March 29, 2011

Things you need to know all rolled into one

Okay, I’ve been an awol blogger lately!

So sorry, but had to do all the things one needs to do in order to go on vacation, and then we spent a lovely week on vacation. Now I’m trying to figure out where I left off, because vacation totally erased (as in vacated!) what I’m supposed to be doing. I guess this means it was a good, successful vacation. You know what I mean?

Cause for my pause

Thankfully, I actually started this post before I left so I have some framework in place. And, by now I have a pretty long list of blog topics, so I’ve decided to just roll them all into one posting!

First, as you plan your Quilt Market trip to Salt Lake City, you need to know that Kizer & Bender will be giving two lectures!

Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer

The first two-hour Kizer & Bender lecture called “The Science of Shopping: How to Help Your Product Sell Itself” is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 12.

The second two-hour Kizer & Bender lecture called “Reinvention or Else: 15 Strategies to Attract New Quilters” is scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13.

Many of you have attended the American Quilt Retailer Schoolhouses given by Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender (and they are doing another Schoolhouse for us on Thursday, May 12 at this market!), but just think — you can have a full two or four hours of time with them in these not-to-be-missed Quilt Market events. Sign up ahead of time at the Quilts, Inc. website www.quilts.com.

On Friday evening March  4, I enjoyed spending the evening with the board of the Alliance for American Quilts along with some local shop owners at the Moda headquarters in Dallas. What a treat this was! After a festive dinner catered from On the Border, we enjoyed a talk from quilt historian and Moda fabric designer Barbara Brackman on how she finds and interprets historical fabric designs into modern quilting fabrics. Before heading over to Dallas for the evening, I spent some time at the Alliance website. This is a fantastic resource and a group we should all be supporting — to visit click here. Each year the Alliance hosts a quilt contest. This year’s contest deadline has passed, but watch for next year’s to be announced later this year — you could easily turn this into a shop project for early 2012!

Something you can get going now is Moda’s Just One Star Can Comfort a Soldier — the deadline is May 1, 2011. Encourage  your customers to make and submit “just one block” to coordinate with the Quilts of Valor effort.

The Simplicity  “Great Bandana Quilt Challenge” is another good project to get people involved in. The folks at Simplicity Creative Group have designed really cute pink bandana fabrics and “Cherish by Simplicity” add-on tools specifically for this challenge and the deadline for this is not until July 15. A portion of the profits from the bandana fabrics and “Cherish by Simplicity” tools will be donated to The National Breast Cancer Foundation. For more information contact your distributor or Simplicity Creative Group’s customer service at (800) 545–5740.

Woad Workshop coming up!

If you weren’t able to sign up for the French General/American Quilt Retailer Chateau Dumas Getaway this coming July there is still a chance for you to do some woad dying right here in the States. Go to the French General website and click on “Woad Workshop” for details. This is coming up really soon — April 9th — and I think there are only a few spots left, but it’s worth a try. This was a wonderful experience!

The Art of Craft networking site

Also, French General has set up a new social networking site just for crafters. Called the Art of Craft, this site functions a bit like Facebook, but participation will be from like-minded crafts people. If you join, search my name and be my friend. This seems like a nice safe group and not so public as Facebook can be.

Quilts in the mainstream: The City Quilter in New York City is opening the only art gallery in New York devoted entirely to contemporary art quilts. The ArtQuilt Gallery NYC located at 133 West 25th Street opens on April 5. Leave to The City Quilter owners Dale and Cathy to bring this about!

Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts (There's an app for that!)

By now, if you are not already there, it’s a bit late to make plans to attend the “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts” presented by the American Folk Art Museum. This a showcase of  Joanna Rose’s collection of only 651 all red and white quilts!I love two color quilts and what a fantastic display. Held at the Park Avenue Armory admission is free. The event is her husband’s birthday gift to her fulfilling her wish to give the city of New York and quilters everywhere a the gift of this visual feast. Have no regrets if you’ve missed this in person — “there’s an app for that!” On your iPhone or iPad, go to the “app” store and download the free exhibit brochure! This event has received a lot of press, amazing the public. An event idea for you: create a “red and white” challenge with display scheduled for Christmas or Valentines Day. Or, how about “blue and white” or black and white  or “green and white” just because two-color quilts are so dynamic and lovely!

And, finally winner of Stitch by Stitch by Deborah Moebes is Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods. Celine, thank you for posting a comment after our last e-mail blast!

Until next time! — Susan