1. Crochet blankets for baby’s 1st year

    Knit and Crochet at Stitch This!

    From Cuddly CrochetBinkie, blanky, lovey—whatever you call it, a baby blanket is a little one’s best friend!

    Even if you missed the shower or want to make a crochet blanket for your own tot, there are plenty of reasons to crochet a blanky during the first year (and beyond) of a child’s life. Check out these crochet baby blanket patterns for all of baby’s needs.
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    For baby’s trip home from the hospital:       

    From Blankets, Hats, and Booties
    Find this precious crocheted baby set and more in Blankets, Hats, and Booties
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    For commemorating baby’s baptism:

    From Sweet Baby Crochet
    Find this heirloom baby blanket and more special crocheted gifts in Sweet Baby Crochet
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    For baby’s nursery theme:

    From Boho Crochet
    Find this bright baby blanket and more quick and easy crochet projects in Boho Crochet
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    For baby’s bathtime:

    From Cuddly Crochet
    Find this baby hoodie towel and more sweet crocheted baby projects in Cuddly Crochet
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    For baby’s nap time:

    From Cuddly Crochet
    Find this baby blanket pattern and more adorable baby designs in Cuddly Crochet
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    For baby’s play dates:

    From Modern Baby Crochet
    Find this crochet baby blanket and more crocheted nursery patterns in Modern Baby Crochet
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    For baby’s stay at grandma and grandpa’s house:

    From Amigurumi at Home
    Find these toddler blankets and more cute crochet baby patterns in Amigurumi at Home
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    Which is it: blanky, binkie, lovey, or something else? Tell us in the comments!

    50 eBooks for $8.99 each!


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  2. Punch up that project with easy, creative appliqué (+ giveaway!)

    Raise your hand if you’ve finished a project, stood back to admire it, and realized that it turned out…okay.

    Not extraordinary, but ordinary. Not unusual, just the usual. Not impressive—more like hum-drum.

    Probably not your intention, right? Sigh.

    It’s happened to just about everyone who’s experimented with needle and thread.

    But what if there was a way to take any project from so-so to oh-so-special—even those disappointing, hum-drum items?

    Amy Struckmeyer is here to tell you it’s possible. And better yet, it’s easy. All you need is a bit of appliqué!

    From A Bit of Applique
    Different techniques, distinctive results: project details from
    A Bit of Appliqué

    In Amy’s new book A Bit of Appliqué, you can play with, test drive, and try out a variety of hand and machine techniques—from raw-edge to reverse appliqué—as you create small, practical projects with a modern aesthetic. Once you’ve got the hang of the methods, you can use them to elevate most any everyday item.

    Today Amy is our guest writer, here to tell you more about her “just-a-bit” approach to appliqué. Welcome, Amy!

    Amy StruckmeyerHi there, Stitch This! readers! I’m Amy, author of A Bit of Appliqué: Easy Projects with Modern Flair, and I’m so happy to be visiting here today.

    Appliqué is an enjoyable way to embellish sewing projects, making them distinctly one of a kind. I wrote A Bit of Appliqué to share ideas for modern, colorful, and whimsical everyday items, each featuring just “a bit” of one or more appliqué techniques.

    If you take on small projects and do a little at a time, it’s not difficult. I promise! The designs in the book aren’t complex. In fact, I find that simple, graphic drawings and images (children’s drawings and folk art, among them) translate quite well into amazing appliqué designs. Start with easier techniques, like raw-edge fusible appliqué, then move on to others, such as turned-edge, reverse, and bias-tape appliqué. If you’ve ever wanted to try appliqué but thought it might be too difficult, A Bit of Appliqué offers low-anxiety projects to get you started!

    For an easy first project, try the “Prairie Blooms Throw Pillow.” Simply lay out the no-fray wool felt “flowers,” topstitch the long, curvy stems, and then attach the felt shapes with a simple straight machine stitch.

    Prairie Blooms Throw Pillow
    “Prairie Blooms Throw Pillow”

    Or take raw-edge appliqué a step further with the “No. 2 Pencil Pouch,” which uses quilting cotton for the appliqué design. This is such an easy gift to make. And please don’t let the zipper intimidate you—you’ll find the instructions for inserting the zipper to be clear and well-illustrated.

    No. 2 Pencil Pouch
    “No. 2 Pencil Pouch”

    Here’s a quick tip from the book for that pesky fusible web that can be tricky to unpeel:

    Quick tip for fusible web
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    Want to try turned-edge appliqué? The “Spot-On Coasters” use a simple method. Just gather the edges of a patchwork circle around a cardstock template to create a turned edge. After pressing, remove the template, and voila!, you have a finished shape to apply by hand or machine.

    Spot-On Coasters
    “Spot-On Coasters”

    A Bit of Appliqué also touches on other ways to embellish, such as adding hand embroidery, top stitching, and using handmade (or store-bought) bias tape and trim. One of my favorite projects is the “Garden Skirt” for girls, which features both bias tape and raw-edge appliqué. Not only is it embellished with embroidered details, but you also use embroidery floss to hand stitch the flower and leaf shapes in place, giving the design a delightfully whimsical look.

    Garden Skirt
    A drawing by Amy’s daughter inspired “Garden Skirt.”

    See a dozen more projects from A Bit of Appliqué >

    From bags and accessories to wearables and quilts, I hope each project in A Bit of Appliqué will inspire you to try these simple yet striking embellishment methods. Use the templates provided and try the techniques, then take it further and create your own one-of-a-kind appliqué designs.

    Thanks so much for having me here! I’d love for you to visit me on my blog. I’m also on Instagram and Pinterest.

    A Bit of AppliqueThanks for sharing your new book with us, Amy!

    What’s your favorite way to appliqué: hand or machine, turned-edge or raw-edge, fusible or felt? Tell us your preference in the comments and you could win a copy of the A Bit of Appliqué eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    Can’t wait? Buy A Bit of Appliqué now and instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I love fusible! It is great raw edge and also for setting in place for sewing.”

    Carol, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!

    195 comments (read all)

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  3. How to make a quilt pattern from a photo, step by step (video)

    50 eBooks for $8.99 each!

    Do you ever get that not-so-inspired feeling when you sit down to plan your next quilt? You’re not alone! Sometimes we all get a case of the design blahs. But learning how another quilter gets her inspiration can be a fantastic way to jolt yourself out of your stitching rut.

    Case in point: take a look at this photo.

    Photo inspiration for Lawn quilt
    Photo by Heather Scrimsher

    Do you see the makings of a quilt?

    Heather Scrimsher, author of Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images: 15 Patterns Inspired by Urban Life, Architecture, and Beyond, certainly did. She used this photo—with its strong vertical elements and the contrast between the dark tree bark and the bright green grass—to create “Lawn.”

    Lawn quilt
    “Lawn” from Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images

    Heather’s quilt-design technique is appealingly straightforward: she looks at photos of everyday objects, simplifies the messy details into just four basic shapes (squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles), and then starts stitching.

    Watch as Heather explains her design process, transforming this photo of tangled, thorny branches…

    Photo inspiration for Thorny quilt
    Photo by Heather Scrimsher

    Into a clean-lined, modern quilt.
    Thorny quilt
    “Thorny” from Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images
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    Reading this in email? See the “Design your own quilt: from inspiration to design” video at the Stitch This! blog or watch it on YouTube.

    Now it’s your turn! You choose: make one of Heather’s photogenic quilts—she’s done all the work for you—or dig into your stash of photos for inspiration. Everything is fair game—from your vacation snapshots to family photos to pet portraits—and don’t be afraid to take some shots of the everyday objects that surround you. As Heather notes in Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images, “Sometimes even the mundane can become extraordinary when enlarged or colored in a different way.”

    Do you want your photo-inspired quilt to capture a single detail of the photo, or the entire scene?

    Masonry quilt
    Photo of an historic building by Heather Scrimsher and “Masonry” quilt from
    Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images

    Will your design be abstract or faithful to the photo?

    Falling Leaves quilt
    Photo of leaves by Heather Scrimsher and “Fall Leaves” from
    Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images

    Playfully colorful or dominated by calm neutrals?

    Interlinked quilt
    Photo of a chain link fence by Heather Scrimsher and “Interlinked” from
    Graphic Quilts from Everyday Images

    Inspiration is everywhere—you just have to “picture” it!

    Here’s a photo to get you started, taken a few miles up the road from Martingale headquarters.

    Katherine's photo
    Photo by Katherine Evans

    Share a photo you find personally inspiring with us on Facebook or Instagram, or tell us about it in the comments!

    50 eBooks for $8.99 each!

    6 comments (read all)

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  4. Big eBook sale now: Christmas in July Black Friday! (+ giveaway)

    Posted by on July 17, 2015, in quilting & sewing, , ,

    Welcome to our first-ever Christmas in July Black Friday Sale!

    This weekend only, get your choice of 50 instantly downloadable eBooks for $8.99 each.

    50 eBooks for $8.99 each!

    More than half of the eBooks you’ll see below have never been offered at this low price before!

    No waiting for the mail, no shipping costs. Choose, download, and commence creating, all in a matter of minutes.

    This offer doesn’t last long, so start racking up your Black Friday savings now.

    Happy Black Friday shopping—and stitching!


    arrow Never before offered at this price!

    Log Cabin Fever Blended Borders Quilted Devotions 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Becoming a Confident Quilter
    Scrap-Applique Playground Design Create and Quilt Mimi Dietrich's Favorite Applique Quilts More Fabulous Flowers Sunbonnet Sue and Scottie Too
    Quilt Fiesta! Solids, Stripes, Circles, and Squares Fabric + Paint + Thread = Fabulous Exploring Embellishments Bold and Beautiful
    Clever Quarters Too Quilts from the Heart Word Play Quilts Sew Decorative Sew the Perfect Bag


    arrow Bestsellers and reader favorites

    Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space
    Twosey-Foursey Quilts
    The Best of Black Mountain Quilts
    The Simple Joys of Quilting
    Quilting for Joy
    Quilting with My Sister
    Favorite Quilts from Anka's Treasures
    Strips and Strings
    A Fresh Look at Seasonal Quilts
    Sew One and You're Done
    Prairie Children and Their Quilts Artful Applique Quilter's Bounty Triangle Tricks Favorite Traditional Quilts Made Easy
    Handprint Quilts Out of the Box with Easy Blocks Simple Strategies for Scrap Quilts Jack and Jill Quilts Creative Quilt Collection Volume Three

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    Sensational Knitted Socks Easy Knitting for Baby Knitting by Nature Successful Lace Knitting Together or Separate

    CROCHET eBOOKS $8.99

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    Contemporary Crochet Crochet Baby Style Crocheted Sweaters Amigurumi Two! Crocheted Pursenalities

    GIVEAWAY ALERT! It’s our last Christmas in July giveaway: will the lucky winner be you? Our friends at Moda Fabrics and Aurifil Threads have provided an “LOL” Layer Cake by Me and My Sister Designs and a 10-spool “Everyday Colors” thread pack by Jill Finley to give away to you!


    For your chance to win, tell us:

    When do you start making gifts for the holidays: now, later, or too late?

    We’ll choose a winner at random 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 Julie, who says:

    “I think about possible holiday gifts throughout the year and sometimes buy fabric for them, but most years I don’t start working on any gifts until the fall.”

    Julie, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!

    Offer for retail customers and online orders only. No other discounts apply. On select eBooks only. Sale ends Sunday, July 19, 2015, at midnight (PT).

    50 eBooks for $8.99 each!

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  5. Your stash = savings: Christmas gifts for $15, $5, less (+ giveaway!)

    Christmas in July week
    Gift motifs from Christmas is Coming

    How many people would you love to delight with a handmade gift this coming Christmas?

    Does your gift list start out long, only to get shortened after you factor in the time and money it takes to go handmade?

    Let’s keep it real: the art of handmade gift giving lies in efficiency—in both time and dollars spent.

    We say you should have your (fruit) cake and eat it too. Today we’re rounding up some sewing ideas for gifts that you can make—gifts that won’t break your budget because you’ll be sewing from your fabric stash! Spend only on the patterns needed to make those gifts and you’ll enjoy a budget-friendly Christmas, with handmade gifts for all.

    But before we get to those ideas…

    GIVEAWAY ALERT: Our friends at Marcus Fabrics sent us a gorgeous bundle of holiday fabric from their new “Holiday Blooms” line by Faye Burgos—plus a pretty poinsettia panel—to give to one lucky winner!

    Marcus Fabrics Christmas giveaway

    Learn how you can win it all, plus a copy of our #1 best-selling Christmas book, ‘Tis the Season, at the bottom of this post. Get a second chance to win at the Marcus Mentions blog too!

    $5 or less

    Christmas-stash dash: reduce your reds and greens

    Save big when you sew from your stash! The reds and greens in these holiday gems don’t need to be holiday themed.

    Christmas Goose quilt High Strung quilt Holiday Stars Runner
    Christmas Goose,” “High Strung,” and “Holiday Stars Runner

    Download Christmas ePatterns for just $2.00 each (that’s more than 50% off) through Wednesday, July 22.

    Match your stash to 35 more Christmas patterns on sale >

    $15 or less

    Fat-quarter stash dash: lovely lap quilts

    Who on your gift list wouldn’t want to cuddle in a cozy lap quilt? The designed-for-speed patterns in Fast Fat Quarter Quilts will put your fat-quarter stash to work! Pick it up for just $12.99 (or just $7.99 for the eBook).

    Quilts from Fast Fat-Quarter Quilts
    “Sherbet Punch” and “Ocean Waves” from
    Fast Fat Quarter Quilts

    Got yardage?
    Stitch speedy lap quilts with bigger cuts of stash fabrics—check out the variety of designs in Super Quick Quilts ($12.99 print book/$7.99 eBook).

    From Super Quick Quilts
    “Modern Maze” and “Nest” from Super Quick Quilts

    $25 or less

    A year of inspiration for a fabric stash: 2016 calendars

    Let’s flip the stash idea on its head: is someone on your gift list a quilty friend with a hefty stash? Give her the gift of inspiration: one of our gorgeous 2016 wall calendars. (Quantities are limited so order now!)

    Stitches to Savor 2016 Wall-Art Calendar of Designs by Sue Spargo
    Stitches to Savor 2016 Wall-Art Calendar of Designs by Sue Spargo: Experience Sue’s jaw-dropping stitchery in rich, close-up photography—you’ll find yourself reaching out to touch every page!
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    That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2016
    That Patchwork Place Quilt Calendar 2016: For 14 years this beloved calendar has been a favorite of quilters around the world. And this year’s calendar is the best yet! Includes a dozen step-by-step patterns from Carol Hopkins, Kim Diehl, Country Threads, and more.

    $40 or less

    Your stash + stash-busting skills à la Kim Diehl

    Best-selling author Kim Diehl is big on mining her stash to make her stunning quilts, and she’ll show you how you can do it too. Pair any of her books (nine to choose from) with her brand-new appliqué freezer paper for less than $40 and make an extra-special stash quilt for someone you love—or for yourself!

    From Simple Seasons
    “Christmas Magic” from
    Simple Seasons

    Which part of your stash needs more thinning: yardage or precuts? Tell us in the comments and you could win the bundle of "Holiday Blooms" fabric from Marcus Fabrics, the poinsettia panel, plus an eBook copy of ‘Tis the Season! 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 Janet, who says:

    “Yardage definitely! I can’t help myself when I see material that I just have to have.”

    Janet, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!

    Save 20% on select books + free shipping

    490 comments (read all)

  6. Holiday gifts: start knitting now! (yarn giveaway)


    Don’t believe that time flies? Here’s a convincing argument: there are only 23 weeks until Christmas.

    Eep! How many Christmas knitting projects can you complete in a week? July means it’s time to make a list of your Christmas craft ideas and start working (or sprinting) toward the goal.

    Check out these roundups of holiday crochet gifts and knit gift ideas for inspiration:

    Holiday-themed patterns
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    Gifts for everyone on your list
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    Handmade holiday roundup
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    12 make-in-a-day gifts


    Our friends at Cascade Yarns have been spending time in their yarn labs lately brewing brand new colors, and we couldn’t be more excited. They have generously sponsored today’s giveaway with two skeins of their Heritage Prints yarn in the dashing new color, "Holidays." Candy-cane-a-licious!

    Knitted swatch from Cascade Heritage Prints "Holidays" above.

    Which is your holiday gifting style: handmade gifts for everyone or handmade heirlooms for a few precious people? Tell us in the comments and you’ll be entered into the drawing to win two skeins of Cascade Heritage Prints in the brand-new color, "Holidays." We’ll pick a winner one week from today and notify the winner by email.

    Check out the find-a-store tool at Cascade Yarns’ website. Plus: a little birdie told us that your local yarn shop might be hosting a Christmas in July special or event. Call ’em up to find out—what a perfect excuse to go shopping!

    Comments are closed for this post. 

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

    "I like to knit for my five nieces. I don’t get to see them often as they live far  away.  Always nice to have hand made items for family members."

    Carol, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!

    297 comments (read all)

  7. Stitch a whimsical Christmas: new season’s greetings (+ fabric giveaway!)

    Christmas in July week at Stitch This!

    Blend folk-art charm with the Christmas spirit and what do you get? Holiday trimmings that will capture your heart.

    Patchwork Table Runner
    “Patchwork Table Runner” from
    Season’s Greetings
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    Embroidery from Seasons GreetingsThe signature style of Aussie designer Anni Downs features a vintage-country color palette that’s warm, sweet, and unique. Now we’ve collected the best of her Christmas projects in Season’s Greetings—and if you haven’t seen Anni’s designs, get ready to add a dash of whimsy to everything you create.

    Anni is a guest writer today at Stitch This!, here to show how you can embroider and appliqué your way to a happy holiday. Welcome, Anni!

    GIVEAWAY ALERT! Our friends at Henry Glass shipped us a bundle of Anni’s charming “Under the Mistletoe” fabric to give away to you!

    Under the Mistletoe fabric by Anni Downs

    See how you can win it, plus an eBook copy of Season’s Greetings, at the bottom of this post.

    Anni Downs

    What I love most in the world of sewing is making things by hand. Handwork is transportable, sociable, and great to meditate with, so almost all the projects in Season’s Greetings provide handwork in the form of stitchery, appliqué, and punchneedle.

    There are many different projects to choose from. Some are fast for gift giving, such as a present pouch or wine holder:
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    Santa's Satchel and Smal Treasure Totes
    “Santa’s Satchel” and “Small Treasure Totes” from
    Season’s Greetings
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    Other projects take a little more time but will become heirlooms to treasure, such as the “12 Days of Christmas” embroidered wall hanging.

    12 Days of Christmas
    “12 Days of Christmas”
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    My favorite project is the “Christmas Story Quilt.” Many motifs from this versatile quilt can be used to make wall hangings, pillows, apron adornments, or any number of other projects. You could easily add a name here or there to personalize it too!

    Christmas Story Quilt
    “Christmas Story Quilt”
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    Humbug quilt block(By the way, the Humbug block is my favorite block in the quilt—it’s in reference to my grandfather, who would always sit to the side, watching all the festivities play around him.)

    As a child I loved Advent calendars, so I made my very own Advent calendar with different images to uncover each day leading up to Christmas.

    Countdown to Christmas Advent calendar
    “Countdown to Christmas” Advent calendar
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    The designs in the Advent calendar are used in other projects from the book, including punchneedle ornaments and painted gift tags. Many of the projects in Season’s Greetings use the same designs worked in different techniques. For instance, a tree motif might be embroidered on a gift tote and also needlepunched on an ornament.

    My children both like the little “He’s Making a List” wall hanging, and we all have fun moving family names from “Nice” to “Naughty” and back again in the days leading up to Christmas.

    He's Making a List wall hanging
    “He’s Making a List” wall hanging

    There are many traditions at Christmas. I hope Season’s Greetings will start up more traditions for you, and stay with your family forever.

    Season's GreetingsThanks for taking us on a stroll through Season’s Greetings, Anni!

    What’s a Christmas tradition in your family: gifts on Christmas Eve, caroling, baking day? Tell us in the comments and you could win the “Under the Mistletoe” fabric bundle from Henry Glass plus the Season’s Greetings eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    Can’t wait to find out if you’re a winner? Buy Season’s Greetings right now and instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “My favorite Christmas tradition was one we started with our kids when they were very young. On Christmas morning we would start their daddy reading the Christmas story from the Bible. He would then pray and thank God for His Perfect Gift and for each child. Then starting with the youngest child (we have 5), that child would pass out his/her Christmas gifts first and one by one each person would open their gift, followed by hugs and kisses to the one who gave them that gift. Then going on, youngest to oldest all the gifts were given and received. It would take longer, but was it was so much fun to watch each face as they delighted in all their gifts and showed love to their siblings.”

    Pamela, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!

    644 comments (read all)

  8. Beat the sewing rush: Christmas in July (sale + fabric giveaway!)

    Christmas in July week at Stitch This!

    Welcome to Christmas in July week at Stitch This! Get ready for a week of inspiration and fun, plus BIG giveaways every day—our special gift to you. Happy holiday stitching!

    When the temperature climbs toward triple digits, what better place to hide out and stay cool than at your sewing machine? And if you’re looking for summer stitch-spiration, now is the perfect time to get a jump on holiday projects.

    Holly Sox pillow
    “Holly Sox Pillow” from ’Tis the Season

    It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush finishing your last quilt or gift just in time for the big 12/25, but speeding through Christmas projects tends to take some of the fun away from the process. Starting now means you have plenty of time to choose fabric, be creative, and enjoy your sewing—not to mention more time to enjoy the holiday season when it arrives! For dozens of great ideas, check out these books packed with sweet and simple Christmas projects to make. Plus, don’t miss our fantastic giveaway!

    Save 20% on select books + free shipping

    Sew Merry and Bright includes a variety of fast and fun holiday ideas ranging from adorable felt ornaments to quick quilt projects. Use bright, bold prints to make this cute chevron pillow to brighten up your space or give to someone special:

    From Sew Merry and Bright
    “Noel Pillow” from Sew Merry and Bright

    Fill your sleigh with 20 more “merry and bright” projects >
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    Christmas Is Coming includes 13 beautiful appliqué projects to choose from. This elegant wall hanging adorned with red and white poinsettias would be wonderful to display or give come December.

    From Christmas is Coming
    “Christmas Bouquet Wall Hanging” from
    Christmas Is Coming

    See an adorable (and fusible) children’s Christmas pageant quilt >
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    In Simply Modern Christmas, Cindy Lammon’s projects combine traditional designs with a fresh, updated look, and many of her quilts work perfectly for any season depending on your fabric choice. These simple quilted stockings would be fun to stitch up for everyone in the family:

    From Simply Modern Christmas
    “Stockings” from Simply Modern Christmas

    Rooted in tradition, refreshingly updated: see more >
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    If the folk-art look is more your style, ’Tis the Season has lots of charming options to decorate your home, including this matching wool appliqué runner and pillow with sweet primitive stars.

    From Tis the Season
    “Winter Cottage Pillow and Runner” from ’Tis the Season

    A #1 best-seller: fun projects to finish before your first holiday party >

    GIVEAWAY ALERT! Our friends at Riley Blake have given us this lovely bundle of “Lost and Found Christmas” fabric to give to you!

    Riley Blake fabric giveaway

    For your chance to win it, tell us: What’s your approach to Christmas quilting? Do you usually get a head start or wait until the last minute? Let us know in the comments and you could win the “Lost and Found Christmas” fabric bundle from Riley Blake PLUS one of the featured books aboveyour choice! 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 Sarah, who says:

    “I bought the material and pattern for my first modern Christmas quilt. Knowing me, it won’t get started until the fall.”

    Sarah, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!

    704 comments (read all)

  9. Who’s the Quilters Hall of Fame inductee for 2015? (+ giveaway!)

    From Baltimore Blocks for BeginnersWho’s the Quilters Hall of Fame inductee for 2015? Let’s see if you can guess:

    • She started out with a dream to write a single quilt book. That first book has sold nearly 250,000 copies and is Martingale’s best-selling book of all time. She’s written 15 more books during her career.
    • She’s a master appliqué teacher, and she’s taught her techniques to quilters around the United States for more than 20 years.
    • She is the “founding mother” of the Baltimore Appliqué Society.

    That first quilt book was Happy Endings, and the 2015 Quilters Hall of Fame inductee is…Mimi Dietrich!

    On July 1618, 2015, the Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana, will honor Mimi’s many accomplishments with a weekend of quiltmaking fun. We got in touch with Mimi to ask her about the upcoming celebration. Here’s what she had to say.

    Mimi Dietrich“When I learned that I would be inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame, they asked me to exhibit my quilts. Of course, I accepted. My granddaughter said, ‘Grammy, you just need to go upstairs and get them!’ But I also asked for a second exhibit…my students’ quilts! Because I’m a teacher, I felt that my students should be honored with me. I teach classes that introduce quilters to the basics of appliqué and Baltimore Album quilts. Many of my students fall in love with the techniques, and then take their quiltmaking skills to higher levels. It’s so much fun to see what they accomplish. Many of them are coming to Indiana to celebrate my induction. I just wouldn’t be there without them!”

    How does it feel to be inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame, and what does it mean to you?

    Mimi: I feel overwhelmed! When I look at the list of honorees before me, I realize that many of them are teachers that got me started (in person and on TV), magazine editors that brought quilts into my home, and quilters who brought the quilt world together. My favorite honoree is the very first, Dr. William Rush Dunton. He wrote a book about Baltimore Album quilts, and he lived in my hometown. I feel grateful and blessed to be honored for doing something I love. It’s amazing!

    Tell us about a few of your favorites over the years:

    Favorite book?
    Mimi: My books with a Baltimore theme are my favorites because I live in Baltimore. My Pink Ribbon Quilts book is also a favorite because it touched quilters with breast cancer. My A Quilter’s Diary book is right up there, too, because it got quilters to think about their lives and how to tell personal stories with quilt blocks.

    Books by Mimi Dietrich

    Favorite class to teach?
    Mimi: I teach a yearlong Baltimore appliqué class. I love it because the students really get to know each other and become friends. I feel like we’re re-creating history in the place where these quilts were first made. Oh, and my students also learn a great variety of appliqué techniques!

    You’re a world-renowned quiltmaking teacher—in fact, you were named Teacher of the Year in 2013 by Professional Quilter magazine. In all your years of teaching, what one experience stands out as the best? The worst? The funniest?

    Mimi: The best moments are when when I realize that quilting is more than just stitching, when I realize that students take my class to help them get through bad times in their lives, and when I realize that I have made a difference in their lives—and they have made a difference in mine!

    The worst moment was when too many quilters showed up for a class at a guild. There were not enough chairs, tables, or handouts. Nobody would admit they hadn’t signed up. We just got off to a rocky start. I like to be organized!

    The funniest moment: the night my friend and I were teaching at Quilt Odyssey, wearing our cute little pink quilter’s shirts, and we got into a hotel elevator. We were surrounded by big men in black leather and tattoos…the Lynyrd Skynyrd rock band! We talked about their grandmothers making quilts. It was a great story to tell in classes.

    You were quilting before it was cool—and now it’s ultra-cool! What do you think of the new surge of modern quilters who have caught the quilting bug?

    Mimi: I love the modern quilters and their designs! They still use traditional elements but design patterns that make it easy to create quilts in this busy world.

    From a Quilter's DiaryWhat do you see in your future as a quiltmaker, and what do you see for the future of quilting?

    Mimi: I’m not traveling much anymore, but I’m still teaching my yearlong classes in the Baltimore area. I want to keep this beautiful tradition alive in the place where it started.

    It’s hard to imagine what’s next in the future of quilting. I think traditional quilts will always be with us and will inspire new designs. Lately, I’ve been amazed at hexies and English paper piecing designs—love those Millefiore designs—and they’re really all based on the quilts I know as the traditional Grandmother’s Flower Garden. It’s wonderful to see what new creative ideas are out there!

    We send many congratulations to Mimi for receiving this honor from the Quilters Hall of Fame. Thank you for continuing to inspire us all these years!

    The mission of The Quilters Hall of Fame is to celebrate quilting by honoring the accomplishments of people who have made outstanding contributions to the world of quilting. You can learn more about the organization here.

    You can visit Mimi online at mimidietrich.com.

    Have you taken a class, bought a book, or been inspired by Mimi in some way? Leave your stories and congratulations for Mimi in the comments and you could win a copy of two of Mimi’s popular books: Happy Endings and Baltimore Blocks for Beginners! 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 Linda, who says:

    “I have never had the opportunity to take a class from Mimi, but I feel so inspired just looking at the cover of Baltimore Blocks for Beginners! Congratulations Mimi!!!!”

    Linda, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!

    Win these books by Mimi Dietrich!

    More from Mimi:
    SO many ways!: finishing binding on quilts
    Re-creating the star-spangled banner

    Save 20% on select books + free shipping

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  10. Freezer-paper appliqué: the Kim Diehl way (+ BIG giveaway!)

    Freezer-paper applique templateDo you buy those giant rolls of freezer paper from the grocery store for your appliqué?

    If you’re like many, you do—and you know how awkward it can be to use. The paper’s too big! It coils into a tube unless you place a paperweight on each corner for tracing and cutting. (My workspace is in my kitchen. Potato paperweights are common.) And have you ever had enough luck to rip a straight piece of freezer paper across those flimsy metal teeth on the box?

    It’s a clumsy task…not a fun way to start a new project.

    Kim Diehl's Best Applique Freezer PaperNine-time best-selling author Kim Diehl uses freezer-paper patterns to create her stunning appliqué quilts all the time. And she’s created a much easier way to get the job done. (Doesn’t she always?)

    Introducing Kim Diehl’s Best Appliqué Freezer Paper—convenient 8½" x 11″ sheets that are easy to draw on, trace on, cut up, and run through an ink-jet printer. And no more coiling paper—Kim’s handy sheets lie flat!

    Kim’s new papers (30 per pack) come with a free pattern too:

    Kim Diehl free pattern
    “Folk-Art Dish Garden” pattern—free when you buy
    Kim Diehl’s Best Appliqué Freezer Paper

    The papers have many uses beyond appliqué. For instance, you can iron the shiny side of two freezer-paper sheets together to make sturdy template material. Cut out and use your templates again and again.

    Make a freezer-paper template

    You can also use Kim Diehl’s Best Appliqué Freezer Paper as a stabilizer, making it easy to run a sheet of fabric through an ink-jet printer when you’re printing on fabric. (Make personalized quilt labels in a snap.)

    GIVEAWAY ALERT: Kim and our friends at Henry Glass have teamed up for a BIG giveaway today! Not only can you enter below to win a fat-quarter bundle of Kim’s new “Gathering Basket” fabric line plus a pack of Kim’s new papers…

    Gathering Basket fabric giveaway

    …you can also enter to win the same prize again at the Henry Glass blog. That’s double the chances to win!

    BONUS: Kim is so excited to introduce her new freezer paper, she designed an all-new free pattern to give away to everyone, just to inspire you to try the papers. Here’s what she says about her latest quilt design, “Snowball Blossoms.”

    Snowball Blossoms quilt

    “This little scrappy-style quilt is cute as a button. It features Snowball-block blossoms in the quilt center, simple appliquéd leaves, a handful of berries, and very basic piecing for the patchwork border. An ideal project for the appliqué papers!”

    Download Kim’s free “Snowball Blossoms” pattern at the Henry Glass site.

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    Now’s the perfect time to stock up on Kim Diehl books AND papers. Buy Kim’s new papers + any two of Kim’s best-selling books below and earn FREE shipping.*

    Kim Diehl's Best Applique Freezer Paper Simple Applique Simple Appeal Simple Charm Homestyle Quilts
    Simple Graces Simple Seasons Simple Blessings Simple Comforts Simple Traditions

    What’s the most recent thing you appliquéd—or are you an appliqué newbie? Tell us in the comments and you could win the “Gathering Basket” fabric bundle from Henry Glass plus a copy of Kim Diehl’s Best Appliqué Freezer Paper! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    Good luck—and remember to visit the Henry Glass blog for another chance to win!

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I appliqued a ‘woodsy’ wall hanging as a gift for my brother’s cabin. Thanks very much for a chance. Absolutely love Kim’s fabrics and patterns and it would be great to try out her new freezer paper sheets.”

    Diane, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!

    *Free shipping to the US and Canada only; order must total $40.00 for free shipping to apply. Must sign in or register first; free shipping will apply at checkout.

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