1. Can you imagine quilts in different colors? 5 examples to explore (+ fabric giveaway!)

    Have you ever fallen head over heels for a quilt pattern but found it hard to envision the design in your favorite colors? It can be a challenge, but imagining quilts in different color palettes is worth learning how to do—the patchwork possibilities are endless.

    Piece and Quilt with PrecutsThree-time Martingale author Christa Watson understands those color predicaments, and she leaps at an opportunity to offer a different perspective on her quilts. When Christa debuted her bright and happy Benartex line of fabric, Modern Marks, she saw the perfect chance to remake some of the quilts from her latest book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts, in her new line—along with a little help from her friends.

    Christa and company remade five quilts from her book with Modern Marks precuts (available as fat quarters, 5″ x 5″ squares, 10″ x 10″ squares, and 2½" strips, called Pinwheels).

    Modern Marks fabric by Christa Watson
    Modern Marks features 26 prints

    Below are the results of Christa’s reboot. On the left you’ll see the quilt Christa made for Piece and Quilt with Precuts; on the right you’ll see the same quilt design made in Christa’s Modern Marks fabric.

    Starstruck quilt
    Starstruck by Christa Watson, made in neutrals and Modern Marks—what a difference a color switch can make!

    Squiggles quilt
    Squiggles by Christa Watson—notice the light background on the left and the dark background on the right.

    Dot 'n' Dash quilt
    Dot ’n’ Dash alternate colorway by Kristin Esser—from soft and subtle to lively and energetic.

    Gridwork quilt
    Gridwork alternate colorway by Vicki Holloway—both quilts are as scrappy as can be.

    Spools quilt
    Spools alternate colorway by HollyAnne Knight—we love the spools in reverse!

    In Piece and Quilt with Precuts, Christa shares a great tip for what to do when you run out of fabric in a precut bundle before you’ve finished a quilt:

    Christa Watson“When fabric designers use a defined color palette, it’s easy to mix and match among their collections in one quilt. You can easily substitute fabric from a designer’s newest line to replace older fabric that’s out of print. If you have an older bundle that doesn’t have enough pieces for the quilt you want to make, try mixing fabrics from older and newer lines to get the pieces you need, or throw in a few pieces from your stash to round out a collection.”

    A great reason to head to your stash and to the quilt shop!

    You’ll find all of the patterns above in Christa’s book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts—see more projects from the book here. And if it’s Christa, you know she’ll share exactly how to machine quilt your quilt too—no “quilt as desired” to be found in her books.

    Christa sent us a pretty Pinwheel of her Modern Marks fabric to give away to one lucky winner today!

    Piece and Quilt with Precuts giveaway

    To enter to win the Pinwheel plus a copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts, tell us in the comments:

    What process do you use for choosing colors for your quilts?

    • I like to follow the colors a designer chooses as closely as I can.
    • I look at the values the designer uses, and then choose my own colors in those values.
    • I wing it—sometimes it works, and sometimes . . . 🙁

    We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck—and if you’ve got a color tip to share, please do!

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  2. Summon spring with scenes from A Cottage Garden (+ giveaway!)

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to introduce you to the new book by designer Kathy Cardiff. Why? Because it’s going to be love at first sight!

    A Cottage Garden

    When this avid gardener and seasoned designer combines her passions, magic sprouts. Using wool as her medium and flowers as her muse, Kathy brings her blossoming backyard garden to life in projects that blend elegant beauty with a touch of primitive charm.

    Spring Charm Pillow
    Spring Charm Pillow

    Projects in A Cottage Garden range from pillows and sewing notions to table toppers and wall quilts, culminating in a stunning nine-block sampler quilt bursting with blooms:

    My Cottage Garden quilt
    Kathy’s My Cottage Garden Quilt includes anemones, black-eyed Susans, echinaceas, English daisies, forget-me-nots, marigolds, peonies, sweet peas, and zinnias.

    Basic embroidery-stitch details will give each flower, leaf, and vine Kathy’s special brand of cottage style.

    If you’re ready to cultivate the wonders of wool, Kathy is here to guide you to success! Complete wool-appliqué instructions, breathtaking projects to show off your skills, and pullout patterns are all included.

    From A Cottage Garden

    See more from A Cottage Garden >

    Kathy’s here as a guest writer to share a behind-the-scenes story about the photo shoot for the book. Do we have any green thumbs out there? You are going to love this little tale about A Cottage Garden!

    Kathy CardiffHi everyone! I am so excited to be on the Martingale blog today discussing my new book A Cottage Garden.

    For those of you who know me through Facebook or Instagram or even a class, you know that one of my biggest passions aside from sewing is gardening. I love to be outside enjoying nature, getting my hands dirty and watching things grow. This book brings together both of my loves in beautiful garden-inspired sewing projects.

    For the Bees Framed Picture
    For the Bees Framed Picture

    When Martingale found out about my love of gardening, they thought photographing my very own garden would be a great way to bring a special sort of personalization to the book. I was thrilled at the idea! My excitement grew and grew as the date approached. I started to eagerly anticipate the first signs of spring.

    Pitcher Perfect Wall Hanging
    Pitcher Perfect Wall Hanging

    Well, we ended up having a record-setting cold and extra-looooong winter here in the Pacific Northwest, and those first crocuses were about six weeks behind schedule. We could only postpone the photo shoot for so long because of the publishing schedule, so my husband and I sprang into action. We replanted bushes that hadn’t survived the harsh cold and planted new color to make up for the late blooms. We visited Home Depot so often that they knew us on a first-name basis! We finished with three truckloads of mulch and prayed there wouldn’t be another freeze.

    So while I would love to say my gardens always look perfect, now you know the real story behind all the breathtaking scenery in the new book!

    Forget-Me-Not Memory Keeper
    Forget-Me-Not Memory Keeper

    I hope you enjoyed getting a little behind-the-scenes peek at what went into A Cottage Garden, and that you’ll get even more joy from creating projects for your own home.

    Kathy’s website
    Kathy on Facebook
    Kathy on Instagram

    A Cottage GardenWhat a trooper you are, Kathy—when people see inside the book, they’ll appreciate your gorgeous gardens even more.

    We have a copy of A Cottage Garden to give away to one lucky winner today! To be entered in the drawing, tell us in the comments:

    What flower says “spring is here!” to you?

    • Crocuses: they cheer me up at a time when I most need it.
    • Daffodils: yellow is my signature color.
    • Tulips: what a welcome splash of color!

    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 stitch your own little welcome for spring, you can order your copy of A Cottage Garden right now at ShopMartingale.com.

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  3. Infected with the quilting bug—a beginner tackles triangles (+ advice needed!)

    Martingale graphic designer Tara is back to share another tale about her adventures as a beginning quilter! This time Tara tackles a pinnacle of piecing: Flying Geese units. Let’s all cheer her on—and offer some advice for the question she’s been pondering.

    My last post ended with me teasing that my Rainbow Runner quilt top was too easy—well it really was. All I had to do was sew a long, straight line…22 times, of course! I got plenty of practice. I appreciated Pat Sloan’s tip to use painter’s tape on my machine bed to ensure a consistent ¼" seam allowance. My stitching was still wobbly, which distressed me in the moment, but once I finished and flipped it over, I couldn’t see any wobbles—it looked good to me! I’ll probably be keeping the tape on my machine for quite a while.

    This is the part where I realized I should have made all my strips the same length as well as the same width! Live and learn.

    My runner was coming together nicely, but so far it was all just a bunch of rectangles—I had a hankering to try a more challenging block. I settled on the Sawtooth Star, a.k.a. Block #7 from Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt. It was perfect because the finished size is quite large at 12″  x 12″. I figured I could make and finish just one block and call it a place mat in the end. I was amazed at how easily it came together. Just cut a few squares and do what Pat Sloan tells you, and voilà, you will have an impressive-looking star (and a few leftover flying-geese units)!

    That’s Pat’s block on the left and mine on the right. Don’t worry—I see the difference! I’m told my seam line-up is pretty good for a beginner, but I can see how this can become a tricky thing to get juuust right.

    I really enjoyed putting both of these quilt tops together—I definitely got “in the zone.” One day I committed only to setting up my sewing space and getting all my materials together, and all of a sudden I was almost finished with the task itself because I was so immersed. Does that mean I’m officially infected with the quilting bug?

    The next step seems like the toughest part—actually quilting. As you can see, I have three “quilt sandwiches” (my favorite term!) all ready to go—the Rainbow Runner, the Sawtooth Star Mat, and a wholecloth practice sandwich.

    Delicious quilt sandwiches

    So . . . how should I quilt these? I’d love your ideas, because I really don’t know! Someone suggested “matchstick quilting” for the Rainbow Runner, and that sounds good. Maybe in a diagonal direction, though. Or even criss crossing? Or perhaps some gentle or quirky vertical curved lines instead so I don’t have to be so straight? And for the Sawtooth Star Mat . . . Should I simply stitch in the ditch and then do something special in that center square? And if so, what? Oh gosh. Help!

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  4. I Sew for Fun blog hop! 3 essential tips for sewing with kids (+ giveaway)

    We are excited to be a part of a very special blog hop today.

    We were saddened when we heard that Nancy Zieman, beloved host of Sewing With Nancy, passed away on November 14 of 2017, shortly after retiring from her show and her business. Before her passing, she was preparing to launch a new program dedicated to a topic near and dear to her heart: teaching children to sew.

    Nancy sewing with her granddaughters

    Now Nancy’s dream has come to fruition. Her legacy lives on in the “I Sew for Fun” series, a range of books and products that teach children ages 5 to 9 how to sew. We’re proud to be part of this campaign and to honor Nancy’s memory by publishing her children’s book, The Flying Sewing Machine. Nancy’s rhyming tale introduces kids to the little town of Sewland, where everyone stops to sew each day at a quarter to two. Here’s a peek inside the book:

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

    The I Sew for Fun series introduces a modern, lighthearted approach to sewing with kids. Throw perfection out the window—this is all about creativity and fun!

    I asked my son, Charlie, and his cousin, Courtney (both age 9), if they’d like to try out the I Sew for Fun project book and products. They were game!

    We chose the Owl Pillow project from the I Sew for Fun book, and we tried several of the kid-friendly notions from the series too, including the pin magnet caddy, the retractable seam ripper (very cool for fewer pokes on small hands), and the hand-sewing needles with a cute heart-shaped case. You can view all the I Sew for Fun products here.

    The products we used to make our Owl Pillows.

    I made and cut out the owl pattern, and the kids traced the pattern onto the wrong side of their fabric with washable markers:

    I had the kids cut out the owl pieces they’d traced onto their fabrics. They also cut the pattern pieces and fabrics for the eyes, beak, and heart (although Charlie opted to skip the heart motif).

    Cutting out the owl bodies.

    Cutting out the eyes, beaks, and heart. I love how Courtney decided to switch the colors of her owl eyes to the opposite of what the pattern suggested—she even added extra teeny white circles so her owl eyes would sparkle.

    I took care of cutting the fusible web. After they positioned the faces on the owl bodies, I ironed them into place. Then I asked a question: do you want to try some hand embroidery? I was surprised to hear a resounding yes! The hand stitching took extra time, but neither of them stopped until they were done—it seemed like they especially enjoyed this part of the process.

    Charlie stitching away . . . I noticed his stitches were pretty small.

    And Courtney’s stitches were pretty big!

    Once the owl faces were completed, it was time to head to the sewing machine. Unfortunately, it was time to say goodbye to Courtney, as she had family plans (but she’s coming back this Saturday to finish her project). Charlie couldn’t wait to put the pedal to the metal:

    He turned his owl pillow right side out and stuffed it before calling it a day. We spent about 2½ hours sewing.

    The next day we needed to do the final step: hand stitch the opening at the bottom of the pillow closed. I taught Charlie how to do a whipstitch and pinched the seam together while he sewed. He did great!

    And ta-daa! Charlie’s pillow is complete!

    We really did have a fun time.

    I Sew for Fun by Nancy ZiemanMy favorite part about the I Sew for Fun book—aside from the great tips for sewing with kids—are the great tips for grown-ups sewing with kids. I took Nancy’s advice and kept these three guidelines in mind:

    1. Lower your expectations! Perfection is not the goal.

    2. Learn to embrace crooked seams. (This one took me a minute.)

    3. Don’t worry about ¼" or ⅝" seams. Instead, use the presser foot as a guide for seam allowances.

    These three tips alone made the entire process more fun for all of us. Yes, there were wonky seams and wayward stitches, but Charlie and Courtney were excited about their new sewing skills and proud of their projects. And I was plenty proud too!

    There are also instructions in the I Sew for Fun book for making sewing boxes so kids have a place to store their supplies. I want to do this with Charlie and Courtney so they’ll be ready to sew when we make our next project.

    A side note: Charlie was so excited when he finished his Owl Pillow that he immediately chose another project to make from the book: a pillowcase. We’ll be working on that project next weekend with his other cousin, Willa. Looks like sewing’s all in the family now!

    Our friends at Nancy Zieman Productions have generously offered to give one set of I Sew for Fun books and products to one lucky winner today!

    To enter your name in the drawing, tell us in the comments:

    Which little one in your life would you like to teach how to sew?

    We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck, grown-ups—make time to pass your love of sewing on to the next generation!

    Visit more I Sew For Fun blog-hop hosts below (and enter more giveaways too):

    Monday, February 5

    Tuesday, February 6

    Wednesday, February 7

    Thursday, February 8

    Friday, February 9

    Saturday, February 10

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  5. Quick tip: how to transfer letters to fabric for embroidery (how-to video)

    From A Little SomethingHave you joined the embroidery craze? It’s blowing up Instagram, and no wonder—it’s inexpensive to start, it’s easy to learn, and you can take it anywhere. Fabric, embroidery thread, and scissors are all you need!

    A Little Something author Roseann Kermes has loved wool, appliqué, and embroidery ever since childhood when her mother became a 4-H leader. She’s learned lots of tricks for making sewing simpler over the years, and today we get to share one of those tips with you!

    Roseann stopped by our office and showed us how she transfers letters to fabric in preparation for embroidery. This is a super-slick trick, tribe—check it out:

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

    Could it really be that simple? Yes, it could!

    You’ll find lots of “little” embroidery and appliqué tips in Roseann’s book A Little Something, along with 16 pretty projects that are perfect for celebrating spring:

    Spring Bouquet Bag
    Spring Bouquet Bag

    Strawberry Sewing Trio
    Strawberry Sewing Trio

    Hospitality Hanger
    Hospitality Hanger

    A Little SomethingRing in spring a “little” early this year—pick up A Little Something at ShopMartingale.com and you can instantly download the eBook for free.

    What’s your embroidery life like?

    • I carry my embroidery wherever I go.
    • I love to sit at home and enjoy every stitch.
    • I don’t have an embroidery life, but I think I might need one!

    Tell us in the comments!

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  6. Wish List Day! Stash busters, little favorites, and wool minis (+ giveaway!)

    Hooray, hooray, for Wish List Day! We’re counting down the days until Martingale’s March 2018 books hit your local quilt shop—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.

    Oh, Scrap!Oh, Scrap!
    Fabulous Quilts That Make the Most of Your Stash

    Lissa Alexandera

    Want to be a scrap quilter? Great! Want to think like a scrap quilter? Learn from a master. Lissa Alexander has spent three decades honing her scrap-quilting skills, and in her first solo book, she offers page after page of tips for making dazzling scrap quilts bursting with colors, prints, and textures.

    As you make 12 exquisite quilts, you’ll learn Lissa’s secrets for deciding which fabric combinations work (and understanding why others don’t). Best of all, discover how to (finally!) use your unique stash to make scrap quilts that sing. Includes a preface on scrap quilting by renowned quilt historian Barbara Brackman.

    See more scrappy sensations from Lissa >

    Jo's Little Favorites IIIJo’s Little Favorites III
    Enduring Designs for Classic-Quilt Lovers

    Jo Morton

    Quilting icon Jo Morton returns with the third book in her “Jo’s Little Favorites” series! Enjoy 15 lovely little quilts previously available only to her devoted club members—until now.

    For the first time, Jo invites you into her charming 1920s-era bungalow to share how she displays quilts in her own home. Gather oodles of ideas for showcasing small quilts, along with Jo’s favorite techniques for making them. You’ll be inspired to start right away with Jo’s wise approach: if you want to make them all, make them small!

    See more from Jo >

    Lunch-Hour Wool MinisLunch-Hour Wool Minis
    14 Easy Projects to Stitch in No Time

    Kathy Brown

    Introducing perfectly portable projects for sewing on the go! So small, so sweet—so simple to complete. About all that’s needed is a needle, thread, wool, and a little lunch-hour time to make 14 cute and creative projects with popular Martingale author Kathy Brown.

    Seasonal and everyday designs include framed art, a pincushion, a mug rug, and more. Even beginners can easily appliqué these charming decor pieces—and complete each in a few lunch hours or less!

    See more lovely lunch-hour projects >

    Which March book would make your month? 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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  7. Pat Sloan’s slick trimming trick (why didn’t we think of this?)

    If there’s one thing every new quilter wonders, it’s how to make sure fabric is cut straight. Just one little nudge at the wrong angle can make straight cuts go wonky, which means sewing goes wonky, which means blocks go together wonky. And that’s just too much wonky for one quilt!

    Best-selling author Pat Sloan has a smart tip for making straight cuts, and all you need is the rotary trio of tools to do it: mat, ruler, and cutter. Watch below for her clever little trick:

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

    Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. We love how Pat’s like that!

    Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First QuiltWhether you’re a beginner or a seasoned quilting pro, Pat’s latest book, Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt, is packed with tips and tricks that you may never have come across. Such as:

    • How to test your ¼" seam allowance (and keep it consistent)
    • How to make sure your grainline is straight before cutting (I didn’t know this!)
    • How to fix blocks that are the wrong size
    • How to calculate how much backing fabric you need

    Plus tons more tips to make your quilting precise. Because less frustration means more fun!

    I recently started teaching my first beginning quiltmaking class, and I’m using Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt as a guide. My students are making every block in the book and then creating a sampler quilt with them. I’ve made each block two times to use as examples in class, and each time I’ve learned something new from Pat—and I’ve been quilting since 1997!

    Blocks from Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First Quilt
    Get bonus instructions online for making Pat’s sampler quilt when you buy the book.

    Blocks from Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First Quilt
    Pat’s blocks in a different color palette

    My students are super excited for their first quiltmaking adventure, and so am I! I’ve enjoyed learning Pat’s tips so I can pass them on to my students. And I know they’ll thank me for introducing them to Pat!

    Pick up all four books in Pat’s “Teach Me” series for great advice you’ll refer to as long as you quilt:

    Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Machine Quilt Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First Quilt Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Sew Triangles Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Applique

    What’s your trick for cutting fabric as straight as an arrow?

    • Same trick as Pat!
    • I use the lines on the rotary mat and/or ruler.
    • I didn’t have a trick—until now!

    Tell us your technique in the comments!

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  8. Fresh vintage style, precut ease: 10 beautiful quilts for your bundles (+ giveaway!)

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

    Easy Quilts from Precut Fabrics

    We’re SO excited that Sue Pfau’s third book, Easy Quilts from Precut Fabrics, is finally here!

    Sue’s whipped up gorgeous quilts featuring classic quilt blocks—and you’ll get to the finish line fast using time-saving precut fabrics. No need for stockpiles of scraps; all those small cuts of fabric in a precut bundle make it easy to coordinate colors and prints. Simply pick your favorite precut: Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, or fat quarters.

    Vintage Bear Paw quilt
    Layer-Cake lovely: Vintage Bear Paw

    Jack's Cross quilt
    Jelly-Roll ready: Jack’s Cross (the oar—how clever!)

    The Ties That Bind quilt
    Fat-quarter friendly: The Ties That Bind

    Just one or two precut bundles plus a background fabric 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 or scraps you have.

    We invited Sue to be our guest writer at Stitch This! today so she can tell you more about her latest book. Welcome, Sue!

    Sue PfauQuilters who know my work know that I like “easy.” I’ll make no excuses for that! But as my tastes and interests have changed through the years, I’ve started to take more of an interest in vintage quilts. The problem is that when I look at antique quilts, they are way too time-consuming and complicated for me—you could even say intimidating. In Easy Quilts from Precut Fabrics, I wanted to design quilts with vintage elements and appeal, but also quilts that would be quicker and easier to complete.

    I love to use precuts. I have always been color challenged, and ever since I started using precuts, my quilts have turned out so much nicer! The designs in the book require one or two bundles of precuts plus one background fabric. This makes picking out fabric quick and uncomplicated. My cutting directions are simple and easy to follow as well. I’ve also included some tricks I use for color placement and for picking out background fabrics. I hope these suggestions will answer some of your questions about using precuts.

    From Easy Quilts from Precut Fabrics

    You’ll find that the designs in my book either have no border or a very simple border. If you are anything like me, after I get the main part of the quilt top done I just don’t have the energy to put together that border. I have a UFO that has been sitting in the attic for 12 years for the mere fact that I was too lazy to piece the border. You won’t have that problem with any of these quilts!

    Churn Dash Echo quilt
    For your fat quarters: Churn Dash Echo

    Unintentionally, each of the quilts in the book has only one repeated block. I suppose this appeals to my simple tastes! I like it because it makes the blocks easier to piece; you can get into the groove of putting blocks together without constantly referring to the directions. Another benefit of a one-block design is that you can change the size of your quilt on your own by making more or fewer blocks. I love that.

    The Fourth of July quilt
    For your Layer Cakes: The Fourth of July

    One last point. My quilts are scrappy and they can all be made with fabrics from your stash. Please don’t think you need to buy precuts to complete my quilts. I hope I’ve inspired you to get busy sewing, and I hope you have as much fun making these quilts as I did!

    Easy Quilts from Precut FabricsSue, thanks for introducing us to your new collection of precut quilts!

    We’d love to give away a copy of Easy Quilts from Precut Fabrics to one lucky winner today—to enter the random drawing, tell us in the comments:

    Which precut bundle would you love to use in one of Sue’s quilts?

    • A Layer Cake
    • A Jelly Roll
    • A fat-quarter bundle
    • I choose my scraps!

    We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    Feeling inspired to untie the ribbon on a fat-quarter stack or Layer Cake or unfurl a Jelly Roll right now? Order Sue’s new book at ShopMartingale.com and you can instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “Fat quarters are fun because you  have more fabric to play with. You could also try another pattern from the book with the same fabric.”

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

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  9. English paper piecing by hand OR machine: prep steps (video)

    You’ve seen them online, at shops, and at shows: glorious English-paper-pieced quilts bursting with color and texture. They’re just WOW!

    Now the new trend in English paper piecing is here: Dresdens. And with all the success that best-selling author Katja Marek has had with EPP hexagons, you know she’s on top of the Dresden trend!

    Paper Lanterns Wall Quilt
    Paper Lanterns Wall Quilt

    Her new quilt-along, Rainy Days and Sun Days, is all about exploring the infinite ways you can piece Dresden blocks. In her latest book, Distinctive Dresdens, you’ll find 26 gorgeous renditions:

    Blocks from Distinctive Dresdens
    Eight of the 26 blocks in the book

    Distinctive DresdensAnd because Katja is such a pro at math, at sewing, and at figuring out the steps for you, she’s made it so you can easily create Dresden blocks too—and you can sew them by hand OR by machine. YES!

    The first step is all about preparing pieces for sewing. Depending on your sewing method, the prep steps differ a bit. We caught up with Katja at Quilt Market and she demonstrated the two different ways she prepares her Dresden wedges: for hand sewing and for machine sewing (which are also covered in the book with step-by-step photos). Watch below:

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

    Once you’ve prepped your pieces, the sewing can begin, and you’ll find complete step-by-step directions for hand and machine sewing in Distinctive Dresdens. Then you can create gorgeous Dresden projects like this:

    Good Morning Place Mats
    Good Morning Place Mats

    …and this:

    Class-Act Cushions
    Class-Act Cushions

    …and this!

    Clamoring for More Quilt
    Clamoring for More Quilt

    Katja just launched her quilt-along for Distinctive Dresdens, and it’s not too late to join the fun! You can find all the quilt-along details here, and you can join her Facebook group for the quilt-along here.

    Rainy Days and Sun Days Quilt-Along

    Dresden blocks: by hand or machine? Tell us in the comments how you’ll make yours!

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  10. Learn how now: blanket stitch for appliqué with Debbie Busby

    If there’s one embroidery stitch that everyone who sews should know, we just might pick the blanket stitch as the big winner. It’s an easy way to conceal raw edges of appliqué pieces, it’s quick to learn, and it’s super cute too!

    The blanket stitch
    See what we mean?

    Sew Many Notions author Debbie Busby has traveled across the United States and to Australia to share her wool-appliqué techniques, and the blanket stitch is one of her favorite stitches to teach. Her beautiful book is chock-full of them! Once you have this simple little stitch down, you can embellish every edge of your work with it.

    We caught up with Debbie at Quilt Market, where she shared her method for the blanket stitch with us. Take a look!

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

    Adding the blanket stitch to your appliqué is like putting frosting on a cake: it makes your finished projects sparkle. Here are a few more of Debbie’s sewing-inspired projects from Sew Many Notions:

    Sewing Day Wall Hanging
    Sewing Day Wall Hanging

    Cute as a Button Pincushions
    Cute as a Button Pincushions

    Sewing Stuff Pocketbook

    Simple Tomato Pincushions
    Simple Tomato Pincushions

    See more projects from Sew Many Notions >>>

    Debbie’s adorable tomato pincushions are so popular, they recently caused a commotion on Facebook—people were clamoring for the pattern when they saw this fun photo from a Facebook group member. Well, we’ve got the pattern. It’s in Sew Many Notions!

    Maker: Delane Young Turner. Prairie Star Table-runner pattern is by Cheri Saffioti-Payne.

    Along with the blanket stitch, we think Debbie may be the world’s #1 fan of wool appliqué. Here’s Debbie to tell you about her favorite type of sewing (but be warned, addictive-personality people!):

    “If there’s anything you should know about wool appliqué, it’s this: it’s fun, easy, quick, and addicting! The projects in this book are meant to be quick and easy too. Make them for your home or sewing studio, or give them as gifts to your stitching friends and neighbors.

    My hope is that you’ll enjoy the process, add your own touches, and change the colors to those you love. I also hope wool appliqué will find its way into your life and your heart. So jump in and find a project that will bring you joy. Once you start, you may not be able to stop!”

    What’s the first embroidery stitch you ever learned: blanket, buttonhole, backstitch? Tell us in the comments!

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