Crazy Trees


I love this!  In fact, I love this so much that I am teaching it this weekend!

 

 

 

 

This is a Karla Alexander design – and is SO her! A little wacky, a little wonky, and a whole lot of fun! This combines every aspect of a great pattern:

 

 

  • It looks hard but is so easy and so forgiving – anyone can do it!
  • It takes just eight 10 inch squares and eight 11″ x 14″ rectangles of background so it is easy to kit.
  • It makes a great demo.
  • AND, it is a Cut Loose Press™ pattern so it is affordable. Crazy Christmas Trees #CLPKAL009

It uses her ruler. Creative Grids® Spider Web Quilt Ruler #CGRKA6

 

 

 

 

Saturday I am making this in Fall colors – but kitting it for Christmas as well. After all, who can stop at just one! An added bonus? This runner is 17 1/2″ x 40 1/2″ so if I make four of these, I have a great throw!

Create with Cardboard

Rinske Stevens Designs provides everything you need to create heirloom quality covered boxes for every room in your house – and every occasion!

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Or make a collapsible Victorian sewing box or journal cover.

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What makes these special is that they also sell the hardware to give each piece that heirloom quality look.

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Can you imagine featuring embroidery designs on these projects?  What a great wedding gift, Mother’s Day gift – you get the picture!  Visit our website to see the entire line of Rinske Stevens Design products.

 

Prepping for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday

This blog has two different audiences – and today I am speaking to both!  Quilters – use this holiday season to support your local quilt shop.  Quilt shops who don’t sell machines are historically not as busy this time of year because most of you have already made your gifts and are busy cooking, cleaning, decorating – you get the picture!

How can we make this a win/win for everyone?  As a shop owner, take a minute to look at your shop through your customers’ eyes.  Set up vignettes that will interest everyone!

For those of us who have friends who want to learn to quilt, why not buy them a kit? For instance, the new Stripology Squared #GE-512, ruler by Creative Grids® #CGRGE2 is a perfect companion to the book.  Add a bundle of 10″ squares to complete the package.

GE-512 CGRGE2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go through all of the books and patterns in your store and “kit” everything that is based on fat quarters and other pre-cuts.  If they require a specific tool or ruler, include that in the display.  And, if you have a sample of it, all the better.  Bringing that sample to the forefront may have everyone looking at it with fresh eyes!

One of my favorite families who quilt buy each other a “kit” each year.  They pick out a project that they know the other will love.  Everyone has a year to finish them – and bring the finished project to the get together the following year.  Past “kits” have included a baby quilt for the sister that was going to be a first time grandmother; a collection of musical fabrics for the piano teacher – you get the idea.  And what a great tradition!  As newbies marry into the family, they are asked to join the group  – and taught how to quilt!  Talk about paying it forward!

And for that beginner?  Have a display of rotary cutters, mats, and rulers as well.  Be sure to include lots of gift certificates so they can buy a beginning class to go to with their new tools.  Be sure to include some beginning patterns such as Yellow Brick Road and kits to go with them.

RM-SG CGR24

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Have written copies of your class schedule that starts in January so they can give that as part of the gift!

Now, lets move onto stocking stuffers!  Go through all of your notions, buttons, and embellishments and make a display that is eye appealing!

Last but not least, tell your customers that you are ready for them!  Facebook is your friend!  My best idea?  Ask your customers to come in and fill out a wishlist.  Have them give you their spouses email.  Then, send their significant other an email with the items on the wishlist and prices.  Offer to get everything together and wrap it for them.  Be their one stop shop!!!  And don’t forget to ask them if they want to add a gift certificate to the order.  Believe me – they will be so thrilled they will actually be buying something that their partner wants, that they will be thanking you – and want to repeat this for other holidays!

Ready, set, go!  Wishing you all a great weekend!

Cut Loose Press and Creative Grids are the Perfect Demo -Part 2

Now is a great time to introduce everyone to the Stripology rulers. There are now two versions – Stripology #CGRGE1 and Stripology Squared #CGRGE2.   Both feature the exclusive grip that holds the fabric in place while cutting – which eliminates slipping and mis-cuts and special markings for the most popular cuts.  Follow the squares to cut 2 1/2 inch strips and the stars to cut 1 1/2 inch strips – no math required!

CGRGE1CGRGE2

The original Stripology is larger and perfect for cutting fat quarters or fabric folded right from the bolt.  It features a marked 10 inch square – perfect for sub-cutting layer cakes.  Stripology Squared has all of the features you love in the original Stripology ruler, and it makes ‘squaring up’ a breeze! The smaller size is easier to manipulate and is more portable so it is the perfect choice when traveling to classes and retreats.

Stripology Squared includes markings to square up half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, and blocks up to 12 inch. And, since the slots are longer to accommodate larger blocks, it is the perfect choice for cutting wider fabrics.

Both rulers are a great choice for quilters who are experiencing weakening in their hands due to carpal tunnel issues, arthritis, etc.  The weight of the ruler itself is enough to hold it in place – no additional pressure is required!

The perfect demo?  The Cut Loose Press™ pattern – Wingman #CLPGER008.  It uses six different 1/3 yard cuts plus a background so it is easy to kit – and even easier to demo since the whole quilt is made from strip sets – cut to size with the Stripology Squared tool.  One of the advantages of the tool?  It absorbs the seams so there is no teetering like you experience with traditional rulers so the strips are the perfect width every time.

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This pattern is a simpler version of one that appears in Stripology Squared #GE-512 and is featured on the back cover – a companion book to both rulers.

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GE-512

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you demonstrate Wingman – and see how easy Gudrun’s techniques are, everyone will want the book!  Check out www.checkerdist.com to see all of Gudrun’s designs marketed under GE Designs.  Since almost everything features strips, they are great companions for the ruler!

Cut Loose Press and Creative Grids are the Perfect Demo -Part 1

As I travel and teach, and expose quilters to the quality and advantages of Creative Grids®, I hear over and over again that they want to replace ALL of their rulers.  But many quilters did not start out in a quilt shop and do not know the difference.  And, many are not aware of ALL of the features of these rulers – and use them to their full advantage.  Shop owners, use them as great demo opportunities that will have quilter’s jaws dropping and give you the opportunity to point out the great features of Creative Grids®.

The top seller of all time?  The 6 1/2 inch by 24 1/2 inch rectangle. #CGR24

CGR24And why does everyone want this brand?  The grip!  The ruler slides easily over the fabric until pressure is applied. Then, the exclusive gripper holds the fabric in place while cutting – no slipping and miss-cuts!  Don’t overlook our other great features:

All of the rectangle rulers feature easy-to-read black and white markings printed in 1 inch grids marked in 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch increments.

Use the easy-to-read, black numbers (printed on white dots) and the 1/4 inch grip sides to cut whole inches. (The 1/4 inch dashed lines printed on two adjoining sides aid in trimming seam allowances.)

Use the patented Turn-A-Round™ feature — designated by the easy to read, numerical white numbers (printed on black dots) and the 1/2 inch grip sides — to add the 1/2 inch seam allowance. (I am constantly amazed that people don’t know how to use this feature to their advantage.)

Use the white 45 degree angle to trim half-square triangles in whole inch increments. Use the black 45 degree angle to trim half-square triangles in half inch increments. An additional black 45 degree line is placed so that two angles cross one-quarter inch away from the outside edge. Use these markings to square up flying geese units; squares set on point or to mark cross-hatching. The ruler also features a 30 degree/60 degree angle.

White horizontal and vertical lines are printed on the rectangle so the center of the ruler is easily distinguishable. Use these lines to fussy cut stripes and borders.

These rectangles come in nineteen different widths and lengths so there is sure to be one that is perfect for your needs!

CLPGRG008Now that you – and your customers – know all of the features of our rectangles – and know how to use them – show how easy it is to make this Cut Loose Press™ pattern – Double Four Patch #CLPGRG008.  This lap sized quilt can be made in an afternoon and is easy to kit – just pull combinations of 18 fat quarters.  The entire quilt is made from strip sets of five inch and 2 1/2 inch strips that are sub-cut to create the fourteen inch blocks.  It is a great masculine quilt but works just as well in juvenile prints.  It will become their go-to quilt so have lots of fat quarter bundles to choose from!

Now that everyone knows the advantages of the Creative Grids® rectangles, it is time to talk about our squares – which come in 15 different sizes.  The 10 1/2 inch size #CGR10 is quickly becoming a favorite since it is easy to use with pre-cuts.

CGR10

It has many of the same features as our rectangles – grip, easy to read black and white markings, the Turn-a-Round feature and a 45 degree angle that is perfect when squaring up half-square triangles.  The perfect demo?  The Cut Loose Press™ patterns Sonoma #CLPCAM001 and Diablo #CLPCAM005.  They are both made the same way.  The only difference?  Diablo includes raw edge applique squares to give it more of a Southwest look.

CLPCAM001

CLPCAM005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, this pattern is pre-cut friendly – in this case, 10 inch squares.  One package of squares and the background is all they need to get started (once again, easy to kit).  This pattern features a simple technique.  Simply make half-square triangles from a set of squares and trim to size with the ten and a half inch Creative Grids® square.  That’s right – each “medallion” is created with two matching sets of ten inch squares!  Talk about a lot of bang for your buck!

The half-square triangles are then cut into 2 1/4 inch segments to create the pattern.  In this case, I recommend the #CGR212 – a 2 1/2 inch by 12 1/2 inch rectangle.  Simply place the dashed 1/4″ inch line on the ruler on the outside edge of the half-square triangle to eliminate the math!

All three of these Cut Loose Press™ patterns are reasonably priced and great technique demonstrations.  Why not take advantage of them today?

Christmas Ornament Crafts!

One of the hits of Market was the new Star ornament pattern by Poorhouse Designs – just in time for a Make and Take for your holiday events.

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Holiday Stars includes instructions to make this star in sizes from five to twelve inches.  It keeps its shape thanks a craft weight fusible such as Dura Fuse or Decor Bond.  Wouldn’t these be gorgeous favors for a holiday party?  Can’t you just picture them in the center of each plate?  Talk about making a statement!

Be sure to have – and demo – her Fold n Stitch Ornament as well:

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The square and round mug rugs – or the combination pack – provide the body in these beauties.

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And have plenty of beads on hand to add the glitz:

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Your customers won’t be making just one – they will be making dozens so order accordingly!

Miss Muffet is Still Smiling

LTQ102

 

Tuffets are the rage – EVERYWHERE – and for every tuffet that has been completed, a matching pin cushion is a must. The kit #LTQ102 includes a foam round, ground walnut shells, tufting cord, felt, instructions, and a plywood base with hardware installed for the feet! You add your own fabric, button and feet (drawer pulls). Who could resist?  You can also buy kits without the pattern #LTQ106 which include enough to make two more pin cushions.  And these kits are quality.

LTQ10  LTQ106
#LTQ102  $22.00                                                  #LTQ106  $20.00

Don’t forget to have tufting needles and Add-A-Quarter rulers in stock as well.

9021DH         CM12PLUS
#9021DH  $5.49  #CM12PLUS  $12.99

This project will give your customers the confidence to create a full-size tuffet if they haven’t already. There will be a waiting list for these classes over and over again!

PPFP100 EUQ304
#PPFP100  $28.00                              #EUQ304  $11.00

A Classic – The Original Creative Grids Log Cabin

CGRJAW1The original eight inch version of the Creative Grids® Log Cabin Trim Tool by Jean Ann Wright was the beginning of our most popular line of trim tools. I just did a guild tour and was shocked that not one person was familiar with this tool. If you aren’t demonstrating it in your shop, you are flat out loosing sales!
Item #CGRJAW1  Retail $19.45

 

 

There are lots of books and patterns to support this tool – and it continues to inspire new designs.  These three Cut Loose Press™ patterns are the most recent additions.  LOVE them!!!
CLPNAM004 CLPNAM003 CLPCAM009
Item #CLPNAM004            Item #CLPNAM003           Item #CLPCAM009

Nancy Myers creates a curve effect in these leaf designs by inserting folded squares which are then folded back to curve over the pieced log cabins. Simply brilliant! Doesn’t it make you want to go to the beach?
Cabin Flower uses the same technique – and looks totally different in the purple and pink colorway.
The Rising Star traditional log cabin block is stunning.  It is eighty inches square and is fat quarter friendly.  What a dramatic display quilt. Once your customers have tried this, they will want to try ALL of the trim tools by Jean Ann Wright!

 

Personalize their favorite toys

All of our children and grandchildren have their favorite toys – and wouldn’t you love it if they were cuddling one you made for them?

These cuddle buddies by Embroidery Buddy are made so they can be personalized by hand or on your favorite embroidery machine.

There are a wide variety of Blanket Buddy choices.
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Monkey Item #61092  Retail $16.00
Bear Item #61098BL  Retail $16.00
Lamb Item #61099  Retail $16.00

The stuffed animals are made so the stuffing is enclosed in a bag and removed through a zipper while the embroidery is being done.

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Bull Dog Item #41090  Retail $27.00
Lamb Item #71090  Retail $25.00

What a great way to demo the new generation of embroidery machines!  To see all of the options, visit our website:  Embroidery Buddy

Why not demonstrate these during your next shop hop?

Challenge your Customers

11117The key to owning a successful shop is catering to the needs of ALL of your customers.  That means you have to offer programs and classes for beginners; those who love handwork; AND those who love to think outside of the box.  You probably already know which customers would love a challenge.  These are the students who always have to tweak a pattern.  They need to make every design their own.

Pat Pease and Wendy Hill to the rescue.  Their new book – Creative Quilt Challenges offers seven challenges that would each be the basis of a great class. Item #11117  Retail $29.95

These women teamed up to create some amazing quilts by following the challenges in the book.  Learn tips and tricks from each challenge that will make everyone better quilters.

Check out these samples of the quilts they created.  Can you guess what the challenge was???
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Why not start a group in your shop today?  The completed works would be a great exhibit at your next quilt show!