1. Easy patriotic quilt patterns in time for summer celebrating (+ giveaway!)

    Now’s the time to prep your home for summer’s patriotic holiday!

    Oh Glory!

    Stitch a salute to the American spirit with the easy patriotic quilt patterns and projects in Oh Glory! Show your pride year-round with table toppers, wall quilts, throws, and more—or make and give a project to honor and comfort service members and veterans you know.

    Long May She Wave flag quilt
    Long May She Wave: this quilt is the perfect size to make and donate to Quilts of Valor
    .

    A frequent contributor to McCall’s Quilting and other magazines, Oh Glory! author Kathy Flowers began quilting in 1976. As you’ll see in her guest post below, she was inspired to write Oh Glory! on a very special day, and because of a very special man.

    Leo's Star quilt
    Leo’s Star: A perfect little quilt for that big 4th of July celebration.

    But before we get to Kathy’s story . . .


    GIVEAWAY! Our friends at Aurifil Threads sent us a box of Kathy’s designer red, white, and blue thread box, called Oh Glory, to give away to one lucky winner:

    Martingale + Aurifil giveaway!

    Learn how you can win Kathy’s thread box plus a copy of Oh Glory! at the end of this post.

    For another chance to win, visit Aurifil’s Auribuzz blog—they have an interview with Kathy today and they’ve got another giveaway! 


    Kathy FlowersQuilting and design are much more than a hobby to me. Learning to quilt was a gift passed along to me from my sister, Patty. I’ve found so much peace while piecing quilts. I quilt to relax, and other times, quilting and designing allow me to challenge myself, try something new, or learn a new technique. My designs are often geared toward beginners or confident beginners, hoping to draw them into this wonderful world of quilting and help them build their confidence as they test the waters.

    Reflecting back, I think the inspiration for Oh Glory! came to me the night of May 28, 2004, as I watched my father, at age 78, walk humbly across the stage in front of a large crowd to receive his high-school diploma. I remember how proud he was to be saluted (again), thanked for his years of military service, and receive the high-school diploma he left behind as he went off as a young man to fight in World War II. The standing ovation and thunderous roar of applause left him almost speechless, except for a softly spoken thank you.

    I Am Honored quilt
    I Am Honored

    That inspiration sat idly in my mind and heart for years, until I began designing the quilts for this book. As I designed these quilts, and now that the book is here, I thank not only my father, but all the members of our military for keeping us safe and for giving us the freedom to achieve our goals with dedication and hard work. This book is my small way of saying thank you to all military personnel, at home and abroad, for all they do to keep our country safe.

    Song of Victory quilt
    Song of Victory. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of
    Old Glory! will be donated to a military organization as a continued effort to thank those who selflessly serve and still need our help.

    Oh Glory! is a collection of patriotic quilts, some traditionally pieced, some paper pieced, and some with a touch of wool appliqué. Some are large and others are small. I’ve attempted to design something for everyone, no matter your skill level.

    As you flip through the book, you may notice that the fabrics used are not necessarily patriotic themed. This was done intentionally. The mere image of red, white, and blue shouts patriotic, and it’s quite easy to make some of these projects simply by searching your stash. Some stash-busting projects are Stars of Freedom and Patriotic Dreams.

    Stars of Freedom quilt
    Stars of Freedom

    A fat-quarter friendly project is Pappa Bear.

    Pappa Bear quilt
    Pappa Bear

    I hope you have as much fun making these quilts and projects as I did designing them. Please remember to thank that military man or woman in your life. Family or not, a sincere thank you goes a long way.


    Oh Glory!Thank you for sharing the touching story behind your book with us, Kathy!

    Who would you make a patriotic quilt for: your family, a veteran you know, Quilts of Valor? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of Oh Glory! plus Kathy’s designer thread box from Aurifil! 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 on one of Kathy’s projects today: buy Oh Glory! at ShopMartingale.com and you’ll be able to instantly download the eBook for free.

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  2. Wish list day: Classics, houses, and solids, oh my! (+ giveaway!)

    Our favorite day of the month is here again: Wish List Day! Get a peek at new books coming from Martingale in June—tell us which new release is your favorite and you could win it!

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



    Cotton Way ClassicsCotton Way Classics: Fresh Quilts for a Charming Home
    Bonnie Olaveson

    Bonnie has a knack for breathing new life into classic quilt-block designs with bright, fun fabrics from her popular Bonnie & Camille line with Moda Fabrics (plus her signature pops of red). In this beautiful book—her first!—devoted to the modern-vintage style, Bonnie’s chosen her all-time-favorite patterns to share with you. Ever wanted to tackle Crown of Thorns or Double Wedding Ring blocks? Bonnie’s super-sized designs make for easy construction. With her smart sewing tips throughout, you’ll create dazzling quilts that will make jaws drop in delight! Got a stash of Bonnie & Camille fabrics? You’ve just found them a home sweet home.

    Poppies quilt
    Bonnie’s Poppies quilt—larger-than-life Flower blocks alternate with simple Courthouse Steps blocks for a super easy twin-size quilt.

    See more from Cotton Way Classics >


    Rock SolidRock Solid: 13 Stunning Quilts Made with Kona Cottons
    Complied by Karen M. Burns

    Solid fabrics are a staple in modern quiltmaking—and if you’ve got a stash of them, here’s a “rock solid” way to make them shine! We teamed up with Robert Kaufman to give 13 popular designers their choice of Kona® Cotton Solids to play with. Your eyes will marvel at the outcomes: graphic, eye-popping quilt designs saturated with the colors of the rainbow. There are 303 colors of Kona Cotton Solids to choose from (and they keep adding more!), so you’ll never tire of collecting them to make these striking quilts. Get clever tips from Christa Watson, Angela Walters, Julie Herman, and other designers who’ve developed their own approaches to sewing with solids.

    Solomon Stars quilt
    Solomon Stars by Anita Grossman Solomon

    See more from Rock Solid >


    Block-Buster Quilts: I Love House BlocksBlock-Buster Quilts: I Love House Blocks – 14 Quilts from an All-Time Favorite Block

    We love House blocks so much, they’re in our logo! Introducing the fourth book in Martingale’s Block-Buster Quilts series: I Love House Blocks. You’ll feel right at home as you create fun quilts from 13 popular designers—choose from cottages, schoolhouses, townhouses, barns, log cabins, and even houses in the ’burbs! Along with home-grown designs from Carrie Nelson, Corey Yoder, Sherri McConnell, Melissa Corry, and more, you’ll find instructions for making two simple House blocks that you can resize and remodel to create the house of your dreams, all with your favorite building materials—fabric!

    Block Party quilt
    Block Party by Sherri Falls

    See more from I Love House Blocks >

    >>>Also see: I Love Churn Dashes, I Love Nine Patches, I Love Log Cabins


    Which new book would make you jump for joy in June? 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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  3. ⏰ Flash sale! Cut and piece with precision (instead of frustration)

    No matter your skill level, no matter your style: every quilter needs a foundation of sewing skills that clear the way for creativity and inspiration, not frustration. So today we’ve got a step-by-step guide to developing piecing perfection—and you can get it for a super-sweet deal!

    Flash sale!

    Download Quiltmaking Essentials 1 by Donna Lynn Thomas for only $6 this weekend! In the eBook, you’ll learn time-tested techniques for rotary cutting, pressing, and machine piecing—the trio of techniques that lead to well-behaved quilt blocks.

    Make Me Smile quilt
    Donna’s perfect piecing: Make Me Smile quilt (get the pattern in Donna’s book
    On-Point Patchworkonly $6 this weekend too!)

    Here’s what you’ll get when you download Quiltmaking Essentials 1:

    Chapter 1: Basic Concepts. From fabric choices to thread selections, you’ll discover all of Donna’s favorite picks (and why she picked them).

    Rotary cuttersChapter 2: Rotary Cutting. Cutters, mats, and rulers, oh my! How do you know what you truly need? Donna walks you through the necessities, and then shares her time-tested rotary-cutting techniques (including her secret to cutting strips through multiple layers while keeping them stick straight).

    Chapter 3: Pressing. Press to one side or press seam allowances open? The way you press can make or break your quilt blocks. Learn Donna’s pressing tricks plus the one skill every quilter wants in her tool belt: how to develop a pressing plan so your block units fit together like puzzle pieces.

    Pressing tools
    What are Donna’s top picks for pressing tools? Find out in
    Quiltmaking Essentials 1!

    Chapter 4: Block Construction. Understanding block-construction basics makes the entire piecing process clearer from start to finish. Learn how Four Patch, Nine Patch, Five Patch, circular, diagonal, and eccentric blocks go together. You’ll be ready to stitch most any quilt block quickly!

    Chapter 5: Machine Piecing. This is where many quilters lose precision—and we all know how sewing just a few threads off the mark can multiply across a quilt, making blocks nearly impossible to piece together. Donna’s blue-ribbon skills will improve your accuracy (and your blood pressure).

    Candy Dots quilt
    Donna’s Candy Dots quilt (find the pattern in
    Patchwork Paletteonly $6 this weekend too!)

    Chapter 6: Special Sewing Techniques. Every quilter runs into it—a technique she’s curious about but is afraid to try. Let Donna ease you into on-point piecing, folded corners, set-in seams, partial seams, curved piecing—even six- and eight-pointed stars and centers. When you have these skills at the ready, you can sew most any block with ease.

    Gems quilt
    Donna’s Gems quilt (find the pattern in Patchwork Paletteonly $6 this weekend too!)

    So what are you waiting for? Keep Donna’s eBook on your computer or tablet for any time you need a little brush up on your skills—you’ll be glad you did and your quilt blocks will show it! But hurry: our flash sale ends Monday, May 1 at noon (PT).

    Quiltmaking Essentials IILove Donna’s essentials? Pick up Quiltmaking Essentials II and learn the basics of settings, sashing, borders, backing, and binding. Easy-to-implement tips and techniques will help you achieve the most accurately pieced quilts you’ve ever made!

    What quiltmaking skill do you struggle with the most: cutting, pressing, or piecing? Tell us in the comments!

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  4. Minick and Simpson quilts and rugs 😍 all in Blue & White (+ giveaway!)

    If you follow Martingale, you know about our series of coffee-table books: first came the celebration of acclaimed folk artist Sue Spargo in the glorious Stitches to Savor; then came the breathtaking retrospective of art quilter Gwen Marston in A Common Thread. Today we can announce the much-awaited release of our third hardcover coffee-table book for those who adore everything about textiles: Minick and Simpson Blue & White!

    Minick and Simpson Blue & White

    When we first saw images from the photo shoot for this book, everyone in the Martingale office immediately wanted to switch the colors in their homes to blue and white—and we bet you will too! In this indulgent hardcover volume, you’ll pore over page after page of breathtaking room settings, all in calming blues and crisp whites. (Patterns not included.)

    Austin Bluebird quilt
    Austin Bluebird quilt, 75″ × 87″, hand pieced and hand quilted by Laurie Simpson

    Sisters Polly Minick (a rug-hooking legend) and Laurie Simpson (a quiltmaking icon) invite you to enjoy their inspiring collections. From quilts and hooked rugs to darling vintage pieces the sisters have amassed throughout their lifelong love of antiquing, you’ll be captivated by their approach to making, decorating, and living.

    Polly's master bedroom
    Of her Americana-
    style home, Polly says, “I put my favorite pieces in the master bedroom. That way, they’re the last things I see before I go to sleep and the first things I see when I wake up.”

    Spotlighting three different homes featuring Americana, coastal, and classic styles, the book shares clever decorating ideas and inspiring tips for creating a two-color look. Take a peek inside this beautiful hardcover volume in this flip-style video:


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

    Whenever you want to be inspired by tranquil beauty, want to start up a new decorating scheme, or you just want to shut the door, settle in, and dream, let this picturesque book whisk you away to a wonderful world of blue and white!

    From Minick and Simpson Blue & White
    A glimpse at of some of the collections and textiles in
    Minick and Simpson Blue & White

    Today we’ve got a fun little Q&A with Laurie and Polly—they answered our questions while waiting for their luggage to arrive in . . . France! (They got their belongings two days later.) The sisters traveled to the Pour l’Amour du Fil (For the Love of Thread) Quilt Show in Nantes, France, to share their new book. Polly transcribed their conversations about each question—so interesting to get a peek inside the lives of this dynamic duo!

    BUT FIRST . . .


    FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Our friends at Moda Fabrics were kind enough to send a bundle of Minick & Simpson’s new fabric line, called Snowfall, to give away to one lucky winner!

    Martingale and Moda giveaway!

    Enter to win the bundle plus a copy of Minick and Simpson Blue & White at the end of this post.


    Stitch This!: How did you both learn your respective arts—Laurie quiltmaking and Polly rug hooking?

    Polly: We are both self-taught. Laurie made her first quilt when she was 14 and still has it. She saw a quilt in a magazine and wanted to try it, so she went to the store daily to buy little bits of fabric and she was on her way.  By college, her quilts were stunning.

    LeMoyne Star String Quilt
    The LeMoyne Star String Quilt, hand pieced and hand quilted by Laurie Simpson, provides a graphic backdrop for a vignette of antique treasures.

    Myself, I’m a tried-and-true antique collector. Hitting antique shows, I would see antique hooked rugs, often in dismal condition, but still pricey. So, I thought maybe I could make one. Well, not easy to start, but I stuck with it and taught myself. The first rugs I’m not too proud of, as it took time to get the images in my head onto the linen rug backing. But while trying, I got hooked on hooking.

    From Minick and Simpson Blue & White
    Polly and Laurie sometimes collaborate to create quilt and rug combinations. “Usually one of us designs something first and the other plays off of that design for a variation,” Laurie says.

    ST!: How did your love of textiles turn into a business?

    Polly: A friend suggested that I write a rug-hooking book. She was publishing with Martingale at the time and mentioned me to them. I got a call from Martingale, and during the call quilts were mentioned. Martingale is well-known for quilt books, but at the time they’d never published a rug-hooking book before. That got me thinking that maybe Laurie and I should write a book together about our quilt and rug projects. That was the beginning.

    From Minick and Simpson Blue & White
    Left: Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson. Right: a stack of Laurie’s blue-and-white quilts.

    ST!: You’re known for your red, white, and blue color palettes in your fabrics, books, and patterns. What inspires you to keep those colors as a foundation throughout your work, and how did you come to love blue and white?

    Polly: I used darker colors when I lived in Michigan. But when we decided to purchase vacation homes in south, I decorated with lighter colors. First, we went with red, white, and blue, and then we changed our minds and removed the red. In our current location in south Florida, I decided to do what I’d wanted to try for a long time—decorating with blue and white. It’s now my favorite color theme.

    From Minick and Simpson Blue & White
    Although focused on a blue-and-white color scheme, pops of red still make appearances throughout Polly and Laurie’s homes.

    ST!: You’ve designed several lines of fabric for Moda—your latest is Snowfall. How do you go about designing a new line, especially when the two of you live apart?

    Polly: We both love fabrics and have both collected fabric over the years. Laurie, of course, does something with her fabric! I don’t sew at all, but I love collecting fabric. By chance, when I called Moda to order ticking for binding my rugs, I got into a conversation with someone who suggested I think about wool, as Moda was considering producing a line of wool fabrics. Then we moved to designing cottons, and the rest is history.

    Polly's rug hooking
    A close-up of Polly’s rug hooking and a peek at her wool collection

    It’s been easy for us to design together . . . we get together a few times a year. When we’re not in the same place, it’s computers and scanning and sending ideas back and forth. It works well for us.

    ST!: Tell us about Minick and Simpson Blue & White—how did the concept come about?

    Polly: Since we both love blue and white and our houses are totally blue and white, it seemed easy. I imagined a book, had a few ideas, and away we went. Laurie loves blue and white and has stacks of fabulous quilts, and I had stacks of rugs. So the book idea came together very easily.


    Minick and Simpson Blue & White

    Laurie and Polly, thanks for giving us a peek into your beautiful homes and your wonderful work!

    To enter the giveaway, tell us: what’s your favorite two-color combo?

    • Blue and white
    • Red and white
    • Black and white
    • It was something else, but now it’s blue and white!

    Share your answer in the comments to be automatically entered into the drawing; we’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

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  5. How to string piece scrappy blocks (video)

    Live Simply Pillow detailGot lots of leftover strips or Jelly Rolls?

    Aren’t sure what to make with them?

    Then we’ve got a fun little video tutorial for you today!

    String piecing is a fast, fun way to transform your stacks of strips into beautiful quilts and more, like this Live Simply Pillow (above) from Sew This and That!. All you need are strips and a foundation to sew the strips onto—you won’t believe how quickly you can make multiple blocks!
    By the way, strips of different lengths work for string piecing, as do strips of different widths. And if you sew your seams a little wonky, it just adds to the charm! Take a look-see at how simply you can start string piecing in this string quilt-block tutorial:

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

    Make just four string-pieced blocks and you’ll be ready to put together your own Live Simply Pillow (with or without the embroidery, your choice!):

    Live Simply pillow
    Sew fun to make!

    You’ll find many more fast-and-fun projects to create in Sew This and That!, such as:

    Spring Garden table runner
    Spring Garden Table Runner—the pattern is designed for charm packs!

    All Squared Up tote
    All Squared-Up Tote—showcase your collection of favorite fabrics in mini form.

    Sweet Stuff Pouch
    Sweet Stuff Pouch—a cute zippered clutch for all the little things you want to keep close at hand.

    Confetti table runner
    Confetti Table Runner—Log Cabin fans, this one’s got your name written all over it!

    See more from Sew This and That! >

    We hope you enjoyed our little string quilt-block tutorial!

    Have you ever tried string piecing?

    I’m new to string piecing, never knew about it before!

    I’ve sewn a string here and there.

    I’ve been stringing along for quite a while now!

    Tell us in the comments!

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  6. Happy Earth Day! 🌎 Half off eBooks + ePatterns for a buck each

    Reduce, reuse, recycle. Choose local. Go digital. It’s what Earth Day is all about! But when you go digital today at ShopMartingale.com you’ll save BIG:

    Earth Day sale! Half off eBooks, 1.00 ePatterns

    That’s right: save 50% on 300+ eBooks and get all of our ePatterns (over 450 of them!) for just a buck apiece! Simply choose, download, and commence creating, all in a matter of minutes.

    This offer doesn’t last long, so take advantage of these savings now and stitch a salute to Mother Earth! Follow the links below to start shopping.


    TRENDING EBOOKS FOR QUILTERS

    Take 5 Fat Quarters Slash Your Stash Sew the Perfect Gift Make Your Bed
    Strip-Smart Quilts Modern Basics Pennies from Heaven Word Play Quilts

    Browse more eBooks:

    Shop Now


    EBOOKS FOR KNITTERS AND CROCHETERS

    Knitting Pleats Knitting Circles around Mittens and More Saturday Style Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet
    Successful Lace Knitting Amigurumi Two! Bathtime Buddies Crochet Baby Style

    Browse more eBooks:

    Shop Now


    BEST-SELLING EBOOKS

    Schnibbles Times Two Happy Endings Simple Graces Simple Seasons
    Quilting with Fat Quarters Country Comforts Sew One and You're Done Skinny Quilts and Table Runners II

    Browse more eBooks:

    Shop Now


    BEST-SELLING EPATTERNS: ONLY $1.00 EACH!

    Mocha Stars quiltChain Link quiltThree of Hearts quiltDripping Diamonds quilt
    Griddle Cakes quiltDinner Party Grocery BagNickel Bricks quiltBali Sea Star quilt

    Browse more ePatterns:

    Shop Now


    How do you celebrate Earth Day in your day-to-day life—recycle, ride your bike, carpool . . . make scrap quilts? Tell us in the comments!

    Sale ends Monday, April 24 (PT).

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  7. 60 strip quilts for Jelly Rolls, stash strips, and scrap strips (+ giveaway!)

    In all the strip-quilt pattern books you’ve seen, we bet you’ve never seen one packed with this much sewing fun—ladies (and gents), it’s time to get stripping!

    The Big Book of Strip Quilts

    Gather your stockpiles of strips for the 13th book in our “Big Book” series: The Big Book of Strip Quilts!

    For scrappy strips, stash strips, and the Jelly Rolls on your shelves comes a whopping 60 patterns from some of today’s brightest designers. Enjoy patterns for stunning strip quilts from Kim Brackett, Kathy Brown, Amy Ellis, Melissa Corry, Kate Henderson, Rebecca Silbaugh, Sue Pfau, Julie Herman, Gerri Robinson and more—all for just pennies per pattern.

    From The Big Book of Strip Quilts
    All 60 quilts from
    The Big Book of Strip Quilts, packed into a single shot!

    In this last-a-lifetime volume, all patterns start with 2½" strips. You’ll find styles ranging from classic beauties to fresh quilts with a modern vibe. Create a special strip quilt for yourself, family, friends, or just because (we all deserve just-because sewing days, right?). You’ll never run out of strip-tastic ideas! Here’s a small sampling from The Big Book of Strip Quilts (can you believe such a variety of designs all start with 2½" strips?):

    Knotted Squares quilt
    Knotted Squares by Amy Ellis—a stylish throw with room for two (or more)

    Boxed In quilt
    Boxed In by Julie Herman—picnic quilt, anyone?

    Porch Swing quilt
    Porch Swing by Kim Brackett—a summer salute to the red, white, and blue

    Butterflies quilt
    Butterflies by Kate Henderson—for a spirit who loves to soar

    Spinners quilt
    Spinners by Cassie Barden—for all those cute kiddos

    Fat Man's Squeeze quilt
    Fat Man’s Squeeze by Kathy Brown—just comfy, cozy goodness!

    That’s six gorgeous quilts from the book: but there are still 54 more to choose from! So many designers, so many strips—sew much fun.

    The Big Book of Strip QuiltsSo, what kind of strips do you own right now?

    • Stacks of Jelly Rolls
    • Scads of scrappy strips
    • I’m off to start stripping my stash!

    Tell us your answer in the comments and you could win an eBook copy of The Big Book of Strip Quilts! 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 the book at ShopMartingale.com, you’ll be able to instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I’ve got both jelly rolls and scrappy strips. So many great designs ~ I love the possibilities.  Thanks!”

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

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  8. Celebrating Mom: 8 handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day

    Mother’s Day is just around the corner—Sunday, May 14!

    Remember when we were in school and our teachers would always come up with a wonderful crafty item that we could make for our moms for their special day? I know my mom always treasured those childlike (but oh, so cute) elementary-school gifts, just as I treasured the gifts I received from my kids. Now that we’re adults, we have to come up with our own ideas. Below, you’ll find some suggestions to get you thinking and creating for Mother’s Day!

    Simply Simple table runner
    Simply Simple from
    The Big Book of Table Toppers

    Table runners and toppers are always welcome gifts. This table runner is super quick and easy to make—just start with a focus print in Mom’s favorite colors or motifs and you’ll have the perfect gift in no time!

    Spring Mosaic quilt
    Spring Mosaic from
    Moda All-Stars: Lucky Charm Quilts

    This sweet quilt designed by Sandy Gervais could be a topper or a wall hanging. Start with a couple of charm packs and voilà!

    Little Love quilt
    Little Love from
    Moda All-Stars: Mini Marvels

    Your gift doesn’t have to be large; it just needs to be from the ❤! Mom will most certainly get the message with this little fabric love letter.

    Little House Pincushion
    Little House Pincushion from
    Cottage-Style Charm

    Is Mom a fiber fanatic? If so, then a handmade pincushion could be the answer. They’re just irresistible! How about this cutie in Mom’s favorite colors?

    Buttoned Napkin and Tea Bag Holder
    Buttoned Napkin and Tea Bag Holder from
    Simple, Fun & Quickly Done

    Is Mom a tea lover? If so, why not whip up a matched set of caddies for her table? Fill the tea-bag caddy with her favorite teas. Then, make it extra-special by including a package of her favorite tea-time cookies.

    All Squared Up Tote
    All Squared Up Tote from
    Sew This and That!

    Is it possible to own too many bags? I think not! This great little tote uses 2½" squares (or mini charms) so that you can do a little scrap-busting while making Mom a happy shopper!

    Squeezed for time (aren’t we all)? Any of the books above would make a dandy gift as well. Here are some other ideas for great Mother’s Day gifts:

    If Mom needs a little eye candy, our series of beauty books from superstars of the maker world might be just the thing.

    Minick and Simpson Blue & White A Common Thread Stitches to Savor

    Our Big Book series gives YOU a lot of bang for your buck and gives Mom a variety of projects to choose from.

    The Big Book of Strip Quilts The Big Book of Scrappy Quilts The Big Book of Fat Quarter Quilts
    See more books in our Big Book series!

    Hopefully we’ve armed you with great ideas for the greatest Mom ever!

    How do you celebrate Mother’s Day: brunch and a stroll outdoors, a backyard get-together with family, a day of relaxation and pampering? Tell us in the comments!

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  9. 🎉 It’s a splendid day: The Splendid Sampler book is here 🎉 (+ BIG giveaway!)

    We’ve been waiting to share this book with you since it was just a gleam in Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson’s eyes—and it has been a looong wait! But finally . . . The Splendid Sampler has arrived!

    The Splendid Sampler book

    Pat and Jane started The Splendid Sampler Sew-Along in February 2016 to bring the whole world together to quilt. More than 25,000+ quilters from all walks of life joined the sew-along, and more are still joining today (you can join too!). One hundred quilt blocks, 80+ designers, and a year of sewing fun—and we’re overjoyed to be the publisher of the beautiful companion book!

    Whirling in Circles block by Debbie RobertsAll 100 block patterns from the sew-along are included (with close-up photos of each design; see right), along with ideas for setting your blocks. Make a few blocks or make them all! The Facebook group and the Splendid Sampler website are still going strong, so get the book, share your progress, and experience the joys of quilting with a very special community of quilters.

    We asked members of the Splendid Sampler Sew-Along Facebook Group what they’d most like to ask Pat and Jane about their splendid journey; Pat and Jane share their answers below. You can learn even more about Pat and Jane’s experience in Pat’s weekly podcast for American Patchwork & Quilting—the splendid chat starts at 29:38!


    Stitch This!: How did you come up with the idea for The Splendid Sampler? And did you have any idea how successful it was going to become?

    Pat: I had an idea for creating a project with a lot of designers, and I knew it would be more fun to run it with a partner. Jane is experienced at managing large projects, so I asked if she wanted to do the project with me, and she did!

    Jane Davidson and Pat Sloan
    Jane Davidson and Pat Sloan

    From there we sent lots of emails. When we met at Spring Quilt Market in 2015, we had a wonderful time working through the idea over coffee. It was Jane’s idea to make 6″ blocks and to design 100 of them. You can listen to our podcast chat for more details.

    ST!: What were the easiest and most challenging parts of creating and managing the Splendid Sampler group, and of creating The Splendid Sampler book?

    Pat and Jane: The easiest part was asking the designers to work with us. We both know a lot of people, so we made up a list of designers to contact. A wonderful array of “Yes!” emails came back.

    Splendid Sampler designers
    Some of the Splendid Sampler designers at Quilt Market, 2016

    The most challenging part was getting everything ready so that the book could come out soon after the sew-along ended. We had to hustle to write patterns and make quilts, most of which were done before the sew-along even started. There was so much going on behind the scenes before we even revealed the first block!

    ST!: Do you have any favorite blocks? And did you, as seasoned quilters, learn something new?

    Pat: Oh, not a fair question! Our designer friends really knocked it out of the park for us. The book includes embroidery, English paper piecing, paper piecing, patchwork, and appliqué. The creativity is amazing! So to pick one is hard. But I think I’ll pick Jane’s pencils. I love how creative the block is, and how it’s a tool many of us started our quiltmaking with, drawing or sketching designs.

    Jane Davidson's Pencils quilt block

    Jane: Please forgive me, Pat! While I love all your blocks, my favorite was Anne Sutton’s block, Sunday Best. What can I say—I love bunnies and the challenge of needle-turn appliqué. I find appliqué very relaxing.

    Anne Sutton's Sunday Best quilt block


    ST!: Did you require the designers to follow guidelines, or did you just let them bring their own ideas to the table?

    Pat and Jane: We gave the designers only two rules: use a technique that you’re known for, and let sewing and creativity inspire the theme of your block. This allowed the designers to explore sewing, quilting, and creativity in their own ways.

    Quilt blocks from The Splendid Sampler
    A closer look at some of the patchwork blocks from
    The Splendid Sampler

    ST!: What was the easiest and the hardest part about working together?

    Pat: Jane and I have talked about this. The easiest is that our skill sets turned out to be super compatible. You don’t know how things will go until you work with someone, but we trust and respect each other. We’re also both good at delegating and working on teams. So our team of two rocked this project! We had our own tasks and then cross-checked and helped each other out with other tasks.

    100-Block Splendid Sampler quilt

    The biggest challenge we faced was the time-zone difference. Jane, in Australia, wakes up at about 3:30 in the afternoon my time. My evening is her daytime. Often we couldn’t chat much in a day. We wished that we lived near enough to each other to have gotten together in person to experience things, at least a little bit.

    ST!: Once the book is out, do you still have plans to continue the Splendid Sampler Facebook group? What will you be doing there during the next year?

    Pat and Jane: Yes! We are super excited—now that the book is out, we already have our amazing Facebook group up, running and vibrant! In a few weeks we’ll start assigning one block a week from the book to sew—sign up for our newsletter to be notified of those details. Now is the perfect time to tell your friends and your local quilt shop that you want to have a sit-and-sew to work on Splendid Sampler blocks. Along with making friends online, many quilters have started groups in-person and enjoy sewing together. We can’t wait to see quilts being made for years to come!

    Splendid Sampler quilts
    Quilts in the works from Splendid Sampler designers, clockwise from top left: Celine Perkins, Sherri McConnell, Lynette Anderson, Melissa Corry, Katja Marek.


    Pat and Jane, it’s been an incredible journey—thank you for sharing your part of it with us!

    And now it’s time for a . . .

    SPLENDID GIVEAWAY! Pat and Jane called on their industry partners to put together a BIG giveaway today:

    Splendid Sampler big giveaway!

    Enter today’s giveaway and you could win . . .

    One of FIVE prizes from Moda Fabrics: five winners will receive a fat eighth bundle or a Jelly Roll plus a charm pack! Bundles feature fabrics from Minick & Simpson, Lella Boutique, Sweetwater, Kate Spain, Blackbird Designs, and BasicGrey—all contributors to The Splendid Sampler!

    One of TWO prizes from Aurifil Threads: two winners will receive Pat Sloan’s Let’s Go Sew! thread collection or Jane Davidson’s Everyday Escape thread collection!

    One of TWO prizes from Reliable Irons: two winners will receive a Velocity 200IR Compact Vapor Generator Iron—the water is heated internally so it turns into steam before it reaches the sole plate—the steam it delivers will astonish you! (Please note: Reliable Irons prizes are for US addresses only.)

    One of FOUR prizes from Schmetz Needles: four winners will receive two packs each of Schmetz Microtex (Sharp) Needles, Schmetz Quilting Needles, and Schmetz Universal Needles, plus a handy pocket guide to home sewing-machine needles!

    And of course, each winner will also receive a copy of The Splendid Sampler book from Martingale!

    That’s 13 lucky chances to win—why not throw your hat in the ring? To enter the giveaway, tell us in the comments:

    The Splendid Sampler bookWhich chapter of The Splendid Sampler will you dive into first?

    a) The patchwork chapter
    b) The appliqué chapter
    c) The foundation-piecing chapter
    d) The embroidery chapter

    Or have you already been sewing along?

    We’ll choose 13 random winners one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck to all! And remember, when you buy The Splendid Sampler at ShopMartingale.com, you’ll instantly be able to download the eBook for free. Get started on block #1 (or #21, or #61, or #91) today!

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  10. Stop embroidery “shadowing” with this quick tip (video + giveaway!)

    From Cottage-Style CharmDo you embroider?

    It’s such a simple skill. You can learn just a few embroidery stitches or learn them all—and there are hundreds of stitches to choose from!

    In Cottage-Style Charm, designer Natalie Bird uses just five embroidery stitches to make the embroidery projects in her beautiful book: a back stitch, French knots, a satin stitch, a Lazy Daisy stitch, and a running stitch. These basic stitches couldn’t be easier to master!

    True Friend Tote
    True Friend Tote

    Natalie relies on a few tricks to make her embroidery extraordinary. One tip from Cottage-Style Charm shares a secret for eliminating embroidery “shadowing”—when the threads on the back of your work can be seen from the front, creating unsightly “shadows” that disrupt the motifs. In this quick video, we share Natalie’s shadow-stopping solution:

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

    Not only does Natalie’s method prevent shadowing; it also adds stability to your work as you stitch. A fix that’s twice as nice!

    Natalie’s simple patchwork-and-appliqué projects blend with embroidered stitcheries and sayings that will tug at your heartstrings.

    Heart and Bloom Mini Quilt
    Heart and Bloom Mini-Quilt

    Round Table Topper
    Round Table Topper

    Little House Pincushion
    Little House Pincushion

    Give Natalie’s shadowing tip a try and stitch her sweet embroidery projects (perfect for decorating and gifts) in the process!

    And because Natalie’s got something else to share with you today, we’re having a . . .

    FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Our friends at Clothworks gave us a beautiful bundle of Natalie Bird’s new fabric line, called All Afloat, to give away to you!

    Cottage-Style CharmHead over to the Clothworks blog today for another great giveaway: two copies of Natalie’s book and a fat-quarter bundle of All Afloat are up for grabs!

    To win the All Afloat bundle plus a copy of Cottage-Style Charm here at Stitch This!, tell us:

    What’s your experience with hand embroidery?

    a) total newbie
    b) committed a few stitches to memory
    c) my brain is overflowing with embroidery stitches!

    Share your answer in the comments and you’ll be automatically entered to win the pretty All Afloat bundle from Clothworks plus a copy of Cottage-Style Charm! 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 Cottage-Style Charm at ShopMartingale.com, you can instantly download the eBook for free. (Also twice as nice!)

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I’ve started an embroidery piece but it got relegated to the back of the cupboard while I quilt. I need to pull it out and stitch some more on it.”

    We’ll email you about your prizes, Linda—congratulations!

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