Stripping is Fun – Double Stripping is Amazing!

I love Tumblers – but never wanted to take the time to cut out all of those individual pieces.  But then Carolyn Griffin of Far Flung Quilts, came up with the idea of attaching the templates to a Creative Grids strip ruler – and my favorite quilt is just a few cuts away!  This Double Strip Tumbler ruler makes quick work of these shapes…and it should be available by the end of the month!!!

Item #CGRDBSTUMB  Retail $26.95

Cut 4 1/2″ strips (or sew together any combination of strips that equal 4 1/2″).  I cut 4 1/2″ strips from selvage to selvage and folded the strip in half.  The ruler fits perfectly so you can cut 10 out of each strip (eleven if you press open the scrap on the fold and cut one more).

Six simple cuts create 10 tumblers!  You can’t get any easier than that!

Sew them together as a scrap quilt or choose two of your favorite colors….

Or sew together strip sets…just place the lines on the ruler on the seam lines…..

Or combine the two….

These go together so quickly, you will be making place mats, table runners, and quilts in no time.  Just start cutting your scraps into strips!

Carolyn created a pattern to get you started.

Item #FFQ021  Retail $9.00

Last week I showed you my Civil War reproduction fabric cut up for the CGR Log Cabin ruler (CGRJAW1).  Yesterday, I sewed 96 blocks in various stages to demonstrate the ruler.  I can’t believe how quickly they went!

THIS week I am cutting up some earth tones.  I am cutting it all into 4 1/2″ strips.  When the fabric is not wide enough, cut 2 1/2″ strips, and when the remaining fabric is not wide enough, cut 1 1/2″ strips.  I am going to piece these strips together to make 4 1/2″ units – and intermix them throughout the quilt for a REALLY scrappy look!  Let the Tumblers begin!!!

Take 5 – as in Five Fabrics

I can’t believe its been five years since Kathy Brown of The Teacher’s Pet came up with the Take 5 concept.  Choose five fabrics and combine them to create a spectacular quilt!  This concept has been so successful, that a pattern line and two books support it!  That’s right – two books – the latest release is due at Spring Market!

To celebrate the fifth anniversary, Kathy revised and expanded the pattern that started it all…

Item #TP200  Retail $8.00

The original Take 5 book was a best seller and renewed interest in the pattern series as well….

Item #B976T  Retail $24.99

The newest edition features 16 new projects – but the concept is still a winner.

Item $B1126T  Retail $24.99

Check these out….while this one has an Asian theme, what a great Christmas project…just hang those ornaments on a tree….

Circles are all the rage – and this one is simply fun !

What quilter doesn’t love spools???

Neutrals are popular – and this version is spectacular when accented with the quilting….

But sometimes soft and sweet is just the ticket!

Kathy will be sharing ideas from her new book at Spring Quilt Market in the Checker booth.  To see all of Kathy’s creations, visit our website:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?d=30247

Fireworks – Just in Time for Summer

We all love Edyta Sitar – and her amazing sense of color – so a book called Scrappy Fireworks got my attention immediately.  I love the way she adds sparks of color to add interest to her quilts.  Her latest book isn’t due out until May, but the publishers were kind enough to share some of the nineteen projects from the book, so you get a sneak peak!

Item #L112902  Retail $27.95

I love her applique quilts – and love it when they are accented with a stunning pieced border.  What a way to frame a quilt!

A miniature version of the star quilt on the cover is just the right size for a class project.  Teach the diamond piecing; the star construction; and finish with the applique.

which may entice them to make the full size quilt…and again, check out the border!

And, for those of you who love to piece, this quilt will definitely be a challenge – and use up that stash!

This book is the inspiration for her 2013 calendar — also due in May.

Item #L112780   Retail $12.95

Edyta will be sharing elements of her new book at the Checker Booth at Quilt Market – times to be announced!  Let the countdown begin!


Log Cabin Blocks with the Creative Grids Advantage

I love Log Cabin quilts and all of the variations.  The possibilities of playing with the fabric placement adds to the fun!  But when I tried to actually SEW one, the results were less than ideal.  There are several rulers on the market that cut each log to the exact required size.  There is one problem with that – if my seam allowance isn’t perfect, the “logs” are longer or shorter as I add each round so I “fudge” my way to a block that isn’t the correct size when done!

Item #CGRJAW1  Retail $18.95

The Creative Grids Log Cabin  Trim Tool is a brilliant idea!  Jean Ann Wright designed a tool that trims up each set of logs as they are added to the center square.  As each round is added you have perfect 4 1/2″ squares; then 6 1/2″ squares; then 8 1/2″ squares – everybody will be thrilled with their results!  Here is how it works:

Cut the center square 2 1/2″.  I wanted to use a geometric design  so I decided to fussy cut them.  This is super simple since we added a center line to all of the CGR rectangles.  Just place the center white line on the center of the geometric design and cut on both sides of it.  Then rotate the ruler 90 degrees and cut the squares.

Item #CGR212  Retail $14.45

Cut all of your scraps into strips at least 1 1/2″ wide.  As a rule of thumb, one light and one dark strip cut from selvedge to selvedge are enough to sew any block – no matter where you decide to place the fabrics.  Since the blocks finish to 8″, a twin size quilt measuring 64″ x 96″ requires 96 blocks set 8 x 12, or 96  light strips and 96 dark strips.  Now isn’t that easy????  I wanted to do a series of log cabins – traditional log cabin; courthouse steps; and a half log cabin.  I pulled out my stash of Civil War reproduction fabrics and cut the fabric into 2″ strips so I had a little bit of a fudge factor.  I had enough for all three quilts in less than two hours.  Now THAT is amazing!!!

For the traditional Log Cabin version, sew two light and two dark logs around the center square, pressing as you go.  Then place the first square on the center of the log and trim two sides.

Rotate the block and trim the other two adjoining sides…




Add another round of logs and trim by placing the middle square on the ruler over the center square of the Log Cabin and repeat the process…

Trim to size and add another round of logs.  This time place the center square on the ruler over the center square of the log cabin…

Trim all four sides – and you have a perfect log cabin!!!

To sew a Courthouse Steps version, add light logs to opposite sides of the center square and dark logs to the other two opposite sides.  Trim each round of logs just like you do for a traditional log cabin.


To create a Half Log Cabin, sew a light log to one side of the center square and a dark log to an adjoining side.  Place the half log cabin square on the ruler over the 2 1/2″ square.  Trim two sides.


Rotate the ruler and use the Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps square on the ruler to trim the other two sides.

Add six light and six darks to complete the block and Voila!

Your customers will LOVE this!  I cut up 10 years worth of my stash of Civil War fabrics in less than two hours.  I haven’t finished the quilts yet, but having the fabric organized, knowing what I am going to do with it, and having it ready to sew relieved all of that Quilt GUILT!  Do you think they rhyme for a reason???  And these blocks go together so quickly, that I will be able to sew them up on my next quilting retreat!

Here is the quilt that started it all….It was a Block of the Month that I designed for my shop.  This quilt now resides on my guest bed.  But, in Ohio, one quilt on a bed isn’t warm enough.  So, sewing the scraps into a coordinating Log Cabin quilt is the perfect solution!  Why not offer an idea for the scraps left from your next Shop project?  It doesn’t have to be a matching quilt – a table topper, table runner, pillow shams, or pillows will work too.  Give them a reason to use up their scraps as they go – and they will love you for it!

This ruler is being manufactured as we speak so pre-order now so you can be the first to demo this puppy!  It will sell like hot cakes!

Tried and True

Every successful shop owner knows that she needs to offer her customers inspiration that other shops do not.  BUT, you also have to offer the most popular books and patterns or they will find it somewhere else!  This week, I checked out the top 20 books – and three authors have two books featured!  And, when that happens, I take notice.  That is simply an amazing achievement!

These books are guaranteed sales….Edyta Sitar has two books in the top 20:

Item #LBQ0278  Retail $27.95

Item #L11262  Retail $27.95

Friendfolks has produced a series of winners.  That’s right – the original Turning Twenty is STILL in the Top 20!

Item #FF105  Retail $10.95

The new Stained Glass book is a consistent winner!

Item #FF124  Retail $12.95

The Twister and Lil Twister have created a sensation that is still going strong…

Item #LETSTWIST  Retail $18.00

Item #LTAGAIN  Retail $19.95

Sometimes we are so busy stocking “new”, that we forget there is a reason that some products continue to be best sellers.  These winners need to be re-ordered – and treated with the respect they have EARNED!


Atkinson has done it again…

Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs is simply amazing!  If you aren’t featuring her patterns in your shop, everyone else is!  This woman has four of the top 20 patterns – and that has to be a record!  There is a reason that her patterns sell so well – they are accurate, well written, and easy enough for everyone to be successful!

Her Stand ‘N Stow totes just hit the Top 20.  One of these is never enough – even one in every size!  These are great beach bags, grocery bags, lunch bags – choose your size and choose your need!  The small size is a perfect lunch bag, the middle size is about the size of a grocery bag, the large size holds a 9″ x 13″ pan perfectly.

Item #ATK153  Retail $8.00

Peltex Fusible Stabilizer gives the bags their body.  They stand up on their own so you can pack them.  Then they fold flat for storage.  What a fun way to use up your stash – and those fun fabrics that are difficult to incorporate into a quilt!

Item #ATK156  Retail $9.00

Readers are incredibly popular.  But the covers are incredibly expensive.  A cover – without a light – retails for $35!  Why not make your own – and add your own personality???

Item #ATK148  Retail $8.00

These Cash & Carry wallets are perfect for summer.  Why not do a class on the large version for a glass case today?  What a great Spring Break project!

Yellow Brick Road is a classic – and this classic is #4!!!  What can I say….when it is good, it is good!

Item #ATK126  Retail $8.00

Check out all of Terry’s designs by visiting our website:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?v=A735

They are all winners!
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Embroidery Designs that Make me Smile

I am thrilled that Checker has picked up Ronene Wilkinson’s pattern line “Oh My Bloomin’ Threads”.  Her designs make me smile – and sometimes laugh!  Samples of these projects sprinkled throughout your store can only be a good thing.

Item #OMBTA25  Retail $8.00

Some of them speak to the woman in all of us…

Item #OMBTA29  Retail $8.00

Item #OMBTA34  Retail $8.00

Some of my favorite celebrate the holidays…

Item #OMBTA55  Retail $8.00

Item #OMBTA53  Retail $8.00

Item #OMBTA58  Retail $8.00

I love her embellished applique pieces as well…

Item #OMBTQ01  Retail $10.00

And what woman can’t relate to this one!!!  It’s all about the boots…

Item #OMBTQ04  Retail $14.00

To see a complete line of these patterns, visit our website at:  http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=omb&relatedto=

These patterns will be available the end of the month.  Why not have your staff choose their favorites now so the samples will be ready by shop hop season???


New Books from some of your Favorite Authors

I am a huge Kim Diehl fan and can’t wait to get my hot little hands on her newest addition to her “Simple” series!  She has a way of putting colors together that takes country main stream!  I can picture all of her quilts in a New York loft or a country cottage OR my house – which is why she has such mainstream appeal!

Item #B1108T  Retail $28.99

Here is a sneak peak of what surprises are inside….

This is classic Kim!!!  I love it when she combines simple applique with quirky piecing.  Notice how the border just can’t contain the triangles!  This girl just can’t stay in the box!

How she take a classic nine-patch and give it an entirely new look???

Pinwheels never looked so good – especially when paired with squares and a large triangle border…

This simple star quilt with scrappy points fits right in a Civil War setting – or in a trendy Upper East Side loft!

This book won’t be out until May – but you can already list your customers who will want it so why not print this out and let them pre-order it from you???

Home Sweet Home

Many of you have fallen in love with the applique designs of Debra Gabel of Zebra Patterns.  She is responsible for the floral series; a butterfly series; birds; butterflies; city and state stamps – this lady is prolific!  But the quality is always superb!

Later this month, she is releasing her newest additions – houses – and they are simply charming.  The 12 blocks are designed to hang from a 12″ x 14″ Ackfeld frame (89637 – copper) – or can be made into a quilt.  Each pattern comes with a full size placement guide; color picture; and fabric printed with the windows and details so that your house will look just like the original.  Enough talk – here is your next Block of the Month program….

Item #ZP90001  Retail $12.00


Item #ZP90002  Retail $12.00


Item #ZP90003  Retail $12.00


Item #ZP90004  Retail $12.00

Item #ZP90005  Retail $12.00

Item #ZP90006  Retail $12.00

Item #ZP90007  Retail $12.00

Item #ZP90008  Retail $12.00

Item #ZP90009  Retail $12.00

Item #ZP90010  Retail $12.00

Item #ZP90011  Retail $12.00

Item #ZP90012  Retail $12.00

These patterns are expected in our warehouse by the end of the month.  From now until Market, I will be sharing many of the new products that will not officially be launched for a few months.  BUT, if you don’t order them now, you will not be one of the first shops to receive them when available.  And in this economy, a competitive edge is always a good thing!

What is Checker You

Why is there a Checker You???

Rob met with shop owners – and even shadowed them for a day – and realized that what everyone of you needs is more time in your day!  Anything that Checker can do to make it easier for you to multi-task effectively is a win/win for everyone.   And who is in the best position to make that happen?  Checker!

After all, the folks at Checker have personal relationships with the designers and manufacturers of the products that you sell every day.   And, these are the people with the most knowledge to educate you about their products.  So the buyers at Checker have asked our vendors to submit class plans and videos to teach you how to best teach your customers!  And, it is all in one place!  Checker You!

Visit www.checkeryou.com today to get your ideas flowing and your inspiration going!

When you visit the home page, you must sign in using your name and password – just like you do to order from the Checker website.  That is because this is an exclusive site for shop owners only!  And, since this is not – and is never intended to be – a consumer site, we teach you how to teach a class or present a demo from your viewpoint!

Click on the tab that interests you.  If you click on classes, this screen will appear:

The classes are listed by length so you can choose a time frame that fits your needs.  Need an all day class?  Check out the 6 hour classes.  Need to fill an evening?  We have that too!  When you click on a class, a lesson plan; info about the contributor; required class materials; and add-on sales are recommended.  (Not only are they recommended, but item numbers and prices are provided so ordering is simple.)  We even provide you with the ability to personalize and generate a promotional flyer.

If you click on demos, this screen will appear:

You can watch the demos to learn how to replicate it in your own store.  And, again, all required materials and add-on sales are listed – we want to save you time!!!

But, you can contribute too!  If you have a class or demo that is working for you, share it!  We are adding classes and demos daily – and now have a full time staff to meet the demand!  When you are dealing with a company like Checker – they don’t just think outside of the box -they build a whole new structure that has never existed before!  Now THAT is exciting!  And you ain’t seen nothing yet!!!