Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Newest Project- A Canvas Floor Cloth

Eazy Peazy Gal’s Latest Project
A Canvas Floor Cloth!
Here’s a fantastic and Eazy way to use your treasured scraps...the ones you love so much and just can’t bare to part with. Their size doesn’t matter.
Make a canvas floor cloth from a piece of artist’s canvas using one large jar of Mod Podge, add several days and…voila, a lightweight floor cloth that is durable, colorful and oh so decorative.

Eazy Peazy GalTips: Have extra foam brushes on hand and you may want to wear rubber gloves if you have a nice manicure. Mod Podge does not play nicely with nail polish - ask me how I know!

Pictured are the steps starting from the center motif through to the end of the process. This particular canvas floor cloth is now headed to Spring Market in Kansas City.
Complete directions for this can be found at: EAZY PEAZY GAL FREEBEEZ

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Maria Peagler Makes Social Media Eazy...and Bakin' with Fabric

Maria Peagler – Social media made easy

Social media such as Facebook is the best way to find customers and keep them interested in your shop but “navigating” the social media world can be both intimidating and bewildering. That’s where Maria Peagler comes in.

Her online courses and consulting service Willow Ridge Media, teach shop owners the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and video production without the pain of trying to figure it out yourself.

We asked if all those web services weren’t too complicated for the average non-technical person to make use of and she said, “Social media is far simpler than most people make it out to be. Here are the top three things you need to do, no matter what social media tool you're using.”

“First, identify your goal for using social media. Do you want to increase sales overall, generate interest in a new promotion, or expand your client base? Second, find out where your clients are in social media. Do they read blogs, use Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube? Where ever they are in the greatest numbers, that's where you should be. And third be consistent. Too many business owners get excited about social media, try it, and then drop it when the business gets busy. An outdated Facebook page or blog is worse than none at all.”

Maria continued, “After that, you only need to visit each network twice a week. There's actually a bit of science behind that number: I call it the Three Bears Rule. Post too much, and you become a nuisance. Too little, and people forget about you. So twice a week? Just right.”

And she cautions about trying to run both a brick and mortar store and a store on the web. “It's extremely difficult, and few people do it very well. I certainly wouldn't. They require entirely different skill sets. My recommendation is if you're running your quilt shop well, rely on a staff member who is tech-savvy and enjoys using social media, and let them run with it. Good management requires hiring the best people, delegating to them, and then trusting them to do it even better than you would have. So identify what areas only you can do, and delegate the rest.”

Learn more about Maria and Willow Ridge Media on the web. Also be sure to check out her book Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts. It won the Benjamin Franklin award for Best Craft Book of 2010.

Eazy Peazy Freebeez – Bakin’ With Fabric

Check out the latest Eazy Peazy Freebeez, Bakin’ with Fabric. It’s a handy reference guide to pre-cuts that you’ll want to save and makes a great handout for your customers. Hint, it’s found at Eazy Peazy Gal-Bakin’ with Fabric. Oh, and check out our new website too!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Susan Brubaker Knapp

Susan Brubaker Knapp
Blue Moon River
Susan Brubaker Knapp in addition to being a busy wife and mom is an award winning fiber artist, author and teacher who has really made her mark in the quilting world.
Susan's Latest Book
Susan’s unique quilt designs are often inspired by the images of nature her camera captures. She tells me the feature she loves the “micro” button on her three cameras which allows her to shoot very close and yet maintain focus.“I always carry a very small camera in my purse just in case something presents itself. The cost of the camera is not what’s important”.Susan’s latest book entitled Point, Click, Quilt, teaches mastery of the techniques of fusible appliqué and thread sketching based on photographs.
She doesn’t have an art background but an English major going who went on to earn a master’s degree in journalism. After college Susan worked as a graphic designer on a newspaper and holds the firm belief everyone can learn to be creative and artistic.
“Most people just don’t take the time!”, she exclaims.
Her beautiful thread painting is achieved by the use of lightweight 100% cotton with Aurifil Corro Mako 50 being her favorite. “When you do thread sketching, it is important to work with a very light thread so you can control how heavy it is, and build it up so that it is the right density.”
Hope is the Thing
A highlight in 2011 was having her “Hope is the Thing” quilt being selected as part of the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach and Houston. It now has been purchased and is part of the International Quilt Festival Collection. Susan’s “Maximum Cat Nap” also was a prize winner at 2011 Quilt Festival.
Maximum Cat Nap
This spring she’ll be teaching in the Netherlands for eight days and then go on to Johannesburg, South Africa for the first International Quilt Convention-Africa. All of this added to her already full teaching schedule and Susan will be bringing the creative possibilities to us through new books, patterns, DVD’s and TV segments.
Learn more about Susan and her company Blue Moon River on her web site.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quilt On with Susan Cleveland

Quilt On - Susan Cleveland

Susan Cleveland of Pieces Be With You (don’t you love the name?) has a wonderful signature line on her correspondence, “Quilt on”
Her way with words and bubbly personality carries over into her life as a designer.

Susan is known for her handy tools, patterns, books, national teaching credentials, and award winning quilts. Her start in the judged arena occurred at an American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah, Ky.  “I didn’t realize you don’t start with one of the biggest shows,” smiles Susan but she caught the attention of the judges and attendees and her teaching career was launched.

For an added bonus was the fact she had developed new techniques and several notions. Her first was the Groovin’ Piping Trimming Tool but there are also the Prairie Pointer Tool and a line of thread.
She told me, “My greatest strength is that I’m able to tackle a difficult task, break it down, and develop easier, more accurate ways of accomplishing it. I used to be an engineer and I think my brain just goes in that direction.”
“I love teaching and presenting programs plus on a typical day, I love packing Internet orders. I feel like Santa Claus (we have the same initials, ‘ya know)”. 
Her dreams for the future include more YouTube videos and DVD’s of her techniques to meet the needs of the visual learners and a tool to aid in more accurate piecing.
Her line of notions and thread came from need. “I strive to do things easier with greater accuracy. The tools do this for me and others. Heavy decorative thread is an important part of my work and I do a line of 12 wt cotton solids for WinderFil.”
Susan gives credit to the great quilter, Libby Lehman who encouraged her from the beginning. “I admire her art, her ethics, and her sense of humor greatly. I’m grateful she saw something in me early on.”
Learn more about Susan and her company at Here’s hoping that Susan Cleveland will “Quilt On” for a long, long time!
Late Breaking News
As our newsletter is being prepared for email (in today’s world we don’t “go to press” much any more) Susan has her latest episode on the entitled “Precision Made Easy - Marvelous Miters and Perfect Prairie Points.” Take a minute if you are a member of the site to watch it…it’s mahvelous!

Eazy Peazy's newest - a Fabulous Fabric Fashion Cuff
“Wear your favorite fabric on your arm.” This newest pattern from Eazy Peazy is totally unique, totally fabulous and totally personalized.
Included are patterns for 3 sizes included– adult, teen and child with over a dozen ideas for embellishments that will individualize each cuff. It's an “Eazy” beginners project and ideal for classes in your quilt shop.
The Fabric Fashion Cuff uses inn-spire™plus (stiff, moldable and non-woven stabilizer) and has an opton for Sulky® Tear-Easy™ Stabilizer.

It is great for gifts, party favors, kids projects, personalize with pictures of grandchildren, new baby, special friend, company or team logo. Think up lotsof differnent types but a hint would be that Christmas or Seasonal Cuffs are a cinch. And how about Teen “Friendship” Cuffs?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

“Sewing up” the Next Generation

Fabric Warehouse in Lakeland, Florida and second generation owner Betty Gronow, are “sewing up” the shop’s future with the next generation of sewers, quilters and customers through some innovative programs.
The shop, managed by sisters Melody and Holly Robson, runs the aptly named“Little Sisters” taught by Holly after school and on Saturdays while Melody teaches a similar group for the home schooled called “Little Sisters at Home” that meets once a month. Summers especially are busy with week long Kid’s Sewing Camps.
Great things happen when young people are taught to sew. An example is the “Birds of Hope” started by two “Little Sisters” Emily and Allison. The girls learned to make decorative hanging birds from quilt scraps and had the idea to sell them for $5 a piece. But it’s not money to go to the mall. In just 16 months the more than $30,000 raised has been donated to villages in Zambia for new water filtration plants.
“Buy a bird, change a life,” is Emily and Allison’s slogan and there’s no doubt abundant clean water has changed the villagers’ lives. To learn more about Emily and Allison’s heart-warming story click on this link. Birds of Hope
Fabric Warehouse-Awash in color
The Robson sisters have an eye for the modern, popular fabric designers that appeal to the young and young at heart. The store’s displays are awash in color providing an exciting, upbeat atmosphere.
When not busy with young sewers, Melody and Holly spend their time researching hot new products on the market, maintaining a strong presence for the store on the Internet, teaching classes and selling Viking machines. Fabric Warehouse is among the top 10 Viking Dealers in the country.
Visit their web site at Fabric Warehouse
Eazy Peazy Gal’s Million Dollar Fudge
With Christmas just around the corner here is a drop dead delicious fudge recipe that’s perfect for holiday parties. Click here to download a printable copy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eazy Peazy Freebeez

NEW! Eazy Peazy Gals
Announcing the Eazy Peazy Gal Club
The Eazy Peazy Gal “club” for our quilt shop friends has no dues, no rules and no meetings.

The purpose is to share ideas on topics like sewing, household hints, favorite recipes and lots more. The “club” meets whenever you want on the “Eazy Peazy Freebeez” page on our web site.

You will find items and ideas are for sharing with your customers.

Take a look at the sewing hints for binding non-square corners or installing a magnetic snap. The clear, well-written instructions are accompanied by great illustrations and are perfect for a “mini-event” demonstration to bring customers in to your shop. They take the “fear” out of these sewing techniques and customers will really be appreciative. New items are being added all the time for you to download and print.

One of our favorites is “No Lumpy Bumpy Binding,” please let us know what you think.

And lastly feel free to send us your special ideas or techniques to share with all the Eazy Peazy Gals running quilt shops…our friends and business partners.

Expanded shop listings
During the exciting (but exhausting) Quilt Market this year it was thrilling to meet shop owners who often said, “We have your patterns!” So, we’ve added lots of new names to our web page listing shops carrying Eazy Peazy patterns.

Since we do not and will not sell retail, the listing of shops by state is important. If you stock our patterns and are not on shown please let us know and we will add your shop. Use the contact form on our web site to send us an email. Please include your name, your shop’s name, city, state and country.

Eazy Peazy patterns are sold in several foreign countries, but we lack listings for some states right here in the good old USA. Since we are frequently contacted by consumers wishing to purchase patterns directly, it’s great to be able to refer them to a nearby shop.

“Increasing business through add on sales…GUARANTEED”
Speaking of Houston, in case you couldn’t make it there here is a link to my presentation at Schoolhouse with some thoughts and ideas about increasing quilt shop sales. Feel free to download it and share it with your staff.

Cool News-Checker iPhone App
In case you missed it, Checker Distributors has their own iPhone App which puts the shop owner in instant touch with their best selling products and makes ordering easy. To me the most amazing thing is that each Creative Grids ruler will have a chip imbedded leading to a smartphone video demonstrating use of the ruler.