1. What is your quilty name?

    Welcome to Quilt Town!

    The Village Square quilt from Irish Chain Quilts
    “The Village Square” from Irish Chain Quilts (available in May; add to wish list)

    Quilt Town is the coziest city on earth, a place where all persons, places, and things are snuggled up in—you guessed it—quilts! You, me, rooftops, tree trunks, mailboxes, swimming-pool covers…

    The Village Square quilt detailAll the quilters in Quilt Town are granted special powers: perfect ¼" seams, flawless matching points, and boundless creativity. Plus a never-ending supply of calorie-free chocolate.

    In Quilt Town, it’s never more than a two-block walk to the local quilt shop. Why? Because there’s a quilt shop every two blocks!

    Now, in Quilt Town we all have special names. Cozy, quilty names. And if you’re reading this post—PATCHACADABRA!—you just became an honorary citizen of Quilt Town. And all honorary citizens are granted their own special, cozy quilty names. Find out your quilty name below.

    What is your Quilt Town name?

    Thanks for visiting Quilt Town! Stop by anytime you need a quilting fix or a quilting friend.

    P.S. We originally named our quilty city "Quiltville;" our apologies to the Quiltville down the road! A few people pointed out that the name we chose for our city is already on the map. Talk about an oops. Of course we know and love Bonnie Hunter’s site; our memory simply failed us when coming up with a name for our little game.

    Want to create a little Quilt Town of your own? Check out these fun, city-inspired patterns:

    House quilts from Fig Tree Quilts: Houses
    Fig Tree Quilts: Houses (individual ePatterns also available)

    Quilted bed runner from Christmas is Coming
    Christmas Is Coming

    House quilt from Folk-Art Favorites
    From Folk-Art Favorites

    What’s your quilt name in Quilt Town? Tell us in the comments!

    Save 40% on select eBooks this week!

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  2. One goofproof way to choose quilt colors (+ sale)

    How to choose quilt colors: block mockups

    Fabric color wheelIf you’ve ever wished that quilt color combinations would come to you via instinct, intuition, or a reoccurring series of color-splashed dreams, you’re not alone. Let’s face it: some quilters have a natural gift for choosing colors. And then there’s the rest of us!

    Lessons in color theory are helpful, but there’s no substitute for auditioning fabrics with the one foolproof tool that’s always available: your own two eyes.

    That’s where handy (and fun!) quilt-block mock-ups come in. In Color for the Terrified Quilter, Sharon Pederson and Ionne McCauley share an easy way to audition fabrics in a single block. Enjoy the freedom to try different color combinations and get the look you want—all before you get to the sewing stage.

    How to choose quilt colors: making a block mock-up

    from Color for the Terrified Quilter by Sharon Pederson and Ionne McCauley

    1. Make at least two photocopies of the block pattern you plan to use, enlarging if desired.

    2. Gather a glue stick, pencil for making notes, rotary cutter, and a ruler and cutting mat.

    3. Select fabrics and cut the patches for your chosen block. Cut patches to the exact dimensions of the shapes on the paper, without seam allowances. (You might want to make one extra copy of the block pattern and cut shapes from it, then use them as templates for cutting fabrics.)

    4. Arrange your fabrics on the photocopy of the block. Keep that glue stick capped for now; you might go through several fabric choices before you make your final decision.

    Quilt-block mockup

    5. Before finalizing your color choices, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Is the value contrast where you want it?
    • Are the lights, mediums, and darks in the right places?
    • Can you see the shapes?
    • Do some blend together? Is that what you want?
    • Is there any one fabric that stands out too much?
    • Squint or use a reducing glass to see the overall contrast of values.

    6. Once you’re happy with the block, grab your glue stick. (Technical tip—put the glue on the paper, not the fabric.) Apply glue to the second mock-up sheet, and then move your fabric pieces carefully and place them in position. Apply gentle pressure and smooth out the fabric to adhere it to the paper.

    7. Note what you learned, changes you want to try, and the date in the margins.

    Block-mockup examples
    Examples of block mock-ups

    Color for the Terrified QuilterIn Color for the Terrified Quilter, you’ll use block mock-ups to build your color confidence. Play with monochromatic, analogous, complementary, split-complementary, and triad color combinations—master them all with paper, glue, and fabric!

    See more from Color for the Terrified Quilter >

    40% off this week only:
    $18.95 $11.37

    Want more colorful quilt ideas?

    Check out these color-happy eBooks on sale—all 40% off this week!

    Colorful Quilts Sew Fun, So Colorful Quilts Quilt Challenge

    For even more colorful quilt ideas, check out Fabric Play and A Modern Twist.

    Which color makes it into your quilts most? Tell us in the comments!

    You might also like:
    Try a color lesson that sorts your stash too

    Save 40% on select eBooks this week!

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  3. Worsted-weight stash? Try these yarn patterns!

    Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

    Got a pile of worsted-weight yarn in your stash, waiting to be used? Then we’ve got patterns for you!

    Over the next few months, we’ll share popular knitting and crochet patterns that will help bust through your stash. Look for a select yarn type and weight each month, so no matter what you have in your stash, you’ll be slashing through it in no time!

    Stash Dash

    Want to join our Stash Dash? You can do so by subscribing to the blog here.

    Before we get to the round up, what is worsted-weight yarn anyway? "Worsted-weight yarn is probably your BFF in knitting and crocheting," according to Craftsy and we agree! It’s a medium-weight yarn that gets its name from a village called Worstead in England. Check out this quick-and-dirty chart from the Craft Yarn Council of America:

    Worsted-weight yarns

    Here’s a quick tip: got unlabeled yarn in your stash? Knit a gauge swatch to determine what weight it is. Find out how to knit a gauge swatch in this post.

    These crochet and knitting patterns will LOVE your worsted-weight stash yarn:

    From 20 Easy Knitted Blankets and Throws From Knitted Scarves From Cozy Toes for Baby
    From left to right: 20 Easy Knitted Blankets and Throws, Knitted Scarves, Cozy Toes for Baby.

    From Knit Pink From Modern Baby Crochet From Knit a Monster Nursery
    From left to right: Knit Pink, Modern Baby Crochet, Knit a Monster Nursery.

    Which yarn weight would YOU like to see in our next roundup? Tell us in the comments! Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog—you won’t want to miss the next Stash Dash.

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  4. It’s official: you’ve got a big crush on little quilts (fabric giveaway!)

    Little Gems blog hop

    Get ready for some BIG fun during the Little Gems Blog Hop!

    We’re happy to help author Connie Kauffman kick off her hop with several five-star reviews of the book—all from quilters like you—plus a big giveaway!

    Quilt from Little GemsSo why all the quilty buzz about these tiny treasures?

    • You can make each striking 12″ x 12″ quilt entirely from your scrap stash
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    • Get the ultimate in accuracy with paper piecing—these small quilts are perfect for practicing the technique
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    • Finish the backing and binding with a single fat quarter
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    Follow the hop and you’ll see 10 different bloggers remake the quilts from Little Gems in fabulous fabrics from Island Batik. See the original quilt from the book plus the remake together—you’ll be inspired to whip up your own versions.

    Quilts from Little Gems

    See more petite patchwork in Little Gems >

    Check out what quilters are saying about Little Gems at ShopMartingale:

    “I just finished one of the projects featured in Connie’s book, called ‘Serenity,’ and I love it! As Connie suggests, I picked fabrics at random as I was putting the blocks together…I am already picking my next project!”

    “These are great looking miniature quilts. Great for embellishments! Good patterns to use up scraps. A definite must-have book for your quilting library.”

    “What a neat book! I love paper piecing and Connie’s patterns are very precise and easy to understand. I have fabric waiting for the ‘Playing with Plaids’ quilt.”

    “If you, like me, keep all your scraps and leftover fabric to use in a project later, then let me tell you that this book is for us.”

    “Easy to read and understand; makes creating these miniatures such a joy. The step-by-step instructions make it so simple. Even beginners will be able to quilt one of Connie Kauffman’s lovely designs.”

    BIG GIVEAWAY! Win a beautiful bundle of new “Jewels and Gems” fabric (not even officially available yet!) from our friends at Island Batik, a copy of Little Gems, PLUS a pack of our Papers for Foundation Piecing!

    Little Gems giveaway

    For your chance to win, answer this question in the comments:

    How’s your paper-piecing prowess: practiced a little, practiced a lot, practiced to perfection, or shy to try?

    We’ll choose a random winner on Monday, April 20, and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

    Follow the Little Gems Blog Hop for your chance to win more fun prizes:

    Wednesday, April 8: Author Connie Kauffman remakes “Serenity”
    Thursday, April 9: Martingale (that’s us!)
    Friday, April 10: Connie Campbell remakes “Playing with Plaids”
    Saturday, April 11: Barbara Gaddy remakes “Spinners”
    Sunday, April 12: Barbara Chojnacki remakes “Daisy Daze”
    Monday, April 13: Author Connie Kauffman hosts Ackfeld Manufacturing
    Tuesday, April 14: Tammy Silvers remakes “Forest Fire”
    Wednesday, April 15: Maryellen McAuliffe remakes “Radiance”
    Thursday, April 16: Bea Lee remakes “Star Burst”
    Friday, April 17: Linda Pearl remakes “Tranquility”
    Saturday, April 18: Island Batik remakes “Cotton Candy”

    You might also like:
    Scrap overload? Piece these “little gems” in a flash

    #imadeitmyselfieHave you made a project from Little Gems?
    Please let us know how it turned out! Share a picture of you and your project on Instagram with the hashtag #imadeitmyselfie!

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  5. Our BYOF (bring your own fabric) mini quilt retreat: hop + giveaway!

    Make It, Take ItHere are a few great things about quilt retreats:

    1. They’re away from home, chores, kids, and responsibilities.
    2. Retreats are all about hanging out with sewing buddies and developing friendships.
    3. But they’re also about getting projects completed.
    4. Retreats are a great time to relax, unplug, and unwind—sometimes with a little wine and chitchat.
    5. After the retreat is over, you can return to daily life refreshed, rejuvenated, and with your work-in-progress pile a little bit lighter.

    Quilt-retreat ideas

    That’s the spirit behind Krista Hennebury’s NEW book, Make It, Take It. The book is full of fun stories from contributors, as well as clever ideas for quilt-retreat projects to inspire friendship and community.

    Projects from Make It Take It

    Prior to Krista’s book-release date, we were itching to hold our own retreat. So we took a break from our desks and got together to sew the “Rainbow ‘Round the Cabin” quilt in Make It, Take It. For this round-robin style project, everyone brings a couple yards of their own fabric in a predetermined colorway, plus a 12″ center block. The center block can be whatever you choose: a pieced or appliquéd block, or simply a square of favorite fabric—whatever makes your quilty heart happy!

    We had a dozen eager participants, so we split up into two groups. One group chose brights and the other neutrals. Check out some of the photos from our in-office quilt retreat:

    Virginia sewing, Linda cutting
    Virginia adds a row to someone else’s quilt top, and Linda squares up a quilt top. There was plenty of time to swap stories and laughter in the line for the iron and the rotary cutter!

    Virginia, Sarah, and Durby sewing
    Virginia, Sarah, and Durby busy adding rounds.

    Cathy, Karen, and Mary sewing
    Cathy, Karen J., and Mary help each other determine in what order the rounds should be added.

    In just two hours we had 12 quilt tops finished. Unbelievable!

    Of course, we had to take group photos of our two round robin teams and their finished quilts! We confess, it got a little silly:

    Bright Make It, Take It quilts
    The bright group, clockwise from top left: Beth, Linda, Cornelia, Kara, Mary, and Karen B.

    Neutral Make It, Take It quilts
    The neutral group, clockwise from top left: Karen J., Cathy, Virginia, Durby, Sheila, and Sarah.

    See the original “Rainbow ‘Round the Cabin” quilt in the gallery.

    Wanna see more fun projects for your next quilting getaway? For even more great quilt-retreat ideas and projects to make before AND during your retreat, look for Make It, Take It by Krista Hennebury at your favorite local quilt shop or at ShopMartingale.com. Don’t miss the other stops on the Make It, Take It Blog Tour:

    Friday, April 3 blog-hop kickoff: Krista at Poppyprint
    Monday, April 6: Berene at Happy Sew Lucky and Amy at During Quiet Time
    Tuesday, April 7: Leanne at She Can Quilt and Felicity at Felicity Quilts
    Wednesday, April 8: Martingale Inc. at Stitch This! (that’s us!)
    Thursday, April 9: Krista at Spotted Stones and Krista at Krista Withers Quilting
    Friday, April 10: Lynne at Lily’s Quilts and Cindy at Live a Colorful Life
    Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin and Krista at Poppyprint
    Sunday, April 12: Kristie at OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder and Christina at Sometimes Crafter

    What’s your best quilt retreat story? Tell us in the comments and you’ll be entered to win an eBook copy of Make It, Take It. We’ll pick a random winner one week from today and contact the winner by email. Good luck!

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “My best quilt story is about a quilt I made for someone who had no idea she would receive it. She was overwhelmed and her reaction made every part of quilting for me worth it!”

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

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  6. New Martingale quilting books: April 2015

    Welcome to Wish-List Day! At the beginning of each month we reserve one day to give you a sneak peek at new Martingale quilting books and more coming to your local quilt or yarn shop. Click on a book cover below; then use the “Wish List” and “Notify Me” tools at ShopMartingale.com to keep track of your favorites.

    Wish List and Notify Me tools

    Subscribe to our blog so you’ll know when each book is available. Enter to win your favorite at the bottom of this post!


    Simple AppliqueSimple Appliqué: Approachable Techniques – Easy Methods – Beautiful Results!
    Kim Diehl

    What’s inside: Appliqué exquisite quilts just like Kim Diehl? Sign us up! Kim’s taught her appliqué methods to quilters around the country for years. Now she’s sharing her classroom how-to for six different appliqué techniques, from traditional needle-turn appliqué to her signature invisible machine appliqué. With this all-inclusive reference, you’ll never be at a loss for an appliqué answer again!

    Why you’ll love it: Each method is a snap to master, with close-up color photos of real hands doing the real steps, plus a little hand-holding from Kim via her written instructions. Experiment with all six techniques; then choose your favorite to create her striking “Scrap Basket Blossoms” quilt (full-sized pattern included).

    From Simple Applique
    Left: ”Scrap Basket Blossoms” quilt. Right: how-to photos from
    Simple Appliqué.

    BONUS >>> Kim includes favorite tips and tricks in her trademark “Pin Point” boxes throughout to make your appliqué journey even smoother.

    Browse the photo gallery to see more how-to shots from Simple Appliqué >

    Style and SwingStyle and Swing: 12 Structured Handbags for Beginners and Beyond
    Susan Dunlop

    What’s inside: The perfect accessory for fabric lovers? A stylish, sewed-it-myself handbag, of course! Susan’s beautiful bags are sturdy and structured, but sidestep  complex techniques. Funky, uptown, trendy, groovy—which bag best fits your style?

    Why you’ll love it: Stash accumulators, listen up: get ready to feature your fabrics in a whole new way. From a simple, elegant handbag for first-timers to an intermediate-level layered satchel, you can work your way up the bag-technique ladder at your own pace. Plus, there’s plenty of wiggle room for adding your own flair: extra pockets, different handles, unique embellishments—endless possibilities!

    From Style and Swing
    Clockwise from left: “Funky Handbag,” “Trendy Hipster Bag,” “Layered Satchel,” “Trifold Wallet”

    BONUS >>> Includes a section devoted to essential bag-making techniques that you can use with any bag pattern, such as boxing corners, sewing fabric handles, and adding closures.

    See all 12 bag designs in Style and Swing >

    Quick ChangeQuick Change: Refresh a Room Fast with Quilted Bed Runners
    Compiled by Karen M. Burns

    What’s inside: No time to make a bed quilt? Create big impact with a bed runner instead! Quickly transform the look and feel of any bedroom by switching out one of these beautiful bed runners, plus a few accessories. Easy to sew (most are make-in-a-day), easy to store, easy to change for a whole new look!

    Why you’ll love it: Rest assured that you’ll be able to complete any of these stylish runners in a fraction of the time it would take to finish a bed-sized quilt. Start making your dream bedroom a reality by choosing from four color palettes: “Ocean Blues,” “Summertime,” “Rich and Earthy,” and “Bold and Bright.”

    Projects from Quick Change
    Projects from
    Quick Change

    BONUS >>> Photos throughout Quick Change show how a runner plus a few small changes to accents and pillows can completely make over a room. So easy!

    Quick-Change designers include Kimberly Jolly and Jocelyn Ueng of Fat Quarter Shop, Megan Jimenez, Heather Andrus, Brigitte Heitland, Heidi Pridemore, Stephanie Prescott, Doug Leko, and Audrie Bidwell.

    “Zen Chic,” “Vintage Petal,” “Fireworks”—see them all in Quick Change >

    Happy-gurumiHappy-gurumi: 20 Super Cute Amigurumi Toys to Crochet
    Vanessa Chan

    What’s inside: These over-the-top adorable softies will put a smile on every face! Crochet 20 fun patterns in three themes: the great outdoors, animal friends, and party time. Vanessa’s one-of-a-kind, puppet-style mouths animate her creations in such a delightful way.

    Why you’ll love it: If you’re a beginning crocheter, start with “Little Blue Bird” (see below); then work your way through all 20 easy-to-intermediate designs. You’ll amazed what you can create once you master a few simple stitches.

    Projects from Happy-gurumi
    Projects from

    BONUS >>> Cute little Happy-gurumi captions accompany each softie. They’ll keep you in stitches!

    What does the squirrel say? Find out in the Happy-gurumi gallery >

    Which April book release are you itching to stitch from? Name it in the comments and you could win an eBook copy of it when the book is 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 Sandy, who says:

    “It’s a hard choice, but the Simply Appliqué book is the book I’d most like to have.”

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

    You might also like:
    New quilting books this March: newbie applique, Civil War (now available!)

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  7. 5 fast, fat-quarter friendly quilt patterns

    5 fast, fat-quarter-friendly quilt patterns

    Fat quarter friendly quilt patternsFat quarters are so fun and tempting to collect. When they’re tied into perfectly folded, coordinated bundles with matching ribbon, they’re nearly impossible to resist—even when you have no idea what kind of project they might become. The bundles fit very neatly into your shopping bag, but they begin to pile up in the sewing room at home. So rather than letting your fat quarter collections gather dust on the shelves, why not put them to good use? These easy fat-quarter quilt patterns will open your eyes to the endless fun you can have, no matter your quilting style.

    Here at Martingale, we certainly count ourselves among the fat-quarter fanatics of the world, so we paid homage to these handy little fabric rectangles in Quilting with Fat Quarters. The book includes 17 fat-quarter friendly quilt patterns from our staff, including the following options that use only fat quarters for the quilt top—no extra yardage needed! (You’ll only need extra yardage for the border, backing, and binding.)

    20% off + free shipping on select books this week!

    For “Ray of Light,” Regina Girard used a radiant combination of light- and dark-value batik fat quarters and a quick and clever method for making shaded four-patch units that doesn’t require cutting a single triangle.

    Ray of Light quilt
    “Ray of Light” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

    Many quilters like to buy fat quarters on their quilting travels. Tracy Overturf’s pattern “Sherbet Punch” uses quite a variety of fat quarters, so it would be a fun way to showcase those souvenirs and create a wonderful record of your adventures.

    Sherbet Punch quilt
    “Sherbet Punch” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

    “Heat Wave” by Abbi Barden uses fat quarters in shades that are close together on the color wheel. Combine them to create a stunning gradient effect made from super simple blocks.

    Heat Wave quilt
    “Heat Wave” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

    For “Blue Skies Ahead,” Adrienne Smitke used fat quarters in calming aqua prints. The squares form a pretty backdrop for puffy cloud appliqués and a pair of red birds that add an unexpected color pop.

    Blue Skies Ahead quilt
    “Blue Skies Ahead” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

    “Not Manly Enough” is so named because Robin Strobel made this quilt for a friend who deemed the prints and colors not masculine enough for his taste. The good news is that you can use whatever you palette you like, manly or not! The blocks are quick and easy to piece, so this quilt comes together in no time.

    Not Manly Enough quilt
    “Not Manly Enough” from Quilting with Fat Quarters

    The fat-quarter fun doesn’t end there, of course. Check out several other great titles for more easy patterns that will inspire you to release your fat quarters from their ribbons and set them free from your stash!

    Fat-Quarter Quilting: 21 Terrific 16″ x 20″ Projects by Lori Smith

    Quilts from Fat-Quarter Quilting
    “Baskets, 1930s Style” and “Garden Path”

    Fast Fat-Quarter Quilts

    Quilts from Fast Fat-Quarter Quilts
    “Bright Bullion” by Le Ann Weaver and “Lost and Found” by Mary Green

    Fat-Quarter Quickies by Kathy Brown

    Quilts from Fat-Quarter Quickies
    “Carribbean Cooler” and “Cutoffs”

    How many fat quarters are lingering in your stash? Fewer than ten? More than 20? Too many to count? Tell us in the comments!

    20% off + free shipping on select books this week!

    *Free shipping to the US and Canada only. Must sign in or register first; free shipping and discount will apply at checkout.

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  8. 10+ knitting videos (for the visual learner!)

    Martingale's Knit & Crochet Friday

    10+ knitting video tutorials

    Sometimes you just need to see how it’s done. Raise your hand if you’re a visual learner—don’t be shy! Martingale employees along with top authors, including Rebecca Danger and Jen Lucas, have contributed to our YouTube stock of how-to knitting videos to show you everything from knitting heel flaps to the magic loop method.

    Check out the playlist selections below from our YouTube knitting videos.

    Learn how to do a circular cast on with this video from Jen Lucas:

    Circular cast-on video

    Learn to knit a sock with these 3 how-to videos:

    Video: how to knit a sock

    Learn Rebecca Danger’s magic loop method and more in these 9 instructional videos:

    Videos: how to knit stuffed toys

    Don’t forget to check out these books to put your news skills to work:

    Sock-Yarn Shawls II Sock Club 50 Yards of Fun

    Learning new techniques: visual and hands on, or reading and listening? Tell us in the comments!

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  9. 5 things to make with a single fat quarter

    Things to make with a single fat quarterFat quarters…oh, how we quilters love them! They’re the quilt-shop equivalent of the candy rack at the grocery store (but without the calories). It’s so easy to pick one up and bring it home. Sometimes, though, you get it home and it either:

    1) Doesn’t really “go” with anything in your stash, or

    2) It’s not quite enough fabric to include in a project, or

    3) It’s so pretty you can’t cut it into little pieces to put in a quilt.

    Sure, you could make a pincushion or a potholder, but there are lots of other things you can make too. Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Super-cute headband
    Here’s a fun tutorial for making a one-size-fits-most headband by Dana Bolyard, author of Imagine Quilts:

    Headband tutorial by Dana Bolyard

    2. Burp cloths for baby
    How about whipping up a couple of these cute burp cloths by Amy Smart, author of Fabulously Fast Quilts:

    Burp-cloth tutorial by Amy Smart

    3. Fat-quarter wall art
    Stretch and staple your fat quarter onto a canvas, put it in a picture frame, or secure it in an embroidery hoop for some nearly instant wall art.

    Embroidery Hoop Memo Minders
    From Kitchen Stitches: designer Linda Turner Griepentrog went one step further and added ribbon, buttons, pockets, and even chalkboard fabric to her cute “Memo Minders.”

    4 and 5. Love the fabric? Wear it!
    You could easily make both of these projects from designer Cassie Barden using one fat quarter:

    Evening Essentials wristlet pattern Cotton Cuff pattern
    “Evening Essentials” wristlet (get the ePattern); “Cotton Cuff” (get the ePattern).

    See more of Cassie’s sewing patterns.

    What have you done with a single fat quarter? Tell us in the comments!

    Save 40% on select eBooks this week!

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  10. Out of quilt ideas, feeling sew uninspired. :(

    We haven’t been feeling inspired to sew lately.

    Books don’t excite us. Fabric doesn’t move us.

    And sewing just doesn’t sound fun…

    Besides, we’ve got a lot of book-business stuff to do.

    Wait. What’s today’s date again? Oh yeah.

    Did we have you going for a minute there? Aw, we knew we couldn’t fool you.

    We’ve been quite the opposite of uninspired lately. Take a look at a few of the projects we’ve been working on—it’s our latest staff show-and-tell!

    First: a gorgeous English paper-piecing project in progress! Director of Sales and Marketing Karen J. and several other staffers are following the Millefiore Quilt-Along hosted by Katja Marek, author of The New Hexagon. This is Karen’s first block—what a stunner!

    Karen's Millefiore Quilt-Along project

    Karen J. says: “I love portable handwork and I love English paper piecing. Katja’s quilt-along is both! The fabric selection, fussy cutting, and sewing is so fun and challenging. I’ve discovered that no matter how I think it’s going to look, the design always turns into something new and unexpected as I go along.” Learn more about Katja’s quilt-along.

    Senior account manager Kara is also hooked on Katja’s Millefiore Quilt-Along, featuring block patterns from The New Hexagon. Here are the blocks she’s working on:

    Kara's Millefiore Quilt-Along blocks

    Kara says, “I find the Millefiore project addictive! I prepare all my paper pieces with fussy cutting and glue basting in my sewing room and then divide my blocks into zippered plastic bags to work on whenever I have a quiet moment. I start with a main fabric that features many designs, then I add more color choices depending on what I think the block needs for balance. I agree with Karen; the final rosette is always an unexpected surprise.”

    See blocks and projects from The New Hexagon >

    Publisher and Chief Visionary Officer Jennifer Keltner recently completed this “Fire Island” quilt from Beyond Neutral by John Q. Adams.

    Jennifer's Fire Island quilt from Beyond Neutral

    Jennifer says, “My dilemma when making a quilt for a gift is often answering this question: how much patchwork will be appreciated by the recipient? My first instinct is to go overboard, but my second thought is always, ‘What do I want to be? Done!’

    This quilt was a graduation gift for my cousin’s son. I like to ask for a color scheme and he chose gray and black. Hmmm. Not my usual palette. But I started collecting prints. I knew a teenage boy wouldn’t be into fussy patchwork, so I chose the graphic ‘Fire Island’ pattern. It was pieced in a weekend and I sent it off to a favorite machine quilter for completion. I loved the tiny little chevron quilting design she used so much that I’ve since pieced another top for myself and am having it quilted in EXACTLY the same way! A happy coincidence—a gift to give and a gift to get! I love when that happens.”

    See the original “Fire Island” + 15 more quilts from Beyond Neutral >

    If you keep up with our staff show-and-tell posts, you know that administrative assistant Linda has made an appearance in nearly every one—she’s one prolific quilter! This time around she’s completed three quilt tops to share.

    Linda's Cayucos quilt from Beyond Neutral Linda's Cutting Corners quilt from The Big Book of Patchwork
    Left: Linda’s “Cayucos” quilt, made with a pattern from
    Beyond Neutral. Right: Linda’s “Cutting Corners” quilt, from The Big Book of Patchwork.

    Linda says, “I had the fabrics for ‘Cayucos’ and ‘Cutting Corners’ for a long time, just waiting for a pattern that seemed to fit. I love both of these. I’m not sure who the lucky winners of these quilts will be!”

    Linda's quilt from Another Bite of Schnibbles
    Linda’s “Winter White” quilt from
    Another Bite of Schnibbles. Don’t let the photo fool you—this quilt is gigantic, measuring 90½" x 90½"!

    Linda says, “I chose to make ‘Winter White’ because I was in the mood to make something with Flying Geese. I plan to give this one to my nephew, who’s getting married in September.”

    See the original (and its “schnibbles” version) in Another Bite of Schnibbles >

    What’s your current project like: slow and steady handwork, quick and easy quilting, or just-because sewing? Tell us in the comments!

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