Showing posts with label Sizzix Fabric Cutters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sizzix Fabric Cutters. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back In The Swing with Sizzix Fabric Cutting Machines

Well, I think I'm back in the swing of things....fuzzy head from the sinus meds~

Where were we?...Oh yeah....Who are these folks?  I got lots of funny replies to that question.  My favorite was....these people were the owners of a dance school. Nope...not as far as I know anyway!  They are Robert and LeDorna Eichenberg, the founders of Ellison.

Robert and LeDorna Eichenberg  founders of Ellison

While in Southern California, SewCalGal and I were fortunate enough to get a tour of Ellison's Headquarters.  You may be more familiar with SizzixEllison is the parent company of Sizzix.

I had goosebumps as I pulled up out front...no kidding.  I get very excited when I'm passionate about something and I sure am passionate about Sizzix Cutting Machines and Dies.  So much so in fact, that when the Vagabond arrived on my doorstep, I immediately shot a video using it and I had never done a video before.  If you have not seen my entry into the video world...you can CLICK HERE to see my less than perfect video.

I enjoy seeing where the people I see at Quilt Market work and getting a glimpse into their world.  We met with Linda Nitzen, Ellison's Sales & Marketing Quilting Manager.  We had met in Houston so it was wonderful to see her again.

 I know this pix is a little dark, but I can't fly back and re-take the photo...not today anyway :)

The only photos I could take were in the Lobby....so here are some fun shots of the Ellison Headquarters Lobby.  

Why all the passion about the Sizzix?  For me, it is all about quality and values.  All of the Ellison dies are made by hand....yes...by hand....using high quality steal set into wood and a high density long lasting foam top.  Keep in mind, I don't get paid to say any of these things and I certainly am not qualified to be a spokesperson for Ellison....but this girl knows what she likes and recognizes quality :)  


Being an owner of all of the Sizzix Cutting Machines I can tell you that they all work equally as well and are very sturdy.  I tell people they were built by "Tonka."*  They machines don't tilt, flip or wobble.     Even though they have been building these machines and dies since 1977 and are huge in the Education and Crafting communities, they are relatively new to the Quilting Community.  Their dies cut paper, chipboard, tin, foam, felt, thin magnets,  metallic foils AND fabric :) Something else that I really like is their warranties.  The Big Shot and the Big Shot Pro have 3 year warranties and the Vagabond has a 1 year warranty. 


I've had to deal with many companies customer service departments since I've been in business and I must say I've always been very pleased with the speed and service I've received from Ellison's customer service.  The contact I've had with customer service has never been about a faulty die or machine.  The contact was about a handle that was broken by the owner during a move and Sizzix replaced it for free...including the shipping, without a question asked.  I have moved my Big Shot so many times that the little rubber feet that suctioned to the table fell off. (I have an older model and the feet have been changed on the newer models).  I told Sizzix about what I had done and they replaced the feet immediately. 

There was a time....way back when....when most all companies had this type of excellence in customer service.   I'm sorry to say it is not the case in today's business world and that is why Ellison/Sizzix really stands out in my opinion. I guess it is easy to have excellent customer service when you have excellent products.  (No...I'm not brown nosing either....I was and am not being bribed...no pre-release dies arrive at IHAN® Headquarters...just so ya know!)


The tour was so much fun.  I was able to see where they shoot their videos and let me just say their video taping area is light years nicer than mine...LOL.  I saw some artists and designers working on creations, a library of dies and all of the wonderful machines made by Ellison.  I'm telling you I could have stayed all day long but I don't think my family would have appreciated that very much.  Oh yes, and I was able to see some new products that will be debuted at the Fall Quilt Market this year.  I gave them my word that I would keep everything I saw a secret so don't even think to try to bribe me with cars, boats or vacation homes....my lips are sealed!!  What I can say is that I think folks will really like what is coming out in the Fall.

To celebrate my trip to the Ellison Headquarters, IHAN® is having a Sale on all Sizzix Die Cutting Machines. Test one for yourself....if you purchase it from IHAN and are not 100% satisfied....I'll pay for your return shipping and give you a refund too.  That is how confident I am about their Die Cutting Machines.....and I've never had one returned...so it is easy for me to make the offer...LOL :)

*Tonka...when I was growing up people would refer to something that was well made as being built by "Tonka" as in Tonka toys.

Smiles,
Kelly

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quilt Market 2011 - 6 Quick Points Rulers and Jillily Studio

Veteran's Day:  My sincere appreciation goes out to each and every person who has served their country and their family members for all the sacrifices that each and every one of you have made.

Busy day here at IHAN...sorry this post is up so late in the day.  If it ya really want to know...I've been working on it all day between everything else I do :) 

 Who else but the Queen of the IHAN Nation with Janet Platt from Quick Points Rulers.  Yes, she is the genius behind those amazing Quick Points Rulers and now the Scallop Rulers too.  Janet is one smart cookie .... there is no other way these rulers would have been thought of...they are really great tools in my book.
Before I go further, I'd be terribly remiss if I didn't introduce you to Brian, Janet's really fun and helpful husband!  Ya always got to point out the great ones!
Quick Points Ruler Booth, Houston 2011

The photos are out of order...but you probably would not know unless you were following me around....I think there was only one person with me...Karin....so pretend you know all about the out of order photos, OK?

Janet's School House presentation was excellent!  One of the things I really like about Janet and Brian's presentations is that they actually use the rulers right in front of you.  No pre-made samples that lead you to believe it is so easy.

(This is surely one of the things I notice while at Market or Shows: I am always making sure the person is actually using the tool right there in front of me...so I can see if there is anything that may be dificult for me to do when I get home.   I don't like those demo's where everything has been pre-made and you are shown just the samples.  How do I know it really works or if when I get home, I'll be so frustrated that I don't ever use the product.  If they are not actually cutting/stitching/ironing etc. I ask if I can do it...I have to be sure it is what it says it is and will do what it is advertised to do.)

 This sample board shows you exactly what you can make with the Quick Points Ruler and the Scallop Ruler.    I should probably tell ya that Janet also has the Teflon Pushers that help make your scallops smooth when you turn them right side out.
 This is Janet showing every one how she just used the Scallop Ruler and is turning it right side out.
This is a beautiful table topper Janet has made.  Not only is it fun...but check out the scallop edges....so much cheer was added with that one addition.
 If you look closely here, you will see the flowers were made with the Scallop Ruler and the trim on the outside is too. 
Want some deep scallops?  Check out this really great apron Janet made.  I just love that apron.
 If I'm not mistaken, this is another apron...could be pillow case...sometimes I forget...what ever it really is....the scallop separates those fabrics beautifully.
 Ok, I do know this is another apron...LOL :)

 Halloween Treat Bags anyone?  You know that Ghastlies one is way too much fun.  There are so many Ghastlies Fans now!

This is a baby quilt...the scallops are turned inward...neat isn't it?

Back to Janet's booth now. 

Believe it or not, when I got to the Quick Points Ruler booth, Janet was out shopping.  David was sitting and pressing all the prairie points he would manage.  Ya gotta love a husband who will sit and demo for you while you are out shopping!!

Now, on to Jillily Studio Booth

 When I visited the first time Jill was not there so I took my photos and came back later for the demo's.

This is a demo of Jill's Appli-Glue.  There were a few excellent points about the Appli-Glue that I thought folks would want to know about.  First, it is acid free and water soluble.  The dry Appli-Glue will even dissolve when soaked in water.  I really liked the tip on the glue bottle.  The tip is tapered so when you stop squeezing the bottle, the glue gets pulled back into the bottle and doesn't dry in the tip.  I have had that happen with other glues and I really don't like that one little bit. 

Above you can see the tiny dots of glue being used...they stick very nicely to the next leave and to the background fabric too.  If you are in need of some new applique glue...I definitely recommend the Appli-Glue.
These are Jill's Poke-A-Dots.  Can you guess what they are for?  The gal in her booth asked me that when I walked up and I immediately replied, " they are finger thimbles".  I guess a lot of folks don't know what they are.  (On a personal note...ya gotta love that they are red :).   They have adhesive on the back and you  put it on the tip of your finger when you are doing hand stitching.  You use that finger to push your needle through the fabric.  They have a textured surface which makes it really nice for pulling a needle through fabric too.  Have you ever had  a dog-of-a-time pulling your needle through (be honest)?  The Poke-A-Dots grip very well and makes it much easier to pull that needle though.  They can be used over and over again because of the quality adhesive that is on the back.  I typically park it back on the paper and use them over and over again.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  I'll be gone tomorrow to the Machine Embroidery Guild to demo all my Sizzix Cutters.  You know I won't pre-cut that fabric before I go....I'll have it ready to go and I'll let them cut the fabric so they can see how nicely the Sizzix Fabric Cutters work!

Smiles,
Kelly

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