Old Dog New Tricks, by Karen Montgomery

I am excited to have this opportunity to provide a sneak peek of my newest pattern featuring the Quick Trim Ruler for Creative Grids!

Old Dog New Tricks 52″ Square

I named the pattern “Old Dog, New Tricks” because having been a quilter for 30+ years and a shop owner for over 18, I can be pretty set in my ways. I am comfortable and proficient with the everyday techniques that I use to create quilts and I tend to be skeptical of notions that offer a better way of doing things. I think that makes me an “Old Dog”!  I have to admit that I love working with the Quick Trim Ruler, it speeds up my piecing process and helps me be as accurate as possible.

CGRMT1 Quick Trim Ruler from Creative Grids

My number one reason for designing the Quick Trim Ruler was to avoid having to draw all of those pesky lines on the reverse side of squares when you are making a flying geese block or clipping a corner.

No More Lines to Draw!

The 45 degree lines on the ruler are perfectly positioned to allow you to trim the squares and rectangles before you sew. You can use the exact same seam guide that you use for every other seam in the quilt!

Now that I have been working with the ruler for several months, I have discovered that the Quick Trim Ruler is capable of a multitude of NEW TRICKS!

The pieced blocks in Old Dog New Tricks are made using 2 1/2 inch strips. The trimming process is done using the 45 degree lines, that are perfectly positioned and only available on the Quick Trim Ruler.  These specialty lines allow you to use every inch of the strips with no waste. The pieces are cut in standard 1/4 inch increments, no fussy 3/8 or 7/8 measurements to deal with.

The Quick Trim Ruler will soon be renamed the “Quick Trim and Circle Ruler” for
very good reason – it also draws circles!  Creative Grids brand is known for the non-slip surface on the bottom of the ruler.  Turn the Quick Trim Ruler upside down when using it for drawing circles. I like to work on a firm pressing surface for this process.

In the photo I have placed a square of fusible interfacing on top of the pieced block, demonstrating the method used in the Old Dog New Tricks pattern.  Place the ruler, upside down on top of the interfacing and position one of the holes that are down the center of the ruler directly over the center of the pieced block. It is easy to see through the interfacing. Put a push pin through the hole and into your pressing surface and hold it in place. Rotate the ruler to draw the circle – it’s easy!  You can draw circles up to 22″!

Having demonstrated the ruler to well over a thousand people, I have discovered that the favorite trick for quilters everywhere is using the Quick Trim Ruler to trim binding strips before sewing them together on a 45 degree angle. No more having to guess where to overlap and where to sew, the ruler cuts the angle and pre-trims the dog ears for perfect results, every time.

To see this and more wonderful demonstrations in person, stop by the Checker Distributor booth at International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City.

New from Quilt Branch

Susan Knapp and Mary Jane Mattingly of The Quilt Branch are following the success of their popular Creative Grids House ruler with the next generation – The Cottage Ruler.  This little lady is designed specifically to work with the pre-cuts that are on the Market.  This smaller version has all of the features of its big brother but is easy to manipulate, easy to read, and easy to cut! 

Item #CGRQB2  Retail $23.45

This ruler is designed to cut every shape under the roof – and it truly does.  Any 45 and 90 degree angles can be cut quickly and easily.  Cut squares, half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, parallelograms, house and barn shapes, diamonds, trapezoids, etc. in a matter of minutes.  And, in true Quilt Branch fashion, they have written a book that includes 3 lap quilts with matching pillow shams, a table topper, and place mats.  Home Dec projects have never been easier!

 

Item #QB147  Retail $17.50

Many of their current patterns use these shapes – in the sizes appropriate – for this smaller version.

The Hope of Hartford is a beautiful table runner that measures 16″ x 56″ – long enough to grace the center of any dining room.

Item #QB102  Retail $8.00

Octagonal Stars includes instructions in two sizes – a 15 1/2″ and a 27 1/2″ size.  The smaller version is a perfect size for a placemat or candle ring; the larger version looks great on a round table.

Item #QB107  Retail $8.00

This Picket Fence Tote looks like it is woven – with angled tops.  No matter what fabrics you choose, tghe bag looks stunning.

Item #QB126  Retail $9.00

Pinata is bright and colorful – and ready to have a picnic served right on top of it!  The prairie points add that perfect decorative touch!

Item #QB121  Retail $9.00

San Miguel includes a colorful pieced foundation that is a great backdrop for a garden.  Combining techniques is always a good thing!

Item #QB136  Retail $9.00

The Cottage ruler – the perfect name for the perfect ruler…Susan and Mary Jane will be featuring it at a school house session at Spring Market and demonstrating daily in the Checker Booth.  We will be sending a schedule soon!

The Twister and Lil Twister now have a Baby Sister!

Lisa Bonjean of Primitive Gatherings loved the Twister design so much, she wanted to do miniature versions.  The folks at CS Designs who developed the original concept had enough on their plates so Lisa provides her own templates in these miniature versions!   The pattern is written for an 11″ x 12 3/4″ size – but wouldn’t a bed size quilt in this size be amazing???  Can’t you just picture it in 30’s prints???  What a great way to use up scraps!!!

Item #PRI946  Retail $12.00

If you love miniatures, teeny tiny is even better!  This version is made with 2 1/2″ cut squares – sewn together into a grid, and then cut by the template.  Simply place the lines on the template on the seam lines to skew the blocks to the correct angle.  Remember, the template is included!

Item #PRI321  Retail $10.00

If 2″ blocks are just too small, try the Lil Twister – created for 5″ squares.

Item #LILTWISTER  Retail $9.85

If bigger is better, use the original Twister to create the same design from 10″ squares.

Item #TWISTER  Retail #19.15

For a wealth of ideas on how to set these blocks, check out the book, “Let’s Twist”. 

Item #LETSTWIST  Retail $18.00 

Mix and match the block sizes to customize your own projects!

Karen Montgomery – New Patterns just in Time for Market

There are three new additions to Karen Montgomery’s popular Project Sheet series.  These sheets provide one page, simple instructions for a multitude of quick, easy projects that are affordable and easy to kit.  And, since they are so simple, they are great for Make It/Take It classes.  These latest installments include a luggage tag, business or gift card case, and a reversible pillow wrap.  All of them can be completed in just a few hours with a minimum of fuss.  Who doesn’t love instant gratification???

 

Item #TQC610 

 

Item #TQC611

Item #TQC612

Karen has expanded her popular pillow line by adding two new ones to the mix.  Now there are over a dozen to choose from – and each pattern includes just the right buttons to add that “awe” factor.  Add them to Baby Blocks – teddy bears, rubber duckies, and hobby horses never looked so good!

 

Item #TQC321  Retail $12.00

Winter Trees includes cardinals and bird houses.  Cardinals are actually the state bird of Ohio, so we may be a little partial to this one!

Item #TQC322  Retail $12.00

But sometimes, a girl just has to design something because she loves it – andFive Easy Pieces is just the ticket.  Five stripes are combined with four-patches.  The mitered border is optional – choose a 40″ x 56″ version, or add the border for a throw size (56″ x 70″) that can be completed in just a matter of hours.

  

Item #TQC325  Retail $8.50

Karen will be sharing her new patterns – and sharing how they can be the showcase of your class schedule – at a school house at Spring Market.  These projects are so easy, your customers won’t be able to stop at just one!                                                                                                     

 

Amy Butler’s new designs

Amy Butler’s signature colors and big prints make anything she designs instantly recognizable. Her latest designs are no exception. Honey Bun Poufs are floor pillows that come in two sizes. In the old days, we might have called this a Dresden Plate pattern -but Amy puts her own spin on it!

Item #AB046HB Retail $12.95

Pillows are definitely in – and these “Must Have Pillows” are created by sewing simple strips together – and appliqueing a message on top. Gussets and cording add the designer touch to these babies!

Item #AB050MH Retail $12.95

Pillows come in all shapes and sizes – and these are no exception. These pieced oval pillows add variety and charm to any setting.

ITEM #AB047PA Retail $12.95

Amy is best known for her bags – so die-hard fans will not be disappointed. This Sunday Sling comes in two sizes.

Item #AB048RS Retail $12.95

The Charm Clutch is the perfect size to hold everything you love to carry in style…

Item #AB049CC Retail $12.95

Amy is also known for creating great stationary – and this season is no exception. This note card folio contains 24 cards and envelopes in four different designs. Let’s bring back the written word!

Item #CB6571-5 Retail $15.95

Or add your own touches with this decorative pack which includes 24 envelopes, cards, and stickers..

Item #CB6576-0 Retail $8.95

Whether you want to carry it, mail it, or decorate it, Amy has you covered!

Terry Atkinson goes vinyl – and we aren’t talking about old records!

Terry is one of my favorite designers. She always has her finger on the pulse of the industry – and has a way of combining new products with patterns that all generations love. Therm O Web has developed an iron on vinyl that can be applied to any fabric. After applying this product to the fabric, it can be machine stitched and used in any pattern.

Item #3905

Wine and Dine is created out of any fabric you choose. The tall size is big enough to transport bottles of wine. The shorter version can be the classiest lunch pail anyone has ever seen!

Item #ATK155 Retail $9.00

My kindle is one of my favorite things – but the case that is sold on-line is over $35.00! This version is much more fun, cheaper, and allows you to add your own sense of style! What is not to love???

Item #ATK156 Retail $9.00

Terry came out with her own zipper line – which made it affordable for a quilt shop to carry a complete line of zippers in a 12″ square space! Every zipper in the top 20 is hers! Build a better mousetrap and they will come! And, if you design patterns around them, all the better! This new trio of pillows is absolutely adorable – and a great way to showcase zippers and rickrack. What a great way to showcase her zippers – in all their funky colors!

Item #ATK157 Retail $9.00

But, Terry is best known for creating simple patterns that include great instructions, are easy to follow, and take a minimum of fabric. Check out Texas Two Step. It is fast, easy and fun – and the green fabric creates a rail fence design.

ITEM #ATK158 Retail $9.00

Shadow Song features a variation of a Shoo Fly or Churn Dash block – and in typical Terry style, she floats the block so everyone can be successful – and you will never loose your points.

Item #ATK159 Retail $9.00

Terry will be demonstrating in the Checker Booth at Market. Come see how easy it is to incorporate vinyl and zippers into YOUR next project.

Learn how to Machine Quilt and be Patriotic to Boot!

Renae Allen of RGA Designs is known for her fabric and instructions that are created to teach anyone how to machine quilt. Whether you are using a domestic machine or a mid-arm or long-arm version, these panels provide a variety of options and teaching opportunities.

Renae has now joined forces with Henry Glass in her latest collection – Patriot Dreams. Two panels are combined with an inner and outer border to create a quilt that is the perfect size for a Quilts of Valor project. Learn how to machine quilt – and donate your effort to a great cause!

Item #RGA516 Retail $12.00

The scrappy looking panels combine a multitude of designs – each providing a teaching (or learning) opportunity. The book provides step by step instructions so even a novice can be successful!

Item #5593-78 Item #5594-78

The inner border and binding are cut from this gorgeous tone on tone.

Item #5596-88

The outer border is cut from this paisley…

Item #5595-77

This line includes a 57″/58″ backing that is both affordable and the same quality as the 42″ wide goods! Don’t you love it when you don’t have to piece a back??? It makes the project more affordable AND saves time! Batting by the Bolt is 62″ wide, so it is the perfect size to coordinate with this line – no waste of batting either!

Item #6720WNCH

If you are using a mid-arm or long-arm machine, 1/4″ acrylic templates by Creative Grids are just the ticket. These templates are used in the book – and are a great way to teach your students how to use these great tools.

Item #BDQSTAR Retail $49.99

Item #BDQCIR Retail $49.99

Item #BDQCR15 Retail $37.00

Item #BDQCR152 Retail $26.00

Join us at Quilt Market and meet the designer in person! Renae will be teaching a school house and explaining the program in the Checker Booth. We will let you know the times as soon as they are available.

The Tool All Quilts Shops Should Be Using!

Just like rotary cutters were the tool that made quilting easier and faster, Social Media is the tool that makes advertising, marketing and communicating easier and faster. And it’s free!
Companies are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites to increase their customer base and sales. These sites offer a chance to get real-time feedback and to build relationships with your customers, wherever they are. Facebook has more than 500 million active users, 50% of whom log on to Facebook at least once a day.
Social media is not a fad and your business should take advantage of this free service. Besides communicating with your existing customer base, social media will expose your business to unlimited potential customers through automated suggestion links.
My mom owns a quilt shop and when I told her she should be on Facebook, she thought it was for teenagers and pedophiles. She had a million excuses why it wouldn’t work for her shop –“ I don’t have time”, “it’s too hard”, “my customers aren’t on Facebook”. After much convincing, we sat down and created a page for the shop. She was surprised to learn that she could snap photos on her phone and upload them directly to her shop’s Facebook page – perfect for sales, new samples and classes. She was also surprised to learn how many of our customers, of all ages, are on Facebook.
Checker will be hosting a Social Media Schoolhouse presentation at Spring Market in Salt Lake City with testimonials and information from Ellen Medlock, Susan Emory and me. Want to get your shop on Facebook? I will be available in Checker’s booth all weekend to help you create your own Facebook account and to answer questions.
See you there!
Alyssa

Jump-Start your Quilting

Jump-Start your Quilting is a conglomeration of over 45 projects by 21 different designers.  Each design is created by using pre-cuts that are readily available on the market.  Every pattern lists the number of 5″ and 10″ squares; 1 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ strips; and fat quarters required to make each project.  What a great way to use up your stash!  And, it doesn’t matter what size of a stash you have – from 9 strips to 80, there is a pattern for everyone!

Item #144063  Retail $19.95

There are so my great projects in this book, you may actually want to work backward!  Count the squares and strips you have on hand – and then choose the project accordingly.

Wendy
Sheppard shared three of the projects she designed on her blog.  This gives you an idea of the variety of projects – and techniques that make them possible…Spring Nesting is created with 11 – 2 1/2″ strips and 5 10″ squares.  Christmas colors for Spring…

French Bouquet is made with nine fat quarters…Look how the quilting becomes a design element in this quilt.

Many of the designers used buttons, rickrack, and ribbons as design elements.  They give the projects a three-dimensional feel.  Ladybugs land on Lollipop Spring…

Even the simplest projects are charming.  This apron, made with 1 1/2″ strips, includes a sashiko stitched pocket that adds texture and style to a beginner project.  Susan Fletcher of Alderspring Design did a great job with this one!

Fast, fun, and trendy!  Buy your copy today!!!  Carolyn S. Vagts will be sharing projects from this book in our booth at Spring Market in Salt Lake City.

Me and My Sister Designs times 3

Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson have combined forces again to create seven charming patterns in three different colorways.  Let’s face it – quilters are visual people!  And, by showing the same quilts in three different fabric lines, we can instantly see the potential.

Item #LA5276  Retail $9.95

This cover quilt, for instance, was shown in these colors; the ever popular teal and brown – and my favorite red & whites!  The red and white version needs to be displayed on a kitchen table topper to honor our grandmothers.  The cover quilt could adorn any nursery and the teal version  is just plain funky!

All of the quilts are less than 40″ wide so the backs do not have to be pieced.  All of the quilts are created out of 5″ squares.  In some cases, yardage is required for borders, backgrounds, and bindings.  But, the designs are so simple, they are easy to enlarge – or reduce – as needed.  Adding borders to most of the projects can turn them into lap quilts.  Without them, you have the perfect size for table toppers; baby quilts; or wall hangings.

Barbara Groves & Mary Jacobson will be sharing projects from their book at the Checker Booth at Spring Market.  Come see what a difference a color scheme can make!