1. 72 seriously cute amigurumi patterns + giveaway!

    Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

    The Big Book of Little AmigurumiThis is BIG: a newly released compilation chock-full of Ana Paula Rímoli’s best-selling small amigurumi patterns. How many patterns, you ask? Over 70 patterns, and all for just $22.99! That’s less than 50¢ per pattern.

    If you’re a newbie to amigurumi, here are three reasons to love the adorable little crochet designs in The Big Book of Little Amigurumi:
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    1. You’ll stitch ‘em quick
    These patterns are so quick to make, you’ll be hooked in no time!

    2. You’ll bust out the scraps
    These crochet "amis," as they’re affectionately called, typically require just a few balls of scrap yarn.

    3. You’ll give them and love them
    Amigurumi toys make great gifts—kids love their small size and big personality, and grown-ups often enjoy them as collectibles.

    Check out some of the adorable crochet toys in The Big Book of Little Amigurumi by Ana Paula Rímoli, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post.

    For animal lovers

    Amigurumi animals to crochet
    Find a plethora of little land and sea creatures in The Big Book of Little Amigurumi.

    For green thumbs

    Amigurumi crochet patterns
    Love these cutie garden plants and creatures? See even more garden-variety amigurumi in The Big Book of Little Amigurumi.

    For the foodies

    Amigurumi food to crochet
    Feast your eyes on the most charming cupcakes, cookies, and treats ever in The Big Book of Little Amigurumi.

    For BIG imaginations

    Amigurumi patterns to crochet
    Crochet toy amigurumi for hours of imaginative play! Find these fun patterns in The Big Book of Little Amigurumi.


    Browse all 72 projects in The Big Book of Little Amigurumi here. Remember, when you buy The Big Book of Little Amigurumi from ShopMartingale.com, you’ll get the eBook version for free right away! Our big eBook bundles mean big value, everyday.


    How many amigurumi have you completed since you learned to crochet? Tell us in the comments, and you’ll be entered to win an eBook copy of The Big Book of Little Amigurumi. We’ll pick a winning comment one week from today and notify the winner by email. Good luck!


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  2. Best ways to cut, sew, press: this quilter knows. Do you?

    Review of Quiltmaking Essentials 1Lots of quilters have posted reviews of Martingale books on our website. But once in a while a review comes along that is so in-depth, we couldn’t have described the book better ourselves!

    That’s the case with a review that was recently posted for Donna Lynn Thomas’s book, Quiltmaking Essentials 1. The reviewer, Rebecca Rumpf, is a quilter just like most of us, with a love for the craft and a desire to learn more. After reading Donna’s book of techniques for cutting and piecing, Rebecca tested them on some Bear’s Paw blocks she’d been making. Here’s part of what she had to say about her experience.


    Quiltmaking Essentials 1Quiltmaking Essentials 1 explains everything you need to know to get started with any quilt pattern, whether it’s a stand-alone pattern, a magazine pattern, a project from another quilt book, or an idea you came up with on your own. It’s a book that will help establish good habits from the very beginning.

There are a lot of how-to quilting books on the market, and I’ve read most of them. So, what makes this one a must-have?
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    Sewing tip from Quiltmaking Essentials 1So many books geared toward beginners downplay the need for accuracy in cutting and piecing. How many times have you heard quilters comforting one another by saying “there are no quilt police”? Yet, as Thomas points out, tiny inaccuracies have a way of compounding into a great deal of frustration. Quiltmaking Essentials 1 will help beginners establish good skills with their very first quilt, and will help veteran quilters correct bad habits that may be holding them back.
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    Pressing tip from Quiltmaking Essentials 1The section on pressing is worth its weight in gold. I’ve read many quilt books that have warned me to “press, not iron” and that I should “be careful not to distort the bias,” but I had no idea what that actually meant. I thought “press” and “iron” were synonyms!

    Thomas explains how to press seams properly with handy little diagrams. It is NOT the way I’d been doing it. When I pointed my iron like the iron in the book illustration, lo and behold, my half-square-triangle unit looked much more like a square after I pressed it open.

    Create a pressing plan for quilt blocksThomas also explains the hows and whys of creating a pressing plan for your blocks. This chapter alone could have saved me frustration and tears if I’d read it 10 years ago. I’m planning to go back to some Bear’s Paw blocks that I made and press some of the seam allowances in the opposite direction to eliminate the bumps and bulges I created. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another beginning quilt book that teaches you how to create a pressing plan for your quilt.

    Thank you, Donna, for giving me this opportunity to improve my own piecing and pressing skills. Your book is definitely a keeper, and one I’ll be reaching for again and again.

    –Rebecca Deming Rumpf, blogger at Cheeky Cognoscenti


    Thanks for allowing us to share your review, Rebecca! 

Head over to Rebecca’s blog to read her full review and take a look at the quilt she’s been working on using Donna’s techniques.

    Quiltmaking Essentials IWould you like to learn the precise, efficient techniques Donna shares in Quiltmaking Essentials 1? You’ll rely on her advice for as long as you quilt:

    • rotary cutting
    • pressing
    • block construction
    • machine piecing
    • special sewing techniques


    


Print book: $18.99 eBook: $13.99

    > Already own Quiltmaking Essentials 1? Write your review at ShopMartingale.com!


    What trips you up most when it comes to quilting accuracy: the cutting, the sewing, or the pressing? Tell us in the comments!


    A Flair for Fabric blog hop


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  3. Classic quilting projects for Christmas

    Comfort and JoyIf you’re itching to create something new for your Christmas decor, let the quilts in Mary Hickey’s bestseller Comfort and Joy inspire you to make a little time for holiday sewing. And because it’s an eBook, you can start sewing right away! Inside, you’ll find:

    Inspiration to sew for your holiday home—or to spoil those on your gift list
    Many small projects that’ll take just a few afternoons to complete
    Easy techniques for creating timeless designs that celebrate the holiday spirit

    Take a look at the quilts in Comfort and Joy below.


    Lap (and larger) quilts for Christmas

    Snuggle up!

    Peppermint Patties quilt
    Mix and match your red-and-white prints to make “Peppermint Patties.” Stripes and dots welcome!

    More quilts from Comfort and Joy:

    Quilts from Comfort and Joy


    Decorative quilts for Christmas

    Hang on a wall, drape on a couch, fold over a chair—make any room jolly!

    Little Forest quilt
    The cheerful trees in this magic “Little Forest” have buttons! Easy four-patch units flank the trees.

    More decorative quilts from Comfort and Joy:

    Christmas quilts from Comfort and Joy


    Home accents for Christmas

    For other spaces that could use a Christmas kick!

    Ribbon Wreath Christmas table topper
    This one-block “Ribbon Wreath” table topper is a quick-gift essential. Piece one block, appliqué the ribbon, and sew on clusters of berry buttons. Voilà!

    Another cute topper from Comfort and Joy:

    Toyland table runner
    Have fun hunting for candy-themed fabrics to start this “Toyland” table runner. Or opt for toy, animal, pinecone, or any Christmas-themed prints.


    What’s your Christmas decor in need of this year: a little renewing, partial revamping, or a complete renovation? Tell us in the comments!


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    A Flair for Fabric blog hop continues!


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  4. Blog hop! Find YOUR flair for fabric (+ fabric giveaways!)

    Quilt Market, Houston, Texas, October 2012. A group of Henry Glass fabric designers gather for a special dinner before saying their good-byes. But the table talk has nothing to do with the show. Instead, everyone’s talking about Hurricane Sandy.

    A Flair for Fabric designersEveryone at the table is worried about friends and family along the East Coast, wondering if they might suffer hardships from the storm. Martingale author Linda Lum DeBono came to the dinner to talk to the designers about putting a book together. When she shared her idea, it quickly spurred another: create a book about what every person at that table loved—fabric—and donate the resulting royalties to the Red Cross, in tribute to those who suffered through the storm.

    The dream those designers aspired to that night has come to fruition in their new book, A Flair for Fabric. And we’re celebrating their accomplishment with an extraordinary blog hop!

    A Flair for Fabric blog hop

    In A Flair for Fabric, you’ll get tested tips on how to mix fabrics from some of the best in the business, and you’ll learn what inspires their fabric lines. Along with 14 beautiful projects, you’ll also enjoy five full-page tutorials with real-life solutions for blending fabrics from your unique stash. Want to learn how to take your red and green fabrics beyond a Christmas palette? How about tips for giving sparkle to a quilt made of medium-sized, mid-tone prints? Get ready: your flair for fabric is about to reach new heights!

    Here’s one of the many tips from the book that you can use again and again—this one’s from Kim Diehl:

    Quick quilting tip from Kim Diehl

    Take a peek at the projects from A Flair for Fabric below. But first…


    FABRIC GIVEAWAY ALERT! Our friends at Henry Glass are providing free fabric bundles to give away at most every stop on the A Flair for Fabric blog hop—there are 15 chances to win!

    Vintage Farmhouse fabric by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass

    Learn how you can win one of these gorgeous bundles of fat eighths from Kim Diehl’s “Vintage Farmhouse” fabric line plus a copy of A Flair for Fabric at the bottom of this post.


    From A Flair for Fabric
    “Delightful” by Jacquelynne Steves and “Funky Flowers” by Heather Mulder Peterson

    From A Flair for Fabric
    “Blueberries and Bananas Place Mats” by Vicki Oehlke and “Close to My Heart” by Linda Lum DeBono

    From A Flair for Fabric
    “Days Gone By” by Little Quilts and “Breezy” by Jill Finley

    From A Flair for Fabric
    “Garden Bramble” by Kim Diehl and “Posy Pot Heat Bag” by Anni Downs

    From A Flair for Fabric
    “Starburst Maple Delight” by Janet Nesbitt and Pam Soliday of Buggy Barn and “Line Upon Line” by Amy Hamberlin

    From A Flair for Fabric
    “Caboodle Quilting Caddy” by Leanne Anderson and “Where Flowers Blossom” by Liz Hawkins and Beth Hawkins of Lizzie B Cre8ive

    From A Flair for Fabric
    “Picnic Basket Table Topper” by Margot Languedoc and “Peppermint Twist Christmas Pillow” by Dana Brooks

    A Flair for FabricReady for a fresh fabric education from A Flair for Fabric? Pick up the book at your local quilt shop or at ShopMartingale.com.

    Print book: $24.99
    eBook: $16.99


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    How do you mix fabrics for quilts: use a tried-and-true formula, use a trial-and-error approach, or throw caution to the wind? Tell us in the comments and you’ll be automatically entered to win one of two fabric bundles from our friends at Henry Glass plus a copy of the A Flair for Fabric eBook. We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

    Follow along for more chances to win Henry Glass fabric and A Flair for Fabric during the blog hop:

    Tuesday, November 18: Launch at Martingale’s Stitch This! blog
    Wednesday, November 19: Dana Brooks
    Thursday, November 20: Leanne Anderson
    Friday, November 21: AllPeopleQuilt.com
    Saturday, November 22: Janet Nesbitt at the Sewing Cabinet
    Monday, November 24: Linda Lum DeBono
    Tuesday, November 25: Anni Downs
    Wednesday, November 26: Kim Diehl at the Sewing Cabinet
    Friday, November 28: Jill Finley
    Saturday, November 29: Amy Hamberlin
    Monday, December 1: Margot Languedoc
    Tuesday, December 2: Little Quilts
    Wednesday, December 3: Lizzie B Cre8ive
    Thursday, December 4: Heather Mulder Peterson
    Friday, December 5: Jacquelynne Steves
    Saturday, December 6: Wrap up at the Henry Glass blog

     


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  5. Poof! Turn large quilt blocks into quick gifts (+ sale)

    40% of select eBooks this week!

    From Supersize 'EmIs your holiday gift list growing? Big quilt-block patterns to the rescue! Big blocks could be just what you need for every handmade gift you’d like to make—with time left over to enjoy the season outside of your sewing room.

    It’s a simple formula that makes sense: fewer blocks = faster quilts. Take a look at the books featuring big-block quilt ideas below; then take advantage of this week’s sale—all 40% off!


    Supersize 'Em!Use 4 large quilt blocks to make a lap quilt, baby quilt, wall quilt, or table topper

    Ideas from Supersize ’Em!: 22 Quilts from Oversized Blocks
    by Debby Kratovil

    Follow a four-block pattern from Supersize ’Em as written:
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    Diadem quilt from Supersize 'Em
    Quick Christmas quilt: “Diadem”

    OR

    Turn a pattern for a larger quilt into a four-block quilt for quicker results:

    Texas Stars quilt from Supersize 'Em
    Shrink this “Texas Stars” quilt from nine blocks to four, add sashing, and you’re done. Fun!

    See more four-block quilts in Supersize ’Em! >

    $19.99 $11.99 this week only


    Lickety-Split QuiltsUse 3 large quilt blocks to make a table runner, bed runner, or skinny wall quilt

    Ideas from Lickety-Split Quilts: Fast Projects from BIG Blocks
    by Laurie Bevan

    Make a quick quilt as shown in Lickety-Split Quilts, like this single-block quilt:

    Golden Autumn Wreath quilt
    One-block beauty: “Golden Autumn Wreath”

    OR

    Shrink a bigger quilt for a speedy three-block finish:

    From Lickety-Split Quilts
    Make just 3 blocks instead of 12 for a fast table or bed runner.

    Explore more jumbo quilt blocks in Lickety-Split Quilts >
    $17.99 $10.79 this week only


    Easy Applique Blocks

    Use 1 large quilt block to make a table topper, potholder, mug rug, or pincushion

    Ideas from Easy Applique Blocks: 50 Designs in 5 Sizes
    by Kay Mackenzie

    Choose just one block from a pretty sampler quilt (or your favorite block) to make…

    From Easy Applique Blocks
    “Blooms in Red and Yellow”

    Fast and fun single-block gifts! Each block pattern comes in five sizes, from 6″ to 12″.

    From Easy Applique Blocks
    Pretty potholders? A set of mug rugs? Sweet pincushions? You choose the size; you choose the gift!

    See 47 more block designs in Easy Applique Blocks >
    $13.99 $8.39 this week only


    Think BigWant more BIG quilt-block ideas?

    Sew coordinating sets of beautiful quilts and home accents with a single 18″ block design—handy charts make multiple sizes a cinch. In Think Big you can create:

    • Quilts in baby, throw, twin, queen, and king sizes
    • Table toppers and runners, plus bed runners too
    • Pillows—includes a how-to-make-a-pillow primer

    Choose from 10 different block designs and dozens of project possibilities.

    Available December 2nd; add Think Big to your “Wish List” or “Notify Me!” queue at ShopMartingale.com.


    Small, medium, big, or bigger: what size quilt blocks do you typically sew? Tell us in the comments!


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  6. 7 crochet baby shoes to support charity

    Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

    Cozy Toes for BabyThey’re sweet and adorable. They’re full of character and they’ll keep tiny toes warm. And we couldn’t be more excited to share with you the wonderful social charity they represent. Cozy Toes for Baby is a cute collection of 7 crochet baby shoe patterns designed by Chantal Garceau of Chantal’s Little Shoes—a pattern company that donates all profits to the Imani Project in Kenya.

    Chantal teamed up with Mary J. King, a volunteer with Chantal’s Little Shoes, to bring these felted crochet patterns to you. You’ll find adorable character shoes plus instructions on how to felt, ensure shape and size, and add leather soles for durability—plus your stitches support a good cause! Chantal and Mary are here today to share the story behind the book, where their royalties from the book will go, and how giving one of these little shoes to new parents will enrich the lives of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.  Check out our interview with Chantal and Mary below, and see all the projects from Cozy Toes for Baby on ShopMartingale.com.


    From Cozy Toes for BabyStitch This!: Welcome, Chantal and Mary! Tell us how Chantal’s Little Shoes started.

    Chantal: I wanted to make a personal present for a friend’s grandchild. I had made felted slippers for adults, and decided to design a baby shoe. They were well received so I was encouraged to experiment further. I made pairs for school and charity auctions, and people said, "Why don’t you start your own business?" I had heard about the Imani Project and immediately signed up to sponsor a child orphaned by HIV/AIDS. When I saw how many children needed sponsoring, I thought this was why I should start a business, and found my motivation. Chantal’s Little Shoes was born!

    ST: How did you two meet and begin planning your book together?

    Mary: A friend of mine knew Chantal and ran into her selling shoes at Kirkland, Washington Art Center’s market. Chantal told her about her volunteer-run business. Our mutual friend knew I was into various crafts—although unfortunately I had no crocheting skills—and suggested we get in touch. I attended one of her work parties and learned to stitch soles, embroider faces, and do other non-crochet tasks. When Chantal told me she had an idea for a book, I said, "Sign me up!"

    Chantal Garceau and Mary J. King
    Chantal and Mary after signing with Martingale

    Chantal: Regarding the book, I was opening a bank account for Chantal’s Little Shoes, and the bank employee said she knew about a local publisher (Martingale) who might be interested in doing a book of my shoe patterns. I downloaded a book proposal application, but I put the idea on the back burner. When Mary joined my circle of volunteers and mentioned that she liked to write, I knew I’d met my book partner!

    ST: How do the proceeds of Cozy Toes for Baby help fund your work in Kenya?

    Linet GonaChantal: The shoe sales have been paying for sponsorship of children, and I wanted to do something more for the community at large. With the extra funds after sponsorship, we completed two projects: the first was to purchase school uniforms for children from impoverished families in 10 different villages. Getting and keeping children in school is a high priority. Education may seem like a luxury to families who need all available hands working to keep food on the table and caring for the youngest and oldest, but it pays off greatly in the long run. You can read about our first alumna of sponsored children, Linet Gona, (right) in the book. She recently graduated from school with special coursework in computer science. We especially recognize the importance of educating girls, who, when family resources are limited, tend to be the ones who are not given school uniforms or who stay home to work or care for the family. Girls who go to school are more likely to delay pregnancy and move out of poverty, and are less at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS.


    Children with their new uniforms

    Another priority for us is to help bring sanitation to one village. We also funded the planning, building, and maintenance of the village’s first community composting toilet (right). The 4-stall community toilet will keep waste out of the water source, which will greatly reduce the spread of disease. The value for the villagers is that it will provide a source of enrichment for their crops through composting. Our funding provided the plans, materials, and education for building the toilet and the proper method of collecting and composting the waste. The village’s maize yield this year was significantly improved after the proper use of humanure. (Read more about the technology of human composting here.) We’re hoping the sales of the book will finance more projects that will improve sanitation, crop harvest, and self-sufficiency overall.


    The best maize yield in the region

    ST: How does all this make the gift of a felted, crocheted pair of shoes to new parents, or the book to a crocheting friend, even more meaningful?

    Mary: Our motto is "Give a little love… give a little shoe." The royalties from the book all go to more community projects in Kenyan villages in cooperation with the Imani Project, and the reader learns to make gifts for loved ones that are practical and keepsake-worthy at the same time. In the book, there is a printable gift insert you can include that explains how to wear and care for the shoes. You could also include a note on the back with information about the Imani Project and how your purchase of the book makes a difference in Kenyan villages.

    ST: How can readers get involved?

    Mary: We’d love for readers to buy our book! We know they’ll love it and they’ll know that they are making a difference with their purchase. Readers can also visit our website for more information about Chantal’s Little Shoes. The children we sponsor are pictured there along with their stories, so readers can see the faces of hope.

    Chantal: The website also has more info on our Corporate Custom Shoe Program (a unique opportunity for companies to welcome an employee’s or client’s new baby with custom baby shoes featuring the logo or other symbol representing the company), and details on how to volunteer with us. We encourage people to visit the Imani Project’s website and Facebook page to see the work they’re doing and to sponsor a child. The most important thing is to get involved in what means the most to you!


    Thank you to Chantal and Mary for sharing the story behind Cozy Toes for Baby as well as the photos of their work with the Imani Project. See all the projects in Cozy Toes for Baby on our website! You can pick up your copy today from your local yarn shop or from ShopMartingale.com. Remember, "Give a little love…give a little shoe."

    Crocheted shoes from Cozy Toes for Baby


    How do you (or how will you) use your craft skills to make a difference? Tell us in the comments, and you’ll be entered to win an eBook copy of Cozy Toes for Baby! We’ll pick the winning comment one week from today, and email the winner with their prize.

    Comments are closed for this post.

    Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Shirley, who says:

    "I would like to know how I can help crochet items for these children or do I crochet them to sale and send the profit to the one in need. I have a friend that is helping to get the vaccine out to west africa. He is in Kenya now."

    Shirley, you can help by crocheting the shoes in Cozy Toes for Baby and telling your friends about the book. The authors’ proceeds for the book will go to the Imani Project. If you’d like to help more directly, you can sign up to sponsor a child through the Imani Project, or contact Chantal’s Little Shoes about how you can get involved. Thanks for your comment, and enjoy your eBook!

     


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  7. 14 days to Thanksgiving: sewing for the big day

    Posted by on November 13, 2014, in quilting & sewing, , , ,

    From 'Tis the Autumn Season
Sewing for Thanksgiving? Why not?

    You’ve made your grocery list and decided what pies to bake. You’ve found the recipes for the green beans Uncle Harry loves and the turkey stuffing your kids crave. And you’ve lovingly washed and ironed the beautiful white linen tablecloth you inherited from Grandma. But what have you done for you?

    You work so hard to make Thanksgiving memorable for your family. How about giving yourself a special treat this holiday: set some time aside for one or two Thanksgiving sewing projects just for you. Make an apron, some pretty tea towels, or a bread basket liner for your holiday table. For starters, flip through the pages of Kitchen Stitches for quick-to-make kitchen sewing patterns, and choose fabrics that give them an autumn feel.

    Not hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year? Think about how hard your host has worked and imagine how much they’d appreciate a handmade gift from you.

    Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.

    A simple-to-stitch bread basket liner from Kitchen Stitches will help keep your dinner rolls warm while the turkey is being carved.

    Basket Liner from Kitchen Stitches

    .
    This super-easy “Apron Strings” pattern from Joanna Figueroa is perfect for seasonal prints.

    Apron Strings
    .

    How about a cheery oven mitt to help you lift that turkey out of the oven?

    Oven Mitt
    .

    If you’re headed over the river and through the woods for the holiday, consider taking along a heartfelt gift. The popular and practical “Dinner Party Grocery Bag” is always welcome. Add a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine, and you’re sure to be invited back next year!

    Dinner Party Grocery Bag
    .

    Maybe you’re bringing a side dish or dessert. Deliver it in this clever and practical casserole carrier from Sew Gifts! Your host will thank you!

    Casserole Carrier

    Whether for yourself or a loved one, take some time out of the holiday busyness to relax and do what you love: sew!


    Find more ideas for Thanksgiving sewing—table linens, tea towels, and gifts for the host—in these books:

    Kitchen Stitches Sew Gifts! Sew the Perfect Gift


    Hosting at home or hitting the road: what are your Thanksgiving plans? Tell us in the comments!


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  8. The perfect quilter’s gift (and free to ship)

    Posted by on November 12, 2014, in quilting & sewing, ,

    What special gift do you give to a quilter who has it all? Inspiration. It’s something all quilters search for (and sometimes run out of). Our 2015 quilt calendars will give your quilting pals a monthly muse to help them stay creative throughout the year. And when you buy one or more of our quilting calendars now, we’ll ship them to you free (in the US or Canada)!

    Free shipping on 2015 wall calendars

    Browse this year’s new wall calendars below. Choose one for your quilting buddy; then choose one for yourself. We’ll ship as many as you like for free! Simply wrap, add a quilty gift tag (free printable gift tags here), and check off more names on your gift list.


    That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2015That Patchwork Place® Quilt Calendar 2015: Complete Instructions for Each Quilt

    • Enjoy a favorite quilt from a different best-selling book each month

    • Get complete instructions for making each quilt in the enclosed pullout booklet

    • Find designs from Gerri Robinson, Pat Wys, Carolyn Friedlander, Cindy Lammon, and more

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    That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2015

    Amazon review for the 2014 calendar: “I buy this calendar for my mom EVERY Christmas and she is always happy to get it. I think she always orders a copy too so she can have two in her house.”

    Who’d like a calendar gift plus patterns too? See more >


    Award-Winning Quilts 2015 CalendarAward-Winning Quilts 2015 Calendar: 
Featuring Quilts from the International Quilt Association

    • Enjoy 13 award-winning designs from the 2013 “Quilts: A World of Beauty” judged show

    • Discover works from quiltmaking masters: Marilyn Badger, Karen Eckmeier, Jane Sassaman, and more
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    Award-Winning Quilts 2015 Calendar

    Amazon review for the 2014 calendar: “This calendar is absolutely gorgeous! Usually a quilt calendar is beautiful except for one month that you just have to suffer through. Not so with this one. Now I’m looking forward to what quilts they’ll feature for 2015!”

    Who on your gift list would love an inspiring art calendar? >


    A Year of Quilts 2015 CalendarA Year of Quilts 2015 Calendar

    • Experience 12 striking quilts, each photographed outdoors in natural light

    • Turn the page each month for inspiring seasonal and holiday themes

    • Enjoy quilts from Country Threads, Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks, Nancy Mahoney, and more

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    A Year of Quilts 2015 Calendar

    Amazon review: “Perfect gift for my daughter the quilter.”

    See nine more alfresco quilts in the A Year of Quilts 2015 Calendar >


    Looking for more quilter-friendly gifts? Treat your quilting friends—or yourself!—to a quilt-block-packed perpetual calendar. (When you buy a wall calendar, the shipping on perpetual calendars is free too.)

    365 Quilt-Block Patterns Perpetual Calendar Quilter's Block-a-Day Calendar

    365 Quilt-Block Patterns Perpetual Calendar: The Best of Judy Hopkins and Quilter’s Block-a-Day Calendar by Debby Kratovil

    Both calendars include a block pattern for every day of the year, complete with full-color illustrations and rotary-cutting keys. Spiral bound for years of turning pages, both calendars will inspire you and your friends for as long as you quilt.


    How many quilting friends are on your gift list this year? Tell us in the comments!


    *Free shipping to the US and Canada only. Must sign in or register first for free shipping to apply at checkout. Free shipping applies to perpetual calendars with wall-calendar purchase only. Offer ends Monday, November 17 at noon (PST).


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  9. Free-motion quilting for those who think they can’t (blog hop + giveaway!)

    From Free-Motion Quilting for BeginnersDo you dream of free-motion quilting on your home sewing machine? You need a teacher. And a copilot. And a cheerleader! Today we introduce you to an extraordinarily talented young quilter, Molly Hanson, who wears all three hats for you in her new book, Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners (and Those Who Think They Can’t).

    With her quilting grandmother as her champion, Molly learned the ropes of free-motion quilting step by step—and became a pro along the way. From setting up your space to prepping your project; from perfecting thread tension to her value-packed Five Prep Steps for Free-Motion Quilting, she’ll help you reach your goal. Plus, she’s included 15 fun projects to make as you practice!

    Projects from Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners

    We’re happy to be a part of Molly’s blog hop for her book and to have her as a guest blogger today to tell us about her quilting inspiration—her grandmother. Welcome, Molly!


    Molly and PatriciaMy Grandmother, Patricia Ditter, is fantastic, vibrant, fun-loving, and 80 years young. She is my hero in life and my friend in quilting. She didn’t start her quilting journey until after she’d retired, and by the time I began, about 10 years after she did, she was just starting to look into options for quilting her own quilts.

    I didn’t have the benefit of living near Grandma when I decided to take up quilting. Instead of taking classes and joining a guild like she did, I pieced fabric together in ways I liked and cut appliqués that pleased me, not paying mind to a single rule. Let’s just say my first quilts are not pieced very well! Grandma could have scoffed at my haphazard approach. Instead, she saw something in my ability to have a vision in my head and recreate it in fabric. She encouraged me to continue doing things my way but gently informed me of important rules when she thought I needed to hear them.

    With Grandma’s encouragement I kept at it and was prolific in my making. I’d been drooling over the textural quilting of Angela Walters (who would later write the foreword to my book), so when Grandma took up free-motion quilting I had to join her.
    spacer 10px deep

    Free-motion quilting patterns
    Four of 10 designs you’ll learn to quilt in
    Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners (and Those Who Think They Can’t), clockwise from top left: pebbles, paisleys, wood grain, swirls.

    I found a home in free-motion quilting. I had no problem finding time to practice, as I wanted to be at my machine all the time. When I wasn’t practicing, I found myself drawing designs on any surface I could find. My boyfriend decided to save all my little “art scraps.” I have a box of paper bits—envelopes, coffee-stained napkins, grocery lists with beautiful borders—you name it. To say I was addicted is an understatement.

    Grandma again saw something in what I was doing. She told me that I was getting it fast and doing beautiful work. I felt reassured and reached out to my quilting hero, Angela Walters, who like Grandma gave me nothing but encouragement to continue honing my skills.

    Grandma's test projectsWhen I got the opportunity to write Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners (and Those Who Think They Can’t), I knew I would need Grandma’s help. I felt comfortable writing the book knowing that I had her wisdom and experience to back me up. She jumped on board for whatever I needed, and she helped me edit and write the patterns. She also tested several patterns for me (right). I had so much fun seeing her versions of my projects—just like I can’t wait to see your versions!

    I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Grandma on this project. I will cherish the memories forever, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am without her encouragement. I asked Grandma what her favorite tip is from the book:

    “My favorite tip from your book is the section on Tips, Tricks, and Reminders. This section should be reread often. It’s easy to get frustrated when things don’t go well, and we need to be reminded about these ways that help so much.”

    I also asked her what she thought of working on the book with me:

    “What Grandma isn’t thrilled to work with her granddaughter? I learned a lot and I think I helped a little. In the end we both had fun and that is what quilting is all about.”

    I think that sums it up perfectly! Don’t you? Thanks for reading; stop by my blog on Fridays for my weekly chat with Grandma about quilting, from her perspective and mine.


    Free-Motion Quilting for BeginnersThanks for sharing your story with us, Molly!

    Rate your free-motion quilting skills: cruising down the highway, practicing in the parking lot, or too scared to take a spin? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of the Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners (and Those Who Think They Can’t) eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    Follow the Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners (and Those Who Think They Can’t) blog hop—enter to win a copy of the eBook at each stop!

    Comments are closed for this post.

    Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Chris, who says:

    “I am still very much a rookie quilter, but I have tried free motion (last year’s Christmas gift to my quilting buddy) and I am hooked. I love the designs shown in this email and it is encouraging me to do more. Good luck Molly (and Grandma) I think we will be seeing more books by you.”

    Chris, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!


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  10. 3 kinds of Christmas quilts: which is your fave? (+ sale!)

    40% off Christmas eBooks

    Christmas countdown: 45 days! Who’s going to luck out this year and land on your handmade gift list? Now’s the perfect time to start stitching—and we’re here to help you begin.

    Handmade Holiday Gift ListThis week only, save 40% on the Christmas-themed eBooks below. Check out the three categories of quilts below and decide which is your gift recipient’s favorite; then save big on all the Christmas gifts you want to create.

    Need help organizing your gift ideas? Print out our handy Handmade Holiday Gift List (right) to help with your planning.

    Get a good night’s sleep on Christmas Eve; get inspired and prepared now for the holidays!

    Sale ends at midnight on Sunday, November 16.


    KEEPSAKE QUILTS

    Cherish their appearance each Christmas; pass them down to the next generation.

    Deck the Halls:
    Quilts to Celebrate Christmas
    by Cheryl Almgren Taylor
    $18.99 $11.39

    Deck the Halls
    Create this gorgeous poinsettia quilt with simple piecing and fast, fusible appliqué. Add an air of elegance by stitching gold beads to the center of each flower.

    Deck the halls—plus mantels, tables, doors, and more >


    Adoration Quilts:
    Appliqué Nativity Projects
    by Rachel W. N. Brown
    $16.99 $10.19

    Adoration Quilts
    Appliqué “The First Gift of Christmas” tree skirt in eight sections featuring angels, a manger scene, and a pieced star that encircles the tree trunk.

    Learn more about Nativity traditions around the world >


    Make Room for Christmas Quilts:
    Quilts and Decorating Ideas from Nancy J. Martin
    $19.99 $11.99

    Make Room for Christmas Quilts
    Combine big and little pinwheel blocks in a “Peppermint Pinwheels” quilt that looks as though the pinwheels are actually spinning!

    Get 16 patterns plus a dazzling tour of holiday homes >


    CUDDLE QUILTS

    Perfect for display…when you’re not under one for a snuggle by the fire.

    Favorite Christmas Quilts:
    from That Patchwork Place
    $13.95 $8.37

    Favorite Christmas Quilts from That Patchwork Place
    This “Roses and Wreaths” design features the traditional Old Favorite block, but the quilt is assembled in rows. Fabric choices are a cinch—just three colors!

    Capture the spirit of Christmas in 14 festive quilts >


    Holiday Wrappings:
    Quilts to Welcome the Season
    by Loraine Manwaring and Susan Nelsen
    $11.95 $7.17

    Holiday Wrappings
    Choose red and white, green and white, or a multicolored palette for this lively “Candy Sticks” quilt.

    Learn how to turn a table topper into a tree skirt lickety-split >


    Merry Christmas Quilts
    $15.99 $9.59

    Merry Christmas Quilts
    Cuddle or keepsake? Maybe both! This scrappy beauty by designer Roxanne Carter spotlights the classic Sister’s Choice block.

    Another favorite: a cardinal perched in the center of a Feathered Star >


    QUICK QUILTS

    Whip ’em up for gifts, decorating, or charity—there’s time to make more than one!

    Christmas with Artful Offerings:
    
Delicious Cookie-Cutter Designs for Quilting, Sewing, and Punchneedle
    by Karina Hittle
    $16.99 $10.19

    Christmas with Artful Offerings
    Tuck favorite recipes, holiday greetings, or gift cards in the pockets on the back of these “Quilted Cookie Note Cards.”

    Use classic Christmas-cookie shapes in ornaments, stockings, and more >


    Christmas Cats and Dogs:
    Quilts to Celebrate the Season
    by Janet Kime
    $16.99 $10.19

    Christmas Cats and Dogs
    Know a cat lover who could use some holiday humor? Appliqué these cute tuxedo cats! Frame your appliqué with a large-scale Christmas print in the border.

    Dress up a dozen adorable cats and five jolly dogs for the holidays >


    Paper Piece a Merry Christmas
    by Jodie Davis
    $16.95 $10.17

    Paper Piece a Merry Christmas
    Stitch an ode to Santa with five fun quilt blocks that capture his likeness. If you can sew a straight line, you can paper piece them all!

    Includes how-to for turning more than 40 Christmas blocks into ornaments >


    WANT MORE CHRISTMAS-QUILT IDEAS?

    Yes, we’ve got more.

    Celebrate Christmas with That Patchwork Place Here Comes Winter Christmas is Coming
    Simply Modern Christmas 'Tis the Season Sew Merry and Bright
    Christmas Quilts from Hopscotch Welcome to the North Pole Holiday Cheer Quilts


    Christmas gifts: already done, in the works, or not even close? Tell us in the comments!


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