You’re invited! Free quilting tours

Posted by on September 27, 2012, in quilting & sewing, ,

Wow sale: 40% off select books

Did you know that you can tour our Bothell, Washington, office in person and get an up-close look at original quilts from books we’ve published? (Seriously, we’ve decked out every room.) Today you’ll hear all about our quilting tours from tour guide Abbi. She’s retiring, so you’re just in time for her final trip ’round the office.

Retiring tour guide Abbi

Abbi’s been quilting since 1995 and has worked at Martingale for eight years. Now that her husband has retired, she’s hanging up her time card and hitting the road, her sewing machine, and her knitting needles full time. You can find Abbi’s original quilt designs in Quilting with Fat Quarters and Jelly Babies.

Contact us about booking your free spot on a future tour, when our awesome administrative assistant—friendly, fun, quilt-loving Linda—will serve as the new tour guide.

Now, here’s Abbi to walk you through an office tour.


Quilt Tours at Martingale

“Hi! My name is Abbi and I’m your tour guide today.” So starts another tour in the reception area. I see that today’s group size is about average—ten guests. I encourage guests to interrupt with questions anytime. We quilters, knitters, and crocheters can get into some pretty interesting discussions about design and techniques during the tours.

quilt tour 1
Abbi shares details about a whimsical quilt by Mary Lou Weidman and Melanie Bautista McFarland, from their book
Out of the Box with Easy Blocks.

Quilts from Martingale books hang on the walls throughout the office, and we also display knit, crochet, and craft projects when they’re available. During the tour I talk about the projects, explaining which book a project appears in and who designed it. I also let guests know whether or not we have the book in our “hurt” book room (more on the book room later).

As I talk about each quilt, I describe the techniques used in detail. I also include information about the author, such as how many books she’s published, where she’s from, and what her typical style is like. Guests make notes of books they’re interested in on the Book Wish List they’re given at the beginning of the tour.

At the conclusion of the tour, I take the guests into our “hurt” book room, where we house books that have been slightly damaged in transit. Usually, this means just a scratched cover or a dented corner. We sell these books to tour guests at a very reasonable price (think of the bargain shelves at a large chain bookstore). In the “hurt” book room, guests can shop at their leisure. We happily provide carry-out service for those who purchase more books than they can carry.

quilt tour 2--the hurt book room
Shopping in the “hurt” book room.

Book your free quilt tour of the Martingale office now.

Most of our guests are quilters, but we also host knitters, crocheters, and crafters, as well as many who are involved in more than one of these pursuits. Because Martingale publishes books on all of these subjects, we have something for everyone. Here are just a few of the quilts currently on display:

French Summer from Fuss-Free Machine AppliquePumpkin Peel from Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts
“French Summer” from
Fuss-Free Machine Appliqué and “Pumpkin Peel” from Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts.

Cupcake Delight from Fast and Fun First Quilts Orange Marmalade quilt from Fast Fusible Flower Quilts
“Cupcake Delight” from
Fast and Fun First Quilts and “Orange Marmalade” from Fast, Fusible Flower Quilts.

A recent group of guests shared some of the reasons they like to take our tour:

  • Gina considers the tour a source of inspiration and a way to keep up with trends. She also said it’s a good activity to do with friends (she brought three of hers).
  • Janet has been visiting off and on for 20 years and just wanted to see some beautiful quilts and to “check on what you’re up to.”
  • It was Colleen’s first visit and she found the tour fascinating. She liked how quiet the office is, allowing her to concentrate on the details in the quilts. She’s a beginning quilter and found much to inspire her.
  • Vera found the tour helpful in her exploration of old themes to be repurposed in a more contemporary style.

A frequent observation by our guests is how much fun they have and how beautiful the quilts are—or, as a recent guest from Italy said, “Bellissima!” I’ve been amazed at how many guests from all over the US, Canada, and overseas have friends or relatives living in Western Washington, and that they make a tour of Martingale part of their itinerary when they come to visit. I sure hope you can come see us on a trip to our area. Details for making arrangements to visit are on our website.


Editor’s note: Abbi has retired since writing this post. Everyone sent Abbi off with a quilt—made by coworkers, of course! (We do that often.)

Abbi's retirement quilt 1 Abbi's retirement quilt 2 Abbi's retirement quilt 3

Abbi's retirement quilt 4

Customer relations manager Chris had this to say about Abbi’s time at Martingale:

“Over the past eight years, Abbi has put Martingale’s office tour on the map. She has made touring the office and buying ‘hurt’ books a destination event for visitors from both near and far. We’ll miss her, but we know she’ll enjoy the freedom to pursue her own creative journey. Psst… there are bets among us as to how long it will be before we see her here on a tour!”

Best wishes for a happy retirement, Abbi!


Have you toured the Martingale office? We’d love to hear about your visit. Share your story in the comments!


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