December 17, 2014

December 2014 — Issue 120

The December issue of American Quilt Retailer mailed to subscribers on December 12, 2014. The carefully curated content in this issue comes at a time when everyone is busy wrapping up the fiscal year, celebrating holidays and looking ahead to how they can make next year an even bigger success.

120_Blog Intro


Contents Include:

  • The Art of Organization
  • Time to Count — Inventory Advice
  • The 12 Days of Christmas
  • Fall Quilt Market Review
  • The Dairy Cream Story by Jim Salinas
  • 7 Ways to Tell the Story of the New Year
  • Designer Profile: Pat Bravo
  • Snippets: Industry news and events
  • Product Reviews

Patchwork Perfection

Classic beauty meets modern precut precision in our retro re-make of an antique heirloom. Your choice of six size options makes this a versatile project — full of timeless appeal.

Patchwork Perfection was designed by Heidi Kaisand  — the new Editor of American Quilt Retailer. Heidi also runs an awesome quilt shop called Hen & Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa and hosts a weekly radio show about the many facets of creativity.

The inspiration quilt (pictured left) for our pattern this month is an antique Nine Patch on point from Heidi’s private collection.

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 for our cover photo this month. Our selections include:

  1. Robert Kaufman – Bunny Tales by Darlene Zimmerman
  2. Moda Fabrics – 30’s Playtime Favorites by Chloe’s Closet
  3. Marcus Fabrics – Aunt Grace Simpler Sampler by Judie Rothermel


The next issue of American Quilt Retailer will mail to subscribers at the beginning of February 2015.

For subscription or advertising information please visit

October 13, 2014

October 2014 — Issue 119

119_Blog Intro1

  • 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

September 3, 2013

What I learned from Ranelle today








Working with Ranelle King, the new owner of American Quilt Retailer, has been educational for me since day one! And my most recent lesson was how to use bloglovin.’ Unbeknownst to me the blog world was up in arms when Google reader ceased earlier this summer. I had looked into using Google reader several years ago, but being slow to catch on to new ways and feeling comfortable with my old ways — well — I’m afraid I didn’t catch on to the benefits.

As Ranelle patiently explained that now people were jumping to bloglovin’ as a replacement for Google reader and while she was at it she patiently explained how Google reader worked, and how bloglovin’ works and the benefits of using bloglovin’.

Okay so now I’m hooked! It is easy and efficient to use and I’m lovin’ bloglovin’ — and I guess this is the whole idea!

Go to and set up an account. Then in the upper right hand corner of your home page you can search for all your favorite blogs and mark each with “follow.” Create special groups for your interests and you can sort your blogs by category: business, style trends, quilts, embroidery or even cooking and decorating. Whatever works for you.

At the end of each day you will get an e-mail with the lead in to all the new blog posts on the blogs you follow. Click on those you want to read, at your leisure, whenever you want to read them. Mark them as read or keep them in a list down the right-hand side. You can then search for a specific blog and read all the entries for that blog — again whenever you want to read them.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Anna Maria Horner

Cluck Cluck Sew

Moda Bake Shop

Stash Books Blog

Retail Adventures in the REAL World



Rosebud’s Cottage


Be certain to “follow” this “Missing Pieces” blog — you don’t want to miss a post! — Susan

PS — Two new blog hops just started  — a great way to add some great designer blogs to your bloglovin’ page:

Moda Fabrics, Moda Cutting Table “Size Matters” 

Clothworks, The Works “Everything Blue” 

June 20, 2012

I’ve traveled the world, and I haven’t left for France yet!

Thank you! Thank you to everyone who submitted a favorite vacation getaway! I related to, and can picture so many of the places you have described! Everyone does have that need to get away — whether far or near — and travel is so good for the soul.

Whenever we go on a trip, I always wonder if it is possible to bring some of that vacation “feeling” back home to my everyday life. A special photo, a rock or seashell on my desk, a heavenly-scented pine bough or even a special hand lotion purchased and used on the trip can trigger strong memories. But do you have other ways to make a vacation last?

After my trip to France last year, my husband and I began having an appetizer before dinner — with a glass of wine. The French savor their food — and wine — taking a long time to eat, and eating many small portions. In the past preparing an appetizer would have been extra work. Now, I find I enjoy the little pre-dinner treat, although my repertoire is pretty limited. And, who knows, maybe this pre-dinner ritual sends those “I’m getting full signals to my brain.” Viva la France!

You all put so much thought into your descriptions, we’re sending everyone fabric bundles from Dear Stella and Moda!

Thank you again — reading your memories helped me get through this issue’s deadlines and, now, tomorrow, I’m off to France!

If technology is in my favor, I hope to blog about our adventures — stay tuned!

Rest, relaxation and happy travels to all — Susan


June 4, 2012

What’s your favorite summer break?

Although my flight to France for The French General Chateau Dumas Getaway doesn’t leave for a couple more weeks, my brain is beginning to go AWOL!

When I went on this trip in 2010, I had no idea what I was in for — it was an unknown adventure awaiting and I was not disappointed! Then for the 2011 trip, I had the delight of anticipating all of it, as I knew what to expect.

And, this year I am positively driven to distraction thinking about what is to come!

I keep picturing the light:

the colors:

the food:

and the fun:

Some sort of down time is pretty essential to recharge. So, shop owners, what is your favorite getaway for the summer? Where do you like to go to have a break from your business? Tell us your story — whether it is a lake cabin hideaway, a world tour or simply sitting on your porch for some needed quiet time. We’ll pick a few favorites and send out some beautiful new fabric bundles from Dear Stella and Moda.

This way we can all dream together and think of each other on our summer break!

Good summer wishes to all! — Susan

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