Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our little business is expanding...

I just want to start this post off with a BIG THANK YOU! We ended the year with our best month ever, even with the bad economy. I was building a frame or two a day for the entire month of December. I took the 25th off to rest. I still haven't figured out why it was so crazy, but it sure was fun! As I type this, orders have slowed down a bit, but its enough to keep me busy 6 to 7 days a week. As I have recently discovered, I can't do it all. I have asked a good friend of mine, Rick, to help out with some of the new designs. Rick is an extremely talented woodworker, who is designing a few items of his own to showcase on our website soon. I can't wait to see more of his new items. Check out this little sewing chest that he is making for us.

With a new year comes new designs at Barnett's Laptop Hoops. Starting this week we are developing a new line of frames that utilize Howard Brush gripper strips. These new frames are designed for rug hooking, punch needle and needlepoint. Each frame will work similar to our Original Design Lap Frames, having a solid base and 4 support legs. I will install the same little magnets on the bottom, so you can adapt it to any of our unique lap bases that tilt and rotate 360 degrees. Sizes that are being developed are a 14" Octagonal, 14" x 14" Square, 9"x 9" Square and a 6"x 6".

Another exciting item is a Bean Bag Base. This is another option that I am developing that utilizes a large bean bag, about 12' x 6" that has a lazy susan spinner attached on the top. It works similar to our other base units that tilt and spin your lap frame. The bean bag will sit on your lap and you can squish/adjust the angle of your frame and the lazy susan allows you to rotate the frame when needed.

Books, books and more books! Well we are almost finished with entering the supply of books from my wholesaler. I would say we have about a hundred more titles to go. Thank God! It has been a lot of work entering close to a thousand titles on the website. Our "Book of the Day" category has been working out well. I try to post a new book daily, the key word is "try". Many times it is a new release or a great deal, up to 75% off. I posted the latest book from Jo Morton, Prairie Flower Encore. This has been flying off the shelves! Here is a little bit of the introduction...

"Prairie Flowers was a success and sold out, but I continued to get requests for it here and there. I hated not being able to fill the orders, but new projects and my teaching schedule take up most of my time, an I don't like publishing an old pattern without updating it. Last year it occuued to me that I could resurrect the book and offer new projects by adding an additional 12 blocks and a larger center block for a medallion setting to the original 12 blocks.

This book offers seven projects using the 24 flower blocks. The first three quilt versions are from Prairie Flowers and are shown using the original 12 applique blocks, although you can use any 12 Blocks from the collection. For the "encore" part of this book, I started by making all 24 blocks, and used 20 of them in version #4, the medallion-style quilt, and the remaining four in the small quilt that became version #5. The blocks are great take along projects so the quilts went together quickly. If you're looking for a super-quick project, the two extra projects on pages 15 and 27 are just the ticket. Make a single block and frame it or turn it into a pincushion. Both of these sweet little projects can be accomplished in no time at all-and they make great gifts for your quilting friends.

Now that you know the story, it's up to you to choose what blocks to make and how you're going to use them. Don't you love choices?



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