Friday, December 7, 2018

Fun Facts

One more milestone was recently accomplished in the closing of Bear Patch -- we had our final employee Christmas party!  I know, it's bittersweet, but I think it was possibly the most fun party we have had!  It was a potluck at the store after business hours.  Normally, we go out to eat, but since we had just had a fabulous dinner at our retirement party for Debbie and Laurel, we opted to just stay at the store and share our own specialities.  Wow!  Good food, too much to even fit on our cutting table buffet line!  Desserts had to occupy a separate space!  We were all seated at our classroom tables, which is a place of familiarity and good memories for us.  We had much more lively dinner conversation than if we were out in public at a real restaurant.  People clearly wanted to enjoy this last full gathering.
From left to right:  Jeanne T., Linda P., Sharon L., Barb E., Carol F., Pam H., Diane H., Kristina T.,
Laurel R., Sarah A., Linda E., Debbie E., Tammy B., Sophie V. and Karen L.
Missing: Beth H., Marlene M., Sue S.   Others attending but not pictured: Jordan F., Laurie L. and Bob E.
We all brought toys, food, toiletries, socks and underwear to donate to charity.  We have a customer donation spot for charity, too, and have already contributed more than 100 pounds of items to the local food shelf, plus cash donations, too!  And literally hundreds of toys, which are going to make
Christmas day a whole lot happier for some lucky little ones!  Thank you to our very generous customers who have already donated, and we are continuing to collect until December 14 so there is still time for you to participate!
We played a numbers game that really kept us all guessing.  Barb, our wonderful bookkeeper, had combed through some of the store records and challenged us all to put our brains to the test in a guessing game.  She separated some of the most frequently purchased items in our database and we were pretty surprised at the quantity of some of them!  Plus, these numbers are just for the past 5 years!  It would not have been possible to capture all of these items for 21 years because the early years were non-computerized.  So to keep it simple, she just captured the totals for 2014 to the present.  Here are a few of the stats:

Fat Quarters - this was the highest quantity of all items.  For the uninitiated, a fat quarter is not a body part.  It is a piece of fabric measuring 18" x 22" and is the equivalent of 1/4 yard of fabric.  Our total number sold isn't even a true total, because we do give away a lot of fat quarters for retreat groups, bus groups, shop hops, etc.  Our total sold was 44,416 fat quarters over 5 years!  That equals 11,104 yards of fabric!  I wanted to put that number into a quantity I could relate to, so I figured that many bolts have about 12 yards of fabric when they come to us.  Maybe more, maybe less, but I'm going with 12.  That equals 925 bolts of fabric used for fat quarters over 5 years!  That means there are a whole lot of fat quarters leaving Bear Patch every year!  Are any of them in your stash?

Cosmo floss - this item is a Japanese made embroidery floss.  The parent company is actually Lecien, and they make a lot more than embroidery floss.  It is called a 6-strand floss and is sold on a little skein wrapped with paper loops, much like the DMC brand of floss.  We have a large group of hand embroidery enthusiasts shopping and meeting at Bear Patch.  They love this floss and feel it is superior to DMC in the quality and feel of the product.  Over the last 5 years, we have sold 17,668 little skeins of Cosmo!  Each skein holds 8 meters (8.7 yards).  That equals 153,711 yards of floss!  To clarify just how much thread that is, imagine if you tied all that thread together.  And then tie one end to the goal post arm of a football field.  Now run to the other end 1,537 times.  That's how much Cosmo floss we have sold since 2014!  Amazing!  And think how short of breath we would be from just running the length of the field once!

Aurifil thread - we all knew this would be one of the top-selling items in the store.  We love our Aurifil thread, and we preach the wisdom of using the best thread you can afford to buy for your precious sewing projects.  This is an Italian-based company with a mission to make the best thread ever!  They have an American headquarters in Chicago, in addition to their original establishment in Milan, Italy.  Anyway, here are the stats:  7,049 spools of Aurifil sold in 5 years.  These are the large spools of thread, and this is a combination of the 2 most-used weights of thread, the 40 and 50 weight spools.  The 50 wt spool outruns the other by a long run, so I am using that spool as the basis for my calculations.  Those spools each hold a lot of thread, 1,300 meters (1,422 yards) to be exact.  Multiplied out, we have 10,023,678 yards of thread!  There are 1,760 yards of thread in 1 mile.  This equals 5,695 miles of thread that we have sold in 5 years!  Now, let's tie all of that thread together on a giant spool and go on an exotic vacation to Istanbul.  Fasten the giant spool to the plane (I'm sure we could duct tape it on there somehow but getting it through security might make the people behind us a little testy!) and string that along from the plane for the entire flight from MSP airport to Istanbul.  That is 5,489 miles (12-14 hours fly time with 1 stop to pee), and we will arrive with still 200 yards of thread to spare.  How about that!?  That kind of blows my mind!  Yes, we all really really love our Aurifil thread!

I could go on with more, but I won't because, although fascinating, this is enough numbers for today!  The next 2 most frequently sold items are our 14" zippers from Atkinson Designs (6,747) and Isacord thread (6,313 spools).  How many of all these items are at home in your stash?!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Storewide discount moves to 30% and the Bernina discounts are amazing!

Effective Wednesday, December 5, 
our storewide discount moves to 30%!  
The same rules apply as before, if you click this link you will get the full information.  We are still cutting lots of fabric and people are coming in prepared with measurements and colors to get big chunks for backings.  I keep discovering new fabric that catches my eye, like this one--
This is a panel print, it's about 40" square, and would make a wonderfully
creative piece of wall art on stretcher bars.  It really makes a statement! 

All of our notions, rulers, books and patterns are also discounted 30%. 
We just restocked these cute these cute Stash and Store items
that have been selling out and would make a great little Christmas gift idea.
Bernina floor models are still available to purchase at prices aimed to make you smile!  The elf on the shelf thinks you have been a very good girl or boy and should have a new machine under the tree!  First, we have "demo" machines which have been lightly used in the store, but almost like new!  All are discounted individually and our staff will show you how they work and answer any questions you might have.  If you would like to call ahead, the number is 651-429-6500 or visit the Bernina website.
B880 Plus, B790 Plus-AE, B770 (x2), B700, B500, Bernette Sew and Go, Bernette Chicago 7 and the Bernette B35
Sergers:  L450 (x2) and L460


In addition to the demo models, we have some new-in-the-box machines:  a 740 and a 770 SE, Bernette B38, Bernette Sew and Go, Bernette B35.  And new sergers:  L450 (x3) and L460 (x2)
These brand new machines are greatly discounted, but not quite as much as the demo models.

Also, in the Bernina department, we still have an ample supply of machine embroidery patterns and CD's.  Thread and stabilizers have been re-stocked as well.  These are all 30% off.

Another special opportunity is available to you for a limited time.  
If you have ever been in the store, you undoubtedly noticed the class tables and cutting tables up in the front.  The craftsman who makes those tables has several prototype cutting tables that we are selling for him.  They are very similar to the tables we have been using, but there are some bumps and bruises and unfinished wood.  But, the only cost $99!  They are a great height for cutting and the tabletop fits a cutting board easily.  I even assembled one yesterday, just to prove that I could.  It comes unassembled, but you only need the little wrench and bolts that are supplied.  If you've ever gone down the IKEA assembly rabbit hole, this will seem like a cinch!

Remember, our store hours have changed so we are not open evenings.  With these dark days, it's a good time to cocoon at home!  And, we are closed for 3 days (24-25-26) for Christmas.
Another important date to remember:  December 15 is the last day that we will accept sewing machines for service and repair.  That is also the final day that we will continue to hold any special requests, so if you haven't picked up your item(s) by then it will be placed in the store for purchase.  We still do not have a final closing date for Bear Patch, it will be sometime in January.  That's all I know for now!
Watch for future emails and follow us on Facebook for updates!

Bear Patch Quilting Co.
651-429-1039
bearpatchquilting.com
bearpqc@aol.com

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Bear Patch Black Friday and Beyond!

We are still going strong here in the aisles of Bear Patch!
Our Going-Out-Of-Business sale is progressing, there are a few empty spots on the shelves and bare walls where samples used to hang.
But no shortage of fabric!  All of these beauties shown below have been here a very short time, and you can still run on down and get some for yourself!  Our shelves are still full, just waiting for you!  We keep sending fabric out the front door with smiling customers, while UPS and FedEx are hauling in boxes at the back door!  
So, starting on Friday, November 23, 
our storewide discount goes to 25% off!


What's included in the discount:
All of our wonderful fabric from so many makers, plus any remaining clearance fabric that was marked down to $7 earlier.  Half yard minimum cut.
Books and patterns galore!  We still have many popular titles on hand.

All of our threads (Cosmo, Sulky, Aurifil, Isacord, Mettler, Cotton+Steel)
Machine embroidery CD's and patterns
Bernina feet and accessories
What's not included:
Bernina machines, they are discounted separately

Consignment items
Clearance items and store fixtures
In addition to your 25% discount, we also want to let you know that beginning December 1, we will not be open in the evenings except for only a few class nights.  
We will add revised dates and times on the online calendar in case you forget.  Please check this link, or call 651-429-1039 if you have any questions.  Thank you for your kind words and support as we usher Bear Patch into retirement!  We held a retirement party for Debbie and Laurel with more than 50 people in attendance at Tria in North Oaks.  So much fun, and a few tears, too!  We had gathered lots of old photos over the 21 years of business for a slide show, which was great entertainment!  I'll work on creating a Smilebox slideshow for you soon!
Winter Village by Charles Wysocki for Northcott

Belle Fleur from P&B Textiles
Printemps 1 from STOF France



Art History 101 by Marcia Derse for Windham Fabrics
Art History 101 by Marcia Derse for Windham Fabrics





































Santa In Space from Alexander Henry
I know 3 little boys who will have these pillowcases to sleep on for Christmas!

Friday, November 16, 2018

An Update From Bernina World

Have you seen the great discounts on our Bernina machines?   In addition to our marked down display Bernina machines, we also have the Bernette machines to serve as an entry level machine for anyone.  These machines are designed and made by Bernina.  These would make great starter machines for a younger person wanting to learn how to sew, maybe a grand daughter?  Or a machine that is lightweight and basic to take with you on a retreat or trip.  Special pricing on our display models.  Bernina prices can't be published online, but you can come to the store or call 651-429-6500 for more specific information.




 We are also moving out some of our Horn cabinets and shelves from the store.  So that means great prices for you!  These have all been used for display in the store, so they are next to new.  They are sold "As Is", meaning if you see a blemish, you do not receive any change in the price.  The storewide discount does not apply to these items.


Storage cabinet with drawers, shelves and doors.  Designed with the machine embroiderer in mind, it has a roomy shelf for the embroidery module and a slide out hook panel for hoops of all sizes.  When not in use, close the front doors to keep all the clutter out of sight and safe.  Regularly $2123, now $1050.00.
This is a great machine cabinet that has space to place either large or small machines on a work surface.  The desk top in back and left side supports the weight of the fabric if you are quilting.  Was $2499.00, now $1999.00.
We have these 2 shelving units going for the bargain price of $50 each!  There is even lighting above the top shelf!  Merchandise pictured is not included.

Another terrific table that is so useful!  This has a hydraulic lift that is strong and safe for the large, heavy machines.  The machine can be lowered and a blank panel inserted in the opening lets you place another machine on top.  The lift can also lower the machine just enough to leave the bed level with the table top, and with an acrylic insert customized for your machine make and model, you have a really large work area.  The left side drawer can be extended completely, as shown in this picture, and covered by more table top to greatly expand your quilting surface.  This is regularly priced at $2748.00, but marked at $1999.00 now.
Do you have a little corner somewhere that would become more useful if you had this desk unit there!  It's designed with computer equipment in mind, with a keyboard tray and a shelf above.  But you could use it for anything you want once you get it home!  Only $50.00 for the 2 hutch pieces.

And here's a little added surprise!  BERNINA fabric!  Make a dust cover for your machine or a bag for accessories.  Drapes for your sewing room?!  Why not!  Get it while it lasts, there won't be any more!

Call 651-429-6500 or 651-429-1039 for questions.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Please Help Us Help Others!

Hello friends!  We are still going strong here at The Patch, still receiving some new fabric -- beautiful fabric!  Don't forget that you get 20% off everything (except Bernina machines which are discounted separately).  That means more than just the fabric!  Stock up on needles, thread, interfacings, books, kits, patterns, machine embroidery supplies, Bernina accessories and more!

We hope you have a very fine Thanksgiving next week!  We will be closed Wednesday and Thursday (11/21 & 22) for our own celebrations.  We will be open again on "Black Friday", 11/23, and there's no need to get up and come shopping at Bear Patch while it's still dark!

Every year at this time, we ask for your thoughtful donations to make Christmas a memorable holiday for our friends and neighbors in need.  Now is the time to turn to all of the good in our lives, and realize that we have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to share.  You can help make our final collection the best ever!

The White Bear Lions Club collects our donations of non-perishable food items to add to the local Food Shelf.  Canned items, boxed meals and nutritious snacks are just a few of the items that can help hunger.  Cash donations are also welcomed.  Load up your wagon or car and come on down!

Toys are the holiday highlight for many youngsters!  We welcome your donations of new, unused toys for kids of all ages!  Imagine the smiling face of a child you don't even know, but who will know that some dreams really do come true when they open their package!  The joy comes back to the giver manyfold.


A few items of clothing are also perfect for our collection!  Mittens, gloves, socks and underwear are all needed especially for the winter months.  You can help take the chill away for anyone out in the elements here.  Try going without those things for just 1 day, and you will not be able to deny the need.  And it's so easy to give!  All sizes, from small to extra large, are needed.


In addition to the White Bear Lake area, we also support the Roseville Shop With A Cop program.  Pull out a little bit of that stash fabric that is just sitting there on the shelf, and make some bright and cheery pillowcases!  Remember you can buy new and fun designs at 20% off!  It doesn't take long, and it means a lot to the kids and the cops.  If you don't know how, we can help with that, or view one of many online videos for directions.  Get together with your friends and combine your talents to create a pillowcase assembly line!  And eat some Christmas cookies, too!

Donations of all of these things need to be in the store by December 14.
Bear Patch Quilting Co.
2199 4th St., White Bear Lake, MN 55110
651-429-1039
bearpatchquilting.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

No Tricks, All Treats!

Hello!  We have a big holiday coming up!  Are you ready for some treats?!  
There are enough tricky things in our lives, so we are all about the treats!
Our Going-Out-of-Business Sale continues!  Yes, there are still thousands of yards of fabric for you!  You have been keeping us very busy, and we are still unpacking new fabric.  We want to keep the supply fresh!  
The #1 question we are asked is "What is your last day of business?".  
We don't really have that date set, but we will know when the time is right!  
The #2 question we are asked is "Isn't someone buying the shop?".  
All that we can really tell you is that there have been some talks with interested people, and it's not a quick process.  If there is any news that we can share, 
we will definitely communicate that to you. 
 
Now, for the treats!  Starting Wednesday, October 31, our storewide discount moves to 20%, and we are done with all those exceptions to the discount!  The only thing still sacred are the Bernina prices and services. We will honor the 20% discount on Bernina feet and accessories, Isacord, OESD stabilizer, Embroidery Design CD’s and patterns.

Starting the 31st, the minimum cut on all fabric is 1/2 yard, and we are not cutting fat quarters.  
We are no longer taking special requests unless the item is something that we consider our regular stock items.  
Don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.  

We do still have some classes going on and Open Sewing on our calendar.  
Come join us for a day!

Finally, we again want to say how much we appreciate all of our customers!  
You are the best!  It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster to be working 
at Bear Patch right now, and we try to put that aside 
so we can focus on you, our friends.  
Please understand that we all are going through a big transition, 
and we will do our best to make your shopping experience a good one.
Look for the beauty in every day!
Your friends at Bear Patch

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The times, they are a-changin'. Our going-out-of-business plan

To the Friends of Bear Patch,
Just writing that title in the subject line feels really strange.  Announcing that we will close was kind of a scary thing.  We have gained so many friends through Bear Patch, many of you feel just like family.  In the last couple of weeks, we have been blessed and humbled by the notes and comments from so many of you.  Thank you for all the support.  This is a completely new situation for us with many unknowns.

Many of you have asked if we have tried to sell the business.  We have talked with one or two individuals who have inquired about purchasing, but we have no solid discussions going forward.  So we are moving forward with our plans for closing.  We have no definite date set for the final day, it all depends on the progression of liquidating our stock. 

In the midst of all of these happenings, we take great pride in the fact that Jordan Frayne is assuming ownership of the Bernina dealership!  It's great to realize that someone that we know and can vouch for will be taking care of our special machines and customers.  At this time, he plans to remain in the same space.  Bernina sales, service and education will continue to be available to you. 

We will keep you up to date on any changes that come along.  As of now, this is what we are planning:

We are no longer selling any gift certificates.  Any gift certificates that you possess must be redeemed by 11/20/18

We are closed 11/21 and 22 for Thanksgiving.

We have discontinued our monthly Blue Bag reward drawing.  Of course, you should still use those blue bags and any other color you have, being kind to Mother Nature!


Many of you purchased the 2018 Coupon Pack last December and January.  In order for you to get the best benefit from the coupon packs, you can redeem the coupons for October, November and December at any time now.

Some customers received a reward card for a free yard of fabric each month.  You can redeem the remaining months at any time before 11/20.

We will stop taking requests and special orders 10/15.  In the meantime, we will continue to fulfill the requests we have as we are able.

Any items currently on hold need to be claimed 11/20.
Beginning Friday, September 28, we will be giving a 15% discount on nearly all items bought in the Quilt Shop and Bernina Sewing Center.  The discount exclusions are:  Aurifil thread, Cosmo floss, Cotton and Steel thread, consignment items, Dream Cotton batting, cork, Isacord thread, stabilizers for machine embroidery and Bernina machines.  Please ask if you are not sure.
Please stay tuned for more changes and updates!  We are working this out as we go.  The one thing we can all count on is change itself.  We embrace it or we stagnate.  Right now, the season is changing once again, and the world keeps on rotating.  That full moon we have tonight is beautiful, and even as I write this, it's changing. 

Thank you for sticking with us through the changes!
The crew at Bear Patch