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MAKE IT MODERN WITH HOBBS!!!!!

Well, another month is almost over…..and it’s time to get the new project posted for the ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADORS program!!!! YEAH…I actually have 4 more days so I’m ahead of the game.. not an easy feat considering that this last couple of weeks have been so hectic…and that I am just getting back from the International Quilt Market in Kansas City. But…. I have been stitching quite a bit since I returned from Market…and one of the project was this May project for the Ambassador program.

The Theme this morning is MAKE IT MODERN WITH HOBBS….and the project requested was a crib size or larger quilt using Hobbs batting.

The first thing that I wanted to confirm was what would be the standard size for a crib quilt…well….that wasn’t going to be an answer that one would find quickly or ever. Every website that I checked had a different size for a crib quilt; so I opted to kind of average it out and make the size that best fit the idea that I had in my head.

My project for May is entitled “MODERN SAFARI”, 35″ x 45″

The quilt top is complete; although not yet quilted; with just getting back from the quilt market – and catching up on all of the deadlines, I felt that I’d get the top completed and then send this one off to my long arm quilter so she can work her magic on it over the next couple of weeks. My Quilter,Shelly Wicks of HALFYARD QUILTING STUDIO is the cat’s meow and will put another spin on this one with her quilting……then I’;ll be back with an update once the quilting is done and the the quilt has it’s binding.

Modern Safari, 35″ X 45″

Now, those of you who know me will know that there are really not a lot of modern bones in my creative mind or body…..if there is one, I’ve yet to find it. 🙂 But, with this challenge set forth in our Ambassador guidelines, I was very much looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone to create my version of what I feel modern would be for this project.

The one thing that I new I wanted to do was to use something that was fun like these animal print fabric…..and I had the perfect ones in my Island Batik stash in lovely 5″ strips.

Island Batik assorted animal print fabrics

I knew that a modern quilt needed to have one of the characteristics defined by the modern quilt quilt…. I thought that perhaps I covered the bold prints (kind of)…although I aimed for print style rather than bright colors. But, I saw a snippet of that blue shade coming though in one of the animal prints and decided that a vertical strip of that blue would make a splach of color in the quilt; and well, adding the red appliqued heart kind of gave it a double splash. Since it is a child’s quilt, I thought that the heart was appropriate.

Graphic area of solid color was another option – I used a lot of solid black – I am hoping that that will count towards this feature.

Minimalism is another modern feature. Perhaps with the very few pieces uses and the way that I’ve pieced this one, that may fit into the minimalism category.

This one will be quilted using the HOBBS 80/20 BLACK BATTING; the perfect batting for a quilt with a lot of black in the quit top/backing.

This easy and fun designs allows you to make an adorable quilt in a couple of hours….. all of the prints used in this quilt are 5″ wide x 31-1/2″ long.

Except for the top and black strips which are cut 3-3/4″ x 31-1/2″, the balance black strips are cut 4-1/2″ x 31-1/2″ long.

You’re simply sewing all of the strips together; then cutting 9-1/4″ from the right side of the quilt once the quilt top is complete.

The vertical stripe is a 2-1/2″ blue strip, with 1-1/5″ of black added to each side, then the quilt top pieces are stitched to this vertical strip. Once that is complete, the only other step was to applique the heart.

Now, how easy can making a child’s quilt be……VERY SIMPLY WITH LOTS OF IMPACT….you gotta love that. 🙂

Be sure to check out ISLAND BATIK on Facebook and see lots of other fun designs that are being presenting this month by all of the ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADORS. https://www.facebook.com/islandbatik/

I would like to also invite you to come over and visit me on Facebook and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/bill.locke.96

https://www.instagram.com/billlockedesigns/

I would like to take ISLAND BATIK For the beautiful fabrics that were supplied to make this fun quilt top and to HOBBS BATTING for so generously supplying the batting to complete the project.

Happy Stitching everyone!

Bill

Island Batik & AccuQuilt Ready. Set. GO! Baby Quilt Challenge

As an Island Batik Ambassador, this month’s challenge was to use my AccuQuilt GO! Machine and dies to make a fun baby quilt that features Island Batik fabrics; and let me tell you – what a fun project this has been.

The Island Batik Ambassador Challenge for April 2019

As I was getting ready earlier this month to place a new design for my monthly challenge, the idea of child’s quilt bring many different mental images of various designs and themes but I wanted to take this challenge a little outside the design box and do it a little differently….. and well….I was thinking, who says that a baby quilt has to be rectangle or square….it can be any fun shape right? Well…the challenge this month was that the baby quilt needed to be 40″ to 48″ “SQUARE”….but in the excitement of working with this stunning fabrics and this magnificent AccuQuilt Cutter, I just missed the word SQUARE altogether – and well, the result is in another geometric chapter! 🙂

A lot of my customers are so into the QUILT-AS-YOU-GO type projects; and just as excited about SCRAPPY PROJECT that I wanted these 2 feature to be focused in this month’s challenge project.

Introducing:

“RING AROUND THE HEXAGON”

“RING AROUND THE HEXAGON” Baby Quilt/Play Mat, 40″ diameter

This whole project started with a simple 5-1/2″ cut hexagon that I wanted to use for a focus center in my quilt…..and from there, the rest is history.

The starting point to this fun creation was to cut a piece of HOBBS HEIRLOOM PREMIUM COTTON BATTING. Hobbs supplied us with a group of battings for our projects; this one is from the CRIB SIZE 45″ x 60″ which was perfect for this project. I was aiming for a 40″ finished project.

I cut my batting to be 45″ square, found the center point and drew the 5-1/2″ Hexagon as my jumping off point for the quilt. Since this is a QUILT-AS-YOU-GO project, I also cut a piece of backing fabric the same size. The Backing fabric was laid on my work table wrong side up with the batting on top.

I then pinned my center Hexagon in place.

With the center Hexagon anchored, I had fun with the AccuQuilt cutter. I knew that I really wanted to focus on one particular die this month – the 2-/2″ width strip cutter….it’s just the cat’s meow and I love it so much….so it makes sense that my first AccuQuilt project would feature this die. Cutting the 2-1/2″ strips for this project was amazing…everything was cut and complete in around 10 minutes….how awesome is that…and without any extra laying out of fabrics, etc. I could easily layer my fabrics, and cut them so quickly.

I could have just keep on stripping…. (cutting strips 🙂 ) but I knew that I had plenty for this project. What a super way of using up some of those smaller pieces because the strips used closer to the center of the quilt are quite short compared to the ones used near the outside.

An assortment of 2-1/2″ strips cut with my AccuQuilt Go! Cutter…… a varied assortment that will marry together so well for a fun blend of colors and prints; what baby wouldn’t look even more cute wrapped up in these?

With the fun 2-1/2″ strips at my disposal, the fun part of selected each of the strips to sew around this Hexagon project had just begun. Strips were added 1 at a time, in a quilt as you go method; until I achieved the desired size of my baby quilt; which would mean adding 9 rows of strips around the center hexagon.

Adding the 2-1/2″ strips one at a time……watching this fun RING AROUND THE HEXAGON take shape.

And here it is….. “RING AROUND THE HEXAGON”

“RING AROUND THE HEXAGON”

Size: 40″ diameter

I would like to just take a moment to thank ISLAND BATIK for supplying all of these wonderful fabrics for our creative projects; to AccuQuilt for supplying the wonderful GO! Cutter which made this and will make so many more projects so much more enjoyable to create, and to HOBBS for their gift of fabric batting that gives this project such a wonderful handfeel.

To see more wonderful fabrics, projects, products… perhaps start by checking out the sponsor’s Facebook pages…. there’s so much to see there….. see what other Ambassador’s are creating and get inspired to stitch!

https://www.facebook.com/islandbatik/

https://www.facebook.com/accuquilt/

https://www.facebook.com/HobbsBattingOfficial/

Have a very blessed and stitchy kind of day!

Bill

“VINTAGE REIMAGINED” with Island Batiks

As an ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR, this month’s challenge was to creative a project under the topic if “VINTAGE REIMAGINED”.

As a traditional quilter, I have always loved the idea of trying to use my Island Batiks in a traditional way to bring a kind of new look to traditional projects. With “VINTAGE REIMAGINED”, it was the perfect time to do that once again.

When I first sat to think about what I’d like to do for this month’s challenge, my first idea was to center the project around a star. I thought about doing something along the lines of a crazy quilt; I considered another Quilt-As-You-Go method quilt….but in the end, the star won.

I would like to mention that the beautiful fabrics used in this project were given to me by Island Batik; batting provided by Hobbs Batting.

A couple of years ago I designed a fun star themed table topper with 4 large star blocks with sashings and a border…. I entitled that project “DINING WITH THE STARS”. For this months ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR project, I’ve taken one of those start blocks; changed it up a little – and creating a single star table topper entitled “A STAR IS BORN”. Measuring 36″ x 36″, it is the prefect size to fit the 36×36 required size for this month’s challenge.

The quilt top is one that you can make up in a couple of hours…perfect for when you want to start/finish/enjoy a project the same day.

OH….and I know it’s March and Spring…. but for this project, I’ve decided that I’m going to get a head start on another fun Fall display project for my home.

“A STAR IS BORN” started with a center 8″ block……and there are 8 blocks surrounding that center block that also measure 8″. 4 of those blocks were snowballed with 4-1/4″ squares to coordinate with the center.

Snowball blocks are trimmed 1/4″ outside of the stitched line; triangle is this flipped towards the outside corner and pressed

The snowballed squares became the points of my star.

4 snowballed blocks for the star points

Stitching the 9 blocks together to make the center star is always fun. I love stars in my projects; and this one is no different. Working with the larger pieces also makes this project go together much faster.

When stitching together the star block, I stitch the blocks together in 3 rows, then join the rows. The seams in the first and third rows are pressed towards the outside blocks; the seams in the center row are pressed towards the center. Pressing the seams alternately allows you to really lock those seams when stitching your rows together.

9 blocks make up the center star

Note: When pinning your rows together, match seams well…and pin just before the seam so that your needle will arrive at the pin before the seam. The pin will anchor the seams as the foot moves towards the seam.

Completed center star block

With the center star block complete, I decided to add a smaller sashing, using 2-1/2″ width strips and corner squares. Corner squares are cut from the same fabric as my outer border.

I finished with a 5″ border – but of course, to make this project a little bigger, simpler make the sashing and border wider.

“A STAR IS BORN” Table Topper, 36″ x 36″


This project will be completed using my HOBBS Heirloom Cotton Batting; the Crib Size format. Hobbs batting is the prefect batting for my projects. I love the feel of my project once it has been quited; the handfeel is just the weight that I love to achieve.

Hobbs Cotton Batting, Crib size

With the quilt top complete, it is now getting ready to travel to Western Canada where my long arm quilter will work her magic to breathe even more life into this project; then it’s back to Montreal so that I can add the binding and put it aside in anticipation of finding a special spot to display it in my home this Fall.

Please take time to visit the Island Batik and discover more about what’s happening in their batik world; check out the wonderful creations by so many wonderful Island Batik Ambassadors; and get inspired by all of the fun designs and colors brought to us by Island Batik.

Website: http://www.islandbatik.com

Blog: http://www.islandbatik.com/news

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/islandbatik

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/islandbatik

Instagram: http://instagram.com/island_batik

MAGNIFICENT MINIS!!!!!!!

February 1st marked a new fun time in my quilting…since it was the start of my ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADORSHIP 2019.

Many of you watched the unveiling video where I shared so many wonderful things that were sent to the Ambassadors this year to use in the creation of wonderful, fun projects to showcase the ISLAND BATIK Fabric, HOBBS Batting, AURIFIL Thread and as well the ACCUQUILT Go Cutter.

For February, the challenge for all Ambassadors was to create a “MAGNIFICENT MINI”.

In 2012, I designed a pattern for a “VINTAGE MINI RUNNER” but have put it aside to recreate in a different style/theme at a later date; I knew that when I started to work on my “Magnificent Mini”, my mini runner was going to be the base on this project.

I love taking the more modern batik prints and introducing them to a more traditional approach of quilting. This new version of the “VINTAGE MINI RUNNER” is an extension of that idea. Measuring just 10″ x 23″, it is the prefect size for a fun afternoon project; and definitely an adorable “Magnificent Mini”. For this project, I dug into my delicious Island Batik stash to find a mix of cream background strips for my base; and then from my new Ambassador Box, I found these special prints for my appliques and binding. The prints all beautiful but I especially love the one that I found for the flower basket binding – One 5″ stripe was enough to complete this part of the project.


The “Vintage Mini Runner” is made up of an assortment of 1-1/2″ strips that I used to prepare the base of my project in a QUILT-AS-YOU-GO (QAYG) Method. The QAYG method is a wonderful way to complete a project more quickly and easily since the project is quilted once you finish the runner top.

Project features the QUILT-AS-YOU-GO Method

The applique technique that I used is one that I call “APPLI-SIMPLE” where the appique pieces are backed with a very light-weight interfacing. In additional to using the “APPLI-SIMPLE” method, I’ve also done this project in a 3-D effect with the petals of the flowers having some depth in the applique process. The Appliques were completed by hand.

Appique the “APPLI-SIMPLE” way by BILL LOCKE DESIGNS

Learn more about my “APPLI-SIMPLE” technique here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAGBygBkzc8&t=39s

The batting used in this project is the HOBBS CHIEIRLOOM PREMIUM Cotton Batting, 80/20 Cotton/Poly. This batting has the perfect weight and drape quality that I enjoy for my table runner and other simpler projects.

I’ve had a lot of fun with this project; and am already thinking about the March project for our Ambassadorship……. be sure to subscribe to my blog; and remember your comments are very welcome.

Happy Stitching!!!!!!!!

Please check in at the be sure to check out the other Magnificent Minis from all of the Island Batik Ambassadors

Carolina Asmussen ~Carolina Asmussen

Gene Black ~ Gene Black

Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts

Connie K Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River

Anja Clyke ~ Anja Quilts

Tina Dillard ~ Quilting Affection Designs

Becca Fenstermaker ~Pretty Piney

Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter

Barbara Gaddy ~ Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Dione Gardner-Stephen ~ Clever Chameleon

Sarah Goer ~ Sarah Goer Quilts

Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts

Lori Haase ~ Dakota City Quilter II

Joanne Hart ~ Unicornharts

Mania (Magdalini) Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts

Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks

Stephanie Jacobson ~ Steph Jacobson Designs

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Joan Kawano ~ Moosestash Quilting

Kim Lapacek ~ Persimon Dreams

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Leanne Parsons ~ Devoted Quilter

Bea Lee ~ BeaQuilter

Toby Lischko ~ Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Bill Locke ~ Studio Bill Locke

Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese

Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights

Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke

Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack’s Blog

Kathleen McCormick ~ KathleenMcCormick

Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs

Karen Neary ~ Sew Karen-ly Created

Jackie O’Brien ~ If These Threads Could Talk

Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts

Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde

Vicki Schlimmer ~ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail

Sherry Shish ~ Powered by Quilting

Anita Skjellanger , Quilt in a not-Shell

Laticia “Tish” Stemple ~ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter

Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations

Terri Vanden Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilts

Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts

Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts

Suzy Webster ~ Adventerous Applique and Quilting

(Debora) Anne Weins ~ Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter

Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

Now’s that’s a good thing………

It seems that today our days are just so full of “stuff”… there’s this and that and everything else and we are wishing that the days were longer, etc……

Well, every now and then I will come across an article that just makes me smile – and this is one of those articles….and I just had to share the link with you. https://www.boredpanda.com/good-news-beds-for-animals-amarildo-silva/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organics

What a wonderful way to recycle, add a little sewing – and make a difference….this guy is rocking his part of the world…. it certainly is a good thing!!!!!!!

FIFTY 2019 Island Ambassadors to visit today!!!!!!!

Good Morning,,,
Here’s a little something for you to do while you are enjoying a cuppa today…. click on the link below to visit ISLAND BATIK and check out the 2019 ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADORS,,,, check out their links, follow their blogs, lots of great creativity in our 2019 group of 50 Ambassadors.

And….while you are there – discover the wonderful world of Island Batik. 🙂

Happy Stitching everyone!!!!!!!

https://www.islandbatik.com/news/index.php/2019-island-batik-ambassadors/?fbclid=IwAR3x2Yiz53OI_0bRo32WMykJ1gvavyeo8PTbyA1BZjIJqmvcbQ_xIyTFI1Q

 

And the 2019 Island Batik Ambassadorship has begun……

Each year, Island Batik chooses a number of designer to join their Ambassador program for the year.     I am very excited to have been chosen to be one of those members for 2019.

Twice this year, we will receive goodie boxes of beautiful ISLAND BATIK Fabrics as well as products from their partners – and we’ll design and create fun projects each month so showcase the products and to share creative ideas  with you.   For the Studio, I’ll be posting on my blog regularly, as well, Live video feeds will be uploaded to my Facebook page both BILL LOCKE  https://www.facebook.com/bill.locke.96 and BILL LOCKE DESGIGNS  https://www.facebook.com/Bill-Locke-Designs-117513704974214/ .

All Videos will also be uploaded to my YOUTUBE Channel.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTs89QP861pvw_HWuwzguFw?view_as=subscriber .

Please my Facebook pages to friend/like the pages in order to follow along with all that is happening at the Studio.  Also,  please be sure to check out my YOUTUBE Channel and subscribe to my page to receive updates of all that is happening there.    There will be videos showing tons of fun precuts, demos, and even some fun giveaway…so you don’t want to miss out on those.

Yesterday I uploaded a Studio video to share the opening of the first 2 boxes that have arrived for the new Ambassadorship program….be sure to check it out!!!!

Be sure to also visit and like the ISLAND BATIK Facebook page where you’ll learn more about their fabrics and also get to see the fun things happening in the Ambassadorship program….be sure to visit all of this year’s Ambassadors’ link to see even more stitchy fun.     https://www.facebook.com/islandbatik/

I would like to thank ISLAND BATIK once again for the opportunity – and all of the wonderful, fun goodies that will be enjoyed through this first half of this year (Another shipment will arrive in June), as well as their partners

ACCUQUILT, AURIFIL and HOBBS BATTING

Together, these are going to be an absolute blast to work with.

There’s a lot more to come…..but I just wanted to get you in on the Island Batik Ambassador loop so you can follow along!

I hope you’ll enjoy the video, and seeing so many beautiful things that arrived from the 4 sponsors of the program,

Happy Stitching everyone!!!!

Bill

Studio updates!!!!!! It’s been a too long since the last post!!!

Hi everyone,

Time just flies by so quickly – and it’s been way too long since the last blog.

I thought that this evening I’d take a few moments to just touch base to say Hi and to let you know how things are going.

Well, the Studio move was a wonderful thing for me…and I find that since the move there’s a whole sense of new direction and organization – putting into practice some of those things that I’ve been wanting to as a part of the new restructured Studio.    The Studio has been crazy busy and growing; it’s so exciting to add new customers to the base…Welcome to the Studio!!!!

I am working hard to find new goodies to keep everyone in stitches!!!    There were some new items that were ordered at the Quilt Market in Portland in May that haven’t yet arrived..so there’s new goodies in our future :-).   Actually, there’s a new order of Batiks that is scheduled to arrive at the Studio this week along with some new regular quilting cottons.    I just received word that a couple of new collections that I had on order has just arrived at the warehouse so those are expected to arrive at the Studio next week.  I’ll be sharing these new fabrics with you as they arrive.

These’s also a wonderful collection of stunning homespun cottons…..YUMMY!!!!!

I am also working towards getting ready for the Houston Quilt Market in November….there’s still so much to do to get ready – it will be a busy next couple of months getting the new projects completed, patterns written and preparing for the Schoolhouse series there.

The Toscana Club was launched on July 1st.  If you haven’t heard about it, just click on the WHAT’S NEW logo at the top and you’ll find all the details there.   If there’s anyone who would like to join, you can still do so – past club installments can be had along with the next current month….  the next installment will be ready to send by August 1st.

The big news this week is that I am finally taking some time each day to start getting the products listed in the web store.   If you go to the shop on the website and scroll through the different departments, you’ll now notice that the web store is not as empty as it was….of course, based on what needs to be added vs what is already there. there’s still just a little..but I will be working hard to keep added stock – so be sure to check back often.  In many cases the products are ongoing…in other cases the stock is limited to want is currently available.  The beauty about the web store is that when stock is low, you will see it on the site.   In cases where the stock is constantly being renewed, even when the stock fall to zero, you can still place an order because it will be filled as soon as the next stock arrives.

The biggest thing that we need to remember about the web store is that when you check out, you’ll get the total for your order with tax.    The postage for your order will not be calculated by an online calculator.  I’ve decided to dismantle the shipping charts on the web store because I find that most of the time, the calculator overcharges for shipping.   Since my goal over the years as been to always find the cheapest postage possible for my customers; I feel that the best senario is to wait til the order is filled to reconfirm the postage.   I will then invoice and get iin touch as I’ve always done; and payments can be made the way that you’ve always made them; whether it’s an invoice through paypal, and etransfer, check or credit card.   I am doing what I can to keep everything as simplified as possible.

I want to thank all of you for our continued support and your patience as I work to get the website up to date.   Once it is fully stocked and running, you’ll be able to sit at home and brown the web store to see all of the wonderful goodies at the Studio.

Meanwhile, of course, you’ll still want to keep following and watching my Facebook..because there will always be fun announcements there.

Thanks again everyone,

Quilty hugs across the miles!

Bill

 

STUDIO BILL LOCKE “On The Road”

Good Morning…
It’s Tuesday…. and it’s already the 1st of May…can you believe that? WOW….those first 4 months of 2018 just literally flew..but, here’s on to a brand new day and to have fun in the process 🙂 I am loving the changes here at the Studio and am enjoying my new space enormously….it definitely is the cat’s meow!!!! I still have a bit more of organization to take care off; orders to place and new ideas to introduce but it’s all coming together and we are definitely going to have even more fun going forward. 🙂
 
I just wanted to remind everyone that as a part of the new Studio move, time will be allotted to participate in local and not-so-local quilt shows and events. :-). I am already have several invitations for 2019 and am currently starting to organize a calendar of events.
 
If you would like STUDIO BILL LOCKE to be a vendor at your event; or if you’re looking for fun workshops, trunk shows or demo events, please write me via email: bill@studiobilllocke.com and in the subject line, please put “EVENT”.  Remember, you can now book a STUDIO POP UP SHOP for any guild meeting/event……get to see new products, demos and shop in the comfort of your guild meeting.
 
For Vending, I am entertaining invitations from Quebec and Eastern Ontario at the Moment but I am open to other options.
 
For classes, workshops, trunk shows, demo events…. this creative passion will travel!! 🙂
 
Meanwhile, just a little reminder that I’ll be at the International Quilt Market in Portland, OR in 2 weeks so if there’s something that you want me to be on the lookout for you there, just holler. I’ll be away from May 15-21 so there will be no order picking/shipping during that time; but I will be posting new and exciting products that I find from Market during those days…I’ll be tempting you from afar. 🙂
 
I have received some special orders recently for some of you that I’ll catch up on this week…new shipments of goodies will be arriving over the next few days so I’ll be busy before Market, making sure I get everything caught up on before I go. For those of you who have ordered the Quilting Hoops, those are expected to arrive at the Studio on Friday or Monday so will be in touch at that time.
 
Happy Stitching everyone!!!
Quilty Hugs Across the Miles!!!!!

DRUM ROLL!!!!! And the new Studio is launched……….read all about it!!! :-) Good-bye Westmount!!!    Hello Lasalle!!!!!

Well, Here I am; finally ready to share with you all of what has been in the planning stages these last few months; and what has now materialized in the new STUDIO BILL LOCKE – My New Creative Space.

Since 2011, the steady increase of online followers have been overwhelming and so exciting. In April of 2017 I thought that getting back to having a full time retail outlet where local customers could shop would be a plus;  hence the move to the Ste. Catherine Street location. This was a trial move because I needed to test the water before wading too deep. 🙂  

During the last year, the online customer base has been steadily increasing; but the interest from the local market remained quite low; with the online clientele making up about 95+ percent of my customer base….so a couple of months ago I decided to to put plan B into motion – and here I am!!!   I will make mention that over the last few months, the majority of my local customers who order regularly from the Studio have opted to mail order as well since it’s easier and less expensive to have orders mailed out than to have to travel into the city to pick it up; which in fact increases the online clientele even more.

The great news is that January, February, March of 2018 have been the best Jan/Feb/March quarter in the history of the Studio – and for that I say A BIG THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  You are the ones that make this possible for me each day;  to do what I love and to bring fun and creativity to so many through the STUDIO BILL LOCKE.

I am very excited about the changes that have been slowly taking place over the last couple of months behind the scenes,  and how everything is falling into place with regards to the new business plan. The coming months are going to be exciting and very creative with all that I am planning to bring to you.

I wanted to wait til now to do the official announcement because it was important that I get the news out to everyone at the same time rather than to one customer at a time. I also wanted the official announcement to come though my Blog since the blog is associated with the new website.

I haven’t been blogging in ages; and the new website has been in the work for quite some time..but, both of these tools are now becoming an important part of the new Studio.

With regards to the website, it will take a little time but all new products will be listed in the web store so that you can easily see as much as possible from the comfort of your home. The thing that has taken the most time is working out the shipping calculator.  You see, many online sites use automated calculators that I find often charge more than actual shipping for orders. I want to have the same, exact/low shipping costs that I have become known for – no extras. In order to do this we have deactivated the shipping calculator…you can still shop, fill your cart and sent it in – it will give you the total with tax; but will not included shipping costs. Once I receive and prepare your order, I will calculate the “exact shipping/postage” and then get in touch with regards to payment as I always have done. Payments can still be made by etransfer, Paypal or Credit Card (Visa/Mastercard).

I will be aiming at doing a new Blog Post every week….a great way to showcase a new products, a new event, and upcoming announcements, etc. This will be my new way of sharing with all of you more often.

Keep following on Facebook..because there will be special announcements; special deals…  I’ll use my FB page to keep you on top of things more quickly.  There, you’ll see announcements of new products, links to new posts, etc.  I will be sure that you hear about everything as soon as possible. 🙂

Now, in case you haven’t already guessed it, I will have decided to make the new STUDIO BILL LOCKE a online studio only….but with a couple of twists that will especially be of interest to my local customers.

I would like to share with you what the new Studio will include….I am so excited about this new adventure…and I can’t wait to share it all with you and grow in this new space with each of you.

OH…I must tell you….the new Studio has found it’s roots in my home…..and I am thrilled because it makes things so much simpler.  I love being able to get up in the a.m., take a shower, get dressed, take my coffee and just simply walk 1/2 minute to work :-).   This past year, my sewing/creative studio and office were in my home but the Retail Studio was across town.  Now, all of this is under the same roof and I couldn’t be happier.   This move will allow me a more flexible schedule to run my business since my customers are covered by so many different time zones.

With new customers coming on board on the other size of the pond,….  when I am having my morning coffee, you’ve already gone though most of your day and your messages can now get responded to more quickly.

For customers on the West Coast….. as I am winding down my day in the evening, you’re just getting home and doing your shopping…so having everything at my fingertips will allow me to function so much more easily to serve you even better.

I have always prided myself on great customer service; and for me, it’s always much more than just making a sale; it’s finding the exciting products that are going to make us all scream with joy; it’s the personal touch that I am able to have with all of you – because you’ve become my friends; you are not just my customers.   There’s a relationship that we build; a special bond…and I enjoy that personal touch that we develop though our messages.

So the new STUDIO BILL LOCKE is online only – what does that mean?
All orders for the new Studio will be online orders only; but orders can be placed in 2 ways. Eventually, once the new web store is stocked, you can place your orders on line, or you can also leave comments on any Facebook post or simply email me…..any of these methods can be used to order from the Studio. The biggest change will be for local customers in that it won’t be possible for you to simply drop into the Studio to pick up your orders. All orders will be mail order. Note: there can be some exceptions where some customers will need to pick something up..this can be done by appointment only – BUT…this is simply an exeception and not a rule; since the goal is to work towards just online/mail out orders.

“STUDIO POP-UP SHOP”
Umm..what’s this? Well, this is a great way for local quilters to see more product and shop in person. Your guild can book a pop-up shop for any meeting or event; no engagement fee. I will arrive before the meeting begins to set up the STUDIO POP UP SHOP; sharing lots of fun goodies with your members; fabrics, patterns, notions, introduce new items/demos…..and your members will enjoy the opportunity of shopping on the spot. Any  orders for out of stock items that are taken at the guild meeting will be delivered back to the guild for distribution.

C. Classes, Workshops, Trunk Shows….
Yes, all of the above!!! 🙂 With the new Studio, time will be available to be on the road to participate in more events.
This past year I had to decline several invitations for events because of my responsibility with the brick and mortar shop. Going forward, the new schedule will allow for more time away from the Studio to be able to participate in these fun events.

D. DESIGN TIME!!!!  Quilt Markets and Quilt Shows!
One of the most important things that I’ve wanted to get back on my agenda is my own design time. I have so many fun designs and projects that need to get completed so that I can share then with you. This means new, fun BILL LOCKE DESIGNS in both wool and cotton…so look for new designs to start coming your way by this Fall. The new design time allows more time to accept design engagements with other companies in your quilting industry.  Just for the record, a fun design will be released at The International Quilt Market in Houston with ISLAND BATIK; my third season designing with them; I am currently working on a new design for VALDANI THREADS to be displayed next month at the International Quilt Market in Portland; and there are other, fun new prospects in the works.   This past year has been an exciting year with BILL LOCKE DESIGNS Pattern launches in two NANCY’S NOTIONS Catalogs as well as a fun collaboration with a new design for a CONNECTING THREADS Fabric collection/Catalog; and several fun designs to showcase fabric collections  for P&B TEXTILES and WASHINGTON STREET STUDIO.  This new Studio concept will allow the opportunity to increase my design time and to get back to that part of the business that I love so much.

STUDIO BILL LOCKE is expected to be back in Houston, TX in November with it’s own booth once again at the International Quilt Market.  I make an effort to attend at least 1 International Quilt Market each year. I would like to visit more….the more I get to market and trade shows the more fun I can share with you. It is also important that STUDIO BILL LOCKE get back to market with it’s own booth showcasing fun designs for my wholesale customers.  I would also like to be present as a vendor at local and out of town quilt shows.

 

So…..there’s lots and lots of changes but they are exciting developments; things that will allow the Studio to grow and prosper; but also changes that will help me give you even better customer service; as I said, I think it’s been pretty good so far :-)…but I want to make it even better.

I appreciate each and everyone one of you that continue to show your support to the me and the Studio…as I have said so often, without you I wouldn’t be able to do what I love each and every day…I am truly blessed and and truly thankful for your support.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send them along to billlocke@billlockedesigns.com

Thank you again and wishing you all a wonderful and blessed day!

Happy Stitching,

Bill