My Favorite Things: Creative Grids Itty Bitty Eights Ruler Designed by… ME!

Hey everyone! How’s your day going? Mine is going fine, and quickly as usual. It’s another busy day here at PG which means I’ve been stuck inside most of the afternoon hard at work in front of my machine (then again, is it really “stuck” if you love what you’re doing???). Despite being somewhat confined indoors, I’m surrounded by big, beautiful windows that let in a ton of light and allow the glorious sunshine to fill up The Gathering. I’ve gotta say it’s really nice to see! Even though the robins are officially back (I’ve heard them in woods but have yet to actually see one), spring isn’t quite here yet so it’s nice to have some tangible reassurance that it’s actually on the way. I just heard it’s going to be snowing again by the end of the week so I will certainly take this short-lived bout of nice weather while I can! I’m beginning to think that if Mother Nature had her way, we’d be giving spring and summer a miss and be getting ready for fall all over again… Sheesh!

Speaking of snow, I was doing some brainstorming earlier and was thinking back to how we’ve done certain things in the past – particularly around Christmas time – when I used to talk about what I refer to as, “my favorite things.” These “favorite things” of mine included different sewing notions and quilting hacks that I feel like at this point in my quilting career I simply can’t live without, and think you should know about too. Unfortunately, I got away from doing that last year since we opted out of celebrating our usual 12 Days of Christmas like we have in the past. In my brainstorming this morning I realized I really miss talking about the little things that make me happy in my quilting life, so I figured now is a great time to reawaken that idea. My goal is to feature one or two of my favorite things each month so that I can not only share the tricks I find to be efficient and time saving, but also to get feedback from all of you on what you think of them as well. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

So without further ado, let’s get this party started with two of my all-time favorite Creative Grids rulers that I just so happened to custom design! If you know me at all you know I have a special place in my heart for mini quilts – to the point where I actually have an entire wall of them on display in my home sewing studio. They can be fun projects if you want to make a quilt but don’t have the time, space, or need for a large one. Mini quilts also use a lot less fabric and allow you to put a dent in your scrap stash and make great heartfelt gifts when you’re in a time crunch. You can’t go wrong with mini quilts!

My 3″ x 7″ and 6″ x 6″ Itty Bitty Eights Rulers by Creative Grids are perfect for working with small pieces and little blocks because as you know, precision really is key with mini quilts! These slick rulers clearly mark each 1/8″ so you’ll never wonder if you’re measuring 3/8″, 5/8″, or 7/8” ever again – now we can see. Mystery solved! Not to mention, all the lines are dashed so you can see your fabric at all points of the ruler. You’re welcome!

I designed the 6″ x 6″ and 3″ x 7″ Creative Grids rulers specifically for mini quilts but they are also super useful when cutting mini pieces or sub cutting larger pieces for other projects. Like all Creative Grids, these nifty rulers slide easily over fabric until pressure is applied. Then, the exclusive gripper holds the fabric in place while cutting, eliminating slipping and miss-cuts!

I use the 3″ x 7″ ruler the most when I’m making a mini quilt because I like how it fits in my hand, making it so much easier to wield around those mini pieces. Remember, accurate cutting is CRITICAL with minis because just a thread can make a huge difference in a 1/2″ finished square, or a 1/4″ inner border, so these rulers can be a huge help.

Like I said above, even if you only make a mini quilt here and there, these useful rulers will not be sitting around collecting dust in between projects. They come in handy in all sorts of situations where accurate measuring is important. Want them for your own sewing room? Get yours by clicking the button below!

For more favorite things from me, Jess, Vicki, Gloria, Luke…and whoever else decides to grace us with their presence, tune in to watch us LIVE tomorrow on STITCH with Lisa Bongean at 1:00 CST by clicking the STITCH button below! Don’t forget – Sue Spargo will also be making a special guest appearance to spill the beans on the magic that’s been happening over at The Gathering for the last couple of weeks. You’re not going to want to miss it! See you there! ~Lisa

Meet Me in the Garden – Round 5: Log Cabin and Half-Square Triangles

Hey stitchers! …and just like that, there goes another weekend. It sure was a blustery one here, with temps in the single digits and windchills more typical of late January! It seemed like it snowed for about three days straight, resulting in what definitely looks – and feels –  like full-on winter out there. A bit premature, but I say bring it on – I figure it’s coming anyway. Plus, as someone who looks forward to winter sports I can say the more white stuff early on in the season, the better! Back in the good ol’ days outdoor enthusiasts could rely on huge snow dumps all season long, but these days we just don’t see the inches like we used to. Call me crazy, but I’m hoping it keeps up (at least until late February) so I can actually get out on my snowshoes this season. That is one sport you need some pretty significant fresh and fluffy snow for it to be enjoyable, so I’ll embrace it if that’s what crazy ol’ Mother Nature decides to do. Time will certainly tell!

I’m having a nice Monday and hope you are too. I’m usually at work bright and early on Mondays, but I really needed a day to work on things with no interruptions so I decided to do it from home this afternoon. My sewing room is usually the only place I can even come close to achieving real peace and quiet (even if it means locking the door) so it’s nice to work there once in a while. I wish I could take the day completely off but I’ve got plenty to do! Earlier today I stopped in at my studio to grab some things that I needed, and found a bunch of projects that I should probably give some love to instead. Along with a feeble attempt to relax a little, I’ve also been working on other random things today, including tying up some loose ends from our big weekend. As you know we just wrapped up our annual Primitive Christmas event which is always a lot of work from start to finish, with a ton of planning and organizing that goes into it. I have to hand it to my staff – now this is a group of people who know how to work together to get things done! Between the Red and White Quilt Show opening, people coming to do make-‘n-takes, the phones ringing constantly with orders coming in, and the shop being super busy with all the Primitive Christmas shoppers, everything came together like a well-oiled machine… I mean, for the most part anyway. LOL! Of course there were a few snafus here and there, but hey! They handled it like the champs they are. Never forget, I couldn’t do any of this without them. I love my staff!

During all the Primitive Christmas commotion I almost forgot that Val’s video tutorial for Round #5 of the Meet Me in the Garden Stitch-Along quietly released last week on my STITCH with Lisa Bongean YouTube Channel so I wanted to talk about that for a second today before I get back to stitching. This round is the Log Cabin/Half-Square Triangle round. First and foremost, I need to mention that this is another round where you will need one of the required rulers from the previously posted Meet Me in the Garden Stitch-Along Rulers and Tools list. If you haven’t had a chance to look at that list, here it is again for your convenience…

The ruler you will need for Round #5 is called the 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool. If you’re not familiar with this handy ruler let me tell you, you’re really going to love it! The 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool features exclusive markings to create perfect finished Log Cabin, Half Log Cabin, or Courthouse Step blocks. What makes this tool especially amazing is that the cutting instructions for strip widths and center squares are printed right on it! This 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ tool slides easily over the fabric until pressure is applied. Then the exclusive gripper holds the fabric in place while cutting, eliminating slipping and miss-cuts! The 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool comes with fully illustrated step by step instructions that are quickly accessible by QR code, which is also printed on the side of the tool. If you’re more of a visual learner, fear not! A video demonstration is also available. If you still need to get your 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool, click the button above to order!

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that for this round you will be making 6″ Log Cabin, and Half-Square Triangle blocks. We will also be making flying geese. As most of you know, the Log Cabin quilt block is one of the most loved and easily recognizable quilt pattern designs, which many feel is also one of the easiest structured quilt patterns you can make as a beginner. They’re even easier when using the 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool, and since each round is squared up before the next set of logs are added, the end results are spectacular! You can also make quick and easy work of the half-square triangles in this round by using my custom triangle paper. Need to stock up? Click the link below to check out the many sizes and types we have to offer!

Flying geese are also one of the most popular quilt building blocks out there, however, despite the fact that they seem like they should be straightforward and easy, many stitchers struggle ending up with wonky, lopsided, and undersized results. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! Despite the extra care and skill flying geese require the results are stunning, making a little extra work totally worth it. I know they might seem a little intimidating at first, but I’m confident that with the Creative Grids Ultimate Flying Geese Tool combined with Val’s top notch video tutorial, you’re going to get through this round like a pro. We believe in you! If anything, take the opportunity to sharpen your skills and maybe even learn something new. Ready to give it a shot? To get started, watch Val’s video tutorial on Round #5 at the link below!

Still thinking about joining us for Meet Me in the Garden but haven’t quite decided to take the plunge? You can find all the details in the initial introduction blog post, where I take you through all the fabric and tools that you will need to participate in this stitch-along. This is a six month long project, so I highly recommend having everything you need ready prior to starting. You can read more about the stitch-along and what’s required to participate by clicking HERE!

Video tutorials for each round are posted to my YouTube channel, “Stitch with Lisa Bongean” each month on the listed release dates. They are also posted to the blog shortly after. All previously released videos can be found in the “Meet Me in the Garden Video Tutorial Archive” listed in the main menu of links at the top of the blog. You can also watch the intro video to Meet Me in the Garden by clicking the button below. If you have any questions feel free to email the shop at and we’ll be happy to help!

Of course, if you have any other questions regarding the Meet Me in the Garden SAL – or on anything else for that matter – feel free to post them in the comment section here on the blog and I will do my best to answer them!

That’s all for today everyone. Be sure to set your reminders for Shop Talk with Shelley tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. CST! As always we’ll be talking about any new and exciting news, and announcements along with some winter favorites we think you might be interested in seeing. You don’t want to miss it… Hit the button below to tune in! See you there! ~Lisa