Martingale quilting books in the digital age

eBook vs ePub: what's the difference?eBook. ePub. Digital. Print.

Viewers. Readers. Tablets.

iPad. Kindle. Nook.

Sometimes it seems like the new world of books is all about keeping up with the lingo!

Not sure which book format to choose? Here are a few facts about the book formats available—and how they can benefit you.


A digital book is any book that isn’t printed on paper; you view digital books onscreen only.

> Advantages for quilters: build a book stash as big as your fabric stash—all without needing a single inch of sewing-room space.

Simple Applique eBookMARTINGALE eBOOKS

(Sold at Right: Kim Diehl’s Simple Appliqué on a desktop-computer monitor.)

Martingale eBooks are digital books that are perfect for desktop and laptop computers. An eBook is actually a PDF of a book. What’s a PDF? It’s a file format that provides an electronic image of text and graphics. In essence, it’s like having a photograph of each page inside a book, all in one handy computer file.

eBooks can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted. You’ll need to download software to open PDFs, but the software is free.

> Advantages for quilters: print only what you need—a single pattern, a group of templates, or a page of how-to. At ShopMartingale, you get a FREE eBook whenever you purchase a print book (whenever eBooks are available, which is most of the time!).


(Sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play, etc.)

ePub books are the newest digital-book format available, and they’re ideal for tablets and eReaders. That’s why you’ll often hear ePub books called out by brand names (“for iPad,” “for Kindle,” or “for Nook”).

> Advantages for quilters: ePub books are great for fabric shopping. No carrying books or making copies; just pack your tablet and you’re ready to go!

Our production manager, Regina, explains even more advantages of the ePub format: “As a reader you can change the text size for readability, and even the font itself. Martingale’s ePub books offer links inside the document that you can access on your computer to download and print patterns. You can also search inside a book.”

Now you know—and now you can purchase Martingale books in formats that fit the way you like to quilt.

DID YOU KNOW? Most of our new releases are published as printed books, eBooks, and ePub books, including our top five bestselling books. Pick up your copy in the format you like best!

Our top 5 bestsellers:

Simple Appeal#1 Simple Appeal: 14 Patchwork and Appliqué Projects for Everyday Living by Kim Diehl

• Get the PRINT version

• Get the eBOOK version

• Get the ePUB version: Kindle | Nook | iBook | Google Play
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Here Comes Winter#2 Here Comes Winter: Quilted Projects to Warm Your Home by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks

• Get the PRINT version

• Get the eBOOK version

• Get the ePUB version: Kindle | Nook | iBook | Google Play
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Fabulously Fast Quilts#3 Fabulously Fast Quilts by Amy Smart

• Get the PRINT version

• Get the eBOOK version

• Get the ePUB version: Kindle | Nook | iBook | Google Play
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The New Hexagon#4 The New Hexagon: 52 Blocks to English Paper Piece by Katja Marek

• Get the PRINT version

• Get the eBOOK version

• Get the ePUB version: Kindle | Nook | iBook | Google Play
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Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics#5 Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics: 64 Patterns for Fat Quarters, Charm Squares, Jelly Rolls, and Layer Cakes

• Get the PRINT version

• Get the eBOOK version

• Get the ePUB version: Kindle | Nook | iBook | Google Play

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Flip or swipe: do you like printed books or digital books best? Tell us in the comments!

56 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I definitely like printed books the best.

    —Sue H on April 21, 2015
  • I still like having a printed book!

    —Karen in Breezy Point on April 21, 2015
  • I like books that I can hold in my hand. Of course I could just print out the E book. Books I can carry with me, ebooks I am tied to the computer.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on April 21, 2015
  • Still like the printed version. Do use digital too.

    —Ellie on April 21, 2015
  • I love actual books but space doesn’t allow it!! I do have a e-reader so e-books are awesome since I can take quite a few books with me wherever I go. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. For quilting — e-books rock since I don’t need to print anything with the e-reader near my machine!

    —genny on April 21, 2015
  • I’m on the lookout for digital books and magazines to save space. Printed magazines and books are second choice–way down.


    —Jane Kimmel on April 21, 2015
  • I much prefer printed books.

    —ShAwne Leach on April 21, 2015
  • I love e-books! They easily travel with you to the doctor’s office to read while you wait (on my phone). They go to the store with you so you can find comparable fabric or remember exactly how much to buy. They can be used on various devices; my computer, my phone, my Kindle – so always just a download away! They don’t take up any space. A large, very long book requires the same space as a short novel or a shopping list. Love them very much!

    —Debbie Holley on April 21, 2015
  • I love my print books because I have the actual copy and color in front of me. I can take it with me and read it any time. If it is an ebook on my iPad, sometimes I cannot get the book sometimes (if there is no wifi available) and then it feels like it is stuck in the cloud even though it is on the cloud. Some books just need to be in print to enjoy! Mind you I do own both. The pdf version is probably the best because it can be saved on my iPad.

    —Judy Magner on April 21, 2015
  • Printed

    —Verna Kingston on April 21, 2015
  • I like the Kindle books the best. I can store hundreds of books on my Kindle (a real shelf space saver). I can access them from my phone, tablet or computer. It is especially nice when fabric shopping, waiting at the doctor’s office or traveling. Kindle books also make wonderful gifts. I have several on my wishlist.

    —Jane on April 21, 2015
  • I love print books especially when it comes to Quilting and crafts. Being able to pull it out and flip through the pages is a distinct pleasure of my especially when dusting my collection.

    Memories are attached to some of the quilt books I inherited from my mother-in-law because my husband and I gave them to her for Christmas, Mother’s Day and her birthday.

    Phyllis, my mother-in-law, loved quilts and made quilts for all her grandchildren. She was generous with her time and her spirit with friends and family.

    Some how bits and bites are far too fleeting to hold such memories of someone I loved and enjoyed being with.

    —Carole Plourde on April 21, 2015
  • As a long arm quilter for the past seven years, I am finally upgrading my website (still in progress) to sell fabric and other accessories for the quilter. I am always on the look out for something new to offer my quilting customer. Before investing in this interesting prospect of quilt books on my Ipad, I would like to talk about it on my website blog to see what the customer’s reaction would be. I personally love to read my quilting magazines on my Ipad – anywhere for that matter – but there is always one of those special books that you love to flip through over and over for inspiration. I will definitely keep this in mind and will investigate what my customer thinks. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this with you.
    Linda Braun
    A Design in Motion

    Linda Braun on April 21, 2015
  • I prefer printed books, because my computer isn’t always available when I want to look at or use patterns. I don’t have a tablet. Maybe if I did it would make a difference.

    —Leslie Benoy on April 21, 2015
  • I must be old fashioned. A BOOK is an item I can touch, with pages I can turn, that I can carry to a place without Wi-Fi (like my mother’s house) and browse though even if the power goes out!

    —Ann Doherty on April 21, 2015
  • I like the convenience of an e-book, but still like handling the real book.

    carol on April 21, 2015
  • Where can I find the list of epub books you carry. I would consider buying more books if I could get them on my nook. Thankyou Marywallis

    If you go to the Nook section at and type "martingale quilt" in the search box, you’ll get a list of all the Martingale books available for your Nook!
    ~Cornelia/Customer Service

    —marywallis soetebier on April 21, 2015
  • I’m so glad you’ve added the epub! I bought a book some time back planning to put it on my kindle only to find out it was only a pdf! I love books in all formats but there are some quilting books that are more inspiration and ideas and those are the ones I most like in epub.

    —Beth Strand on April 21, 2015
  • I have one e book so far but plan to get others I love that I never have to worry about misplacing it since it is always right there on my computer and even if I misplace the information I printed out, I just print it again.

    —Elayne Novotny on April 21, 2015
  • I love ebooks but my kindle is old (no color) so I still love print books still….although I have a growing number of ebooks at work…don’t tell the boss!

    —Allison on April 21, 2015
  • Printed on Paper. My computer is upstairs and my sewing studio is downstairs.

    —Whiskers on April 21, 2015
  • I like both 🙂 I like being able to pull my books out of the cupboard and flip through looking for a pattern or just inspiration. It’s harder to do that with my e-books. But the e-books are great especially when I can’t afford a printed copy and you are right, printing out just what I need is great! Thanks for making them available!

    Loris Mills on April 21, 2015
  • I like print the best. I can sit at night and browse while DH is watching TV. He does not mind the table light, but computer light bothers him.

    —Janet T on April 21, 2015
  • I am so old fashion, I still love the print books to hold and sit in my easy chair and decide what my next project might be and the fact I’m not big in technology, although I do have a tablet. It’s a hard decision on which way to go.

    —Wanda Nusz on April 21, 2015
  • I use both printed and ebooks for quilting and reading and have done so for several years. Each has its advantages as well as disadvantages. Ebooks can be useful if storage is limited or you need a book quickly. They will down load to a tablet as well as a computer so can be carried around with you. It makes it easier in a fabric store to have the virtual book there when buying supplies. The only problem is with books that give full size patterns , e.g. Trapunto or foundation piecing. Printing out, whether onto A4 or larger sheets of paper, can distort the size. Other than that I am very happy to use either. Just a quick additional thought: if you belong to the Martingale book club you can take advantage superb discounts on both print and ebooks throughout the year.

    Thanks for bringing up our Insider Book Club, Ann! You’re right, you can enjoy even more savings as a member. You can learn more about membership here. –Jenny

    —Ann Williams on April 21, 2015
  • I still like hard copy quilt books. However, the digital e-books are close as there is not all the room that hard books take. Not all the heavy weight that a bookshelf and case have.

    —carol on April 21, 2015
  • I prefer e-books: no waiting for delivery, usually cheaper (please keep it that way) and easy to isolate parts that need printing. I usually print the pattern I need, because my computer and my sewing machine are in different rooms, but also print just the shopping list. I tried working from a book on the iPad, but the battery needs recharging too frequently or the iPad frustratingly switches itself off.

    Marly on April 21, 2015
  • Still prefer books in print; eye candy for the soul. However, when a book has only one or two patterns that interest me or money is tight, I’ll go the ebook route. Browsing ebooks on the screen is not as satisfying as sitting on the couch with a cup of cocoa or tea and flipping real pages.

    —Sandy W. on April 21, 2015
  • I am of that age where I span printed to digital. This said, I like a printed best because I tend to write notes to myself on them. I tried sticky notes but they tend to get lost even when I put them securely on the pattern.

    —Donna Adams on April 21, 2015
  • We travel full-time in our motorhome and hubby doesn’t like me to add much extra weight to the coach. I really like having the option of an e-book for that reason. Love all the designs so keep’em comin’ ! 🙂

    —Chris D. on April 21, 2015
  • I absolutely love Ebooks and have been buying them for about five or six years now. My book cases became so overloaded. I would stash a book somewhere and not know where to find it. Now I always know where my books are. I can read them anywhere. Take to work to read at lunchtime, at the doctor’s surgery, on a plane or on holidays (even overseas) and all I have to do is have my iPad with me, which it always is. Shear magic!!!!

    —Helen on April 21, 2015
  • I have always preferred a hand held book. Ebooks seem to sterile and impersonal to me. Guess I’m just too old school to change.

    —debra lee on April 21, 2015
  • I much prefer printed books.

    —Elizabeth D. smith on April 21, 2015
  • Will we be able to download ePub versions if we’ve already purchased the PDFs? I’d love to be able to change the text size and have the doc reflow to accommodate my vision needs.

    Teresa, due to the fact that each ePub device uses a different format, they need to be purchased via their respective web sites (Kindle versions from Amazon, Nook versions from Barnes & Noble, etc). You CAN increase the size on PDF versions, though, by simply clicking on the + button at the top of the PDF. I hope this helps!
    ~Cornelia/Customer Service

    —Teresa R. on April 21, 2015
  • Print books. Can’t browse an e-book unless you are near a computer

    —Rhonda Goss on April 21, 2015
  • I still love to have the hard copy in my hand to look thru.

    —Karen on April 21, 2015
  • I love printed books! I can read them anywhere and should I set one down somewhere, doctor’s office, etc. I’ve lost only a book, not some expensive item. It’s easy to share my books when I have printed ones. I have a great library of quilt books and have found that the quilt ebooks I have bought, I’ve never used. I started to print one of them and decided that it just was not worth it. I want to go to the bookshelf and pull out a book that I can see and use right away. I do love audio books however, and listen while I’m sewing.

    —JoAnne T. on April 21, 2015
  • Love the printed form of all crafting books/magazines. Travelling by train daily to the office I immerse myself each way with physical books, relishing turning each page to reveal clever ideas and beautiful projects even photocopying from pattern sheets when projects take my fancy. No doubt eventually I will look at electronic delivery but for now the printed form is my preference. Visited Martingale in August 2013 and stocked up on bargains, a wonderful visit with very friendly and helpful staff.

    —Joan, Australia on 22 April 2015 on April 21, 2015
  • eBooks are the best, the arrive immediately, no overseas shipping, take up no space in sewing room, are ideal for caravan travel, save trees, you can read ‘hands free’ so hands can be occupied with something other than holding a book while reading… I could probably go on and on!

    —Gai Butler on April 21, 2015
  • I do prefer printed books. I do not like to use up a lot of ink on my printer

    —Sherrie Chrysler on April 21, 2015
  • I certainly prefer printed books. I can tag, underline, write in the margin and write all kinds of notes on the pages. (I know there are ways to do these things in an ebook, but for me, I want it in my handwriting, in my colors, etc.)

    —Linda Taylor on April 21, 2015
  • I’ve never done or downloaded an Ebook ever, and always buy the printed version, so just may have to try it one day, as you say the software is free, so just may do it…Thanks for the info! You can take an Ebook anywhere, and sometimes a book is big and you just don’t want to lug around, so sounds great!

    —Jeanette S. on April 21, 2015
  • Printed books, definitely.

    —Marjory W on April 21, 2015
  • You who comment that printed books are old fashioned or old school are wrong, wrong, wrong. There is nothing wrong with loving printed books. You can find them discounted in many places – the discount costing LESS than most of the e-books being offered. They are much more satisfying as many of you have commented. My laptop is too awkward to carry around – My books are easy to close and reopen at the saved spot to continue enjoying whenever I wish. I have difficulty reading and enjoying the colorful patterns on the smaller i-pads and especially the tiny screens on various cell-phones. If I want to shop for necessary fabric I simply print a copy of the fabric amounts required from the printed book to take shopping with me – my book lying safely at home. Pads and phones are so easily lost when shopping. I would rather lose a piece of paper than an expensive i-pad or i-phone! I love printed media of all kinds and do not buy into the commercialism of trying to make people feel old fashioned or behind the times if they do not buy into all the unnecessary electronic gadgetry being forced into our faces every day. Get your faces out of your phones/pads and begin to live among and with other human beings again! I have not and will not, in the future, buy e-books or epubs. I love printed books!!!!

    —Carol A. on April 22, 2015
  • I like the benefits of digital copy, but nothing is better than having an actual book in hand!

    —Tammy on April 22, 2015
  • I use both formats impartially.

    The choice has nothing to do with age (I’m 61 years young) or technical expertise, it has to do with personal preference. Although much of my library, fiction and non fiction, is now electronic I do still purchase hard copy (print) books.

    I like the fact that I can take my entire elibrary (1500+ books in the Cloud and growing) with me wherever I go in the world and not have to worry about running out of reading material or excess luggage.

    The major issue I have with ebooks, or rather with the publishers of ebooks, is Digital Rights Management (DRM) in which a publisher if they no longer have the rights to the book I purchased can remove my access to the book – not something that can be done with a print copy. This has happened to me just recently where two quilting books I purchased (not from Martingale’s) less than 5 years ago have had the access removed.This can also occur if the book is out of print, the electronic version can be removed.

    However I don’t have access to the number of quilting magazines and books as US or European citizens do, so digital formats mean a greater choice for me.

    —Debee on April 23, 2015
  • I love a book however I like that I can take my laptop or iPad toopen a pattern where Iam. Or, when I forget the book I have the e-book, or pattern. I love to browse threw my mag or books at night I seem to always find something I didn’t see the first few times I looked. So I like both type!

    —Sheri Whiteley on April 23, 2015
  • Printed! I like the feel and look of books.
    But ebooks are great when in a hurry for the information.

    —Kay on April 23, 2015
  • Printed! I own lots of pattern books that are 40 years old and older. I can’t live without them. Many patterns or tips got lost over the years, never to be found in other books again, but there they are – on my book shelves! Besides, my cat hates computers and tablets and removes them from my sewing table, but she likes books.

    —Doris on April 23, 2015
  • I have a bookcase full of printed books, which I love when I’m at home. There’s nothing like browsing a hard copy, is there? But I don’t have room for another bookcase. So I have a hard drive (way short of) full of e-books which I can bring with me when I’m caravanning. Hooley Dooley. I also have Book Collector (a program which lets me keep track of my 400+ titles – yes, I have been known to purchase the same book twice). But with plenty of room on my hard drive, there’s no reason for me to stop collecting quilting books yet.

    —Carolyn on April 24, 2015
  • I guess age has a lot to do with whether you like hard copy or digital. I still love to be able to hold a book in my hands and a really well produced one is a joy. Sometimes find myself stroking a particularly favourite book and then feel a bit silly and hope no-one else was watching!! I do have a e-reader which I love and download quilting books all the time. The advantage of downloading books is that my husband doesn’t really know how many I have and I don’t have to ask him to extend a current book case or make another one if I can find space for it – win, win I say.

    Deborah on April 24, 2015
  • I like printed books best. I am sure the younger quilters like the e-books.

    —Renea on April 24, 2015
  • I also go for the hard copy but admit that I have a bunch of e-books on the computer. They are all ones that have been offered for free and would not be able to get them otherwise. Hope to someday get a Nook or Kindle to put them on so can read at my leisure.

    —Shirley on April 24, 2015
  • Gosto dos livros impressos. Adoro procurar projetos à noite, quando estou sòzinha.

    (Translation: I like printed books. I love looking projects at night, when I’m alone.)

    —Maria Aparecida on April 25, 2015
  • It’s printed for me all the way! I love to devour the photos with my eyes. I can linger with a cup of tea, curled up in a blanket and mentally scour my fabric stash for possible choices. Nothing like holding onto everything possible…………..

    —Mary Smith on April 26, 2015
  • I love printed books. Ones that I can hold in my hand, underline words, dog ear pages, take to bed to read before dreaming.

    —Pearl on April 27, 2015

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