Saturday, November 28, 2015

Small Business Saturday

Today's the day we show a little extra love to all the small businesses in our towns.  It may seem like you don't make a difference, but I assure you, YOU DO!

Each small purchase (and large) keeps us going.  Connecting with you when you come in, learning about your project, your family, and your preferences are why we find joy in every day.

I hope you will take time to read my recent article on the importance of supporting the small business in your town throughout the year, if you haven't already.  That pack of needles or spool of thread really CAN make the difference to your LQS.

Now get off the computer & go find the small business gems in your community!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Studio 8s Shalimar Now in Stock with Free Pattern Downloads from Quilting Treasures & Studio 8, it's Shalimar.  This contemporary design is a beautiful palate and graceful mixture of animal prints & paisleys.

And as with nearly every Quilting Treasures fabric line, there are free patterns you can download.  The patterns for this collection were designed by yours truly!

The unbordered quilt is a great size for a twin bed, but add the borders & it's perfect for a full.  Make the matching runner for the dresser to complete the ensemble.

{we love those simple pillow covers in the photo above for the bed or window seat!  These are not part of the patterns available, but it gets you thinking!}
 We've linked up the downloads on our Free Patterns page, but you can also get them directly from the Quilting Treasures Project Sheet page (and there are lots of free goodies there!)

See the entire line of Shalimar, including kits for my pattern designs & Fat Quarter bundles at!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Dreaming in Fabric QAL Linky Party
Kim from Persimon Dreams & I had a blast this summer bringing you some fun original blocks & designs in the Dreaming in Fabric QAL.  Now it's your turn to show us your creation!  If you missed any of the blocks, you can find Kim's tutorials here, here, here, and her quilted reveal here.  All my tutorials are in 1 combined download on the Free Patterns page of 

Any finished top qualifies & you can use any combination of the 6 blocks (3 from me & 3 from Kim) in your quilt.

So link up below by December 1st!
Fabrics N Quilts will award a $25.00 gift certificate to one of the linky quilters, at random.  The quilt can be either a top or completely finished.   Kim & I can't wait to see what you created!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Christine Adolph's new Blank Quilting fabric-Cherry Blossom Love

Just arrived and sure to delight!  We also have the panel & have made Fat Quarter bundles for you!

Stop in today or click over & check out this beautiful new line.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

This negative ad could transform her community

Our world is so much smaller than it used to be with the technology that has exploded in the last 15 years.  Remember your Y2K Blackberry and syncing dock? 

It would be hard to be completely unplugged.  For those with limited access to leave home (from new moms to the elderly), its a wonderful way to find like-minded folks and companionship.  There is always an upside to change.  There is also a slippery slope.

As we head into the holiday season, small businesses in your local community will be competing for your shopping dollar against huge multi-million dollar businesses with advertising budgets that conceivably exceed the mom & pop's annual sales.  {The amount of money the Big Box store spends to convince you to shop with them is likely more than your neighborhood independent shop sells in a year; let that sink in.}

There is increased awareness during the next 2 months about supporting your favorite small business, but honestly, this is a year round commitment you should make. Points to ponder:

"What is a Small Business?"  As you'd probably expect, there's not a generic answer and it is defined by the U S Government.  You can find the information, which is broken down by industry, through the SBA.  The qualifying factor for any industry is either average annual revenue or number of employees.  For Hobby & Craft retailers, that qualifier is annual revenue.   A Hobby/Craft Retailer will be considered a small business if the average annual revenue is below $7.5 million dollars.  {Visualize the storefront of your Local Quilt Shop; let that number sink in.}

If you don't support your LQS, let's consider your options.  
  • Physical "Big Box Stores" like Walmart, JoAnn, and Hancock Fabrics. 
  • Big Box Online retailers like (owned by Amazon) and JoAnn
  • Online Discount retailers like Craftsy
  • Online Small Business retailers like your LQS

Why is shopping small business so important?  

Source: CAMEO Report 11/2/11 citing U.S. Small Businesses Administration
Small businesses:
• Represent 99.7 percent of all employer business.
• Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
• Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
• Create more than 50 percent of nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).

For more stats on Small Business in America, check out this list from Forbes.

Why is supporting small business in your community important?

You could spend days researching the various ways local small business helps your community.  Since the SBA focus of what qualifies a LQS as a small business is revenue, let's start with looking at the money.

If you've not heard of the 3/50 project, click over & give it 5 minutes of your time.  They lay out the importance right on the home page.

That $50.00 a month is just moving your spending from chain stores to independents.  Hit up the family owned restaurant instead of fast food, buy your sewing needles at the LQS instead of the Mega Mart, buy a scarf at the boutique instead of the mall, buy your veggies at the produce market instead of the grocery store.  It can be small changes in how you look at your spending that will make a big change.  These small purchases may mean little to the Mega Store, but may mean hiring a first employee to the produce market.

Another study says that if everyone moved just $10 of their spending each month from chain to independent merchants the impact on the economy would be a 9.3 billion dollar increase (Source Huffington Post)

If you like having variety in your hometown shopping choices, you have to keep your shopping choices in your hometown.

...besides money...what is the importance?

As a small business, we advertise in high school year books, and baseball programs-yes, they are ads, but seriously, who's shopping from the bleachers; it's a donation that helps those school programs survive.  We donate to school and family fundraisers, whether we know them or not.  We support church groups with materials to help their good deeds go further.  We give because this is our community and we are thankful to give back to the people who have helped give us our dream.  We cherish the relationship for the relationship's sake.

Giving back for a small business owner is also evident when we recycle our earnings into our community.  We shop local and keep that dollar you spent with us circulating in our local community.  That's what the 68% vs 43% in the 3/50 graphic is all about.  We live here.  We shop here too.  

The Institute for Local Self Reliance has created a Top 10 list of reasons to support your local small business.  I like #1 and #2 best.  How many times have you driven through a small town to see block after block of empty storefronts?  Our town is unfortunately like that.    Small business gives your town character.  It can also spur tourism, but local small merchants need to have the support of their neighbors as well as travelers.

What can you do?

Knowing how your buying decisions trickle down, it's easy to see that supporting local small business keeps your money working in your community long after you have actually spent it.  It's the ultimate form of recycling.  Don't Skip the Store.  Support them!  Only with your support will you continue to have choices.

Encourage your local independents (see the "3" in 3/50 above).  You can support and encourage your favorite shops without spending a penny, but remember that pennies add up so Don't Skip the Store.  Follow your faves on social media; like, share & comment on their posts.  You can increase their exposure on social media just by keeping in touch.  

When someone compliments your fabric, tell them where you found it & offer to take them with you next time you go for a visit (quilters love to travel in packs).

Share your ideas.  If you ever thought of an idea for a class, or supply you'd like to try-tell us!

Staying afloat in an online-centric world?

Shopping online is sometimes a necessity, as in a rural area like where I live.  We just don't have options to get everything we need in our small county.  For example this week I needed a POS compatible, portable, bluetooth receipt printer.  My options were online, and online only.  It may be that way for you and your quilting supplies.  Your local shop may be sold out of the yardage you need, or you may not have a LQS.  The point is you have tried to shop small and local first.

It's a competitive world, I get that.  But again you have choices.  If you are in a store and witness a shop owner degrading another business, your opinion of this shop owner is sullied, as it should be.  The same holds true in the online world.   

We found this ad on Facebook, and it spurred this article.  It gave me new resolve in my quest to spend small and local, and a new mantra. #dontskipthestore

We verified this page is owned by Craftsy, though it is operating under a different name.
When Craftsy first came of age, it was embraced by crafting communities because it highlighted the same premise that Shop Small embraces-Support Indie!  It appears they have moved on.

Don't Skip the Store.  Support them!  Only with your support will you continue to have choices. 
If you don't know where your closest LQS is located, there are many online and smart phone apps that can help you.  A great way to search by state is the Row by Row Experience website.  With 2700 participating shops last summer, it's a great, easy to search website.  You may even find new shops in your area you didn't know about!  Pop over today & take a look!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Row by Row H2O Shark Attack kits Available Now
We have waited all summer and into the fall to share Shark Attack with those of you who couldn't make it to Tennessee this year.
Patterns and kits are now on our website!  You can look for the Brick & Click icon in the lower left corner or use the search bar to search Row by Row.

We personally think the ducky fabric in our kit makes the row perfect, but if you choose to go with the pattern only, be assured that there are ducky appliqué shapes in the full color pattern.

We do have a little official RxR H2O fabric still on hand if you need some for setting your quilt together.

We have sold out of plates for 2015, but have already reserved our 2016 phrases; I think you'll love them!