1. Quiltstock: the quilt retreat of a lifetime is waiting for you!

    Quiltstock is coming this summer—will we see you there?

    When word started spreading at Houston Quilt Festival about this one-of-a-kind retreat, slots started filling up. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for you to give yourself, OR for that special Santa in your life to give to you (wink, wink)!

    Join us for an epic five-day/four-night event that quilters will talk about for years to come. Don’t miss your chance to mix and mingle with other quilters and top-notch designers, all brought to you by Martingale and Moda—the people and brands that bring you more of what you love about quilting!

    Fun, friends, piecing, and happiness—plus four fabulous world-class designers to learn from. And you don’t have to choose the classes you want to attend. YOU get to have classes with ALL OF THEM!


    Introducing YOUR Quiltstock teachers!

    Classes + free-time sewing + fun & games = THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE

    Guarantee your spot with a $995 payment that covers all four classes, special events, a limited-edition Quiltstock 2018 goodie bag (retail value over $250), and seven meals. The $995 retreat fee is nonrefundable but is transferrable.

    Don’t wait, SPACE IS LIMITED. Class supply list will be available June 1, 2018.

    Here’s how to reserve your spot at Quiltstock:

    Sign up! Call 800-426-3126, ext. 1378, or 425-483-3313, ext. 1378 (for callers outside US/CAN).

    Don’t miss out on an extra SHOPportunity, July 23, 2018, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.! Tell us now if you’d like to add an optional excursion to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines’ flagship store, Magnolia Market, in Waco, Texas. The $125 tour fee is nonrefundable but is transferable. (Click here for details.)

    Reserve your hotel room for Quiltstock 2018 online here or by calling Magnolia Hotel Park Cities, Dallas, at 888-983-5012 or 214-750-6060 (reference Quiltstock room block). All Quiltstock participants must stay onsite at the Magnolia Hotel during the event. Rooms are $139 per night and include parking. Share a room with a friend or room alone, it’s your choice!

    Invite your friends! Download this Quiltstock 2018 brochure and tell them you’re going!


    Questions? Comments?
    Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to answer!

    Hope to see you in 2018 at QUILTSTOCK!


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  2. Look to embroidery for the quickest handmade Christmas gifts! 🎁

    Just Be Claus quiltRaise your hand if you’re thinking of making Christmas gifts this year . . . but haven’t started them yet.

    Some of us at Martingale? Same.

    Is there still time? Hey, you’ve got a whole 16 days until Christmas is here—of course there’s time! When you want sweet and simple projects to whip up quick, embroidery is the way to go. And Robin Kingsley is all set to be your sewing elf!

    The festive projects in Robin’s two books, Just Be Claus and Snow Happy, are easy to start, fun to make, and fast to finish. And the delight they’ll put on your gift recipient’s faces will be worth every stitch. Today we’re sharing projects from Robin’s books to inspire you, along with a little thread tip from Robin—it’s one of the secrets that makes her embroidery shine.


    Robin KingsleyMy favorite thread for embroidery is size 8 pearl cotton. Its weight is comparable to three strands of six-strand embroidery floss, the kind you separate into plies for embroidery, and you can substitute embroidery floss in these projects if you prefer.

    Because the pearl cotton strands are twisted, the strands stay together without separating as you stitch, yielding neat stitches every time. The embroidered stitches “sit up” beautifully on the fabric, adding texture to the stitching and creating a clean appearance in the finished product. Pearl cotton also doesn’t kink and knot as frequently as six-strand embroidery floss tends to do.

    Pearl cotton comes in a large variety of solid colors and variegated shades. The variegated thread may be a single color in graded values from light to dark, or a handful of different colors blended along the strand for even more embroidery interest.

    Embroidery supplies
    Fabric, needles, pearl cotton, and a hoop: all you need to begin one of Robin’s embroidery projects.

    Use the pearl cotton as it comes off the ball; it’s convenient and easy. My two favorite pearl-cotton brands are Presencia from Spain and DMC from France. Each offers an extensive color palette, and the threads are tightly twisted to retain their smooth finish when stitched.

    Santa and snowman embroidery
    Closeups of Robin’s redwork and bluework

    All of the Santas in Just Be Claus and all of the snowmen in Snow Happy are stitched with size 8 pearl cotton. I also use it to do quick quilting with a running stitch. The simple running-stitch finish is a perfect accent to the embroidery and patchwork in most of these projects.


    Start a Santa or snowman project from one of Robin’s books today and you’ll be on your way to a happy handmade holiday.

    Projects from Just Be Claus and Snow Happy

    Which of Robin’s holly-jolly creations are you most fond of: Santas or snowmen? Tell us your seasonal selection in the comments!

    >>> And remember, when you purchase both Just Be Claus and Snow Happy together at ShopMartingale, you’ll get free shipping and you can instantly download both eBooks for free.* A gift in the form of books for you, a gift in the form of handmade goodies for them—everyone wins this Christmas!

    Just Be Claus and Snow Happy


    *Free shipping to the US and Canada.


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  3. You won’t learn color theory in a more beautiful way than this! 😍

    Did you know that, in Japan, quilters and other artists study under a single master, spending years progressing from simple techniques to the extremely difficult? Yoko Saito is one of those masters, and she currently mentors more than 400 students!

    Salt color collectionOne of the most important lessons Ms. Saito teaches her students is about working with color. And if you’ve seen her designs, you know that she’s created a whole world of color that defines her signature look. She calls her color style “taupe color.” The palette plays with a range of neutrals, from whites, beiges, and tans to browns, grays, and blacks, and everything in between—and there’s a LOT of in between for playing!

    Ms. Saito has shared her approach to taupe color with her students for many years; but in her book Yoko Saito’s Japanese Taupe Color Theory, she shares her approach with you. If you love Ms. Satio’s work, you’ll be enchanted by this in-depth guide to her methods for choosing colors across a taupe palette.

    Yoko Saito's Japanese Taupe Color Theory

    In this 146-page, photo-packed volume, Ms. Saito created 20 taupe-color collections to study. Each collection—with intriguing names such as “Café au Lait,” “Bitter Chocolate,” and “Herb Garden”—contains swatches, a color wheel, and detailed tips for creating a similar color collection.

    Spicy Salt color collection
    Spicy Salt color collection

    Her reflections on combining color, hue, pattern, and texture for each color story are enlightening—they’ll really get you thinking about how different fabrics play together. One of many revealing passages in the book is when Ms. Saito shares how she starts a new color collection: by choosing a descriptive phrase (such as “sweet and sour”), and then pulling fabrics that remind her of that phrase. She encourages you to do the same.

    In addition to the 20 color collections, Ms. Saito breaks down 14 of her finished projects and reveals how and why she chose fabric for each project. It’s a fascinating peek inside the mind of a master.

    Finally, Ms. Saito concludes the book with 18 step-by-step projects to make using the taupe-color theory you’ve learned, including:

    Cafe au Lait Handbag and Pouch
    Café au Lait handbag and pouch

    Cocoa Cookie Handbag
    Cocoa Cookie handbag

    Marshmallow Handbag
    Marshmallow handbag

    Orange handbag
    Orange handbag (yes—she uses splashes of color from the traditional color wheel too!)

    And did we mention that the book is GORGEOUS, just like Ms. Saito’s other books? It IS.

    From Yoko Saito's Japanese Taupe Color Theory

    Yoko SaitoIn her introduction, Ms. Saito says, “Taupe is not just gray, or ‘tea colored.’ The world of taupe that I created encompasses not only a variety of colors, but the subtle manipulation of them. Take a hue and add a tint or shade in small degrees from light to dark. Or imagine steeping tea and watching the color becoming deeper and deeper until the flavor is robust. This is the simplicity and complexity of taupe colors . . . this is how my taupe world was born.”

    To order your copy of Yoko Saito’s Japanese Taupe Color Theory, visit our website, ShopMartingale. The book also makes a great Christmas gift for other creative people in your life and for Yoko Saito fans!

    When it comes to color theory, are you:

    • Comfortable with choosing colors, values, hues, and prints
    • Keen on learning more about how colors work together
    • Kinda clueless!

    Tell us in the comments!


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  4. Wish list day! Journaling your quilting life, scrappy = happy, and more (+ giveaway!)

    Wish List Day is back! We’re counting down the days to a new batch of beautiful Martingale books arriving in January. Tell us which new release is your favorite and you could win it!

    Subscribe to our blog and you’ll always be first to see new Martingale quilt books, plus special sales, freebies, tutorials, and more.

    A Quilter's JournalA Quilter’s Journal
    Lisa Bongean

    Organization for your quilting life—inspiration for your quilting soul! Photographed at quilting star Lisa Bongean’s gorgeous lakeside home, this inspiring week-by-week journal is packed with hundreds of photos of quilts and more to enjoy.

    Answer fun prompts all year long to help you create lists for quilting adventures, keep track of projects, document gift and charity quilts—or simply keep this gorgeous date book as a memory journal for future generations of quilters in your family to cherish. All in a perfect size to carry in your bag on the go.

    Pages from A Quilter’s Journal

    Put your creativity first in 2018—see more >


    Scrappy and Happy QuiltsScrappy and Happy Quilts
    Limited Palette, Tons of Fun!

    Kate Henderson

    Pick just two or maybe three . . . now choosing colors is SEW easy! Create lively, colorful quilts with three-time author Kate Henderson—and say bye-bye to agonizing over color choices. With this collection of two-color and three-color quilt patterns, choosing colors is a snap. Plus, you can use up every scrap!

    Start with yardage, scraps, or precuts: the choice is yours. And if you’ve got a LOT of one color in your fabric collection, these bright and beautiful quilts will make that color sparkle. The more of one color, the merrier!


    From
    Scrappy and Happy Quilts

    Everything is happy when it’s scrappy! Learn more >


    Civil War Legacies IVCivil War Legacies IV
    14 Time-Honored Quilts for Reproduction Fabrics

    Carol Hopkins

    Love fabrics inspired by the Civil War era? Save every scrap? Carol Hopkins applauds you—she saves every scrap too! In this fourth book from her “Civil War Legacies” series, you’ll find a collection of small, spectacular quilts where every scrap you save can shine.

    Make a quilt honoring the Blue and Gray Trail; choose a stunning tribute to the woman who established the American Red Cross; stitch a sampler chock-full of charming Basket blocks. Along with 14 of Carol’s exquisite designs to make step by step, you’ll enjoy reading little-known facts about the Civil War and Carol’s stories about how each stunning little quilt came to be.


    Projects from
    Civil War Legacies IV

    Create a little legacy—see more >


    Easy Quilts from Precut FabricsEasy Quilts from Precut Fabrics
    Sue Pfau

    So fun, so quick: just make a precut pick! Create gorgeous quilts featuring classic quilt blocks—and get to the finish line fast using time-saving precut fabrics. No need for stockpiles of scraps; precut bundles include small cuts of many different fabrics, which make it easy to coordinate colors and prints. You can choose your favorite designer fabrics to work with too! Simply pick your favorite precut: Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, or fat quarters.

    Just one or two precut bundles are all you need to begin sewing these beauties. And you know if it’s from Sue, it’s economical too! She’ll help you make the most of any precut bundle you buy.


    Projects from
    Easy Quilts from Precut Fabrics

    Give your precuts a happy home—in a quick quilt! >


    Which January book would make you jump for joy in the New Year? Tell us in the comments and you could win it when it’s released! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.


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  5. 🎁 4 indulgent ways to say, “Happy Holidays!” 🎁

    Not sure what to get your best quilting buddy for Christmas? Want to surprise a creative soul you know with an indulgent gift? Need fresh gift ideas for the creative people in your life? Look no further. We’ve got you covered—from cover to cover!

    We call them our line of “beauty books.” These hardcover, high-quality coffee-table books will make your heart skip a beat! Lavish photography shares the artistry of beloved makers in amazing detail, while page after page of inspiration will coax out your creativity, and the creativity of your giftees. Take a look at our first four coffee-table books for quilters below (yes, there are more to come in 2018!). Which one would be the perfect present for that certain someone on your nice list?

    Patterns not included.


    American Quilt Treasures
    American Quilt Treasures: Historic Quilts from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum

    Inside this exquisite hardcover volume, you’ll be treated to a fascinating journey through a curated collection of quilts housed at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world. The museum graciously allowed Martingale to photograph 65 one-of-a-kind quilts, ranging from just 30 years old to an incredible 197 years old. This lavish coffee-table book devoted to a visual storytelling of American quiltmaking will dazzle any quilter this Christmas!



    Reading this post in email? Click here to view the video.

    Minick and Simpson Blue & White: Living with Textiles You Love

    Spotlighting three different homes featuring Americana, coastal, and classic styles, this gorgeous coffee-table book shares clever decorating ideas and inspiring tips for creating the two-color look that’s so popular right now. Take a peek inside the book in the flip-style video above.


    A Common Thread

    A Common Thread: A Collection of Quilts by Gwen Marston

    Got a quilting BFF who loves to quilt off the pattern page, give unusual techniques a try, and quilt to the beat of her own sewing machine? Don’t miss the opportunity to WOW him or her with this in-depth look at the work of Gwen Marston. The book chronicles five decades of Gwen’s fascinating work, from her beginnings as a traditional quilter to her “liberated” quilt era and beyond.  This magnificently photographed collection of more than 65 quilts—curated by Gwen herself—invites readers to enjoy her journey, her artistry, and her process like never before.


    Stitches to Savor: A Celebration of Designs by Sue Spargo

    If you know someone captivated by color, texture, whimsy, creativity—and of course, quilts!—they’ll fall in love with our debut coffee-table book. From embellished leaves and fanciful birds to extravagant blooms, 200 lush, color-splashed photographs capture the pure magic that Sue Spargo makes with needle and thread. The stunning, close-up details are so real, you can’t help but pet the pages! Sue’s work will summon creativity, light up inspiration, and delight anyone who dreams of making more time to stitch.


    The last day to order standard shipping in the US for delivery before Christmas is Monday, December 11—so fill your cybercart with a selection of beautiful books that your Christmas giftees will enjoy for years to come (or, fill your cart just for you!).

    Which book would you choose to give at Christmas—and whom would you give it to?

    • American Quilt Treasures for the ultimate quilt lover (and for me).
    • Minick and Simpson Blue & White for a decorating devotee (and for me).
    • A Common Thread for a modern-quilting maven (and for me).
    • Stitches to Savor for an embroidery enthusiast (and for me!)

    Share your answer (and your Christmas-book wishes) in the comments!


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  6. Warning: these paper-pieced blocks are just TOO cute (+ giveaway!)

    We’ve been in love with Charise Randell’s work ever since she debuted one of her paper-pieced blocks in The Splendid Sampler—if you followed the quilt-along, you’ll remember her delightful design:

    Stitching Fashion block
    Stitching Fashion block

    It’s just so cute!

    We knew Charise had more sweet sewing to share—and that’s why we’re thrilled to be the publisher of her debut book: Super Cute Paper Piecing. Get ready to smile, giggle, and marvel at Charise’s paper-piecing prowess!

    Super Cute Paper Piecing

    Combine absolute adorability with unbelievable accuracy in 10 paper-pieced blocks; then sew them into 10 delightful projects. Photographs walk you through the technique, so you’ll be paper piecing like a pro in no time. Don’t fear the paper-piecing path—Charise has got you covered from first to last stitch.

    Projects from Super Cute Paper Piecing
    Projects from
    Super Cute Paper Piecing

    Feature motifs in a pillow, wristlet, cross-body bag, coasters, pouches, and a mini-quilt. Or, sew these happy little blocks into any project you like!

    We’re excited to have Charise as a guest writer today, here to tell us more about how Super-Cute Paper Piecing came to be (and how her designs came to be so darn cute!).


    Charise RandellSewing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mom taught me how to sew doll clothes when I was six years old, and I’ve been sewing ever since! I studied accounting in college but always dreamed of being a fashion designer. I made the switch to fashion and never turned back, having a successful career designing women’s clothes for almost 20 years.

    When I left my day job to stay at home with my young boys, I discovered a vibrant online sewing community. I joined an online paper-piecing group and was hooked!

    Apple Wristlet
    Apple Wristlet

    I love the results you can achieve with paper piecing. Once you learn the technique, you can easily make intricate and precise blocks. In Super Cute Paper Piecing, I share step-by-step instructions for how to paper piece. If you have never tried paper piecing, I will help you master the technique in no time! I also share my favorite tools, as well as tips for matching seams and fussy cutting motifs for your blocks. Fussy cutting is such a fun way to add a unique and special touch.

    Colored-Pencil Pouch
    Colored-Pencil Pouch with fussy-cut lettering

    Because I like to make useful items, I designed a project for each paper-pieced block in the book. I love to have cute sewn items surrounding me, and you will find lots to surround you in Super Cute Paper Piecing. From zipper pouches to purses, a fabric bowl, coasters, and a mini-quilt, there are many fun projects to make.

    If you haven’t tried paper piecing before, I hope you love the projects in the book and are inspired to start. If you’re already an experienced paper piecer, there are lots of fun projects for you to try.

    Happy sewing!


    Super Cute Paper PiecingCharise, thank you for sharing your super cute book with us!

    We’re giving away an eBook copy of Super Cute Paper Piecing to one lucky winner today! To enter, tell us:

    What’s your experience with paper piecing?

    • I paper piece all the time!
    • I’ve paper pieced a few blocks.
    • Never tried it—but these blocks are just too cute not to try!

    Share your answer in the comments to be automatically entered into the drawing. We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you’re ready to try some of Charise’s blocks and projects now, order Super Cute Paper Piecing at our website and instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I have paper pieced a couple of blocks. These blocks are so cute they inspire me to do more paper piecing!”

    We’ll email you about your prize, Kalen—congratulations!


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  7. Dream of making Dresden quilts? Dream come true ahead (+ fabric giveaway!)

    Our friends Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson of Me and My Sister Designs have an exciting new book, and Martingale is proud to be the distributor. Get ready to make your Dresden dreams come true with The Double Wide Dresden Book!

    So, what is a Double Wide Dresden? It’s a fast, fun, NEW way to make classic Dresden blocks. These Double-Wide Dresdens:

    • Are twice as fat a traditional Dresden wedges, so you need only 10 wedges (instead of the traditional 20)
    • Cut sewing time in half so you can create all the beauty with none of the fuss
    • Make it easy to cut wedges from strip sets
    • Skip hand-appliqued centers—instead, stars appear with no raw edges!

    Make projects even easier with the companion Double Wide Dresden Ruler.


    Get The Double Wide Dresden Ruler at Me and My Sister Designs’ website
    .

    Check out just a few of the delightful Dresden designs you can create:

    Double Wide Dresden quilt
    Start with the basics: the beginner Double Wide Dresden quilt.

    Dresden Dragonfly quilt
    Transform your Dresdens into dragonflies!

    Dresden Gift Wrap quilt
    Give a bounty of holiday gifts in a single quilt: the Gift Wrap quilt.

    See more Dresdens—all double wide! >

    We sent a little Q &A for Barb and Mary to answer—Barb obliged (and Mary’s here in spirit!). But before we start Q-ing and A-ing:


    FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Barb and Mary sent us a fat-eighth bundle of their newest line with Moda Fabrics, called Confetti, so we could give it to one lucky winner! AND they included the book, the ruler, and some buttons to boot!

     

     

    Find out how you can win this generous gift from the sisters at the end of this post.

    Now, here’s Barb to dish about Dresdens and more!


    Me and My Sister DesignsST!: You’re known for taking challenging quilt designs and transforming them into easy quilts that even beginners can conquer. What inspired the topic of Dresdens in your latest book?

    Barb: We’ll that’s a story best told with “humble pie.” When Mary showed me the first Dresden block she was working on, I looked at it and very nicely said, “Ah, I don’t think anyone will go for it.” She put it aside for several months and started working on it in her personal stack of projects. She ended up taking it to a quilt retreat we attended with friends in the industry, and they all thought it was fantastic! She decided not to listen to me and that block turned into the Boxy Rectangle quilt.

    Boxy Rectangle quilt
    Boxy Rectangle

    ST!: How does your Double Wide Dresden Ruler work with the patterns in The Double Wide Dresden Book?

    Barb: The ruler works all by itself, and the flyer that comes with the ruler gives you all the basics. But the book, when used with the ruler, gives you all the tips and tricks. We’ll tell you exactly where to place the ruler on your fabrics for each of the projects so you can duplicate what we did. We tell you how much fabric you need. We’ve figured out the settings, measurements, and finishings to make your project even easier to complete.

    Projects from The Double Wide Dresden Book

    ST!: You’re the funniest, most lively sister team we know! Do you live near each other?

    Barb: Thanks! Sadly, not anymore. Mary used to live about two miles from me when we started our business. A job change for her husband about four years ago moved her about eight hours away.

    ST!: How do you divvy up your time—do you both design and make your quilts?

    Barb: There has always been a kind of natural separation of the duties. Mary has always liked numbers and math, so she does all those related things. I usually answer all the emails and do the scheduling. We bounce design ideas off each other and divide the quiltmaking half and half. Though Mary always feels she makes more of the quilts.

    ST!: Who writes the patterns?

    Barb: Mary writes the patterns.

    ST!: Who designs your lines of fabric for Moda?

    Barb: I usually start the process and we go back and forth with photos and changes.

    Who gets the Chinese take-out when you’ve got a tight deadline?

    Barb: Mary! She’s the queen of take out. I’m not far behind, but several years ago I decided to cook at least three times a week and have stuck to that pretty well.

    Dresden Beach Ball quilt
    Beach Ball, Barb and Mary’s favorite quilt from the book, pairs both solids and prints.

    ST!: What’s your favorite part of the quiltmaking process, and why?

    Barb: I’ve always said that searching for and buying fabric for a new quilt is the best part! Sometimes a shop owner will ask, “What are you planning to do with this,” and my reply is “I just did what I planned.” I bought the fabric I loved, and that might be the only thing that ever happens with it.

    ST!: What’s on your must-have or must-do list before you start a quilt?

    Barb: The house needs to be straightened and a trip to the grocery store happens so that we have something to eat.  After that tunnel vision happens. All the cutting is done first. Neat piles of cut strips and rectangles are all ready to sew. Marathon sewing then starts!

    ST!: What do you do when you get stuck, either with color choices, construction, or design?

    Barb: I have to admit that I’m not the most patient person when it comes to mistakes. Rather than rip something out, I’ll usually just toss the mistake out and start again. That’s why I always purchase a bit more fabric than I need when shopping.

    Dresden baby quilts
    I Heart Baby

    ST!: What’s the best quilting advice you’ve ever received?

    Barb: Have fun! It’s not a race; enjoy what you love doing.

    ST:! What’s your best tip for getting a quilt to the finish line?

    Barb: That darned marathon sewing session works for me every time. I also make the binding after I complete a quilt top and before I send it to the quilter. That way when I get the quilt back, I’m ready to sew on the binding. It also helps me keep track of which quilts are being quilted.


    Thanks for sharing your latest book with us, Barb (and Mary!).

    To enter to win Barb and Mary’s fabulous prize, tell us:

    How many rotary rulers do you own?

    • 1 to 5: So far I’ve kept to basic square and rectangle rulers.
    • 6 to 10: I like specialty rulers, they make cutting so much easier.
    • 11+: I have MANY rulers—and with them I’ve made MANY quilts!

    Share your answer in the comments—we’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “Definitely 11+ and I think I’m happy to remain ignorant of the true total. What can I say? Those rulers multiply in the sewing room when the lights are out! Love Me & My Sister designs and fabrics – so fun!”

    We’ll email you about your prize, Julie—congratulations!


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  8. Eat, shop, get, give: welcoming the giving season

    Happy Thanksgiving, Stitch This! readers!

    As we reflect on the holiday season, we want you to know how much we value your support of our publishing family. You continue to fuel our passion for creativity, beauty, and excellence. You are part of our family! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your creative lives.

    Today we’re celebrating Thanksgiving with our loved ones—and tomorrow some of us just might be shopping! The next day marks the seventh year of Small Business Saturday. Drop by your local quilt or yarn shop—we know they’ll have something special in store for you.

    And once you’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, ventured out on Black Friday, visited local businesses on Small Business Saturday, and stayed in your pajamas to shop on Cyber Monday (whew!), remember Giving Tuesday, which kicks off the charitable season. Since its inauguration in 2012, Giving Tuesday has become a movement that supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year.

    This year, we thought it would be particularly meaningful to give to charities that Sewing With Nancy host Nancy Zieman supported, as the news of her passing just a week ago led to many heavy hearts throughout the sewing and quilting community. Nancy’s family suggests that donations be made in Nancy’s name to Wisconsin Public Television, Hillside Hospice in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, or a hospice-care facility in your area. Nancy’s life’s work meant something to so many of us; this is a way that we all can give back to her.

    Here’s wishing you good food, warm welcomes—and a bit of fabric play if you can squeeze it in!—as you spend the holiday with those you love. May the coming holiday season inspire your creativity.


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  9. Quilting icon Jo Morton’s tribute to Album quilts 💗 (+ fabric giveaway!)

    Jo Morton is back with another gorgeous book—and it just may be the first time you’ve seen her absolutely admirable appliqué!

    Jo's Floral Album

    In Jo’s latest book, Jo’s Floral Album, you’ll stitch spectacular blocks featuring beautiful blossoms, twining vines, luscious berries, and other motifs that define traditional Album quilts. Make blocks one after another, or set a relaxed pace and sew just one block each month—by year’s end, you’ll have a breathtaking quilt to display, give, or save as a family heirloom.

    Jo's Floral Album quilt
    Jo’s Floral Album: finished size 57½" × 57½".

    Jo’s student-approved instructions for back-basting appliqué (no freezer paper or templates required) will help you achieve appliqué perfection. From materials needed to final finishing steps, all you need to create this stunning quilt is inside, including full-sized patterns (no copy-store trips for you).

    Take a closer look at all nine of Jo’s stunning Album blocks:

    We are excited to welcome Jo as a guest writer today, here to tell us more about her amazing Album quilt. But before we do . . .


    FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Our friends at Moda Fabrics sent us a lovely Layer Cake from Jo’s line, called Timeless, to give away to one lucky winner!

    Learn how you can win the Layer Cake plus a copy of Jo’s Floral Album at the end of this post.

    All right, NOW we can welcome Jo!


    Jo MortonI’m a fan of appliqué (yes, I do make more than just patchwork quilts), but I struggled with it for some time. I found that if I appliquéd frequently, my work improved; but then I would go back to patchwork, creating a vicious circle of needing to improve my appliqué skills all over again.

    I was fortunate to take a class from Jeana Kimball about 15 years ago. I drove to Liberty, Missouri, for the class, a little more than two hours from my home. But it was worth the drive. In class I learned Jeana’s “back-basting” prep method for needle-turn appliqué. I was immediately hooked! It’s the only method I’ve used for appliqué since. Now I can go for months between appliqué projects, pick up needle and thread, and feel confident in my workmanship. In Jo’s Floral Album, you’ll find all the steps needed to learn back-basting appliqué—along with full-color photos of the process—so you too can be successful with this technique.

    The blocks for Jo’s Floral Album were inspired by blocks from at least three antique quilts. I changed and/or simplified some motifs, because I’m not a fancy person. I make quilts that we hang or use in our home, as we have a mix of antique furniture from our trips east to Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with period reproduction furniture.


    A peek inside Jo’s home, featured in her book
    Jo’s Little Favorites III (coming March 2018)

    I make quilts for me and then I share them with you, because traditional quilts are always in style. In Jo’s Floral Album, you’ll find full-sized patterns for the 12″ finished blocks. There are also page-sized color photos of each block. If one is so inclined, one could trace those to make an 8″ finished block instead.

    From Jo's Floral Album

    Back-basting appliqueThese blocks were completed in 2012. They rested with the gorgeous border fabric for some time, due to other obligations. Finally, last year, I took the time to square up the blocks, assemble the top, and send the quilt out for beautiful machine quilting. I’m looking forward to hanging it in our home come spring—like many of you, I have Christmas quilts going up soon—decked on the walls and  beautifully displayed in stacks, on beds, and on tables, of course.

    I think you’ll enjoy making this Album quilt. Take your time and enjoy the process. That is why I quilt. There’s nothing like the rhythm of needle and thread. It warms my heart and soul.


    Jo's Floral AlbumJo, we always love having you as a guest writer—thank you for sharing all the heart and soul you put into Jo’s Floral Album.

    Now, about that giveaway! To be automatically entered to win Jo’s Timeless Layer Cake and book, tell us:

    What would you do with your finished Album quilt?

    • Snuggle under it—that’s what quilts are for!
    • Hang it on the wall for EVERYONE to see. Forever.
    • Put it on display for special occasions; then leave it in my will for someone who will appreciate it!

    Share your answer in the comments to be automatically entered into the drawing—we’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you’re ready to start your own appliquéd heirloom, order Jo’s Floral Album today at our website, ShopMartingale.com.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I love to live with my quilts by hanging them on the wall and displaying them on my bed. The quilts in this book would be a challenging and beautiful addition to my collection.”

    We’ll email you about your prize, Myra—congratulations!


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  10. You’re Invited: Martingale + Moda Quilt Retreat 😍 it’s ON in 2018!

    Get ready for a fabulously fun quilt retreat—we’d love to see you and your quilting buddies there!

    It’s the quilters’ retreat of a lifetime! Join us for an epic five-day/four-night event that quilters will talk about for years to come. Don’t miss your chance to mix and mingle with other quilters and top-notch designers, all brought to you by Martingale and Moda—the people and brands that bring you more of what you love about quilting!

    Fun, friends, piecing, and happiness—plus four fabulous world-class designers to learn from. And you don’t have to choose the classes you want to attend. YOU get to have classes with ALL OF THEM!


    Introducing YOUR Quiltstock teachers!

    Classes + free-time sewing + fun & games = THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE

    Guarantee your spot with a $995 payment that covers all four classes, special events, a limited-edition Quiltstock 2018 goodie bag (retail value over $250), and seven meals. The $995 retreat fee is nonrefundable but is transferrable.

    Don’t wait, SPACE IS LIMITED. Class supply list will be available June 1, 2018.

    Here’s how to reserve your spot at Quiltstock:

     Sign up! Call 800-426-3126, ext. 1378, or 425-483-3313, ext. 1378 (for callers outside US/CAN).

    Don’t miss out on an extra SHOPportunity, July 23, 2018, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.! Tell us now if you’d like to add an optional excursion to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines’ flagship store, Magnolia Market, in Waco, Texas. The $125 tour fee is nonrefundable but is transferable. (Click here for details.)

     Reserve your hotel room for Quiltstock 2018 online here or by calling Magnolia Hotel Park Cities, Dallas, at 888-983-5012 or 214-750-6060 (reference Quiltstock room block). All Quiltstock participants must stay onsite at the Magnolia Hotel during the event. Rooms are $139 per night and include parking. Share a room with a friend or room alone, it’s your choice!

     Invite your friends! Download this Quiltstock 2018 brochure and tell them you’re going!


    Questions? Comments?
    Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to answer!

    Hope to see you in 2018 at QUILTSTOCK!


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