Sale begins now through Saturday!
New shipment of many colors arrived just in time for the sale. We have bundles of 3-yard cuts ready to grab and go. If you need less or more, just ask and we can custom cut what you need. Don't need to use these just for quilt backs. The tone on tone whites are perfect for background fabrics! I have yet to understand why a manufacturer can produce the 108" wide goods at a price lower than or comparable to the 45 inch wide goods...
In a previous newsletter I had mentioned an Anniversary and scrap sale for this weekend. Well that has been postponed until February. The week of the Palm Grove Quilt show and sale. The Palm Grove event runs from Wednesday through Saturday, February 6 - 9. Alma Sue will be running Anniversary specials throughout the week with the scrap sale scheduled Saturday February 9. We have so much more to clean out we need a bit more time. That week there will be books, patterns, even sewing machines for sale. Alford the sewing machine repairman will have a table of good used machines for sale, Saturday only.
For those of you who consign items at the Palm Grove show, the consignment days are Monday and Tuesday, February 4 and 5, from 8 am until 5 pm. Consign your items, the Palm Grove will display and sell the items, then pick up your check and/or unsold items on Saturday afternoon. They take a commission which goes for mission work, I believe it is 25%. So what sells really well? Unfinished quilt tops. Lots of ladies are quilters but not piecers, so they are looking for tops to quilt. All sizes from crib to king. Vintage quilts sell well, so if you inherited some quilts and are looking to give them a home with someone who loves them, might consider consigning them at the Palm Grove show.
So what's new, other than independent quilt shops closing day by day? The online big box stores are tolling the death knell to independents, just as the big box stores did to the small hardware and grocery stores. I've mentioned before how the big box online retailers get a bigger discount than we do and often sell for a lower price than what we need to pay to the distributor. Yes I know they buy semi loads of fabric and can literally set their own prices. I sat with a sales rep this week and he reported to me that his company will no longer sell fabric to those online small retailers who buy a couple of bolts and sell online out of their house (etsy, ebay, etc). Now they require a minimum of a 250 bolt inventory and a high $$ start up order. He says they have stopped selling to 400 online individual retailers in the last few months. His company is committed to the independent quilt shop, and trying to help them keep a footprint in the community. Every little bit helps.
We are hoping to keep a footprint in the community, especially with our unique quilting services. We do sell online, finished items, kits, quilts, tops, and have started with some fabric, mainly precuts. We will be moving into yard goods this year. Interesting,, what sells on line is different from what sells in the shop. So buying is a little more complicated - more and more I am buying for the online customer and this area continues to grow. Many of the custom quilts I show on FaceBook that are in the quilting frame are orders that came from online. We display the different quilt tops then give the customer the option to purchase the top, or to have us finish the quilt. They receive photos of the quilt in frame and progress as it finishes.
So what's new...are you having an issue with the double sided adhesives sticking? There are plenty of different products out there now instead of just steam-a-seam. Barely there, Wonder fuse, Heat and Bond, wonder under, misty fuse, etc. Recently we tried to sew a raw edge applique applied with double sided adhesive and the needle keeps gumming up then skipping stitches. Not sure which brand but now I need to research all the different ones and ditch the brand that is giving us problems. There now is a "new" needle advertised as having a special coating so it will not gum up during sewing. The anti-gum needles will be in stock here next week.
New Bloc-loc rulers. Invented especially for that half square triangle so it won't shift during the trimming. There is a groove down the middle to lock in the seam, then you can rotate the sewed block and trim it perfectly. Yes, here in stock. They are somewhat pricey. Watch for a special on these rulers during our Anniversary Sale week, February 6-9.
Trending online is 20's, 30's prints, our best FQ seller. Online slowdown is grunge and Free Spirit fabrics. We have nearly every color of grunge, tried the "grunge spots" and "grunge stars" didn't go over well. Can't keep up with the Catitude line from Benartex. We actually sell so many shipped them off the Amazon fulfillment center to let Amazon pack and ship them!
Wool ironing mats are here in the shop. Again, fairly high price point. Want something that works just as well? Go to a thrift shop, grab some wool items, wash them in hot water to "felt" them or use as is, wrap them around an empty fabric board and make yourself a nice 22 x 9 inch wool ironing mat. Stop by the store and we will give you as many free empty boards as you want!
I wrote about Marie Kondo's method of cleaning out about 1 or 2 years ago, just before I started cleaning out my parent's house. She has created a tidy empire over her obsession with organizing. This is not an overnight process, I am still working on cleaning out my own house and the shop! To help with your own organizing, our distributors have many things for sale. Recently I searched on "organizing tools" and came up with a list of caddies, cases, satchels, sew-lutions, cubes, boxes, compartments, snap ons, zippered, rolling, stacking, totes, boxes, trays, and not to be outdone the caddy cabinets, and super satchels with removable dividers, lift out trays, etc. All designed to make you buy one or more receptacles to solve the problem, hopefully not adding to the stash. Yes I have lots of organizers, why is everything still in disarray? I think my best upscale box so far was the first one I bought years ago in the sports section of a big box store, it is a fishing tackle box with lift out trays. Still have it, still use it, long ago abandoned that "sewing box" gifted to me many years ago when I started to sew. It looks exactly like that new but pricey "upscale" tote for sale at my distributor.
Calico Animals is a new panel and kit featuring feedsack prints. On the Go is a cute panel and kit by Moda with a backing fabric that looks like a road map for the little guy to use with his matchbox cars. On the panel front is a series of colored cars and tire tracks. I had my nephew take a head shot of his son, so now I want to print the photo onto fabric and applique Henry's photo in one of the cars as the driver. Kits are for sale online and in the store.
Best selling books online are "Fat Quarter Baby" and "Precut Primer." The baby book shows a variety of animal crib quilts, all made with 6 fat quarters each. The Precut Primer has a variety of patterns designed by Me and My Sister Designs. Patterns for charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes, Fat Eight bundles and Fat Quarter bundles. At a price point of 14.95, its just a bit more than a single pattern. I have some folks online buying a second copy because they wore out the first one! The FQ Baby book sells for 19.95 and has 20 different patterns for baby, each one made with just 6 different FQ. Make it just a bit bigger by adding a border, which is what we did with the samples in the store. Each book has 10 boy patterns and 10 girl patterns.
New fabric, Alison Glass sunprints. We made bundles of six FQ and six half-yard medleys, ready to grab and go. New Timeless Treasures novelties are swimmers, flamingoes, beagles and golden retrievers. New panel is Northcott's Heron, quickly went out of print. I ordered 6 bolts and got only 2 delivered. Makes a great panel one block wonder piece. Another great OBW panel is that Robert Kaufman Angel. Start on it now and get ready for Christmas 2019. The OBW class keeps growing, now Faye can show you how to add cubes to the array of hexagons.
New class dates:
Bargello Friday morning February 1, 8, 15 from 10-1 pm.
One Block Wonder Tuesday afternoon March 5, 12, 19 from 1-4 pm.
Double Wedding Ring Wednesday afternoon February 20, 27, March 6 from 1-4 pm.
Paper Piecing Friday afternoon February 1, 8, 15 from 1-4 pm.
Beginning in March we will do a monthly table runner class geared to the season. Each kit is precut, ready to just sit and sew. Watch for upcoming dates. Join in for one, a few, or all of the runners. The kits will also be for sale online.
Want to get started with quilting or need help making a t shirt quilt? Call for private classes.
That's all for now. Ella at Alma Sue's