftsy.com/class/quiltcon-lecture-series-2013/194 The QuiltCon Lecture Series has a little bit of something for everyone and is certainly a must-see for anyone who loves our industry and didn’t make it to Austin to see the lectures live.




Lauren was also a contributor to Kansas City Star’s first modern imprint book “Classic Modern Quilts” in which 10 top modern designers were challenged to create a modern quilt inspired by a historical Kansas City Star block.

“Classic Modern Quilts” is an fantastic book which helps tie the quilting generations and genres together in such a beautiful way. This book has mass appeal!

Learn more about Lauren’s style and background on the Kansas City Star’s My Stars blog.


Lauren is currently working on the photography for Shea Henderson’s first book, School of Sewing coming out this fall from Lucky Spool Media. You can learn more about what Lauren’s creative adventures by visiting her blog, www.myauntjune.blogspot.com.

Lauren is quite a talented lady and we feel extremely blessed that she agreed to work with us on this month’s cover. She was a delight to work with and we hope for more successful collaborations in the future.


January 8, 2014

Fall Quilt Market Review

As usual there was so much to see at the Fall Edition of International Quilt Market!

Whether you were there or not, we have a nice selection of products for you to check out as you plan the new year.

Modern is still a big force – clean and fresh, but not so separate from traditional — remember good design is good design.

Texture is a big element in today’s textiles and solid fabrics make a bigger and bigger presence in the marketplace.

Blue and white continue to be the biggest colors — they are forever popular with just about everyone in one shade or another.

There seemed to be a beach, sea, outdoor adventure theme going on and I was beginning to see weaving showing up here and there (think texture!).

Here are a few of my picks. If you’d like to add your favorites, let me know (editor@americanquiltretailer.com) and we’ll post them as we can.


VC1219 Lucky Stars 54 by 72 sm (09-08-13) copy

“Lucky Stars” from V and Co. (sparkling and happy!)


focal quilt_carolyn friedlander_web copy

“Focal” from Carolyn Friedlander (clean, different and sort of funky!)


Twinkle Twinkle-Cover-ForPrint


“Twinkle Twinkle” from Me and My Sister Designs (no Y-seams!)


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“The Walrus” from Abbey Lane (funny name for a whimsical quilt!)


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“Hampton Ridge,” block of the month from Red Crinoline Quilts (a well-designed traditional great — keep your customers busy for the year!)


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“Hunter’s Star Simplified” by Calico Carriage Quilt Design (always popular in solids or prints!)


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“Bali Bamboo” table runner from Beyond the Reef (overlapping — fun and texture!)


AQR - Scrappy Runners Too copy

“Scrappy Runners, Too!” from Snuggles Quilts (pleasant traditional!)

AT269 Crisscross Cover Resized for AQR copy“Crisscross,” woven table runners and mats from Aunties Two Patterns (woven strips — fun to do!)


AT265 Adorable Cover Resized for AQR copy


“Adorable Bag” from Aunties Two Patterns (more wovens!)

AT268 Anything Goes Cover profile resized for AQR copy

“Anything Goes” from Aunties Two Patterns (more strips!)


o-BoysBackPackWhite copy

“Cosmo Convertible” from Studio Kat Designs (It’s a shoulder bag, it’s a backpack and it’s a cross-carry bag!)


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“Bikini Island Bag” from Among Brenda’s Quilt  & Bags (easy to make, see inside and use — good for mixing prints!)


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“The Beatle Bag,” from Abbey Lane (cute sewing project take-along bag — clever clasp!)


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“Urban Princess” from Olive Ann Designs (surprise elements in the back — sure to please!)


Penelope copy

“Penelope” from Olive Ann Designs (cute, cute sundress — a little 60s retro!)


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“Charlotta Jammie Set” from Marie-Madeline Studio (tops, bottoms and gown — for all girls, for all seasons!)


Inspired by Irises AQR copy

“Inspired by Irises Pillow” by Wooly Lady (exquisite wool in exquisite applique!)


Fuchsia Fancy AQR copy

“Fuchsia Fancy Pillow” by Wooly Lady  (more wool applique goodness!)


… and for something totally different and really popular at market (they were giving manicures in the booth!)

soakbox-polish3 copySoakboxes from Soak —  featuring polish from Color Club, Soakboxes are curated and coordinated by favorite industry designers — your nails can match your stash! Perfect pick-up and pick-me-up item to stock on your check-out counter.

Follow the links for more info and be certain to read American Quilt Retailer, January 2014, Issue 115 for more product and trend details! — Susan













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