Blue & White: Living With Textiles You Love (And A Giveway)

Today I want to share insights about a very inspirational new “coffee table” book published by Martingale this month, as well as a giveaway.    

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy

Blue & White: Living With Textiles You Love, by Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson is the 3rd “coffee table” book ever published by Martingale!


Join expert quiltmaker Laurie Simpson and acclaimed rug hooker Polly Minick on a journey of inspiration and inventive ideas. Explore a matchless collection of stunning quilts, magnificent hooked rugs, and a treasury of one-of-a-kind textiles showcased in a variety of settings, from classic and coastal to Americana. Inspired vignettes are filled with ideas for highlighting textiles that will be right at home with your decor.

You’ll find it all in blue and white: clever decorating tips to bring a breath of freshness to your personal style, rich full-color photographs demonstrating the authors’ advice for curating and decorating with textiles, insight on adding diversity to a two-color palette, and a stunning collection of one-of-a-kind quilts, rugs, and textiles you won’t see anywhere else.

(Patterns not included.)


Polly Minick’s enthusiasm for the art of rug hooking has brought her national acclaim. Her work has been featured in publications such as American Patchwork and Quilting, Architectural Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, Coastal Living, Colonial Homes, Country Home, Creative Home, Early American Life, and Victoria. She is also a highly touted guest lecturer.

Laurie Simpson is a lifelong needle artist whose quilts have been featured in publications such as Country Home, Coastal Living, Architectural Digest, American Patchwork and Quilting, McCall’s Quilting, and the Wool Street Journal.


This inspirational “coffee table” style book is a must have for anyone that loves blue and white, but also perfect for those that enjoy decorating with a traditional style that is timeless.  It is a hardcover book with designs categorized by Americana, Coastal and Classic.  And, you’ll find inviting home decor with plenty of beautiful quilts, rug hooking and plenty of great decorator items that just add that perfect touch to finish a room.  I hope you get a chance to check out this book at your favorite quilt shop.  But as this is such a new book, if you don’t find it, do let the store know about it and that you’d like to see them carry it.  Of course, you can also check it out online at Martingale, as well as Amazon.


Stitch This (Martingale’s blog) has a great article about Minick and Simpson, where they also share more insights about their wonderful new book.  Plus they have a giveaway where you could win a copy of this inspirational new book and a bundle of their new fabrics too!  Deadline to enter is May 3rd.

You can find Minick and Simpson at:

You can find Martingale at:
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#FreeMotionQuilting/RulerWork On Domestic Machines: Continuous Rope Design

Today I want to highlight templates by Westalee, for stitching a Continuous Rope motif, using ruler work on a domestic sewing machine.  There are so many ways to use this design in your quilts, but for today, I’m just covering the basics.

There are three versions of the Continuous Rope template, where you can also find a variety of sizes.  Each of these templates pretty much works the same, where you continually sew out one side of a twist of rope at a time.  This works great for borders, creating frames around other motifs, but as you build up your expertise you can also stitch twisting ropes, as well as intertwining ropes.  

Here is a video tutorial from Westalee:

There are two different rope motif ruler template designs, as well as a variety of sizes of rope (e.g. .75″, 1.5″, 2.5″, 5.5″).

There is also a template that makes a beautiful rope wreath, as shown below stitched by Patsy Thompson.  Patsy also sells Westalee templates, as well as other brands and her own, online in her shop at Patsy Thompson Designs.

Of course, if you know Patsy, you know she never just quilts a simple motif.  Here is an example of what she created based off this rope wreath:

Personally, I’m looking forward You can also find Westalee templates at Sew Steady, AllBrands, Amy’s Quilting Adventure, as well as many premium quilt shops.  Of course, if your favorite store doesn’t carry them, let them know you are interested in having them stock such tools.  Ruler work is growing in popularity and many quilt shops don’t yet realize how many quilters are interested in this form of quilting.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and find time to enjoy and create.  Of course, I also hope you are able to take time to learn/improve your free-motion quilting skills too!

You can find Patsy Thompson at:

Here is a list of previous posts about RulerWork

The Big Book of Strip Quilts (and a Giveaway)

Today I want to share insights about another absolutely amazing creative new book published by Martingale this month, as well as a giveaway.    

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy

The Big Book of Strip Quilts: Start with Strips to Make 60 Stunning Quilts, by Karen M. Burns is packed with creative goodness for quilters of all levels.


Cut strips from your stash or gather your favorite precuts to make fabulous strip quilts that shine! Each pattern will inspire you with its remarkably versatile look and scrappy style, easily achieved with simple strips.

  • 60 stunning strip quilts at a great value–just pennies per pattern
  • Choose from sizes ranging from wall hangings and baby quilts to bed-sized quilts, all by top designers
  • Includes projects for beginners and experienced quilters in a variety of attractive patchwork styles


Clearly, with 60 stunning strip quilt patterns in this book, it is an amazing value that you should not overlook.  In keeping with the quality that Martingale stands by, all the patterns come with easy to follow instructions and great visuals. Projects range in size of 31-1/4″ x 40-1/2″ to 82-1/2″ x 90-1/2″ and they are all perfect for beginner quilters thru experienced quilters.

The designs in this book would be great to make using fabric in your stash, or purchase new fabrics (yardage you can cut, or pre-cuts/strips).  Don’t overlook the fact these quilts would look great in your home, as well as be perfect for a gift.  You can’t go wrong making these beautiful quilts, but you may want to make many of them over and over again.

 I do hope you get to check out this book at your favorite quilt shop, but as it was just released, they may not be aware of it (although I’m confident they’ll see it in Martingale’s booth at the upcoming Quilt Market).  Still, don’t forget if you don’t find it in your favorite quilt shop, let them know you’d like them to carry it.  Of course, you can also check it out and buy it at Martingale’s online store, as well as Amazon.  Lastly, I want to share that I’m predicting this book is going to quickly become a “Best Seller”.  Can you tell I love it!  


Martingale has shared more insights on this new book and is also hosting a giveaway where you could win an e:copy of this book.  Just be sure to click thru and enter by April 26th.

You can find Martingale at:
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The Splendid Sampler, by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson (and a giveway)

I am a quilter that loves checking out books every time I visit quilt shops, as well as checking publisher’s websites to learn about new books.  Martingale has released another wonderful new quilting block this month.  And, I’m excited to share insights with you today about this new book, packed with #CreativeGoodness.   

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy

The Splendid Sampler: 100 Spectacular Blocks From A Community Of Quilters,  by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson, published by Martingale, is a book packed with amazing blocks that will allow yo to create quilts, wallhangings, table toppers and much more, yet allow your project to be very unique.


Join The Splendid Sampler community with a comprehensive collection of very special 6-inch blocks created and shared by more than 80 of today’s most innovative designers.

  • You’ll enjoy trying your hand at 100 eye-catching designs that use a wide range of techniques, including traditional patchwork, applique, foundation paper piecing, and embroidery
  • A number of the 6-inch blocks are shown in two colorways for twice the creativity
  • Be inspired by gallery quilts featuring carefully selected placement options for your Splendid Sampler blocks


This book is compiled from a virtual sew-along on Facebook and the website: that was created with 83 blocks, over a 12 month sew-along.  The book is organized into chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Patchwork blocks
  • Applique’ blocks
  • Foundation-pieced blocks
  • Embroidered locks
  • Quilting basics
  • Quilting gallery
  • Index

Each block comes with easy to follow instructions, as well as great visuals.  While some might question why they would need this book, given so many of the block designs were originally shared for free on-line, there really is great value in this book:  Better visuals, oodles of hints, quilting gallery and much more.  Plus, everything is well organized in this book vs hunting a vast series of blog posts for the patterns.   Think of the free blog sew-along as a group of test quilters and this book is the ultimate quality tested collection of amazing block designs.

This is a handy resource that will certainly help quilters make beautiful quilts, wallhangings, table toppers and more.   The possibilities are endless.  Ultimately I view this book as an exception value, truly packed with Creative Goodness.

I hope you get a chance to check out this book at your favorite quilt store.  But as it is so new they may not have heard about it, so do let them know you are interested in having them make it available.  Of course, you can also check it out online at Martingale, as well as Amazon.


Martingale is hosting an amazing “Splendid Giveaway where you could win a copy of this book, as well as a bundle of fabrics.  To enter, click on the image below and follow the instructions on the Martingale blog, Stitch This, where you have a chance of being one of 13 lucky winners.  Deadline to enter: April 20th.


You can find Martingale at:

martingale logo

Thimbleberries: Quilts With A New Attitude, by Lynette Jensen (and a giveaway)

Today, I’m happy to share insights on a super duper fun new book, by an amazing author, which I believe can help you create endless possibilities of quilted items all with #CreativeGoodness.

badge for books with #CreativeGoodness copy

Landauer Publishing has recently released Thimbleberries: Quilts With A New Attitude, by Lynette Jensen.



New Thimbleberries® patterns with a contemporary twist! Best-selling designer Lynette Jensen showcases pairs of projects made with her own classic fabrics and Cotton + Steel fabrics – the results are stunning!

Lynette returns with over 20 new Thimbleberries® patterns and a mission to unite fabric lovers everywhere with a whole new way of presenting quilt patterns.

Thimbleberries® Quilts with a New Attitude will feature her own timeless, traditional designs and fabrics as well as presenting them made with fabric by Cotton + Steel, the exciting collaboration of five young designers whose contemporary fabric designs have taken the quilting world by storm. There is something for everyone in the book where tried and true meets new!

About the author:

Thimbleberries is the brainchild of internationally-known designer and quilting authority, Lynette Jensen of Hutchinson, Minnesota. Twenty-one years ago, with the introduction of her first quilt pattern, Lynette transitioned from an avid quilt collector to an accomplished quilt and fabric designer.

Thimbleberries has emerged as a worldwide leader in quilting, sewing, and home decorating. Fabric lines, released several times a year in coordinated collections, consist of distinctive designs, printed on the finest quality 100 percent cotton. Quilt patterns, with easy-to-follow instructions and dozens of illustrations, inspire a bevy of beautiful quilts, wall hangings, table toppers, pillows, and home decorating instructions.

Lynette is also a best-selling author who has inspired a generation of dedicated quilters to feather their nests with Thimbleberries fabrics, quilt patterns, and books. Her books are an excellent resource for all quilters, whether you’re a beginner, or a master.

Thimbleberries products are available in more than 2,400 independent quilt shops. Many of these shops host a Thimbleberries Quilt Club. Club members meet regularly across the United States and around the world to meet in a comfortable, relaxed setting to enjoy the wonderful craft of quilting.

About the publisher:

Landauer Publishing is an independently-owned, award-winning publisher managed by people passionate about books and about bringing high-quality inspirational and creative, techniques and how-to publications to life.  We are all about excellence in content, photography, design, and service to all our customers and to our authors.


Needless to say, I was honestly delighted to see another book by Lynette Jensen.   Each of the designs come with easy to follow instructions and great visuals.  Projects range in size from 32″ x 32″ to 112″x 120″ and there is also instructions for an 18″ pillow.  This book is also appropriate for beginners, as there is a great section of “General Instructions”, that is very helpful.   With 23 beautiful designs, this book is truly an excellent value.

This  I hope you get a chance to check out this new book at your favorite quilt shop.  Of course, if you don’t see it let them know you’re interested. It is such a new book they might night be aware of it.  Don’t forget you can also check it out, as well as buy it online at Landauer Publishing, as well as Amazon.




To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form below by claiming one or more options.  Due to my limited quilting budget, as well as increasing postage expenses, this giveaway is open to US Residents Only.  To clarify, I will ship this prize to the lucky winner with a US address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find Landauer Publishing at:

Our Precision Piecing Quilt-Along – Wrap Up

Before I wrap up the Precision Piecing Quilt-Along, by thanking sponsors and announcing winners, I want to let everyone know that QuiltShopGal migrated to a new (and cheaper) web hosting service.  It was supposed to have happened over a weekend, a week ago.  There was a point that I thought QuiltShopGal was going to die a quick death, long before I could complete all I wanted to do.  Thanks to Marian Pena of Seams to Be Sew, for her help and encouragement during this migration.  I still have a few pending issues in the migration, but now have email back up and running, as well as the ability to release new posts.  Woo hoo!    

note:  my address remains

So, today, I want to wrap up the Precision Piecing Quilt Along.    I hope to have inspired others to challenge their piecing skills with small blocks and seek out perfect cutting and piecing, to get us to slow down and improve our piecing skills.  There are a variety of ways to improve our precision piecing skills, but stitching small blocks is truly a great way to do so.  And, Hope’s Quilt Designs has many beautiful mini-block patterns that you can download for free.    


I want to recognize our generous sponsors who made this event more fun, by donating wonderful prizes:  The Fat Quarter ShopThe Quilt Show and Martingale 

I also want to share that ALL of the participants in this event, who are bloggers, were also added to My Creative Blog List, which is a great site to follow super creative blogs.  I hope all bloggers and non-bloggers check it out.  I have found this to be a great resource to follow a variety of creative blogs and I’m hearing from others that agree.



The Fat Quarter Shop  donated a $50 gift certificate.


Winner: Laura (LauraLovesLoons and Quilting too!)

The Quilt Show  donated a TQS membership

Winner: Nan Brown (Yellow Mound Quilts)

Martingale has donated 3 new books.  

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Simple Friendships – Winner:  Barbara (Cat Patches)

Zen Chick Inspired – Winner:  Christi Scheffel

Miss Rosie’s Farmhouse Favorites – winner: Kim Rennie

You can still view all the entries in our  Linky Party for the Precision Piecing QAL.  When you click thru, bloggers typically share more inspiration on their blog.



Here is a list of previous #PrecisionPiecingQAL posts:

#PrecisionPiecingQAL – Week Three

Welcome to week three of our #PrecisionPiecingQAL.  Everyone has time to make a mini-block, with a free downloadable pattern designed by Hope’s Quilt Designs (links available in kick-off post).  You just need to make at least one block, to enter by March 19th, as I’ll be announcing the winners next week.

This event is sponsored by:

The Fat Quarter Shop

The Quilt Show


While many have made one, or more, of the free miniature quilt blocks, some have repeated the same block, to further improve their precision piecing skills, getting better results each time they make a mini-block.  And, some have turned their blocks into miniature projects:

Bea (Beaquilter) turned her blocks into a sweet pincushion.

Jan (non-blogger) shared this very creative quilt top she created using her miniature blocks.

Deadline to enter is March 19th.  I will be announcing the winners next week.

Here is our Linky Party for the Precision Piecing QAL.

Don’t forget this coming Saturday is Worldwide quilting day.  


And, to help celebrate, The Quilt Show is allowing everyone FREE access to all their current and past episodes plus giving away ~$10k in prizes.

I hope you will take time to make a miniature quilt block this weekend, to practice your precision piecing skills, as well as celebrate International Quilt Weekend.  This is always one of my favorite weekends of the year.

Here is a list of previous #PrecisionPiecingQAL posts: Placemat Quilt Along with the Fat Quarters Shop

Have you heard of Soft and Stable ?  This is an amazing stabilizer far superior to battings and other stabilizers, which is absolutely perfect for bags and beyond!  Over the years, I’ve found a variety of uses for this product.  Thus, I was delighted to be able to join a Placemat Stitch Along, hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop, which kicks off today.  Of course, I hope you’ll join this fun event and also enjoy working with Soft and Stable.

While Soft and Stable comes in a variety of sizes, byAnnie has packaged it in a perfect size for making placemats.  In their “Project Pack“, you get four pieces of 13.5″ x 18.5” which are still a good size for a variety of projects, but absolutely great for placemats.  Plus, the package comes with a bonus pattern where you can make super easy placemats with various size strips of fabric.

Here is a great visual that shows how well a bag made with Soft and Stable stands up vs one made with regular batting.  You get that same type of stabilization when you use this product to make a placemat, or other project.    Plus, it retains a soft and cozy feeling to it.

While the Project Pack comes with a free pattern that will help you make cute placemats, using a quilt as you go technique, I opted to use some left over blocks from the #JacobsLadderQAL.

You can easily quilt-as you go or stitch in the ditch.  I’ve also found that Soft and Stable can look great with some light free-motion quilting or some Ruler Work, but I it has such great body that you really don’t need to do much quilting to create a great looking project using Soft & Stable.

Possibilities of what you can create with Soft and Stable are endless.  Consider using a Project Pack to create placemats, small bags, zipper pouches, mini-quilts, mug-rugs, etc..

I hope you’ll pick up some Soft & Stable from the Fat Quarter Shop and come join us in this fun #StitchAlong.  For more insights and inspiration, visit the Jolly Jabber blog today.


You can find the Fat Quarter Shop at:


You can find at:

#PrecisionPiecingQAL – The Fat Quarter Shop

Welcome to week two of our #PrecisionPiecingQAL.

  Today I want to inspire everyone to work on their precision piecing skills by highlighting some great opportunities available thru the Fat Quarter Shop, as well as share some projects that some of our participants have made with their miniature blocks made during this challenge.  To clarify, you need not make anything with these miniature blocks to enter to win prizes, but for those that want to not just use this QAL as a technique learning opportunity, but to create, the possibilities are endless.


The Fat Quarter Shop shares a wealth of helpful tutorials that can help quilters, including those wanting to improve their precision piecing skills.  Here are a few which I highly recommend:

And, the Fat Quarter Shop also has very helpful notions:

  • ByANnie stiletto –   useful to hold fabric down as you sew as you get close to the needle
  • Creative Grid rulers –   easy to read markings and non-slip backs so you can cut precisely
  • Triangle paper – get exact units, especially when working with bias edges
  • Rotating mat – move the mat, not the fabric, when cutting
  • Ideal Seam Guide – set yourself up for success with accurate seams


Amanda Best (PatchworkPrincess82) shared all her blocks, as well as this beautiful miniature quilt which she made, on Instagram.

Barbara (Cat Patches) shared insights on her creative blog, about the blocks she made and how she turned them into a miniature quilt, which she plans to use as a hot pad in her camper.  I thought it was cute she named this project “At a Minimum”.

Still plenty of time for you to make a miniature block (or more) to enter to win prizes from our generous sponsors:  The Fat Quarter Shop, The Quilt Show, and Martingale.  It only takes one entry for a chance to win a prize, but of course, I hope you’ll use this QAL as an opportunity to improve your precision piecing skills.  So, if you don’t feel your miniature block is perfect, make more till you get it right.  There are a variety of free patterns that you can use, all listed in the kick off post for this event.  But do let me know if you have any questions.

Deadline to enter is March 19th.

Here is our Linky Party for the Precision Piecing QAL.



Don’t forget this coming Saturday is Worldwide quilting day.  I sure hope you find time to enjoy and quilt.  Always fun to quilt with friends, even virtually.

And, The Quilt Show is also opening up all their shows to everyone to watch this weekend, as they also have plenty of episodes & more, to help you improve your piecing skills..  More info on my prior post for this event.


Here is a list of previous #PrecisionPiecingQAL posts:

10 – Fun and Fast Spring Theme Projects, Freebies and a Sale

Are you looking forward to Spring?  This is certainly a perfect time to think about Spring Theme projects for your home, and maybe for gifts too!  Here are ten fun and fast Spring Theme projects that caught my attention:

Natalia Bonner (Piece N Quilt) has a great free tutorial to make St.  Patrick’s Day theme blocks.

Connie Kreskin has a lovely FREE pattern with Butterflies, which would be perfect for Spring, a downloadable pattern on Craftsy.

Of course her Shamrock table topper pattern (also available on Craftsy) would be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

Marian Pena (Seams to be Sew) has a variety of Spring Theme designs on Craftsy, including some row quilt designs with Sunbonnet Sue that are adorable.

Bejeweled Quilts by Barb, has many beautiful table toppers, mug rugs, etc., that certainly welcome in Spring, all available on Craftsy.

This GO! Butterfly pattern, a free downloadable pattern from AccuQuilt is definitely a perfect project for Spring.

GO! Hearts Bed Runner also is a perfect touch for Spring.

  Full Disclosure - Affiliates with QuiltShopGal