Quilt sandwich tips + patchwork plenty!

Good Neighbors quilt from The Joy of Quilting

Ah, treasure! That’s what I think when I see a big, heavy book loaded with patchwork quilt patterns. Twenty different quilts? Think of the possibilities! Twenty-six quilts, each with directions for multiple sizes? How versatile! How about 101 different patchwork designs? With that many quilts, you know there’s gonna be plenty to like.

We’ve rounded up a bevy of value-packed quilt pattern books, each brimming with exciting quilt patterns sure to answer the eternal question, "Which quilt do I want to make next?"

And because we wouldn’t want your quilt tops to simply pile up in a closet, we’re also sharing expert quilt-sandwich instructions from Robin Strobel, to help you get those quilts finished. (For you new quilters, a quilt sandwich = quilt top + batting + backing.) Putting the layers together is a simple process, but one that you absolutely want to get right.

Sew One and You're Done

20 Quilt Patterns

No-fuss quilts to make quickly: In Sew One and You’re Done, Evelyn Sloppy takes single blocks and jumbo-sizes them to make super-fast quilts. Because each pattern uses only three to five fabrics, planning is simple and the big pieces stitch together quickly. Get it for 40% off this week only.

Downloadable eBook: $16.99 $10.19 (that’s about 51¢ a pattern!)

Downloadable ePatterns: $4.99 $2.99 each

Quilts from Sew One and You're Done
Quilts from
Sew One and You’re Done


The Joy of Quilting

26 Quilt Patterns

Multi-sized patterns! Just like a friendly quilting teacher at your side, The Joy of Quilting delivers both clear quilting how-tos and a treasury of patterns. Each quilt is offered in multiple sizes, and you’ll find options from crib to king. Get it for 40% off this week only.

Downloadable eBook: $19.99 $11.99 (that’s about 46¢ a pattern!)

Quilts from The Joy of Quilting
Quilts from
The Joy of Quilting


The Big Book of Patchwork

50 Quilt Patterns

LOTS of quick-cut traditional patterns: The Big Book of Patchwork lives up to its name. This collection of quilts from Judy Hopkins includes crib quilts, table runners, lap quilts, and bed quilts. Whether you’re in the mood to make a simple strip quilt or a scrappy multi-block quilt, you’re sure to find (lots of!) patterns to suit you. Get it for 40% off this week only.

Print version + eBook: $27.99 $16.79 (that’s about 34¢ a pattern!)

Downloadable eBook: $19.99 $11.99 (that’s about 24¢ a pattern!)

Quilts from The Big Book of Patchwork
Quilts from
The Big Book of Patchwork


101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts

101 Quilt Patterns

The mother lode of patchwork designs! Two quiltmaking experts deliver a bonanza of patchwork in 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts. Every pattern is graded by skill level, so you’ll be able to quickly gauge the complexity—or simplicity—of each. Get it for 40% off this week only.

Print version + eBook: $29.95 $17.97 (that’s about 18¢ a pattern!)

Quilts from 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts
Quilts from
101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts


What’s a Quilt Sandwich?

From Making a Quilt Sandwich: How to Piece a Backing, Select Batting, Baste the Layers, and Quilt or Tie Your Quilt by Robin Strobel

The quilt “sandwich” consists of backing, batting, and the quilt top. First, you’ll cut the backing 4” to 6” longer and wider than the quilt top. Then, if you’re planning to quilt the project yourself, you’ll baste the layers together, using thread if you’ll be hand quilting or safety pins if you’ll be machine quilting. To complete the sandwich, you’ll quilt either by hand or by machine. If you plan to have someone else do the quilting for you, you don’t need to baste the layers, and oftentimes you don’t need to supply the batting. But do check with your machine quilter before assembling the quilt backing to make sure the size is sufficient for his or her needs.

Layering and Basting

If you quilt a quilt yourself, you need to layer the backing, batting, and quilt top and then baste it all together so you can quilt it. The main challenge is to keep all the layers flat, without wrinkling or shifting. I end up doing this on the floor or in my friendly neighborhood quilt shop’s classroom, where I can push several tables together. Of course, I time this for when the shop doesn’t have a class, and they are happy to accommodate me because I always spend some money on fabric I can’t live without.

1. Lay the freshly pressed backing wrong side up. Smooth it out so it’s flat. I find it helpful to use masking tape or painter’s tape, taping the edges to the floor or table about every 6″ to 8″ so it doesn’t shift. Arrange the batting on top of the backing, patting it smooth. Be careful not to tug and twist, just gently loft it up and down to get it straight on the back. (If you’re using a packaged batting that’s been folded, take it out of the package the day before and fluff it out to let the creases relax before you start to baste.)

2. Center the pressed quilt top, right side up, on the batting and backing. Check to be certain that both the backing and batting extend several inches past the quilt top on all sides (have I said this enough?).

3. Starting at the center, baste the three layers together—either with a needle and strong thread or with nonrusting safety pins. If you know how you’re going to quilt the project, place the pins and stitches where they won’t interfere with your quilting. Often people use thread to baste quilts that will be hand quilted, and safety pins to baste quilts that will be machine quilted. That’s because pins tend to get in the way of a quilting hoop, but thread is hard to remove when it’s been repeatedly stitched over by a machine.

Basting a quilt sandwich

4. Once everything is securely basted, remove the masking tape. You’re ready to tackle quilting or tying the layers together.

For more about backings, batting, and quilting or tying the layers together, be sure to check out Robin’s advice in Making a Quilt Sandwich, a free download on the ShopMartingale How to Quilt page.

When it comes to big collections of quilt patterns, which is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments!

7 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I like the 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts book. I seams like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win.

    —Joan Rodriguez on May 6, 2013
  • My favorite is BlockBase. I can print the blocks at _any_ size, without calculation.

    —Lynne on May 6, 2013
  • 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts by Judy Hopkins & Nancy Martin is my favorite book. Why? On page 26, Amsterdam Star and page 165, the Pot of Flowers, are two of the many quilts that I hand quilted for her years ago.

    As I near the ripe old age of 90, I still enjoy hand quilting. Through trial and error, I have learned many tricks for making hand quilting easier.

    It was a joy to hand quilt numerous of the quilts that Nancy pieced.

    Tina here. Alvina, it’s so nice to hear from you! I’ve admired your gorgeous quilting for many years.

    —Alvina Nelson on May 6, 2013
  • I bought a copy of the Collectors Dictionary of Quilt names and patterns about a year ago….I found it at a second hand book store….What an amazing pattern book….It’s subdivided into categories and I love using it…It had a whole page practically on the pineapple block…and tons of applique patterns too….Right now the book and the Quiltmakers 100s are my favorite….Have a great quilting day….

    —Darlene Krystal on May 6, 2013
  • I have a vast library of quilt books and The Joy of Quilting book stands out amongst them. I made the Bear’s Paw quilt adding my own finishing touches to it. Instead of plain cornerstones, I added bears applique’d in each of the corners using the bright colored fabrics that I used for the "Paws" throughout the quilt. In an Amish style format, I used black fabric for my background and borders. I’ve had many compliments on this quilt and what makes it even more special is the fabrics were a gift from an Internet Pen-pal, who now lives in Kentucky. Bless you, Diann.

    Keep smiling,

    Lynnita Shipman on May 6, 2013
  • My favorite is 101 Fabulous Rotary Cut Quilts but I need to see the Big Book of Patchwork. It looks really interesting.

    —Chris on May 6, 2013
  • Hello I have the perpetual calendar 365 quilt block patterns book and there is a Fox Paws 12 inch block March 24, I really love this block but I need the sewing instructions for this block please. I cannot find this block anywhere else on the internet. I find the bear paw only. This book is(The Best of Judy Hopkins).
    I would appreciate all the help I can get.
    Thanks, Brenda Joe

    Hi Brenda,
    I’m so glad that you ended up calling us-much easier to chat about this in person than to try and write it all out! It was fun talking to you and I have high hopes that your quilt will turn out FABULOUS!

    Brenda Joe on June 11, 2013

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