1. Learn the Kim Diehl freezer-paper applique technique (video)

    (Psst . . . don’t miss our special offer at the end of this post!)

    Boy oh boy does best-selling author Kim Diehl know how to appliqué.

    Penny Garland
    Penny Garland by Kim Diehl, from
    Simple Appeal

    Now, we know that some of you out there are flat-out scared of the “a” word. But what if Kim Diehl was sitting next to you, sharing her tips, advice, and techniques? (And her delightful sense of humor too—just visit her Instagram page to see what we mean!)

    We bet if Kim was your guide, you’d wrangle up the confidence to try appliqué (or try it again)—and you might even like it!

    Simple AppliqueToday we’re sharing a little video we put together from Kim’s book Simple Appliqué. In the book, Kim shares six of her favorite appliqué techniques, and in the video we’re giving you a peek at one: freezer-paper appliqué.

    We thought we knew how to do freezer-paper appliqué, but when we learned about the way Kim approaches it—with her clever twists and tweaks—it made it even easier. One trick we’d never thought of: lay the shiny side of your freezer-paper patterns up, not down, on the wrong side of your appliqué fabric. What?! Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense in the video:

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

    Do you get the freezer-paper twist now? Just too smart, right? That Kim . . . always coming up with a better way (thank you, Kim!). And Kim Diehl’s Best Appliqué Freezer Paper is the perfect companion to any of her books. (See our special offer on Kim’s freezer paper below).

    Once you try Kim’s techniques from Simple Appliqué (including needle-turn, fusion, trapunto, wool, fusible, and her trademark invisible machine appliqué), you’ll be inspired to dive into her other best-selling books with the confidence of an appliqué aficionado. Just think, you could be making:

    Homestead Harvest quilt
    Homestead Harvest from
    Simple Appeal

    Four and Twenty Blackbirds quilt
    Four and Twenty Blackbirds from
    Simple Charm

    Harvest Tapestry quilt
    Harvest Tapestry from
    Simple Harvest (coming October 3)

    So why not give it a go? We even have a special offer today to make your next adventure in appliqué extra sweet:

    Discount will show up upon checkout.

    So tell us, are you:

    • An appliqué aficionado
    • An appliqué apprentice
    • An aspiring appliquér (but haven’t tried it yet!)

    Share your answer in the comments!









    53 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  2. National Sewing Month ideas: start with a Jelly Roll (and a sale)

    We’re kicking off National Sewing Month by celebrating a NEW national day of sewing: National Sew a Jelly Roll Day!

    National Sew a Jelly Roll Day

    On Saturday, September 16, quilters around the country will unfurl their Jelly Rolls, sew them together, and create beautiful strippy and scrappy quilts—just for the joy of it!

    It’s the perfect time to open that Jelly Roll you’ve been saving for a special quilt. Why? Because today you can save BIG on books jam-packed with Jelly Roll fun—SAVE 40% RIGHT NOW! Whoo-hoo!

    Peruse patterns from the five books below—pick a project, pair it with a Jelly Roll, and let’s get this patchwork party started!

    CHOICE #1: Striking Strip Quilts by Kate Henderson

    By the Seashore Jelly Roll quilt
    By the Seashore features 12″ blocks composed of nine simple pieced units, making this quilt much easier to assemble than it looks.

    See 15 more projects from Striking Strip Quilts >
    $24.99 National Sew a Jelly Roll Day price: $14.99!

    CHOICE #2: Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares by Kim Brackett

    Wildflowers Jelly Roll quilt
    Wildflowers is a quilt that’s on MANY Martingale staffers’ must-make lists! Strip-quilting queen Kim Brackett promises stress-free sewing with a little trick she uses in the centers of these happy hexagon flowers.

    See 17 more projects from Scrap-Basket Strips and Squares >
    $24.99 National Sew a Jelly Roll Day price: $14.99!

    CHOICE #3: Strip Savvy by Kate Henderson

    Fly Away Home Jelly Roll quilt
    Fly Away Home (center) is so simple to sew with Jelly Roll strips. If you already know your way around a Log Cabin block and a flying-geese unit, this quilt will quickly take flight!

    See 17 more projects from Strip Savvy >
    $24.99 National Sew a Jelly Roll Day price: $14.99!

    CHOICE #4: Scrap-Basket Beauties by Kim Brackett

    Star Blossoms Jelly Roll quilt
    Star Blossoms is filled with strips from several fabric collections from the same designer. If you have a favorite designer, do the same to make a quilt with a designer “signature” (although assorted strips would be just as charming).

    See 17 more projects from Scrap-Basket Beauties >
    $24.99 National Sew a Jelly Roll Day price: $14.99!

    CHOICE #5: Scrap-Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett

    Picnic Jelly Roll quilt
    This scrappy Picnic quilt spotlights contemporary prints for a fun, fresh look—but can you imagine an entirely different colorway? We’re thinking Christmas-themed strips!

    See 17 more projects from Scrap-Basket Sensations >
    $24.99 National Sew a Jelly Roll Day price: $14.99!

    Try something new and expand your skills—get ahead of the holiday game and the big gift rush—or just sew something fun for yourself! No matter what your motivation is, we’ve got you covered for National Sew a Jelly Roll Day. Sew on!

    What’s your favorite type of Jelly Roll:

    • One strip of everything, please!
    • Some repeats, so I have some variety but fewer prints.
    • I love the one-color rolls—now those I can work with!

    Tell us your Jelly Roll story in the comments!





    43 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  3. Civil War quilt ideas (58 if you’re counting…) + giveaway!

    If you love/stash/hoard Civil War fabrics, there’s just one thing you need to make your quilting dreams come true—patterns that pair perfectly with those fabrics. And boy do we have what quilting dreams are made of in the newest addition to our “Big Book” series!

    The Big Book of Civil War Quilts

    Fans of Civil War quilts and reproduction fabrics, this is THE book you’ve been waiting for. We’ve rounded up 58 patterns from our favorite books on Civil War quilts and put them all into one patchwork-packed book just for you! The Big Book of Civil War Quilts will inspire you to cut into your reproduction fabrics again and again.

    58 Civil War quilt patterns
    All 58 quilts from
    The Big Book of Civil War Quilts, packed into a single shot!

    Let Kim Diehl, Carol Hopkins, Country Threads, Jo Morton, and many more inspire a lifetime of quilts that capture the vintage look and feel of days gone by. From minis to bed quilts, it simply doesn’t get bigger or better than this for lovers of quilts from the Civil War era.

    Here’s a small sampling of the quilts you’ll love creating with The Big Book of Civil War Quilts at your side (can you even begin to choose which one to make first?):

    Guest Room quilt
    Guest Room Quilt by Biz Storms (finished size: 72½" × 72½")

    Buckwheat Star quilt
    Buckwheat Star by Country Threads (finished size: 64½" × 64½")

    Parlor Music quilt
    Parlor Music by Carol Hopkins (finished size: 37½" × 45½")

    Black and Beyond quilt
    Black and Beyond by Evelyn Sloppy (finished size: 59″ × 75″)

    Cabin Corners quilt
    Cabin Corners by Jo Morton (finished size: 14¾" × 14¾")

    See more beauties from The Big Book of Civil War Quilts >

    That’s five gorgeous quilts from the book: but there are still 53 MORE to choose from! So many designers, so many choices—sew much fun.

    The Big Book of Civil War QuiltsSo, what kind of reproduction fabrics do you own right now?

    • Stacks of fat quarters
    • Scads of yardage
    • Scraps, scraps, scraps!

    Tell us your answer in the comments and you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of The Big Book of Civil War Quilts! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

    Can’t wait to peruse the pretty pages of The Big Book of Civil War Quilts? Order the book at ShopMartingale.com and 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 Gwen, who says:

    “I have yards worth of reproduction fabric. The most is from the William Morris Collection that is just waiting for the perfect quilt.”

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






    490 comments (read all)

  4. Perfectly pieced Four Patches: Miss Rosie’s simple secret

    how to sew a four patch quilt blockThe Four Patch. It’s the first block many quilters learn to sew. It’s basic. It’s classic. It’s a great introduction to patchwork.

    Of course you know how to sew a Four Patch quilt block. But if you’re not sewing them like Carrie Nelson (aka Miss Rosie), there’s a new technique to learn!

    Ask most any quilter what’s the most challenging part of sewing a Four Patch, and they’ll likely say the same thing: getting that center where four fabrics meet to butt up and behave.

    We met up with Carrie at Quilt Market, and she showed us how she gets her Four Patch centers to perfectly perform their patchwork duty—watch this video to learn her trick:

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

    Such an easy fix!

    Carrie’s latest book, Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites, is a runaway best seller—it even sold OUT for a while there!—but now it’s back in stock. And you can bet that Miss Rosie will reveal many more sewing tricks in her book. Take a look at all the gorgeous quilts you can create:

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

    Order your copy of Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites and download the eBook instantly for free.

    What was the first quilt block you ever made: Four Patch, Rail Fence, Log Cabin, something else? Tell us in the comments!



    54 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  5. Troubleshooting sewing-machine tension: 5 simple steps

    Flower Power free-motion quilting motifHow can you get the perfect thread tension before you start machine quilting? Look no further than Lori Kennedy’s book Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3!

    In Lori’s book, you’ll learn all you need to know to create 61 whimsical motifs, including how to set up your machine, how to doodle to refine your technique, and yes—how to get that perfect thread tension before you begin.

    Today we’re sharing Lori’s five-step process from Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 for finding your machine’s sweet spot when it comes to thread tension. These tips will help you today and years from today. Read on to learn Lori’s secrets!


    The perfect machine-quilting stitch should be balanced between the top and bobbin threads. In other words, the bobbin thread shouldn’t show on the top of the quilt, and the top thread shouldn’t show on the back of the quilt. It’s almost impossible for any sewing machine to create perfect balance at all times while you’re machine quilting, because of the mechanics of moving the quilt in many directions. Using the same color of thread in the bobbin as on the top will conceal most issues as long as the tension is properly adjusted.

    For most sewing machines, stitches will look better when the top tension is lowered. Adjust the top tension first, adjusting the bobbin tension only if necessary. If it’s impossible to balance the tension completely, it’s better to have top threads pulled slightly to the back than to have bobbin threads showing on the top. Here are some examples of my machine quilting after adjusting my thread tension.

    Here are the steps I take to balance my tension:

    1. Using the same fabrics and batting that will be used in the quilt project, free-motion stitch a 3″ line without changing the tension settings. Inspect the line.

    2. Lower the tension one step or number and stitch another 3″ line. Inspect the line. Does it look better or worse? If it looks better than the first line, lower the tension again and stitch another line.

    3. Inspect this line of stitching. Does it look better or worse?

    4. Continue lowering the tension and stitching lines until the newly stitched line looks worse than the previous one.

    5. Tweak the tension between the final two lines to find the perfect sweet spot for your stitches.

    Troubleshooting machine-quilting tension

    Take the time to set your tension before you stitch—it will relieve a lot of tension in the long run!

    We caught up with Lori at Quilt Market and she showed us how she stitches her Flower Power motif from Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3. Watch her work her magic (with a little practice, you can conjure her magic too):

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

    Here’s a FREE tutorial for the Flower Power motif from Lori’s book that you can start with (it’s her favorite). Just be sure to check your tension first!

    Free machine quilting motif: Flower Power
    Download Lori’s Flower Power tutorial—print it out and try it for yourself!

    What’s your tension-checking trick: a scrap of fabric, a practice sandwich . . . a seam ripper? Tell us in the comments!






    17 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  6. Free sewing patterns for fall 🍂 autumn-inspired kitchen set

    Crunching leaves. Hot apple cider. Sweaters. The pumpkin patch! Perhaps an autumn chill isn’t in the air just yet . . . but it’s coming. And today we’ve got a great way to celebrate the cooler season on the way—with needle and thread, of course!

    Free patterns for fall: autumn inspired kitchen set

    Download the Harvest Spice Trio patterns for free when you sign in or register at our website.

    ’Tis the Autumn SeasonShelley Wicks and Jeanne Large authors Jeanne Large (right) and Shelley Wicks (left) are well-known for their spectacular sewing salutes to the seasons. In their book, they share a dozen quilts and projects perfect for cozying up, settling in, and welcoming the beauty of fall. And the signature techniques they use to create their designs are quick to cozy up to as well! Chunky fusible appliqué and lickety-split wool appliqué are easy to learn and fun to do.

    Let’s take a closer look at what’s in store for you when you create the projects in the free Harvest Trio set:

    Harvest Spice Apron
    Harvest Spice Apron
    : put on this sweet apron throughout autumn and spice up meal-prep time with a sprinkle of the season. All you need is two yards of fabric, scraps of gold, black and green, and a scattering of buttons.

    Harvest Spice Tea Towels
    Harvest Spice Tea Towels:
    start with pre-purchased tea towels and add appliquéd sunflowers and pumpkins—couldn’t be simpler! You’ll find appliqué patterns for both towels in the download.

    Harvest Spice Coasters
    Harvest Spice Coasters:
    these charming coasters feature a rickrack edging—the technique used to apply the rick rack hides raw edges in a single sewing step. It’s a fun method you can use for lots of different projects!

    Speaking of that rickrack edging, here’s a quick video on how the technique works:

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

    You’ll also find a recipe for hearty bran muffins in the download—perfect to try as this season begins to turn to the next.

    'Tis the Autumn SeasonWant even more harvest-hued projects from Shelley and Jeanne? Buy ’Tis the Autumn Season and instantly download the eBook for free.

    What’s your favorite thing about autumn?

    • The colors of the season match all of my quilts.
    • Layers, layers, layers!
    • Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all the fun that goes with them.

    Tell us in the comments!








    31 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  7. Big blog hop! Piecing, quilting, and precuts (and a pincushion) + giveaway!

    Piece and Quilt with PrecutsIt’s Martingale’s day on Christa Watson’s blog hop for her new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts—welcome, everyone! I’m Karen Johnson, Martingale’s director of marketing. I’ll be your blog-hop host for today!

    The thing I love most about Christa Watson’s new book, Piece and Quilt with Precuts, is that she gives you a quilt to make AND machine-quilting instructions for each quilt. None of this “quilt as desired” for Christa!

    The quilting designs in the book are all very achievable, and Christa breaks them down for you: choose walking-foot quilting, free-motion quilting, or combine both kinds of quilting. You can easily mix and match any of the quilting designs on any of the 11 quilts in the book. Here are just a few of the beautiful quilts (and beautiful quilting):

    I volunteered to sew a block from the Frequency quilt (click here to read more about Christa’s version of Frequency at her website). It’s an easy block that calls for 2½" strips, and I took the easy way in choosing fabrics—I picked a Jelly Roll from our office stash (pretty convenient, eh?).

    First Crush by Sweetwater—so cute!

    Ready, set . . . sew! Chain piecing made the job go fast.

    After a bit of improvisational cutting and stitching, I laid out the strips to decide on placement. That’ll do!

    Some trimming . . .

    Ready for quilting!

    Now, I’ve done my fair share of machine quilting, but I need to PRACTICE more! Yes, I shouted PRACTICE!

    To get ready, I did something I rarely do—I changed my throat plate to a single-hole plate. I’m always concerned about using a single-hole plate because I’m sure I’m going to forget to switch things back and I’ll set my machine to a zigzag stitch and . . . oops! But lo and behold, my machine has a feature that allows me to lock it to straight stitching only. It’s mistake proof!

    I chose a thread that would look good on all of the light and dark fabrics so I wouldn’t have to change threads partway through. Aurifil 2600 Dove looked like it would do the job nicely.

    Since this was a small piece, 18″ square, I secured the layers with straight pins to prepare for stitching in the ditch. Did I mention I like shortcuts?

    After stitching in the ditch, I removed the straight pins and chose the Squiggles walking-foot quilting pattern from Piece and Quilt with Precuts. I let the lines overlap to create interesting designs. The quilting was fun and oh-so easy!

    Now for the scarier part: free-motion quilting. I haven’t done free-motion quilting for quite awhile, and I desperately needed to PRACTICE! But lazy girl that I am, I used this block to practice the Crazy Eights free-motion quilting pattern from the book. I thought it would be easy, and it was, after I got the feel for it.

    I think you can see the results from the back a little better—not bad!

    I won’t be entering any quilt shows next week, but I’m happy. I just need to do this more often to keep in PRACTICE!

    This was so much fun, and I had lots of scraps leftover, so I couldn’t resist whipping together a cute little matching pincushion. The pattern isn’t in the book, but I followed the same basic instructions for improvisational cutting. Every block needs a matching pincushion, right?

    Christa Watson booksToday we have an epic giveaway for you: eBook editions of ALL SEVEN Martingale books that Christa has either written or contributed to! They include:

    Piece and Quilt with Precuts

    The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

    Machine Quilting with Style

    Rock Solid

    180 Doodle Quilting Designs

    Block-Buster Quilts: I Love House Blocks

    Block-Buster Quilts: I Love Churn Dashes

    To enter the giveaway, tell us in the comments:

    How often do you practice your machine quilting?

    • Every day!
    • At least once a week.
    • Every once in a while.
    • Um . . . nope. Not yet.

    We’ll choose three random winners one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And remember, when you buy Piece and Quilt with Precuts at ShopMartingale.com, you can instantly download the eBook for free.

    Have you missed any of the stops on Christa’s blog hop? You can still visit them—here’s the full schedule:

    Friday, August 18
    Kathy Bruckman blog: Kathy’s Kwilts and More
    Instagram: @kathyskwiltsandmore

    Kate Colleran blog: Seams Like a Dream
    Instagram: @seamslikeadreamquilts

    Sharon Parcel blog: Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
    Instagram: @punkydoodle53

    Saturday, August 19
    Sandy Maxfield blog: Sandy Star Designs
    Instagram: @sandystardesigns

    Joanne Harris blog: Quilts by Joanne
    Instagram: @turtlequilterjo

    Teresa Mairal-Barreu blog: Sewn Up
    Instagram: @teresadownunder

    Monday, August 21
    Nancy Scott blog: Masterpiece Quilting
    Instagram: @masterpiecequilting

    Martingale blog: Stitch This!
    Instagram: @martingaletpp

    Lorinda Davis blog: Laurel Poppy & Pine
    Instagram: @laurelpoppyandpine

    Tuesday, August 22
    Sherry Shish blog: Powered by Quilting
    Instagram: @poweredbyquilting

    Michelle Bartholomew blog: Michelle Bartholomew
    Instagram: @michellebartholomew

    Allison Dutton blog: Allison Sews
    Instagram: @allisonsews

    Wednesday, August 23
    Lissa LaGreca blog: Lovingly Lissa
    Instagram: @lovinglylissa

    Sherri Noel blog: Rebecca Mae Designs
    Instagram: @rebeccamaedesigns

    Sandra Healy blog: Sandra Healy Designs
    Instagram: @sandrahealydesigns

    Thursday, August 24
    Laura Piland blog: Slice of Pi Quilts
    Instagram: @sliceofpiquilts

    Cheryl Brickey blog: Meadow Mist Designs
    Instagram: @meadowmistdesigns

    Jen Frost blog: Faith and Fabric
    Instagram: @faithandfabric

    Friday, August 25
    Jessee Maloney blog: Art School Dropout
    Instagram: @jessee_artschooldropout

    Jessica Caldwell blog: Desert Bloom Quilting
    Instagram: @desertbloomquilting

    Anjeanette Klinder blog: Anjeanette Klinder
    Instagram: @anjeanetteklinder

    Saturday, August 26
    Terri Vanden Bosch blog: Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
    Instagram: @lizardcreekquilter

    Suzy Webster blog: Webster Quilt
    Instagram: @websterquilt

    Katie Joy Church blog: Wild Prairie Studio
    Instagram: @katie_joyquilts

    Monday, August 28
    Pam Cobb blog: The Stitch TV Show
    Instagram: @thestitchtvshow

    Jen Rosin blog: A Dream and a Stitch:
    Instagram: @adreamandastitch

    Rashida Khanbhai blog: No. 3 Quilt Studio
    Instagram: @no3quiltstudio

    Tuesday, August 29
    Lynn Kline blog: Monkey Needle
    Instagram: @monkeyneedle

    Kathy Bruckman blog: Kathy’s Kwilts and More
    Instagram: @kathyskwiltsandmore

    Wednesday, August 30
    Jen Shaffer blog: Patterns by Jen
    Instagram: @patternsbyjen

    Sandra Starley blog: Textile Time Travels
    Instagram: @textiletimetravels











    614 comments (read all)

  8. Weekend-wonder quilts for the back-to-school sewing pace (+ sale!)

    Little Red Schoolhouse quiltIs your town back to school yet, or are the kiddos heading back soon? That may mean less sewing time during the week—but you can make it all up on the weekend!

    If your next sewing splurge is planned for this weekend (or the next, or the next), now’s a great time to do a quick supply check. Fabric? check. Sewing machine? Check. Rotary cutter’s sharp? Mat’s scrap-free? You’re ready to roll except for one more thing—inspiration!

    Today we’ve got books filled with fast-and-easy quilted goodies to create, and they’re all at just the right price: 40% off! So buy a favorite book while the savings are sweet (and instantly download the eBook version for free).

    Your next weekend wonder quilt could be:

    Square City quilt
    Square City from
    Easy Weekend Quilts. This quilt is ideal for featuring large-scale prints in the blocks and plain squares. Choose one neutral tone-on-tone print to tie the whole design together.

    See 11 more quick quilts in Easy Weekend Quilts >
    $16.99 only $10.19 (with free eBook)

    Double Four Patch quilt
    Double Four Patch from
    Sew Charming. It doesn’t get much easier than simple squares and Four Patch blocks—unless you skip the fabric-matching process and make your quilt from a coordinated pack of pretty precut charm squares.

    See 17 more fast quilts from Sew Charming >
    $24.99 only $14.99 (with free eBook)

    Caribbean Cooler quilt
    Caribbean Cooler from
    Fat-Quarter Quickies. Whether you choose to make this fat-quarter-friendly design in bright batiks or more subdued colors, this is a quilt you can sew on the weekend and take anywhere you go on the weekend.

    See 10 more zippity-quick quilts from Fat-Quarter Quickies >
    $16.99 only $10.19 (with free eBook)

    Country Churn Dash quilt
    Country Churn Dash from
    One Bundle of Fun. Pick 21 contrasting fat quarters to make this cute Churn Dash quilt pop—served with a side of country charm.

    See 11 more lickety-split quilts from One Bundle of Fun >
    $18.99 only $11.39 (with free eBook)

    Color Gradations quilt
    Color Gradations from
    Sew, Slice, Spin & Sash. Got a stash that resembles a rainbow? Experiment with mini prints, batiks, or tone-on-tone fabrics in a range of hues for a quilt that’s an expression of your style. (And don’t miss this video from author Theresa Ward on speeding up strip quilting even more with a friend named Elmer—yes, we mean the glue!)

    See more pronto patchwork from Sew, Slice, Spin & Sash >
    $16.99 only $10.19 (with free eBook)

    At 40% off, you can let these speedy quilts satisfy your weekend sewing fix all school-year long!

    When do you squeeze in sewing time during the school year—weekends, weeknights, anytime you’re able? Tell us in the comments!





    14 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  9. Best book for beginning quilters? Pat’s where it’s at (+ big giveaway!)

    Think back to when you were a beginning quilter (or maybe that’s right now). Wh0 do you wish you’d had to help you as you started on this whimsical, wonderful journey? After reading the new book we’re sharing with you today, we know wh0 we wish we’d had:


    Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First Quilt

    If you want to learn how to quilt—or help someone who wants to learn—Pat Sloan is the perfect teacher. She’s made quilting a lifelong passion for thousands of her students by showing them the ropes, and she’ll do the same for you (or your wanna-be quilter friends). In the latest book from Pat’s “Teach Me” series, you’ll first learn to sew nine classic quilt blocks:

    Just knowing how to sew nine quilt blocks right out of the gate is a great start for any beginner! But Pat goes one step further: she shows how to use those blocks in nine beautiful projects that any quilter will be proud to show off.

    We’re thrilled to have Pat as a guest writer at our blog today to tell us more about her special book for beginners—welcome back, Pat!

    Writing the fourth book in my “Teach Me” series was exciting to plan, write, make, and now share with you!

    I learned to quilt by taking a 12-week, all-by-hand, cardboard-template class in a quilt shop. At the time that was the only way you could learn in a classroom. When I started to teach beginners, I looked back to how I learned then, and how people learn today.

    Today we have a lot of self-taught quilters because of amazing tutorials, easy-to-do projects, and the internet! One of the things I’ve noticed is that often when we are self-taught, we might miss things that would truly help us enjoy quiltmaking more. (I talked about this topic recently on the American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast, which I host weekly. You can listen to the episode here.)

    Let me tell you about the important features I share in the book, which many self-taught quilters can use to fill in those “information gaps” about how quilting works.

    • In the first six sections of the book, I introduce the basics—prepping fabrics, pressing blocks, and assembling quilts.
    • I include nine block patterns, and I walk you through making each one with step-by-step photos that you can follow.
    • My approach is to make a block, and then repeat that block in a project. That way, you practice a skill and still have a project when you’re done.
    • As you work through each block, I add new techniques. By the end of the book, you have a whole new toolbox of skills.

    My favorite part about writing this book was to include all the tips I know for how to spot and correct problems. Troubleshooting isn’t hard once you know how to check for issues as you go along. My biggest tip is to check for accuracy as you sew and not wait until the end. I wrote an article about this very topic that you might find helpful.

    I’ve fine-tuned what you need to know, so you’ll be successful and also have fun!

    Collect the other three books in my “Teach Me” series to have a full reference guide to use over and over again.

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

    Now Let’s Go Sew!

    From essential tools, sewing-machine advice, and common quilting terms to rotary cutting, machine sewing, and quilt-top assembly, Pat’s included all the tips and tricks that her newbie students love. More than 140 photos in the book make learning easy—and Pat’s you-can-do-it style of teaching makes it fun.

    And speaking of fun . . .


    Pat’s rounded up some of her industry friends who’ve generously donated wonderful prizes for FIVE beginners and beyond to win!

    FROM MODA: A fat-quarter bundle of Quill by 3 Sisters plus a Layer Cake of Grunge by Basic Grey (because well, you just gotta have great fabric!).

    FROM OLFA: a 12″ x 17″ Olfa Folding Cutting Mat, a 45 mm Splash Handle Rotary Cutter in Emperor Purple, an Endurance 45 mm Tungsten Tool Steel Rotary Blade, AND a 6″ x 12″ Frosted Acrylic Ruler. WOW!

    : Fat Quarter Shop’s exclusive line of batting is Happy Cloud, and that’s exactly what it feels like. Win two 60″ x 60″ throw packs: one in 100% cotton and one in a 50/50 cotton blend. Nice!

    FROM SCHMETZ NEEDLES: A Sew Essentials Combo Value Pack featuring Schmetz Needles and a Grabbit Magnetic Pin Cushion. Also includes a useful informational card with needle tips and the Schmetz Color Code Chart. Awesome!

    And last but not least, FROM OLISO: A limited-edition Oliso TG1600 Pro Smart Iron . . . in PINK! With Oliso’s patented iTouch® technology, you simply touch the handle and the iron lowers, ready to work. Take your hand off and the patented scorchguards lift the iron off the board preventing scorches, burns, and tipping. Sweet! (Bonus: when you buy the Oliso TG1600 Pro Smart Iron on Pat’s website, you’ll get a 15% discount and free shipping—thanks, Pat!)

    And you can bet with each winning prize, you’ll also get your own copy of Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt from Martingale!

    Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Make My First QuiltTo be automatically entered in the giveaway, tell us in the comments:

    What do you wish you’d known when you started quilting?

    • I wish I’d known more basics about cutting, piecing, and pressing.
    • I wish I’d had a crash course in knowing how a sewing machine works.
    • I wish I knew that I was going to need more room for fabric. A LOT more.
    • I’m a newbie—I want to know more!

    We’ll choose five random winners one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you’d like to start learning with Pat right now, you can order Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt at our website and instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

    Thanks to all who entered the drawing! We’ll email you about your prizes, winners—congratulations!







    2,105 comments (read all)

  10. 2 tricks for how to paper piece quilt blocks: video

    From Learn to Paper PieceEver tried paper piecing? If you have, you know there’s no better technique for getting accuracy in your blocks. If you haven’t tried paper piecing, give it a shot! The benefit of pinpoint precision is worth a try.

    There are a few tricks that make paper piecing easier and more enjoyable. We caught up with Oh Glory! author Kathy Flowers at Quilt Market, and she’s a big paper-piecing fan. She shares her two favorite tips for how to paper piece quilt blocks in the video below:

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

    Kathy’s tips are must-haves when paper piecing for the first time or the 100th time! You can find the Add-A-Quarter ruler at your local quilt shop or online.

    So, what wonderfully precise patchwork can you create with paper piecing? Take a peek:

    Projects from Oh Glory!
    Pretty and patriotic paper-pieced projects from Kathy’s book
    Oh Glory!

    Lobster Stew quilt
    Nancy Mahoney’s colorful Lobster Stew quilt from her book
    Learn to Paper Piece (can you imagine trying to sew these blocks without the magic of paper piecing?)

    Garden Path quilt
    This stunning Garden Path quilt from
    A Paper-Pieced Garden by Maaike Bakker and Francoise Maarse

    Serenity quilt
    This small-and-scrappy Serenity quilt from
    Little Gems by Connie Kauffman

    Mariner's Compass quilt
    This jaw-dropping Mariner’s Compass quilt from Showstopping Quilts to Foundation Piece by Tricia Lund and Judy Pollard

    Do you consider yourself a paper piecer?

    • Yes, I love those perfect points, stick-straight angles—and fewer pins!
    • I’ve paper pieced before, but I’m still a beginner.
    • Never tried it—but I do like the sound of precise patchwork!

    Tell us about your paper-piecing proficiency in the comments!






    67 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *