Jo’s Little Favorites, a book review (and a Giveaway)

There were several new books published by Martingale this Spring, all packed with creative goodness.

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Today I want to share insights about “Jo’s Little Favorites II – A Classic Collection of 15 Small Quilts”, by Jo Morton.


Popular author, Moda Fabrics designer, and small-quilt expert Jo Morton returns with another collection of favorite patterns that you’ll be delighted to stitch. Whether you have a handpicked collection of reproduction fabrics just waiting to shine or want to discover new favorites, you’ll love sewing and displaying each pretty little patchwork gem!

  • Decorate your home with little quilts–artfully styled photos will inspire you
  • Improve your accuracy with Jo’s tips for precise patchwork sewing
  • Helpful hints include instructions about how to quilt each eye-catching project

About the Author

Well known for her “Jo’s Little Women Club” patterns, Jo Morton is a quiltmaker, fabric designer, teacher, author, and lecturer. Her use of color and design, as well as her fine stitchery, give her quilts the feeling of having been made in the nineteenth century. Her quilts have appeared in numerous magazines, and she’s made several television and online appearances including on HGTV’s Simply Quilts, PBS’s Love of Quilting, and The Quilt Show.

In 1980, Jo took her first quilting class, and in 1985 she created her first “made to look old” quilt. She determined early on that if she ever hoped to make all the quilts she wanted to make, they would have to be small, a size that works perfectly in her compact 1929 bungalow.

Visit to learn more. Follow Jo on Instagram at joquilts.



The projects in this book range in size from 11″ x 12 1/2″ to 49″ x 55 1/2″ and all have easy to follow instructions with great visuals.  And Jo has a chapter where she shares her favorite techniques for little quilts.  With 15 small quilt patterns in this book, that would be great for use in your home and/or for gifts, this book really is an exception value when you consider how much it costs for a standalone pattern.

I hope you get a chance to check out this new book at your local quilt shop, but don’t forget you can also find it online in Martingale’s store, as well as Amazon.  As always, should you not find it in your local quilt shop let them know you are interested in having them make it available.  It is such a new book that they may not even be aware of it.


To celebrate the release of Jo’s new line of fabric with Moda and the release of her new book, Martingale is hosting a giveaway on their blog “Stitch This” where you could win a copy of this new creative book, as well as a bundle of Jo’s new fabric.  Click here to find out more info and enter.

You can find Martingale at:
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You can find Jo Morton at:

Inspirational Quilt Design and Free-Motion Quilting

Today I want to share insights about an award winning quilt that was on exhibit at the Road to California Quilt Show, this past January.  While attending quilt shows I enjoy all the quilts on exhibit, I do look for quilts in a variety of categories:  free-motion quilting, humor, modern, applique’, machine embroidery, stunning design, 

I messed up on my notes and had my photos of this beautiful quilt tagged for Cameo Rose, by Laurie Tigner.  But thanks to Calico Cat Quilting, she kindly corrected me.  This amazing quilt is by Margaret Solomon Gunn’s.  Thank you Calico Cat Quilting!

I hope you can see why it caught my attention while at Road.


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I also want to challenge you, should you feel you could never create such an award winning quilt, I’m confident you can. While some that create such quilts may do so without following these tips, what I see for common traits, from those that achieve such awards they: attend quilt shows and study award winning quilts, they break down designs in components (small areas), and they continually create, enter, accept feedback from the judges and incorporate it into their design process and repeat.  I want to encourage each of you to create and share your works in quilt shows, even small shows.  Most of us don’t like being judged, but in such a process our creativity can grow leaps & bounds.

If you have shared your creativity in a quilt show previously, I hope you’ll leave a comment to share your recommendation and encouragement to help others pursue achieving such an experience too!  I think there are many award winning quilters that have yet to discover themselves – and I see the potential in each of you.

Road is still accepting applications for teachers.  If you are interested in being such a teacher, I highly encourage you to apply.  Of course, I’m hopeful to have more teachers teaching classes on free-motion quilting on domestic machines, but then Road historically offers an amazing list of teachers on longarm machines.

This is a great event, unlike other shows, as this event is packed with amazing teachers/classes, juried quilts from around the world, as well as  great vendors and all in Southern California, during a time of year where most of the US is freezing and So. Cal. typically has nice weather.  Plus Road is near Disneyland, Knotts and more, making it a perfect place for a family vacation, all based around a quilt conference and show!  

You can find Road to California at:



Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3, by Lori Kennedy and a Quilt-a-Long

This week I hope to inspire you to learn, or improve your free-motion quilting skills.  I continually find inspiration from experts with FMQ, but I also try to stay aware of any new opportunity to learn and improve.  Today, I want to share insights about a new book as well as a fun quilt-a-long.

 “Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3, by Lori Kennedy” was recently published by Martingale. 



Discover  how to machine quilt creative designs the easy way. More than 60 striking quilting motifs are at your fingertips in this comprehensive visual guide to free-motion machine quilting. Lori Kennedy takes you through each step of the process with easy-to-understand instructions and a multitude of clear, close-up photos so you won’t miss a stitch.

  • Learn to quilt dozens of unique and clever motifs, including flowers, animals, zigzags, swirls and twirls, and much more
  •  Give your next project that irresistible pop of texture you’ve been looking for–many of these designs aren’t found in other quilting books
  •  Convenient lay-flat spiral binding makes the instructions easy to follow while you quilt

About the Author:

Lori Kennedy is an incurable doodler and quilting fanatic who loves to help quilters add fun and personality to their quilts with whimsical designs. Lori is a Craftsy instructor and a Bernini Ambassador. She writes the My Line column in  American Quilter magazine and can be found on her blog,, offering “Tuesday Tutorials” and daily inspiration.

My Review:

This book is absolute a “must have” for any beginner interested in learning free-motion quilting, but also an excellent resource for any quilter that enjoys FMQ and wants to learn more motifs.  There are 61 creative FMQ motifs in this book, which includes 400 excellent step by step images with easy to follow instructions to help you learn to stitch these designs. I also love that this book is spiral bound, allowing it to easily lay flat.

Considering the price of this book, it is an exceptional value thus if you are only going to purchase one book on freemotion quilting this year, this should be the book you get.  

 Lori also shares her expertise to help you determine the scale of a motif, planning travel stitching, achieve the perfect stitch and much more!

Did I Mention a Quilt-A-Long?

 This week, Lori has kicked off a fun quilt-a-long where she’ll also be sharing free tutorials, every Tuesday. The quilt design is perfect for learning a number of beautiful free-motion quilting motifs and would make a great quilt for your home, or for a gift. I’m looking forward to this QAL very much and hope you’ll join the fun too!

You can find Martingale at:
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You can find Lori Kennedy (The Inbox Jaunt) at:

The Inbox Jaunt

More Ruler Work with Lisa Calle – Quilter’s Groove ProDiamond rulers

Today is day #2 of my week focused on free-motion quilting (FMQ), but I also want to share insights about a fun 30-day quilting challenge hosted by Annie’s Ruby Slipperz.

Sew30 Sew FUN  a challenge to sew just 30 minutes each day (6 days a week, 1 free day) for the whole month of May 2017.  Visit her blog to check out her post, with more details, as well as how you can enter to win a special prize.  Of course, I hope to inspire you to try to spend 30 minutes each day learning, or improving, your free-motion quilting skills. It could be a great way to master new motifs, or even quilting stencils or rulers too!

 Speaking of FMQ, I’ve been in love with a diamond motif  and diamond crosshatching that some of themany designs that can be stitched using the Quilter’s Gove ProDiamond Ruler, by very taented Lisa Calle.

I previously shared insights about Quilter’s Groove ProEcho Ruler.  While Lisa is a longarm quilter, I asked her if she thought if her ruers would work on a domestic machine.  She shared “You can use these rulers on a domestic machine that has a high shank. The smaller ones (ProEcho 3-7) are good for domestic machines, but if you have your machine in a cabinet then really all of them will work. I would suggest putting some Handi Grip on the bottom of the rulers and using Machingers. I’ll be posting some videos of using them on a domestic machine soon. Stay tuned”

While I’ve been in love with the designs that this ruler can create, as Lisa is a longarm quilter I wasn’t certain if they would work on domestic sewing machines.  Lisa has confirmed that they will work and I also met someone on Facebook who has used them on their domestic machine.  

While  I just ordered this Quilter’s Grove Pro Diamond (even) ruler set and I’m chomping at the bit, eager to use it and feel it will be very easy to use and quite versatile.  I’ll share more insights with you after I’ve had a chance to play with it.   Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of my work while participating in Annie’s Sew30 Sew FUN Challenge.  I sure hope you’ll join her fun challenge….and hopefully enjoy some free-motion quilting too!  Lastly, I want to encourage everyone to visit Lisa Calle’s blog, or Facebook page and wish her a very Happy Birthday.  To celebrate her birthday, she has a 15% off sale (appears at check out) on all her rulers.  Sale runs thru Sunday, May 7th.

You can find Lisa Calle at:

Cindy Needham – New Ultimate Border Collection

Today I’m kicking off a week of topics about free-motion quiting, starting with insights about a new stencil collection designed by Cindy Needham,  as well as a sale:

Cindy Needham is a Master Quilter, teacher, author, designer whom I highly recommend to anyone interested in learning, or improving their free-motion quilting skills.  I also strongly urge anyone interested in FMQ to check out her “Complete Collection” of e:books, as well as all of her Ultimate Stencil collections.

Cindy has just released a new Ultimate Border Collection and they are on sale thru May 5th ($10 savings).  And for those that may not have her Complete Ultimate Collection, this collection now includes the new Ultimate Border Collection, plus the original Ultimate Stencil Collection, the Ultimate Background Stencil Collection and the Ultimate Shape Collection.  Needless to say, the “Complete” collection is an amazing deal, with endless possibilities of designs.  And, it is also on sale thru May 5th.  Plus these stencil collections come with accompanying e:books appropriate for each stencil collection that will help show you how to use these stencils, as well as incorporate an amazing variety of designs for each stencil, with “your” projects, or to apply on project designs inspired by some of Cindy’s amazing work.

Today I want to share a few insights about the versatility of Cindy’s new Ultimate Border Stencil Collection:

It contains six different borders in three sizes each:

It also contains 12 different motifs in three sizes each:

Each border design comes with the “halfway”  lines already cut as well as the 45 degree line cut in the corner.

Each motif has the center point cut as a dot.  This allows you perfectly centered designs and easy repeats.  Each of the motifs is designed to be added as an embellishment to any of the six border designs or to be repeated as a border themselves!  These motifs can be used as designs in your quilt blocks too.

Cindy has written a 50+ page E-Book to accompany these stencils that includes many design inspirations on how to use each border design and motif and a full chapter on how to make borders fit.

The design possibilities with this set of stencils is limitless!  You are encouraged to combine motifs and stencils to make your own custom border designs.  Your borders will always be centered, your corners will always be “spot on” and the repeats will always be equal.

This 20 stencil set is on sale for one week only for $65.00. This will run $75.00 after the sale is over.   Cindy has a flat rate shipping for domestic orders for $5.00 and international for $12.00.  She’ll pick up the rest of the tab for postage

CLICK HERE to be taken to Cindy’s website to purchase!

Don’t forget, If you don’t own any of Cindy’s Ultimate Stencils and would like to purchase the complete package, Cindy is offering the Complete Collection of Stencils on sale for $165.  This will run for $175 after the sale.  It includes the Ultimate Stencils (4 pieces total); the Ultimate Backgrounds (20 pieces total); Ultimate Shape (4 pieces total) and the new Ultimate Borders (20 pieces total).  It also comes with instructional E-Books for each set totaling about 150 pages.

CLICK HERE to be taken to Cindy’s website to purchase!


You can find Cindy Needham at:


Here are links to previous posts where I’ve shared insights about Cindy Needham, as well as a few of her awesome free-motion quilting tutorials:

Freemotion quilting with Amanda Murphy – Feathers

Amanda Murphy is a very talented quilter, teacher, designer, author and fabrick designer for Bernatex.  She is also a Bernina Quilting and Longarm Spokesperson.  Today I want to heighten awareness of her Youtube video tutorial for free-motion quilting feathers, which also has a free PDF companion document that you can download at:

Amanda stitches beautiful feathers and I hope you find this video helpful and inspirational:

You can find Amanda Murphy at:

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.    

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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.    

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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:

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