1. Do you pop your quilt-block seams? (how-to video)

    Last month we shared a video from Carrie Nelson that explained how to get quilt-block centers to nest together perfectly. Her how-to is a game changer!

    Today we’re excited to share another video from Carrie that reveals how to press quilt block seams so your blocks lay super-flat and nest perfectly together with other blocks when it comes time to sew them together.

    All it takes is a pint-sized pop. A tiny twist. A teeny twirl. Watch Carrie work her magic!


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

    The technique works for any unit or block where four fabrics meet. Give it a try! We promise your blocks, your quilt top—and whoever will be machine quilting your quilt—will thank you!

    Sometimes you just need a friend to show you the little tricks they know. You can bet that inside Carrie’s latest book, Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites, you’ll find more simple sewing tips that’ll make you say, “Thanks, Miss Rosie!”

    Carrie’s sewing tips are just icing on the cake—in the book you’ll fall for a dozen delightful quilt designs that are just Miss Rosie’s style:

    Three Barns quilt
    Of this Three Barns quilt, Carrie says, “You’re thinking I went a little overboard with the stars, aren’t you? It isn’t possible! When it comes to stars, more is always better! How do I know? Go outside tonight and look up into the sky. I rest my case.”

    Stella Blue quilt
    Of this Stella Blue quilt, Carrie says, “The block in this quilt is a simple Star block, often called an Eight-Pointed Star, Sawtooth Star, or Variable Star. I placed background fabrics randomly in the blocks, and I purposely made flying-geese units with two small triangles that matched in color but were not the same print.”

    Cracked Pots quilt
    Of this Cracked Pots quilt, Carrie says, “Due to my love affair with 1½"-wide strips, I wanted to make something that would let me indulge myself while still making something different. (An extra-quiltacular affair, if you will.) The Courthouse Steps block seemed perfect. And, I wanted houses in my quilt—another way to use those 1½"-wide strips!”

    Check out this Instagram pic from @richyjr16 of SpazzyCat Designs—he transformed Cracked Pots into a fun Halloween quilt. (Don’t worry, no Halloween frights in his neighborhood!)

    So, how do you flatten your quilt-block seams:

    • I use the same method as Carrie!
    • I press all my seams open.
    • I press, press, press . . . and then I press again.

    Tell us your method in the comments!

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  2. Hold a history of American quiltmaking in your hands (+ giveaway!)

    Whether you fall head over heels for every antique quilt you see or you’re intrigued by quiltmakers of the past—our latest coffee-table book, American Quilt Treasures, was made for you. We’re elated to introduce this beautiful new book to you today!

    American Quilt Treasures

    Inside this exquisite hardcover volume, you’ll take a fascinating behind-the-scenes journey through a curated collection of quilts housed at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world. The museum graciously allowed Martingale to photograph 65 one-of-a-kind quilts, ranging from just 30 years old to an incredible 197 years old. Many of these quilts have unknown makers; but in this lavish coffee-table book devoted to a visual storytelling of American quiltmaking, those makers’ voices are heard through their stitches—and their talents are celebrated.

    Prepare to be whisked away by astonishing patchwork and awe-inspiring appliqué, all captured in lavish, detailed photography. Here’s a little peek:

    You’ll marvel at the variety of quilts included, such as a jaw-dropping 1870s quilt featuring 2,750 half-square triangles (see below); a 1940s quilt embellished with more than 11,000 buttons (it weighs 65 pounds!); and an astounding Civil Warera appliqué quilt that sold at auction for more than a quarter of a million dollars in 1991. You’ll be captivated by the creativity and persistence of quilters from the past—and as you turn each page, you’ll discover the enduring impact that quilts of yesteryear have on quiltmakers of today.

    Here are a few more favorite examples from the book, chosen by Martingale’s publisher, Jennifer Keltner, who was at the museum when photos were taken for the book.

    Birds in the Air quilt
    Of this circa 1890 Birds in the Air Quilt by Mary Linderburger, possibly made in New Jersey, Jennifer says, “Everything old is new again—at least it seems that way when you study the strong visual graphic of this quilt. From a distance, the quilt appears almost as if you’re looking through a screen. The careful placement of bubblegum pinks in each block, composed entirely of half-square triangles, is the key.”

    Prairie Point Bull's Eye quilt
    Of this Prairie Point Bull’s Eye, possibly from Tennessee by an unknown maker, Jennifer says, “I look at this circa 1960 quilt and wonder: what was the maker thinking? Where did the fabrics come from for her to make this? It includes cottons, polyesters, sheers, solids, and prints—and an incredible amount of patience. ’Round and ’round she goes. How she knew when to stop? Nobody knows.”

    Flying Geese quilt
    Of this Flying Geese quilt, known only to be from the United States and created by an unknown maker, Jennifer says, “Do you see an ugly duckling or a beautiful swan of a quilt? This circa 1860 quilt, more than any other in
    American Quilt Treasures, seems to illicit a ‘love it’ or ‘don’t like it’ response. It’s one of my favorites in the book for its simple repetition, the changes of direction, and the red and green scrappy prints used.”

    From simply breathtaking works to quilts that seem simply impossible to create, you’ll be inspired to keep this book close to enjoy for years to come. And as the publisher of this visual account of important American quilts, we hope we’ve helped give a voice to those quilters with one collective name: “maker unknown.” Please note: patterns are not included in the book.

    There’s one more exciting thing we got to do when we visited the museum to photograph the book. Museum volunteers were kind enough to allow us to film how they store the amazing quilts in their collection:


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

    If you aren’t storing your heirloom quilts this way, you may want to start now! Don’t forget the white gloves. 🙂

    American Quilt TreasuresWho would you like to give a copy of American Quilt Treasures to (besides yourself, of course!): a mother, a grandmother, or maybe a daughter, son, or friend? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of American Quilt Treasures! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

    If you’re ready to start your history lesson now (or to give the book to a friend this Christmas?), you can get your copy of American Quilt Treasures at your local quilt shop or at ShopMartingale.com.

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  3. National Sewing Month ideas: put on your Santa hat early this year! 🎅

    National Sewing Month ideasHave you been celebrating National Sewing Month? There’s no better excuse to carve out some extra time to sew in September. In fact, you can tell everyone it’s your duty and responsibility to sew. It’s a national month, people!

    Today we’re thinking ahead to the hustle and bustle of Christmas—and how every year, we wish we had more time for holiday sewing. This year we’ve got the solution: start NOW!

    Below we’re spotlighting some of our favorite projects from books with a holiday vibe. From quick-to-make decorations to quilts that’ll become a holiday tradition to hang (or cuddle with) in your home, give yourself the gift of leisurely sewing before the flurry of the festive season arrives. Just think—cozying up in a quilt, in front of a blazing fire on Christmas Eve . . . instead of sitting at your sewing machine (we’ve all been there!).

    And here’s an early gift from us, to you: SAVE 40% on all the books we’re featuring in today’s post! Happy holidays!


    Joy to the World Pillow
    From Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery by Gail Pan

    Joy to the World pillow
    Picture settling into a quiet September afternoon with a bit of holiday embroidery. Heaven! You need only know (or learn) the easiest embroidery stitches to create this cute design—and the patchwork is even easier.

    See 16 more projects in Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery >
    $24.99 Now only $14.99


    To All a Good Night quilt
    From ’Tis the Season by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks

    To All a Good Night quilt
    Scrappy Nine Patch blocks, both big and small, will shrink your stash or your scrap pile. Jeanne and Shelley’s fusible-appliqué technique, along with big, chunky shapes, makes the border as breezy as Santa floating up the chimney.

    See 13 more projects in ’Tis the Season >
    $24.99 Now only $14.99


    The Stockings Were Hung
    From A Change of Seasons by Bonnie Sullivan

    The Stockings Were Hung
    Use a cozy combination of flannel, linen, and wool to create these keepsake stockings, all sharing special holiday wishes with the loved ones who are lucky enough to receive them.

    See 15 more projects in A Change of Seasons >
    $27.99 Now only $16.79


    Christmas Cookie Apron
    From Celebrate Christmas with That Patchwork Place

    Christmas Cookie Apron
    A tea-towel challenge led to the creation of this ruffly, fat-quarter-friendly apron. Put your piles of Christmas prints to good use—make aprons in multiples for gifts and ensure you’ll be invited into many holiday kitchens this December!

    See 21 more projects in Celebrate Christmas with That Patchwork Place >
    $26.99 Now only $16.19


    Welcome to the North Pole quilt
    From Welcome to the North Pole by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins

    Welcome to the North Pole quilt
    It’s the 20th anniversary of this whimsical book—you can see why it’s been a favorite for so long! Stitch Santa’s entire North Pole village in appliqué, or simply make a block or two to feature in a runner or wall quilt. Either way, Santa will be delighted when he visits your house come Christmas.

    See more from Welcome to the North Pole >
    $16.95 Now only $10.17


    What have you sewn so far this September to celebrate National Sewing Month: a quilt, a pillow, a bag . . . a button? Tell us in the comments!

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  4. These sweet thread-spool blocks are a piece of cake to make! 🍰 (+ giveaway!)

    We are “sew” excited to be a part of Peta Peace’s mega-big, mega-fun, 28-stop (!) blog tour for her new book A Piece of Cake!

    Peta challenged one of us at Martingale to create a little something from her book. I was totally up for the challenge—mainly because when I saw Peta’s Modern Spools quilt, it was love at first stitch:

    Modern Spools quilt
    Modern Spools

    I decided to make a mini version of the quilt to share with you today. I had chosen a Layer Cake to use, but because this pattern is so versatile—and I heard some happy leftover Jelly Roll strips calling out to me!—I decided to try Jelly Roll strips in place of the Layer Cake squares. Here’s how my little quilt turned out:



    Straight-line spiral quilting and scrappy binding, which I can never resist.

    I love my sweet little spools! A Layer Cake for the centers of the spools works great, but the space allows for scrappier spools too (if, like me, you prefer the scrappier side of life).

    Peta’s book is full of fun Layer Cake quilts to make—here are a few of my other favorites:

    A Piece of Cake Layer Cake quilt
    A Piece of Cake: slice your Layer Cake squares just like a piece of sheet cake, and in no time you’ll have a beautiful quilt to show off!

    Square Peg in a Round Hole Layer Cake quilt
    Square Peg in a Round Hole: I love the play on angles and curves in this quilt. Learn a cool reverse-appliqué technique from Peta to set the plus signs on the hot-pink background fabric.

    Wrapped in Love Layer Cake quilt
    Wrapped in Love: this quilt is so sweet and simple—who wouldn’t love to own it? Make it as a baby quilt, a wall quilt, or a “just because” gift for someone you love.

    Check out what people on Instagram are making from A Piece of Cake—and see many more versions of Peta’s quilts on her blog tour! Find the tour schedule at the end of this post.

    A Piece of CakeTo celebrate Peta’s BIG tour, we’re giving away a copy of A Piece of Cake to one lucky winner today! To enter to win, tell us:

    How many Layer Cake bundles do you think you could create from your stash (there are typically forty 10″ squares per bundle)?

    • 1 to 5 bundles
    • 6 to 10 bundles
    • SEW MANY BUNDLES!

    Share your answer in the comments—we’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you can’t wait to start playing with your Layer Cakes (or Jelly Roll leftovers!), you can order A Piece of Cake at ShopMartingale.com and instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “If I were to cut my fabric into layer cakes, I would never live long enough to complete the project!!”

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


    Thanks for letting us be a part of your tour, Peta! Visit these blogs for more fun from A Piece of Cake:

    August 14: Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane

    August 15: Jemima of Tied with a Ribbon

    August 16: Samantha of Aqua Paisley Studio

    August 17: Andy of A Bright Corner

    August 18: Kirsty of Bonjour Quilts

    August 19: Lisa of A Spoonful of Sugar Designs

    August 20: Alison of Cotton Factory

    August 21: Carrie of Moda Fabrics

    August 22: Nadra of Ellis and Higgs

    August 23: Angie of Gnome Angel

    August 24: Tara of Tara Sews

    August 25: Jules of The Creative Retreat

    August 26: Kristyne of Pretty by Hand

    August 27: Kimberly of Fat Quarter Shop

    August 28: Lissa of Moda Lissa

    August 29: Amy of Diary of a Quilter

    August 30: Kerry of Kid Giddy and Cat of Hello from Cat on Instagram

    August 31: Jane of Modern Makers Retreat

    September 1: Kate of Never Enough Hours

    September 2: Jodie of Vintage Ric Rac

    September 3: Sharon of Patches Indooroopilly (in store and online!)

    September 4: Amanda of Material Girl Quilts

    September 5: Amber of A Little Bit Biased

    September 6: Xanthe of Wife-Made

    September 7: Rachel of Family Ever After

    September 8: Jenny of Martingale’s Stitch This! blog (that’s us!)

    September 9: Amy of Nana Company

    September 10: Peta of She Quilts A Lot

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  5. Wish list day! Kim 💛 Moda 💜 Sisters 💚 Edyta 💙 (+ giveaway!)

    It’s a wonderful day—it’s Wish List Day! We’re counting down to a new batch of beautiful Martingale books arriving in October. Tell us which new release is your favorite and you could win it!

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

    Simple HarvestSimple Harvest
    A Bounty of Scrappy Quilts and More
    Kim Diehl

    In her 11th “Simple” book, Kim Diehl is in her happy place—the autumn season! Packed with projects, sewing tips, decorating ideas, and even recipes, Simple Harvest is your one-stop book for capturing the colors, the warmth, and the cozy feel of fall.

    Mix snuggly wools and crisp cottons in 19 pretty projects that will inspire you all season long. Want to make something quick? Try Kim’s mini penny garland, half-pint mason-jar pincushion, and the cutest little needle keep you’ve ever seen (yes, you need another one!). Want to re-create one of Kim’s masterpieces? Her October Twilight and Harvest Tapestry quilts will take your breath away. No need for appliqué fears—Kim will make you a convert with her ingenious invisible-machine appliqué technique. Best of all? These projects may celebrate fall, but you can display, use, and cuddle with them throughout the year!

    Projects from Simple Harvest

    See more of Kim’s fantastic fall creations >


    Moda All-Stars: All in a RowModa All-Stars: All in a Row Again
    23 Row-by-Row Quilt Designs
    Compiled by Lissa Alexander

    Ready to row again with Martingale and the Moda All-Stars? We’re counting down the days until this amazing sequel arrives! Join 23 Moda sewing stars who’ve designed rows in four creative categories: Flowers and Trees; Critters and Creatures; Buildings and Houses; and Classic Patchwork. The book also includes 10 blender rows that perfectly fit the width of each designer row. Make just one row for a fast runner, wall quilt, or gift, or choose your favorite rows to make bigger quilts—it’s entirely up to you! And, as in all the “Moda All-Stars” books, you’ll enjoy questionaires that let you get to know each designer—it’s what makes every All-Star book extra fun.

    Rows and projects from Moda All-Stars: All in a Row Again

    See this and more books in the “Moda All-Stars” series >

    JOIN US ON FACEBOOK! Our “All in a Row” Facebook group is gearing up for some fun row sewing in the weeks to come. Follow the page and get in on sneak peeks, giveaways, and more leading up to the book’s release!


    Easy Layer Cake QuiltsEasy Layer-Cake Quilts
    Simple Quilts That Start with 10″ Squares
    Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson

    Me and My Sister Designs are back with more sensationally simple quilts and loads of Layer-Cake style! The sisters are famous for those little tricks that make simple blocks look more complex than they truly are. A Layer Cake, a background fabric, and a border fabric are all you need to begin. Eleven fun-to-stitch projects include a stitch-and-flip Cake Walk quilt, a Chevron-style string quilt, an off-center Log Cabin quilt, and a pretty pieced-flower quilt (for those of you who love flowers but are allergic to appliqué). Let this dynamic duo teach you how to whip those Layer Cakes into tasty quilts—for cuddling, for giving, or just because!

    Projects from Easy Layer-Cake Quilts

    See more easy quilts you can create with a Cake! >

    A special note: Before we introduce our final book for October, we have news we’re excited to share with you. We hope we’ve earned your appreciation for the books that Martingale publishes. Now, we’re rounding out our offerings with a few additional books from other publishers that will also be distributed by Martingale. We hope you enjoy our first distributor release: Edyta Sitar’s Patches of Blue.

    Patches of BluePatches of Blue
    17 Quilt Patterns & a Gallery of Inspiring Antique Quilts
    Edyta Sitar

    Join the two-color craze! Acclaimed author and designer Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts shares dozens of antique blue-and-white quilts in a gallery of inspiring photos; then she follows with patterns for 17 breathtaking two-color quilt designs. Mixed in with a parade of stunning quilts are photographs taken in and around Edyta’s home in southern California. Take a journey with Edyta as she embraces a fresh start in a new location, exploring the beauty of the California coast. Her signature style is artfully reflected in these exquisite quilts—after taking time to pet each page, you’ll want to make them all.

    Projects and gallery images from Patches of Blue

    See more from Patches of Blue >


    Which new books would make your October awesome? Tell us your favorite 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 Gwen, who says:

    “All in a Row Again would be my first choice but any of them would make me happy. Great selection for this wish list day.”

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

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  6. 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
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    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!

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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!

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  9. 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:


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    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!

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  10. 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!


    Lori KennedyFINDING THE BEST TENSION

    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):


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    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!

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