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February 2009

February 2009

WISE WORDS FROM MOTHER SUPERIOR
1.  Keep the upper tension quite loose (between 2.0 and 2.5)  for delicate, sensitive, and fine threads.  You have Mother Superior’s permission to adjust the tension.  You will be blessed.

2.  Mother Superior’s Blog.  We have finally joined the blogging world.  The first blog was posted on Friday, Jan. 30 and new blogs will post daily, Monday to Friday.  The blog will be fun and personal – what we do, why we do it, who does it, stories about Superior Threads, how we started, where we are going, fun contests, updates on everything, all guaranteed to be short and sweet.


EDUCATION
Spools of thread will work much better when placed on the vertical pin on top of your home machine.  Most of us have been taught to place the spool horizontally on the spool pin holder with the thread unwinding over the end of the spool.  This adds a twist to the thread as it unwinds and may cause problems for some threads.  Unwinding over the end of the spool also places more stress on the thread which means uneven or extra tension.  More tension can lead to breakage.  Spools of thread are usually wound with a straight wind (also called a parallel wind or stack wind).  Remember, straight wind on; straight wind off.  By positioning the spool in such a way that the thread unwinds straight from the side, you will notice that no extra tension is applied to the thread because spool rotates as the thread unwinds.
If you are using a good thread and are still getting breakage, check the needle size and check the tension setting.  Assuming you are using a high quality thread, 90% of all breakage can be traced back to the needle (too small) or tension (too tight).  Our Troubleshooting Guide will take you step by step on an easy path to solve sewing-related problems.


SMALL Price Increase
This is always a very difficult decision, but we must increase prices on a few items.  Because our products are made or processed in Japan, we are directly affected by the value of the U.S. dollar, which has declined over 25% in value against the Japanese yen since a year ago.  As a result, our costs have increased substantially.  Being quite the optimist, I have been holding out hoping for a turnaround but it has not happened.  Effective February 9, retail prices will change for the following products:
So Fine 3,280 yd. cones will go up one dollar to $16.90.  That is still just a half penny per yard for this fantastic thread.
The Bottom Line 3,000 yd. cones will increase from $12.99 to $13.99.
500 yd. spools of Highlights, Nature Colors, Living Colors, Art Studio Colors, Metallic will increase by $1.00.

Business and Wholesale Accounts:  Prices for business/wholesale accounts will increase $1.00 for the following items on Feb. 9, 2009:
King Tut 2,000 yd. cones
MasterPiece 3,000 yd. cones
So Fine 3,280 yd. cones
The Bottom Line 3,000 yd. cones
Vanish-Extra and Vanish-Lite cones will increase $3.00.
Metallic (all sizes)
All orders received before February 9 will receive the current prices. 
Now on to better and happier news. . . . . .


$30 IDEA WINNERS
Please be our Business Consultant. Send us your ideas to help us serve you better (products, education, website, customer service, etc.). We will award a $30 gift certificate for the best ideas. In the e-mail subject line, please type "$30 idea."
TEN winning Business Consultants this month:
1. and 2.  Diane Bevens and Heidi Merrill (New York).  Please offer an Out of Stock auto-notify e-mail  function so I can place the order as soon as it becomes available.
Bob’s Note: This is one of my all time favorite ideas.  I contacted our web team and asked them to move this to the top of the list and it was programmed within two days.  Here’s how it works.  If you want to order an item but the website says that item is out of stock, you will see a box that says, “E-mail me when product is available.”  Type in your e-mail address and you will be notified.

3. Jill Good (Idaho).  How about attaching a pre-printed thread number checklist with your newsletter to be used as a guide to compile and organize our thread orders?
Bob’s Note: We recently added the Quick Order option (http://www.superiorthreads.com/shop/cart/) which allows you to order by item number (SKU).  The item number prefixes are below.  Most item numbers follow this pattern: xxx-xx-xxx.  The first three numbers represent the product line (for example, 121 is King Tut).  The middle two digits indicates the spool size.  Usually 01 is for the spools and 02 is for the cones.  The last three digits indicate the color number. The thread line prefix numbers are below.
101- Metallic
102- Glitter
103- Halo
104- Polyarn
106- Vanish-Extra
109- Perfect Quilter
110- Rainbows
111- NiteLite ExtraGlow
112- Poly Quilter
113- Highlights, Super Brights
114- Bottom Line
115- Living Colors
116- So Fine
119- MonoPoly
120- Razzle Dazzle
121- King Tut
122- Nature Colors
123- Charlotte’s Fusible Web
124- MasterPiece
125- Brytes
126- Superior Snippers
127- Lava
128- Vanish-Lite
129- SunBurst

4. Denise Wetzler (Minnesota). When looking at the thread and then using the "view larger image" area to see the threads it would be most helpful if the name of the color or the number was also on the pop up screen.  That way if I have two browns up, I would be able to identify which one was which.
Bob’s Note: Programmed and loaded.  We like our web team.

5.  Diane Friedel (Maryland). My next idea would be to be able to use the gift certificates online.
Bob’s Note: Diane earned a gift certificate last month and then wanted to use it online so she sent us this idea.  You can now use gift certificates online.  When you receive a gift certificate, we will send you the online activation code.

6.  Michelle L. Miller (Minnesota). It would be nice if a customer who spends x-amount of dollars would receive a free thread sample card.
Bob’s Note: OK.  We cannot offer this every month but we will this month to celebrate my birthday.  This month’s offer is a free King Tut New 25 (new colors as of a year or so ago) thread card.   All orders over $30 (calculated before shipping) will be prompted to put in the Promo code, which is Bob52. The Promo code must be entered to receive the color card so tell your friends to sign up for this newsletter.

7, 8, 9, 10.  Four Business Consultants with the same idea.
Deborah Higgins (New York)
Lori Allison 
Diane Henry (Virginia) 
Linda Moehr (Wisconsin)
These ladies shared their ideas and creativity regarding storing cones of thread and bobbins together. They mentioned using dowels to keep cones and their matching bobbins, and putting them on a surface or a stand (like a peg board) to see their inventory and for easy access. We listened to their idea and suggestions and now offer a product to help.  We have a cone and bobbin organizer made of oak available in two sizes.  See What’s New below.


WHAT’S NEW (This Month)
1.  Cone and Bobbin Organizer.  After receiving so many requests for a way to store cones and bobbins, we think we have the answer.  These beautiful oak organizers are a nice piece of furniture.
a.  The full barrel is free standing with a rotating base, holds 144 cones and has small pegs to hold matching bobbins right next the cones.  The price is $169.99.
b.  The half barrel is wall mountable, holds 72 cones and has small pegs to hold matching bobbins right next the cones.  The price is $119.99.
Because these are heavier-than-normal items, an extra shipping charge of $35 (within the U.S. 48 states)  applies.  For other destinations, please contact us for a shipping quote. May your cones and bobbins never be separated again. 

2. New website feature for out-of-stock-products notification.  If you want to order an item but the website says that item is out of stock, you will see a box that says, “E-mail me when product is available.”  Type in your e-mail address and you will be notified.

3.  Another new website feature.  The design board.  This allows us to easily compare two products side by side on the computer screen without the need for pop ups.  Here is how it works:
a. Add some items to the shopping cart.
b. Click the View Cart / Checkout link
c. Under the Your Cart heading, it says Go to your Wish List / Gift List / Designboard.  Click on Designboard.
d. Use the mouse to drag items around the screen.  You can double click an item to make a copy of it to move around.

4.  So Fine on M-style prewound bobbins. These are in the test phase so only one color is available.  If you like them, we will order many more.  M-style compatible machines are A-1, Gammill, HandiQuilter, Homesteader, and some Noltings. So Fine is a #50/3-ply lint-free polyester thread.

5.  Mother Superior’s Blog.   Fun and personal – what we do, why we do it, who does it, stories about Superior Threads, how we started, where we are going, fun contests, updates on everything, all guaranteed to be short and sweet.


WHAT’S NEW (Last Month)
1.  A soft plastic two-sided thread holder/carrying case.  Each side has 24 slots  just the right size to hold spools of thread.  Total capacity is 48 spools. $15.

2.  Starr Fire Quilt Kits.  Designed by Heather Purcell (Mother Superior) and Annie Unrein, this 68" x 88" quilt is specially designed to use Starr Design Fabrics' Starr Fire fabric pack, a group of twenty fat quarters in rich, vibrant colors.  A special plastic template is included in the pattern to make this quick and easy.  The kit includes fabric, personally selected thread by Mother Superior for piecing (MasterPiece x 2 spools) and quilting (King Tut x 2 spools), template, and pattern, all for $149.95 (total value is $201.95.)


SHIPPING RATE CHANGES. They’re UPSIDE DOWN
Most places: The more you buy, the higher the shipping costs.
Superior Threads: The more you buy, the lower the shipping costs.
We are revising our shipping costs on retail orders.  As the order size increases, your shipping rates decrease.  These new rates are valid for shipments within the U.S.  International orders will continue to go at the Post Office or at our discounted UPS rates.
Up to $50.00: $7.95
$50.01 to $150.00: $6.95
$150.00 to $300.00: $5.95
over $300: only $2.95


BOB’s SEMINAR SCHEDULE: Thread Therapy with Doctor Bob
Feb. 5, 6, 7. St. George, UT. School of Threadology
Feb. 26, 27, 28, Mar. 1.  Puyallup, WA.  Sewing & Stitchery Expo
Mar. 14.  Dallas, TX.  Dallas Quilt Celebration
Apr. 4.  Lancaster, PA.  Quilters' Heritage Celebration
April 17, 18, 19. Manchester, NH.  MQX Machine Quilter's Expo
Apr. 30, May 1, 2.  Beaver Dam, WI.  Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo


SPECIALS
1.  Happy Birthday to me.  FREE King Tut New 25 colors thread card with all orders over $30 (before shipping).  Must enter this newsletter Promo Code: Bob52 (it’s my 52nd birthday).  Just before you click on the yellow “Purchase Items” button, make sure you click on the “Add My FREE Color Card” button above it.

2.  Sampler Sets offer a generous sample of our threads at almost half price.  We have a Home Machine Sampler Set, a Longarm Sampler Set, an Embroidery Sampler Set, and a Bobbin work, Couching, Serger Sampler Set. These allow you to try use-specific products at a great price and they also make great gifts.

3.  Bob’s Birthday Bargain.  50% off Art Studio Colors 2,000 yd. cones.  This is a beautiful high sheen premium trilobal polyester thread for both quilting and embroidery.  36 colors.  Half off during February.  Only $6.95 (regularly $13.90). 

4.  Closeout on former brand of prewound bobbins. $36 per gross (only five colors left). $22 for a half-gross set of assorted colors.

5.  Perfect Quilter. When they’re gone, they’re gone.  50% off Perfect Quilter. Regular price for 300 yd. mini cones is $8.99 (35 colors still available). Now only $4.50. 2,500 yd. cones (only 18 colors left) are $15  (reg. $29.95). Perfect Quilter is a 17 wt. cotton thread that creates a wonderful, well defined stitch. We recommend using a Topstitch #100/16 needle and a thread stand/cone holder. Perfect Quilter is recommended for home machines and not for most longarms.

BOB’S RECOMMENDATION
People often ask who our web team is because they are cutting edge, skilled, fast, and not overly expensive.  They design websites that make it real easy to control and change.   The company is Danemco and their home page is http://www.WebsitesForQuilters.com/   (This is an unpaid and unsolicited recommendation.  We use them, like them, and recommend them. You’ll love their superior service.)


BOB’S SUPERIOR JOKE OF THE MONTH
A woman came home, screeching her car into the driveway, and ran into the house. She slammed the door and shouted at the top of her lungs, "Honey, pack your bags. I won the lottery!" The husband said, "That's great! What should I pack, beach stuff or mountain stuff?" "Everything!," she said. "Just get out."


THANK YOU for reading. Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day.

If this was forwarded to you and you want to subscribe, please click here: http://www.superiorthreads.com/newsletters/  To unsubscribe your current e-mail address, click the link at the end.

Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor and self-certified Threadologist.

Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.
Superior no ka oi

Copyright 2009 by Superior Threads. If you wish to reprint the Education portion of this newsletter, authorization is hereby granted as long as the source is clearly cited as follows: used with permission from Bob Purcell. www.superiorthreads.com