Showing posts with label Creative Grids Rulers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creative Grids Rulers. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Checker Distributor 56th Annual Open House - Last Chapter

Naturally there was a great booth of Creative Grids Rulers....after all, Creative Grids (my all time favorite rulers of all time) is distributed by Checker Distributors. 
Rita Fishel is a designer for Creative Grids Rulers and she spent the day demonstrating how several of the new rulers work. Did you know that Creative Grids rulers are made in the USA and their website has videos of how to use every ruler they make?  I  save all the instructions that come with my rulers but if you loose one, you can always check their website to refresh your memory!  If you have a smart phone, the rulers also have a QR Code (the white box looking graphic) that you can scan to see the instructions via your smart phone.
Susan O'Very from Sealed With A Stitch had some really fun Machine Embroidery designs to show us.
The Key Covers (includes 22 designs) were the first to grab my attention.  My sister has no less than 5 keys associated with her new condo and she definitely needs some of these fun key ...not funky...but fun key covers to help her quickly identify the right key.
The Enchanted Notions designs made for a fun quilt as well as fun ideas for decorating your sewing space. 

Enchanted where were these designs when I was making the quilt for my daughter and son in law? 
I could have had an absolute ball with these designs and the label would have been much cooler too.

 The gals from Violette Field Threads just may have been the prettiest two gals in the place (except for Waldo and I of course...giggles). Their line of children's clothing patterns are some of the nicest I've seen in a while.  If you have young children in your family you will most definitely want to check out their website HERE. 
Can you see the most precious little girl going to her first day of pre-school wearing this delightful outfit?  I can....come on grand children (fingers crossed).
Waldo has a 5 year old grand daughter who would be precious in this fun skirt.  I can just see her now...twirling in circles.
Lisa Archer of Pickle Pie Designs had lots of new designs on display.  The Kitchen is Closed designs are so much fun. 
 There are 20 designs and you know I can come up with a zillion more reasons to close the kitchen!  The little aprons have a pocket in them and I think there needs one that says, Tipping the Cook is Expected!

The following are samples that I saw hanging at Checker Distributor and they grabbed my attention:

 I took a double take when I saw this table runner featured in Fast & Furious Home.
 Isn't this so neat?  Now that is a fun take making a table runner!
Twas The Night is a very fun Christmas Quilt.
This beautiful quilt from is in Penny Haren's new book, Quilt Block Fusion.

The Checker Open House was excellent again this year.  They really went out of their way to make sure everyone was comfortable, had plenty to drink and well educated about the latest and greatest in the world of sewing and quilting.  I was particularly impressed with the shuttle provided to take us back to our cars.  My sincere appreciation goes out to all the great people at Checker Distributor and to Rob Krieger....THANK YOU for another great Open House.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Pre-Cuts and Scraps.....What to do?

If you are like most folks, then you are cutting back and working on de-stashing and using up scraps to make some fun things for Spring......and other celebrations of life (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new babies etc.)  What ever the occasion is for you and your family, I think you may just find some inspiration in the two new books I have reviewed for Martingale & Co. 

Since I get to select the books I want to review, it is almost a sure bet that I'm going to like them or there is there is something about the book that grabbed my attention....either the author or the subject....there is always a thread I'm wanting to tug to see what unravels.

by Claudia Plett and Le Ann Weaver
How many charm square packages or layer cakes do you have in your stash right now?  Fat Quarters and Fat Quarter Bundles?  I have to admit that I have 2 Layer Cakes and 4-6 Charm Square packages.....and probably 6 Fat Quarter Bundles if not more.  Why do I have them?  The only one's I know why I bought were a few of the Charm Square packages I bought for a I-Spy block exchange.  After I bought them I felt bad because they were pre-cut and I kept them instead of including them in the swap (felt like I was cheating by not cutting my own).   The rest....I don't remember....but I really liked the fabric.  I want these fabrics to be used so I don't end up with "moldy oldies!"  Hence my interest in More Loose Change, 14 Quilts from Nickles, Dimes, and Fat Quarters.

Claudia and LeAnn have put together a very fun book.  They have coded their patterns $, $$, and $$$ (Simple, Intermediate and Experienced) for skill level.  I just so happen to fall into every one of those categories....depending on what day it is.  The introductions talks a little about charm squares (nickles), layer cakes (dimes) and quarters (fat quarters) as well as color arrangement.  I think the book is well written....plenty of photos and diagrams and the wording was clear (you know that is really something when I say that....cuz I have the hardest time understanding sometimes).

Honestly there is not a pattern in this book that I would not consider making but the two that I would consider making first are: 

"Liquid Assets" appealed to me because of focus fabric inside the circles.  Here they have chosen fish fabric and the circles look like port holes.  I could just as easily see any other fun print inside the circles and the outside fabrics complimenting what ever your theme would be.  The other thing that really surprised me was the way they put their pattern together.  I think this looks like a rather difficult pattern and guess what?  I'd not.  I'm not going to give their secrets away....let me just say they show you how to maximize the use of your fabrics while showing you how to get the fun results below.
The other pattern that I want to show you is their "Pumpernickel."  As I'm writing this I can't remember how many photos I'm allowed to use from the book....clearly if you were writing books you would not want the world to post all of the patterns on the if I've gone too far....I might have to come back and delete a photo or two....I'm always flying by the seat of my pants....and of thin memory.

Here they have used black as a background and I like that.  I see lots of colorful quilts set on black or white to enhance the other fabrics used.  Think about how many fabrics you could use up if you made this quilt....and who would not love to be the recipient of a "Pumpernickel" quilt?  I get to stitchin' : )

by Gayle Bong

The scrap table at my guild meeting is always full of free fabric.  Does your group or guild have a free table at their meetings?  If not, you might want to consider starting one.  I am always marveling at the free fabrics that return to the guild meeting for show and tell after they have been transformed into beautiful quilts.  S is for SCRAPS, 18 Great Quilts made me think of all of those transformed beauties so I had to see what Gayle had to say about scraps. 

When I read a quilting book, the first thing I notice is how the person writes.  When I am reading I want to feel like I can almost hear the person speaking to me....more of a conversation than a recipe is my preference.  Gayle has done just that.  Her writing style is personal and informative.  She has provided lots of tips for organizing your scraps and a variety of ways to consider grouping your fabrics for a project. 

"Joy in the Morning" is an example of what I would consider to be a "easy" project that would make a lovely quilt for almost any occasion...including charity quilts.  I can't share how Gayle recommends putting this pretty pattern together but I can tell you that it goes together very nicely and Gayle has given you plenty of good directions and diagrams.  There are 17 other patterns that work very well for using up scraps.  I'm feeling guilty for all the photos I've already shared so I'm not going to continue on and on.  Suffice to say I definitely think  S is for Scraps would be a great addition to every-one's quilt reference library. 

While reading both of these books, More Loose Change and S is for Scraps, I was thinking about my own stash and the tools I find to be so useful when quilting.  Starting with pre-cuts can really cut down on prep time before stitching.  If you don't have pre-cuts you can certainly make your own.  I thought I'd post a few ways to make your own pre-cuts faster if you have the fabric but not the pre-cuts. I also included two tools I love for bindings.

Under 20.00
Creative Grids Template Set On Point Charming 5 Square
Creative Grids Quilting Ruler 5 1/2in Square
Cut a Round Tool Midi
Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangles

Under 40.00
Shape Cut Plus Template

Over 50.00

Sizzix Big Shot (dies required)
Sizzix Big Shot Pro (dies required)
GO! Baby (dies required)
GO! Fabric Cutter (dies required)

Electric- Great for those with arthritis or any other concerns that make manual cutting difficult

Sizzix Big Shot Express (dies required)
Sizzix Vagabond (dies required)

BINDING-  under 20.00

When it comes to binding....these are some IHAN favorites

CutRite Bind Up Template 
 Simpli-EZ Bias Ruler

Hopefully these are tools you already know about from reading the IHAN blog.  If not, check them out by clicking on the words as they are linked.  You can also read more about them by reading the reviews of these products on the sidebar of this blog....see....right over there on the right hand side of the blog...yes...right there :)

If you are still with me and you want an opportunity to put your name into a drawing for More Loose Change  and S is for Scraps (one book per winner-two winners will be chosen) then leave a comment on this post telling me which one you would like to win and why you want the book.  Two names will be drawn at random on Saturday April 30, 2010.  Good luck!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Stack The Deck Revisited" by Karla Alexander Book Review and Giveaway

Karla Alexander, Saginaw Street Quilt Company,  published another book with Martingale Publishing / That Patchwork Place in 2010.  The title is, Stack The Deck Revisited and I have the good fortune to review the book and also offer it as a giveaway on my blog :) 

I had the pleasure of meeting Karla at Checker Distributor's 62nd Anniversary Open House last year.  If you are a IHAN blog follower you may remember my post.  Karla has several beautiful quilt patterns as well as being a designer for Creative Grids Rulers.

Before I get into her latest book, Stack The Deck Revisited, I just want to take a minute to show you some of her work that I also love:

I know these have absolutely nothing to do with Stack The Deck Revisited, but I figured if you are anything like me you might want to see some of the author's work and other creations along the way.) 

For some reason the photos of Karla's book don't look as bright on the Internet as it does in my hands so I took my own photo of it for you to see.

Karla has updated her patterns from Stack the Deck, her first book.  I like Karla's style of writing and the photos that accompany the patterns clearly explain the process she is following to complete the quilts successfully.  Karla also goes into a discussion about fabric choices, finishing your quilt and variations on block designs. 

This one is "Going Green" and I thought it was a great example of a variation because the initial blocks were shuffled and combined to make an interesting pattern and then it was changed by adding the black inner squares.  So much more interesting and balanced ....don't you think?
I have really enjoyed reading Stack The Deck Revisited and I'm going to hate to see it leave however, I know it will be equally enjoyed by one lucky IHAN blog reader!  To have an opportunity to win Stack The Deck Revisited, please leave a comment on this post telling me if you have ever made on of Karla's patterns or used one of her Creative Grids Rulers.  If not, just let me know what intrigues you about the book and your name will go into the drawing.  A winner will be selected on Wednesday March 9th.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Checker Distributor 62 Anniversary Open House - Creative Grids Rulers

Chapter 11

I'd like to introduce you to "Hyper-Post Blogging" by IHAN.  In order to finish the Checker Distributors Open House Posts I have to Hyper-Post.  So strap on your seat belts, get a beverage or go to the bathroom now, turn off the telephones and close all windows and doors....we must stay focused!! :)
Pat Barry, By Design Quilting, gave Long Arm Quilting demonstrations throughout the day.  I have posted about Pat here.
Pat has designed several.  Long Arm Quilting Templates and I wrote about them in the post referenced above.
Rita Fishel, Creations Sew Clever, has designed the Creative Grids Charming Strip Stashbuster Ruler 23in x 5in.  Rita demonstrated her ruler during the Open House. 


 Penny Haren writes the  Checker Distributors Newsletter and she wrote a great description for the Stashbuster Ruler:
Rita Fishel, our favorite Creative Grid demonstrator and guru, has created a ruler that is 5? wide and 23? long. A line is drawn the length of the ruler at 2 1/2?. One end even includes the markings necessary to square-up the half-square triangles made from them!
The math just works. If you trim half-square triangles made from 5? squares to 4 1/2?, they can be sewn with the 2 1/2? strips and incorporated into the same quilt! Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together!    (copied from the Checker Newsletter with previous permission of Penny Haren)
Karen Montgomery, The Quilt Company, PA., gave a presentation and demonstrations at the Checker Open House. I really enjoyed Karen's presentation and her practical approach to business and designing.  She has a new Creative Grids Ruler coming out soon.  Karen said she did not want a "one hit wonder" when she was designing her ruler.  I'm with her, I want to be able to use a ruler for a multitude of things so I'm not storing a huge range of rulers in my sewing area.  (I like the way she things....frugal like me). 

Karen gave several demonstrations of the Quick Trim Ruler throughout the day.

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All of these blocks above can be made using Karen's ruler.    But wait, there's more!!! also makes circles

IHAN has some of The Quilt Company's Patterns and there are more being added.  We will have the Quick Trim Ruler just as soon as it is available.

Karla Alexander, Saginaw Street Quilts, is also a Creative Grids Ruler designer.  Karla also spent the day demonstrating her rulers. 

This is Karla's Peace Quilt Pattern.  I just loved it.
Below are the rulers Karla has designed and some of here Quilt Patterns for Saginaw St. Quilt Company are here and more are being added.

Creative Grids Curves For Rectangles 6in x 24in Ruler
Creative Grids Curved Slotted 11in x 15in Ruler

 Penny Haren worked tirelessly during the Checker Open House.  I don't think I saw her sit down once.  She demonstrated her Pieced Applique Technique using  Square It Up and Fussy Cut rulers.  Penny's technique eliminates the need to inset points and curves for very challenging quilt blocks.  If you have steered away from applique in the past, you must check out Penny's books that teach her techniques.  If you can get to one of her classes, don't miss it.  I did and I'm looking forward to taking it another time.  I heard it was great.

The Creative Grids website has the best videos demonstrating all of their rulers.  Just Click Here and you can see these rulers demonstrated. 

I'm sorry for leaving out so many details....but I'd be a very long time posting everything.  I put plenty of links in the post so if you have more questions or want more information you can find it easily.


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