Update Shop Happenings

Happenings Update
One year ago we were crawling out of bunkers to survey Irma's damage.  My most vivid memory was craving a hot cup of coffee after losing power.  Couldn't even get a cup from the local Wendys and McDonalds because they too were out of power.  Bottles of Starbucks coffee now in the hurricane kit.  Feeling empathy for folks in the Carolinas; hope Florence stays north and stops dipping south.  Each year we get more sophisticated putting together a hurricane kit - we are way beyond "hurricane tuna" and cold cuts for food.  As long as power holds for the microwave, on the menu this year we can enjoy frozen cheeseburger sliders, eggs McMuffin, chili mac, chicken salad, mini bowtie pasta with vegetables, lasagna, all frozen ready to eat courtesy of Schwans.  There's the usual backup of canned tuna, canned vegetables, peanut butter, crackers, yogurt, and fruit.  Bread a last minute purchase, although I do have one starter loaf in the freezer.  Sitting here watching water rescues from previous floods in the Carolinas, wondering if we need to add an inflatable boat?  Or maybe an airbag will suffice as a raft.  For electronic needs I have a large Anker battery backup that refills my phone and ipad numerous times.  Last year it lasted for 2 days, charging mine, Carmen's and a neighbor's devices.  Available on Amazon, best backup I ever bought.  Also have a weather radio with both solar and hand crank chargers, and a USB port to charge phones.  And one of those battery operated fans to hang around the neck.  It got quite hot last year when AC went out.  So I guess we are ready for just about anything.     

Class Lineup
Hidden Stars by Faye.  Make a throw in autumn colors, using log cabin strips combined with stars.  Everything in this quilt is made with 2.5 inch strips.  This is a quick easy pattern you can make over and over again using different palettes, holiday, spring, woodland, child's novelties, etc.  This is a perfect pattern to use for your leftover scraps.  Cut everything up into 2.5 inch strips and wow, would never guess it's made from leftovers!  The stars are completely made with 2.5 inch strips, absolutely no set in squares and Y-seams.  Its the same Ohio/Variable star used in the patriotic table runner class this summer.   
Tuesday September 18, 25, Oct 2:  1-4 pm  Suitable for Confident Beginner
$85 fee includes fabric kit, pattern, classes, 2 free open sewing sessions
Class kit is packaged in a recyclable "Alma Sue' bag.  Reuse this bag as often as you like.  The next time you shop, everything you put into this bag is 10% off, every time, any time. (except for items already on sale)
Call 941-330-0993 for a seat.  Limited to 4 students.

Halloween Table Runner by Faye.  Make a cute pumpkin table runner just in time for Halloween or fall going into Thanksgiving.  This project will give you good practice in accurate cutting and piecing.  You will be cutting and pressing at your sewing table, so bring your smaller ruler, cutting mat, and pressing mat.  The shop has a few smaller pressing mats that can be used at your table.  The pieces are much easier to cut with a 28 mm or 18 mm rotary cutter.
Tuesday October 9 and 16:  1-4 pm  Suitable for Confident Beginner
$45 fee includes fabric kit, pattern, classes, 2 free open sewing sessions
The class kit is packaged in the Alma Sue recyclable bag.  Reuse this bag when you shop and always get 10% off anything that fits into the bag (except for items already on sale).  Every time, any time.

Basics of Free Motion Quilting by Faye.  This class is a good introduction to free motion quilting using patterns (not just stitch in the seam).  No, you don't need to purchase a long arm or sit down machine in order to save money on getting your quilts finished.  Finishing your quilt has become expensive.  You can do this!  Must have a sewing machine that lowers the feed dogs.  Dig through that box or bag of attachments that came with your machine and find an appropriate foot; either a darning foot, embroidery foot, big foot, etc.  Check your machine instruction manual to see what they call it.  Some people use a spring loaded foot, or a big foot.  I usually use the same foot needed when machine is in embroidery mode.
Tuesday October 23:  1-4 pm $40    Suitable for beginner
$40 Fee includes practice sample and instruction, packaged in a reuseable Sue bag.  Shop and put items into this bag for a 10% discount, anytime, all the time.

So what's a wooden nickel worth?  About as much as a plugged nickel.  That is unless it is imprinted with the words, "Alma Sue's Quilts."  This wooden nickel is your key to obtaining the current promotion at Alma Sue's.  Promotions will change and be as creative as what the staff thinks up.  We will even entertain suggestions as to what kind of promotions you want.  Some we have in mind are:  $1/yard off any fabric in the store
20% off any batting product
$10/yard on any wide back fabric
Buy one FQ, get one free
Buy one yard clearance fabric, get one yard free
Any solid fabric for $8/yard
Any one pattern for $1
Any one book for $5
You get the idea.
So how do I get a wooden nickel?  Can't buy one they're not for sale.  At certain events we will hand out wooden nickels, e.g. at our tent sale we plan to hand out 100 wooden nickels to the first 100 customers who make a purchase.  We may hand out wooden nickels to all students taking a specific class.  Or hand out wooden nickels on a wooden nickel day promotion to anyone who makes a purchase.  You get the idea.

We are running another incentive with the reusable, green shopping bags emblazoned with "Alma Sue's Quilts."  Why do you need this bag?  It is good for a 10% discount on anything you put into the bag.  Bring the bag whenever you shop, fill it with anything (that is not already on sale) and get a 10% discount every day, every time.  How do you get a bag?  Take a class; all class kits are being packaged in this bag.  Make a purchase of x amount of dollars and we will package your goods in an Alma Sue bag.  You could also win a bag as a door prize.  You could purchase a bag at specific times when we have a special event.  If you bring in a quilt for us to finish, bind, long arm, etc. we could package the finished quilt in an Alma Sue bag.  Leaving the possibilities up to creative staff!

One last item - a TENT SALE.  You may have noticed the P.O.D. in our parking lot.  We have been cleaning out our storage bins and rooms and filling the POD.  We open the POD on Saturday October 6 and have a big tent sale.  On this sale day, we will give away 100 wooden nickels to the first 100 customers who make a purchase.  So what's for sale and sample prices?  All gift items that are not quilt-related or Florida-related.  Lots of Christmas trees ranging from 3 feet up to 7 feet, many prewired with lights, slim trees, fat trees, white trees, green trees, floral picks, ornaments, etc.  Other decorative items used at one time or another in displays.  Hand made items of aprons half off, neckties $3, crocheted edge fleece baby blankets $5, jigsaw puzzles $5, yarn $1/skein, Advent calendars half off, selected baby quilts half off, Christmas wall hangings half off.  6-yard cuts of fabric (polka dots and marbles) for quilt backs $4/yard.  Lots of clearance fabric $5/yard.  Lots of FQ $1 each.  Lots of panels $5/each.  Cookbooks $1-$2 each, patterns 50 cents to $1 each.  We still haven't reached the bottom of the storage area so I can't even tell you what else is in there, don't even know myself.  Different staff been loading stuff in there for 9 years, everything goes in but nothing ever seems to come out!  Now it's time.  We need that space for online sales.  

The other item been keeping us busy is getting all product into a barcoded check out system.  If we were just selling in the shop it wouldn't be urgent.  However with online sales where we share selected inventory, selling both online and in the store, it invariably happens that if a quilt is sold in the shop, that same quilt sells nearly the same time online.  We have a manual system to take it offline, but there may be a lag, especially if it sells on a Saturday in store and then on the weekend online.  Oops.  So we feel compelled to do a virtual inventory.  Lots of work getting everything into the system.  
Both Mary and Dena will be back in November.  Dena plans to do another double wedding ring class.  So if you are interested in learning how to make a DWR, watch here for dates.  Not sure yet what else she will teach.  A finish your UFO for sure, or trade it with a neighbor.
My work up north finally is finished, so now if I go north its only to visit!  A very big job done.  Now am working on doing the same thing to my chattels here in Florida.  Sorting, taking boxes to the Good Will every week; honestly there are things coming out of my kitchen cupboards that I have no recollection of ever putting in there!  Hmm.
Anyway, everyone on the East Coast please stay safe and be smart.  See you at the tent sale.  I'll remind you again before October 6!

Ella at Alma Sue's Quilts