Out with 2017!

Never been more happy to see a year gone!  

At this point I want to purge the shop with anything that reminds me of 2017!  Lost 6 family members, cleaned out estates of 3 generations, traveled back and forth from south to north about 10 times over the last 8 months.  Fortunately I got everything done before the cold and snow set in.

So all seasonal, autumn, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas fabric and panels are in the clearance bin for $5 a yard.  The clearance bin is $4 a yard on Wednesdays, minimum cut of 1/2 yard.  Today is Wednesday so come and clean out the fabric for us!

Several items of interest.  Nancy has a free quilt frame for anyone who wants it.  Just come pick it up.  It is a Grace EZ3 Fabri-Fast frame, retails for $400.  She says just come pick it up.  Contact Nancy at kabys2@yahoo.com.  

Valerie from GEM travel put together a bus trip to Daytona Beach on Friday, March 2, 2018, for the AQS Quilt Week.  This is a one-day trip and includes round-trip motorcoach transportation, admission to AQS Quilt Week show, dinner at Duff's buffet, dinner gratuities and driver's tip.  Price is $97 per person.  The AQS quilt week highlights 30 years of quilts, explore the large exhibits and vendors.  Tour leaves from Alma Sue's parking lot at 6:00 am and returns about 10:30 pm.  For additional questions, contact Valerie at Gem travel at 941-951-0046 or 941-232-8612.  RESERVATIONS can be made at Alma Sue's.  Call 941-330-0993 or stop in at the quilt shop.   Confirmed seat only with payment by check or cash.  Make check out to GEM Travel, not to Alma Sue's.

Recently I met with my sales rep who always keeps me up to date with what is going on in the industry.  Yet another quilt company is about to fold.  (I wonder how many brick and mortar quilts shops are left as opposed to only online shops.)  Digital printing is becoming more prevalent.  He predicts that not far away in the future there will be a catalogue of prints available, and a shop will walk back to their digital printer and print yardage of that fabric as requested by the customer.  Stacks of bolts stored in a quilt shop waiting for someone to come in and ask for a piece to be cut from the bolt will become a thing of the past.  It may be harder to assemble fabric to make a coordinated quilt by looking at pictures only.  But then again those women who are able to come in and put together different fabrics for a one-of-a-kind quilt are becoming more scarce.  The millennials want to buy "collections" where the color and value choices have been made for them, or they work strictly with precuts or completely precut kits so the only creative process is the actual sewing.  Like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Everything is in the box and you just need to put it together.  We see this even with online buying.  The good thing is these folks will not accumulate the massive stashes of the previous quilters that need to be used up or cleaned out!
Speaking of precut kits, we have a nice assortment of completely precut kits, all put together in a package including binding and some even with lining as assembled by the Maywood Studio.  There are small quilts and table runners.  Make the quilt a bit larger by adding borders as needed.  All the table runners have the lining included in the price.  These are literally a quilt in a box.  All you need is a sewing machine and thread.  Open the package, sit down and assemble like a jigsaw puzzle.  These are great kits for the beginner and confident beginner so one can focus on the technique, which includes strip piecing, half square triangles, etc.  All the fabric is selected by Maywood Studio from their collections so there is no struggle for the beginner to try and balance values and contrast. 
Busy this week with inventory time and purging the store of items we no longer want to carry.  These are being put into bins and bankers boxes, waiting for our annual clearance and scrap sale.  One thing that is interesting we find our scrap bins are not as full as in previous years.  Fifteen years ago we had dozens of boxes of scraps.  Don't know what this says - could be several things.  We are getting better at using up the scraps, or we are selling more precuts and less yardage from bolts.  One thing, we do sell some of the scraps in bundles throughout the year on the clearance rack, and we are making more double wedding ring quilts from small scrap pieces.  That's part of the changing business.  We also plan to clean out the storage area, that huge walkin refrigerator and freezer spanning the back of the building.  No the coolers are not turned on, they are remnants from the "Fiftys Diner" which occupied our suite for many years.  Great storage area but the problem is its too easy to accumulate stuff!  And I know all about stuff, having spent 8 months cleaning out attics.  The only thing left is to pick a date in either January or February.  Will let you know soon as it is decided.

Have a Happy New Year, and stay well.

Ella at Alma Sue's