Elizabeth Hartman Designs the Reef

As I am writing this, Elizabeth Hartman has the TOP SELLING patterns at Checker – and another eight in the top 100!  That HAS to be a record.  Her latest releases are created with her new Reef fabric line by Robert Kaufman.

Awesome Ocean

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These fabrics are just plain happy!

Sea Urchins

These pieced urchins are just plain fun and made with a 45-degree ruler – and Creative Grids® just happens to have that!

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The patterns and fabric will be released this summer.  Order them now because you KNOW these are going to be hot!  To see everything by this amazing designer, visit our website:  Elizabeth Hartman

Sassafras Lane is Spicing Up Market

I love everything that Sassafras Lane does – and this Market is no different!  They bridge the gap between the traditionalists of my generation and the sassy style of theirs – and they do it beautifully!  Check these out.

Clay Court is a wonderful study in color.  Piecing the triangles out of 2-1/2″ strips adds texture and the triangles are created with the Perfect Square and Perfect Rectangle Ruler.

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Alligator Alley is done in this generation’s version of a blue and yellow quilt.  Sixty-degree angles never looked so good!

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Darby Road looks like a funky hexie and is actually paper-pieced so it is simple!  And who wouldn’t love to adopt Elsie?  And the next time someone tells you to – Just Focus – make them this quilt!

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Look at the detailing on this Bugsy Backpack!  Talk about a fashion statement!

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All of these patterns are due in the middle of May – just in time for your Market event!

 

The Newest Member of the Creative Grids® Family

Many of you have paid your rent by offering tuffet classes.  Erin Underwood’s round tuffet that can be made in an afternoon has been in the top 100 patterns since it’s release two years ago,

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So when she came to us and wanted to do a 22-1/2 degree ruler so she could create a square tuffet, we were in!

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This triangle has the same markings as her 15-degree triangle plus some additional angle markings which are referred to in patterns to create more intricate designs.

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Sixteen triangles create a “circle” or Dresden.  Or use it to create a frequent bucket list contender – the Dahlia. Or create a quilt in an afternoon with Sassy Tumblers.

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Or create a table runner and matching place mats with this Cut Loose Press™ pattern.

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Karen Bennett of Nellie’s Needle loved it so much, she designed three patterns around it…

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The patterns are selling out quickly, but don’t worry!  More are expected any day!

Now Everyone Can Piece Curves Successfully

I saw Bethany Miller demonstrate this technique at QuiltCon and was instantly impressed!  I couldn’t wait to demo it at my next class and it was a huge hit!  Here are two different pics for the pattern.  I personally saw the quilt on the right a loved it in all solids!

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These blocks are perfect for layer cakes.  The concept?  Use the template to trace the exact shapes on a heavyweight freezer paper such as the CutRite brand.

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This paper is thick so it can be used multiple times without damaging the shape.  Guesstimate the seam allowance – I used a rotary cutter – and follow her simple instructions to machine sew perfect blocks in literally a matter of minutes!

Then the blocks are all trimmed to 7 1/2″ – which explains why the CGR7 has suddenly become so popular!

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This is the best demo I have seen in a long time!  Bethany Miller is young, enthusiastic, and thinks outside of the box.  Please help me get her name out there so she gets the credit for developing a technique that will have everyone sewing perfect curves.  I am telling you, it is THAT good!  Be sure to have the pattern, template, freezer paper, and ruler available because they will want it all!

You Asked, We Delivered

We have had many requests for an 18 1/2 inch version of our most popular workhorse – the 8 1/2 x 24 1/2 inch ruler.  You asked, we listened – and it is IN STOCK now!

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This ruler has all of the great features of the original:

It is the perfect size to span the most popular size of rotary cutting mats. And, since it is 25% smaller than the original 24-1/2″ version, it is easier to manipulate. The wide width makes it the perfect choice to square up corners and borders.

It features easy-to-read black and white markings printed in 1″ grids marked in 1/8″ and 1/4″ increments. Use the black numbers (printed on white dots) and the 1/4″ grip sides to cut whole inches, while the white numbers (printed on black dots) and the 1/2″ grip sides add the 1/2″ seam allowance.

The ruler slides easily over the fabric until pressure is applied. Then, our exclusive gripper holds the fabric in place while cutting, eliminating slipping and miss-cuts!

Use the white 45º angle to trim half-square triangles in whole inch increments. Use the black 45º angle to trim half-square triangles in half inch increments. An additional black 45º line is placed so that two angles cross 1/4″ away from the outside edge. Use these markings to square up flying geese units; squares set on point or mark cross-hatching. The ruler also features a 30º- 60º angle.

White horizontal and vertical lines are printed on the rectangle so the center of the ruler is easily distinguishable. Use these lines to fussy cut stripes and borders.

I didn’t want to leave anything out so the above is the description exactly how it appears on the website.  This is a perfect opportunity to introduce this ruler and reiterate the great features of the entire line!

Traditional with a Modern Twist

I love everything by Cindi McCracken!  She takes traditional blocks and adds a modern twist that combines crisp, clean lines and fabulous color choices.

Stars at the Lake combines the charm of a traditional churn dash block with a simple paper-pieced block – the perfect opportunity to expose your customers to paper-piecing without intimidating them!  Broken Dishes is paper-pieced from strips so it is very impressive without any of the frustration.

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Any Which Way is striking in batiks and Fading Light can be made in a week-end.  Both would be great additions to your “masculine” quilt pattern collection.

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Cindi uses the new Stripology Squared ruler to cut her strips and recommends it in some of her patterns.  Why not host a class and “race” with a student who is known to be fast?  You use the Stripology Squared and they can cut with a traditional ruler.  Once they see what a time saver it is, the tool will sell itself!

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All of these patterns are due to arrive this month so order them now!

Mini Quilts are Hot Part One

Kathleen Tracy has created sixteen charming mini quilts based on traditional blocks that we all know and love.  Minis are gaining in popularity and are a great way to accessorize a room by using the scraps from a quilt to create minis that coordinate with it.  Don’t you love getting your “Martha Stewart” on?

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Or, add a spot of color anywhere in your home.  Check out their photography for inspiration.  Don’t you want these vignettes in your own home?

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Or display them all together to create a huge impact in any room!  If you are hanging them on a wall, you may want to consider using Soft and Stable for batting.  They will hang perfectly flat and add that professional touch!  It comes in several packaging options: Project Packs which include four 13 1/2 x 18 1/2 inch pieces (originally meant for place mats but perfect for minis), 1/2 yard cuts; 1 yard cuts; etc.  Why not display these packaged options next to a display of minis?

Creative Grids® has several rulers that may help you along your miniature journey.  They have put together a booklet entitled “Love Mini’s” which shows a wide variety of tools available to create small units. Help your customers find the right tool for their mini projects!  There is also a tri-fold available to help your customers keep track of the Creative Grids® products they already have… or want! Be sure you keep a supply next to your cash register or Creative Grids® display.  Newest rulers are listed in bold on the list – so be sure to replenish new brochures every spring and fall.

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Quilts with Funk

I love it when one of our babies – in this case the Creative Grids Circle Savvy ruler – takes on a life of its own.  When the designers came to us, we were blown away by the possibilities.  But, in this case, once they had a chance to play with it, the true potential of this tool emerged!  Karla Alexander of Saginaw St Quilts has a vision and a style that has become instantly recognizable.

My circles never looked like this!!!!

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Who would have thought that both quilts were made with the same tool????

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These quilts are much easier than you think!  Piecing large curves is a piece of cake – especially when you have the right tools and patterns!  Moon Shadow and Polka Box have a more traditional look – and may be the perfect transition class to move your customers toward more artsy, free form quilts.

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Why not challenge your students in the new year – and offer classes that will challenge them to try techniques that they may not be comfortable with.  For our industry to continue to grow, we must continue to learn!  And these quilts appeal to everyone – and bridge the gap between tradition and art!

You asked – we delivered!

As soon as we developed the Itty Bitty Eights Creative Grids rulers with Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, we got requests for a bigger size!  And when you talk – we listen!

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This 5″ by 15″ version is perfect for ALL of your cutting needs – not just when working in miniature.  And the 5″ width is perfect for cutting 5″ charm strips or squares – another request we have heard!

Big quilts and blocks require 1/8 inch cuts as well.  This ruler highlights the 1/8″markings which are hard to use on traditional rulers. The black and white dashed 1/8″ markings show on both light and dark fabrics. Refer to the black diamonds when cutting 1/8″ units; the white diamonds when cutting 1/4″ units.  It can’t get any easier than that!

The 3/16″ marking printed along the length of each side of the ruler are the perfect width for cutting wool bias strips for appliques. One is white and one is black. Choose the line that shows best on your chosen fabric.

Lisa has designed two Cut Loose Press patterns that showcase the features on the Itty Bitty Eights series.  I love combining piecing with applique – the best of both worlds and she does not disappoint!  Or choose this quilt – the perfect baby quilt whether in blues or pinks.  Add flannel for that awe factor!

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Don’t forget to include the 6 inch square and 3″ x 7″ version in your display.  Let your customers choose their favorites!

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Log Cabin Cutting Tips

I love, love, love the series of Log Cabin Trim Tools from Creative Grids®.  The width of the strips varies depending on the size – and I didn’t like doing the math when I was cutting out multiple strips!  But then I realized that I didn’t have to!

The eight inch log cabin requires strips to be at least 1 3/4″ wide.  Guess what!  The center white line of the CGR312 or the holes down the center of the Quick Trim Tool are 1 3/4″ away from the edge!  Cut strips to this width – no more math required!
CGRJAW1  CGRMT1The same thing applies to the CGRJAWMN4 – the four inch log cabin trim tool.  The center line of the CGR212 is 1 1/4″ away from the outside edge.  Since that is half the width of a jelly roll strip, I can use this line to cut strips from yardage – or cut 2 1/2″ strips in half.  They don’t have to be perfect because there is a fudge factor built into these trim tools.

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Since I have been sharing this tip, about half that buy the tool also buy the companion 3 1/2″ or 2 1/2″ wide rulers.  After all, they are a great size as stand alone rulers as well.

There is tons of support for these rulers.  Check out the companions that appear below each ruler on the Checker website.  Here are a few of the new Cut Loose Press™ patterns that support the four inch version…..

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