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Why Resolutions Matter

New Years resolutions can quickly become fruitless; why make a change on January 1 when you can make a change any day of the year? But, somehow, New Years resolutions are still around.

To some, it is the act of reflection that drives them to create a goal. Looking back at the year can tell us where we went wrong, where we went right, and where we got stuck in a rut. Reflection provides the opportunity to learn from the past and invest in a better self.

To others, it is a renewed attitude. The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But often it becomes a time of body shaming (even though that pie felt so right in the moment), observations of selfishness (when so much money could go to better causes), and a reminder of all of those around us who will spend their holiday alone.

But a resolution is a great way to tackle one aspect of your life and transform it. Tired of feeling heavy? Buy a gym membership. Afraid to check your bank account? Donate money to charities in a friend’s name instead of buying them a gift. Feeling guilty that you haven’t done enough? Volunteer at a homeless shelter throughout the year.


According to Psychology Today, these resolutions are what our brain needs. Goals provide direction and purpose. This leads to progress, which in turn creates happiness. And this happiness enables us to connect to people around us, providing a more fulfilling life.

So, maybe your plans to travel to Europe didn’t pan out this year. But making a new resolution can provide renewed positivity into your life.

New Year’s resolutions are still around for a reason. Let’s keep that tradition alive by setting goals to not only inspire others, but re-inspire ourselves.

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Create your online presence

Now that Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday have all come to a close, you can take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for surviving the busiest week for retail stores every where.

And as you prepare for the continuing busy holiday schedule, one thing to keep in mind is your online presence.


Developing an online presence can be intimidating; especially if your business has never had one. But one sure way to ensure you are getting the most success during the holiday season is ensuring your website and social media are as on-point as your store.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • Plan ahead. Have a goal and outline for what you want your website to look like. Think of it as how you plan your store; your business’s website should be clean, welcoming, and easy to manage. Try to follow the three-click rule, meaning you shouldn’t have to click more than three times for customers to find the information they need.
  • Write. Write your own message but keep it short and simple. Feel free to use calls to action and advertise what sales you have going on. Make sure you tell customers what you can do for them even if you don’t have an online shopping option.
  • Seek help. Designing a website isn’t easy, but it is so important in today’s industry, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. The most cost effective way to build a website is through a website builder rather than hiring a designer. Check out this article for an in-depth review on which website hosts are the best for you.
  • Keep it professional. Make sure your website is heavy on visual content; but most importantly, make sure you’re happy with the product! Take your time building the website and try to keep your online brand as consistent as the physical store.
Another important tip is to test your website on a variety of platforms. Ideally, your website should be transferable to all three. 

I realize the holiday season isn’t the best time to make a website, but with the new year comes new goals. If you already have a website, now is the perfect time to freshen it up! Creatives love to create, think of working on your website as another outlet for your creativity.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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AQR Releases Digital Issue

Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is excited to announce the special digital issue is available for download at our website! And did we mention it’s free?

In this issue you can read all about the International Quilt Market and get bonus’s compared to our print issue, including links to other articles. Just click on the links to dig deeper into your favorite pieces and ideas.

Articles include a synopsis of the Schoolhouse Series presented by Heidi Kaisand and Jody Sanders, product snapchats of favorites found at the market, and who’s who at the market (remember, it’s never too late to start preparing for next year)!

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Heidi Kaisand (left) and Jody Sanders (right) present at their Schoolhouse Series at the International Quilt Market. 

The 50-page issue highlights more than the market in Houston, but includes advice on increasing foot traffic and this year’s quilting industry results. But don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself.

The special digital issue is in addition to the regular print magazine, so take advantage of this opportunity! What better way to recommend our magazine to fellow quilt retailers than by referring them to our free issue?

Reading this issue is the next best thing to attending the market, so what are you waiting for? Check out our digital issue while you have the time before the busy holiday season.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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FreeSpirit Partners with Morris & Co.

William Morris’s legacy lives on thanks to a partnership with FreeSpirit and Morris & Company.

FreeSpirit just released the Kelmscott and Merton lines designed from the archives of The Original Morris & Company. The FreeSpirit line is the most authentic and only place to get designs as close to the Morris style.

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William Morris was born in England in 1834 and was most known as a poet during his lifetime. Posthumous Morris is most known for his design work and influence on pattern through both textiles and wallpaper.

Morris’s style includes influence from nature and has inspired designers for the past 120 years. The possibilities of using this traditional line of patterns in contemporary quilts has the AQR team excited to try them out.

Two designers also excited to try this line are Justin Hancock, third generation quilter of Hancock’s of Paducah, and Pokey Bolton, founder and CEO of Crafting A Life.

“I have such an appreciation for William Morris as both an artist and fabric printer,” Bolton said.

And agreeing with California-based Bolton is Hancock who owns a quilt shop halfway across the country in Kentucky.

“William Morris clearly tapped into the intersection of art and artisanship and I have long been a fan,” Hancock said.

FreeSpirit Fabrics started in 2000 with a goal of being a catalyst in the quilting industry by providing inspiring fabrics with character. Visit their website to peruse their lookbooks, patterns, and designs. You can also read more about Morris by visiting AQR’s first-ever digital issue.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Winter Window Display

Continuing the theme of Heidi’s iDiscover chat—scheduled for next week on the topic of store design—is the often-overlooked window display. Believe it or not, window displays are still a vital element to retail merchandising. Outlined are tips to get you into the holiday spirit to spice up your window display; and maybe even attract some new customers during your town’s annual holiday festival.

This window display does a great job at varying height and keeping the product featured at a minimum. Plus, the simple design reflects the company’s brand.


  1. Plan one month in advance. Many winter open houses are already less than one month away, but no worries, the sooner you start planning the easier (and more polished) your window display will look. This means sketching your idea, gathering supplies, and having a plan B if your craft doesn’t exactly pan out.
  2. Clean your window before you begin. Just because you don’t think anyone else will notice those dead flies sitting in the sill doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean your window! I know taking the old display down and storing it for next year is  a daunting task, but a clean window is the foundation for a stunning display.
  3. Have a focal piece. Preferably one of your more-pricey products, but try to keep the number of products in your display to a minimum. Be sure this piece is kept at eye level to grab your customers’ attention.
  4. Layer. Multiple layers of height will add more to your display than you realize, even if your design-style is simple and sleek. And don’t focus on blocking the view into your store, this just gives customers a peek into what they’re missing out on.
  5. Forget the “Sale Sale Sale!” signs. One sign should be plenty to get your sale across. Instead, focus on being consistent with your theme. Plus, the more crafting you get to do, the more fun you’ll have getting this project out of the way. Maybe a customer will even ask how created what you did (aka the ultimate compliment for a crafter)!
The time spent on this bold window display is evident; don’t be afraid to go big—just start planning now.

The holidays provide plenty of inspiration for what to include in your display, the hard part is deciding on how to narrow that down. Don’t be afraid to be daring; this is your business’s chance to show off just how awesome you really are! Think of your store’s window as the pitch to get customers inside.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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iDiscover Chats

Tune in to the Creativation show on Facebook on Wednesday, November 15 from 2:00-2:15 CST to listen to an inspiring talk given by American Quilt Retailer and Hen and Chicks Studio owner Heidi Kaisand.

The topic will be on creative store design tips, so be sure to schedule this into your day as the video will be broadcast live. Also be sure to join the Facebook page  before this time to make sure you have full access to everything the page has to offer.

Creativation is hosted by the Association for Creative Industries. AFCI is a trade association for creative arts and provides a platform for creative arts professionals to connect and learn from one another.


AFCI started in 2004 when two leading crafts associations decided to merge. Since then the association has been dedicated to keeping up with the evolving craft world in order to stay up to date with how ideas are spread as well as encourage creative souls to succeed.

The non-profit is based out of New Jersey and their mission is to “unify, connect, represent and support the growth of the global creative community. We serve members who provide products, services and marketplaces which entertain, educate and instruct and above all inspire consumers.”


Past iDiscover chats include “The Future of Storytelling,” by Heather Roach Heuman of Sweet Tea Social Marketing and “Discover the New Generosity Paradigm” by Leann Pressly of Stitchcraft Marketing. Click here to view a complete list of past iDiscover chats.

Outside of their shows, AFCI is also hosting a Creativation convention in January in Phoenix, Arizona, and AFCI even has a philanthropic arm to their non-profit. AQR is excited to contribute to this association and hope you can all tune in to find out how to best style and design your store.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Join AQR at the Schoolhouse Series

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 7.48.30 PMIf you’ve been following us on Facebook (which we hope you have!) then you know all about how we’ve been gearing up for the International Fall Quilt Market.

This year we’re excited to offer a forum called the Schoolhouse Series the day before the Market opens on October 27. This fun-filled eight hours includes three different classes and an opportunity to spend time with manufacturers, retailers, and publishers to discuss the latest books, products, and techniques.

Joining Heidi Kaisand, editor of AQR, will be editor of renowned magazine American Patchwork and Quilting Jody Sanders. You can find both of them at the Market at booth 1442, or at the first of the classes offered through their Schoolhouse Series where they offer insight on the industry’s must-have trends.Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 8.20.47 PM

Other classes where you can find Kaisand and Sanders include 15 marketing tips in 30 minutes where they share techniques to push your retail business to the next level, as well as You’re Hired! You’re Fired! A class with guest Roseann Kermes all about managing employees.

Also at the Fall Market will be the newest edition to the team! AQR is ecstatic to have Kristi Loeffelholz Edwards join the team as business-to-business media director. Loeffelholz has extensive design, publishing, and ecommerce experience in Fons and Porter and previously served as Vice President/General Manager of F+W Media. Loeffelholz also joins us from American Patchwork and Quilting.

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If this hasn’t been enough to convince you to come to Houston, hopefully our Blue Bag program will. We’re driving all the way from Iowa to Texas with 400 bags stuffed with goodies to give away during our Schoolhouse Series, and at our booth. But once we’re out, we’re out! Register today to secure your Blue Bag (and visit our Facebook page to get a sneak peak of what’s inside)!

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the people behind some of your favorite craft magazines. Join in the fun at both the Schoolhouse Series and the International Fall Quilt Market this weekend.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Eye of the Beholder Joins AQR in Houston

Margaret Brewster Willingham helps a customer at one of her “Eye of the Beholder” workshops at their shop in Colorado.

American Quilt Retailer is excited to team up with Eye of the Beholder again at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas! We last partnered with owner of Eye of the Beholder, Margaret Brewster Willingham, at the Meet Me In St. Louis quilt show back in July.

Willingham was surrounded by family heirlooms growing up – furniture, china, linens, and quilts we’re all inspirations for hope in the future and expressing oneself creatively.  So it’s no wonder that Willingham uses these inspirations today to design appliqué and reverse appliqué to help quilt-makers everywhere add elegance to their lives.

Eye of the Beholder patterns include complete instructions, but feel free to attend one of her workshops if you’re in the Colorado area, or visit her website to watch a tutorial on pattern technique.

Also featured on the website are online shopping options, including patterns to download and an option to request quilts or patterns made specifically for you.

One of the featured Eye of the Beholder quilters.

Plus, if you’ve worked with an Eye of the Beholder product, you have the opportunity to be featured on their website or Facebook page! Eye of the Beholder loves to see how you played with color and design.

While you’re at the Facebook page, take the time to follow Eye of the Beholder on Instagram and Pinterest, and keep up to date by reading their blog.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And visit the Indygo Junction Facebook page while you’re there, too.

Eye of the beholder


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Fabriflair—The Fabric Sensation for Your Shop

Moda-French General-Ville de Fleurie-IJFP205-Centerpiece StarWe sat down with the founder of Indygo Junction, Amy Barickman to hear the Fabriflair story.

Looking for a fun new product to sell in your shop? Fabriflair is the latest product release from Indygo Junction, perfectly poised to help you display and sell fabric, sell tools, teach classes for all ages and stages of sewists and, most importantly, start conversations with your customers.

Indygo Junction first introduced the Fabriflair matboard template kits a little over a year ago. This method was based on paper piecing and used their hand stitched technique. The kits have been very popular and they saw the need for a machine sewn version. Now, with their new Fabriflair stabilizer and pattern line you can choose to sew hand or machine.Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 9.05.18 AM

The stabilizer is packaged in a 10” x 10” format and we also offer it in 20” wide, 10 yard bolts. The material is designed to be thick enough for our Fabriflair designs to hold their shape but it is also flexible which allows for machine sewing.  Also included is a pressing sheet in each package plus an ornament pattern to get customers started.

Watch the video below to explore Indygo Junction’s full line of patterns, see the samples they have made, and learn tips and techniques as well as marketing ideas for your store.

Precut Fabric

IMG_9967This product line offers a fun and easy opportunity to grow sales in your store as well as your community. The entire line is ideal for precuts and fat quarters. All of the patterns can be made with 10” squares.

This makes it a quick and easy way to showcase new fabric lines allowing for customization for your shop’s space and style. The Centerpiece Star, for example, has 60 sides and can display an entire line.

Fabriflair is for all ages and stages of quilters and sewers, from kids to professional FullSizeRenderquilters this product offers makers impressive results for a small investment of time. In an hour you can make the single arm Wall Art Star in one of your new lines. Isn’t this picture of Amy’s niece holding the stars that she made with her mom precious?

Not only can you create with unique fabrics, but you can also use beads, buttons, and all sorts of notions to add a personal pizazz to your finished look. Check out these Tree Toppers & Ornaments Indygo Junction made and decorated with beading pins!

Fabriflair is a fabric amusement! It is a conversation starter at the register and is ideal for classes or demonstrating at events. It can also be a project to travel with that can be sewn by hand at retreat gatherings or sewing circles.

Indygo Junction loves sharing information to help you educate and inspire your customers to try Fabriflair. Through their newsletter and blog, they share assets for you to use, such as sample photos and gifs for Facebook and Instagram.

Here are some display ideas from the Fabriflair Sew Stars Event Amy did last week at Prairie Point Quilt Shop in Lenexa, Kansas.

Check out their new campaign below, where Amy discusses the Sew Stars for Texas campaign for hurricane relief. Note that the campaign has expanded beyond Texas to include victims of Irma and Maria as well as Hurricane Harvey.

Indygo Junction also now offers free shipping on all pattern orders over $100 for shops! Visit to see all their Fabriflair products as well as new releases of apparel patterns featuring quilt shop cottons.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And visit the Indygo Junction Facebook page while you’re there, too. 

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Introducing Banyan Batiks

We heard the buzz over the new line of batiks entering the market from Northcott Fabrics and we were excited to learn more so we sat down with Karen Gibbs, the Lead Designer for Banyan Batiks. We hope you enjoy learning about Banyan Batiks as much as we did!

AQR sat down with designer Karen Gibbs to find out all about her designing and quilting styles.

Karen Gibbs began her textile journey designing those quirky holiday sweaters that come back in fashion year after year. Karen has an extensive background in the textile industry with over 15 years of experience and is passionate about exploring and developing techniques used by artisans in Indonesia for the quilting industry. Karen has designed over 100 quilt patterns, is featured in several online instructional videos, and is an author with AQS. Her design experience spans across the home decor, fashion, quilting cottons and the batik industry.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your path to becoming the Lead Designer of Banyan Batiks.

A: My initial experience in design was working with a company that manufactured novelty sweaters as well as knits and wovens to compliment them. I worked with an incredibly small team and as a result I was immersed in all aspects of the division, from design, to wholesale catalog creation and marketing, sourcing and production.

One of Gibbs’s only remaining original quilts that doubles as a memory quilt made of her grandfather’s ties.

Also, during that timeframe, I began quilting. Three times a year, we would see swatch cards or headers of newly released fabrics in different substrates and at the end of the season these would get discarded and as a fabric lover, that’s painful to see! I kept these fabrics and began working with them in my new-found love of quilting. I quickly learned these were very untraditional fabrics for quilting and that it was not the best idea to mix wool flannels with cotton flannels! The only remaining quilt I have of my initial first quilts is a memory quilt I made for my grandmother. The quilt is made up of 92 of my Grandfather’s ties, in a radiating Dresden plate.

Joining a quilt guild and becoming immersed in everything a guild offers, from the laughter and tears of regular shared life, to learning the basic construction guidelines and techniques used when making a quilt, is my comfort in quilting. After becoming a mother, I decided not to return to work and instead created a business focused on quilting with divisions in fabric design. The business focused on quilt pattern design for magazines, a book, a line of patterns, teaching and opening a longarm studio. I’ve worked with various fabric companies, in different capacities that ventured into the quilting world from other industries like fashion. Our industry is unique, so having a background in quilting allowed me to develop within its design capacity and outside of the design umbrella. Throughout my career I have developed national quilt challenges, sales programs, guest designer programs and I have received industry recognition for my merchandising abilities.

The culmination of all these experiences has brought me to Northcott and has made this position so exciting.

Q: What inspired you to create Banyan Batiks?

A: Northcott was interested in expanding into the batik market and was looking for someone to spearhead the division. My passion for design and love for batiks made me the perfect match for Northcott’s newest division.

After working with batiks, I was inspired to create a line that would stand out and be different from current batiks. I decided to focus on missing elements in the batik market, starting with creativity and design. I challenged every aspect of the batik design process, from color selection and tjap (pronounced “chop”) design to the finishing on the final fabrics. Batiks are more than just fabrics, they are an Indonesian art form and a way of life for the people of Indonesia. As a company, we want to support these businesses and their life style the same way we support independent quilt shops here in North America, by reaching out to small businesses and discussing innovative ideas. Banyan Batiks offers an inventive approach to celebrating the art of batiks in design. Banyan Batiks brings this art form into the quilting market as a fresh new product while still being steeped in tradition. Very much as quilting is in our community.

Q: There are a few lines of batiks out in the marketplace already, how is Banyan Batiks different?

A: When saying I challenge every aspect of the batik process, I believe that makes us different. To start, I design by collection and typically batiks are not designed this way. Designing full collections makes it easier for sales reps and shop owners when reviewing and purchasing lines. Instead of sifting through 400 different batiks and trying to assemble them together in a cohesive grouping, Banyan Batiks are already set up in colorways and collections. As a designer, it’s incredibly fun to design everything and anything but to achieve a sophisticated and innovative look, reigning in that creativity is necessary. Each of the collections in the Banyan Batiks September line is focused on color, tjap design, and innovative techniques. Tjaps are created for each collection and are reflective of what inspired each line. Typically, tjaps are reused throughout multiple lines in a release but for Banyan Batiks, tjaps are not shared amongst other collections, meaning a tjap found in our Ikat Sketch collection will not reoccur in our Nostalgic Vibes collection. This allows me to use factories effectively while offering a variety of color palettes and collections for shops to buy.

Designs from the Nostalgic Vibes collection. 

Because I’m designing by collection, I am also dictating color within each line, which is very different. Working this way with our factories in Indonesia is something they are still getting used to! Batik factories typically produce dozens of colors and offer large groupings to fabric manufacturers who then pick which colors they want. By instructing color masters to produce specific colors, I can offer trendy, popular and difficult colors that we don’t see in batiks, filling a gap in the market!

Each collection offers an innovative technique that hasn’t been seen before in a batik line. Our Shibori collection is a great example of how different Banyan Batiks can be! This collection is designed and tied like an authentic shibori but colored like a batik. Shibori features 12 differently colored fabrics on 12 yard bolts. The colors range from traditional colors on white, to tone-on-tone colors, to high contrast and a dark, grunge-inspired palette.

Q: Do you have a design muse?

A: My family and everything I surround myself with is my muse. Northcott has allowed me to create the Banyan Batiks Design Studio here in Colorado, which keeps me in touch with the day-to-day life that fosters my creativity. I find my inspiration from outdoor activities, to the chaos kids create at any age, and the quilting culture that is incredibly strong and embracing here in Colorado. My collections illustrate these points, starting with Visual Sound—have a look at the line, any parent knows that feeling! The intense, in-your-face color compared to the noise and vibrancy of kids! Check out the double tjap application in the checkerboard print with the crayon scribbles! My road trips across America’s heartland and mountains were the inspiration for Primitive Lines. This modern Americana collection features prints inspired by Newspaper Rock in southern Utah and the hieroglyphs I encountered out there. Whereas, Nostalgic Vibes grabs inspiration from the architecture of a family home and the traditions of the Indonesian banyan tree.

Designs from the Primitive Lines (above) and Visual Sound (below) collections. 

Q: Do you have any advice for shops on how to shop this line?

A: The line was put together on beautiful fabric headers that are split by colorway, making it easy for shops to purchase the whole collection or a single colorway. The Ketan mixer program and the Shibori collection are designed to work with each collection in the release, so they act as the perfect compliment to any purchase. The delivery dates of the collections are staggered each month in 2018, allowing for innovative batiks to arrive every few weeks. Along with the fabric headers is a corresponding catalog – if you don’t already have one, you can view it online by clicking here. The catalog showcases each collection with beautiful photography for all available patterns. Also, at the back of the catalog we’ve included charts to assist when shops purchase patterns for kits. To help shops with limited budgets and shelf space, Banyan Batiks also offers 6 yard bolts when a shop buys a full collection.

Q: What suggestions do you have for shops on how to merchandise this line for the full sales potential?

A: I am a batik buyer and user. I support my local quilt shops even though I have a stash of fabrics I love. The batik wall in my local shop is incredible to see and when I’m there I must touch every one of them, and maybe even pick up a fat quarter or two of something I just have to have! But when you think about it, it’s not a very big purchase. As an existing customer in your shop, what is going to make me excited to make an impulse purchase or create a new project? As a shop, you already have the newest patterns and fun classes, so how can you intrigue a customer that’s always in your shop? Set up a display of a new, yummy collection, like Visual Sound, so as soon as your customer walks in and sees it they’re either going to do one of two things, buy a 1-2 yard cut of each fabric because a fat quarter just isn’t enough, or after the customer calms down, that collection drives them to your pattern wall for their next project! The ability to merchandise this way is exclusive for brick and mortar shops, but online retailers can post photos of newly arrived collections too! Merchandising with the Ketan and Shibori as the collections arrive in your shop will lead you to reorder these beautiful batiks as they sell through.

When trying to attract more of a modern quilter, a sewist and/or DIY enthusiast, you will want her inspired in your shop, without confusing your traditional quilter. Merchandising the Shibori mixed in with Ketan allows for some color relief and the trendiness of Shibori is what will attract your modern quilter. A window display can say a lot to the modern quilter, too. Show Shibori pillows with coordinating Ketan on the back to attract quilters with this current trend!

Shibori pillows designed by Gibbs.

For the traditional quilter, our Sophie collection is perfect! Maybe she likes some batiks, but isn’t sure what to do with that riot of color normally associated with them. Offering a collection like Sophie that is colored in a watercolor effect, with colors prevalent in cottons, gives your traditional quilter a comfort level not felt before in batiks.

The Sophie collection is perfect for traditional quilters.

Q: Will these be considered “basics”?

A: Our ongoing and reorderable lines include the Ketan mixer program and multi line, Shadows and White on White.

Ketan is the perfect mixer! The line offers a range of colors that include tone-on-tone, high contrast and multi colored prints. Ketan means sticky rice in Indonesian and that’s where the inspiration came from! It’s a celebratory dish that can be seen in crazy colors. When choosing the initial colors of Ketan, I started with neutrals. I felt the same neutral tones were being used over and over and I wanted to see different shades of gray and beige. After I chose the perfect neutrals, I created colors that would mix and compliment the collections. Since I had dictated color for each collection, I knew I was offering a good selection of colors.

Shadows is offered in two colors, Licorice and Vanilla, or black and white. Typically, a black batik has a flat look to it, there are so many colors used to achieve black that sometimes it can look like it reads green, blue or even gray. In most art forms, black tends to drain the colors from its surrounding parts. I wanted a black that wouldn’t do this, so this black has lots of the greens, blues and grays in it, but also has movement on its own. I applied the same concepts for the white batik. Since White on White is already a sharp white, I needed a soft white to go with most of the batik tones.

White on White is a hand screened process made in our batik factories. Since the tjap wax is colored, it’s difficult to keep the white color in the batik, so we were thrilled when we developed this process that gives us pure white prints on white fabric. The finished product doesn’t have the stiff lacquer finish associated with white on white in cotton.

Q: Is there anything else you would like Quilt Shops to know?

A: We listened! Northcott has an amazing company culture in communication and when shops and sales reps say batiks aren’t moving or selling-through, we looked at this as an opportunity to create something new and innovative. Northcott gave me the opportunity to challenge every aspect of creative process and in doing so, I’ve designed a line that is truly different. Fabric manufacturers and quilt shops are in this together, so I made sure to listen.

As the Lead Designer for Banyan Batiks, Karen makes a great addition to the Northcott team and we are excited to see what Banyan Batiks is offering!

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.