JUKI Spotlight: Quilting with the Fat Quarter Shop!

In this month’s spotlight, we’re focusing on Kimberly and The Fat Quarter Shop! If you’re a quilter, you’ve most likely heard about the Fat Quarter Shop for their variety of fabric bundles, sew-along streams, quilt patterns, and more. Dive into the Fat Quarter Shop journey with us as we discuss how Kimberly, with the help of her husband Kevin and team, started the business right from home and how it grew into the shop it is today.

Scrappiness is Happiness Lori Holt book

Starting in 2003, Kimberly would return home after working as an accountant during the day and begin buying and cutting fabric, preparing fat quarter bundles for her new sales. Fat quarter bundles weren’t common to find 20 years ago. They were one of the few precut bundles you could purchase, so with only a desk, a computer, and a shelf full of fabric, she began creating and selling her own fat quarter bundles directly to customers. It was a niche many had missed, and Kimberly took it upon herself to remedy this issue.

“I wanted more access to more bundles for myself, and if opening a store would let me have that, then that’s what I was going to do!”

Kimberly loved the idea of packaging a collection of precut fabrics and started seeing an increase in shoppers. So, as the business began to grow, Kimberly’s husband, Kevin, jumped on board and joined the team! After only a few months of getting married, Kevin and Kimberly were also business partners! With Kevin handling IT and operations, and Kimberly running the creative side, they could go full-time and upgrade their shop to a warehouse.

Upgrading to a warehouse came with more than just extra space, but the opportunities to grow their inventory and build a team! As they began hiring and expanding their product range, the Fat Quarter Shop became known for having everything a quilter may need. With over 35,000 products, they’ve been able to offer over 18,000 different fabrics plus notions, precuts, kits, thread, floss, patterns, books, and charts. As a one-stop shop, beginners and advanced quilters can enjoy their different clubs and promotions.

Designer Mystery quilt 2020

With so many clubs to choose from, the Fat Quarter Shop offers a multitude of monthly subscriptions for fabric bundles, quilt block pattern kits, and more. Currently, their most popular club is Designer Mystery Box of the Month! Now going for 15 years, the Designer Mystery BOM includes months 1-12 with designer mystery quilt block patterns, perfect for trying something new. They also offer clubs where you can receive a bundle of your favorite kind each month and quarterly Fat Quarter sets. One of their favorite ventures, the Fat Quarter Shop, will always try to go above and beyond in their kits, a unique program they have had fun creating.

With the help of their team, they’ve been able to expand their shop and keep a focus on customer service. Elva, their customer service team leader, started many years ago filling orders in their warehouse. In addition, Jocelyn was the first person they ever hired to do marketing, becoming the leader for most of their marketing team. With so many others joining, they attest their growth to a team effort all around! 

With Jocelyn and Elva on the team, they’ve expanded their reach on social media and created a customer service experience that quilters and cross-stitch creators can depend on. Going above assistance with sales, you can reach out to their team and receive guidance on fabric choices, notions, and more. With a wealth of knowledge on their team, they help customers find what they need.

A great way the Fat Quarter Shop team has shared their knowledge over the years is through their social media platforms. By connecting with quilters, stitchers, and other crafters on channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, they’ve been able to provide live-stream lessons and answer questions directly from customers. You can find tips and lessons on quilting techniques, machine tips, and more on these socials.

Halloween Mystery Cross Stitch 2022

Kimberly’s favorite social media aspect is their weekly live streams on Fridays! Allowing her to chat with customers live while creating and enjoying her hobby, she’s been able to connect with the community and build her shop product list based on their requests and recommendations. Through marketing like this, she’s been able to create programs like their free Christmas and Halloween mystery quilt that customers love and come back for.

“- I get to hear firsthand what they want to see in the store. If something doesn’t exist, we try to create it.”

Don’t worry if you miss a Livestream! You can always visit the Fat Quarter Shop’s YouTube page and find videos on Quilt Alongs, tips and tricks, and other projects. In addition, their quilting video page offers tutorials that all skill sets can enjoy. From beginner to advanced techniques, Kimberly and her team have provided their audience with what they want! For example, if you’re interested in learning how to quilt, they offer an outstanding Ultimate Beginner Series. But, if you’re an advanced quilter, you can learn and try your hand at classic & vintage quilts.

Aside from their fabric, quilter’s kits, and notions, you can also find pattern books! Starting 10 years ago, Kimberly, and her husband Kevin, opened up the publishing side of the business, ‘It’s Sew Emma.’ Named after their oldest daughter, Emma, the publishing aspect of their business has published hundreds of quilt and cross stitch patterns, books, and notions. While their most popular designer is Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet Co., they also offer Fat Quarter and Half Yard books, perfect for those bundles you love to buy!

Make A Wish fundraising quilt 2022

With everything the Fat Quarter Shop has been able to accomplish in 20 years, we asked Kimberly what the experience was like seeing the rise in popularity. “It’s hard to describe. I never expected it to grow as it has. It’s been difficult, stressful, and a lot of fun all at the same time.” Focusing on doing their best daily, they attribute their success to the team’s continuous hard work, never giving up, and offering customers the best quality service and products. They, of course, also attest to their success to their loyal customers, who keep coming back for their new products, videos, and inspiration.

Kimberly and the teams’ advice for those starting their own business is this, find your niches! When you can create an image and branding that you’re proud of and shows off your style, you’ll be one step closer to seeing success. Be passionate about your hobby and shop, engage your audience, and you’ll begin seeing the trademarks of something starting.

While Kimberly and Kevin admit there are things they could’ve done differently, they recognize all these decisions led them to where they are today. Constantly giving a hundred percent to the shop, they focus on looking forward to opportunities that allow them to be creative and have fun in the future.

“I try to only look forward, and I still have more goals to reach. I don’t see limits to what we can do, so I’m ready for anything.”

We’re so excited to share more about the Fat Quarter Shop and its team with you! So whether you’re starting your quilting journey or an advanced quilter looking for something new, check out the Fat Quarter Shop today and meet Kimberly and the team!

To follow along on the Fat Quarter Teams Journey, and learn more about their shop, visit their links below!

Fat Quarter Shop – YouTube
Fat Quarter Shop FlossTube – YouTube

Instagram: Fat Quarter Shop – Quilting
Fat Quarter Shop – Cross Stitch

Facebook: Fat Quarter Shop – Quilting
Fat Quarter Shop – Cross Stitch

Pinterest: Fat Quarter Shop

Fat Quarter Shop Blog

From Summer to Fall, We Love These Accessories!

As we celebrate the summer coming to a close, let’s go over some great and fun projects you can create that will follow you into the fall! Whether you’re going to the beach or back to school, these projects will always be handy.

Glasses Case

Whether they’re protecting your eyes from the sun or helping you see, keep those glasses covered with a glasses case! With the ability to be versatile in your case designs, this project is perfect for letting your creative side shine. You can create using cotton, leather, canvas, and more fabrics and decorate with applique, quilting, or embroidery.

What we recommend keeping on hand for this project are notions, fasteners, or closures! These are best for keeping your glasses secured in their case and resistant to falling out; possibly getting scratched. Another fun add-on is a bag snap-clip! Use this when you’re on the move, and want to keep your glasses in easy reach or for a child’s glasses case to keep attached to their backpack.

For the inside of your glasses case, make sure to use a material that won’t affect the glass! We recommend sticking to cotton or a material that has a lovely soft touch to it, like velvet.

Lastly, we recommend keeping a Smooth Presser Foot nearby! This machine accessory is perfect for sewing those protective fabrics you love like vinyl or leather, as these materials can commonly cause issues when sewn with a standard presser foot that it might stick to.

Bucket Hats

A bucket hat is a perfect accessory to fight off those UV rays from hiking, the playground, or the waterpark! Fun and simple to create, a bucket hat pattern is an excellent choice for your wardrobe. We recommend using medium to the heavy-duty fabric. The material you use should be stiff to hold the shape of the hat.

We recommend fabric options like tweed, denim, or canvas. If you want to create with a thin fabric, you’ll need to use fusible interfacing. Fusible interfacing will help your fabric hold its shape and firmness while preventing fraying on your fabrics.

Some notions to keep in mind that you will want to purchase for that finished look are eyelets and a drawstring cord. Adding a cord to your bucket hat now allows you to adjust the sizing, making this a great gift! Also, the eyelets will help improve ventilation and makes wearing hats more comfortable, especially on those hot summer days!

Don’t forget to have your machine accessories on hand and ready! Since bucket hats have lining around the brim and top area, we recommend using a ¼” Guide Foot! This is a perfect tool for achieving those even spirals around the bucket hat brim and sides, allowing you to create something beautiful while securing the hat has that professionally finished look.

Scrunchies

Fun to personalize and easy to create, you can never go wrong with making some scrunchies! Whether you’re using them to accessorize or simply pull your hair back, this project is fast, easy, and perfect for beginners.

Inexpensive, this project can be completed with scrap fabrics or upcycled from old clothes! As a fashion and functional piece, this project only requires straight stitching, fabric, and elastic. We recommend using elastic size ¼ for basic scrunchies and moving up if you’d like to create jumbo ones.

Keep in mind fabric size and elastic size before being created. We recommend 8 to 9 inches of elastic and using a 3″ x 22″ fabric piece for best outcomes!

Table Runner and Mats

Re-vamp your home in time for the new season! Great project quilters can create matching table runners and mat sets, perfect for decorating your home and creating a quick and easy project. So whether you’re decorating for the holidays or looking to freshen up the living room with new colors and patterns, these accessories can bring a room together.

Some fabric recommendations we have for this cotton! Easy to wash and create with, this fabric is available in a multitude of options and allows you to use it with comfort, knowing you can throw it in the washer when those accidents happen. For fusing, there are a few main qualities you want to look for since this project will be washed often. Find interfacing with a low or no percentage of shrinkage, low thickness, and whether it’s fusible. Fusible interfacing will create a better project experience and is easy to use.

A great way to design your table runner and mats is by using free motion quilting! Whether you’re working on a compact machine or a long-arm quilt, adding in designs can genuinely bring your fabric to life and add texture. Keep in mind accessories for your machine like a Quilt Presser Foot (for ruler) and Quilting Rulers when you want to create intricate shapes and designs and need a little help!

Travel Bags

Whether we’re going to the beach, or after-school activities, having a travel bag fitted for your needs is a must! Travel bags allow you to add storage spots, secured or hidden pockets for valuables, adjustable straps, embroidered names, and so much more.

For bags you’re going to use often, we recommend finding durable fabrics and ones that can hold weight well. Some options to keep in mind are canvas, nylon, mid-weight woven, tweed, or leather. Depending on what perks you’re looking for, like using nylon fabric that can handle water for a gym bag, make sure to find a fabric that can withstand your lifestyle!

Notions to keep on hand when you build a travel bag are closure notions like zippers and spring snaps, snap hooks for attaching accessories like your keys or holding your scrunchies, and strap adjusters for weight changes. These pieces will help your bag have that professional finished look you’re going for, and create a longer-lasting project.

Other fun pieces you can add to your bags are applique, embroidery, or printed fabric to bring out your personality. Add-ons like mesh pockets or water bottle holders to personalize the bag for your needs are also excellent choices when wanting to expand on your skills.

Don’t forget to have the right accessories on hand! Using a foot accessory like the Decorative Stitch Presser Foot is perfect for adding in those personal touches like your name and decorative designs. Add your name to the inside of your child’s bag or your gym bag, and enjoy seeing your finished product!

Whether you’re creating on a computerized machine like our HZL series or quilting on your TL machine, these projects can be made easily. Want some inspiration on other projects you can create? Join us on our JUKI Home Sewing page on YouTube today for future and past projects!

Beginning Your Sewing Journey with JUKI

Have you been watching sewing videos? And find yourself interested in patterns and crafts? We’re here to help you find a suitable computerized beginner machine with JUKI! Finding your first machine can be daunting, especially with all the features and products out there, but we’ve all been there!

To help you learn about machine features, accessories, and more, we’ll dive in on some key things you should keep in mind when searching. Buying a suitable machine doesn’t mean buying the most expensive machine, but instead the best machine for you.

Let’s start this guide by reviewing what a computerized sewing machine is.

A computerized machine offers the most effortless experience for the new sewist in today’s world. Ran by a computer, all functions on the sewing machine can be easily controlled. Precise and loaded with multiple features, these machines can offer unforgettable experiences.

Every feature can now be controlled with a computer. From stitch length to the order of decorative stitches you use, it is all broken down at a touch of a button. For those that find themselves growing in their sewing journey, a computerized machine is an excellent tool for having versatile options for creating.

What Stitches Do I Need?

Choosing a suitable machine will depend on what projects you’re creating! This is why it’s essential to know what type of stitches you’ll need. While computerized sewing machines come with many stitch options, below, we’re going to list some key ones you should keep an eye out for, as well as some extras!

The Must-Have’s

The Straight-Stitch: Adjustable from 0 – 5mm, the straight stitch can be used for locking stitches at 0mm or moved to 5mm for basting and gathering. The average stitch length will be 2.5 mm for most projects. Remember, you’re going to be trying your hand at different projects when you first start, so make sure you’re versatile in your projects by changing the stitch length.

Zig-Zag Stitch: Adjustable in length and width, the zigzag stitch is used for stretchy materials.

The Add-On’s

Buttonhole Stitch: An automated version of the zigzag stitch, a buttonhole stitch will secure your buttons well when creating.

Stretch or Knit Stitch: Plan on sewing with knits? The stretch or knit stitch is the ideal choice. Stretch your knits without worrying about popping stitches once stitched using the feature. Zig-zag can get the job done, but stretch or knit stretch will make the job easier.

Blind Hem Stitch: No matter your project, a blind hem stitch is a great feature, which basically hides your hems on skirts, pants, and more.

Let’s Talk Features

After you’ve decided on what stitches you’ll want, think about what features you’re looking for. Now in days, many machines offer features that make sewing easy and fast. While these aren’t needed, think of those features that will improve your experience. To start you off, we’re going to go over some top features all sewist love!

  • Lighting: make sure to find a machine with good lighting! From needle threading to seeing your stitches, we want to be able to see our project come together.
  • Needle Threader: Make life easier with these features! This feature offers you a chance to thread your needle without the work.
  • Needle Up/Down: Use the needle up/down feature when turning fabric or pivoting.
  • Adjustable Speed Control is another feature that is perfect for new sewists wanting to experiment with different speeds.
  • Moveable Needle Position: Attach zippers and top stitching easily with the ability to move the needle position.
  • Built-In Free Arm: Attach sleeves, work on tight projects, and more using a built-in free arm, usually found when removing the accessories box.

Don’t Forget Accessories and Presser Feet!

Accessories from HZL-70HW-A

Depending on what projects you plan to create, it’s best to have the right accessories and presser feet on hand. So let’s go back to that question from earlier, what do you plan on creating?

If you’re working on apparel, look for presser feet like the Zipper Presser foot, Buttonhole Presser foot, and Button Attaching Presser foot. These three accessories will save you headaches in the future and allow you to create professional-looking garments.

Quilting is easier done when you have the right feel with you. So look for presser feet like the ¼ Guide Foot and a Quilt Guide. While your machine may not come with these two accessories, they will help you when you begin creating your projects.

Are you looking to create home décor? First, search for presser feet like an Invisible Zipper Foot, Applique Presser Foot, or Gathering Foot. As long as your machine is compatible with these feet, you can now add professional finishing touches to your table mats, pillows, and more.

Our JUKI Recommendations

If you’re looking at JUKI for your first electrical and computerized sewing machine, we have some great options all beginner sewists can enjoy!

The HZL-70HW-A and HZL-80-HP-A

Compact and easy to use, the HZL-70HW-A and HZL-80-HP-A offer easy storage and travel! So take this sewing machine to your classes and retreats as you begin your journey. With features all sewists enjoy, like the automatic needle threader, needle up and down, and dropping down the feed dogs to free motion quilt, it offers the chance to grow in your skills and make your experience fun.

Equipped with 80 or 197 stitch patterns (depending on the machine you enjoy best), buttonhole patterns, and a variety of accessories, it offers beginners the opportunity to create various projects. It also includes the zipper foot, decorative stitch foot, blind stitch hem foot, and so much more, helping you build your accessory kit from the first purchase.

The HZL-LB5020 and HZL-LB5100

What we like to call a beginner’s dream, the HZL-LB Series is user-friendly and comes with a complete range of features in a small compact size! Experts and beginners can enjoy features like an automatic needle threader, stitch control, drop feed, needle up/down, and more. So whether you’re focusing on quilt creation or taking on your couch pillows, it can help your projects become a reality.

Simple in its design, the HZL-LB Series offers 20 to 100 stitch patterns (depending on whether you love the HZL-LB5020 or HZL-LB5100 more), allowing quilters and apparel sewists to create seamless designs with ease on their projects.

The HZL-G120 and HZL-G220

Moving to a fully computerized machine, we’re moving onto an option some beginners might shy from, but it does include those features they’ll love! The HZL-G Series offers you the chance to take on big projects while being easy to use and beginner friendly. It also provides a box-feed system, allowing you to create beautiful seams even at a beginner level.

Still offering those features we love like the automatic needle thread and up/down. You also get a larger sewing space and a fine overcasting stitch.

The machine also offers the chance to easily work with heavy material, like denim, and has a large variety of presser feet options for garments, quilters, and home décor sewists to enjoy when they’re creating. JUKI even offers kits compatible with this machine curated for heavy users, quilters, and those that love adding a creative touch.

When It’s Time To Buy

Decided what machine you want to get and are ready to buy? Then, contact your nearest JUKI dealer here! We always recommend finding your local dealer when you can go for two big reasons: training and support.

Finding a dealer that can assist you in setting up and finding a suitable machine is essential when you’re entering the world of sewing. In addition, these shops can offer you sewing classes, maintenance support, technical support, and much more.

Now that you have a plan for what you’re looking for, we hope this helps you find the right machine for you!