Detail of Dream House by Nancy J. Martin, Woodinville, Washington, 1999. From the book Patchwork Picnic.
The year is 1976. While America is crocheting bell bottoms, kung-fu fighting, and having a nice day, an enthusiastic quilter launches a little publishing house out of her garage. One author. One book. One mission. To share the joys of a creative life.
That entrepreneurial quilter? Nancy J. Martin (with husband Dan, left). Nancy has since written over 40 books that have sold more than a million copies, and her encouraging patchwork how-to has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to fall in love with quilts and quilting. How’d she do it? She founded That Patchwork Place—also known today as Martingale. (And she got a staff.)
The little publishing house that Nancy built has become synonymous with beauty, quality, and one pressing question: That Patchwork Place? Over the years, the “TPP” logo has been updated (right), but the visual message has stayed the same—an homage to traditional quilting and patchwork in the form of a little pieced house. So if you’ve ever wondered where “That Patchwork Place” is, now you know. It’s in our logo!
In the ’90s, Nancy and Dan decided to broaden the scope of books they’d publish, and they adopted the company name Martingale to indicate they weren’t just quilting anymore. That Patchwork Place became a imprint of Martingale—kind of like a branch on the Martingale tree—and we now produce books on knitting, crochet, and other crafts too. With the launch of our new website and blog, we updated the Martingale logo to include Marti—the confident little bird who loves to strut her stuff.
Although Nancy and Dan retired from Martingale and That Patchwork Place several years ago, they still keep in touch—and Nancy is still quilting. You can bet that over 35 years, she’s designed a quilt for every occasion imaginable. Today, we’re sharing one of them with you. It’s a colorful, scrappy quilt that echoes the April showers, May flowers time of year. Posy Pots!
Nancy’s cheery appliqué patterns are always designed with ease in mind. The patchwork is made up of simple squares and a single Irish Chain quilt-block pattern; the appliquéd flower designs feature big shapes with gentle curves. Download the free appliqué pattern now.
They say you should do what you love. That’s exactly what Nancy did. As a tight-knit group of 40 employees, our goal is to continue her tradition and build on her passion. We love inspiring you to create a gorgeous quilt, a stylish bag, or an adorable pair of baby booties. But more than that, our aim—as Nancy’s has always been—is to inspire a beautiful life. It’s an immensely fulfilling side effect of creating with confidence.
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