Oh no – you forgot someone on your gift list. We’ve got just the thing

Don’t panic . . . but we think you may have forgotten someone on your holiday gift list. A generous, kind-hearted, deserving person. Remember now?

It’s YOU!

There are no gift police saying you can’t treat yourself to something special while you’re choosing gifts for everyone else on your list. And we’ve got the perfect go-to gift for all the quilters, makers, and creative risk takers you know. And for you too.

A Common Thread

A Common Thread is a breathtaking coffee-table-style book celebrating the work of quilt artist Gwen Marston—and we guarantee it will inspire you for as long as you create.

Pages from A Common Thread

Little-Baskets-quiltYou might think that Gwen’s been a modern quilter all her life. But what’s so captivating about Gwen’s story is her humble, and very traditional, beginning. She was introduced to quiltmaking by a group of Mennonite women in Oregon, who taught her to hand quilt and answered all her questions. She then studied with Mary Schafer—an unassuming quilt collector, historian, and scholar—who shared with Gwen her antique quilt collection. And that opened up a whole new world of creativity:

Gwen-Marston“Characteristics I saw in antique quilts were unpredictability, spontaneity, and playfulness, all of which I find particularly appealing. Random color placement, pieced patches, color substitution, asymmetry, blocks turned different ways, no corner resolutions, and less concern about precision all combined to make these quilts unstudied, unpretentious, and more interesting, not to mention less stressful and more fun to make.

I have seen a wealth of evidence that earlier quiltmakers were figuring things out for themselves. For me, that seemed like a good path to follow and has always been part of the fun of making a new quilt.”

—Gwen Marston, A Common Thread

In A Common Thread, you’ll get up close and personal with Gwen’s quilts—from her earliest experiments in traditional patchwork and appliqué to her liberated-patchwork, string-pieced, and abstract quilts. But what will captivate you most is her creative journey. And the journey in A Common Thread is unique: Gwen herself chose the 65 examples from her vast collection to share with you.

Pages from a Common Thread

Liberated-Log-Cabin-with-Purple-BorderGwen recently shared with us a little-known story about two of her quilts—one of which is in A Common Thread:

“I’ve made two quilts from the scraps my students left behind. The quilt in A Common Thread is called Liberated Log Cabin with Purple Border (right). Both quilts were made with students’ scraps from a five-day class, during which I picked up bits of fabric off the floor and casually went through the wastebaskets in the classroom. In five days you can pick up a lot of little pieces.

I collected the pieces and sewed them together on my own time after the class was over. I wouldn’t want you to think I was sewing while I was teaching. When I’m teaching, I’m only teaching!”

Here’s what quilters like you are saying about A Common Thread on our website, ShopMartingale.com:

Five-stars“Not only do you see the history of quilts in this latest book by Gwen Marston, I believe you see the future too. Her humble approach, wicked way with color, reverence for quiltmaking history, and attention to details are all on magnificent display.” –Hillary

Five-stars“I am enjoying every page of Gwen’s outstanding new book. She has shared her creative and innovative quilts with the world of quilters for years. It’s wonderful that Martingale has recognized her unique contribution to the world of quilting.” –Carol

 Pages from A Common Thread

Five-stars“I’ve taken classes from Gwen for over 25 years, but was still blown away by this book by page 7. By the time I got to the last page I had dozens of inspirations for my next dozen quilts. Thank you Martingale for this wonderful book, recognizing a wonderful quilter and extraordinary person. Thank you Gwen!” –Cindy

Five-stars“What a treat to see up-close the work of Gwen Marston, a contemporary quilting legend!” –Patricia

At 144 pages—encased in a beautiful, hardcover format—A Common Thread is a thoughtful, lavish gift you can bestow on your creative family and friends without breaking the bank. But a gift this rich in inspiration should be shared! So when you purchase two or more copies of A Common Thread, we’ll pick up the shipping costs in the US and Canada.

One for them, one for you. Sounds like a glorious Christmas morning to look forward to!

A Common Thread

Who might you give a copy of A Common Thread to this Christmas: a creative family member, a curious friend, your closest quiltmaking cohort—meaning you? Tell us in the comments.

And for further inspiration from Gwen: pinnable quotes!


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19 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I would give it to a quilting friend, Cheryle King.

    —Angie Little on November 29, 2016
  • My Aunt is an avid quilter and even makes prayer quilts which are blessed at church and then given free of charge to people who need them. They always brighten up not only the person’s hospital room, but also their spirits.
    I would give a copy of this book to my Aunt. She deserves something for herself since she is so selfless.

    Amie Gaudet on November 29, 2016
  • I would give a copy of A Common Thread to my lovely sister-in-law, who has become my best quilting friend:)

    Susie Miller on November 29, 2016
  • I would give a copy of A Common Thread to my daughter. She learned from a traditional quilter, she hand quilted her first quilts and she has grown as a quilter. She sees color and design in unique ways. I often ask her advice. Yes I would give it to her.

    —Linda on November 29, 2016
  • Hmmmm…..I think I would have to keep this one. I need inspiration to be a little more "artsy" and not so much "perfect lines and corners"!

    —Patty on November 29, 2016
  • I would give a book to my sister who wants to start quilting. It would give her permission to not be perfect. I would also get one for myself so I could give myself permission to not try to sew so perfectly also.

    —Colleen on November 29, 2016
  • I would give it to myself.

    —Caroline Rohrer on November 29, 2016
  • I would be selfish and keep it. Perhaps it would silence those voices in my head that say "that’s not the right way to do it", "no, you can’t do that", etc.

    —Sandy May on November 29, 2016
  • I would give it to my sister.

    —Karen Hootman on November 29, 2016
  • I would buy it for myself and share it with my sister-in-law (or vice versa).

    —B J Kinney on November 29, 2016
  • I love her expressions! "Embrace the pucker" and "I was suspicious"! I would have to keep one copy to reinforce my feeling that the work doesn’t have to be perfect – it just needs to be loved! And a second copy would be shared by my guild – so they could all share in Gwen’s beautiful work, and beautiful philosophy!

    —JanG on November 29, 2016
  • Boy! I need this book and fast.
    I love to sew the little squares into blocks, I love fabric as much as I love sweets. The quilting by machine gives me fits of agony. Someone please give me hints which I believe will help me out. You mean puckers are OK on a quilt?

    Althea Klosterman on November 29, 2016
  • My mom is 80 and not quilting much anymore due to health issues. She would love dreaming through the gorgeous pictures in this book!

    —Diane Cerny on December 2, 2016
  • My sister, we love quilting together.

    —Kim on December 2, 2016
  • I belong to a wonderful quilt guild here in Tuscaloosa, AL. I wish you could meet them. We moved here from IL a little over 3 years ago. I heard about the guild, but wasn’t sure I wanted to join because I had heard some stories about snobbish guilds. I had never belonged to a guild, but found out our new neighbor belonged. So I decided to attend a couple of meetings. By the 3rd meeting I joined. This guild is nothing like the stories I had heard. They are very accepting and encouraging, and I look forward to each meeting. So after looking and reading the book myself, I would give it to our guild library so that everyone could benefit.

    —Nancy A on December 2, 2016
  • this would be a gift for me. I need all the inspiration I can get!

    —Linda on December 2, 2016
  • What eye candy! Very inspiring! I know an artist friend that would love this.

    —Robbie on December 2, 2016
  • I would give one to my sister.

    —Linda Christianson on December 2, 2016
  • My favorite is #9 – Striking Strip Quilts. Always looking for good precut patterns!

    —Summer on December 19, 2016

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