Free quilts for all! (when you work here 10 years)

Posted by on June 26, 2012, in quilting & sewing, ,

All Stars from American Jane's Quilts for All SeasonsWhen Linda Astle started working as a receptionist at Martingale, making a quilt was quite possibly the furthest thing from her mind. Unlike most of the employees here, Linda didn’t quilt, or sew, or knit, or crochet. And she had no interest in learning.

We were convinced this would change (How could it not? Being surrounded by quilts is endlessly inspiring!), but as the years passed, Linda laughingly resisted all attempts to get her interested in quilting. She was happy to do some scrapbooking now and again, but that’s where her creative interests ended. Until, that is, it was time to start thinking about her anniversary quilt.

One of the favorite benefits of working at Martingale is that every employee receives a quilt on their tenth anniversary. Nancy Martin started this generous tradition in 1987 and continued it until she retired in 2007. Employees could choose a quilt Nancy had made for one of her books or request one in a specific size and color. Nancy laughs now when she recalls that some employees were not embarrassed to request a king-size quilt. She honored all requests, including a king-size Feathered Star!

The first two employees to receive quilts began working at That Patchwork Place when it was housed in a room above the Martin’s garage. Through 20 years, several address changes, and many employees, Nancy worked on all the quilts herself and had them hand-quilted by Amish quilters in Pennsylvania. Although employee turnover at Martingale is very low, that still adds up to a lot of quilts over the years. When Nancy retired, the employees were reluctant to let the tradition die, and so, organized by illustrator Laurel Strand, they worked together to create group quilts.

Linda with her anniversary quilt
Linda with her anniversary quilt

Linda's first quiltWhen it was Linda’s turn to choose a pattern, she knew exactly what she wanted. She had fallen in love with Sandy Klop’s design “All Stars” from the book American Jane’s Quilts for All Seasons. She liked it so much, in fact, that she carried a picture of it in her purse for two years before her anniversary. She was so thrilled when she received it that she redecorated her bedroom to go with her new quilt. And then something funny happened. While putting the finished touches on her bedroom, Linda decided she’d like to have a matching wall hanging. But who would make it for her? Around the same time, her sister mentioned that she’d like to learn to quilt. In no time at all, they started taking classes together, and Linda is now just as passionate about quilting as the rest of us (and her wall hanging, shown at right, is wonderful).

Part of the fun surrounding the anniversary quilts is seeing what patterns and colors the employees choose. The patterns all come from That Patchwork Place books, but you never know what project might have caught someone’s eye. Here’s Cornelia Gauger, Customer Service Rep, with her gorgeous “Kansas Troubles” quilt from Nancy Martin’s book, A Treasury of Scrap Quilts. Cornelia opted for a red and white quilt similar to the one in the book.

Cornelia with her anniversary quilt

In contrast, Account Manager Leanne Clare chose bright, cheery colors reminiscent of her beloved Hawaii, where she once lived. Her quilt, “UFO Complete,” is a Lynn Roddy Brown design (from Simple Strategies for Block-Swap Quilts).

Leanne with her anniversary quilt

My favorite part of the anniversary quilt tradition is that everyone is included, from the senior managers to the guys in the warehouse who pack the boxes to our IT guru, Chad Mangel. Here’s Chad smiling over the top of his quilt, “Trip Squared” by Laurie Shifrin (from Batik Beauties).

Chad with his anniversary quilt

Chad received his quilt in 2009, the year before Sheila Ryan, Senior Copy Editor, received hers. Sheila’s pattern is “Pressed Flowers” by Jean van Bockel, from the book Quilts from Larkspur Farm.

Sheila with her anniversary quilt

Seeing someone’s pleasure at receiving a quilt made by their friends and coworkers is rewarding. Even those of us who are dedicated quilters love to receive a quilt made especially for us. Keeping this tradition going is one more way we share our enthusiasm for quilting and for our team here at Martingale.

You can view more of our staff anniversary quilts on Flickr.

Have you ever helped make a group quilt? Who was it for, and what was the occasion? Share your story in the comments.

Be sure to “Like” Martingale on Facebook for frequent updates, news, and freebies.

64 Comments (leave a comment)

  • What a fabulous and generous tradition. Obviously Martingale is a wonderful place to work since LOTS of employees hit their 10 year annversary. Handmade is best!

    Stephanie on June 26, 2012
  • The very first quilt I ever worked on was a Dresden Plate kit a church lady provided for one of the circles to make as a charity/sale quilt. I was definitely going to go on and make more after that.

    Michelle Harrison on June 26, 2012
  • What a wonderful tradition! I love the sentiment behind it. Took your tour yesterday and had a blast, by the way. Saw a couple of the smiling faces in this blog entry. Thanks for being such a wonderful host and letting us see the book quilts! They are truly stunning in person — each and every one of them!

    I haven’t participated in a group quilt, other than block swaps. I would think it would be tons of fun!

    Jean F on June 26, 2012
  • What a beautiful tradition. Martingale must be a very wonderful place to work. I’ve never worked on a group quilt before, but it seems that would make the work light 🙂 Thanks for sharing this amazing story.

    Jocelyn on June 26, 2012
  • Love love love that tradition. A perfect way to recognize the person and their contribution to the company.

    BJ on June 26, 2012
  • As a teenager, I belonged to a Masonic youth group. Our chapter always made a quilt for the outgoing president in colors she selected. Each member embroidered a block with her name; those with better stitching skills made them to reflect important dates in the term. The members all then gathered to stitch it together and quilt it. I still have mine 30 years later.

    —Susan on June 26, 2012
  • I made a twin size checkerboard quilt out of our school’s colors (maroon & gold) for my daughter’s retiring cheer-leading coach. All the girls signed their names or wrote short messages on the gold squares and then many other students also signed. So far, that is the closest I’ve come to a group quilt. With the recent devastating flooding that covered our whole downtown, perhaps I’ll put together a quilt to auction for the flood relief fund and see if others will join in too.

    —Sarah on June 26, 2012
  • One of the members of my small bee "The Sparkle Beez" lost her daughter unexpectedly. The ladies in our bee decided to do a small memory quilt in her honor based on "A Quilter’s Diary" by Mimi Dietrich. The 9 blocks told a short story about the family and daughter which was included as the lable on the back of the quilt. When it was presented at our bee meeting, there was not a dry eye to be found. Even as I write this, my eyes tear up. The comfort of a quilt, no matter the size, is forever.

    —Barb on June 26, 2012
  • I want to work at Martingale!!!! How do I get in? {smile}. I’ve worked on many, many group quilts but never received one. That is a wonderful way to show your employees how much they mean to the company. Anyone working at a quilt company must realize how time-consuming making a large quilt it.
    Most of the group quilts I have worked on have been raffles, from family reunions quilts raffled so proceeds could support the next year’s Children’s Games or as a quilt guild raising money for a special project chosen by the guild. All are fun to work on, and very meaningful to the winner.
    It’s just a great experience for all involved. What wonderful employers you must be!

    Marsha on June 26, 2012
  • Our local group of quilt friends has been making one group quilt a month for Project Linus. Each month one person picks out an "ugly" fabric and gives each person a piece of it. Each person makes a nine inch quilt block (putting their own fabrics with the "ugly" fabric) and the person that chose the "ugly" fabric puts all of those blocks into a quilt and finishes it to donate it. Only two rules. You must make a nine inch block and it has to have a piece of the "ugly" fabric in it. People are surprised how nice these quilts are turning out. Not ugly at all.

    —Betty C on June 26, 2012
  • Haven’t quilted for long and don’t belong to a group, but what a lovely tradition! So glad that you are keeping it up! Best wishes,

    —Heather Bray on June 26, 2012
  • Group Quilts: First group quilt by TEQ (Talking, Eating, Quilting) of Zama, Japan- 6 Japanese quilters & me- told the story of Momotaro (Japanese folk character) meeting Sunbonnet Sue on one of his voyages. Accepted for exhibition at the Yokohama Quilt Fest in the late 90’s.
    With our church quilters, a Tennessee Waltz wedding quilt for our young asst. pastor, Bailey, and his bride Sara.
    More recently, with Plantation Quilters completed a group prayer quilt for our member, Marilyn, who was bravely battling cancer.

    —Barb L. on June 26, 2012
  • Congratulations on a wonderful tradition. Now I’ve seen some Kaffe Fassett fabrics tamed. I have worked on one group quilt I can think of, and well–you don’t want to hear that story. In the end it did make a wonderful raffle quilt, but the "getting there" part doesn’t need to be told.

    —Claudia on June 26, 2012
  • Wish I could work with you at Martingale..such a precious tradition. Yes I’ve worked on a group quilt. Our quilting group "Women of the Cloth" meet at retreat once a year at a beautiful conference centre in central Manitoba, we’ve been meeting at the same place for 11 years and last year to mark our 10th anniversary we stitched a quilt for the fellow who owns the place. He was shocked,surprised and so pleased. We made the blocks in lime green/black and white and we each chose our favourite 6″ block to stitch for him, it was gorgeous!

    —Sylvia on June 26, 2012
  • Many years ago I met some like minded women online who loved to play cards. Most of the group were also quilters, surprise, surprise. One of our number contracted ALS this past year. She happened to be the only non-sewer in the bunch. We wanted to do something, anything that would let her know how much we cared for her. I suggested a lap quilt, as she was becoming more incapacitated each day. Now, we live quite far apart from each other. She on B.C.’s mainland; me, on Vancouver Island, CJ in Minnesota, H in Washington, and B in the B.C. interior. Logistically it was fun to arrange. H did the center of the top (a MAGIC TILE), B made the borders and created the binding AND a matching pillow case, CJ made the back and everyone sent it all to me to put together and quilt and add the individual labels we each made and do the binding. As my friend had to abandon her garden we made the quilt in all leaf print fabrics then I quilted it in different sized leaves. As I live closest, I was chosen to deliver the quilt. My Friend was overwhelmed and we had a good cry together. Pictures of my friend and her new quilt are treasured by all of us.

    —Ardythe Crawford on June 26, 2012
  • I have participated in the making of several group quilts, and it’s always been fun. But one stands out, made by my daughter (she in Pennsylvania and me in California) and I for the woman who raised my daughter (very long story there). She had cancer and was going into the hospital. We made her a "story" quilt that we made up ourselves. It had blocks representing all her interests, and things we had done together. It had the handprints of all her grandchildren on it. Both front and back contained blocks that were meaningful to her. These were all "picture blocks", made of fabric depicting her love of dancing, Christmas, her dogs, her family (a "family tree" block, and numerous other things. She had it with her in the hospital, and it was draped over her casket at her funeral service. My daughter now gives it a loving home. I’ve never done anything that had more meaning than this, for a woman I loved as a sister.

    —Sandy Rollins on June 26, 2012
  • Finally, an employer who really knows how to recognize and reward an employee’s commitment on their 10th anniversay! Where’s the employment application? I want to sign up. I believe, after all, that Nancy Martin and I went to the same Pennsylvania college…that should be good for something, huh?

    Way to go, Nancy and all the Martingale staff!

    —Jean Tribull Harris on June 26, 2012
  • When my son was on his 2nd tour in Iraq, my dear friend suggested we make him a welcome home soldier quilt. It was all 2 1/2″ squares and HST. We went to a quilt retreat and cut everything out then divided them up to take home and sew. Another dear friend quilted it for us. When he returned home, we took to the Log Cabin (wonderful LQS near Tulsa) and presented it to him. We were all crying! I tried to post the picture but it won’t let me. I wish you could see it – it’s beautiful!

    —Sue Woods on June 26, 2012
  • When my son was on his 2nd tour in Iraq, a dear friend of mine suggested we make him a "welcome home soldier quilt". It was all square and HST. We went to a quilt retreat and we cut everything out and divided the squares to put together at home. When he came home, we took him out the Log Cabin (a wonderful LQS in the Tulsa area) and presented it to him. We all cried.

    —Sue Woods on June 26, 2012
  • What a lovely tradition at Martingdale! (Do you need anyone with great editing skills???) We’ve done a few of these group quilts, and they’re always lots of fun. When I worked for the Canadian government, our office empoyees (men too!) would always make a quilt when an employee (or their partner) was expecting a baby. The most recent was for a long-time employee who is an entomologist and avid birder. The ‘rules’ were that the block had to be 10 1/2 inches square, but untrimmed, the subject should be either bird or insect-related, and each block should have a little black in it somewhere. People were free to use any technique they chose. The blocks that resulted were amazing! There blocks using techniques as varied as Celtic knot, silk painting, cross-stitch, sun printing, applique, and paper piecing! The quilt now hangs in a place of honour – the entryway of our friend’s home!

    —Beth on June 26, 2012
  • What a great and loving tradition! I had great respect for your company before, and even more now!

    —Laurel Marsolais on June 26, 2012
  • When our minister of 17 years decided to retire, several women of the congregation set about making a signature quilt for her, and I participated in the work. We gathered signatures from just about all our congregants, then worked them into a basic 3-strip signature block. The fun part was arranging them on the design wall and finding a pleasing layout of the colors – no two blocks were alike! I learned so much from the very seasoned quilter who led the project. The ultimate reward was the astonishment on our minister’s face when she opened our gift!

    —Eileen Kelly-Meyer on June 26, 2012
  • I help organize a fund raiser quilt for a fellow online friend, Tealdolph on AOL. Her father had been diagnosed with cancer for the second or third time. Unknown to her, I had everyone send 2 blocks and made a near twin for the family. Unfortunately her father did not live to see the quilts finished and I sent the completed twin to and the family hung it at the service.

    —Mary Ann Harpe on June 26, 2012
  • I have worked on some group quilts and they seem to go sooo fast! I am curious, how many employees work at Martingale? It is good to hear that a company cares about its employees. I worked part time at a place for 14 or 15 years and didn’t even get a thank you when I left! Kudos to everyone there:-)

    —Darlene F. on June 26, 2012
  • I helped make a quilt with ladies from church. The ones who had scraps brought those, the one with machines brought those (two of us); the ones without machines cut squares. We sewed them into 9-patch squares. One woman sewed all the blocks together. We go together again to tie it and sew the binding on. It was donated to a pregnancy crisis center.

    —Amy on June 26, 2012
  • Tenho um grupo de terças e quartas que sempre fazemos juntas,somos em cinco.Cada semana uma se habilita ao corte e quando chegamos é só máquina.Rende bem e rachamos lucros e despesas em partes iguais.É só alegria.

    —Maria do Carmo Pezzuto on June 26, 2012
  • Hi Maria, we’ve translated your comment to read: "I have a group on Tuesdays and Wednesdays we always do together, we are five. Each week one is qualified to cut and we have just one machine. It yields well and we share in the profits and expenses equally. It’s just joy." Thanks for your comment!

    —Jenny on June 26, 2012
  • My very first quilt was for my Mother’s 50th Wedding Anniversary to my step-father. I started with a kit of a watercolor background with a heat of purple pansies in the middle. I quilted it using gold thread in the center and added photos transferred to fabric from our dinner celebration with her favorite picture in the center of the heart. My husband graciously put up a black wrought iron curtain rod we purchased and helped me hang it in her living room. Though she is gone, the quilt lives on hanging there still in her memory.

    —Sharyn Selskey on June 26, 2012
  • Every year one of the Quilt groups I belong to at our June Tea present the out going President with quilt blocks made by each member and signed. The blocks are special to the receiver in the block itself or the color of the blocks. The out going president then puts the blocks together. It is a very special quilt.

    —Mary Martin on June 26, 2012
  • Hi Darlene, thanks for your question. We currently have 37 employees. We’re a relatively small company and that means we all work hard, but we know how to have fun, too!
    I agree with you, group quilts come together quickly, and since they’re often made for someone in need, they leave the quiltmakers feeling good as well.

    —Mary on June 26, 2012
  • Our Senior Citizens Center makes quilts and quilt tops for American Hero Quilts, a nonprofit organization founded to provide twin sized and larger quilts for our American military personnel who have been wounded in service to our country. Every Monday afternoon we gather at the center and work on all the elements of quiltmaking for these special Americans. Our work is done completely by hand, so in order to turn out more quilts at a faster pace (most of the ladies are over the age of 75) we have gone to making quilt tops and sending them in to the AHQ headquarters in Vashon, WA, so the faster longarm quilters can get them quilted and bound. There is a great need for this service as it offers so much comfort not only to the wounded, but also to their families. The quilts are treasured and kept in the families. There are so many stories that go with these quilts. We take a lot of time to pick out the patterns, fabrics, and plan our designs for each one,and we take great care in our workmanship, because we consider the great price they have paid to secure our freedoms.

    —Pamela Zajicek on June 26, 2012
  • What a fantastic tradition!!! You are all so lucky to work together surrounded by beauty. I’m green with envy.

    My guilds each make charity quilts-one for Hospice and the other for babies. I make charity quilts at my church which go to various shelters in town and to missions in other countries. I have pieced over 150 tops for my church. We’re working on dresses to send to Haiti right now. I’ve finished 25 with about 10 more to go. It just makes you feel SEW good!!!

    Congratulations to all the anniversary recipients!!

    —Karen Pollard on June 26, 2012
  • I belong to a small quilt group (about 20 members now) and every time someone moves away, we make them a "going away" quilt. The first one made in 1996 was for a woman moving back to her home country of England. Oh how we sweated over that one, each of the members at the time (10) making a block that had meaning for her. We would then get together to put the blocks together and quilt it. Each quilt was different and personal and signed by the makers. We have made around 12 or 15 so far and they have traveled back to England, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and to many different states. I have been on both the giving end and the receiving end as I was given a beautiful quilt when I moved away. It’s a great group project and brings us together not only to work on the quilt but to think about the person leaving.

    —Karen L. on June 26, 2012
  • I have been involved many times in group quilts. My quilt group has a small bee group and when one of us reaches a "big 0″ birthday we make blocks and who ever is able works on finishing up the quilt. The quilts are made with the honorees interests in mind. Every quilt is different and personal to the one receiving it.

    —Marie A. on June 26, 2012
  • My first thought when I read about Martingale’s tradition of giving their 10 year employees a handmade quilt, was how sweet and caring a thing to do. My second thought was I would love to work for a company such as yours, not because of the tradition, but because it must be wonderful working in such an amazingly comfortable environment where people actually care about one another.

    —Barbara OConnor on June 26, 2012
  • I’d love to work for Martingale…but since that’s not going to happen I do help keep you in business with my growing collections of quilt books! I have had several opportunities to do group quilting with close friends when their daughters and at least one son were married. We divide up the tasks according to skill level…cutters, piecers, quilters (some by hand and some machine) and binders. We are a group of friends bound together with stitches. I have also been involved in humanitarian projects. My daughter is a nurse at a children’s hospital. They use donated quilts to help comfort their small patients. I admit it…I have a fabric addiction and a 10 year supply of quilt projects!

    —Mary on June 26, 2012
  • I am a member of the Iowa Quilters which is a online quilt group through Connecting Threads. We all chip in and do confort quilts for different ones in the group whom have lost some family member. We just got done with one and getting ready to present it to that person here in a couple of weeks. Its great to do things that make people smile and sometimes cry.
    4 years ago we all made friendship quilts, we all mailed squares to each other and constructed a friendship quilt of our own.

    —Betty on June 26, 2012
  • !!!Felicitaciones!!! que trabajos tan hermosos. Vivo en Bogotá, Colombia Sur America. Me fascina el Patchwork, pero todos ustedes y el sitio web es espectacular. Que Dios les guarde sus manos y bella creatividad. Un abrazo para todos.

    —Lucia Eusse on June 26, 2012
  • Hi Lucia, we’ve translated your comment to read: "Congratulations! Such beautiful work. I live in Bogota, Colombia South America. I love Patchwork, but all of you and the website is spectacular. May God keep your hands and beautiful creativity. A hug for everyone." Thank you for your comment!

    —Jenny on June 26, 2012
  • wow! those are great. Yes, I have helped make a group quilt. In fact I just posted a quilt we made for our outgoing guild president.

    Carrie P. on June 26, 2012
  • I was part of a group quilt when my children were 8 and 12. I couldn’t bear to part with much of their vast collection of art works from school. We decided we would turn some of them into a quilt for my Mama. We carefully traced the pictures and they replicated them using fabric crayons. I ironed them onto poly/cotton fabric, and they happily provided a few more new pieces to finish the queen-sized quilt top. The pictures were staggered with white blocks with a wide array of background quilting designs, candlewicking patterns (quilted, not embroidered) and whatever random designs struck our fancies. I outline quilted details in the picture blocks. One morning, I went to see her, and to measure for the border. She was in the shower, so I already had the quilt laid out on her bed when she saw it. She complimented on how bright, colorful, and beautiful it was, and asked who it was for. She cried when I told her it was for her. Have it back now, since we lost Mama, but never will forget that happy face when I explained what her first 2 grandbabies had helped me do for her quilt. Thanks for triggering a wonderful memory.

    —Judy D on June 26, 2012
  • My next door neighbor’s 75th birthday was coming and her children wanted to make her a "surprize" quilt and they enlisted my help. I cut white squares out and her children mailed them to relatives and friends their mother knew and my only request was, the background had to remain white. Out of 80 sent squares, we received 76 back. My neighbor loves flowers and butterflies and my fabric I had been collecting for another quilt, became the lattice, borders, and backing. One part of the fabric had a picket fence with flowers and butterflies entwine and became the last border to resemble a picket fence enclosed memory garden. I included pictures of her late husband and cat, and a memory block from my animals, she took care of when I had to go out of town. The quilt was the highlight of her party and she sleeps under it every night. My neighbor is now, in her 80’s.

    Lynnita Shipman on June 26, 2012
  • Thanks for answering my question! I just had to check back and am shocked that someone there is reading the comments and cares enough to respond and translate! You have been my "go to" company for a while now but learning these things about the company really reinforces my commitment to continue to shop with you and encourage others to do the same!

    —Darlene F. on June 26, 2012
  • All I can say about those absolutely, positively wonderful anniversary quilts made to celebrate each employee’s tenth anniversary with Martingale is…………..where’s a job application??? I can sew, press, test, coordinate colors AND edit and write directions (I taught language arts to special needs and "regular" children for many years–did LOTS of writing/proofreading with kids and LOTS of activities involved with those skills before I retired from teaching!!!) The commute might be a little lengthy, but I’ll "sacrifice." Seriously, I have many, many Martingale books; and I thoroughly enjoy your hard work!!! Thanks for an interesting story about your company—what a nice place to work!!!
    Thanks, Sue Elze
    Salem, OH

    —Sue E. on June 26, 2012
  • My quilting group makes members a quilt when they turn 50…sometimes 60 if we didn’t get them the first time around! We also make comfort quilts…amazing how fast a quilt can be made when an emergency arises!

    Siobhan on June 26, 2012
  • What a lovely tradition to celebrate an employee’s loyalty to a company! Thanks to all of you for sharing!

    —Betty on June 26, 2012
  • For a fiftieth wedding anniversary surprise gift, blank squares were distributed to friends and family to decorate however they were inspired to do. I had helped with the book and cover design for an intricate book on Japanese maples written and photographed by the couple. I came into the project late, after a couple false starts by other designers and was greeted by skepticism that the project would be done in a professional manner. I spent a week with the author and his wife discussing concerns and solving and soothing. Many meals were only partially eaten because there were so many things to discuss. I embroidered a bowl of salad with a large red circle and slash through it as a reminder of those missed meals. They were delighted!

    —Patti Miller on June 26, 2012
  • I wished I worked at Martingale! What a great tradition. I’ve made several group project quilts with my small quilt group, the Patchwork Chics. Together the 12 of us pick out a pattern, the colors, and who we want to donate it to. Then we get together for a day of sewing blocks, figuring out the placement, and sewing the sashing and borders. Then someone volunteers to quilt it and another person sews on the binding. We’ve donated quilts to the Women’s Emergency Support Shelter, Hospice, and a local nursing home. Even though we have different tastes, the quilts always turn out to be works of art and the recipients love them!

    —Karen M on June 26, 2012
  • My quilting group has made three group quilts together. They have been for ladies close to our hearts. Two have been chemo quilts for ladies in our group and the thrid for the community hall secretary who sets our room up for us every week. We have done the faavorite FQ from our statch, bring 6 – 4 inch squares in and each person making 2 nine patch squares. Of course all were done in secret along with pot luck lunches, aboundance of sweets and lots of shared laughter and tears. Each bearing what sisterhood is all about! Good or bad we are there for each other.

    —CHRISTINA MACKENZIE on June 26, 2012
  • Over the years, I’ve been involved in the making of a quilt to celebrate the arrival of new babies. We tried to get everyone involved by choosing simple patterns, cross-stitch designs, autograph blocks and flannel. A "committee" decides on pattern based on what we know about the recipient, then, we shop for supplies. Always good to see someone who thought they could not contribute, stitch a block, buy the batting, and quilt with the group.

    Love your column today!!

    —Clara on June 26, 2012
  • I just organized and finished up a group quilt that brought so much joy to not only the recipient, but to the participants as well. And the best part, were the new friends I made along the way. I’m kind of a Facebook junkie and always enjoy a laugh on Mark Lipinski’s fan page. Back in April, he talked about a quilt block swap he’d done long ago on FB, and he mentioned it might be fun to do another. Since he calls everyone his ‘cupcakes’ – I suggested we swap cupcake blocks. Nothing ever came of that – but it got me to thinking. So I started contacting our ‘mutual’ quilting buds on FB, and other friends that I knew who also enjoy Marks wit. …there were 20 of us in all, and we made "Cupcake Blocks" – which I pieced together, then was quilted by my longarming hubby – and the finished quilt was sent to a special friend who delivered it to Mark on his birthday, June 15th. There were pictures and videos…we actually made Mark ‘speechless!’ I’ve never met Mark in person, but some of the gals who made blocks have. It was such an amazing experience working with quilters from all over – and like I said, new friendships were formed that I value dearly. In fact…our group is sticking together via good ole FB – we’re "The Cupcake Crew" – and together we share laughs and life – planning more special group quilts down the road for our chosen charities or whatever comes along.

    Lynn on June 26, 2012
  • I should work for you! Do you need anyone in Minnesota? What a lovely gesture.

    —Julie on June 27, 2012
  • I’ve worked on quilts with my Guild, but my favorite was when my son asked me to make a wallhanging for his supervisor when he was an RA at college. He told the other RAs I could design something they could sign, so I made Friendship Star blocks for them. The kids were happy and I know his supervisor really liked it. Martingale’s has the spirit companies used to have. The 10-year quilt is such an amazing idea, and the fact that you’ve made a lot of them says a great deal about your company. That being said, do you have any openings? I’ll commute (from NH) or even move! :0)

    —SuzK on June 27, 2012
  • Kinda a group quilt. Made for the retiring elementary school principal. Each student had a square for their name and maybe a small design. It was planned so the principal did not know what was happening…a big secret! Then all the squares were sewn together, keeping the classes together with each teacher’s block. The quilt was made with a plain muslin back. When presentedat his retirement party, all were invited to sign and add comments on the back. He was overjoyed!

    —Deb G on June 27, 2012
  • What a lovely tradition! Hmmmmm, wonder if I can get something like that going here? hehehehehehehehe.

    —Stephanie on June 27, 2012
  • I have helped make several group quilts. There is an online yahoo group called Yes, we can Jane…most of us have made or are making at least one Dear Jane Quilt. We have ladies from the US, Canada and others outside the US who made a quilt for President Bush to be presented after he left his Presidency. This group reformed when Pres. Obama took office and that quilt has now been finished up waiting for him after he leaves office. A booklet about the makers of their blocks will be included with the quilt. It was great to be a part of a project like these two.

    —Carrie Dominguez on June 27, 2012
  • I live in a retirement village ( a wonderful one,I might add ) and though we don’t make group quilts, we do quilt for other people and the money they pay us goes to the Benevolent Care Fund for the nursing home on campus for those who have outlived their finances.( We belong to the Chambersburg Quilt Guild )
    What I really wanted to tell you is that if I could be sure of extended longevity, I think I’d like to come to work for Martingale for about- um- say ten years !:-)Know what i mean?

    —Wilma Wehrle-Irvin on June 27, 2012
  • Having been a member of TLC Quilters in So. California since it was started, I have been lucky enough to be a participant in many group quilts, some of them fund raisers for the guild, some for our Presidents. (If you’re President for one year, you get a quilt top – stick it out for the second year & you get it finished!)

    quiltzyx/sue on June 27, 2012
  • When I was in Brownie Scouts, each girl embroidered her name on enough squares for each of the other girls to have one. The leaders gave each of us enough extra squares (brown & gold brownie colors) to make a single quilt.

    My daughter was 11 years old in 1976 and embroidered a square for a bicentenial quilt that our city put together in California.

    —Glenda on June 28, 2012
  • Every year a group of ladies at my church work for about 9 months, hand quilting a quilt to raffle off at the Clarksville Picnic,the last saturday in June. Next years quilt idea came from Singular Sensations by Barbara Douglass. We decided to make "On The Edge" on page 47. We will make it larger, because we always make the quilt Queen Size. My friend helped me to figure out how many more blocks I had to make so that it will be 86″ by 98″. I still have 13 more blocks to make. 5 for the border and 8 for pillows that I make to match the quilt. We get together once a week and quilt on the quilt which is on a frame. And enjoy each others company. Some ladies may not quilt as good as others but we let everyone quilt at their onw pace. We can use all the help we can get and are grateful for the help.

    —Patty Stenpeck on June 29, 2012
  • I enjoy "Stitch This" and learning about so many projects and those we work on them. The quilts for employees 10 years with Martingale is fantastic! Our group has done group quilts for one who fell and broke a hip, others with illness or surgery etc, and for some with 50th wedding anniversies. Just any special occassion is a good reason for a quilt from our group. Most of us have worked on these and also received one.

    Elma on July 1, 2012
  • I have worked on several quilts used to raise money to support our guild’s activities and workshops. There were the blues and purples in the streak of lightning raffle quilt and a couple of lighthouses for auction quilts. Each year I have made blocks for our guild presidents as they left office and made of row of trees for my sister’s Christmas row quilt (each row made by a different person). My small bee is now making parts for a collage quilt, showing historic buildings and landmarks in our community, and to be auctioned off this fall at our guild fundraising auction. It is interesting to get together to design and build a group quilt; discussing how each of us plans to go about the construction teaches us all new techniques and allows us to see the results up close when we finish. When you see other’s work, you want to do your best as well! (Negative comments are not allowed, only constructive ones!)

    —Carol C on July 9, 2012
  • What a fun tradition. Love it.


    SewCalGal on October 10, 2013
  • pertenezco a la asociacion Amigas del pach de villarreal, todos los años cose,os una colcha colectiva con unmismo fin que sorteamos para ayudar a recaudar dinero, bien sea para el cancer o bien para colectivos en situacion de pobreza

    Translation: I belong to the Amigas del pach de villarreal association, every year we sew a collective quilt with a same purpose that we raffle to help raise money, either for cancer or for collectives in poverty situation.

    —Rosa Martí soler on November 1, 2017

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