Quilting icon Jo Morton’s tribute to Album quilts (+ fabric giveaway!)

Jo Morton is back with another gorgeous book—and it just may be the first time you’ve seen her absolutely admirable appliqué!

Jo's Floral Album

In Jo’s latest book, Jo’s Floral Album, you’ll stitch spectacular blocks featuring beautiful blossoms, twining vines, luscious berries, and other motifs that define traditional Album quilts. Make blocks one after another, or set a relaxed pace and sew just one block each month—by year’s end, you’ll have a breathtaking quilt to display, give, or save as a family heirloom.

Jo's Floral Album quilt
Jo’s Floral Album: finished size 57½" × 57½".

Jo’s student-approved instructions for back-basting appliqué (no freezer paper or templates required) will help you achieve appliqué perfection. From materials needed to final finishing steps, all you need to create this stunning quilt is inside, including full-sized patterns (no copy-store trips for you).

Take a closer look at all nine of Jo’s stunning Album blocks:

We are excited to welcome Jo as a guest writer today, here to tell us more about her amazing Album quilt. But before we do . . .

FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Our friends at Moda Fabrics sent us a lovely Layer Cake from Jo’s line, called Timeless, to give away to one lucky winner!

Learn how you can win the Layer Cake plus a copy of Jo’s Floral Album at the end of this post.

All right, NOW we can welcome Jo!

Jo MortonI’m a fan of appliqué (yes, I do make more than just patchwork quilts), but I struggled with it for some time. I found that if I appliquéd frequently, my work improved; but then I would go back to patchwork, creating a vicious circle of needing to improve my appliqué skills all over again.

I was fortunate to take a class from Jeana Kimball about 15 years ago. I drove to Liberty, Missouri, for the class, a little more than two hours from my home. But it was worth the drive. In class I learned Jeana’s “back-basting” prep method for needle-turn appliqué. I was immediately hooked! It’s the only method I’ve used for appliqué since. Now I can go for months between appliqué projects, pick up needle and thread, and feel confident in my workmanship. In Jo’s Floral Album, you’ll find all the steps needed to learn back-basting appliqué—along with full-color photos of the process—so you too can be successful with this technique.

The blocks for Jo’s Floral Album were inspired by blocks from at least three antique quilts. I changed and/or simplified some motifs, because I’m not a fancy person. I make quilts that we hang or use in our home, as we have a mix of antique furniture from our trips east to Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with period reproduction furniture.

A peek inside Jo’s home, featured in her book
Jo’s Little Favorites III (coming March 2018)

I make quilts for me and then I share them with you, because traditional quilts are always in style. In Jo’s Floral Album, you’ll find full-sized patterns for the 12″ finished blocks. There are also page-sized color photos of each block. If one is so inclined, one could trace those to make an 8″ finished block instead.

From Jo's Floral Album

Back-basting appliqueThese blocks were completed in 2012. They rested with the gorgeous border fabric for some time, due to other obligations. Finally, last year, I took the time to square up the blocks, assemble the top, and send the quilt out for beautiful machine quilting. I’m looking forward to hanging it in our home come spring—like many of you, I have Christmas quilts going up soon—decked on the walls and  beautifully displayed in stacks, on beds, and on tables, of course.

I think you’ll enjoy making this Album quilt. Take your time and enjoy the process. That is why I quilt. There’s nothing like the rhythm of needle and thread. It warms my heart and soul.

Jo's Floral AlbumJo, we always love having you as a guest writer—thank you for sharing all the heart and soul you put into Jo’s Floral Album.

Now, about that giveaway! To be automatically entered to win Jo’s Timeless Layer Cake and book, tell us:

What would you do with your finished Album quilt?

  • Snuggle under it—that’s what quilts are for!
  • Hang it on the wall for EVERYONE to see. Forever.
  • Put it on display for special occasions; then leave it in my will for someone who will appreciate it!

Share your answer in the comments to be automatically entered into the drawing—we’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you’re ready to start your own appliquéd heirloom, order Jo’s Floral Album today at our website, ShopMartingale.com.

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Myra, who says:

“I love to live with my quilts by hanging them on the wall and displaying them on my bed. The quilts in this book would be a challenging and beautiful addition to my collection.”

We’ll email you about your prize, Myra—congratulations!


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