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March 2009

March 2009

WISE WORDS FROM MOTHER SUPERIOR
If your husband says, "Why did you buy so much fabric?" here is the best answer I have ever heard: "Oh, they had a drawing!" (That isn’t saying I won, but it sure works for me every time.)


EDUCATION: Shelf Life of Thread
How long does thread last? Is it OK to use Mom’s or Grandma’s thread I have?
Thread, like many other products, has come a long way in recent years. The last 10 years has seen more change in thread quality than at any previous time. New technology has brought about better raw material, more consistent spinning, better dyeing, and improvements in each step of the processing. Companies which apply these technologies are able to produce a far superior product than companies which choose to ignore them or cut corners. Of course it costs more to make sure each step of the process is done at the highest level which is why there remains such a wide range of quality on the market.
The answer to the shelf life questions is, "It depends." If I had some of Mom’s cotton thread on the shelf, would I use it? Maybe. What about some of Grandma’s cotton thread? Probably not. However, 50 or 80 years from now, I would not hesitate to use King Tut thread, the absolute highest grade cotton in both raw material and processing. The shelf life of today’s best thread is much longer than in previous years.
Here is a way to test if old thread has deteriorated: Conduct three or four break tests. Hold a 4 to 6 inch length of thread in your hands and gradually pull apart, adding more tension to the thread until it breaks. If the thread tends to pull apart, it is weak and probably not suitable to use. If itbreaks with a clean snap, it is still OK.


$30 Business Consultant WINNERS
Please be our Business Consultant. Send us your ideas to help us serve you better (products, education, website, customer service, etc.). Each month, we will award $30 gift certificates for the best ideas. In the e-mail subject line, please type "$30 idea." This month's winning Consultants:

1. Vanessa Fromm. You should have a link from your needles/using the right needle Education page to your Thread reference Guide for Home Machines. In addition to a thread reference, it is a needle reference.
Bob’s Note: Done. On our Education page, we have over 90 pages of valuable information.

2. Amy Thompson (Nevada). My good idea is so simple I wasn’t going to send it. I use your Superior HandyNets on all my spools of thread when storing them. I never have stray threads all over because the nets capture the threads. I can see the thread easily. I thought probably everyone uses the nets in this way but when I mentioned it to my friend and long time professional quilter, she hadn’t thought of it. She uses the nets but only when stitching. 

3. Carol Taylor (Michigan) Before I finalize my order, it would be quicker and easier if the threadcolor numbers would be in numerical order in my cart. The new Quick Order feature is great; however, I don’t always enter in numerical order since I also browse and just have to have more thread than is on my original order.
Bob’s Note: Our web team did it. Great idea.


WHAT’S NEW (This month)
1. Texture Magic. You have to see this to believe what is does. Texture Magic is a steam-activated fabric that shrinks 30% in all directions. Simply sew Texture Magic to your fabric, stitch a design, steam it, and watch what happens. Great for quilting, art quilts, and wearable art. The package comes in a 47" X 18" size, complete with instructions. Examples and a fun pattern are available on the web page. To see more photos and detailed explanations, please view this blog.

2. Bob’s Seminar, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob, is now available on DVD. In addition to the recorded live seminar, this DVD contains 90 pages of educational material, all our Thread Reference Guides, our 72-page color booklet, and even an original fun quilt song, Where Did I Hide My Stash, written by Bob and Heather and recorded by their son, Todd.

3. Updated Inventory List. Keep track of your inventory with this convenient Inventory List, available in both pdf and xls formats.


4. Plastic Storage Container for Cones. This container hold 30 cones (all sizes including King Tut, So Fine, Rainbows, Brytes, LAVA, Art Studio Colors, and others), are stackable, easy to carry, and made of strong break-resistant plastic. 


WHAT’S NEW (Last 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 as soon as it comes in.

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. 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. Short and sweet. 


BOB’s SEMINAR SCHEDULE: Thread Therapy with Doctor Bob
Apr. 4. Lancaster, PA. Quilters' Heritage Celebration
April 7, 8. New Britain, PA. Byrne Sewing Connection
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. DVD. Bob’s Seminar, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob, is now available on DVD.  In addition to the recorded live seminar, this DVD contains 90 pages of educational material, all our Thread Reference Guides, our 72-page color booklet, and even an original fun quilt song, Where Did I Hide My Stash, written by Bob and Heather and recorded by their son, Todd. Introductory price is $19.95 (regular price will be $24.95).

2. Plastic Storage Container for Cones, $24.95. This container hold 30 cones (all sizes including King Tut, So Fine, Rainbows, Brytes, LAVA, Art Studio Colors, and others), are stackable, easy to carry, and made of strong break-resistant plastic.

3.Art Studio Colors 2,000 yd. cones. This is a beautiful high sheen premiumtrilobal polyester thread for both quilting and embroidery. 36 colors. Half off during March. Only $6.95 (regularly $13.90).


4. 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. 

5. Superior Sampler Sets individually designed for home quilting, longarm quilting, embroidery, and bobbin work. Save almost 50%.


WEBSITE HELP
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 for us 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
At Saint Mary's Church, they have a weekly husband's marriage seminar. At the session last week, the Priest asked Luigi, who was approaching his 50th wedding anniversary, to take a few minutes and share some insight into how he had managed to stay married to the same woman all these years.
Luigi replied to the assembled husbands, "Well, I've a-tried to treat-a her nice, spend the money on her, but best is that I took-a her to Italy for the 20th anniversary!"
The Priest responded, "Luigi, you are an amazing inspiration to all the husbands here! Please tell us what you are planning for your wife for your 50th anniversary ."
Luigi proudly replied, "I'm a-gonna go and get her."


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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: usedwith permission from Bob Purcell. http://www.superiorthreads.com