A beginning quilter at Martingale: did she catch the quilting bug?

It’s a happy day here at Martingale—we have a budding quilter on our staff! Our marketing graphic designer, Tara, is testing the quiltmaking waters, and she’ll be sharing her experience in a series of blog posts at Stitch This! Today you’ll get to know Tara and see her first sewing efforts. Let’s all cheer her on!


As I sit down to write this it’s January 3, 2018—exactly one year to the day that I started working at Martingale as a graphic designer in the marketing department.

Me and my office! This quilt was made by Judy Murrah in 1995, and it actually plays London Bridge if you know where to find the button. I’m not kidding.

First things first: Martingale is fantastic! Working here is truly inspiring. Everyone here is so creative—I’ve never worked with so many people who make things in their spare time. I distinctly remember using the phrase “wannabe quilter” in my cover letter when I applied for the job, and Karen Johnson, our Director of Marketing, took that 100% seriously.

Enter 2018. My resolutions were to be more creative in my spare time and to do some home improvements, including cozy-making. Committing to a series of blog posts seemed like a good way to jump-start those efforts (and impress my boss!). So here we go with my first post about my first quilt!


Fabric Selection—Keep It Simple, Sewist

There’s so much fabric out there it makes my head spin. So I decided to start with my tiny stash. I was given a bundle of Kona Cotton Solids as a souvenir from Spring Quilt Market, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to use them. At our Martingale holiday potluck, I won another awesome bundle of Bonfire Batiks by Moda. I thought they might work well with the solids.

Kona Cotton Cookie Cutter Bundle and Bonfire Batiks by Moda


Tools of the Trade—OLFA and Pat Sloan to the rescue!

Martingale let me borrow a toolbox full of OLFA rulers, cutters, mats, and spare blades. I really like their Frosted Advantage Ruler. It was easy to see what I was doing—very helpful for a beginner. Pat Sloan’s Teach Me to Make My First Quilt seemed like a logical choice, and I was right. Although I didn’t plan to make a project from the book, I knew that Pat’s explanation of techniques would be the perfect prerequisite reading.


Project Ideas

There is no shortage of amazing Martingale patterns I would love to make someday if I turn out to be any good at this quilting thing. Here are a few:


Wrapped in Love from
A Piece of Cake
Come On-a My House from Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites
Spectrum from Rock Solid 

In the end, I decided to make a little runner for my table at home, sewn out of strips in a rainbow palette. I figured sewing straight lines would be challenging enough!

So, do you want to know how it went? Stay tuned for my next post in which I put Pat’s book to the test and end up with a real live finished quilt top!


Spoiler alert: I love it!

To be honest, the experience was over far too fast. I wanted more, and more happened. You’ll see…


I’d love to know: What was your first quilt project? Describe it in the comments!


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