American Quilt Retailer: April 2018 Digital



My connections in the quilting industry are like a tree, with roots running deep since I started quilting 40 years ago.

My grandmother taught me to quilt and our connection is strong, even after her passing. Quilting allows me to express something inside of me and allows me to give a finished item that is a piece of myself and a connection to the recipient. The trunk of my tree is thick and sturdy with years of both personal passion and a career with experiences in publishing, manufacturing, and retail. The branches are the people I have met along the way in this industry, creating connections that make my life full and blessed. The makers, both famous and not. The shop owners. The pattern designers. The fabric manufacturers. The historians. The innovative. The leaders and the followers. Can you see those branches reaching out big and strong, creating a beautiful canopy? I can.

Connection: The Energy that is created between two people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment.”

–Brene Brown

As publisher of this trade publication, I want to make those connections in our industry for you. Certainly I want to share with you the products our industry is selling and discuss the best tips for inventory control. But the people behind those products and patterns are really the connections that I want to see flourish. Because when we have those connections, it’s like Brene Brown says in her quote above. It creates energy. Our industry has lots of energy and a plethora of vibrant people.

In this issue, we want you to connect with a few of those people—designer Valori Wells (Designer 15, page 12), thread manufacturer Alex Veronelli (Establishing a Bond, page 62), fabric manufacturer Scott Fortunoff (The Sewing Revolution, page 24), designer Darlene Zimmerman (Flying High, page 78), and shop owners like Maret Anderson (Open for Business, page 88). They each have something valuable to offer our industry.

I invite you to connect with me in Portland at Spring Quilt Market. You’ll find me in three Schoolhouse talks (see page 6) and in our booth. I look forward to our conversation.

In Every Issue

  • From the Editor
  • Connect with AQR Online
  • Our Contributors
  • Book Nook: Learn about the latest books in the quilting industry.
  • Materials Matter: Discover what manufacturers have planned for upcoming fabric collections.
  • Hot Picks: Your customers will find these notions, kits, patterns and more irresistible.
  • Free-to-Use Project: Darlene Zimmerman inspires us with a stunning two-color quilt and insight on triangle techniques.

Business Savvy

  • Employee Handbook 2.0: Human resources expert Melisa Morrison lays down the law.
  • Move it Out!: Old inventory must be moved out and financial guru Tom Shay tells us why.
  • The Art of the Lagniappe: Experts speak about the details of making someone feel special.
  • Building an Online Store: An online presence is a must and Sommer Sharon gives us insight.
  • Go Sew!: Expand your offerings to gain new customers and ride the sewing wave.
  • Regain Your Retail Edge: Leanne Pressly keeps us on our toes, holding us accountable for playing our best retail game.

Check It Out

  • Spring Quilt Market: Connect with AQR in Portland.
  • Designer 15: Let us introduce you to Valori Wells, an artist and co-owner of a quilt shop.
  • The Sewing Revolution: Learn how one man is reaching out to one person at a time to grow our quilting community.
  • Creating a Connected Life at Work and Home: Living a connected life makes for a happier person and a better business.
  • Establishing a Bond: One manufacturer is building relationships with dealers and shares how.
  • Open for Business: This new feature showcases the stories of independent retailers.


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