1. T-shirt quilt patterns for beginners: how to stabilize a T-shirt for sewing (tutorial)

    There’s a reason why T-shirt quilts are an all-time favorite—they’re simple, they’re personal, and they’re filled with memories. T-shirt quilts are a wonderful way to say congratulations, thanks, and I love you to graduates, sports fanatics, music lovers, and more.


    One question most quilters have—since we work primarily with woven fabric—is how to cut and sew knit fabric to quilting cottons. That’s because knit fabric (which tees are made from) stretches! The book Terrific T-Shirt Quilts breaks down the steps. Once you know the steps, you and your machine will be whirring out T-shirt quilts for everyone in your family. And they’ll love you for it!

    Too Precious to Pitch T-shirt quilt designed by Krista Moser

    Today we’re sharing a few tips from Terrific T-Shirt Quilts about how to get your T-shirts quilt-top ready. If you’ve ever used interfacing, you’re already one step ahead!


    From Terrific T-Shirt Quilts

    To prepare T-shirts for use in a quilt, you can either plan the quilt and cut out and interface only what you need, or “harvest” fabric from all your T-shirts first and see how much fabric you have to work with before choosing a quilt pattern.

    Approach 1: Apply Interfacing to Select Areas

    First, plan which T-shirts you’ll use for specific blocks. Then, cut interfacing pieces a few inches larger than needed for each T-shirt piece. This allows for shrinkage or shifting while fusing; once the T-shirt piece is interfaced, you’ll cut it to the exact size. Just before cutting each T-shirt, turn it inside out and place the interfacing behind the logo area so that it ends up where you want it on the finished block.

    Go Zags! T-shirt quilt designed by Janet Nesbitt

    Approach 2: Apply Interfacing to All Useable Areas

    Interface all usable areas with a piece of interfacing that’s a little smaller than the T-shirt area. Later, cut into the needed pieces for the quilt design you’re making.

    1. Cut the T-shirt up the sides and across the top to separate the front and back; remove the sleeves.

    Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut up the side of a T-shirt, close to the sleeve seam (so you can save the sleeve fabric, especially if it has a logo). Then cut across the shoulders and neckline, and down the other side.

    2. Place the T-shirt front or back wrong side up on your work surface, and then place interfacing, fusible side down, over the desired area. (The fusible side is usually the bumpy side; when heated, the bumps become “glue” that holds the interfacing to the T-shirt.) Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place and let cool. If you want to use the sleeves, cut off the underarm seam, open up the sleeve, and interface. Be sure to put the stretch of the interfacing perpendicular to the greatest stretch of the T-shirt (usually the greatest stretch of the T-shirt will be around the body).

    Cut the interfacing a couple inches bigger in either direction than the piece you plan to cut from the T-shirt. Fuse the interfacing in place, and then trim to the necessary size.

    Tween Dreams T-shirt quilt designed by Sheila Markewicz

    Terrific T-Shirt QuiltsAre you ready to make a quilt full of memories? The patterns and how-to in Terrific T-Shirt Quilts walk you through all the basics. Create layouts that easily incorporate different-sized images; feature baby clothes and other tiny motifs; create with specialty fabrics like mesh and sweatshirts; and even include embellishments on T-shirts. If you’ve got a stack of tees, Terrific T-Shirt Quilts will help you turn them into a family treasure.

    Have you ever made a T-shirt quilt? What was the theme? Tell us in the comments!

    spacer 10px deep










    26 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  2. Splendid Sampler block #92: a splendid tip for matching seams

    Beth BradleyHave you been sewing along with the Splendid Sampler? It’s truly inspiring to see quilters from around the world sharing the love of quilting together. I’m really honored to be a part of it, and also excited to share a little bit about my block today!

    Download Beth Bradley’s Double Bees block at the Splendid Sampler website.

    When I thought about designing a block, my grandma immediately came to mind. She was a talented quilter with a fabric stash as big as her basement, and I was lucky enough to have her as my first sewing teacher. Now that I’m grown up, I often think, how do you honor someone who taught you how to do your favorite thing? I think the answer is to share it with others whenever you get the chance. So, Double Bees is a little tribute to my grandma and all of the other sewing teachers who generously pass on their gifts.

    RELATED: Get a sneak peek at The Splendid Sampler book

    The block is a twist on the classic Honey Bee block. Bees are symbols of both hard work and sweetness—an excellent combination in my opinion! A traditional Honey Bee block usually has a nine-patch unit in the center, which creates a group of four bees:

    honey bee
    Classic Honey Bee block

    In my version, I placed a small four-patch unit in the center in order to make just two bees that represent my grandma and me (two ladies with “B” as our last initial—hence the name Double Bees!).

    The Splendid Sampler - Honey Bee block

    The intersection of the four-patch is the focal point, so ideally the seams match up just right. The key to getting them to do that is nesting the seam allowances. Nesting means that the two shorter seam allowances point away from each other, making a perfect little edge to line them up at the intersection. Follow along to see what I mean!

    Here are the four 1½" squares for the four-patch unit laid out in two rows of two. If you’re using directional fabric, be sure to orient the pieces the way you want them to end up.

    Four-patch unit

    Join the two squares in each row.

    Join squares

    Here’s an important step: Press the seam allowances of each pair toward the dark fabric. This ensures that you won’t see the seam through the light fabric from the right side, and it also means that the seam allowances will be pointing in opposite directions from each other.

    Press seam allowances

    You’re ready to nest! Place the two pairs right sides together. On each pair, the fold of the fabric from pressing the seam allowances creates a tiny little edge that will fit perfectly against the other. You’ll be able to feel how nice those seams match and lie flat once they’re aligned:



    Now that the pairs are snugly nested, it’s time to sew them together. You could certainly pin them exactly at that intersection, but I like to keep them matched by touch. After placing the unit on my machine, I rest my pointer finger on the intersection so that I can feel the seams staying nested as I sew. Easy!

    Sew nested seams

    Hurray, it’s a match!

    Seams nested

    Now you can press open the four-patch unit and square it up as needed. There are a few options for pressing, but my preference for a tiny unit like this is to press the seam allowances open to help the block lie flat. You could also press them in one direction, or try Jo Morton’s clipping trick, which works wonders for small blocks.

    Finished four-patch unit

    Happy sewing, and thanks for stitching (and nesting) along with me! If you haven’t joined The Splendid Sampler Facebook group yet, there’s still time!

    Who taught you how to sew? Tell us in the comments!










    29 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  3. 5 easy quilt-finishing tips for “toppers”

    You-never-failAre you a topper?

    If you’ve got lots of quilt tops waiting to make their debut as a quilt—but you haven’t finished them yet—you’re a topper, alright. Welcome to the club! Our own acquisitions editor, Karen Burns, compares herself to the cobbler whose children have no shoes. She is the quilter with no finished quilts!

    We’ve got 5 smart tips for kicking off the New Year right by finishing those pretty tops. If your resolution is to get more quilts to the finish line this year, you’ve come to the right place!

    We’ve chosen five of our favorite tips for finishing your quilts on your machine at home, all from authors who love machine quilting and can teach you how. Read on and remember—these experts all started out as students too.


    From The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson

    From Angela: “It’s good to practice, but what should you be practicing? The quick answer is a design that you like and would want to use on a quilt. It may seem like common sense, but you wouldn’t believe how many quilters try to learn designs that they don’t really like, just because they feel that they should. There’s no point perfecting a design if you aren’t going to use it on a quilt. For instance, when I started quilting, I realized that I didn’t like the look of a typical meander, so I never made myself practice it.

    Printed panels are great for practicing filling areas with different designs.

    The Ultimate Guide to Machine QuiltingYou also don’t have to learn 30 different quilting designs. Even after quilting for more than 10 years, I tend use the same few designs. I call these designs my quilting toolbox. They are basic designs that work well on several types of quilts. If you aren’t sure where to start, begin by learning these basic quilting designs. Then you can add other designs to your “toolbox” as you develop your quilting skills. My go-to designs include:

    • Swirls • Feathers and flowers • Pebbles • Ribbon candy • Back-and-forth lines • Wishbone

    Of course, there are several other designs that I like to quilt, but these are, by far, the ones that I use the most.


    From Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Machine Quilt

    From Pat: “Straight-line stitching is a great way to start quilting your own projects. It’s not a new technique. Sewing layers of cloth together with straight lines has been done for centuries. Quilting straight lines across a quilt is a soothing process that adds an effective design element. Plus, straight-line quilting gets the job done, which is to hold all the layers together so the quilt can be used! This method can be simple, it can be elegant, and even very detailed. You can do straight stitching in several ways. Here’s one: quilt edge to edge.

    Edge-to-edge machine quilting

    Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Machine QuiltQuilt a series of straight lines across the quilt. Stitch the lines as close together or as far apart as you like, but check your batting requirements: most will call for stitching no more than 4″ apart. Use the width of your walking foot as a guide (see above photo) or use blue painter’s tape in different widths to quickly and easily mark straight lines. Simply stitch next to the tape and pull the tape off when the row is complete!”


    From Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners by Molly Hanson

    Free-Motion Quilting for BeginnersFrom Molly: “We all have the muscle memory for basic cursive writing. You don’t need to think very hard about what to do next, as everyone knows how to form letters. I’ve found that using the basic loop de loop (which is just like stitching a cursive letter e) allows you the freedom to add text—whatever quilted word you like—and works extremely well as a quilting design. This pattern works to enhance any theme in quilting or to help express a message. The options for personalization are endless.”

    Loop-de-loop and cursive free-motion quilting


    From Machine Quilting with Style by Christa Watson

    From Christa: “Use a decorative stitch on your machine to create an interesting design. It’s a great way to add texture to the surface of an entire quilt without having to match your quilting thread exactly to your fabric. Experiment with both length and width settings to find a design that you like. Try stitching in multiple directions, adding more or fewer lines of quilting for different effects.

    Machine quilting with a decorative stitch

    Machine Quilting with StyleWhen quilting with a decorative stitch, be sure you understand how the stitch is formed in case you need to rotate the quilt to continue the stitch pattern. Stitch slowly and allow the machine to do the work. If the design starts to skew or bunch up, that means you have too much drag or friction on the quilt. Once you find a stitch you like, try to find two or three more for variety. Or try combining multiple stitches for added interest.”

    TIP #5: FOCUS ON FOUR (and a half) AT A TIME 

    From Free-Motion Quilting Made Easy by Eva A. Larkin

    From Eva: “Most domestic sewing machines have an opening that is 5″ to 6″ wide, which gives you about a 4½"-square area around the needle where there is room to easily move your quilt. When you can easily move the section of quilt you’re working on, you’ll have better control of the quilting design, stitch length, and thread tension. By simply focusing on quilting the area under your needle instead of the whole quilt, you’ll feel more relaxed and in control because you don’t have to push and pull the quilt around to move it, and you’ll be less frustrated since you won’t be pulling your thread tension out of alignment and having problems with your stitch length.

    Focus your quilting on 4½" squares of space at a time.

    Free-Motion Quilting Made EasyTwo questions often arise when I talk about quilting in smaller sections: What do you do if the block is larger than 4½" square? And how does this rule apply when you want to stipple a whole quilt? The answer is simple, and it’s the same for both questions. It’s just a matter of breaking the block or quilt into 4½"-square sections and working one section at a time. For example, to stipple a quilt, I would start in the center and work out to the sides by quilting one 4½"-square section at a time. You’re still quilting the sections continuously, but you change your focus from moving around the whole quilt to working on one small section at a time. In the beginning, you might find it helpful to actually mark the 4½"-square sections on the quilt. I use a white Chaco Liner and mark only a few sections right before I quilt them. I first create a “plus” pattern in the quilt, and then go back and fill in each of the four quadrants.”

    We hope you enjoyed these tips from Martingale’s machine-quilting masters! To learn more about the authors and their books, simply click on the book covers above. And a final bit of wisdom from famed quilter Angela Walters: finished is better than perfect.

    Be sure to tag your finished quilts with #madewithmartingale and share them on Instagram!

    So, how many of your quilt tops are waiting to be quilted? (No worries—you’re in the topper club now! 😄) Tell us in the comments!



    33 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  4. Table everything – take a look at this BIG book 😻 (+ giveaway!)

    What would you do with 240 pages of glorious colors, patterns, and inspiration—all combined in one BIG book of 56 petite quilts, each easy enough to whip up over a weekend?


    We bet you’d start sewing!

    We’ve been sneak-peeking The Big Book of Table Toppers for over a month on our Facebook and Instagram pages—and we are thrilled to say it’s finally here! Fifty-six designs for seasons, holidays, special days, and every day: all perfect to make and give, to create and keep, or just to have the perfect excuse to sew, sew, sew.


    With the variety of projects you’ll find in this latest book from our “Big Book” series—all from some of today’s most popular designers, all adding up to just 50 cents per pattern—you’ll find a reason to sew for everyone you know (and yourself!).

    There are SO many ways to enjoy this pattern-packed collection. Why? Because toppers and runners are easy to put to beautiful use! You can:

    Drape them casually over couches and chairs . . .

    Outback Sunset by Judy Hooworth

    Display them on drawers, dressers, and armoires . . .

    Charming Star by Country Threads

    Arrange them anywhere in the kitchen . . .

    Pie Birds by Kim Diehl

    Swathe them artfully around anything that doesn’t move . . . 😻

    Summer Picnic by Laurie Shifrin

    And of course, spread them out on the occasional table:


    Folded, stacked, rolled, bundled, or hung—SO many ways to play!

    You know we always celebrate the release of a new Martingale book with a giveaway—so for your chance to win an eBook copy of The Big Book of Table Toppers, tell us:

    Toppers or runners—what’s your favorite?

    Tell us in the comments—we’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. And remember, when you purchase a book at ShopMartingale.com, you’ll be able to instantly download the eBook for free.

    Good luck, and thanks for stopping by to visit us today!

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “Love them both but I use my table runners more.”

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




    700 comments (read all)

  5. Pennies per day for year-round inspiration – grab it before it’s gone! (special offer)

    Get ready to say HELLO to a sweet deal today!

    You’ve probably seen peeks of the stunning images inside Sue Spargo’s Stitches to Savor 2017 calendar online. And today you can own Sue’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous calendar for 50% off the retail price.


    Steal this deal for just $11.49—HALF OFF the retail price. Because Sue’s calendar is a time-sensitive item, the rest of our (quickly shrinking) inventory must be sold now.

    Sue’s 2017 wall calendar will have you yearning to put your needle and thread to fabric. Stunning, close-up photography captures every magnificent detail of her stitcheries. We guarantee you’ll be inspired once you experience this calendar! Here’s a quick flip-n-peek video we recently posted on YouTube:

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

    Imagine stopping to glance at your calendar during a busy day, just to take a calming breath and marvel at Sue’s hand-sewn works of art. We took a break almost every day in 2016 to do just that in the office—and we can’t wait to do it again in 2017!


    Own the calendar yourself and you can enjoy the rest of the new year being inspired by the incredible images, lush details, and astonishing beauty inside this one-of-a-kind calendar. People have even found ways to keep their calendar pages alive in creative ways after each month is finished:

    Check out the cool envelopes that Sue Spargo fan Barbara Quinby made from pages of Sue’s 2016 calendar!

    Here’s what creatives like you are saying about Sue’s 2017 calendar via Amazon.com:

    Five-stars“This calendar is like a coffee table book for your wall.” –Patti

    Five-stars“If you’re a fan of Sue or even of hand embellishment on appliqué, I would highly recommend this calendar.” –CM

    Five-stars“A great way to display Sue Spargo designs for the entire year.” –M. Buck

    A very limited supply of the Stitches to Savor 2017: Wall-Art Calendar of Designs by Sue Spargo is left—don’t miss your chance to own it! Here’s where you can order yours.

    And here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll see close-up and personal during January and February of this year:


    The dazzling birds alone make the calendar worth every penny, don’t you agree? 🐦🐤🐥

    What are you looking forward to in 2017: joining a quilt-along, starting (or completing!) a special quilt, hitting every stop on a shop hop?  Tell us in the comments!



    13 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  6. Take a slow-sewing break, all in romantic reds ❤ (+ giveaway!)

    So charming, so whimsical, so sweet—we’re so excited to share with you the heartwarming new book from Australian designer Natalie Bird!


    Natalie’s captured the soft, fanciful look that Aussie designers seem to create so effortlessly—and she’s done it all in romantic reds. Her simple patchwork and appliqué blend with embroidered stitcheries and sayings that will tug at your heartstrings.

    Rose Cat Mini Stitchery

    What better way to kick off 2017 than with a new sewing project to make you smile? Natalie’s easy embroidery stitches take just a few minutes to learn, and the tiny details that make her work so endearing will delight you.

    Natalie’s here as a guest writer today to tell us more about her passions for slow sewing, for hand embroidery, and for RED (along with a little embroidery tip too). Welcome, Natalie!

    Natalie-BirdI love red. Red shoes, red front doors, red apples, red handbags, red wine, red cars, and of course, red fabric! I had amassed quite a collection of red fabrics, so I thought, why not do a book of projects using my favorite red fabrics, paired with beiges, greys, and creams? I love this combination. Maybe you have a collection of reds too?

    My favorite sewing is handwork. I love appliqué, embroidery, and English paper piecing. I love to incorporate any or all of these into my quilt designs and sewn projects. In Cottage-Style Charm you’ll find sweet projects based on some of my favorite themes of friendship, family, and home. I hope you’ll enjoy making these projects for your own home.

    Birds, cats, baskets of flowers, home, a dog, a sweet angel. These are some of the appliqué blocks featured in the main quilt, Heart and Home. I love the Star blocks in the center panel of this quilt. They’re tiny, but they’re so sweet!

    Heart and Home sampler quilt with block details from left: HOME Heart, Scooter Dog, and Pretty Red Robin.

    I also love the Little House Pincushion. It’s so fun to make with a little of everything—appliqué, embroidery, and English paper piecing—with a sweet little verse. Fill it with crushed walnut shells to give it a lovely weight, and it will keep your needles and pins from rusting! I’ve made a few of these for special friends who love to sew too.

    Little House Pincushion

    The True Friend Tote is a great size with plenty of handy pockets and sturdy, wide straps. The tote’s construction is simple, and I hope you’ll enjoy the embroidered verse on the front, celebrating friendship.

    True Friend Tote

    Red-Bird-Coin-Purse-detailEmbroidery tip: I always use a lightweight, fusible interfacing on the back of my embroidery fabric. The interfacing stops the fabric from stretching and hides thread shadows. My best advice for neat embroidery is to “stab stitch,” and to use a hoop when possible. To stab stitch, pull your needle and thread all the way through from front to back, and then from back to front in two separate movements, rather than making the whole stitch from the front. It’s a slower process, but your work will turn out neater.

    Thank you for sharing your new book with us, Natalie!

    Red fabric and thread: bursting at the seams (ha!), building up a nice stash, or feeling the need to start a stash right now (or would you choose an entirely different color to stitch these beauties)? Tell us your answer in the comments and you could win a copy of the Cottage-Style Charm eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

    Good luck and thanks for joining us today!

    Comments are closed for this post.

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

    “I’m all about the reds!”

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







    542 comments (read all)

  7. Kick off 2017 with a “Treat Yourself!” coupon & make this year your most creative yet!

    The presents are unwrapped, the stockings are unstuffed, and the halls are undecked (well, maybe). Another Christmas has come and gone. You gave so many people in your life a happy holiday. Now it’s time to treat yourself!

    How about indulging in a treat—of the quilty variety—that will last the whole year though and beyond? We asked Santa and he merrily approved!

    Take an extra 25% off your purchase!

    Just enter the coupon code CREATIVE2017 at checkout and you’ll get 25% off your purchase* at ShopMartingale.com. Choose books filled with quilts you’ve been dreaming of making once the craziness of Christmas is over. The savings are sitewide!

    Amped up to be a better machine quilter in the New Year?

    The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

    Treat yourself to one of our popular machine-quilting books.

    Eager to dive into your scrap stash this year?

    Detail of Mending Basket quilt from
    Simple Appeal

    Treat yourself to an inspiring book of spectacular scrap quilts to make.

    Oohing and aahing over the embroidery craze?

    New Day Pillow from
    Stitches from the Garden

    Treat yourself to a beautiful book that will teach you a skill you’ll love for life—browse our latest embroidery books.

    Perhaps you have a friend who’s quilt-curious—or maybe it’s you?

    Simple Quilts from Me and My Sister Designs

    Treat yourself or a friend to fun books that will teach beginning quilters all the basics.

    And of course, you can use your coupon for any of our sewing, knitting, and crocheting books too!

    If you’re not familiar with our website, it’s easy to redeem your savings—just follow this handy how-to:



    Now, sit back, browse our site a bit, and reward yourself for another Christmas chockfull of lasting memories. And accept this giant thank-you from us—we love delivering a big dollop of inspiration in every book we publish so you can live your best creative life. Here’s to a CREATIVE2017!

    What quilty resolution have you made for 2017?

    a) Make more time for sewing—it’s good for my soul.

    b) Practice my machine quilting (and maybe even master it).

    b) Sew my scraps into something sensational!

    Or maybe it’s something else . . . tell us about it in the comments!

    *Coupon cannot be combined with other discounts.





    30 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  8. Wish List Day! Friendships, farmhouses, and a little zen (+ giveaway!)

    It’s Wish List Dayalways our favorite day of the month! This month we’re excited to share with you the Martingale books coming to your local quilt shop in February. Tell us your favorite book and you could win it!

    SUBSCRIBE-to-Stitch-ThisSubscribe to our blog and you’ll always get a first look at newly released Martingale quilt books, plus special sales, freebies, tutorials, and more.

    Simple FriendshipsSimple Friendships: 14 Quilts from Exchange-Friendly Blocks
    Kim Diehl and Jo Morton

    Wish-list Notify-me

    When two quilty friends—and beloved best-selling authors—team up to design friendship quilts for you, you become their BFF too! Kim Diehl and Jo Morton bring their signature styles together in a book bursting with exquisite quilts to make with friends. Kim and Jo chose six of their all-time favorite blocks for swaps; then each designed six quilts using those blocks, along with two sampler quilts that incorporate all six blocks. The results are breathtaking! You’ll learn how easy it is to form a swap group with Kim and Jo’s best tips and advice. Instructions include options for making an entire quilt solo and making just one block at a time (perfect for swaps). Friends, guilds, bees, and more—invite everyone to sew, swap, and build lasting friendships while stitching these dazzling quilts!

    Have a seat and sew with me! Kim’s Oak Patch quilt is on the left; Jo’s Apple Cider quilt is on the right.

    See more from Simple Friendships (then call a friend) >

    Miss Rosie's Farmhouse FavoritesMiss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites: 12 Captivating Scrappy Quilts
    Carrie Nelson

    Wish-list Notify-me

    Oodles of quilters are in love with Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company—and the magic that the woman behind the company, Carrie Nelson, makes when she puts needle to fabric. How would it feel to mix scraps like she does, be a master of print and pattern play, combine colors so effortlessly? Now you can find out with this curated collection of popular patterns from Miss Rosie—and they’re all fat-quarter friendly! A dozen stunning bed-sized quilts come with ideas for enlarging or reducing to the size you like best. Patterns are written as if Carrie’s sitting right beside you, telling you why she did or didn’t do something (and why you should do what she did!), all with the witty prose and funny stories you love when Carrie’s wearing her other creative hat—as blogging and social-media guru for Moda Fabrics.

    Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites

    See more faves from the farmhouse >

    Zen Chic InspiredZen Chic Inspired: A Guide to Modern Quilt Design
    Brigitte Heitland

    Wish-list Notify-me

    Yearning to design a quilt that captures your unique style? Quilter, Moda fabric designer, and interior designer Brigitte Heitland will guide you step by step toward creating one-of-a-kind quilts inspired by the colors and elements in your home. No difficult design concepts here—Brigitte’s approach is innovative and fun. From turning a pixelated image of your space into a color palette, to transforming the shapes in a room (a lamp, a cushion, a coffee cup) into a foundation for a show-stopping quilt, you’ll love Brigitte’s practical advice for designing quilts that tell your story. And the styled room shots that inspired the 12 quilt patterns inside? 😍 Gorgeous!

    In this example from
    Zen Chic Inspired, the fabrics in the top photo aren’t harmonious with the surroundings; in the bottom photo, the fabrics coordinate well with the elements in the room.

    See the delightfully quirky quilts in Zen Chic Inspired >

    Which new book would make your February fantastic? Tell us in the comments and you could win your choice of book when it’s released! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!




    454 comments (read all)

  9. 🎄 A Christmas wish for you 🎄

    A very merry eve of Christmas Eve to you!

    Whether you’re stuffing stockings, baking cookies, or in the middle of a sewing sprint, we want to take just a moment to say thank you. We are honored to be a part of your creative life, and we want to wish you the happiest and healthiest (and creative-ist!) of holidays.

    Scrap-Basket Stockings by Kim Diehl, from
    Simple Christmas Tidings

    Tomorrow we’ll close our office doors to spend the holidays with loved ones. But stay tuned, because 2017 is going to be our most inspiring year yet. New books from Kim Diehl and Jo Morton, Miss Rosie (aka Carrie Nelson), Terry Atkinson, Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson (yes, Splendids, soon!), Minick and Simpson, and an all-new Moda All-Stars book are coming your way—and that’s just in the first few months of the year!

    We’ll meet you back here on Monday, January 2, with our first Wish List post of 2017. Our holiday wish for you—to set aside time in the New Year to dream, play, and create. We hope our upcoming books will help you do just that.

    Sending our warmest and biggest thank yous, from all of us at Martingale. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Happy Holidays from Martingale!




    19 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  10. A hexie break for the holidays: just add color (+ giveaway!)

    The craze of coloring books for adults shows no signs of stopping, and we know why. It’s calming, quick, creative, and fun. Not to mention stress-free. Just add color!

    Example from
    The New Hexagon Coloring Book

    The New Hexagon Coloring BookAmid all the gift making, cookie baking, tree decorating, snow shoveling, eggnog sipping, and family gathering this time of year, it’s important to set aside time to unwind from the festive pace of it all. With The New Hexagon Coloring Book, bestselling author Katja Marek will inspire you to carve out a few moments of your busy day to let your mind drift away for a little play.

    Find a design and choose a color palette; add a comfy chair, a cozy quilt, and your favorite music; then put pencil (or crayon, or marker) to paper. You’ll feel the stresses of the day fade away as your thoughts quiet down and your focus hones in. If you haven’t tried coloring yet (as a grown-up 😊), you’ll be surprised at the tranquility a little coloring can give you. And because all 60 designs in The New Hexagon Coloring Book are from Katja’s bestselling book and calendar, you can begin planning your next quilt too.

    The design key at the bottom of each coloring page helps with color and value choices, so your finished coloring can really stand out.

    We filmed a quick video of our own Beth Bradley coloring in the book—doesn’t it look fun to try?

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

    Treat yourself to Katja’s coloring book and it’ll arrive around the turn of the New Year. Say farewell to the bustle of the holidays by kicking back with a little quilty coloring! Or splurge on a sewing buddy with an out-of-the-box gift that will help them relax in a creative way.

    The New Hexagon Coloring Book
    Quilty gift idea: just add colored pencils, crayons, or markers (and a bow or two) 👍

    Free-coloring-page-New-Hexagon-Coloring-BookReady to take a creative break with The New Hexagon Coloring Book? Download a page from the coloring book and try it for free! Snap a pic of your colored page and post it on social media with the hashtag #thenewhexagoncoloringbook—we’d love to see it!

    We’re also giving a copy of the coloring book away today! To enter to win, tell us in the comments:

    When it comes to coloring books:

    a) I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m curious.

    b) Tried it, but I’d love a quilty coloring book.

    c) Color crazed!

    We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck, and happy coloring!

    More coloring for quilters: Color a Quilt: A Coloring Book for Quilters – 45 Designs!

    Comments are closed for this post.

    Thanks to all who entered the drawing. The winner is Margaret, who says:

    “I haven’t tried coloring books as an adult.”

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











    332 comments (read all)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *