1. NEW Splendid Sampler sew-along starts today!

    Did you miss the Splendid Sampler Sew-Along?

    Are you still working on your blocks?

    Do you want to make your blocks all over again?

    Tune up your machine and start sorting your fabrics—The Splendid Sampler authors Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are starting an all-new Splendid Sampler Sew-Along this Thursday—meaning TODAY! And this time, they’re sewing from the book!

    The Splendid Sampler

    Pat and Jane have switched up the order of the blocks from last year, so you’ll have a fresh surprise each week. Sometimes they’ll assign one block per week, sometimes two, so the pace is a little more relaxed. And this time, you’ll have the benefit of following along in the book—no more printers or page protectors to fuss with!

    Pages from The Splendid Sampler

    Along with Pat, Jane, and Aurifil, we’re helping to kick off the new sew-along with some fun giveaways! Be sure to visit all three links below and enter for your chance to win The Splendid Sampler PLUS a designer Aurifil thread box from Pat or Jane!

    Martingale’s Instagram
    |The Aurifil blog |Aurifil’s Instagram

    Order your book here and download the eBook instantly for free; then head on over to the Splendid Sampler Sew-Along Facebook group and join in the fun!

    Is your Splendid Sampler project completed, somewhere along the way, or just a twinkle in your eye? Tell us in the comments!








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  2. Whip up a little something: wonderful wool-felt applique designs (+ giveaway!)

    Got a little wool in your stash? Dreaming of taking a little time out of your day to stitch? We all need a little “me” time to enjoy our creativity, and author Roseann Kermes has just the thing to make your stitching dreams come true!

    From A Little Something

    In just a few minutes a day, you can transform bits of wool and thread into “a little something” to show off and share. Roseann’s hand-sewn treats are so sweet—and if you’ve ever wanted to try wool appliqué, A Little Something is the perfect place to begin.

     Hospitality Hanger
    Hospitality Hanger

    Roseann’s portable projects make it a snap to sew wherever you go, even if you only have a few precious moments. You’ll fall in love with Roseann’s petite, practical designs, including a sewing kit, coasters, a jewelry bag, pincushions—even a cute satchel for your cell phone! If you’re looking for great gift ideas that are quick to make, you’ll find oodles inside A Little Something too.

    A Little Something

    Are you a beginner when it comes to wool appliqué or embroidery? No worries! Roseann will lead you step-by-step to first-time success. In fact, we had the pleasure of visiting with Roseann at our office while her book was still in the design stage, and she was kind enough to let us film her doing several of her favorite hand-sewing techniques! Here’s the first video we filmed—a how-to for an embroidery backstitch:

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

    We’ll be releasing one of Roseann’s videos every week on our Facebook and Instagram pages for the next several weeks—be sure to follow us so you can see more of Roseann’s how-to videos!

    We’re excited to have Roseann here as a guest writer today to tell us more about A Little Something.

    Roseann KermesI’ve always loved making things. Learning how to braid daisy chains, sewing something to wear, painting ornaments for my kids, experimenting with jams or recipes . . . I’m always making something! Sharing the love of making with friends and family is always the best part. It’s one of the things that led me to teaching. I love seeing people learn and be successful, and sharing that joy of making with them.

    As A Little Something began to come to life, I imagined others gathering with friends to make the projects together. That’s why most of my designs have simple steps and not too many stitches to learn. I created many of them on Sunday afternoons, so I think of them as projects you can do without investing many hours. I want people to experience the joy of finishing something they’re proud of—to glance at it several times a day and revel in the feeling of “I made that!”

    Strawberry Sewing Trio
    Strawberry Sewing Trio

    While I love to stitch, I’m also a decorative painter. Wool appliqué and painting are so similar. Each starts with shapes that are layered and then embellished. I’ve replaced a liner brush with thread for the smallest of details. I use a whipstitch instead of a blanket stitch to anchor the appliqués. I want the shapes to stand on their own and not be overpowered by thread.

    Autumn Abundance Wall Hanging
    Autumn Abundance Wall Hanging

    You won’t need a lot of supplies for wool appliqué. The one thing I insist on is to have scissors that are sharp to the point. As for needles, I find that #9 embroidery needles work best. They are slim and sharp, plus the eye is large enough to thread four strands of floss. Other supplies are easy to gather too. Freezer paper for templates, embroidery floss, some pretty wool, and a design you love from A Little Something—that’s all it takes!

    From A Little SomethingThe thing I love best about A Little Something is the simplicity of the stitches. Beginners will feel comfortable learning them, but the stitches aren’t so simplistic that advanced appliquérs will be bored. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the star stitch. I love how it adds so much texture. (I use it a lot!)

    My wish for everyone making these projects is that they find happiness in stitching and a feeling of accomplishment when they’re done. Enjoy making “a little something!”

    A Little SomethingThanks for sharing A Little Something with us today, Roseann!

    How often do you set time aside for a little hand stitching?

    • A few times a month
    • At least once a week
    • Every day!

    Tell us your answer in the comments and you could win a copy of A Little Something! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And remember, when you purchase A Little Something at ShopMartingale.com, you’ll get to instantly download the eBook for free.




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  3. Patchwork for Pop: quick Father’s Day gift ideas

    Now that we’ve finished honoring Mom (ok, that’s never really finished but you know what I mean!) it’s time to turn our attention to Dad! Father’s Day is coming up fast, and we’re here to help you with some quick projects that the dad in your life is sure to love.

    First up is this stylish Wine Zip from the book Simple, Fun & Quickly Done by Terry Atkinson. Use fabric in a theme or colors that Dad loves, tuck in his favorite beverage, and voilà! The perfect gift in no time!

    Wine Zip
    Wine Zip from
    Simple, Fun & Quickly Done

    For the game lover, why not whip up this super fast and fun Travel Backgammon Set from the book Sew Gifts! It’s the perfect size for stuffing into a travel bag, and the wool felt construction is both quick to stitch and durable.

    Travel Backgammon Set
    Travel Backgammon Set from
    Sew Gifts!

    If Dad likes to cook and/or barbecue, whip up this easy Pot Holder and Oven Mitt by Cassie Barden. Add some gadgets, tools, or specialty spices and maybe you won’t have to cook for Dad on his special day! (See what I did there?)

    Pot holder pattern Oven mitt pattern
    Pot Holder and Oven Mitt by Cassie Barden (find both patterns in The New Handmade)

    If you start right away, there’s still time to make a quilt for Dad. This masculine quilt from 12-Pack Quilts by Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson uses 12 fat quarters plus a background and binding fabric. It’s foundation pieced on muslin, so once you have your strips cut, the piecing will be done lickety-split.

    Waste Not quilt
    Waste Not from
    12-Pack Quilts

    For more great quilt ideas for Dad, take a look at the other projects in 12-Pack Quilts.

    Here is another fabulously easy quilt from All About Strips by Susan Guzman. Gather 18 fat quarters plus three yards of background/binding fabric and you’ve got a good-sized quilt that will wrap Dad in love for years to come.

    Treble and Bass quilt
    Treble and Bass from
    All About Strips

    What’s your favorite way to celebrate with Dad? Steaks on the barbeque, an afternoon at the ballpark, or simply waiting on him hand and foot while he lounges in his favorite chair? Tell us in the comments!








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  4. Happening now: Save 30% sitewide (get that book you’ve been wishing for!)

    Quilt Market’s in full swing. You can hear crickets in the office today. I’m all by myself. And you know what they say:

    When the cat’s away, the mice will . . .
    put on a big SITEWIDE SALE!

    Sitewide sale this weekend only!

    From hot-off-the press books to popular classics, from print books to eBooks (plus our indulgent coffee-table books for fabric lovers—you know you want ’em!), save 30% on your purchases through May 21. Get ready to stock your shelves (or tablets!) with creativity for summer stitching and beyond!

    No time to dillydally (the bosses will be back soon): start saving on those books you’ve been dreaming of owning! And remember, whenever you place an order for $40 or more at ShopMartingale.com, you earn free shipping* to the US and Canada.

    Take me to:
    quilt books | sewing books | knitting books
    crochet books | best sellers

    *In-print books only. Orders may take up to 15 days to process before shipping. But we’ve got the best warehouse team in the whole wide world—your order will be shipped as quickly as possible!







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  5. Sew a holly-jolly holiday! Sweet Santa embroidery patterns (+ fabric giveaway!)

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . when Santa’s the inspiration for your needle and thread, every day feels like the most wonderful time of the year!

    Just Be Claus

    First Robin Kingsley charmed us with a flurry of sweet snowmen in her best-selling book Snow Happy. Now Robin is back to share more enchanting stitcheries in Just Be Claus—this time featuring Santa and all of his favorite things in beautiful redwork. Even the grumpiest of Grinches won’t be able to resist Robin’s renditions of jolly-old Saint Nick!

    Santa Tea Time
    Deck the kitchen with Robin’s darling tea towels—sure to bring a smile!

    Now’s the perfect time to sew fun little gifts and decorations for your holiday home—there’s no Christmas rush! Savor some slow stitching and bring your own Santas to life in ornaments, pillows, framed embroideries, and a Santa sampler quilt that will fill your holiday guests with joy.

    Jolly Santas quilt
    Surround the embroidery in this Jolly Santas quilt with your stash of Christmas fabrics.

    All of Robin’s projects are easy to create and put on display. And no worries if you’re new to embroidery—Robin’s embroidery basics have you covered. Once you get started, we guarantee you won’t want to wait until December to show off your Santa style!

    Santa Collector table runner
    Start a new Christmas tradition of setting out milk and cookies for Santa on this adorable runner.

    Robin is our guest writer today, here to tell you more about her latest book. But before we get to more merriment . . .

    BOOK + FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Our friends at Maywood Studio sent a festive bundle of Robin’s latest fabric line, Just Be Claus, to give away to one lucky winner!

    Martingale + Maywood Studio giveaway!

    Learn how you can win the bundle plus a copy of Just Be Claus at the end of this post. And be sure to visit Robin’s blog today too: she’s hosting another fun book-and-fabric giveaway!

    Robin KingsleyHow wonderful be asked to design and stitch a WHOLE book about Santa Claus! That jolly old elf can be imagined so many ways. I had a terrific time playing with Santa and even more fun drawing and stitching the projects in Just Be Claus!

    I created holiday projects you can enjoy in your own home or give as welcome gifts to family and friends. There are big and not-so-big projects to keep you busy right up until Christmas.

    One of my favorite projects is the Oil Can Folk-Art Santa, which is mounted on a vintage oil can so people can admire the stitching on the front and the back.

    Oil Can Folk-Art Santa embroidery
    Add tiny buttons and jingle bells to complete this one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional centerpiece.

    The Portraits of Santa Table Mat gave me the opportunity to add extra-decorative embroidery, plus an old button or two to finish.

    Portraits of Santa table topper
    How fun would it be to have Santa join you for a mug of hot chocolate?

    Counting down the days until Christmas is SO important! Make your own colorful Christmas Countdown complete with chalkboard fabric and a pocket to hold your chalk.

    Christmas Countdown embroidery
    A Christmas Countdown to remember!

    These are just three of the 24 special designs you can make in Just Be Claus. I wonder which will be your favorite design?

    Santa Claus is quite the versatile character and will entertain you ALL year as you get ready for the holiday. In the book I also share my favorite tips and tricks for:

    • Transferring embroidery designs to fabric
    • Learning fun embroidery stitches that add special embellishment to your designs
    • Keeping the back of your embroidery neat (you’ll surprise all those nosy people who always turn over your work!)
    • Giving your embroidery a fine, polished finish

    And, of course, there are many FUN embroideries to stitch!

    Just Be ClausThanks for sharing your new book with us, Robin!

    For your chance to win the Just Be Claus book and the fabric bundle from Maywood Studio, tell us:

    How many Santas show up in your home decor at Christmastime?

    • 1 to 5
    • 6 to 10
    • 11 to 20
    • 20 or more!

    Share your answer in the comments and you’ll 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!

    ➡ Buy both of Robin’s books, Just Be Claus and Snow Happy, to get some jolly stitching done before the holiday and we’ll pay for your shipping in the US and Canada.






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  6. Tips for choosing fat quarters (from someone who’s bundled 5,000)

    fat quartersGot stacks of fat-quarter singles that you couldn’t resist at the store—and now you’re not sure what to do with them?

    If you have fat quarters that aren’t in pre-bundled form, it can be challenging to figure out how to choose the right combination of colors, values, and prints and sew them into a quilt you’ll be proud to display. But in Me and My Sister Designs’ book 12-Pack Quilts, you’ll find smart tips for combining fat quarters, all from a bona fide professional fat-quarter bundler. Yes, they exist, and shop owner Julie Karasek’s earned that title! Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs explain how 12-Pack Quilts was born:

    Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson“The idea for 12-Pack Quilts began at a quilt gathering where we heard shop owner Julie Karasek talk about the success of her quilt shop’s 12-pack program. The lecture planted the seeds of this book and we were under way before the event ended! Julie estimates her quilt shop, Patched Works in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, has bundled more than 5,000 fat-quarter 12-packs in the past few years. With that much experience, we consider Julie the expert when it comes to bundling fat-quarter 12-packs!”

    Barb and Mary included a special Q & A with Julie in their book to find out how she chooses fat quarters for the popular bundles in her shop. Here are some of Julie’s words of wisdom from 12-Pack Quilts!

    Barb: What advice do you give people on choosing 12 fat quarters for a quilt?

    Julie KarasekJulie: Most importantly, you want some distinction between your 12-pack fabrics and your background fabric. So, if you’re using light gray for your background, don’t use a light gray tone on tone for one of your fat quarters. Likewise, if solid white is your background, don’t include a mostly white print among your fat quarters.

    Think about the overall balance of colors you’re after. Generally, we split the color mix equally. If we have six colors, there are two different prints of each color in the pack. If there are four colors, there are three prints of each. If there are three colors, there are four prints of each, and so on. Most often, we try to keep an even balance of mediums and darks, assuming the background is going to be light. With a dark background, you’d want to pair medium and light fat quarters. If we’re working within one collection of fabrics, we also try not to repeat the same print (in different colorways) too much (no more than two or three times).

    Designs from 12-Pack Quilts
    Designs from
    12-Pack Quilts

    Mary: What’s a common mistake when it comes to assembling a 12-pack?

    Julie: A rookie mistake is not paying attention to contrast. For example, choosing a beautiful, small-scale light print when your background is also light—there isn’t enough contrast. So be sure to lay your 12-pack of fat quarters atop your background fabric to see that they separate from one another.

    If you include high-contrast lights and darks in your 12-pack, think about choosing a strong medium tone for the background. Or, if the pattern allows for high-contrast blocks, use two background fabrics and alternate your lights and darks to create positive/negative quilt blocks.

    Caught in the Middle quilt
    Caught in the Middle

    Barb: What advice would you have for quilters looking to gain confidence in mixing colors for their 12-packs?

    Julie: I usually start with “You dressed yourself this morning, so you’re able to do this.” More often than not, it comes back to what they’re wearing. Look at your shirt, your quilted purse; there’s a color palette that you like. And that’s often how we get started.

    Bobbins quilt

    A mix of 12 fat quarters that didn’t start life as one collection is one of my favorite kinds of 12-pack. Even if you’re cutting fat quarters from larger yardage cuts, the smaller you cut it, the better it might play with other fabrics you already own. We all bought the fabric in our stashes for a reason. So mixing them with other pieces is a perfect departure point for any 12-pack quilt. Dive in and get started!

    Heart's Desire quilt
    Heart’s Desire

    12-Pack QuiltsWe hope you enjoyed Julie’s fat-quarter tips! Ready to head to your stash for a dozen perfectly picked fat quarters? Purchase 12-Pack Quilts and you can instantly download the eBook for free.

    Do you have a knack for mixing fat quarters?

    • Nope—I stare at them, they stare at me, and that’s as far as it goes.
    • Sometimes—kind of hit or miss, but I’m getting better at it.
    • Yes—it’s one of my favorite parts of the quilting process!

    Tell us your answer in the comments!







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  7. Long may she wave: quilts to make for Flag Day 💫

    Looking for an American flag quilt-block pattern for summer celebrations on the way? You’ve come to the right place—and now is the right time to make one to celebrate a special day arriving even sooner than the Fourth of July: Flag Day!

    National Flag Day is celebrated every June 14; it commemorates the adoption of the United States flag on June 14, 1777. Did you know that since 1777, the design of the flag has been officially modified 26 times? (Actually . . . that’s kinda like modifying quilt layouts—sounds about right!) For 47 years, the 48-star flag was in effect. In 1959, the 49-star version became official. Then President Eisenhower ordered the 50-star flag on August 21, 1959.

    There’s plenty of time to sew a patchwork ode to Old Glory in time for summer’s patriotic parties. No matter how many stars or stripes you choose to wave in your flag quilt, we hope you’ll be inspired by the choices below. Red, white, and blue are the unofficial colors of the summer season, so let’s get stitching!

    Leo's Star quilt
    A fun afternoon project: Leo’s Star by Kathy Flowers, from
    Oh Glory!

    We are United table runner
    This sew-on-the-go We are United table-runner pattern shows you how to piece and quilt your project at the same time. Find it in
    Stitch on the Double.

    One Flag quilt
    One Flag by Country Threads, from Civil War Remembered
    : can you spot the flag in this star-studded quilt?

    Freedom Waves quilt
    Simple, strippy blocks combine with a bit of fuse-and-stitch appliqué in this Freedom Waves quilt by Geralyn Powers. Find the pattern in
    Patchwork Plus.

    Long May She Wave quilt
    Alternate red and white Courthouse Steps to create stunning stripes that salute the flag.
    Find the pattern in Oh Glory!

    Star Spangled Banner quilt
    This Star-Spangled Banner quilt is perfect for your red, white, and blue scraps—find the pattern in
    Fast Favorites from McCall’s Quilting.

    Patriotic My Best Sampler quilt
    Try a little piecing, a little appliqué, and a lot of Flying Geese in this sweet sampler quilt from
    Folk-Art Favorites.

    Where do you take quilts along with you during summer: to the park, the beach, a summer cabin? Tell us in the comments!

    You might also like: Re-creating the Star-Spangled Banner





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  8. A spectacular sequel: more petite Jo Morton patterns (+ fabric giveaway!)

    Quilting icon Jo Morton is back with more exquisite little quilts that have only been available to her devoted club members—until now!

    Jo's Little Favorites II

    In the sequel to the best-selling Jo’s Little Favorites, you’ll fall in love with 15 little quilts reminiscent of days gone by. Along with gorgeous styled photography to make you ooh and aah, close-up photos reveal every scrappy choice Jo makes, so you can follow her lead.

    Leftovers quilt
    Jo’s tiny Leftovers quilt is made from a surplus of half-square-triangle units. The size is perfect for draping off the edge of a cupboard shelf, softening hard lines.

    Get oodles of Jo’s ideas for displaying small quilts, plus her favorite techniques for making them—she truly is the voice of experience when it comes to working with smaller pieces! Remember the “clippy trick” that Jo shared with us at Quilt Market?

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

    You’ll be inspired to start right away with Jo’s wise approach to quiltmaking: if you want to make them all, make them small!

    Quilts from Jo's Little Favorites II
    Quilts from Jo’s Little Favorites II

    One of the things Jo loves most, besides making quilts, is decorating with them. Jo is our guest writer today, here to share more about her latest book, along with a few tips for decorating with petite patchwork.

    But first . . .

    BOOK & FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Our pals at Moda Fabrics sent a bundle of Jo’s latest line, called Timeless, to give away to one lucky winner!

    Martingale + Moda giveaway!

    Find out how you can win the bundle and a copy of Jo’s Little Favorites II at the end of this post.

    Jo MortonI’m excited, happy, and honored that that Jo’s Little Favorites II is here! Inside you’ll find more small quilt projects to help fill your walls, chairs, shelves, and tables, along with my favorite decorating tips. (You may need to do a little shopping for, ahem, great quilt props.)

    This all goes back to the fact that, just like you, I have a very long list of quilts I want to make. The only way I can make a dent in my dream list (and yes, it keeps changing) is to make medium, small, or even smaller quilts instead of bed-sized or large quilts. Besides, we have only one queen bed in our home, and sweet kitty Chloe enjoys her naps on it.

    I’ve made four quilts that are close to bed-sized. I have a wholecloth quilt that I bought several years ago that covers our bed, and I hired a friend to make shams to match. I fold my large, seasonal-colored quilts across the foot of the bed. They’re so easy to change out.

    Holiday Inn quilt
    Holiday Inn quilt

    Sometimes a medium-sized quilt, like Holiday Inn or Manassas, looks great on a table with candles, hors d’oeuvres, snacks, and favorite beverages ready to share with friends. (Be sure your chosen quilt is one you are willing to wash.)

    Manassas quilt
    The Manassas quilt. In her book, Jo says, “I make quilts to be used, not to be kept in a cupboard. If I can encourage you to do the same, I’ll be satisfied.”

    I also love to display quilts on the wall; I have a wall of quilts in my sewing space so I can enjoy the fruits of my labors.

    Foursquare quilt
    This Foursquare quilt is rolled and draped out of a horizontal basket, which pulls it away from the wall for a more dimensional display.

    Throw-size quilts can be used in many ways: over the lap on a cold winter’s evening, stacked on a shelf or atop a chest, draped on a ladder, or folded over the back of a chair.

    Jo's quilts
    Simple and beautiful: a collection of cozy quilts stacked on a wooden chair.

    A quilt can drop behind a sofa or cabinet for partial display too. And don’t forget about laying a quilt over the back of a sofa, maybe at an angle, along with some pillows.

    Life is short. Enjoy your quilts in your home!

    See more from Jo’s Little Favorites II >

    Jo's Little Favorites IIThanks for sharing your latest book with us, Jo!

    Do you make mostly small quilts or mostly big quilts (or lots of both)? Tell us in the comments and you could win the beautiful fabric bundle from Moda Fabrics plus a copy of Jo’s Little Favorites II! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

    And remember, you can start sewing with Jo just minutes from now—buy the book and you can instantly download the eBook for free.

    ✔ If you love Jo, check out her other books: Jo’s Little Favorites and Simple Friendships cowritten with Kim Diehl!




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  9. 7 creative ways to hang a quilt on the wall

    Quilts from Jo's Little FavoritesLarge, medium, or small: when it comes to quilts, we love them all! But when it comes to smaller quilts, what’s the best way to display them?

    You can drape quilts over tables, chairs, and dressers; tuck them into baskets and shelves; and even fold and stack them in nooks and crannies throughout your home. But the most popular place to show off a small quilt? On the wall!

    Today we’ve rounded up seven creative ways to hang a quilt on the wall, courtesy of popular Martingale authors. We think you’ll be inspired to clear a wall and show off your pretty patchwork before you reach the end of this post!

    #1: “Frame” your quilt

    Christmas Log Cabins - or Not quilt from Jo’s Little Favorites
    An old window frame can act as a “frame” for any small quilt; simply hang the quilt on the wall behind the frame. Swap out quilts by season, change a few accessories, and you’ve got a simple display for small quilts year-round.
    (Pattern: Christmas Log Cabins—or Not from Jo’s Little Favorites)

    #2: Suspend with string

    Stars and Stars quilt from Moda All-Stars: Mini Marvels
    This patriotic paper-pieced quilt by Laurie Simpson gets a farmhouse-style home—it’s suspended from an old rake head. So cute and clever!
    (Pattern: Stars and Stars from Moda All-Stars: Mini Marvels)

    #3: Create a permanent vignette

    Night Flight quilt from Jo’s Little Favorites
    Create vignettes that allow you to easily change quilts and a few key decorations. This old painted door suits this idea perfectly—pin your quilt to the propped-up door and hang a filled basket on the doorknob. Easy to adapt to seasons and holidays all year long!
    (Pattern: Night Flight from Jo’s Little Favorites)

    #4: Create a collection

    Quilts from Moda All-Stars: Mini Marvels
    It doesn’t have to be all quilts all the time! Add other favorite elements for texture and interest. Whether it’s framed photos, paintings, or a treasured platter, half the fun is in finding the objects to add to your mix. (Find patterns for the quilts above in
    Moda All-Stars: Mini Marvels)

    #5: Embellish the view

    Star Flowers and Berries from Jo’s Little Favorites
    Do you have a small window without much of a view, or a frosted window where you don’t need the light to stream in? Hang a quilt over the window and improve the view! In this example, added topiaries mimic the shape of the appliqué design.
    (Pattern: Star Flowers and Berries from Jo’s Little Favorites)

    #6: Frame your quilt (for real this time!)

    Itty-Bits and Little Bits of Charm quilts from A Cut Above
    Your quilts are your art: why not frame them the way an art gallery would? Framing quilts also let you skip a finishing step: binding. Get a tutorial on quilt framing in this post
    . (Patterns: Itty-Bits and Little Bits of Charm from A Cut Above)

    #7: Make a new wall

    Crazy Moose Messages quilt from Crazy at the Cabin
    Out of wall space? Get creative and dream up a new “wall”! This cute moose quilt hangs from a railing on the second floor; pop safety pins into the back of the quilt, thread yarn or thin fabric strips through the safety pins, and tie to the railing.
    (Pattern: Crazy Moose Messages from Crazy at the Cabin)

    How many small quilts have you made—and do you display them on your walls? Tell us in the comments!






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  10. De-stash! 2 smart ways your stash can help you finish your quilts

    Ah, fabric stashes, we love you! You inspire us, you motivate us, you make our quilting dreams a reality.


    And then other times, we look at you and think: okay, you’ve gotten a little out of control here.

    Today we’re sharing two simple ideas for shrinking your stash—they’ll simultaneously make a dent in your piles and help you finish your quilts! These tips come from Stash Lab author Tonya Alexander, a talented woman who wrote an entire book about her stash, so you can bet she knows her stash stuff.

    Stash Lab

    More Uses for Stash Fabrics

    Excerpted from Stash Lab by Tonya Alexander

    Stash fabrics aren’t just for quilt tops. You can put them to good use in other ways.

    Pieced backs. Wide backing fabrics are nice, but the back of your quilt is also an ideal place to use up your stash. Fabrics don’t even have to be used in the quilt top. It’s an opportunity to creatively piece odd, random fabrics together for a unique and interesting backing. Here are my suggestions.

    • Make sure the seams on the back don’t land on what will become fold lines of the quilt. I tend to fold things the same way, whether it’s towels, quilts, or bed sheets, so I try not to have backing seams directly on the fold lines. Think about how you fold your quilts, whether they’re on a shelf, in a drawer, or on the back of the couch.
    • Consider how the project will be quilted. For hand quilting or special quilting motifs that you want to show up well on the back, choose solids or subtle prints with light patterning. Conversely, when practicing free-motion designs, prints with a busy pattern or design will hide a world of imperfect stitches.
    • Think about thread color. For machine quilting, it’s best to match the bobbin thread to the top thread, so choose fabrics that will blend well with the thread. That will help disguise any tension issues.

    Leaf Pile quilt - scrappy pieced backing
    This scrappy pieced backing is from Tonya’s Leaf Pile quilt

    Scrappy bindings. A scrappy binding can be a perfect finishing touch on a scrappy quilt. I prefer binding cut from 2½"-wide strips—this is a standard size, so I always have plenty to choose from. It makes sense to use the strips for binding, and it adds a bit of interest.

    scrappy binding
    Tonya made a scrappy binding for her Sunny Side Up quilt

    Ready to transform your stash into fabulous finishing fabrics? Download a free scrappy quilt-backing tutorial in this post; then get tips for sewing scrappy binding strips together in this post.

    Scrappy backings and bindings: heck yeah! or no thanks? Tell us what you think in the comments!





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