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

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

    Jo's Little Favorites II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But first . . .


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

    Martingale + Moda giveaway!

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


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

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

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

    Holiday Inn quilt
    Holiday Inn quilt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Life is short. Enjoy your quilts in your home!

    See more from Jo’s Little Favorites II >


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

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

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

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

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I have made quilts in all sizes but mostly the lap-quilt/wall hanging size. I always seem to have several projects in various stages of construction. Occasionally, I’ll stop all of them and make a little quilt just so I can make something start to finish and its DONE. Nothing like that feeling.”

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

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  2. 7 creative ways to hang a quilt on the wall

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

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

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

    #1: “Frame” your quilt

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

    #2: Suspend with string

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

    #3: Create a permanent vignette

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

    #4: Create a collection

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

    #5: Embellish the view

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

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

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

    #7: Make a new wall

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

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

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

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

    Sometimes.

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

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


    Stash Lab

    More Uses for Stash Fabrics

    Excerpted from Stash Lab by Tonya Alexander

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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  4. 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.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I would love to make one for my dad he served in the war but he says he didn’t do anything. You see he was a mechanic therefore he feels he didn’t contribute to the war effort. I feel he did because you need all your engines running at 100% capacity to be able to fight long and hard to win! And I just want him to know what he did was important to all of us! I also have longed to make a QOV Quilt I live less than two miles from our NAF I feel it’s a small way to give back to OUR military personal, and I’m a beginner so I need simple patterns. Thank you for the chance to win good luck everyone.”

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

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  5. 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.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I am a huge Bonnie and Camille fan, so the Cotton Way book would be my pick.”

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

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  6. ⏰ 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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  7. 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!

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “My husband and I are living in our 13th house. I swear we have every color scheme imaginable in one house or another. We recently purchased a home in FL and furnished it in blue, aqua/turquoise, and off-white. Last night we came home from a trip and as I was unpacking, I realized many of my clothes are blue and white, too. Loved seeing glimpses of the book and can’t wait to own it.”

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

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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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