December 20, 2011

Issue 103 — almost ready!

’Tis the season for looking back and looking forward — and ’tis the season for joy … and, yes, stress. We create both of these emotions for ourselves, don’t you think? For me, I must thrive on a good balance of both — as I do both so well. But, really, how joyful would joy be, without a little stress on the side? And, as we stress along, time passes, stress vanishes and all is well in the end, right?

Looking back, I stressed and stressed over my decision announced in the last issue — you know, the one where I decided to go from six print issues of American Quilt Retailer each year to four print issues a year with new online content? I thought this would be a good move for all. Well, now looking forward — scratch that plan. I have (again!) stressed, and changed my mind, and we will continue printing six issues a year. Six issues is what we know how to do best, and we will proceed doing our best to suit your needs and the needs of our advertisers. You can read more about this decision in this upcoming issue.

The cover of this issue, a pattern called “Oh, Boy!” from Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Designs, and our “Fall Quilt Market Review” present a look at the new products geared towards “the guys in our lives.” This has all been especially joyful to research and write, and it all is so timely. One of my two favorite guys, Jay, the little super hero shown above, is getting married at the end of this month. A lot of looking forward and looking back going on around! As an avid “sewist” and crafter, for years (until he outgrew me), I made stuffed animals, clothes, costumes, toys and this magic cape complete with a cool silver falcon emblazoned with a super “J.” May you find ways to bring such joy to your sewing mothers and grandmothers with some of our featured products.

Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender in “Experts Speak” speak of changes, a new year and a new attitude. If we can create joy and stress, we are also the ones to create attitude — and make it a good one at that! Jim Salinas in “Just Ask Jim” implores you to change another attitude and not blame cash flow woes on over-buying. He makes a good case — as he always does. More attitude adjustment needed? Some changes can make us take an “up in arms” attitude — talk about creating stress? Remember when people were “up in arms” over Internet shops? We got over that, didn’t we? Internet book sales? Internet pattern sales? Roseann Kermes in her column “Make it Happen” talks about how there is no need to be “up in arms” about downloadable patterns. She has taken what she at first saw as a negative, and has turned it into a positive. See how you can utilize online content inside your shop. Roseann also has a slew of suggested new attitudes to embrace as you look forward in “How do you want your 2012 to look?” .

Then Beth Ferrier in her “Off-Grain” column on page 38 will make you smile. She said, “Given time, the aspects of our lives that keep us feeling stuck can shift away. Problems that seemed too overwhelming to continue will be resolved at last, freeing us to once again take the next step. The trick is to be patient …” Looking forward to new beginnings, you can turn your ship around with changes “grand or small.”

Magazine done — check. Christmas shopping done — check. Now on to the big wedding celebration and looking forward to new beginnings for all!

Issue 103 of American Quilt Retailer will mail January 3, 2012.

Merry Christmas! — Susan

May 3, 2011

Good reading material for your trip to Salt Lake City

Mailing day is always a good day around here! Our “almost 100th” issue is heading your way! Actually, this is Issue 99 (and counting). Our upcoming July issue will be Issue 100. However, we want to celebrate this milestone with everyone at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, so we are celebrating our “almost 100th.” You will be there to celebrate with us won’t you?

In this issue Jim Salinas talks about “smaller put-ups” and gives us a good historical perspective on how the “put-ups” have changed over the years. Our business profile is on the Sweet Home Quilt Company in Conyers, Ga. Owner Melisa Morrison does a splendid job with her displays.

Sweet Home Quilt Company owned by Melisa Morrison in Conyers, Ga.

We also have more display ideas in my “Wow-it!” column which relate to “Beaucoup!,” the FREE-to-use pattern in this issue. Hope you like the pattern and display ideas, and that they jump start “beaucoup” ideas of your own.

"Beaucoup!" — The FREE-to-use pattern from Issue 99

More good news to celebrate! We are taking orders for The Answer Book II by Jim Salinas! The Answer Book II will include all the “Just ask Jim” columns from American Quilt Retailer, Issues 78 to 99 — more answers to your questions — all bound in one resource. You can order this on our website within the next couple of days, or you can order your copy at Quilt Market. They will be ready to ship by the end of May.

NEW! The Answer Book II by Jim Salinas

Also, so you can plan your time at Quilt Market, in this issue we have printed a list of the titles of our advertisers’ Schoolhouse presentations. At deadline we did not have all the times and rooms, but the titles will help you decide which you might like to attend.

American Quilt Retailer is hosting Kizer and Bender for one Schoolhouse:

“Street Savvy ideas to jump-start your business”

Thursday, May 12, 2011

4:20 p.m. to 4:50 p.m., room 255A

Kizer and Bender are also presenting two professional seminars:

“The science of shopping: How to help your product sell itself”

Thursday, May 12, 2011

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

“Reinvention or else: 15 strategies to attract new quilters”

Friday, May 13, 2011

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Many people tell me they read the new issue on the plane traveling to market. I have this funny vision of looking down the aisle of the aircraft and glancing from side to side and each and every passenger has their own copy of AQR in their hands as they study the contents. Now that would make a good promotional photo wouldn’t it?

See you soon in Salt Lake City! Safe travels and enjoy your reading!

Susan

November 8, 2010

Everybody's loving "Miss Amelia" at Quilt Market!

International Quilt Market is always so much fun! This year we had our mascot with us in our booth. Miss Amelia is our eagle-eyed scout. She, like all retailers, is on the lookout for everything new  — and she like all “smart” retailers — sees it all in American Quilt Retailers. Everyone had fun having their picture taken with our star pup.

Carol Santarosa, Lindy Munday and Amy Shotwell

Amy Shotwell

Nancy Gloss and Judy Pendley

Julie Milam and Kathy Thompson

Tamsin Harvey

Mimi Shimp

Gayle Smith and Ranelle King

Laura Flynn, Beth Roseke and Carol Keller

Sandy Brawner and Micki Rushing

Kelly Ann Richardson

Jerry Stube

Arielle Pepe

Carol Wright

Becky Couch, Lulu Gutierrez and Brenda Garcia

Pete Folberth

Marti and Dick Michell

Amelia thanks you all for the hugs and kisses!

More market photos to come — Susan

October 18, 2010

Issue 96 in the mail!

It’s all ready! The new giant issue of American Quilt Retailer — all 80 pages of it — was just mailed to our subscribers. As we were working it just kept growing and growing, making this the largest issue we’ve ever published!

Quilt shops are becoming so much more than shops that sell fabric for quilts, and the interest in sewing and other creative textiles is continually growing. Be sure to read about my adventure in southern France with Kaari Meng of French General in “A little something French and new interest in creative textiles.”  Our group of like-minded, creative women relaxed, ate well and learned a little about vintage French linens, block printing on fabric, weaving and dyeing textiles. Look at the beautiful “woad” blue lace on the cover of this issue! One of the best parts? I loved every minute of the week. After all, I like all things textiles and all people creative. Learning more about your craft, and even yourself, is enriching and fulfilling. And, learning while traveling is the best! Want to come on the French General Chateau Getaway in July 2011? French General and American Quilt Retailer are working together to make the week of July 3 through July 10, 2011 a full “creative textile experience.”  Need more getaway ideas? Be sure to read “Make it Happen” by Roseann Kermes. She has other ideas for new experiences “outside your quilting box.” Roseann also has a report from the recent successful Creative Connection Event in Minneapolis. Then, in case you’re wondering about guidelines for what are, and what are not, deductible travel expenses, read Deb Luttrell’s “Mini-Boot Camp” (and then ask your professional accountant).

Do you know it can be a good thing for wholesale prices to rise? Read “Just Ask Jim” by Jim Salinas. It seems to be about time to catch up. Do you know men and women are different? When it comes to shopping, Kizer and Bender will tell you how they are different and what you can do about it. It’s another good column! Wait — there’s more! We have stories on display, longarm profitability, garment sewing, sewing with knits, the amazing Etsy and how to improve your own online presence. Then, our business profile in this issue is about Quilter’s General Store in Rockford, Ill. It’s a good, traditional quilt shop in a lovely old farm house, right in the heart of the country. Deb does a fine job managing and doing so many things right.

The FREE-to-use pattern in this issue is called “Ooh Lavande!” It’s a sweet little embroidered pincushion. Everyone is enjoying embroidery these days, and everyone likes pincushions!

I love quilting, and am lucky to have worked in this industry for what is now 16 years! But, I also have always loved other creative textile crafts like sewing, knitting, embroidery, needlepoint. Now, with my French experience on my mind, I think I’m loving block printing, weaving and dyeing. We are in a time when we get to participate in the best of all aspects of creative textiles.

In all there are 19 articles by our great columnists and 96 advertisers — all the best in the industry! Hope you enjoy this issue!

Susan

September 28, 2010

Need some carrots? We've got a lot of great things going on!

Okay, so I’m a bit behind in my blogging. However, are we ever putting together a good issue for you! The Quilt Market issue of American Quilt Retailer is huge and chock full of interesting, informative and necessary information!

I’ve often commented that during this part of production, it is so exciting to see all the ads coming in (our vendors have been every busy as well — wait ’til you see!) and to read everything our writers have been working on pulling together! We really have the best advertisers and the best writers anywhere (at least I think so — I feel like a proud mom sometimes)!

Here’s a sneak peek:

Do you know there is a reason and situation where rising wholesale prices are good for you and good for the industry?

Do you know that business travel on a cruise ship can only be considered a business expense if the vessel is registered in the U.S. and traveling to U.S. ports?

Do you know that something is sold on Etsy.com every 2.8 seconds (and much of it is handmade)!

Do you know that women think about shopping nearly as often as men think about sex?

Do I have your interest yet?

Need another carrot? American Quilt Retailer is bringing Kizer and Bender back to Quilt Market! They are doing two Schoolhouse sessions for us on Friday, October 29. And, they are giving 20-minute consultations for us on Friday afternoon and Saturday in our booth. Sorry these are already full. It only took 30 minutes after our e-mail broadcast went out. You are on our e-mail list, yes?

And — ta-da! American Quilt Retailer is collaborating with French General and we are putting together a special French General/American Quilt Retailer Chateau Getaway to Chateau Dumas to southern France in July 2011! Details coming soon!

Stay tuned for more!

Back to work — Susan