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Mid-April 2011 Newsletter

April 2011 Superior Threads Newsletter

WISE WORDS FROM MOTHER SUPERIOR: Thread Club News

In March we offered a free spool of thread (of the member's choice) for all Thread of the Month Club members.  During April, members receive a big discount and first opportunity to purchase thread that is being discontinued.  There are also additional specials each month.  Specials are for Club members only and are not advertised anywhere else. May has some good specials coming.
* Free Shipping (USA addresses) or Discounted Shipping (international) for the monthly retail Club shipment and this extends to anything you add to that shipment.
* Retail prices guaranteed not to go up during the Club duration.  The retail price of King Tut spools recently increased by $1.00.  However, for King Tut Club members, there is no price increase.  A future MasterPiece price increase appears inevitable but not for MasterPiece Club members.
* No sign up fees. Open enrollment.  Stop any time.  See our Thread of the Month Club page for details.
If you are a wholesale business and do not already receive our wholesale business newsletter, please log on to our website and sign up for it.  We have separate clubs for businesses.

JAPAN Update
Thank you for your ongoing concern regarding Japan.  Recovery in areas directly affected by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant will take years.  Our friends and business associates are fine although with the ongoing aftershocks, life is not normal. We are planning to visit them later this year.  Our 'out-of-stock' list is larger than normal right now. This is not disaster-related -- just more thread going out than coming in. Many shipments will arrive in the next 1-3 weeks and we will get caught up.

EDUCATION: We Listen and Learn
There are two main styles of business management.  One is Top Down Management where the boss thinks he knows everything and sends out the orders on how things will be done.  The other way is Bottom Up Management where the boss realizes he does not know everything and those who work in each particular area of the company probably have some pretty good ideas on how to improve things. There is a wealth of knowledge and there are hundreds of silent ideas among those who do the work.

Most of us are familiar with the Suggestion Box.  Many companies have one.  In the U.S., the average number of suggestions received per employee per year is one.  So a company of 10 employees receives about 10 suggestions per year.  At Superior, we have a very active employee suggestion program called kaizen, a Japanese word meaning continual improvement.  We encourage kaizen in our personal lives as well as in our work.  Even my car license plate says KAIZEN.  All who work at Superior are expected to submit improvement ideas on a daily basis.  Whether we are taping boxes, filling orders, cleaning the office, talking on the phone, designing better products, stocking shelves, teaching, or any other work-related task, all Superior staff are expected to contribute to continual improvement.
 
We started our kaizen program in 2006.  In less than five years, we have received over 2,500 suggestions from our staff.  Over 65% of those ideas have been implemented and many are in process of implementation.  Some kaizens have saved time; others have saved money.  All are intended to improve our work to benefit you and us.  I look at it this way: We have 20 brains, 40 eyes and 40 ears managing this company and that sure is a lot better than one.

So what does this have to do with you, our customer?
You know your machine better than anyone else.
You know your skills and talents better than anyone else.
If you are in business, you know your business better than anyone else.
You know your customers better than anyone else.
Please tell us how we can help you.
What products and services would you like from Superior Threads?
What can we do, offer, create, or provide to make your life easier?
We will listen.  We will create.  We will design.  We will make your quilting and sewing life better.
Please take a minute and send me an e-mail between now and the end of April. We will continually improve.

$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 $30 gift certificates for the best ideas.  Click here to submit an idea.  This month's winning Business Consultants:

1.  Alice Hix.  Numerous website enhancement ideas.
Bob's note: Thank you Alice.  Many of your suggestions have been implemented.  We simplified the Search Box function, added buttons to make it easy to search for thread by use (quilting thread, sewing thread, embroidery thread), and improved navigation.

2. Barbara Blanchard.  I was filing my latest color card (for Lava) and trying to figure out the extent to which my assorted other cards were out of date. While some have no information on them, others have something like 06/05 (my King Tut card) or 3/08 (the Lava card). This would be a lot simpler if they simply said June 2005 or March 2008. The next time you reprint these cards, would this be possible?
Bob's note: We changed the date format and all new cards and reprinted cards will show this new format.

WHAT’S NEW (This Month)

MasterPiece 25 NEW Colors COLOR CARD
Made with the actual thread for perfect color matching.
All color cards are sold at our production cost of $3.
Other color cards are available here.


Thread Education VideosThread Education Video  Have you ever used a flat hologram thread?  Successfully?  Our hologram thread, Glitter, is guaranteed to work.  Simply follow three basic rules (tension, needle, and proper spool position) and you are in for a pleasant, sparkling surprise. In this 5-minute video, Cindy Needham demonstrates using Glitter on a home machine.
Cindy Needham is a certified Superior Educator and spends much of her time on the road teaching at quilt shops, guilds, and major quilt shows.  She has been a guest on The Quilt Show with Alex and Ricky, has been the featured artist at quilt shows, and has written articles for major publications.
Note: see Specials below for April specials on Glitter.


So Fine 550 yd. spools
. We started with the original 50 colors (#401 through #450) and are gradually adding all 134 colors of So Fine in the 550 yd. spool size.  Four colors just arrived in the 550 yd. spools:
#451 Blizzard
#454 Sandstone
#473 Brooke
#492 Pastel Yellow

Line Dancing. Free-motion machine quilting made easy wtih Martha Milne pt.1La Mer is for those who use a home machine on a frame and who want to become more fluent in free-motion quilting. Martha Milne demonstrates a no-mark method for learning line designs, a technique based on ballroom dancing, using line designs inspired by the sea.
Martha, a graduate of the School of Threadology, applies what she learned from Heather's and Bob’s classes and workshops (except for the ballroom dancing part) to free-motion machine quilting on a frame.
The La Mer DVD is on sale this month for $19.95 (reg. $29.95)

OMNI Thread is arriving. 90 of our 172 colors are in stock.  OMNI Thread is a poly-wrapped poly core thread designed for longarm machine quilting. If you use Perma Core thread, you are going to absolutely love OMNI Thread.  It is cleaner, stronger, more colorful, and Superior.  OMNI Thread is designed as a strong, entry-level thread for high speed quilting and is recommended as both a top thread and bobbin thread.
Thread Specs:
Size: Tex 30 (similar to a 40 wt.)
Construction:  100% polyester.  Filament polyester core wrapped with a spun poly outer layer.
Number of colors: 172
Cone size: 6,000 yds.
Note: See Specials below for introductory special on OMNI.

WHAT’S NEW (Last Month)

1. Superior Top Thread Tension Gauge for Mid and Longarm Machines.  Price: $34.95 (through April 21). A set of both gauges (the Towa gauge for the bobbin and the Superior gauge for the top) is available here.
Videos
showing how to use both gauges are also available on our website.
Instructions on using the gauges.

2. King Tut New 32 color card. Thread color cards made with the actual thread are here.

MasterPiece Cotton Piecing Thread3. MasterPiece, the ideal piecing thread.
16 NEW colors available on both the 600 yd. spools and 3,000 yd. cones.  We now have a total of 75 colors. 
View the Color Grid for the new 25 colors.
The color card with the newest 25 colors will be available by mid-April.
36 additional colors of MasterPiece prewound bobbins are on the way and will soon be available in a BobbinSaver ring.

4. For those who use "woolly-like" thread in sergers, Polyarn is the ideal thread.  Because it is polyester and not nylon, it provides better coverage, better stretch recovery, much higher heat tolerance, and colorfastness.
We have 36 colors on 1,000 yd. cones and a handful of colors on large 8,500 yd. cones. White Polyarn on large 8,500 yd. cones has just been added.
If you use a serger and would like to try Polyarn, we offer a Try Me Special for only $2.00 for a 1,000 yd. cone with a 4-cone limit (regular price is $5.99).  As with all Try Me Specials, you choose the thread and we choose the color.

Superior Threads Thread Dispenser5. Superior Thread Dispenser  We asked Annie (ByAnnie.com) to create this pattern because we had so many requests for a way to hold our new Kimono Silk spools. Many requested we wind Kimono Silk onto prewound bobbins and place them in a BobbinSaver, but cost wise, it isn't feasible. 
This new pattern is a great idea for Kimono Silk and other spools that you want to carry with you.
Special slots in each pocket enable you to easily thread a needle without removing the spools from their pockets, keeping everything neat and orderly.


  Specials logo (Small)

OMNI Thread
90 colors in stock and 82 more colors are on the way.
6,000 yd. cones. 
Introductory Special: $10 (reg. $15.40).
1,000m (1,090 yd.) sample cones are available in three colors for $3.
OMNI is a Tex 30 (similar to a 40 wt.), poly-wrapped poly core thread made for midarm and longarm machines. 

Superior Top Thread Tension Gauge for Midarm and Longarm Machines.  $34.95 through April 21. The introductory price of $34.95 will end on April 21.
Videos are available on our website demonstrating how this gauge works.  There are also videos showing it in use on most major brands of longarm machines.
A set of both gauges (the Towa gauge for the bobbin and the Superior gauge for the top) is available here.
Instructions on using the gauges.

Silk Thread by Superior Threads

Many new silk threads are available.
#50 Silk
. 171 colors of Tire brand silk.  109 yds. Special introductory price = $3.99 (reg. $5.99)
#30 Silk. 71 colors of Tire brand silk.  55 yds. Special introductory price = $4.99 (reg. $7.99)
#16 Silk. 121 colors of Tire brand silk. Button Hole Silk (wound on cardboard, not a spool). 22 yds.  Special introductory price = $4.99 (reg. $7.99)
#50 Variegated Silk Tiara brand silk.  273 yds.  24 colors.  Special introductory price = $9.99 (reg. $15.99)


50% off Glitter through the end of April. If you have never tried Glitter or have never been successful with other brands of hologram thread, this is for you.
Watch the video, follow the three easy guidelines, and I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised. 
To help you try it, Glitter is 50% off this month.
400 yd. spools: $3.00 (reg. $5.99).  24 colors.
3,300 yd. spools: $14.00 (reg. $28.00).


50% off
2,000 yd. cones of Art Studio Colors by Ricky Tims.
Art Studio Colors is a high-sheen trilobal polyester thread available in 36 beautiful colors.
For quilting and embroidery.
$6.95 (reg. $13.90)

The La Mer DVD is on sale this month.
La Mer, by Martha Milne, is for those who use a home machine on a frame and who want to become more fluent in free-motion quilting.
April special: $19.95 (reg. $29.95).

BOB’S SUPERIOR JOKE of the MONTH (a Tax Day Special)
An IRS agent stops at a ranch in Texas and talks with an old rancher. He tells the
rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch as part of your tax audit." The
rancher says, "OK , but don't go in that field over there," as he points out the location.
The IRS agent verbally explodes saying, "Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me." Reaching into his pocket, he removes his badge and pushes it into the rancher's face. "See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish. Anywhere! On any property! No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?"
The rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores.
A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the IRS agent running for his life chased by the rancher's big champion bull.  With every step, the bull is gaining ground on the agent, and it seems likely that he'll get gored before he reaches safety. The agent is terrified. The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs,
"Your badge! Show him your BADGE!"

 starburst shipping (Small)
$3.95 SHIPPING ON ALL RETAIL ORDERS
CONTINUES within the U.S. 50 states.  You choose the products, we’ll choose the shipping method.  (Wholesale and business account orders have different shipping rates.)  You still have the option of
choosing faster shipping methods.
International orders: We now offer low Air Mail rates on international shipping to most countries.  Air Mail rates are available for packages up to 4 lbs.  International packages over 4 lbs. sent via the Post Office require Priority Mail or Express Mail rates.  UPS is also available.  

THANK YOU
for reading. Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day. To change your subscribed e-mail address or if this was forwarded to you and you want your very own copy personally sent to your e-mail Inbox, please click here:  Subscribe. To unsubscribe, click the link at the bottom of the e-mail.

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

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

Copyright 2011 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

Copyright © 2011 Superior Threads. All Rights Reserved.