Steal HIS tools for a change and go Snap Happy

This is my new favorite pattern – and you will love it too because it has it all!  It is quick, easy and clever – and when I say quick, I mean less than an hour!

Snap Happy comes in three sizes.  It is perfect in any size and can be a mini purse, a gift card holder, or a make-up bag.  Actually, the size of a make-up bag is relative depending on your age – so you decide!

Item #53SH  Retail $7.50

Remember the prairie point that I told you about in the last article?  How about showcasing it in this project????  The Snap Happy uses prairie points as handles!  How cute is that?

You need these handles because the closure for this bag is cut from a carpenter’s metal measuring tape – that’s right – the retractable kind that you find in every toolbox!  And one tape makes boatloads!  I bet there is one in your garage right now – consider it payback for all of those scissors and rulers you’ve been missing over the years!!!

And, you still have time to make these up for graduation presents. Stick in a gas gift card and you are good to go.  If you are an over-achiever, you could even personalize it with your embroidery machine.  Use these as a foundation to teach other techniques.  They will actually go home with a finished product that they can use!

Don’t miss out on this one – I guarantee it will be in the top 20 for a very long time!

Fussy Cut Prairie Points…a Great Demo

One of the hits of Market was a “sleeper”!  I was designing some projects for the Creative Grids rulers and came up with a winner!  Check out these prairie points on the table runner!  I fussy cut them using the Creative Grids Square It Up & Fussy Cut Ruler!

Table Runner & matching  Place Mats out of
Cottage Romance by Willow Berry Lane for
Maywood Studios

Before anyone writes, these patterns will be released over the next several months and will be available exclusively at your local Creative Grids dealer.  I will be sharing techniques and projects with you from now on through this newsletter.  These rulers are only available at Independent Quilt Shops – and are made in the USA!  I am very proud to be a member of their design team.  But, enough of that – I’ll show you how easy it was to add the ahhh factor to this project!

Item #CGRSQ6  Retail $16.00

In this pattern, the squares for the prairie points were 3 1/2″.  The Creative Grids Square It Up & Fussy Cut Ruler was placed over the fabric so that the rose was centered in the bottom triangle of the 3 1/2″ square of fabric.  The holes drilled into the ruler allow you to mark the square.  Connect the dots and cut out on the lines.

In this illustration, I have placed the ruler over the cut square so you can see that the rose is centered in the bottom quarter-triangle of the square.

Fold this square in half- on the diagonal.  Then, fold it in half again so that the raw edges are all even and on the same side.

Don’t you love it when you find a new use for a ruler – and, talk about an easy demo – all you have to do is cut a 3 1/2″ square!!!

Memories of Market …. after a Nap

Quilt Market is an amazing event.  Twice a year hundreds of vendors get to meet with thousands of quilt shop owners – and we have a ball!  It’s like having a baby – a week later, you remember all of the good stuff – and the hard work and preparation were worth it!

Redwork by P3 Designs

And it is a lot of hard work!  Rob, Jim, Jenny and the buyers orchestrate it all – and it would not happen without them!  Rob is the king of Excel spreadsheets and has the entire event from start to finish on his laptop.  This is the largest to-do list I have ever seen – and everyone has their area of responsibilities.

The buyers set up the entire show in the warehouse.  Every square inch of space is accounted for.  They even know what new merchandise is going to be delivered to the booth at Market – and leave space for it.  Their job is to organize and display as many new products as possible in the allotted space to make your shopping easier.

Block of the Month by P3 Designs

That’s where Jim comes in – he can tell you exactly how many computers will be in the booth, what power is needed to use them, and where the plugs are going to be.  He not only knows how many carpet squares are needed to cover our booth, he has them color coded, cleaned and wrapped before we get to Market so that it can be laid in a matter of minutes!  Think how much fun it would be to be responsible for a jigsaw puzzle of that magnitude!  Every curtain, table, chair, waste basket, display rack and screw driver is listed and accounted for.  These people are organizational marvels!

Then there is Jenny – this group definitely needs a Mom – and Jenny is it!  She arranges all of those details – flights, meals, hotels, appointments, etc. for everyone.  Not only does she arrange the flights, she picks us up from the airport – or arranges shuttles.  (I knew I was truly spoiled time when she called me as I departed the plane and told me where to pick up my luggage and which door to exit!)  But, her hardest job is buying the snacks and drinks for the booth!  We may not care if we are scheduled on the red-eye, but if there are not tootsie rolls or trail mix, she has a revolt on her hands!

Market doesn’t officially open until Friday, but vendors are allowed to start setting up on Wednesday.  After all, this is like moving an apartment across the country!  Many of the shop owners come in Wednesday to attend the FabShop dinner – the official kick-off of Quilt Market.  Then, on Thursday while everyone is attending schoolhouses, the booths are completed!  Rita, the buyers, and I are busy running in and out attending schoolhouses so we can be knowledgeable about the latest and greatest our industry has to offer.  Rita and I even get to teach a few!

Thursday night before we leave, there is a final walk through.  The buyers show everyone the new products being introduced at this show – after all, they need to be educated too!  This happens every day of Market – because, like the shop owners, the buyers are there to pick up new products too – and add the latest and greatest!

At this Market we were busier than ever.  We released more Creative Grids products than ever – a total of 17!  We launched a new logo, a new rack, and new programs – and the response was amazing!  We had two demo stations going on at all times – and they were always busy.

That’s me – not Rita – at the demo station…
The new look of Creative Grids!

John Brady and I at the other demo station
We obviously were having a good time….

And, at the other end of the booth, we had 16 authors and designers signing books, demonstrating products, and sharing a wealth of information with our customers!  We gave away approximately $20,000 in new products!  But that is inconsequential compared to the amount of knowledge that was shared!  It was absolutely amazing!

Marci Baker debuting her new book
Oh My Stars!

Where else can you share a corner with Clover, Landauer Corporation and Indygo Junction – but we did – talk about good neighbors!

The Landauer Corporation Booth

The Indygo Junction Booth

Where else could you walk through a booth and see Mark Lipinski signing autographs!

Mark at the Checker Booth

We got to spend three days meeting with all of you!  And, by 8:00 that night, the booth was packed, the crates were removed, and there was just a concrete floor where our booth used to be!

And, on Monday morning, while many of us were still traveling, unpacking, etc., we checked our e-mail…..and remember that spreadsheet?  Rob had already asked us to send him a list of improvements – and what we could do better at the next Market!  And, that is why I love this company – they are constantly looking for ways to better serve you.  So, the next time you run into the men and women that make this event happen, give them a pat on the back because they deserve it!

Project 95

Did you know that 95 percent of fabric shoppers make their purchases at chain stores? That’s right, only 5 percent shop independents. Let’s change that.

Welcome to Project 95

Project 95: Fabric Shoppers Unite—Shop Independents is a worldwide network of independent quilt and fabric shops, that have joined forces to promote shopping independents. By buying from Project 95 shops, you support this movement and join with consumers just like yourself to ensure that you will have access to specialized quilting and sewing supplies, no matter where you live.

Why Shop Independents?

There are three good reasons to choose independents over chain stores.

Excellent Service. At independents, you can expect caring attention to your needs.

Superior Knowledge. Independent shop staffs are quilters and sewers themselves, and have unsurpassed product knowledge that they pass on to you.

Count on Quality. Fabrics, notions and tools available at independents are the highest quality.

Tell your quilting and sewing friends to unite, and shop independents!

Help spread the word about why shopping independent quilt and fabric shops should be the first choice of fabric shoppers everywhere!

Here’s are 10 things you can do today to promote shopping independents:

  1. Need fabric, patterns or tools? Make independent shops your first choice!
  2. Live in an area where chains are your only nearby option? Check out the many excellent online independent retailers.
  3. Download a Project 95 flyer to share with your friends.
  4. Spread the word on Facebook and follow Project 95 on Twitter.
  5. Take the Project 95 flyer to your sewing guild meeting or quilting group.
  6. Are you active on quilting, sewing or craft-related message boards or email lists? Share Project 95 with them!
  7. Share Project 95 on your favorite social networks.
  8. Add the Project 95 button to your website or blog.
  9. Check the Project 95: Fabric Shoppers Unite—Shop Independents website often .
  10. Tell your quilting and sewing friends to unite, and shop independents!

Project 95 is brought to you by The Fabric Shop Network, Inc.—the trade association for independent quilt and fabric retailers.

Simple Pleasures

 Kathy Brown, the creative designer of The Teacher’s Pet announces the release of “Simple Pleasures” – a new and exciting series of quilt and accessory patterns. Scheduled for release May 15th,Simple Pleasures” patterns hold true to the belief that simple pleasures bring some of life’s most lasting treasures. This pattern series helps to eliminate your customers’ fabric choosing jitters with the use of pre-cuts such as fat quarters, charm squares, layer cakes, jelly rolls, honey buns, sushi rolls, fat sixteenths and so on! While each pattern features pre-cuts, the materials list also details the exact number of squares or strips used so that each project can be kitted from shop stashes. Great for make and take classes, each pattern features projects that result in fast, fun and functional accessories for the heart and home. Similar to the “Take 5” patterns, each “Simple Pleasures” pattern is expertly diagrammed and written with clear, concise instructions that beginners and experienced quilters alike have come to know and expect from The Teacher’s Pet.


TP100 – Strip Center  – a simply delightful 19” x 42” table runner. Great for a one day class, this table runner would look fantastic in everyday or holiday fabrics! Suggested retail $4.95


TP101 – Sweet Dreams  – surrender to sweet dreams with this pair of simple to stitch pillowcases. One half of a “jelly roll” + a bit of yardage combine to make this dynamic duo. Make the pair in one afternoon! An excellent “make and take” class project for adults and children alike! Suggested retail $4.95


TP102 – Hold That Thought  – one of life’s simple pleasures includes giving gifts from the heart. With these gift envelopes, the packaging becomes a part of the heartfelt, thoughtful gift it enfolds. Perfect for an afternoon class!! Suggested retail $4.95


TP103 – Tissue Totes  – a simply wonderful way to carry tissues, this duo features an updated look with split sides! Choose the traditional version to fit inside your pocket or purse, or the hang tab version to hang in your car or on your keyring. An excellent choice for make and take classes! Suggested retail $4.95


TP104 – Candle Cradles  – Simple prairie points cradle your small, medium or large jar candles in style, and create the perfect gift for a friend or loved one. This ever-so-easy project can be completed in just one afternoon. Great for beginners! Suggested retail $4.95

It’s Never Just Another Day at Market…..

Market is alive and well and thriving in Pittsburgh!  We are having so much fun – and working so hard – that we will be exhausted when it is all done, but it is definitely worth it!

Our home away from home…..

My favorite place….the books…..

And we actually get some work done!

You see, Market is unique and has so many facets.  First and foremost, it is a place for vendors to come and display their wares for shop owners….but it is so much more.  There are classes and school house and demonstrations.  It is THE place to come and LEARN how to give a demo day, a class, a block of the month program, etc…  And you aren’t reading about it over the internet – you are talking to the person who invented the gadgets, wrote the book, designed the pattern.  At Market, you go directly to the source – and it is amazing!!!

The Treasure behind Anka’s Treasures

Terry of Atkinson Designs

and their husbands….need we say more???

Market is also a place for us to catch up with old friends that we only get to see a few times a year.  Not only are the vendors, the designers and authors friends, we have become very close to the shop owners too and enjoy catching up and sharing ideas.  It is a small world – especially in the quilting world – and we are all connected by the love of our art.  The passion comes through in everything we do!

Maria at her School House

Cathy demonstrating “The Boot”

The Buggy Barn Gals during a book signing

But the magical thing about market is that it recharges your batteries!  I was so tired this year before I came and within two hours I was the Energizer bunny!  There is an under current of creativity everywhere – and you can’t help but absorb it!  I am a new woman!!!

So enjoy today’s show from the comfort of your home….it’s time for me to get ready for another day!!!!

P3 Designs

Market from above….

Willow Berry Lane

Atkinson Designs

Terry’s big Bags

Pin Cushions by Indygo Junction

Indygo Junction

Let the fun begin…….

5 and 10 is No Longer a Dime Store!

Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson – the gals from Me and My Sister Designs – have created a host of quilts using 5 and 10 inch squares that can be made up in a matter of hours.  These are soft, happy quilts that are meant to be used every day.  Throw them in the washer and dryer, take them on picnics, even let the dogs and cats sleep on them – these quilts were meant to be used and loved!  After all, how can we pass on our love of quilts to our family if we never let them USE them!

Item #B975T  Retail $24.99

But, just because you can whip these quilts up in a matter of hours, doesn’t mean that they aren’t absolutely gorgeous!  Barbara and Mary have a fantastic color sense so they incorporate great design with beautiful fabrics so each quilt truly sings!


In “Swatches”, they set four-patches on point so they float.  The triangles are over-sized and the entire block is then trimmed down to 8 1/2″.  What could be easier – fudge factors built right in!  In this case however, the outside edges will be on the bias, so be sure to use spray starch to help combat the stretching that may occur!  You will love the results!

Four-Patch Pillowcase

Every quilt should be wrapped in a pillow case – there is no better way to present the gift!  And, when that pillow case is made out of matching fabrics – with a pieced cuff – it is irresistible!  The instructions for this pillow case are worth the price of the book.  The illustrations show you step by step how to construct it so there are no exposed seams – these ladies must have a clothing background!

S-C-H-Double O-L

Even though these gals are known for brights and pastels, they have incorporated some quilts in the book that are made out of more traditional fabrics like this one.  O.K.,  I know that’s a stretch – just look at the lime green border – but it does have some black in it!  And, that is about as traditional as you are going to get – and we wouldn’t want it any other way!

This is the best scrap quilt book I have seen in a long time!  You will be referring to this book again and again.  It will be your go-to guide every time you are asked to make a quilt in 24 hours or less – and you all know what I mean!  They will be signing copies of their new book at the Checker Booth at Quilt Market in Pittsburgh.  Barbara and Mary used to own a shop so they can tell you how to incorporate this book into your next class schedule.  Stop by and meet them – there is a reason their quilts are so happy.

Events at Quilt Market – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

We are looking forward to hosting over a dozen  of our favorite authors and demonstrators at Quilt Market.  Here is a list of times and events that you won’t want to miss – a picture is worth a thousand words!  50 Tickets will be handed out 15 minutes before each signing to guarantee that you get a copy – and can still view the demonstration.

We are also hosting four schoolhouses on Thursday, May 14, 2009.  And, Simplicity will be demonstrating how to use their new fabric cutter and bias tape maker on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 – 11:00.

Item #881925  Retail $99.99
Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

Item #881950 Retail $74.99
Simplicity Fabric Strip Cutter

And, if that isn’t enough, Checker will be having a drawing for a Nine Patch Media DVD library. They are quickly becoming the foremost company in quilting videos.  Any customer that places an order with Checker is able to put their business card into the drawing. We will draw one business card at the end of Market and will ship the 11 DVD’s to the store when we return to the warehouse.
This package has a retail value of $330!


Donna Babylon
Home Decorating for Quilt Shop Dollars
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Room 302 – 3:00 – 3:30

Rita Fishel & Penny Haren
Creative Grids Rule – 17 New Products
Demonstrations and Patterns
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Room 301 – 3:35 – 4:05

John Brady
Guidelines 4 Quilting & Creative Grids Ruler
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Room 301 – 4:10 – 4:40

Maria Peagler
Color Mastery
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Room 301 – 4:45 – 5:15
Maria is handing out 50 tickets for a free book to the first 50 people at her school house.

Penny Haren’s Pieced Applique
More Blocks & Projects
Item #L1226 Retail $27.95
Friday, 5/15/2009
10:00 – 11:00

A Touch of Felt by Lynne Ferris
Item #10609 Retail $26.95
Friday, 5/15/09
11:15 – 12:15

One Line at a Time by Charlotte Warr Andersen
Item #10642 Retail $21.95
Friday, 5/15/09
12:30 – 1:30
Charlotte will be sharing her Inchie Tape that she created for her book

Wedding Ring, Pickle Dish & More
Item #KCS02-9 Retail $26.95
Friday, 5/15/09
1:45 – 2:45

Easy Applique Blocks by Kay Mackenzie
Item #B967T Retail $21.99
Friday, 5/15/09
3:00 – 4:00

Crazy Fun-N-Games
by Buggy Barn
Item #BUG612 Retail $22.00
Friday, 5/15/09
4:15 – 5:15

The Quilter’s Book by Cathy Wierzbicki
Item #TTQBOOT Retail $8.00
Saturday, 5/16/09
10:00 – 11:00

Four-Patch Frolic by Barbara Groves
& Mary Jacobson
Item #B975T Retail $24.99
Saturday, 5/16/09
11:15 – 12:15

Art Quilts at Play
by Jane Davila & Elin Waterston
Item #10641 Retail $29.95
Saturday, 5/16/09
12:30 – 1:30

Oh My Stars by Marci Baker
Item # Retail $
Saturday, 5/16/09
1:45 – 2:45

Hop To It by Edyta Sitar
Item #L11233 Retail $27.95
Saturday, 5/16/09
3:00 – 4:00

Machine Applique for the Terrified Quilter
Item #DV03MA Retail $29.95
Saturday, 5/16/09
4:15 – 5:15

Gorgeous Quilts for Gracious Living
by Sonja Moen & Vicki Lynn Oehlke
Item #L11228 Retail $27.95
Sunday, 5/17/09
10:00 – 11:00

Fabric Art Collage
by Rebekah Meier
Item #10654 Retail $26.95
Sunday, 5/17/09
11:15 – 12:15

Piecing with Pixels
by Sandra Hart & Gudny Campbell
Item #AQS7775 Retail $26.95
Sunday, 5/17/09
12:30 – 1:30