American Honor Contest Update

Hello Blank Quilting Fans,

I wanted to update you on the American Honor contest, flesh out the details a little bit and try to answer questions I have received.  By now, I hope that you know the story behind the contest because it is a nice story for our industry and for our amazing troops.  If you don’t know the story, please take a look at these blogs that I wrote for Studioe Fabrics.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: A Touching Story From Quilt Market…please read to the end

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Unveiling Soldier S & Her Charity Of Choice

Now that we got that out of the way, I wanted to give a big shout out to any other Veteran quilt shop owners out there.  It was great to learn that there were more Veteran owned shops and I didn’t want any of you to feel left out.  With that being said, if you are a veteran shop owner, email me at scott@jaftex.com so I can share some of the American Honor loyalty love with you because you too deserve a big thank you for your service.

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All The Blank Quilting Corp. sales reps recently received a flyer with some general info about the contest and we also posted all around.  I am going to attach that below, but also note that more details will be presented in the future closer to when the American Honor Fabric line and the fat quarters ship.  The information presented now is really just to inform shops what they need to do to be ready to participate. The future information will give more details to consumers about what they need to do to submit their projects and vote.  So here is a link to the first flyer:

AMERICAN HONOR CONTEST FLYER

In spite of what the flyer says, anyone in the 50 states can participate.  So if you Alaskans and Hawaiians want to participate, game on!

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I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the matching gift again. When I first wrote my blogs about Soldier S, I did hear from several people that wanted to make a donation in honor of her.  As promised, my family gave a $1000 donation to Soldier S’s charity of choice…America’s Mighty Warriors.  In addition, we promised to match all gifts given by the caring people in the quilting industry up to an additional $5000! All you have to do is send your donation to America’s Mighty Warriors and make sure to put Soldier S in the memo line.  Thereafter, send a confirmation that your donation was received to me at scott@jaftex.com and our company will match it. Bring it on if you can afford to support this great cause.  Thank you!  By the way, America’s Mighty Warriors will also accept quilt donations.

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So as you know the American Honor line is shipping in November. Hopefully you purchased a full collection, but if not, any selection of bolts will do too.  That being said, the American Honor line is the only one that can be used for the contest…nothing else from anyone anywhere including Blank.  If you did order or plan on ordering a full collection you will get a pre-printed panel (only offered until October 1, 2017) of the #1 free quilt project from the American Honor line as an added bonus.

In addition, we are offering fat quarter bundles for this line. The bundles will have one 24″ color panel (24″, not a fat quarter) as well as 12 of the other skus in the line.  The only sku that won’t be included in the bundle will be the black and white panel (see below).  That being said, you can use the black and white panel for your project, but you would have to buy that by the yard from your local quilt shop.  The truth is that this offers a lot of possibilities because you can make it yours by coloring it in with crayons or fabric markers.  Wouldn’t that be cool?  Regarding the projects, consumers can make whatever they want as long as it uses the American Honor fabric.  The sky is the limit.

How could I forget to discuss the prizes?  For starters, it is important to know that not only will consumers win, but the winner’s shop of choice will get prizes also.  So this is a win-win for everyone and this is our way of getting quilt shop owners involved so they too can have some skin in the game.  And of course, quilt shop owners and employees can also submit projects for the contest.  The truth is that we are not going to exclude any American from participating in this contest including employees and sales reps. You probably saw all the gift details on the flyer, but if you didn’t, we are giving prizes away that include pre-cut fabrics, donations in your name and cash prizes. When it is all said and done, this is all for a great cause and we will have made a difference.

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Another thing I wanted to impress upon shop owners was to encourage you to add your own little twists to the contest or even run your own contest at the same time.  This is a great opportunity to sell a lot of patriotic fabric and not just this American Honor line.  It is also a great way for you to raise awareness in your community for our brave troops. How about collecting some of the projects and donating them to a local charity for Vets?  How about honoring a local Vet?  The possibilities are endless, you just have to want to honor our troops and help others like the guys in this picture.  Everyone can use a hand once and awhile

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I hope this is enough info to encourage you to get involved with this contest.  Please feel free to comment on this blog post or feel free to email me scott@jaftex.com with any additional questions that you may have.  I am really looking forward to seeing all the great projects created.  Aren’t you?

Have a Happy July 4th and enjoy the summer!

happy 4th of july

Yours Truly,

Scott Fortunoff, President of The Blank Quilting Corp.

 

The Story of Soldier S

This blog was originally published on StudioFabrics.com/blog on June 5, 2016. We are reposting on the Blank Quilting blog, because the fabric collection that inspired this post is American Honor, by Tana Mueller of Western Denim & Dirt, a Blank Quilting Corp line. 

 

Before reading, please make sure to read the previous blog so you can have a full understanding of what has transpired prior to this blog here.

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Let me preface this blog with a couple of general comments. I am absolutely loving this story because it is real. Unfortunately, this industry is currently lacking a real story with some positive undertones and good vibes, so this is definitely welcomed. To the contrary, the buzz in our industry of late has been pretty depressing.

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Despite coming up with promotions and contests around the American Honor line, please note that my family and Jaftex Corp., are not just in this for profit. We are putting our money where our mouths are with a $1000 donation to America’s Mighty Warriors. In addition, we are going to have a matching gift. This is where we will match all gifts made by others in our industry up to $5000. So for example if quilt shops and consumers donate $4000 in total, we will match those gifts. So $4000 becomes $8000. Ideally, we would love to donate the $5000 and in effect have raised $10,000. If you do make a donation to America’s Mighty Warriors and want us to match it, please email me at scott@jaftex.com a copy of the email receipt.

charity

I know that this story hit home for many because I received over a dozen comments on my blog which is probably the equivalent to like a couple hundred for someone else’s blog in our industry. This is due to the fact that no one ever comments on my blog for some odd reason, but apparently people are reading because they tell me they are. The joke is that I probably got more comments on this blog than all the blogs I have ever written put together excluding spam of course. So anyway, without further ado, let me introduce you to the amazing Soldier S. Soldier S is:

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Scarlett Wells, Owner of The Fabric Cobbler
324 E Ruehl St, Forsyth, IL 62535 217-853-4629
scarlett@thefabriccobbler.com
www.thefabriccobbler.com
www.facebook.com/thefabriccobbler
Twitter @thefabriccobbler
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHb3S41vq9OJ06WmfKJ7THQ Specialist In The Tennessee Army National Guard and in the active Army during deployment. 1174th TC Unit out of Dresden, TN.

From here, I think I am going to leave the rest of the story to Scarlett. So here are some snippets from the emails that were exchanged between Scarlett and I:

Here is the charity I’ve chosen Scott:
http://americasmightywarriors.org/

Here is why Scarlett chose the charity. “I wanted to select a charity that maybe doesn’t always receive the attention some of the big names attract. I’ve always held a special place in my heart for the little guys, whether rooting for underdogs in sports or supporting small businesses. Over time, the community built by my quilt shop has become known for random acts of kindness. We often adopt people and serve as secret Santa’s for those who need it the most. Clients online and locally will gift fabric or account credits anonymously to people they don’t even know, all in the name of paying it forward and helping another person smile through the gift of fabric.”

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“I thought long and hard about the charity I would select. When I read that America’s Mighty Warriors has a program specifically dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness, I knew that I had to choose this organization. I instinctively placed my right hand over my chest as I read about Marc’s last letter home to his mom explaining just what I’ve said so many times in my own shop: our world would be a far better place indeed if we all just stopped for a moment to help another person, for no other reason than to brighten their day, make them smile, and pay it forward. Marc was the first Navy Seal to be killed in Iraq and his mom has carried on his torch through America’s Mighty Warriors. I pray that the donation offered in my name will help her and the organization honor troops and their families with more Random Acts of Kindness.”

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I couldn’t have said it better than Scarlett. After hearing what Scarlett has said, there is nothing more that I want to do than make a difference for America’s Mighty Warriors in honor of the amazing Scarlett. Scarlett did write a bunch more in her email to me. In particular, without going in to too much detail, Scarlett has clarified that 7 of the 9 kids in her family were in the military and not all 9 as I had originally thought. In addition, you should know that Scarlett joined the military at the early age of 17 to make her parents proud of her. You should read about her recollection of finding out she would be deployed:

“I’ll never forget the moment in Basic Training when the twin towers fell. We were at one of our EOCT sites (end of cycle training). Our drill sergeants were so solemn. It just didn’t register for so many of us that morning that we really were under attack. I knew then at 18 years old that I’d be going to war at some point. I was actually in my college classroom about to start class for the morning when I received the call that I had 24 hours to sign over my life to my parents and get my affairs in order. We didn’t actually fly out to Iraq for another three and a half months, but we only had that day to prepare and then report for duty to begin the arduous pre-deployment process.”

And now hear what goes through Scarlett’s mind post-service and her challenges with PTSD. There is no doubt in my mind that this goes through the minds of many soldiers post war:

“I’ve thought so many times in the 12 years after I left the service: why did I survive when others didn’t? Why did I have PTSD after the war when so many others endured horrors far worse than I could personally imagine. There aren’t really answers to those questions. I was just a kid when I left. You aren’t really an adult at 19 years old. I heard some soldiers refer to being in Iraq as nothing more than our summer training in the California desert, while others absorbed every haunting moment of Iraq and internalized them. I’ll personally never forget how it feels to know one of our own isn’t going home with us to his family.”

“I’ll never forget the nightmares that followed when I returned home, but more importantly, I’ll never forget the pride of wearing that uniform and knowing that I chose to be there. I chose to serve. I chose to take the chance that I might be one of those fallen. I chose to take that solemn oath. And yes, I came home, but so many didn’t. And for them, it’s incredibly fitting to see that universally known image of a fallen hero on fabric. The line will give so many around the country quilts of comfort and will bring homage to the memories of those they will never hug again, at least not in this life.”

And finally, hear what Scarlett said to me about our encounter:

“I would also like to just once again say thank you Scott. Thank you for giving a voice to the memory of fallen heroes. I had no idea that my moments of tearful memories would lead to the story of Soldier S being made public. As Soldier S, I want to thank you on behalf of my entire family. You have honored us greatly and in ways beyond measure that we could have imagined.”
I hope you can now agree that this is truly an amazing story and probably the story of so many that remains untold or unheard. Wouldn’t it be great if quilt shops around the US could honor their own Soldier S or Soldier A, B, C, D…..X, Y and Z? So now that you have read this, the million dollar question is: What are you going to do now that you have heard this story? Please make me proud quilting community and share with us all the amazing ways that you are honoring our troops and Soldier S.

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God Bless America!

Blogger S

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Blank Blog Bonanza: Monthly Specials For June 2016

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Dear Valued Customer,
I am sorry to be posting this after 12:01 on June 1st as I know many of you are anxious to see the newest specials right when they come out.  Sorry about that.  I will honor any orders that were taken today where the BBB would have applied.  Without further ado, here are the details of the newest BBB specials for June 2016:

#1.  PRECUT SPECIAL:  If you buy any 6 units of precuts, you will get one order of Sumatra 1 Batik strips which includes 4 strip sets per pack and each bundle is different.  The 4 bundles included are Stony Point, Hot Tamale, Ocean Side and Citrus Blast.

#2.  44/45″ QUILTING COTTONS & 108″ FABRICS:  At once orders of 10 bolts or more of full priced items (i.e. no promo) will have capped freight of 10 cents per yard.  Meaning that you, the customer, will pay no more than 10 cents per yard for shipping.  We will pay the rest.  At once orders of 20 bolts or more of full priced items will have capped freight of 5 cents per yard.  At once orders of 36 bolts or more of full priced items will ship freight free.  Any at once order for 50 bolts or more will also get you a free bolt of Crushed Sky Blue as well as the free shipping.

#3 WINDSOR 108″ FINAL SALE:  We are winding down the Windsor 108″ line and we have colors 77, 91 and 95 left.  The price this month is $4.00/yard.  Get it while you can!      

#4.  Website Orders: This month there is no special for website orders as we are still sorting out our website online ordering system which has been a little under the weather since we switched to a new web company.  Thank you for your patience as we sort through all the issues.  We hope to have a more formal statement about the website online ordering system in a future newsletter.

We hope you continue to take advantage of the BBBs.  To take advantage of this special offer:

To Monthly Specials!
Your Blank Quilting Sales Team