Ovals All Ways – Literally

Finally!  A tool that cuts ovals!  No more elongated half circle hot dog shapes!  The Creative Grids® Ovals All Ways Ruler designed by Karla Alexander, cuts ovals, semi-ovals, and quarter-ovals from 3″ x 4 ½” to 8 ½” x 10″ and every half-inch between. Since this ruler is designed to be used in multiple ways, additional markings are included for techniques such as fusible applique, piecing and turned-edge applique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If only my laundry looked so good!  Spin Cycle showcases a variety of ways to use this ruler. And don’t you just love the color combinations?  Trading Places uses the positive and negative space to create even more interesting patterns.  And then there is Enchanted!  Jasmine would have been proud to fly on this magic carpet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And since they are ovals, they are even easier to piece than circles.  Watch the video for even more inspiration!  Why not teach a class on ovals and ease them into the Circle Savvy?  But with all of these possibilities, they will want to stay and play for awhile!

My ‘Go To’ Creative Grids®

I am demonstrating in Paducah this week and have been asked several times for a list of my favorite rulers. What do I have in my ruler rack besides the Stripology and the CGR24 – 6 1/2″ x 24 1/2″ rectangle?

The CGR48 is my favorite ruler when I am sub-cutting blocks or trimming a few half-square triangles. I work with five-inch squares a lot so this ruler is the perfect companion. The white line down the center of the ruler is at 2 1/4″. I use it to square up four-patches and is the width I like to cut my bindings. I use the angled lines to trim half-square triangles made from five-inch squares and sewn with a scant quarter inch seam. cgr48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CGR312 is 3 1/2″ x 12 1/2″.  I just finished a bow tie quilt with over 500 three-inch finished bow ties. I used the centering line on this ruler to square up the blocks instead of a 3 1/2″ square. The length was easier to hold onto and protected my hands from the rotary cutter blade. The centering line at 1 3/4″ is also the width of strips if you are making the eight-inch log cabin blocks with the Log Cabin Trim Tool – an added bonus!

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And then there is the CGR212 – the 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ ruler. Once again I like the added length to protect my fingers when squaring up blocks to 2 1/2″. But my favorite feature?  The centering line at 1 1/4″. I use that line to cut 2 1/2″ strips in half when making four-inch log cabins with the CGRJAWMN4 or mini pineapples with the CGRJAW3MINI.

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What rulers are your go to rulers – and why?

The Newest Member of the Creative Grids® Family

Many of you have paid your rent by offering tuffet classes.  Erin Underwood’s round tuffet that can be made in an afternoon has been in the top 100 patterns since it’s release two years ago,

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So when she came to us and wanted to do a 22-1/2 degree ruler so she could create a square tuffet, we were in!

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This triangle has the same markings as her 15-degree triangle plus some additional angle markings which are referred to in patterns to create more intricate designs.

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Sixteen triangles create a “circle” or Dresden.  Or use it to create a frequent bucket list contender – the Dahlia. Or create a quilt in an afternoon with Sassy Tumblers.

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Or create a table runner and matching place mats with this Cut Loose Press™ pattern.

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Karen Bennett of Nellie’s Needle loved it so much, she designed three patterns around it…

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The patterns are selling out quickly, but don’t worry!  More are expected any day!

It is G-Easy!

I love, love, love, this new product because it has a wealth of uses!  These stickers by Gudrun Erla of GE Designs are reusable, repositionable, and stick to rulers, mats, fabric, and sewing machines!

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Each package contains one sheet of each color – turquoise, pink and lime green.  There are 64 arrow stickers per sheet – for a total of 192 stickers for just $7.95!

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They are easily removable and don’t leave any residue. Mark the cutting lines on your mat for fast, accurate and consistent cutting.  And, if need be, write on them with a permanent marker or wet erase pens.

 

And, since this lovely lady also developed the Stripology and Stripology Squared rulers with Creative Grids®, they are the perfect companion for that tool as well.

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These are the perfect register sale!  Who can resist?

 

You Asked, We Delivered

We have had many requests for an 18 1/2 inch version of our most popular workhorse – the 8 1/2 x 24 1/2 inch ruler.  You asked, we listened – and it is IN STOCK now!

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This ruler has all of the great features of the original:

It is the perfect size to span the most popular size of rotary cutting mats. And, since it is 25% smaller than the original 24-1/2″ version, it is easier to manipulate. The wide width makes it the perfect choice to square up corners and borders.

It features easy-to-read black and white markings printed in 1″ grids marked in 1/8″ and 1/4″ increments. Use the black numbers (printed on white dots) and the 1/4″ grip sides to cut whole inches, while the white numbers (printed on black dots) and the 1/2″ grip sides add the 1/2″ seam allowance.

The ruler slides easily over the fabric until pressure is applied. Then, our exclusive gripper holds the fabric in place while cutting, eliminating slipping and miss-cuts!

Use the white 45º angle to trim half-square triangles in whole inch increments. Use the black 45º angle to trim half-square triangles in half inch increments. An additional black 45º line is placed so that two angles cross 1/4″ away from the outside edge. Use these markings to square up flying geese units; squares set on point or mark cross-hatching. The ruler also features a 30º- 60º 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.

I didn’t want to leave anything out so the above is the description exactly how it appears on the website.  This is a perfect opportunity to introduce this ruler and reiterate the great features of the entire line!

Traditional with a Modern Twist

I love everything by Cindi McCracken!  She takes traditional blocks and adds a modern twist that combines crisp, clean lines and fabulous color choices.

Stars at the Lake combines the charm of a traditional churn dash block with a simple paper-pieced block – the perfect opportunity to expose your customers to paper-piecing without intimidating them!  Broken Dishes is paper-pieced from strips so it is very impressive without any of the frustration.

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Any Which Way is striking in batiks and Fading Light can be made in a week-end.  Both would be great additions to your “masculine” quilt pattern collection.

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Cindi uses the new Stripology Squared ruler to cut her strips and recommends it in some of her patterns.  Why not host a class and “race” with a student who is known to be fast?  You use the Stripology Squared and they can cut with a traditional ruler.  Once they see what a time saver it is, the tool will sell itself!

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All of these patterns are due to arrive this month so order them now!

Mini Quilts are Hot Part Two

Several of your favorite designers:  Pat Sloan, Carrie Nelson, Brigitte Heitland, Camille Roskelley, Me and My Sister Designs, Sherri McConnell, Sandy Gervais, Edyta Sitar, Lynne Hagmeier, Vanessa Christenson, Anne Sutton, Laurie Simpson, Jen Kingwell, Lisa Bongean, and Betsy Chutchian. contributed to this top-selling book:  Mini Marvels.  All of these designers have such a recognizable style that it is fun to guess who made each quilt – no peeking!

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Once again, the photography showcases these beauties to their best advantage – and makes you want to start cutting up that stash immediately!

Don’t forget!  I know I mentioned this in Part One, but it bares repeating!If you are hanging them on a wall, you may want to consider using Soft and Stable for batting.  They will hang perfectly flat and add that professional touch!  It comes in several packaging options: Project Packs which include four 13 1/2 x 18 1/2 inch pieces (originally meant for place mats but perfect for minis), 1/2 yard cuts; 1 yard cuts; etc.  Why not display these packaged options next to a display of minis???

Creative Grids® has several rulers that may help you along your miniature journey.  They have put together a booklet entitled “Love Mini’s” which shows a wide variety of tools available to create small units. Help your customers find the right tool for their mini projects!   There is also a tri-fold available to help your customers keep track of the Creative Grids® products they already have… or want! Be sure you keep a supply next to your cash register or Creative Grids® display.  Newest rulers are listed in bold on the list – so be sure to replenish new brochures every spring and fall.

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Mini Quilts are Hot Part One

Kathleen Tracy has created sixteen charming mini quilts based on traditional blocks that we all know and love.  Minis are gaining in popularity and are a great way to accessorize a room by using the scraps from a quilt to create minis that coordinate with it.  Don’t you love getting your “Martha Stewart” on?

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Or, add a spot of color anywhere in your home.  Check out their photography for inspiration.  Don’t you want these vignettes in your own home?

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Or display them all together to create a huge impact in any room!  If you are hanging them on a wall, you may want to consider using Soft and Stable for batting.  They will hang perfectly flat and add that professional touch!  It comes in several packaging options: Project Packs which include four 13 1/2 x 18 1/2 inch pieces (originally meant for place mats but perfect for minis), 1/2 yard cuts; 1 yard cuts; etc.  Why not display these packaged options next to a display of minis?

Creative Grids® has several rulers that may help you along your miniature journey.  They have put together a booklet entitled “Love Mini’s” which shows a wide variety of tools available to create small units. Help your customers find the right tool for their mini projects!  There is also a tri-fold available to help your customers keep track of the Creative Grids® products they already have… or want! Be sure you keep a supply next to your cash register or Creative Grids® display.  Newest rulers are listed in bold on the list – so be sure to replenish new brochures every spring and fall.

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Quilts with Funk

I love it when one of our babies – in this case the Creative Grids Circle Savvy ruler – takes on a life of its own.  When the designers came to us, we were blown away by the possibilities.  But, in this case, once they had a chance to play with it, the true potential of this tool emerged!  Karla Alexander of Saginaw St Quilts has a vision and a style that has become instantly recognizable.

My circles never looked like this!!!!

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Who would have thought that both quilts were made with the same tool????

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These quilts are much easier than you think!  Piecing large curves is a piece of cake – especially when you have the right tools and patterns!  Moon Shadow and Polka Box have a more traditional look – and may be the perfect transition class to move your customers toward more artsy, free form quilts.

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Why not challenge your students in the new year – and offer classes that will challenge them to try techniques that they may not be comfortable with.  For our industry to continue to grow, we must continue to learn!  And these quilts appeal to everyone – and bridge the gap between tradition and art!

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.

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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.

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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!