1. Easy as 1-2-3: nearly 500 ePatterns for $1.23 each!

    Posted by on June 22, 2015, in quilting & sewing, ,

    There’s something so satisfying about taking it easy. And today, EASY is our theme:

    Choose from nearly 500 digital quilt patterns that will be easy on your budget.

    All ePatterns just $1.23 each!

That’s right: pick up as many ePatterns as you like for only $1.23 each!

    What’s also easy? No coupon codes and no shipping costs. Simply drop your favorite ePatterns into your shopping cart and proceed to checkout (at just $1.23 a pop, you can pile ’em up). Download ePatterns instantly and start a project minutes from now.

    Stock up on ePatterns in every category below—or browse all ePatterns. Think decorating, holidays, housewarmings, birthdays, picnics, and more. And “just because.” After all, it’s easy as 1-2-3 to save patterns for when sewing inspiration strikes!

    Sale ends June 29 at midnight.

    Bali Sea Star quiltChain Link quiltDripping Diamonds quilt
    Bali Sea Star,” “Chain Link,” “Dripping Diamonds

    Browse more best-selling ePatterns

    High Cotton quiltLemon Twist quiltNickel Bricks quilt
    High Cotton,” “Lemon Twist,” “Nickel Bricks

    Griddle Cakes quilt
    Griddle Cakes

    Browse 150+ quick-and-easy ePatterns

    Fat-quartersHarvest Moon quiltInterlocking Friendship quiltFlying Shuttles quilt
    Harvest Moon,” “Interlocking Friendship,” “Flying Shuttles

    Stash too fat? 20+ fat-quarter friendly ePatterns

    Beach Cottage quiltSlushie quiltSummer Breeze quilt
    Beach Cottage,” “Slushie,” “Summer Breeze

    Unroll and you’re ready to rock! 50+ Jelly Roll ePatterns

    Rose Garden quiltGarden Lattice quiltLadybugs! quilt
    Rose Garden,” “Garden Lattice,” “Ladybugs!

    Nothing but Pinwheels quilt
    Nothing but Pinwheels

    Stitch up those squares! See 16 charm-square ePatterns

    Scrappy Hunter's Star quiltTo All a Good Night quiltCircles and Chains quilt
    Scrappy Hunter’s Star,” “To All a Good Night,” “Circles and Chains

    Strip, strip, hooray! 75+ strip-piecing ePatterns

    Petite Trellis quiltFlying Frogs quiltLittle Dominoes quilt
    Petite Trellis,” “Flying Frogs,” “Little Dominoes

    Small in size, quick to quilt: see 60 ePatterns for little ones

    Serendipity quiltPeas in a Pod quiltCabin Cozy quilt
    Serendipity,” “Peas in a Pod,” “Cabin Cozy

    All in a Row quilt
    All in a Row

    This way to more great “Diehls!”

    Four Square quiltStripes quiltSunny Days quilt
    Foursquare, “Stripes,” “Sunny Days

    It doesn’t get easier than this! Browse ePatterns for beginners

    Browse more ePattern categories:

    Appliqué | Antique | Bags |Christmas | Civil War
    Country | Floral | Small/Miniature | Modern
    Paper piecing | Scrappy | Seasonal | Traditional | Wall

    What’s the easiest step in quiltmaking—and the not-so-easiest step—for you: the fabric choosing, the cutting, the sewing, or the finishing? Tell us in the comments!

    All ePatterns just $1.23 each!

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  2. 3 ways to have fun with these cute crocheted cars

    Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

    Projects from Honk! Beep! Vroom!

    Playing with occupational vehicles like fire trucks and ambulances, as well as being fun, gives kids a chance to act out their "when I grow up" dreams. The possibilities are endless! Between moving, racing, honking, and beeping, it’s no wonder play cars and trucks are such a hit with boys and girls.

    In Honk! Beep! Vroom!, author Cathy Smith shares a collection of 8 crochet car patterns that aren’t just cute and lifelike: Each fluffy plushie includes optional moving wheels. These oversized crochet toys are large and soft enough for kids of all ages and interactive enough for energetic youngsters. Plus, these oversized softies are perfect for bedtime cuddling (you can crochet them without the moving wheel assembly), and perfectly complement a child’s themed room!

    Adults can have fun with these adorable toys as well. Cathy Smith, the author of Honk! Beep! Vroom!, is visiting Stitch This! today to share some creative gift ideas using the crochet toy patterns in her book. We love her ideas, and can’t wait to try them!

    I’m so excited that Honk! Beep! Vroom! released in the summer, just in time for summer play! The cars are fun on their own for racing downhill (sloped sidewalks make great hills) or cuddling if you make the plushy version. But two of them, the convertible and the dump truck, also make great gift baskets.

    Pack your convertible to announce an exciting event

    How cool would it be to announce your beach vacation to the family by rolling in the convertible with beach gear in the seats? Some suggestions are sunblock lotion, sunglasses, and swim goggles.

    From Honk! Beep! Vroom!
    Load up your dump truck with goodies for a special guy or gal

    The possibilities for the dump truck are practically endless because the dump section is so big. You can fit lots of goodies in it! A great idea for Father’s Day (next year!) or dad’s birthday is to fill the dump truck with favorite snacks like beef jerky, cheese sticks, or pretzels. Do you know any dads who are truckers or construction workers? This can work for Mother’s Day too, if mom works in one of those industries.

    From Honk! Beep! Vroom!
    If you’re a fast crocheter, you still have time to whip up a summer-fun gift basket for a special kid. Fill the dump truck or convertible with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, crayons, coloring or activity books, or water guns.

    From Honk! Beep! Vroom!
    Personalize your gift with commemorative colors

    If you’re like me and know someone in the military, then you might want to make a military-themed dump truck. Use camouflage or military green yarn to crochet the dump basket and fill it with the soldier’s favorite goodies.

    Or, crochet the dump section in pink and add some bling by pinning a breast cancer pin to the side (free pattern at my web site) for a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Fill the dump section with comfort items like a chemo cap, soft socks, a prayer shawl, etc.

    I hope I’ve given you some great ideas for making these fun cars extra special. I know you’ll be able to come up with your own great ideas! Have fun.

    See more playful projects from Honk! Beep! Vroom!:

    From Honk! Beep! Vroom!

    Honk! Beep! Vroom!Thanks Cathy for giving us some great ideas, and telling us about your new book!

    Which would you crochet: a vehicle with moving wheels, a gift basket for someone special, or a simple, cuddly softie? Tell us in the comments and you could win a PDF eBook version of Honk! Beep! Vroom!. We’ll pick a winner one week from today and notify the winner by email.

    Can’t wait to find out if you’re a winner? Buy Honk! Beep! Vroom! today and instantly download the eBook for free.


    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    "I’d make a fire truck for my granddaughter (my youngest son is a firefighter)."

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

    39 comments (read all)

  3. Blog hop! Irish Chain quilt block gets all-star treatment (+ giveaway!)

    Irish Chain Quilts blog hop

    Does it take a village to make a quilt? Sometimes!

    House quilt blocks made by Martingale staff
First blocks, then sashing: Martingale staffers make “The Village Square” quilt from Irish Chain Quilts (see the finished quilt below!)
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    It also takes a village to build a blog hop—and the list of villagers that author Melissa Corry assembled for her Irish Chain Quilts blog hop is star-studded!

    Melissa issued a challenge to her blog-hop hosts: make a block from your favorite quilt in Irish Chain Quilts, and make it your own. Here are the results of that challenge from just a few participants:

    Pick Up Sticks quilt
    Lissa Alexander of Moda Lissa remade this block from Melissa’s “Pick Up Sticks” pattern, and then she kept going!
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    The North Star quilt
    Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side made a block based on “The North Star” quilt.
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    The Village Square quilt
    Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter stitched a block from “The Village Square” quilt, just like we did.
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    Daisy Chain quilt
    Christa Watson of Christa Quilts created a “Daisy Chain” block.
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    So what did Melissa do with the blocks from her famous friends? She made them into a quilt, of course! See the finished quilt tomorrow at Melissa’s Happy Quilting blog. We can’t wait for the big reveal.

    Since Martingale is a village unto itself, staffers got together and made 16 blocks for the blog hop. Here’s the big reveal of how our quilt turned out after Melissa quilted and bound it:

    Martingale staff's Village Square quilt

    Everyone who made a block agreed—the design is so fun and easy to sew! Can’t you see this as the perfect housewarming gift? As for the quilts from the blog hop, they’ll both be given to charity.

    So, what will YOU make with Irish Chain Quilts as your muse? The book is available now—get inspired to play with the exciting twists Melissa has made to this classic block.

    Projects from Irish Chain Quilts
    Clockwise from top left: “Charm Bracelet,” “Two Paths Crossed,” “Connect the Dots,” and “String of Pearls”

    Go traditional, modern, improv, and more: see all 15 projects in Irish Chain Quilts >

    BLOG-HOP GRAND PRIZE! Leave a comment on Melissa’s inaugural blog-hop post and you could win one of two fun prize packages.

    Irish Chain Quilts grand prizes

    Plus, enter to win the Irish Chain Quilts eBook below right now!

    Irish Chain QuiltsWhich Irish Chain design above speaks to you most: “Charm Bracelet,” “Two Paths Crossed,” “Connect the Dots,” and “String of Pearls”? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of the Irish Chain Quilts eBook. 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 Liz, who says:

    “They are all beautiful, but I’m most intrigued by Daisy Chain and Crossed Paths is a close second.”

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

    Follow the Irish Chain Quilts blog hop for more chances to win the eBook—and to see all the creative variations of Melissa’s quilts.

    June 8: Blog-hop intro at Happy Quilting – Melissa Corry

    June 9:  Moda Lissa – Lissa Alexander and Fat Quarter Shop – Jocelyn Ueng

    June 10: Piece N Quilt – Natalia Bonner and In Color Order – Jeni Baker

    June 11: Amy’s Creative Side – Amy Ellis and Sew Kind of Wonderful – Jenny Pedigo

    June 12: Quilt Story – Megan Jimenez and Diary of a Quilter – Amy Smart

    June 15: Freshly Pieced – Lee Heinrich and Christa Quilts – Christa Watson

    June 16: Moda Cutting Table – Carrie Nelson and Little Miss Shabby – Corey Yoder

    June 17: Fresh Lemons – Faith Jones and V and Co. – Vanessa Christenson

    June 18: A Quilting Life – Sherri McConnell and Stitch This! – Martingale

    June 19: Happy Quilting – Wrap-up and grand prizes

    340 comments (read all)

  4. Hello, summer stitching: 45 fun sewing projects

    From Everyday HandmadeCan you relate to one of these statements about your sewing life for the summer?

    I love quilting, but I want to branch out and learn how to sew other things too—bags, aprons, kitchen and sewing items—maybe even a stuffie?

    I’m in the mood for some fun sewing projects—and I’m looking for inspiration to sew outside the quilt block!

    I’ve gifted a quilt to every person I know, but I still want to sew more gifts! What other fabric items can I make?

    I’m afraid of zippers!

    If any of these statements describe your summer stitching situation, you’re in luck! Bestselling authors Cassie Barden and Adrienne Smitke are here to turn your sewing setbacks into a summer of sewing fun in The New Handmade and Everyday Handmade, each available as instantly downloadable eBooks!


    Collector's Item tote bag
    Zipper-free: “Collector’s Item Tote Bag” from
    Everyday Handmade
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    Zippered Kit Bag Garden Party Selvage Wristlet
    Zipperlicious (and perfect for beginning zipper installers): “Zippered Kit Bag” from
    The New Handmade and “Garden Party Selvage Wristlet” from Everyday Handmade
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    See more zipped and unzipped bags, containers, and such >


    Potholder, oven mitt, and Pocket Place Mats
    Quick and easy: potholder, oven mitt, and “Pocket Place Mats” (great for picnicking!) from
    The New Handmade
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    Kitchen sewing from Everyday Handmade
    A “berry” fresh kitchen set: “Secret Ingredient Apron” and “Wild Strawberry Potholder” from
    Everyday Handmade
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    Find more ways to dish up some sewing fun >


    Woodland Sewing Set
    Needle case, pincushion, and notions pouch: “Woodland Sewing Set” from
    Everyday Handmade


    Just for fun sewing projects
    “Fenn the Jackalope” and “Ladybug Coin Purse” from
    Everyday Handmade
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    PLUS: The New Handmade includes our #1 bestselling sewing ePattern of all time!

    Dinner Party Grocery Bag
    “Dinner Party Grocery Bag”

    These 45 sewing patterns will keep you stitching all summer—download the eBooks today.

    Everyday Handmade The New Handmade

    Happy summertime sewing!

    What do you make more of: quilts, bags, pincushions, or something else? Tell us in the comments!

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  5. How to quilt as you go: learn how now (+ giveaway!)

    You know the feeling: you’re thrilled to have completed your latest quilt top. Pat yourself on the back!

    You feel accomplished. Proud. Done.

    But you’re not. There’s still all that quilting to do…

    From Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go

    We’ve all felt that tinge of disappointment: excited about the piecing, not so much about the quilting. So how would it feel to complete the piecing of your next quilt—and finish the quilting at the same time?

    You’ll find out exactly how it feels when you try a project from the new book Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go. (Spoiler alert: it feels grrreat!)

    Stripalicious table runner
    “Stripalicious” table runner from Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go

    Whether you lack the time to do the quilting—or simply don’t have the patience—Gudrun Erla’s quilt-as-you-go technique will make your piecing and your quilting tie for first place at the finish line every time. Start with simple squares and rectangles to learn the ropes. Then build on the basics with techniques for triangles, strips, prairie points, and even curves.

    Today we’re excited to have Gudrun as a guest writer to tell you more about her new book and her rewarding technique. Welcome, Gudrun!

    Gudrun ErlaI am thrilled to be introducing you to my first book published by Martingale. I’ve been publishing books myself since 2004, so many of you may be familiar with my GE Designs brand of books. But this collaboration, with the wonderful lineup of talented individuals at Martingale, was a joyful process for me. I’m very excited about the result.

    My journey with the quilt-as-you-go method started with my first published pattern, called the “Braid Runner.” I got into the method mainly because of a lack of time. I loved the idea of piecing and quilting your project at the same time. When you’re done piecing, all you have to do is add the binding and you’re done.

    Lazy River bed runner
    “Lazy River” bed runner from Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go

    Ever since that first pattern, I’ve been asked for more and more quilt-as-you-go patterns. Once quilters try this method, they can’t seem to get enough.

    In Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go, I take you through the techniques I’ve developed, starting with the simplest projects any beginner could embark on. Then, step by step, I introduce more challenging techniques.

    There are 14 projects in Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go, starting with straight-line quilt-as-you-go projects.

    Let's Dish place mats
    Beginner project: “Let’s Dish” place mats

    Once the basics are mastered, you can add interest with triangles:

    Winging It table runner
    “Winging It” table runner

    Dimensional elements:

    Lucky Charms topper
    “Lucky Charms” topper


    Spring Bouquet wall hanging
    “Spring Bouquet” wall hanging

    And the illusion of curves:

    Petal Play topper
    “Petal Play” topper

    You’ll also learn a technique I call “sewing by numbers.”

    How-to photo from Learn to Quilt-As-You-GoLearn to Quilt-As-You-Go is a primer for quilters who have never done any quilt-as-you-go projects. It’s beautifully illustrated, with helpful photographs of techniques. And even if you’re familiar with my previous quilt-as-you-go patterns and books, you’ll want Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go as a reference for all your quilt-as-you-go questions. I hope you’ll join me and give Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go a go!
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    Learn to Quilt-As-You-GoMany thanks for being here to tell us about your new book, Gudrun!

    What’s your experience with quilt-as-you-go: love it, learning it, or haven’t yet tried it? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of the Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go 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 Learn to Quilt-As-You-Go today and instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I AM that person, finished the top and stuck not knowing how to quilt!”

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

    357 comments (read all)

  6. Wool appliqué: try it today (tutorial + sale!)

    Wool applique tutorial

    If you already know the joys of doing wool appliqué, you’re not the least surprised it’s enjoying a comeback (plus you’re right on trend!). If you haven’t yet experienced it, there are good reasons to give it a try now. Wool is soft to handle, easy to stitch, and it doesn’t fray. The color options are abundant, whether you repurpose an old skirt or purchase some gorgeous new hand-dyed pieces at your local quilt shop.

    From Elegant Quilts, Country Charm From Pennies from Heaven
    Projects from Elegant Quilts, Country Charm and Pennies from Heaven

    It’s so easy to add wool appliqué to cotton patchwork, and felted-wool projects have a warmth and depth that’s hard to achieve with cotton alone. Ready to find out for yourself? The tutorial below will help you get started.

    Save 20% plus get free shipping!

    Wool-appliqué tutorial

    From Elegant Quilts, Country Charm by Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel

    For best results, use felted wool made from 100% wool fibers. That is, woven fabric that’s washed in hot water and dried with heat, resulting in soft, fluffy fabric. This is not the same as wool felt, which is made up of wool fibers that have been compressed together rather than woven. Wool felt can’t be laundered as successfully as felted wool.

    Note: the process for wool-on-cotton appliqué and wool-on-wool appliqué is the same.

    1. Trace each appliqué shape onto the dull side of a piece of freezer paper, leaving approximately ¼" to ½" between the shapes. Roughly cut out each shape. With the shiny side down, iron each shape onto the right side of a piece of wool using a dry iron. Try not to press too hard on the wool—you don’t want to flatten the fabric too much.

    2. Carefully cut out each piece along the drawn line and remove the freezer paper. Your shapes are now ready to place on the background piece.

    Wool-applique instructions

    3. Apply a dab of glue to the wrong side of each appliqué shape. Gently press the shapes into place on the background, working from the bottom layer up.

    4. Once all the pieces are in place, staple them (yes, staple them!) for a firm hold. Sometimes the glue alone isn’t enough to keep the pieces in place during the stitching. Stapling works beautifully: it’s quick, the staples are easy to remove with your fingers, and because the wool is self-healing, no marks are left on the appliqués.

    5. Use a blanket stitch to appliqué the pieces in place using matching thread. Remove the staples.

    Blanket stitch

    That’s all there is to it!

    To help you get started, check out the wide range of projects and tons of inspiration in these sale books.
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    From Elegant Quilts Country Charm
    Elegant Quilts, Country Charm by Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel: In addition to quilts in various sizes, projects include pillows, framed pieces, and this stunning scarf.

    See more wonderful wool projects from Elegant Quilts, Country Charm >

    From Pennies from Heaven
    Pennies from Heaven by Gretchen Gibbons: The book’s title comes from the fabulous quilt that graces the cover, but there’s even more to explore than that richly textured quilt. Gretchen designed eight more projects using her quilt as a jumping-off point.

    Make table mats, wall hangings, a curtain valance, and more >

    From My Enchanted Garden
    My Enchanted Garden by Gretchen Gibbons: Here’s another breathtaking floral quilt from Gretchen, this time with fanciful birds and sweet little creatures stitched in cotton batiks. In addition to the quilt on the cover, you’ll find a collection of beautifully stitched and embellished smaller projects.

    Don’t miss the hopping bunny pillow! See all nine projects >

    Want more wonderful wool projects?

    Find more wool-appliqué patterns plus gorgeous, inspiring photos in Country Elegance, the latest book from Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel.

    From Country Elegance

    Have you tried wool applique? What do you like best about it? Tell us in the comments.

    Save 20% plus get free shipping!

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

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  7. The 6 best places to knit in public tomorrow

    Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

    Do a happy dance! Tomorrow is—you guessed it—World Wide Knit in Public Day. Whether you’re used to knitting alone or with friends, knitting in public is a great way to meet other knitters, raise public awareness for handmade goods, and impress your acquaintances. Plus it’s a super-fun way to spread the love of knitting!

    Where can you knit in public? Anywhere!

    But if you need ideas, here are the six best (and quirkiest) places to knit in public tomorrow:

    1. BYOK (bring your own knitting) to the backyard barbecue

    From Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet
    From Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet by Sheryl Thies

    It certainly can be tempting to hole up at home on the weekends and bust through those knits in progress. Why not soak up the sun and do a little socializing while you’re at it? Plus, nobody in their right mind pesters a busy knitter to take over cleanup duties!

    2. Work meeting? Be a multitasking knitting pro

    From Casual, Elegant Knits
    From Casual, Elegant Knits

    There’s no better way to impress your boss than to show off your multitasking skills. Extra points for knitting a gift specifically for your manager!

    3. Knit at the doctor’s office for double the health benefits

    From Skein for Skein
    From Skein for Skein

    Long wait for your annual checkup? That’s enough to make anyone’s blood pressure rise. But knitting has many health benefits and it makes the time fly. The doctors and nurses will be begging to know your health secret.

    4. Impress your friends and coworkers when you knit during happy hour

    From Handknit Skirts
    From Handknit Skirts

    Everyone else will be on their cell phone, still answering work emails. But you’ll be chatting it up with the bartender and showing off your extra-cool, outside-of-work hobby.

    5. Now you’re knitting. . . on a boat!

    From Knits from the North Sea
    From Knits from the North Sea

    Knit, knit, knit on a boat while you sail out to sea! Make the other seafarers jealous that you brought something more fun than a paperback.

    6. Knit by the fire, at the ski lodge, Down Under

    Knitting the Chill Away
    From Knitting the Chill Away

    Ski season is over, at least in the northern hemisphere. But it turns out that Australia has excellent ski sites, most opening in June for the official season. It is World Wide Knit in Public Day, after all—so if you’ll be knitting Down Under this opening ski weekend, grab a seat by the fire. You might enlist a stranger to hold your cocoa, if you’re lucky.

    If you want to attend an official knit-in-public gathering, you can search for (or coordinate your own) World Wide Knit in Public Day events in your area on the WWKIP website. For portable project ideas, check out our post on what to knit during World Wide Knit in Public Day.

    Don’t forget to share your knitting-in-public photos with us on Facebook and Instagram.

    Know of any wacky, fun, or unique places to knit in public? Tell us in the comments!

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  8. A quilter’s journey Beyond Neutral: #makingallthequilts part 2

    Beyond NeutralWhat could YOU do with 13 weeks, 16 quilt patterns, and your fabric stash?

    Beyond Neutral author John Q. Adams found a quilter who knows exactly what she’d do: she’d make every quilt in John’s book. And then she’d be kind enough to share her quiltmaking journey through Beyond Neutral with you!

    In the second installment of our #makingallthequilts series (read the first installment here), Deb Robertson, a quilter from Christchurch, New Zealand, shares four more of her quilts, each photographed in her hometown amid the rubble of an earthquake that occurred four years ago.

    “In spite of how busy my life is,
    or maybe because of it,
    my sewing time is precious to me.”

    —Deb Robertson, Works in Progress blog

    You can see more of Deb’s quilts on Instagram; they’re tagged #makingallthequilts.

    Deb's quilts from Beyond Neutral

    If you’ve ever wondered how to switch up a pattern and make it your own, let Deb show you the ropes through her inspiring quilts.

    Deb RobertsonHi, I’m Deb and I blog at deb­-robertson.blogspot.com. I have four amazing children, ranging in age from 5 to 21. This year I’m completing a double major in Media/Communication and Sociology. I’ve been quilting for most of my adult life on the premise that if you do something 10,000 times you become an expert—I’m having a lot of fun practicing! Last year I made all the quilts in QuiltDad’s book, Beyond Neutral, 16 quilts in 13 weeks.

    #makingallthequilts Part 2

    As you may remember from my last post, I bought Beyond Neutral by John Q. Adams and started making the quilts in it. It was a gloomy spring in Christchurch. I was studying full time while trying to run the household. I was also counting down the days until I had my hip replaced and wishing the time would hurry up.

    In spite of how busy my life is, or maybe because of it, my sewing time is precious to me, and I get up most mornings to sew before the household wakes. I make it a priority to be creative every day, even if it’s just to knit one row or chain-piece a few blocks for ten minutes.

    My second batch of Beyond Neutral quilts flew together. I made “Cascadia,” “Cape Lookout,” “Cayucos,” and “Big Thicket,” and I love them all.

    Quilts from Beyond Neutral
    John’s quilts from Beyond Neutral, clockwise from top left: “Cascadia,” “Cape Lookout,” “Cayucos,” and “Big Thicket.”
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    “Cascadia” is my favorite of all the quilts I made because I used my precious “Sugar Skull” stash mixed with some other prints. The result is a fun, quirky quilt. I plan to make “Cascadia” again using my hoarded stash of vegetable prints.

    Deb's Cascadia quilt

    Deb's Cascadia quilt
    Deb’s version of “Cascadia”
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    I used some fat-eighth bundles for my “Cape Lookout” quilt, which was super easy to sew. My sister has dibs on it. I plan to make two more of these: one to keep and one to give to a friend.

    Deb's Cape Lookout quilt Deb's Cape Lookout quilt
    Deb’s version of “Cape Lookout”
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    I really like my version of “Cayucos.” The purple wood-grain fabric is so striking and the pattern really gives it movement. My 13-year-old purple lover has claimed this one!

    Deb's Cayucos quilt Deb's Cayucos quilt
    Deb’s version of “Cayucos”
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    John’s quilts are so much fun to make. By simply changing the fabrics, you can create many different looks.

    Deb's Big Thicket quilt Deb's Big Thicket quilt
    Deb’s version of “Big Thicket”
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    Deb's Big Thicket quilt Deb's Big Thicket quilt
    Deb’s helpers had some fun with this one at the photo shoot!
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    At this point in my Beyond Neutral journey I was becoming addicted to John’s patterns. I thought I might make most of the quilts in the book. I didn’t plan to make all of them, but I sure was having a lot of fun!

    Beyond NeutralMany thanks for sharing this second part of your story with us, Deb—we can’t wait to see what’s next!

    Want to make sure you see the next guest post from Deb? Subscribe to Stitch This! and we’ll send emails directly to your inbox. You can also visit Deb at her Works in Progress blog.

    See all 16 quilts in Beyond Neutral >
    Book: $24.99 (with FREE eBook)
    eBook: $16.99
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    What’s your favorite thing to change up when following a pattern: the size, the colors, or the layout? Tell us in the comments!

    Save 40% on select eBooks this week!

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  9. Stitch, create, celebrate: 10 patriotic quilt patterns

    Have you started planning your 4th of July activities? Remember to mind your p’s and q’s. That is…patriotism, picnics, pyrotechnics, and quilts!

    Windswept quilt
“Windswept” from Red, White and Sometimes Blue
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    From a 12″ square paper-pieced block to spirited table toppers to bed-sized quilts that stretch from sea to shining sea, we’ve got plenty of patriotic quilt patterns that will be perfect guests at your Independence Day festivities. Grab your fabric scraps or hit your local quilt shop for some red, white, and blue, and get inspired!


    Honor Old Glory with red, white, and blue quilt-block patterns from Red, White, and Sometimes Blue: Classics from McCall’s Quilting. From classic themes to scrappy designs, these quilts capture the all-American spirit of the 4th of July.

    Quilts from Red, White, and Sometimes Blue
    “Americana” and “Prairie Pinwheels” from
    Red, White, and Sometimes Blue
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    Quilts from Red, White, and Sometimes Blue
    “Hometown Afternoon” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” from
    Red, White, and Sometimes Blue


    Kim Diehl’s Simple Seasons: Stunning Quilts and Savory Recipes combines two 4th of July favorites: the stars and stripes and picnic food! This small quilt is the perfect table topper for your Independence Day barbeque, paired with Kim’s mouth-watering recipes—confetti bean salad, summertime grilling marinade, and quick cherry crisp. Just don’t spill on your quilt! Place clear vinyl over your table topper to catch spills (and prevent stress). You can purchase clear vinyl by the yard at many sewing and craft stores.

    Liberty quilt
    “Liberty” from
    Simple Seasons
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    Thinking of making an American flag quilt but not sure where to start? Put your paper-piecing skills to work and create this patriotic, picnic-themed 12″ x 12″ block from A Year of Paper Piecing: 12 Sensational Seasonal Designs. Turn it into a little quilt or a fun pillow.

    Country Picnic quilt
    "Country Picnic" from
    A Year of Paper Piecing
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    Still hungry? Join American icon Sunbonnet Sue at her Independence Day cookout, surrounded by 4th of July appliqué designs in red, white, and blue.

    Sunbonnet Sue at the BBQ quilt
    "Sunbonnet Sue at the BBQ" from
    A Year in the Life of Sunbonnet Sue
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    Nothing re-creates the dazzling spectacle of the rockets’ red glare like a bargello quilt. These rippling designs always burst on the scene to the sound of oohs and aahs. Best of all, these fabric fireworks are legal everywhere!

    From Twist-and-Turn Bargello Quilts
    “Supernova,” “Surf Song,” and “Infinity” from
    Twist-and-Turn Bargello Quilts

    Which patriotic color dominates your stash: red, white, or blue? Tell us in the comments!

    Save 40% on select eBooks this week!

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  10. How to make a scrap quilt—with no scraps? (+ giveaway!)

    No scraps? No problem! Get that scrappy, vintage look of the past with the convenience of precuts from the present. The author of the bestseller Seamingly Scrappy is back with more projects that you’d swear are scrap quilts in Seems Like Scrappy. But not one pattern calls for a single scrap!

    Frolic quilt
    “Frolic” from
    Seems Like Scrappy

    Not only will you learn how to make a scrappy quilt from your favorite precuts—fat quarters, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, charms, and more—you’ll get Rebecca’s helpful color tips and tricks, which will help you achieve that sought-after look in a snap.

    We’re excited to have Rebecca here as a guest writer today to introduce her new book to you. Welcome, Rebecca!

    Rebecca SilbaughYoo-hoo helloooooo! I’m super excited for the release of Seems Like Scrappy and I can’t wait to share my inspiration for designing these scrappy-esque quilts with you. Normally you can find me over at my blog, Ruby Blue Quilting Studio, but today I’m honored to be guest posting here at Martingale to celebrate this collection of quilts I’ve designed for you.
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    Patch Stack quilt
    “Patch Stack” from
    Seems Like Scrappy starts with a six-pack of Tonga Treats.
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    It may come as a surprise, but I’m a fairly new quilter. Seriously. I’ve only been quilting since the introduction of precuts to the quilting industry, and it’s been a match made in heaven. I honestly don’t know any different—and that’s perfectly fine by me.

    When I started quilting, I didn’t have a stash like the other ladies I quilted with. I loved their mixtures of fabrics and colors, and I would dream of playing in their stashes. (I still don’t have a large stash, and I still want to play in other quilters’ stashes from time to time.) So, what do you do when you want that scrappy look but don’t have the stash to go along with it? That’s when precuts come in handy.

    Splotch quilt
    “Splotch” from
    Seems Like Scrappy starts with one Honeycomb or 36 hexagons of assorted solids.
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    I like the option of bringing home a lot of a little, and with precuts you get a lot of variety in a little package. I’d rather have more variety any day!

    Some people think my quilts look too put together to be called scrappy. This is my philosophy: a scrappy quilt is any quilt in which you use more fabrics than needed. In a design that could use two different fabrics, you used six. That’s scrappy.

    Dot Plus Dash quilt
    Slice into a Layer Cake to make “Dot Plus Dash.”
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    Think about it like an ice-cream stand. You have the ability to create your own “quilty sundae” and choose how scrappy you’d like it to get. There’s no right or wrong, it’s just whatever works best for you.

    Baskets quilt
    “Baskets” uses 28 different fat quarters and fat eighths but keeps a two-color quilt vibe.
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    Seems Like ScrappyPrecuts can quickly give you a cohesive yet scrappy look. Plus, half the cutting is done for you already! But what if you have a stash that is out of control and you’d like to use it to make quilts? I include tricks in Seems Like Scrappy that will make your stash work for you, from tips on choosing colors to using every fabric you own—even those fabrics you’re not completely in love with.

    The quilts in Seems Like Scrappy all have a traditional undertone. I designed them to include elements you’ve seen before but used those elements in a new way. Let these quilts be your canvas for creating your own “quilty sundae.”

    Whether you consider yourself a modern or traditional quilter or somewhere in between, and whether you have a stash or you don’t, I promise you’ll find quilts to fall in love with in Seems Like Scrappy!

    Thanks for being here to share your excitement for Seems Like Scrappy, Rebecca!

    Which do you use more often to make quilts: your precuts or your stash? Tell us in the comments and you could win a copy of the Seems Like Scrappy 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 Seems Like Scrappy today and instantly download the eBook for free.

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I have made a huge dent in my stash the last while and I am tending to purchase and use precuts more often now. I can still make beautiful quilts without so many large scraps left over. I will never be totally using precuts but the balance between the stash and precuts is working well for me right now. Rebecca’s new book looks just as wonderful as her first. Thanks for sharing.”

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

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