Creative Grids Machine Quilting Templates – Accessories

Creative Grids Machine Quilting Templates–Part 1 of 3 – Accessories.

In a previous article I talked about using templates when accuracy is important. This is the first of three articles that describe different types of templates offered by Creative Grids. I wanted to start with accessories because they are used throughout the quilting process. Included are two rulers, a stipple stitcher and a (free) spacer.

Starting with what is probably the most useful tool in the set, look at the Straight Stitchers, which come in two sizes. Some call these rulers, and in fact, they are.

Item # BDQSS

Item # BDQSS2

Rulers are templates with a straight edge and the ability to measure – both very useful features. In addition to this, look at the photo showing the BDQSS. It is smaller, and it fits nicely in one hand. For people with small machines, the smaller size is essential for measuring, marking and stitching any vertical lines.

Look closely at how the template is held. Although people have been taught to press down hard on a ruler so it doesn’t slip, that really isn’t feasible when quilting. Pressing down hard on a ruler prevents the machine from moving, making it very hard to quilt. Instead, learn to hold the template, so it is secure in your hand. You will exert some downward pressure, but the stability comes from how it is held. Notice that the fingers are touching the fabric too. This is very important because if the template starts to slip, the fingertips know instantly. If the hands are not touching the fabric, there can be small slips that add up to bigger mistakes. This is true for all machine guides.

Notice also that the rulers have the patented Creative Grids Gripper Strips, which really help prevent slipping. This is the same technology used in other Creative Grids rulers, but these are strips instead of dots. This helps visually differentiate the two.

Rulers designed for rotary cutting are NOT safe to use as a machine guide because they are not thick enough to prevent the ruler from sliding over or under the hopping foot. Note: the concepts described here apply to all quilting machine templates.

Item # BDQSS2

Look closely at the longer ruler. This picture shows it being used for Stitch-in-the-Ditch (SID). Notice also that there are several white reference lines, at quarter inch increments. These are very important when doing echo quilting or outlining.

Another very useful accessory is the Stipple Stitcher. It becomes a secondary set of handles for your machine when doing tiny microstitching, like stippling.


The Stipple Stitcher is designed to fit around the hopping foot of most longarm machines, which is why it has four slightly different size keyholes. It must be a close fit, but still allow the hopping foot to ‘hop’ without moving the tool up and down too.

Holding the Stipple Stitcher

Notice that it comes with four indentations along the outer edges, which is where you will hold it. By having your fingertips control the movement of your machine, you can get excellent control when doing microstitching.

Because of the shape of the hopping foot, any time a template is used as a stitching guide, the stitchline is offset by (about) ¼”. Therefore, if you choose to mark a quilt before stitching (a very good idea for beginners) the marked line needs to be offset by ¼” also. So, mark your stitchline using the template and a ¼” spacer.

Marking before stitching

There are spacers on the market that will do this for you, but as a free gift to Checker customers, I will send a free heart-shaped spacer to you if you request it and while supplies last (see photo below).


Just use the comment section of the newsletter to request one, and remember to provide your complete name, street address and email so I can get it to you.

More articles about how to use the Creative Grids Quilting Machine Templates will follow.

Always “checking” for a better way to quilt!


Pat Barry

ã2011 By Design Quilting, LLC. This copyright entitles you to reprint this article. All other rights reserved.

The Gadget Queen – Meet the Gypsy Quilter

If your sewing room is decorated in purple – with no conscious thought on your part – chances are you have met the Gypsy Quilter! Lanette Edens has a signature color – and you guessed it – purple!

The latest “can’t do without” notion is her new Pin Pal. This magnetized “pin cushion” attaches to your wrist with velcro so they are literally at hand at all times! Wear one during a class – and you just demoed the product!

Item #TGQ010 Retail $8.00

Eleanor Burns made chain piecing famous – and this little “Cutting Gizmo” is the perfect companion….it’s like having a second pair of hands!

Item #TGQ008 Retail $13.95

This collapsible trash can is the perfect size – when collapsed – to carry to classes. But, when it is opened, it is as large as a one quart can – plenty of room for all of your scraps!

Item #TGQ007 Retail $9.00

These machine quilting grippers save shoulder strain when quilting on your home sewing machine….

Item #TGQ005 Retail $19.95

But all of that sewing can be hard on the cheeks – and I don’t mean the ones that grandma likes to pinch! This seat stops you from slouching and also alleviates back pain. Talk about double duty!!!

Item #TGQ006 Retail $28.95

Her Gypsy Grippers are top sellers. They come in three sizes so there is one to fit your rulers.


Item #TGQ003 Retail $6.50


Item #TGQ004 Retail $15.00


Item #TGQ002 Retail $17.00

The reason you love her gadgets is because Lannette is a quilter! It makes all the difference in the world…This log cabin pattern is gorgeous – and guess what – its purple!!!

Item #TGQ009 Retail $8.00

Come play with all of Lanette’s toys at the Open House in August. Play before you pay is always fun!

No Sew Boutique Gifts from Ellen Medlock

I love Ellen Medlock’s designs, and am thrilled that she is coming to our Open House next month. Ellen will show you how to make several projects that are perfect for classes. And, in some cases, no sewing is required.

When I owned a quilt shop, groups would want me to teach a class to a civic group, scout troop, 4-H Group – you know the drill. The problem with that scenario is that most of them don’t SEW! These projects created by Ellen are perfect for those situations – and those who sew will love them too. They are perfect gifts!

These bangle bracelets can be covered with ribbons or fabric – and embellished with buttons and beads. A set of bands come in different widths – the possibilities are endless – and a great way to showcase your favorites trims….

Item #EMP403M Retail $14.99

Same concept, smaller rings for napkins….

Item #EMP404 Retail $14.99

What could be easier than a covered ring??? To match their bangle bracelets??? What a great demo – in fifteen minutes or less! Now that is easy!!!

Item #EMP405A Retail $3.99

These little Mary Jane Coin purses are adorable – and fast!

Item #EMP705A Retail $15.99

If you have more time, I love these covered purses. The kit includes the form. Just cover it with glue and smooth on the fabric. It takes longer to dry than it does to make them!

Item #EMP115A Retail $29.99

Or choose the heart version -cute and sassy! Just big enough for your needs.

Item #EMP116B Retail $29.99

Matching chains can be purchased separately.

Sometimes, a class is an opportunity to set aside time to actually FINISH something – and this interchangeable bag pattern is a perfect example of that! Schedule classes so your customers can come in and make a bag for every season – but they have to leave with it done! If it becomes another unfinished project, there is no reason to take a class!

Item #EMP105F Retail 13.99

These purses come in kits in a variety of metallic colors. The fabric cover is fast and simple to make so it CAN be changed with every season! To see all of the possibilities, visit our website:

Batting Tape – A No Brainer

Heat Press Batting Together has been consistently in the Top 20 since its release. The original is 1 1/2″ wide on 10 yard spools for just $7.99. That is enough to join pieces of batting for three large quilts.

It is soft and thin so it does not add any bulk to to the batting. Simply overlap two pieces of batting and cut them with a rotary cutter. Peel away the raw edges and the two rotary cut edges will fit together perfectly. Then, press the tape over the cut to join them. It can be used on any type of batting.

Item #HPBT Retail $7.99

This product is perfect for larger projects, but sometimes we need to piece batting for table runners and place mats as well. The new version is half the width of the original – 3/4″ – and is 10 yards long. Basically, they did the work for you! They cut the tape in half – and cut the price in half as well. These smaller projects require smaller pieces of batting – and the weight of the project will not put stress on this join. The wider tape is a waste of a good product. Use the thinner width – and save!

Item #HP34 Retail $3.99

In this economy, your customers will LOVE using up their stash – and their stash includes batting! In fact, batting scraps are bulky and take up a lot of room. So help them clean out their sewing room- and they’ll have more room for fabric!!!

Thinking outside of the Box with Marci Baker

Marci of Alicia’s Attic (also known as Quilts with Marci Baker), has made a career out of thinking outside of the box. She has taken patterns that we all love – and developed easier ways to make them. Classics that everyone avoided in the past are simple when Marci breaks them down.

By adding a seam to the center of a Grandmother’s Flower Garden, the quilt can be sewn together in strips and then combined – no hand sewing required!

Item #N004 Retail $18.95

Tumbling blocks have never been easier – and once again Marci has eliminated the inset seam. This quilt just became a beginner project! The book includes 16 projects, twelve of which are strip pieced. Make a traditional Tumbling Blocks quilt or add a three dimensional effect to any quilt. What a great class in color and shading!

Item #ABC007 Retail $29.95

Six-pointed stars have never been easy. Inset points are difficult so most quilters choose to hand-piece them or avoid the block entirely – until Marci came up with a way to strip piece these stars as well!

Item #OMS-006 Retail $29.95

Diamond Star Log Cabins are simply spectacular – and fun to make, until it is time to sew the units together. Sewing the sections together so that the quilt lies flat is never easy. Once again, Marci has taken the frustration out of this quilt – and over 20 other projects.

Item #NLC005 Retail $29.95

Come join Marci at our Open House next month. She will be demonstrating all of these techniques so you can see just how easy they are! I see a new class on the fall schedule….

If you Can Iron, You Can Quilt – The Perfect Beginner Quilt

We all love quilting – and are constantly looking for ways to share our love of quilting with our customers and friends. Lisa Maki has developed a technique that makes it possible for everyone to successfully create a project in an afternoon.

The secret to her process is a very light-weight iron-on interfacing. The interfacing has gridded markings (Item #821P). All you have to do is place fabric squares within the gridded markings and press with an applique pressing sheet (Item #BTD209).

Sashings can be placed and ironed between the squares. Look how effective it is in this tote bag. This is a perfect introduction class – teach your students the technique AND how to insert grommets – who doesn’t love a class that offers a two for one???

Item #CHQD014 Retail $12.00

Or, try this Simple Tote….what a great way to showcase a gorgeous panel!

Item #CNQD015 Retail $10.00

Beginners struggle with sewing that perfect “scant” 1/4″ seam allowance. With Lisa’s technique, it really doesn’t have to be perfect – the seam allowance just has to be consistent. Fold the fabric that is ironed to the interfacing – right sides together – and sew. Remember, the grid lines are marked on the interfacing so it couldn’t be any easier. As long as the seam allowance is consistent, the entire quilt will go together! It doesn’t get any easier than this!

Although this technique is great for beginners, it also is perfect for all of us when we need a quick, easy project! Check out these table runners….the perfect gifts….

Item #CNQD6 Retail $10.00

Item #CNQD012 Retail $10.00

The interfacing is a great stabilizer – and adds body to these projects. But this technique works for quilts as well!

Item #CNQD3 Retail $10.00

Corner posts are possible too…..

Item #CNQD1 Retail $10.00

Pieced blocks are also popular – and oh so doable!!!

Item #CNQD5 Retail $10.00

The first quilt many of us make is a T-Shirt quilt. Customers who know how to sew want to make a quilt for a child’s graduation. That is the perfect time to turn them into quilters! Fill that empty nest with quilts – a whole new hobby! Lisa has designed a T-Shirt quilt that is perfect for that introduction into quilting! It even includes a template!

Item #CNQD9 Retail $26.95

Lisa will be sharing her techniques at our Open House next month. Come and see how easy it is to teach your customers a new technique… just a matter of hours…..

Jelly Roll Quilts and Creative Grids

Pam and Nicky Lintott, a mother/daughter duo, took the quilting world by storm when they published the first Jelly Roll Quilts book – which is still a top seller.

Item #Z2175  Retail $24.99

They have continued this series – and the best sellers have continued.  The newest book in this series features 50 blocks made from pre-cut fabrics.  These blocks are set into 10 different sampler quilts – what a great basis for a block of the month program….

Item #Y3005  Retail $24.99

Pre-order the latest addition in this series – more sampler quilts that will make you smile….

Item #WO648  Retail $24.99

What you may not know is that Pam and Nicky Lintott are friends of Rachel Cross – whose family founded Creative Grids.  They put their heads together to design the perfect ruler for these precut fabrics.  This multi-triangle ruler cuts 45 and 90 degree angles – and does the math for you!

Item #CGRMS4590  Retail $24.95

The blocks and quilts in these books have never been easier – sometimes you just need the right tools!!!  The entire series (and the ruler) make an instant display when placed with all of the pre-cuts in your shop. Everything in one place is always a good thing….

Item #Z4202  Retail $24.99

Item #Z5009  Retail $24.99

Item #Z8568 Retail $24.99

Nostalgic Embroidered Quilts and Pillow Cases

We all remember staying at Grandma’s house – and in Ohio farm country that means feather beds, quilts, embroidered pillow cases and dresser scarves…..remember dresser scarves???

Now they have become the “in” thing and sell for big bucks at the Flea Market and antique stores.  But guess what – that company still exists – and when three of their quilt blocks were in the top 20, I thought it was time to show you how to make these vintage finds.  Jack Dempsey to the rescue!

The three products that are in the top 20 in the needleart category are all 9″ quilt blocks.  Whether zoo animals, Sunbonnet Sue, or the alphabet is your cup of tea, the price can’t be beat!

Item #200-6 Retail $6.30
Sunbonnet Sue

Item #300-78 Retail $6.30

Item #4060-62  Retail $11.40

And, coincidentally, Creative Grids has a 9″ square it up ruler that is the perfect size to trim these to the exact size you need….

Item #CGRSQ9  Retail $24.45

Check out the website to view over 400 items – including all of those pillow cases we talked about.

These are the blocks we learned to embroider when we were children.  Lets pass that legacy on!  Remember how you came to quilting – most of us started with these simple projects – and that joy became a lifetime passion!

Buttons and Bows with a Touch of Whimsey

You all know that I am a huge Whimsicals/Terri Degenkolb fan – and she has earned every accolade!  She is one of the few people in our industry who has an instantly recognizable style- but always manages to give each fabric line and book a fresh look.  Terri’s fabric Christmas line was one of the best selling – ever – and the book has been in the top 20 since its release.

Item #WH320  Retail $24.00

Make It Merry features several great projects – some of which feature Paintstiks.  I loved the look of her projects – but Paintstiks were outside of my comfort zone.  After all, I am traditional – not an art quilter – so this just wasn’t for me.  Then I saw Terri demo it – and I was hooked!  (The branch on the cover is Painstiks!)

If you are my age, many of you stenciled walls during your country phase.  Terri showed me how to cut the design out of freezer paper, iron it to fabric, and use the paintstiks to stencil – and my light bulb went off.  This is just like stenciling my walls but I don’t have to climb on a ladder!  It is so simple- and by ironing the waxy side of the freezer paper to the fabric – there is no bleeding!

Item #CCT201  Retail $18.45

And, it gets better!  Terri is coming to the Open House – and is bringing all of the projects that use them AND will show you how!

I know her Christmas line is in the stores now – and she has two additional patterns to support them.  These patterns feature the panels from her line….

Item #WH158  Retail $10.00

Item #WH159  Retail $10.00

Everything I have told you about so far is in the top 20!

You are not going to believe this – but it gets even better!  Terri’s new line – Buttons and Blooms is do out in  August.

Item #4099-ASST  Fabric Assortment

Also available by the bolt

And Terri will be showcasing projects and techniques from this book at the Open House.  This is so new that we don’t even have an image of the book on our website yet – I stole this one from Terri’s blog.  Talk about hot off the presses!

Item #WH321  Retail $20.00

Come and get your autographed copy (or several) – and offer them to the first 12 people that sign up for a class!  If this isn’t a demo day in your shop, you are missing out on sales….and fun!

Check out what is new in the Pumpkin Patch

Need’l Love has released their newest book – Pumpkin Patch Threads – and you will LOVE it! I have been a big fan for years – and buy every book in the series. There is a reason for that – because guys, I see EVERYTHING – and there is a reason that these books are so special and continue to sell year after year!

Item #Q25 Retail $25.00

The patterns are not just quilts! And, even when they are, they include a tactile feast for the eyes. The quilts are not just made from cotton – they include wovens and wools to add dimension and texture to each project. Combining piecing and applique also lets us dabble in everything we love. Check out this miniature that combines applique with a pieced border. It is the perfect focal point of any table display.

There are also little projects that make great gifts or add a touch of class to any decor. Check out these pumpkin coasters that give you an opportunity to try crazy quilting stitches.

There is always a good selection of projects. Look at this rectangular pillow that combines wovens and wools. Notice that the points are appliqued out of wool – guaranteed success! No points to turn…..

As quilters, we are tactile people. We love the textures and vibrant colors that they include in all of their designs. And, the embroidery adds another decorative touch that adds dimension and that awe factor. Their style continues to evolve. There is always a wonderful balance between the past and the present. They show us how to grow – but still let us keep a toe inside that comfortable, cozy box that feels like home. Working outside of the box – and our comfort zone – has never been more fun!