Turret Rulers are Now Available and New Video Tutorial is UP!

February 28th, 2016
Our 3 Turret Rulers are now in stock and available for purchase!  As you look at those 3 rulers above, aren’t you kind of wondering what the heck they’re used for?!  They were inspired by the architectural lines of turrets, Turkish mosques, and Russian onion towers.  They can be used to create beautiful turret swag designs for borders and for fancy frame designs.  Swags can be simple types of designs or complex types of swags and you can fill them in with all kinds of free motion designs.  Here’s an example of just 1 of the turret swag designs you can make with the Turrets 1 ruler:
You might just recognize this filled turret swag border from a quilt I blogged about a few months ago.  These turret swags were filled with mirror image feathers:
…and here’s another example of how you might want to fill that swag design:
…and if you really wanted to take that swag design over the top, here’s another idea:
Whoa!!  Here’s just one example of a Turrets 2 swag border design in the bottom row with an empty Turrets 1 swag design on top:
…and here’s the same border design once the upper swags have also been filled:
Here’s an empty Turrets 3 swag:
…and here’s an example of a Turrets 3 swag filled in:
You could just as easily fill in any turret swag with a background fill design instead:
Don’t misunderstand, you can also create very simple swag designs with these Turret rulers as well.  Here’s an empty one that’s very simple:
…and here’s a simple one filled with a featherette:
Honestly, there is no end to all the fun things you can create with these Turret rulers!  Each ruler has both a positive and a negative side of the same contour, so you can work from both sides of the ruler.  They are available in both the traditional 1/4 inch thickness as well as in a 3mm thickness if you are using a Westalee low or medium shank ruler foot.  (And notice that the thinner rulers are markedly discounted!)  You can purchase them individually or as a bundle (by clicking here) to save some $$!  And if you’d like to see how easy they are to use, here’s a video tutorial that explains them all:
  And don’t forget, you can also use them to create fancy frame designs as well!  Here’s an empty frame created with the Turrets 3 ruler:
…and here it is filled
If you haven’t tried playing with rulers yet, now’s the time to get in on the fun!

Using up What’s at Hand and 2 New Rulers in the Store

March 26th, 2015


One thing that happens when you are developing new machine embroidery applique designs is that you end up with tons of quilt blocks, and I mean TONS!  That shot above was from about 2 1/2 years ago when I was creating the blocks for the Harmonic Song Birds Quilt, and I would guess that I now have about 6-7 times this amount of blocks and borders.  This happens because you end up testing the embroidery file and often times end up making small adjustments to them and you have to stitch out a new block each time you make a change.  When I do this, sometimes I have a specific use for the block and make it in fabrics/colors that will coordinate for a specific project.  Other times, I have no idea what I’ll use it for in the short term and end up with lots of blocks that will be used for something down the road.  In the last 6 weeks, I’ve been working on some quilts that use up some of my “test blocks.”  I’m quilting a small wall hanging now that began with this old MEA block in the center and then I threw some setting triangles around it:



I recently tested out a series of files using the Appli-K-Kutz Large Feather die for a border design so I have lots of these feather borders lying around as well:



(Those cross-hairs in the center come out before the block gets used; they are how I align the block on the stabilizer.)  I added these borders and some cornerstone blocks and pieced this wall hanging:



I started out by outlining all the applique shapes with invisible thread:



And then moved on to some ruler work.  I’m still quilting this, but I’ve really had fun playing with the Line Tamer Ruler on this quilt.  This is a variation of the straight edge long arm ruler in that it has a channel routed out through the center of the ruler:



By placing your ruler foot inside the channel, you have tremendous control over your lines.  Here’s a shot of what I’m trying to describe:



Can you see the fine white lines on the blue/green fabric?  All I had to do was place the Line Tamer so the white line ran down the center of that channel, and I had beautiful lines that created a quilting design that ran across the center block and into the setting triangles.  I also used the Line Tamer when I was creating the framing design around this star:



I know it doesn’t look like much in this early photo, but once I finished all the framework and then added some “filler” designs inside some of the channels, the quilting around the center star came out looking really neat:




You can also use the Line Tamer just like you would a “regular” straight line ruler by holding the edge up against your ruler foot (notice that this ruler has etched lines both near the channel as well as on both sides of the ruler).  All I can say is that I LOVE MY LINE TAMER!!  I love it so much that we just picked it up in our online store and you can find it by clicking here.  I am also smitten by another ruler called the 4 Way Radical Ruler by Dusty Farrell.  Here’s what it looks like:



It has 4 different circular arcs and 1 double arc.  It’s very easy to hold this ruler and it’s very hard to hold small circles in place as you quilt around them, so this is a big plus!  I have just barely started uncovering all that one can do with this ruler, but I’ve made some really pretty border designs with it.  Here are just a few.  The “plain” mini swag:



…and this is after I went back in and added filler inside those miniswags:



Those colors don’t photograph very well, so here’s a clearer shot from my scrap piece when I was making up this design:


I have 2 more variations of this one border and I haven’t even sat down and really “tried” to come up with ideas yet!  Here’s one more example from this ruler…I made this one by combining 2 of the circle sizes and then going in to add filler once the baseline 2-tiered swag border had been stitched.  This border is much deeper than the earlier ones:



Ooh-la-la!  I could play with these rulers all day!  You can find the 4-Way radical ruler in our online store by clicking here.  And one more thing…if you’re anywhere near the Philadelphia area Fri and Sat of this week, I’m teaching at Steve’s Sew and vac in King of Prussia, PA, so give them a call!  You can find their site by clicking here.






New 2015 VAT Regulations

December 28th, 2014
On January 1, 2015, new regulations will take effect that change the way downloadable electronic files can be sold over the internet to all countries within the European Union.  These regulations are very cumbersome and the cost of implementing these regulations would be cost-prohibitive to a small business such as ours.  Some of the specific details of these regulations remain unclear and are open to various interpretations by all 28 countries within the European Union.  We are honest business people who will not knowingly break a law.  For now, based on the information that is available currently available, we will not be able to sell downloadable electronic products over the internet to anyone in any of the European Union countries effective 1/1/15.  If the regulations change (and they may; a large part of the small business world is perplexed about how to implement these regulations and is mounting formal protests), we will be able to sell across the world again.  If you live in an EU country and have been thinking about buying a downloadable design, please do it within the next few days.  We regret having to take this step but we have an obligation to respect laws that govern how we do business.  Customers in the following countries will be affected:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience, but this is out of our hands.

Happy Holidays!

December 23rd, 2014
Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a safe and restful time amongst family and friends!  We’ll be spending time with folks that we hold dear as well, so we won’t be shipping orders between 12/24 and 12/28/14.  All orders placed before 3 pm EST on 12/23/14 have been shipped and are on their way to you!  Enjoy the season!

Birthday Blow-Out Sale!

December 16th, 2014


My birthday is later this week, so I’m in a really nice mood.  To celebrate, all retail sales of my instructional DVDs, all PTD books, Appli-K-Kutz cutting dies and PTD embroidery CDs are 50% off from now until midnight on 1/2/15.  All you have to do to get the 50% off discount is write BDAY50 in the discount code box during checkout.

PS:  The BDAY50 is for the 50% off…it doesn’t mean I’m 50!

Come celebrate with me!