Join us for a good ol’ fashioned BBQ – a quilt along! (+ prizes)


Pages from Blocks, Borders, Quilts!

I’ve been barely able to contain myself about this book, and at last I can share my enthusiasm with you! Sunny’s brand-new book, affectionately nicknamed “BBQ,” is an incredible workbook that will help you create one-of-a-kind, medallion-style quilts with no math! Blocks, Borders, Quilts! is filled to the brim with blocks for each round, tons of unique border settings, and a gallery of ideas for finished quilt layouts. Her blocks are pieced—some traditionally and some paper pieced—with plenty of excellent diagrams, so there’s something for everyone.

Sunny starts with a 12″ center block and builds the medallion from there. She provides a Medallion Template and lots of ideas, so your quilt will be completely your own. She also has a section on color and contrast, with tricks and pointers to help you choose the colors that will “give your quilt power.”

As you progress to the next rounds, Sunny has done all of the math for you. All you do to design a quilt is pick and choose from her wide variety of blocks and borders. If you follow her plan, every quilt finishes at 40″ square to make a beautiful wall hanging, table topper, or small quilt.

Here in the office we were so excited about Sunny’s book  that we decided to do our own Round Robin, using BBQ as our guide. We ended up with 14 enthusiastic participants divided into three groups. We even came up with fun group names: the BBQ Babes (yes, that’s my group), the Robinettes, and the BBQ Chippies.

BBQ round robin--Martingale group photo

See Round Two of the BBQ Quilt-Along here.

How does it work? There are many ways to run a Round Robin. Here are our Round Robin quilt rules: Each quilter makes her own center 12″ block, gathers some coordinating fabric, and brings it all to our unveiling meeting. After that, she doesn’t touch her quilt again until it’s done. The block and fabric is handed to the next person in the group, who will add the next round. When working on someone else’s quilt, we can add our own fabric if we like, and what we do with that round is completely up to us (with BBQ as our guide). After five months of exchanging in this manner, every participant will have sewn on every quilt in their group and will have her very own finished quilt top. Truly a work of friendship!

Here are our blocks. We’re a creative bunch and have access to so many wonderful patterns that a few of us strayed a bit.

The Rule Followers

Here are center blocks we used from Blocks, Borders, Quilts!:

BBQ round robin block--KarenS

Karen Soltys, Managing Editor: “Guiding Star”

How long have you been quilting? I’ve been quilting since 1979. (You do the math!)
Last completed quilt? The “Architectural Stars” quilt featured in our new Quilting with Fat Quarters book.
All-time favorite quilt book? After working in this industry for so many years, it’s impossible to choose just one favorite.

BBQ round robin block--MaryB

Mary Burns, Marketing Coordinator: “Dogwood”

How long have you been quilting? Since 1977, after seeing the Great American Quilt Exhibit.
Last completed quilt? It was a row-robin exchange with my small quilt group, but I also made a quilt from Singular Sensations for my sister.
All-time favorite quilt book? Impossible to choose, as I refer to so many for instruction and inspiration. However, ’Tis the Season is special to me, not only because I love all the quilts, but because it was photographed at my house and even has a photo of my dog Rufus in his Christmas sweater!

BBQ round robin block--Virginia

Virginia, Accounting: “Dogwood”

How long have you been quilting? I have been quilting for 30 years.
Last completed quilt? A paper-pieced wall hanging for my daughter.
All-time favorite quilt book? The “Around the Block” series by Judy Hopkins; reference books I go to time and again.

BBQ round robin block--Cathy

Cathy, Editorial Author Liason:“Spinning Wheel”

How long have you been quilting?  Fifteen-plus years.
Last completed quilt? “Berry Fine Wine” for Quilting with Fat Quarters. I used two fat-quarter packs in berry- and wine-colored fabrics—colors I’m not usually drawn to—but the pattern called out for those colors.
All-time favorite quilt book? One, just one? I can’t pick just one, but all books with a Christmas theme are my favorites.

BBQ round robin block--Abbi

Abbi, Tour Coordinator: “Michelle”

How long have you been quilting? I’ve been quilting for 17 years.
Last quilt completed? My last completed quilt is the cover quilt on Quilting with Fat Quarters.
All-time favorite quilt book? I have over 400 quilt books and they are all my “favorite!” I am a real quilt bookaholic.

BBQ round robin block--Tracy

Tracy, Key Accounts Representative: “Prairie Rose”

How long have you been quilting? I’ve been quilting for over 20 years but started on my own and have learned so much in the past five years from quilting with friends on retreats.
Last completed quilt? I just finished a quilt that I used to teach a friend how to quilt. Just a rail fence with blocks and 16 patches to teach a few different techniques, but simple enough not to frustrate a beginner. I made it along with her for the fun of it and to use some bright fabrics I had.
All-time favorite quilt book? My favorite book changes with the month. This month’s favorite is Blocks, Borders, Quilts! Next month’s favorite will be Skip the Borders!

The Renegades

Here are center blocks we used from other block libraries:

BBQ round robin block--Chris

Chris, Customer Relations Manager: “Picture Frame”

From the Quilter’s Block-a-Day Calendar by Debby Kratovil.

How long have you been quilting? I’ve been quilting for 19 years. Yikes, really? Where did the years go?
Last completed quilt? Big project: son’s wedding quilt. Small projects: three 12″ x 12″ group challenges.
All-time favorite quilt book? Scrap-Basket Surprises.

BBQ round robin block--KarenB

Karen Burns, Acquisitions Editor: “EggPlant"

Modified from 200 Blocks from Quiltmaker Magazine.

How long have you been quilting? I have been quilting for about nine years.
Last quilt completed? A completed quilt? Not just the top? 🙂 I made a quilt from Urban Country Quilts that I LOVE, and it’s currently on my long-arm machine, hoping to be quilted soon.
All-time favorite quilt book? I have a gazillion favorite quilt books. It’s like candy or potato chips … I can’t have just one!

BBQ round robin block--Linda

Linda, Administrative Assistant: “Black Spruce”

From 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins.

How long have you been quilting? I’ve been quilting for about seven months.
Last completed quilt? I just made a baby quilt from our new book Blocks, Borders, Quilts!
All-time favorite quilt book? 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins (so far).

The Adjusters

Here are modified versions of blocks from Blocks, Borders, Quilts!:

BBQ round robin block--Cornelia

Cornelia, Senior Customer Service Representative: “Fair and Square.”

Cornelia wanted to use a large piece of her fabric so she modified the block slightly to accommodate the print.

How long have you been quilting? Twelve years.
Last quilt completed? A small (12″ x 12″) art quilt with a Mother Earth theme.
All-time favorite quilt book? This changes—along with my favorite color! At the moment it’s Quilting with Fat Quarters.

BBQ round robin block--KarenJ

Karen Johnson, Director of Marketing (that’s ME!): “Gathered In.”

I used the block as Sunny designed it but added several appliquéd circles from the book Adventures in Circles.

How long have you been quilting? Twenty-two years, but I only understood what I was doing for the last 16. 🙂
Last completed quilt? A 12″ x 12″ art piece for my monthly challenge group.
All-time favorite quilt book? I can’t imagine being able to choose—probably whatever new book is in my hands at the moment!

BBQ round robin block--Claudia

Claudia, Production Coordinator: “Framed and On Point”

Like Cornelia, Claudia wanted to use a fussy-cut piece of fabric in the center of her block, so she modified the original block slightly.

How long have you been quilting? I started quilting about a year after I got through my Nancy J. Martin series of orientation classes when I began working at Martingale, about 17 years ago. (It was a baby quilt for my first grandchild, now 16 years old!)
Last completed quilt? An appliqué project from Maui with turtles and the word “Maui.” I used the techniques from Word Play Quilts to make the letters.
All-time favorite quilt book? Your First Quilt Book (because it’s basic and I can always remember the name!).

The Last-Minute Quilter

BBQ round robin block--Leanne

Leanne, Account Manager

Leanne ran out of time, found a block in her stash, and added a border to make it 12″. This shows you how flexible BBQ is. You can use up your unloved or abandoned blocks to get yourself going on a brand new project!

How long have you been quilting? I made my first quilt in 1970—still have it. Took a break until I was pregnant with my son in 1980. I made a baby quilt then and have never looked back! Zoom!
Last completed quilt? A baby quilt for my first grandson. We call it his “Charlie Brown” quilt. Of course I have also “completed” four tops since the beginning of the year … who knows when they will get finished!
All-time favorite quilt book? I have always maintained that my favorite book is 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts, but there are so many new books trying to edge it out, like the Scrap-Basket books by Kim Brackett, and Quilting with Fat Quarters, and 200 Blocks from Quiltmaker Magazine, and … and … and …

The Quilt-Along

BBQ round robin block--Jenny

Jenny, Content Editor

Jenny, our resident blogger, works from home in another state, so she’s sewing her own medallion quilt and sharing her photos at each stage. She used the block "Merry," and added some raw-edge appliqué to the center.

How long have you been quilting? Almost 15 years.
Last completed quilt? The “Four Patch Sheet Quilt” from ReSew. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten as far as the binding!
All-time favorite quilt book? It depends on the style of the quilts—I have favorites in every category!—but overall, Mary Lou Weidman always inspires me with her fun, quirky approach.

We’ll unveil each of our rounds as we finish them, so that you can see the Round Robin quilt borders progress. Stop by again on Tuesday, August 28th, to check out the next round!


You’re invited to join us! If you’d like to create your own work of art, simply purchase Blocks, Borders, Quilts! (get the eBook free with purchase!) and start sewing, like Jenny. If you’d like to start a Round Robin, find a few friends (4 to 5 people total) to join you. You can start at any time, take as much time per round as you like (we allowed about four weeks for each round). Our only rule is that we had to follow Sunny’s measurements. The beauty of her book is that you can use her blocks, or you can combine her blocks with ideas from your favorite block library.

We’d love to see your quilts as they progress! Upload a photo of your quilt’s progress using this handy form. Keep sending us photos as your quilt progresses, for the fun of sharing and for a chance to win! Once a month for five months, we’ll draw a random winner from each of the photos entered. The prize each month will be a $50 eGift certificate to use at ShopMartingale.com. We’ll choose our first random winner on Tuesday, August 28th, so be sure to send us a photo of your center block before then!

See everyone’s entries at our “BBQ Round Robin” board on Pinterest.

See Round Two of the BBQ Quilt-Along.


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