1. 🌷9 quilts that sing of spring🌷

    It may not feel like it just yet, but spring is almost here! There are just 17 days until the first day of spring. Woohoo! 👏🌷☀

    Soon, we’ll be able to go outdoors without dressing like Nanook of the North. Flowers and green grass will replace the now-dreary snow and slush. The gray skies will be turning blue. Birds will be singing. And we’ll be able to get our Vitamin D from the sky instead of the kitchen cupboard. It just can’t happen soon enough!

    Sadly, Mother Nature doesn’t use a calendar so the shift will be gradual. 😔 We’ll just have to take it one day at a time. But thankfully your sewing room can reflect any season you like! Why not pull out some of your pretty springtime fabrics and create a beautiful quilt that will help get you through the transition?

    If you’re looking for some great ideas, we have an assortment of inspiring, instantly downloadable patterns to get you on your way. On sale this week for just $1.99 each, what are you waiting for?

    Birdhouses of Key West quilt
    Birdhouses of Key West by Cynthia LeBlanc Regone

    Iris Wool Table Runner
    Iris Wool Table Runner by Julie Popa

    Spring is Sprung quilt
    Spring is Sprung by Julie Popa

    Spring Bouquet Table Topper
    Spring Bouquet Table Topper by Julie Popa

    Double Pink Blooms quilt
    Double Pink Blooms by Cynthia LeBlanc Regone

    Fruit Basket quilt
    Fruit Basket by Cheryl Brown

    Gathered from the Garden quilt
    Gathered from the Garden by Cindy Lammon

    Spring Showers quilt
    Spring Showers by Cynthia Tomaszewski

    Mocha Stars quilt
    Mocha Stars by Kim Diehl

    How do YOU feel about the change of seasons?

    a) Spring can’t get here soon enough!
    b) I LIKE my wool socks!
    c) I can go with the flow!

    Tell us in the comments!

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  2. Celebrate National Craft Month by losing a shirt (and gaining an apron – free pattern!)

    It’s National Craft Month!

    March is the month to reclaim time for doing the things you love—like quilting, sewing, and crafting to your heart’s content.

    We Martingale staffers love to quilt, but we love other crafts, too. And of course, sewing tops many of our lists. That’s why we’re kicking off National Craft Month with a fun freebie: The Shirt Tales Apron!

    Shirt Tales Apron free pattern
    Shirt Tales Apron by Linda Griepentrog. Sign in or register at ShopMartingale.com to download the free pattern.

    It couldn’t be easier to make an apron from a man’s dress shirt—by keeping some of the shirt details intact, it’s a snap to sew. The collar, buttonholes, and placket are already done! All you need is one large or extra-large men’s button-down shirt, one yard of medium rickrack, and 1⁄3 yard of 1/2″-wide fusible-web tape. You might already have everything you need in your sewing supplies (plus one thing from your guy’s closet).

    This free apron pattern comes from the eBook Kitchen Stitches, which will have you making special items for your kitchen all month long. Just look at all the pretty, practical items you can sew:

    From Kitchen Stitches
    From
    Kitchen Stitches

    Looking to celebrate National Craft Month by broadening your crafty horizons even more? Browse any of these books to try a new technique or stretch your sewing skills!

    Stitches from the Garden Sew Many Gifts Sew Much Fleece
    Sewing Pottery by Machine Baby Says Sew Style and Swing

    You’ll also find many more ways to celebrate National Craft Month with our entire fleet of freebies—all yours to download for free when you register or sign in at ShopMartingale.

    Free patterns from Martingale

    If you make the Shirt Tales Apron, be sure to snap a pic of your project and hashtag it with #madewithmartingale—we’d love to see and share!

    We know you  💕💕💕 quilting—but what other crafts do you enjoy? Sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery? Tell us in the comments!

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  3. Walking-foot quilting tutorial (video): try quick & easy curves

    Are you a "quilt by check" quilter—meaning you send out your quilts to be quilted? Or maybe you’ve tried free-motion quilting and the results weren’t, um, what you’d expected (ask anyone in our office who’s tried it: we’ve all been there).

    Today we’re here to tell you that free-motion quilting and quilting by check aren’t the only choices you have for finishing your quilts. If your sewing machine came with a walking foot (pictured >), you have another awesome option: walking-foot quilting!

    Pat Sloan has a great philosophy about machine quilting: go for it! But start simple. Quilting with a walking foot is the perfect place to start building your machine-quilting skills. In her book Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Machine Quilt, Pat shows you how your walking foot can do wonders—and how you can be successful the first time. That alone makes the technique worth trying!

    Never tried machine quilting with a walking foot before? Let Pat teach you how—right now.


    Pat SloanWalking-Foot Quilting Tutorial

    Excerpt from Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Machine Quilt

    Most sewing machines come with an even-feed presser foot called a walking foot. Some machines even have a built-in even-feed system. A walking foot helps evenly feed the thick quilt sandwich through your machine so you don’t create puckers and pleats as you quilt the top, batting, and backing layers together.

    Machine quilting curves with a walking foot
    Machine quilting curves with a walking foot

    I started out quilting my quilts with a walking foot and still use it. I love the effects I get from straight lines as well as decorative stitches. (Yep, you can use some decorative stitches in conjunction with your walking foot to add texture and interest to your quilt.) If you’ve tried to quilt using a regular presser foot, you’ve noticed that the top fabric bunches and pulls. A walking foot pushes the top fabric evenly along while the feed dogs underneath control the movement of the backing fabric. The result is that you can quilt beautifully. From quilting straight lines to decorative stitches, your walking foot offers lots of options—including curves:


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

    Looks easy, right? In Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Machine Quilt, you’ll find many more tips for walking-foot quilting, with close-up photos that clearly illustrate each step (like how to start and finish your quilting so it looks nice and neat—those close-ups are below). Plus, you’ll get access to all 8 of Pat’s step-by-step videos. It’s like having Pat right by your side at your sewing machine!

    Machine quilting with a walking foot
    From
    Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Machine Quilt

    Here’s what quilters like you are saying about Pat’s latest book on Amazon.com:

    Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Machine Quilt“I’m reading this now and it is exactly what I needed to start my journey into machine quilting. I can hardly wait to try a project!”

    “This is a really comprehensive walking-foot and free-motion quilting book. It covers everything from the materials and tools to the different threads, stitches, and patterns. Another great feature to this book are videos on the publisher’s website so you get both the printed tutorials along with videos.”

    “As I expected from Pat Sloan! All of her ‘Teach Me’ books are detailed for the beginner and have great designs for any level quilter. I love them all.”

    Pat’s ready to teach you more about quilting in her popular “Teach Me” series—buy two or more and earn free shipping! (US and Canada only.)

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

    So, which kind of quilter are you right now?

    a) I’m a walking-foot quilter.

    b) I’m a free-motion quilter.

    c) I’m a hand quilter.

    d) I’m a "quilt by check" quilter!

    Tell us your answer in the comments!

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  4. Your sewing space, but better: 3 quick ways to get efficient and organized (+ flash sale!)

    No matter how much or how little room you have to quilt in, any space can be perfect for you—if you have the right setup. If space and budget constraints are keeping you from quilting in the space of your dreams, get ready to advance toward that goal today!

    Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space flash sale!

    Quilter and professional organizer Lois L. Hallock has made a career of helping quilters organize their sewing spaces for maximum efficiency. Her eBook, Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space, is packed with ideas for quilt-room design, organization, and even ergonomics—and her advice applies to spaces of all sizes. Whether you want to declutter a corner or are ready to renovate a room, Lois shares strategies that everyone can put to use. And today you can download her popular eBook for just $6.00! (Sale ends 2/27 at noon PT.)

    Download the Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space eBook for sewing-room makeover ideas that will make your precious quilting time more efficient and more fun. Start with these three tips taken from the book—you can implement them right away.

    Create a quilter’s work triangleFOR EFFICIENCY

    Create a quilter’s work triangle. The work triangle has been used in kitchen design for years. Quilters typically move between their sewing machine, cutting mat, and ironing board, so carefully consider where you’re performing these tasks. Are they occurring in close proximity to each other? If not, try making a few moves to boost productivity.

    Fold your fabric uniformlyFOR ORGANIZATION

    Fold your fabric uniformly. The biggest storage problem for quilters? Fabric! Fabric that is folded uniformly is easier to stack, creates a less cluttered appearance, and makes finding just the right fabric easier. Lois uses an 8½" x 24″ ruler for folding fabric greater than ½ yard (but less than 3 yards). First, fold the fabric selvage to selvage (as it comes off the bolt); then wrap the fabric around your ruler until it’s all rolled up. Next, slide the ruler halfway out of the fabric and fold the fabric in half. The folded fabric will be about 9″ wide by 11″ deep. Stack these folded fabrics on a shelf so that only the last fold shows, making sure that your folded front edges are even. No one will ever see the back edges when the fabrics are stacked on the shelf!

    Repurpose furniture for your quilting spaceFOR SAVING $$$

    Repurpose furniture for your quilting space. Take a look at the furniture in your house. Do you have furniture that you could borrow for your quilting space? Bookcases, dressers, cabinets, and computer desks are all great items to call into duty for storing all kinds of quilting supplies.

    From furniture layouts and sewing- and cutting-table options to storage of all sorts, you’ll find loads of ideas for making your sewing space fun to be in and easy to create in. Download your copy of Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space today!

    What’s the current state of your sewing space: close to clean, kinda cluttered, or chronic chaos? Tell us about it in the comments!

    Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space flash sale!

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  5. Quilts don’t match your home? Try a Zen Chic approach (+ fabric giveaway!)

    From Zen Chic InspiredDo you have a stack of quilts stashed away because they just don’t “go” with anything in your living spaces? (Hands raised here.)

    There’s nothing more disappointing than creating a quilt you like and then realizing it doesn’t quite look right anywhere your home.

    But wait, put those tissues away: Germany-based quilter, Moda fabric designer, and interior designer Brigitte Heitland has a new book that teaches you how to make quilts that will always be a perfect match for YOUR home: Zen Chic Inspired!

    Zen Chic Inspired

    If you yearn to make quilts that pair perfectly with your decorating style—and who doesn’t?—Zen Chic Inspired is a resource you’ll turn to again and again. Classic or country, modern or eclectic, Brigitte guides you toward creating one-of-a-kind quilts inspired by the colors and elements in your home. No difficult design concepts here—Brigitte’s approach is innovative, fun, and easy to start using right away. Don’t start another quilt for your home (or somebody else’s home) until you learn Brigitte’s techniques for making a perfect match!

    Shaking Up quilt
    Shaking Up quilt, inspired by a yellow room

    You’ll love Brigitte’s practical advice for dreaming up quilts that tell your story. And the styled room shots that inspired the 12 quilt patterns inside? Gorgeous—and a wonderful way to inspire your decorating too!

    Black-and-White quilt
    Black and White quilt, inspired by a collection of dishes

    We’re excited to have Brigitte as a guest writer at Stitch This! today—don’t miss the story she shares about helping transform her sister’s pillowcase from a project without a place to call home into a project ready for center stage.

    BUT FIRST…


    FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Our friends at Moda Fabrics gave us a bundle of Brigitte’s new fabric line, True Blue, to give away to you!

    Moda fabric giveaway - True Blue by Brigitte Heitland

    Learn how you can win this beautiful, bluesy bundle plus a copy of Zen Chic Inspired at the end of this post.


    Brigitte HeitlandI was excited because my sister was visiting from the United States. We hadn’t seen each other for some time, and there was a lot of catching up to do. She couldn’t wait to browse my fabric and see all of my creations. One of my fabric designs was based on newsprint, which she found especially intriguing.

    “Oh, I love that one!” she exclaimed. “I’m going to make a pillowcase from it!”

    That’s when I decided to slow her down a bit.

    “What kind of pillowcase, and for what room?” I asked. It turned out that she hadn’t really thought that far.

    It’s a common scenario I often observe in quilt stores around the world. In fact, I remember having such reactions myself during my early days of quilting. We see a fabric, we fall in love with it, we buy it and we bring it home, and perhaps we even make a quilt, a pillowcase, or something else. And then at the end of our labor we proudly display our work, only to realize that we don’t experience the satisfaction that comes with a harmonious look.

    Pixelate for a color scheme
    Idea from
    Zen Chic Inspired: turn a pixelated image of your space into a color palette.

    I explained to my sister something that I’ve learned along the way: sometimes it’s better to start the process backwards. Begin with that favorite Japanese lamp which is the focal point of your guest room, or the abstract painting in your studio. Have a look around a room and survey your favorite things. Now, with these items in mind, look again at the fabric you were going to purchase. Is it still a go?

    From Zen Chic Inspired
    Idea from
    Zen Chic Inspired: transform the shapes or motifs in a room (such as a lamp, a cushion, or even a coffee cup) into a foundation for a show-stopping quilt.

    This approach to quilting, which includes some easy-to-understand principles of interior design, is just one of the many pleasures that await you in Zen Chic Inspired. I can’t wait to share with you what I shared with my sister, because it won’t only help you select a great project; it will help you select a project that will give you so much more than just another quilt.

    Example from Zen Chic Inspired
    Example from
    Zen Chic Inspired: the fabrics in the top photo aren’t harmonious with the surroundings; in the bottom photo, the fabrics coordinate well with the elements in the room.

    Zen Chic Inspired features 12 one-of-a-kind designs for quilts of all sizes and styles, from little table runners to bed-sized quilts. It includes examples of beautiful rooms that illustrate what I mean by selecting a project with your space in mind. The projects cover all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. In fact, advanced quilters might be pleasantly surprised by a few clever new tricks I’ve developed and can’t wait to share with you. (Have you ever tried inserting crossed strips at unusual angles? I figured out a technique that makes it easier than you think.)

    On the Ball quilt
    Strips at unusual angles: Brigitte’s On the Ball quilt, inspired by the legs of a rocking chair.

    If you’re a passionate quilter, chances are you already have a collection of quilt books. But if you’re like me, you value high-end fabrics and want to make the best use of the time you invest in quilting. It makes sense to think a project through from beginning to end before you start. Once my sister did that, she realized that she would be better off using a different fabric. And the one she picked in the end was perfect. Through Zen Chic Inspired, I hope I get to be your little sister for a day, or for the duration of your project, or maybe even for your quilting life.

    Inside Zen Chic Inspired

    See more quilts from Zen Chic Inspired >


    Zen Chic InspiredBrigitte, thank you for sharing your story with us—you gave your sister a whole new perspective on quiltmaking!

    How do you typically start a new quilt project?

     a) I’m in tune with Zen Chic Inspired—before I begin a project, I like to gather inspiration from the space I want a quilt to live in.

    b) Sometimes I finish a project before I know where I’m going to use it, and it gets stashed away because it doesn’t quite fit in anywhere.

    c) I have a closetful of quilts that don’t have a home in my home!

    Share your answer in the comments and you could win Brigitte’s new True Blue bundle from Moda Fabrics plus a copy of Zen Chic Inspired! 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 Shan, who says:

    “Definitely b). I make quilts because I like the pattern/fabric then I have no idea what to do with them. I usually end up giving them away.”

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

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  6. Spring cleaning (of your stash): try these 3 simple categories

    If you break into a sweat when you think about the state of your sewing space…

    You might need a spring cleaning.

    If towers of fabric teeter as you dig for just the right color and print…

    You might need a spring cleaning.

    If you’ve ever sighed as you stood knee-deep in fabric…

    You might need a spring cleaning!


    How to organize your fabric stash

    So, what’s the best way to organize a fabric stash that’s starting to spiral out of control?

    Stash LabFrom Stash Lab - detail of Leaf Pile quilt author Tonya Alexander loves making scrappy, stashy quilts—and part of the reason is because she knows where her fabrics are and can scan them at a glance, instead of spending her time digging for treasures. Today we’re sharing some of her tips for prepping your stash and scraps so that they’re easy to manage, easy to skim, and easy to pop into a quilt, just like that. Read on for the three categories that Tonya uses to streamline her stash—spring’s the perfect time to whip your stash into shape!


    SORTING AND STORING FABRIC SCRAPS

    Tonya AlexanderBy creating scrap categories for sorting your fabric, you can begin to see the options that are open to you. What are the fabric cuts and sizes sitting on your shelf? One-yard pieces? Fat quarters? Precut charm squares or Jelly Rolls? Consider the sizes and shapes in your inventory to help you decide what to do with them.

    I sort and store my scraps in shape and size groupings, in addition to color families. Here’s my storage strategy.

    best way to organize fabric stashFAT QUARTERS AND LARGER PIECES stay on the stash shelves grouped by color or style. Batiks, splashy Kaffe Fassett prints, flannels, etc., each get their own pile.

    STRIPS OF VARIOUS WIDTHS (1½", 2½", and 3½") and squarish pieces that are less than a fat quarter each go in separate bins.

    EVERYTHING ELSE THAT’S TOO SMALL—these random scraps go in a basket so they don’t get mixed in with larger pieces of fabric or those of specific sizes, such as strips.


    A strategy that doesn’t require a master’s degree in organizational skills, but keeps your fabric neat and tidy and ready for action. Hooray for simple solutions!

    What’s the best thing about organizing your stash? Once you stash-storing plan is in place, new fabrics always have a place to live when you bring them home—plus it’s a snap to DE-stash. In Stash Lab, Tonya’s designed quilts for specific cuts of fabric, but even more useful are the three creative “equations” she’s created for you follow (don’t be alarmed by the word: trust us, there’s zero algebra or rocket science involved).

    If you have a lot of 1½"-wide strips, a project like Carpool is a great option.

    Carpool quilt
    Carpool quilt

    A favorite Jelly Roll would work well in Sparklers.

    Sparklers quilt
    Sparklers quilt

    If you have mostly fat quarters, a design like The Big Spin can put your stash and scrap fabrics to use in a beautiful way.

    The Big Spin quilt
    The Big Spin quilt

    See more stash- and scrap-friendly quilts from Stash Lab >

    How do you store your stash fabrics: by color, by style, by size of cut? Tell us in the comments!

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  7. Go BIG or go home: 5 titles in our “BIG BOOK” series are on sale!

    These aren’t just any quilt books on sale: these are BIG BOOKS on sale!

    5 BIG BOOKS on sale!

    Our “BIG BOOKS” are packed with inspiration from some of today’s most popular designers, all for just pennies per pattern! Don’t miss your chance to stock up on select BIG BOOKS through Sunday, February 19. (And remember, when you buy the print book at ShopMartingale.com, you instantly get the eBook for FREE.)


    The Big Book of Scrappy Quilts77 PATTERNS! The Big Book of Scrappy Quilts

    There’s not a scrap stash around that can outlive this indispensable resource! This colossal collection features patterns from Kim Brackett, Kim Diehl, Country Threads, and many more.

    From Amazon: “They weren’t kidding when they named this book. It is BIG! I want to make every one! If you love to quilt and need a stash-busting book, this book is it.”

    The Big Book of Baby Quilts87 PATTERNS! The Big Book of Baby Quilts

    One book of delightful quilt patterns to make for all those beautiful babies you know—with enough ideas for their babies and their babies’ babies! Sweet designs come from Nancy Mahoney, Mary Hickey, Nancy Martin, and more.

    From ShopMartingale.com: “I can’t get over the variety of baby quilts that they’ve included here—there’s appliqué and curved piecing and prairie points and rickrack and chenille . . . I could see a charity quilter working her way through the whole book!”

    The Big Book of Nickel Quilts40 PATTERNS! The Big Book of Nickel Quilts

    Got 5″ charms or scraps? Then you’ve GOT to get this book! Many “charming” quiltmaking adventures await when you have so many charm-square quilt patterns at the ready.

    From ShopMartingale: “A must-have book for anyone who enjoys working with 5″ charm precuts, using fabric from your stash, or even swapping scrap fabrics with others . . . your book of go-to designs for scrap busting and making beautiful quilts.”

    Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics64 PATTERNS! Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics

    (Don’t let the title fool you—this is a BIG book too!)

    A staggering 64 quilt patterns for most every precut you own—or will ever own. Enjoy patterns from Carrie Nelson (aka Miss Rosie), Me and My Sister Designs, Country Threads, Amy Ellis, and more.

    From Amazon: “I have loads of Jelly Rolls, charm packs, and fat quarters. I swear this book was made for me. A compilation of the best precut quilts . . . a super addition to your quilt library.”

    The Big Book of Patchwork50 PATTERNS! The Big Book of Patchwork

    Classic crib quilts, lap quilts, bed quilts and more, all featuring the fast cutting and piecing techniques that beloved quilt designer Judy Hopkins is famous for.

    From Amazon.com: “Judy Hopkins is a great author. All of her books give very clear, concise directions and the patterns are fabulous!”


    What’s been your BIG quilting kick so far in 2017: precut quilts, baby quilts, scrappy quilts? Tell us in the comments!

    5 BIG BOOKS on sale!

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  8. 🐮Miss Rosie’s stitchin’ at the farmhouse!🐴(+ fabric giveaway!)

    When Miss Rosie puts needle to fabric, magic happens.

    From Miss Rosie's Farmhouse Favorites

    That’s why so many quilters are in love with Miss Rosie—she’s also known as best-selling author Carrie Nelson. And we can’t wait to give you a few peeks inside her latest book, Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites!

    Miss Rosie's Farmhouse Favorites

    Carrie’s quilts are chock-full of familiar blocks that quilters love, and she’s nothing short of a master of scrappy style. As you turn the pages of Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites, you’ll be whisked away to a place where scrap quilts feel right at home—at the farmhouse, where the pace is unhurried, the surroundings are serene, and scrappy patchwork quilts are aplenty. Take a look:



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

    How would it feel to mix scraps like Carrie does, be a pro at print and pattern play, combine colors so effortlessly? You’ll find out with this collection of popular patterns, curated by Carrie herself—and they’re all fat-quarter friendly! A dozen big, beautiful quilt projects come with ideas for enlarging or reducing them to the size you like best. Patterns are written as if Carrie’s sitting right next to you, telling you why she did or didn’t do something (and why you should heed her tales!). Best of all? The book comes with the witty prose and funny stories you’ve come to know and love from Carrie’s other books.

    Due South quilt
    Due South quilt

    We asked (okay, begged) Carrie to share a few of her favorite tips for choosing fabrics for scrappy quilts. She obliged in her own creative way—read on for a few of her scrap-tastic secrets!

    BUT FIRST . . .


    FABRIC GIVEAWAY! We asked Carrie to create a one-of-a-kind fat-quarter bundle using Moda fabrics as her muse (because when Carrie’s wearing her other creative hat, she’s the blog and social-media guru for Moda Fabrics). And of course—because it’s how Miss Rosie rolls—she gave us TWO bundles to give away to you!

    Moda fabric giveaway #1
    Bundle #1: a rainbow of pretty Moda prints

    Moda fabric giveaway #2
    Bundle #2: a collection of prints perfect for patriotic patchwork

    Learn how you can win one of these extraordinary bundles—with fabric hand-picked by Carrie herself—plus a copy of Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites at the end of the post.


    Carrie Nelson (and the original Miss Rosie)I think quilts are stories. You know how folks like to say, “(insert name of activity here) is a microcosm of life”? Well, I think most things are. Maybe everything. When we start something new, we wish we knew everything . . . then we think we do . . . then we realize we don’t. My quilt stories run the gamut from short to long, adventurous to wonderfully comfortable, comically funny to “What was I thinking?” (Five yards of pea-green solid . . . I should’ve seen that train wreck coming.)

    When it comes to picking fabric for scrap quilts, the stories are the same. Some days you can wing it and things work out perfectly, and other days you work really, really hard and the results are “nice.” It takes time, thought, and—ugh—a bit of experience to get better.

    Raise the Roof quilt
    Raise the Roof quilt

    I think the most important thing is to know is yourself. What do you like? When you see a quilt you love, have you ever studied it to figure out why you love it? Is it the color palette—every color of the rainbow or monochromatic? Are the colors muted or dramatic? Are the prints all the same scale or is there a mix—big florals mixed with tiny geometric prints? Is there a theme, or does the quilt have an “everything but the kitchen sink” look?

    Wayne and Gordy quilt
    Wayne and Gordy quilt

    I like using prints—the more the better—and I prefer prints with color on them. Tone-on-tone prints are necessary for the overall mix, but most of my favorite fabrics for scrap quilts have at least three colors. I also use a lot of large-scale prints because they add variety when cut into small pieces.

    Three Barns quilt
    Three Barns quilt (+ a wooly farmhouse friend!)

    Once I’ve started choosing fabrics for a quilt, there are two things I’ve learned to do that I think are important. First, don’t arrange your fabrics by color or shade—mix them all up. That’s how they’re going to look in your quilt. If a fabric or color only goes with one or two other pieces, mixing them is how you’ll see that. And second, before you take that piece out, add a few more scraps in a similar color. Sometimes that fabric just needs a friend or two for balance.


    Miss Rosie's Farmhouse FavoritesThanks for sharing your scrappy wisdom with us, Carrie!

    So, how do you choose fabric when making a scrappy quilt?

    a) I head to my scrap bin—which is actually a closet. I have more than enough to work with!

    b) I head for my fat quarters—and might zoom by the quilt shop for a few more.

    c) I don’t have a scrap stash yet, but Miss Rosie’s quilts are inspiring me to start one!

    Tell us your answer in the comments and you could win one of the hand-picked fat-quarter bundles from Carrie and our friends at Moda Fabrics plus a copy of Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites! We’ll choose two random winners one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    Good luck—and remember, when you buy the book at ShopMartingale.com, you get to instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

    Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winners are Maureen and Rita.

    Maureen says, “I use a combination of fabrics from my scrap stash and fat quarters to find the right colours for my quilts.”

    Rita says, “My fat quarter stash is huge, so I challenge myself to see how I can downsize to create a new spin on a quilt.  Love scrap quilts from stash.”

    Winners, we’ll email you about your prizes—congratulations!

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  9. 🌞Yoo-hoo warm weather, where are yoooou?🌷(Stitch it and it will come)

    Isn’t winter wonderful . . . at the beginning? That first snowflake; a blanket of fluffy white; a fresh, brisk bite to the air.

    And then February arrives.

    Oh, the hearts! The flowers! (Not to mention the chocolates!)

    And suddenly, that familiar yearning returns: to spot a patch of green grass, to take in the scent of freshly turned soil, to find the first flower petals poking up from the ground. We begin to realize—could it be?—that winter is coming to a close.

    And the countdown to spring begins!

    Daffodil Tote Bag
    Daffodil Tote Bag from
    Nature’s Beauty in Appliqué by Susan Taylor Propst

    From My Enchanted GardenSometimes the last weeks of winter can feel like years—but if you incorporate activities to enjoy while you’re waiting for warmer weather, they can whizz by. What do we quilters do? We thread our needles to sew the sun, we gather our fabrics to grow some flowers, and we create light and bright quilts to celebrate the coming of spring.

    Today we’re sharing a few fun ways to stay happy during the last weeks of winter. Choose your favorite springtime scene below and stitch an ode to the season of new beginnings—we guarantee it will get you through these last 35 days until spring.

    Who knows? If we all sew together, spring just might decide to arrive early this year!


    Bring back the birds and bunnies

    Spring Blossoms from A Change of Seasons by Bonnie Sullivan

    Spring Blossoms
    Gather your hand-dyed wools to make this sweet springtime scene; all you need to finish your piece is foam-core board and a rustic frame.

    Stitch some showy bouquets

    Rebecca’s Quilt from Here Comes Spring by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks

    Rebecca's Quilt
    What a showstopper for spring! We love how Jeanne and Shelley use rickrack to add life to their flower stems—check out their how-to video on how to sew rickrack on quilts (*sew* easy).

    Celebrate the spirit of the season

    My Enchanted Garden (from the book of the same name) by Gretchen Gibbons

    My Enchanted Garden quilt
    Gretchen used yummy felted wools and her favorite bird, animal, and flower motifs to create this sonnet to spring—simply a masterpiece! But don’t be fooled. No-fray wool makes this beauty easier to stitch than you might think.

    Stitch a springtime wreath

    Rose Wreath from A Paper-Pieced Garden by Maaike Bakker and Françoise Maarse

    Rose Wreath quilt
    Whether spread on a table, draped over a sofa, or hung on the front door, this long-lasting wreath will spread springtime cheer. In the book you’ll find other ways to personalize your wreath—make one for every season!

    Wreath quilts
    More wreaths from
    A Paper-Pieced Garden

    Invite spring to the table

    Iris Table Runner from Nature’s Beauty in Appliqué by Susan Taylor Propst

    Iris Table Runner
    Susan chose a dark hue for the pieced background of this runner, and it gives her pretty purple flowers extra sparkle and pop.

    Fuse a fabulous flower garden

    Crepe-Paper Poppies from Flower Show Quilts by Lynn Ann Majidimehr

    Crepe-Paper Poppies quilt
    Lynn was inspired to design this dazzler when she was reminded of a childhood art project—making paper poppies for Mother’s Day. Fusible appliqué makes the design easier than it looks. Doesn’t the patchwork make a perfect backdrop for these flowers?


    We hope we inspired you with our sewing-for-spring roundup! For more flower quilt patterns, check out our “Flowers” category of books at ShopMartingale.com.

    What excites you most about spring: the riot of colors, the return to the outdoors, the rising temperatures? Tell us in the comments!

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  10. 5 reasons why your Splendid Sampler blocks aren’t done (we feel you!)

    Can you believe it? It’s been almost a year since The Splendid Sampler Sew-Along began! On February 14, 2016, Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson launched a spectacular sew-along featuring 80+ designers who shared 100 beautiful quilt-block patterns. The sew-along has been spreading the joys of quilting across the globe ever since.

    Jane Davidson and Pat Sloan
    Jane Davidson and Pat Sloan

    Thousands of new and seasoned quilters (25,235 quilters, to be exact!) joined the Splendid Sampler Facebook group and quilted along: two blocks every week for an entire year. What a fantastic journey it has been!


    “Where else can 20,000+ women and men from

    all over the world come together and quilt together at the same time?

    It’s like a universal language that we all understand.”

    —Gloria Galiana, Facebook


    If you’re hearing about the Splendid Sampler for the first time and are disappointed that you might have missed the fun, no worries. All 100 blocks from the sew-along are available in The Splendid Sampler book, coming April 4!

    The Splendid Sampler

    For those of you who have been quilting along . . . we get it. Perhaps you didn’t reach your goal of making all 100 blocks in one year. But take heart—we know you’re not alone. At least three Martingale staffers tried it and fell behind too! We wondered if you might share some of our reasons for not quite making it to the finish line.

    1. I started, got distracted, and forgot to restart. I need a do-over! Am I the only one?

    Oh, we know the feeling. Get up to find something in the next room, then can’t remember what you went in after. No need to feel alone. With The Splendid Sampler book, you’ll have all the how-to you need (plus more resources at the Splendid Sampler website). Yes, you can finish—all the Splendids are cheering you on! Plus, you can pick the perfect order for YOU to complete them in. See what strikes your fancy. Two a week? Maybe. Two in a day? Possibly? Too many ideas? Never! You’ll love the variety. Ready, set, sew!

    Blocks from The Splendid Sampler
    Blocks from
    The Splendid Sampler

    2. I can handle sewing two blocks a week; but oh, my organizational skills!

    Sewing two blocks a week is doable. But sewing 100 blocks in a year—with different patterns, supplies, and fabrics for each design—can be a test even for the most organized quilter. We’re happy to report your administrative assistant is (almost!) ready to report for duty, and she’ll be available any time you’re ready to sew: you guessed it, The Splendid Sampler book! You can go at your own pace and find plenty of time to organize in a way that works for you.

    Blocks from The Splendid Sampler
    More blocks from
    The Splendid Sampler

    3. Another (and another, and another) quilt distracted me!

    Oh boy do we get it—so many quilts, so little time! With The Splendid Sampler book you’ll easily be able to sandwich a block or two in between more pressing projects.

    4. My three-ring binder is stuffed to the hilt—and I ran out of printer ink and page protectors somewhere along the way . . .

    No need for those extras anymore! The Splendid Sampler book’s got your binder, page protectors, and printer ink all wrapped up into one neat and tidy book that will fit perfectly alongside other quilt books in your bookcase.

    Blocks from The Splendid Sampler
    More blocks from
    The Splendid Sampler

    5. Um … I just started!

    Okay, so you’re one year late and 100 blocks short. No worries! The Splendid Sampler was made for everyone, first-comers and latecomers alike. There’ll be plenty of quilters just starting their blocks along with you—so share yours on the Splendid Sampler Facebook page. All the quilters playing along will be waiting to welcome you.

    The Splendid Sampler designers
    Some of the Splendid Sampler designers gathered at Fall 2016 International Quilt Market for a photo shoot!

    Valentine’s Day 2016 marked the kickoff of The Splendid Sampler Sew-Along; and you can bet that this Valentine’s Day there will be a big celebration. Be sure to visit the Splendid Sampler website this Tuesday—there’s lots more fun to be had!

    In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re sneak-peeking this completed quilt from the book in romantic red and white:

    30-Block Red-and-White quilt
    30-Block Red-and-White quilt by Tammy Vonderschmitt

    Seriously, we want to make a Splendid Sampler quilt in every color!

    The book arrives in just 59 days (yes, we’re counting!) and we can’t wait to share more of it with you! Until then, browse The Splendid Sampler on our website and put the book on your wish list, or sign up to be notified as soon as the book is available.

    The Splendid Sampler

    Pat and Jane will be posting the blocks all over again in 2017, so you can enjoy making them with The Splendid Sampler book at your side!


    “The Splendid Sampler has broadened my quilt life in a hugely global way.

    I’m thrilled to learn new techniques and skills, and I love seeing what others

    around the world have done. The Splendid Sampler has become a personal

    journey that I treasure. Thank you to all the designers!”

    —Tucks N. Frills, Facebook


    Were you a part of the Splendid Sampler Sew-Along this past year, or are you ready to get started now? Tell us in the comments!

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