One of our Favorite Quilters has been awarded the OBE by Prince Charles

For only the second time in history, a quilter has been awarded the Order of the British Empire for her work in quilting and patchwork!  Lynne Edwards, who became a friend of the folks at Checker when she designed several Creative Grid Rulers, received this honor the first week in July.

Lynne designed one of Rita and my favorite rulers – the side setting triangle ruler.  The original (Item #CGRSST – $34.75) lets you cut side setting triangles from strips for blocks from six to twelve inches. I liked it so much that I asked if we could have it in a smaller size for those blocks up to 6 inches.  The new mini side setting triangle ruler was born!  (Item #CGRMSS – $22.00).  

Item #CGRSST Retail $34.75              Item #CGRMSS Retail $22.00

She has also created two specialty rulers.  The Dresden Fan ruler allows you to cut 20 petal Dresden Plates from strips of fabric by simply rotating the ruler across the strip.

Item #CGR18CF Retail $23.00

The Drunkard’s Path ruler creates the inner and outer circle of this traditional block with just one template.


Item #CGRDP Retail $17.00

She also has written several quilting books and will be releasing a new comprehensive book of Cathedral Windows quilts in the near future.

 This book is truly amazing!  I got to see an advanced copy this week.  Lynne not only has explored every nuance of the traditional Cathedral Window – in a host of fabrics – she has also created rectangular windows.  When she combines the two, spectacular results occur.  And, when she works with silks and batiks, the results are simply breathtaking!  This book will appeal to the traditionalists among us – but the art quilters will love her folding techniques that far expand the realm of anything I have ever seen before! You can pre-order this book now.

Item #Z2043 – Retail $24.99Lynne incorporated small projects in the book, so you have an opportunity to try the techniques and learn the basics – but will quickly be drawn to all of the possibilities!  The smaller projects also give you lots of design possibilities to teach this book as a class – after all, your customers are always looking for something new. 


 And, it’s a perfect time to share the joys of working with the pre-packaged silks by Mary Jo Hiney.  These “Silk Adaptations” are affordable, come in a host of colors, and are the perfect compliment to this book!  Your customers will love it – learning to work with silks AND a new technique – all in the same class – who could ask for anything more!

Substitutions for Timtex

We have been told that the Timtex that you know and love will not be available for at least three to six months.  It has been removed from our website and all back orders have been cancelled.  We hope that a new manufacturing plant will be found and this product will be back in production soon, but until then….

Many of you need a substutute product now – and can’t wait – so I have been visiting the blogs of those of you who use it often.   These are alternates that may meet your needs depending on your project. 

Flexi-Firm Sew-In Stabilizer (Item #9290H) – 30″ x 15 Yards – Retail $6.95 

This product was mentioned by many of you as the product that was closest to Timtex.  One woman said that it has the same “oomph” at Timtex.  And, you liked the added width – 8 to 10 inches wider than many brands.

Peltex Sew-In Stabilizer -Item #70P (white) or Item #70P-BLK (black) – 20″ x 10 Yards – Retail $5.99 

This product is the most often recommended substitute.  Many of you said that it was similar but was not as thick so it worked for most projects and when you needed that added “oomph” you doubled it.

Peltex I Fusible Stabilizer – Item #71FP – 20″ x 10 Yards – Retail $7.99

This is Peltex with fusing on ONE side.  The fusing adds to the price.

Peltex II Fusible Stabilizer – Item #72FP – 20″ x 10 Yards – Retail $9.99

This is Peltex with fusing on BOTH sides.  Again, the fusing adds to the price.

Fast 2 Fuse Stabilizer – Item #F2F-20000 – 28″ x 20 Yards – Retail $11.99

This is a regular weight stabilizer with fusing on both sides.  This product is actually cheaper per inch than it’s counterparts because it is wider – but it is not as heavy.  And, it is only a savings if you will use the additional width. 

Fast 2 Fuse Stabilizer – Item #F2F-20002 – 28″ x 20 Yards – Retail $12.99

This heavyweight version is more similar to Peltex II.

Fast 2 Fuse Stabilizer – Item #20056 – 14″ x 18″ – $6.99

This is a pre-packaged version of the regular weight stabilizer.  Finger press out the wrinkles created by folding.

Fast 2 Fuse Stabilizer – Item #20057 – 14″ x 18″ – $6.99

This pre-packaged version of their heavy weight stabilizer sells well for individual projects.  Many shop owners used it in the popular fabric bowl classes.

Many of our pattern designers are re-printng their patterns and recommending their choice of a substitution.  Check their websites for these recommendations. Hope this helps. 


Amazing Settings with “Country Fresh Quilts”

Deanne Eisenman has hit a home run with her first book “Country Fresh Quilts”!  She mixes pieced blocks with simple applique to create a folk art look that is simply irresistable.  My personal rule of thumb is that a book has to have at least three projects in it that I love before I buy it.  This book passes that test – with spades – and surpassed my expectations!

Item #B907T Retail $24,95

The projects run the gamit – wall hangings, table runners, and quilts.  but what sets this book apart is the block settings!  There are beautiful pieced blocks in 6″; 8″ and 12″ sizes.  But the alternate pieced blocks raises this book to one that should be in every quilter’s library.

Don’t get me wrong – her designs are spectacular – but I immediately wondered how it would look if I substituted ANY block into her settings.  We all have our favorite blocks or appliques.  Many of us even have drawers ofShe has written the patterns so these substitutions would be simple.

And, because she has done such a magnificent job with the settings, you don’t need that many blocks to complete a project. 

The new Creative Grids Rulers are Ideal for a Demo Day

Acrylic is an oil based product – and you all have seen how that has affected the gas prices.  It is no different when you are manufacturing acrylics – in this case rulers.  Everyone – including Creative Grids – is dealing with increased production costs. 

We don’t know when they are coming, but there will be price increases in the near future.  So before these increases take effect, stock up on your inventory!  The newest Creative Grids rulers are literally flying off the shelves. If you are looking for demo items that literally sell themselves, these are it!

I demonstrated the Creative Grids and Fussy Cut ruler today at a quilt show and sold out in less than four hours – and I have to go back tomorrow!  At this point I am taking orders – and shipping them when Checker opens first thing Monday morning!  I fussy cut the 2 1/2″ center square of a nine-patch and the center of a star block – that’s all it took.  I let them put the blue water soluble marker through the holes to see how easy it was to mark the seam allowances – and you could just see the light bulbs go off!

Square It Up & Fussy Cut Ruler

The Square It Up & Fussy Cut Ruler comes in four sizes – 6 1/2? (CGRSQ6 – $16); 8 ½” (CGRSQ8 – $21); 9 ½” (CGRSQ9 – $22) and 12 ½” (CGRSQ12 – $27) sizes. Use the vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines to square up any pieced, appliquéd or embroidered block. Just think how easy it would be to square up T-Shirts for that graduation quilts!  Machine embroiderers and appliquers are buying them in every size to square up their finished blocks – you won’t know how you lived without them!

To Fussy Cut:

Cutting the fabric to showcase a particular design in the fabric is called fussy cutting. This technique adds drama and eye appeal to any project. The Creative Grid Square It Up & Fussy Cut Ruler makes the process quick and easy.

To fussy cut, center a design in the solid squares – printed in 1? increments. The drilled holes at the ½” markings between the squares lets you mark & add the seam allowance to your fussy cut piece.

Adding drama to any block is quick and easy. 

Stashbuster Ruler


Item #CGRCSS for just $24.00.

Rita Fishel, our favorite Creative Grid demonstrator and guru, has created a ruler that is 5? wide and 23? long.  A line is drawn the length of the ruler at 2 1/2?.  One end even includes the markings necessary to square-up the half-square triangles made from them! 

The math just works.  If you trim half-square triangles made from 5? squares to 4 1/2?, they can be sewn with the 2 1/2? strips and incorporated into the same quilt!  Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together!

Demo this ruler by taking your bin of “end of bolt” pieces and cutting them up into usable 2 1/2″ strips and 5″ squares.  Have one of the Art Bin containers handy so they can see that it will hold hundreds of strips and squares and is the perfect way to store them.  Quilters love to dream about being organized!  You may want to pick up one of the Art Bin boxes that holds four containers.  Your customers can’t buy something they can’t see – but they can special order it! (Item #6855SC – Retail $50.49).

Item #9000AB Retail $15.49

And, don’t forget to order the most popular books and patterns using these pieces for your display.  They are listed separately on the drop down menu on our website under patterns and books – we aim to please!

New CGR812 – $19.00

One of the top selling rulers of all time is the 8 1/2″ x 24 1/2″ ruler.  It is wide enough to cut just about any border and you can place your entire hand on it without getting close to the edge.  It is a safe, multi-purpose ruler for every beginner. 

And, since this ruler is used so often to cut borders, we have added a vertical white line right down through the center of the ruler.  You can now fussy cut borders to your heart’s content.  You’ll never know how you got along without it.  To demonstrate, just choose a fabric that can be fussy cut “vertically” for a border.  I also showed them how to trim the corners of a finished quilt to prepare for binding.  The extra width of this ruler made it quick and easy.

New CGR312 – $13.00

3 1/2″ sashing stips are the most popular size for any 12″ block.  As a rule of thumb,  sashings that are 25% of the block size are appealing to the eye.  That proportion just seems to work. 

This ruler also incorporates that new vertical white line so you can fussy cut these sashing strips to add real drama to your quilt.  Cut the sashings from a border print; add cornerposts so you don’t have to match anything – and you’ve turned an ordinary quilt into something special! 

Since this ruler is 12 1/2″ long, you can center the design horizontally as well as vertically for perfect placement.  What could be easier!  I used this ruler to cut an attic window block out of a border print.  The mitred corner matched perfectly – and the customers could see the potential instantly!

New CGR48 – $13.00

Frankly, I can not believe how much I like this ruler – and how right all of you were in requesting it!  I thought it would be a short, stubby ruler – and what was the point?  Well, I learned very quickly that it is my favorite ruler!  It fits in a notebook and day planner so I take it everywhere with me. 

It is the length of a sheet of graph paper so I use it when I’m designing all of the time.  I knew it was a winner when I got up in the middle of an episode of Desparate Housewives to go upstairs and get it!  That is the true test for any quilter.  And, since it is 4 1/2″ wide, I can use it for rotary cutting too.  It is wide enough that I don’t worry about cutting something other than the fabric!  You will love it too – I guarantee it!

New CGRMSS – $22.00

I am a “math brain” person – and this ruler is just plain brilliant!  It allows you to cut all of your side and corner setting triangles for a quilt set on point from strips.  This can save you a ton of fabric – which also saves you money.  And, since you can cut them from strips, you can “fussy cut” them from stripes and border prints.  I just thought of this and haven’t had the time to play with it – but if you do, please send me pictures and share!  I am guessing with the right fabrics, the setting triangles could steal the show!

The ruler incorporates all of the math into the design.  You don’t have to figure out anything on your own – in fact you could have skipped that geometry class all together!  The rectangle side of the ruler is marked with lines that show you how wide to cut the strips.  The triangular side of the ruler is marked with lines that show you how to cut the triangles.  It is so easy and intelligently designed! 

This ruler was originally designed for blocks from 6″ to 12″ – but I work in miniature.  Therefore, I asked Creative Grids to design a smaller version that would not be as cumbersome for those of us who like “little”.  It is the perfect size to set those baby quilts on point.  But, be warned – once you see how easy it is, you’ll have to have them both.  After all a great design is a great design – in any size!  If you would like the larger version, ask for CGRSS!

Rita will be demonstrating all of these new rulers at the Checker Open House on August 25.  Remember, this show is open to shop owners only – so come and learn!


NEW Book and Clover Trace ‘n Create Bag Templates by Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman has to be responsible for bringing more people into quilt shops than anyone in history.  Her quilt show – Sewing with Nancy – premiered in 1982!  She has been educating our customers to the joys of sewing and quilting for over 25 years!

Her latest book – Quilt with Confidence – covers the basics of quilting.  Let’s face it – sewing and quilting can be intimidating because we use terms that don’t exist if the “real world”!  She covers all of that and then moves on to the foundation blocks of quilting – four-patches; nine-patches; snowballs; log cabins; half-square triangles; and quarter-square triangles. 

Item #Z1549

Along the way, Nancy includes simple, doable patterns that will allow the beginner to be successful on their very first try!  Why not teach this popular T.V. series in your shop?  You can provide them with the hands on supervision they need.  And let’s face it – they can only get that kind of support and that warm and fussy feeling in a quilt shop!

For those of you who want to bring traditional sewing into your shops, consider starting with “Sewing with Confidence” (Item #811-9) and follow it with “Pattern Fitting with Confidence” (Item #Z1084).  Consider offering a girl’s night out or mother/daughter class.  After all, we all have friends who want us to teach them to sew – but don’t always have the confidence to assume the role of teacher!

Item #811-9                                           Item #Z1084

Re-visit Nancy’s other books – Serge with Confidence (Item #CFSE) and Machine Embroidery with Confidence (Item #857-7).  All of these books provide the basics for every quilter’s library.

This multi-talented lady partnered with Clover and introduced a line of bags at quilt market.  Each collection provides the template and instructions to create six different tote bags.  The templates can be used over and over again. 

To view a video on Nancy’s new products for Clover click here



Watch the video to learn more about it.

My Favorite Notion Demos Part Two

Clover Pin Cushion

I love the way that Clover re-invents the mousetrap over and over again.  And, this pin cushion is the perfect example.  It’s simplicity is genius!  They just incorporated a groove into the foundation and placed magnets in the base.  The pins automatically cross the groove so you will never be jabbed by a pin again!  They even include a lid for traveling! 

And, it is so easy to demo – it even comes with pins.  Just have your customers pick up the pins and “drop” them on the base.  They will fall perpendicular to the groove every time!  This is a perfect notion to display by the register.  Nobody can resist!

Assortment – Item #4101CV
Green – Item #4103CV
Purple – Item #4102CV
Pink – Item #4104CV

Clover Flower Head Pins

These pins are my absolute favorite!  They are long, sharp, and thin – who could ask for anything more.  All pins are NOT created equal.  You will be able to tell the difference in quality instantly. 

When  I am writing patterns, I list the cutting instructions by number: #1 – Cut 4 – 2″ squares; #2 – cut 2 – 2″ x 4″ rectangles, etc.  A student wrote numbers on her flower head pins with a Sharpie.  Now when she is cutting out her block, she pins the pieces together – by number.  All of her quilt pieces are labeled for her block!  Grab a Sharpie and have at it!  Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest!

Item #2506CV


This refillable, mister packs a lot of punch.  It releases a fine, consistent spray that has come to the attention of those who love to dye, tea-dye, coffee stain, or over-dye fabrics.  But, if you are not the “artistic” type, it is also great for perfumes, spray starches, spot removers, water, or any other liquid that you would like to take with you.  The perfect travel size!


Triangle Paper on a Roll

This product makes it possible to sew perfect half-square triangles every time.  Available in a multitude of sizes, it can be pinned the entire width of the fabric – from selvage to selvage.  Or, you can cut the paper apart to produce just the number you need. 

I have learned a few tricks along the way! Place the fabric – right sides together – with the light fabric on top.  Then, when it is time to press, the seam will always be pressed toward the dark fabric.

After sewing and cutting the fabric on the lines indicated on the paper, DO NOT remove the paper!  Press the half-square triangles open first.  The paper helps stabilize the bias seam so that it does not distort.

After pressing, remove the paper by tearing it from the center point down to the sewn seam – and then out to the corners in both directions.  Don’t be gentle – it’s like tearing off a band-aid!  Do NOT try to pick and pull the paper away from the edge of the seam.  You’ll just tear out some of the stitches you just sewed – and that’s NOT a good thing!

When you demo this product, finish by laying a ruler over the finished half-square triangle.  If you have time, make one the traditional way – by sewing on each side of a diagonal line.  The ruler doesn’t lie!  You will see the difference in   quality instantly!

Item #QRH300 for 3″ Size

Mini Gypsy GripperFor those of you who love the original, this is an obvious choice!  The smaller size has just as much suction but enables you to hold even smaller templates without risking your fingers.  And these even pressure to the ruler.


Item #TGQ003

Add a Quarter RulerThis ruler was originally designed to add the 1/4″ seam to the fabric while paper-piecing, but I use it to add a quarter of an inch to EVERYTHING.  The raised lip allows you to add the seam allowance to templates too.  Although the 6″ size (#CM6) is the best seller, I prefer the 12″ length (#CM12) because it is long enough to extend across the diagonal of a 6″ block.  They even come in “Pink” versions – #CM06-PNK & #CM12-PNK.


And, for those of you who love the larger, more intricate patterns, there is an 18″ version available.  (CM18).  When working in flannels or other thicker fabrics, use the add 3/8″ ruler (CM3-8).  The extra 1/8″ allows for the thickness of the fabric.  And, if you work in miniature, many of you prefer the Add an Eighth Ruler (CM1-8) which reduces the bulk in smaller projects.

Her new tool “Add Enough” (Item #CMAE – $4.95) helps determine the width of the strip needed to paper-piece triangles and other shapes.  How many times have you paper-pieced to find that it is too small to cover the shape when the fabric is flipped back into position.  This easy guide eliminates that frustration!   


Host a gadget day soon – or incorporate these items into your current classes.  Remember, actions speak louder than words – and if your customers see that you use these products, they will too.  And, they have an opportunity to “play” with them in a class setting and know they work!  Enjoy!