Four Books for your Perusing Pleasure

Once again, I have a few books to review for Martingale (8 to be exact), so I will post about a few of them tonight and then follow up later with the others.  First off, since my blog is mostly about machine quilting, I’d like to tell you a bit about “You Can Quilt It!  Stunning Free Motion Quilting Designs Made Easy by Deborah M. Poole.   She quilts for Kim Diehl.  I hate to admit this, but I kind of figure I know a lot about quilting already, so I wasn’t sure what I’d learn from this book… but I was very pleasantly surprised.

Martingale - You Can Quilt It! (Print version + eBook bundle)

Here’s a look at the table of contents so you can get an idea of what to find in this book.

Martingale - You Can Quilt It! (Print version + eBook bundle)

Not only does she tell you what you will need as far as essential tools, but she also tells her secrets for using those tools to achieve perfect looking quilting.   In the “Feathers” section of the book, she gives you many different kinds of feathers to quilt, more than I’ve seen in any other quilting book.  This book is not just for longarm quilters, but also for domestic machine quilters as well.  It will have a prominent place in my library.

Another quilting book that I think is worth your time if you are a quilter is 501 Quilting Motifs from the editors of Quiltmaker Magazine.

Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle)   Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle)

As you can see, the book has a variety of motifs from which to choose, and shows you different ways to adapt and use then and to transfer them onto your quilt top.  I love the different motifs for children’s quilts and some of the fun styles this book shares.

Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle) Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - 501 Quilting Motifs (Print version + eBook bundle)

To keep with the “stitching” theme of this post, let’s take a look at My Enchanted Garden: Applique Quilts in Cotton and Wool by Gretchen Gibbons.

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Don’t you just love the colors on the cover?  Wait ’til you see the inside!  There are lots of different projects in this book, each as colorful as the cover.  The author combines wool and cotton in her applique and shows you how to embellish with embroidery (directions for embroidery stitches are included), beads, etc.  Clear cut directions are given for the applique.  I think you will find lots of eye candy to drool over in this book.

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Here are a couple of the close ups of the blocks on the above quilt, with embroidery, beads, and buttons added.

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)    Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - My Enchanted Garden (Print version + eBook bundle)

Yummy, yummy!  Even if I never make any of these projects, I will enjoy looking at them forever!

Finally, let’s take a look at 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks, Volume 2 by Katy Jones.

Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)

This is a great book for beginning or intermediate quilt makers or those who want to expand their horizons a bit.  Katy takes traditional and contemporary quilt blocks and throws a couple of news ones in there and combines them with fun and funky fabrics for a fresh look.

Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)  Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)  Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)  Martingale - 25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks Volume 2 (Print version + eBook bundle)

Techniques and strategies for making each of the blocks are given in easy-to-understand format.

I hope somewhere in these 4 books, you found one you’d like to look into further.  You can order these books from the Martingale website  or from  Many thanks to Martingale Publishers and  their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing these books for me to review and the many pictures for you to enjoy!


Bears for the Baby

Isn’t this a cute baby quilt?

Leanne's baby quilt 005

I haven’t had the chance to work on a baby quilt in awhile, so I think I was taken aback when I first got this one from Leanne.  It’s adorable, so how could I possibly add anything to this to make it even cuter?  Hmm…  Well, first off you see the stuffed animals.  Can’t you just see a toddler with its thumb in its mouth and holding onto this quilt by the toes of one of those critters?  ADORABLE!!!

Then I noticed the pinwheel blocks and thought I could add pinwheel sticks to the blocks and bears holding onto the sticks of the pinwheels.  So, that is what I did.  The zig zags on the pinwheel blocks are supposed to resemble wind blowing.  The quilting didn’t turn out as cute as I thought it would, but Leanne didn’t seem to mind…  ;)

Leanne's baby quilt 006 Leanne's baby quilt 007 Leanne's baby quilt 008

Red, white, and feathers

I have always wanted to make my own red and white quilt.  And, I’ve also wanted to make a blue and white quilt.  In fact, I have the fabric to make the blue and white quilt, and I’ve been meaning to get to the quilt store to get some red fabric, but I’ve been too busy lately.  Have I told you that whenever I am quilting a customer’s quilt, I feel like I made a quilt without having to do any of the work on the quilt top?  I get to admire others’ work and at the same time, I get the satisfaction of completion of yet another quilt.  :)

Wilma made the big, beautiful red and white quilt, and I am the lucky one who got to quilt it.  So, in a way… I’ve already completed a red and white quilt.  Don’t you think so?  ;)  Here is a shot of the whole quilt.

red and white quilt 007 (2)

Isn’t it beautiful?  There is a TON of work in this quilt top!!!  She didn’t know what she wanted quilted on this quilt, except she thought feathered wreaths would be good in the white corners of the middle medallion block.  Piano Keys were very fitting for the striped border, but what to do with the rest of it?  Each of the blocks are so different, I wasn’t sure how to pull it all together.  I finally decided that I wanted to put an emphasis on the red, without taking away from it with the quilting.  So, I just outlined the red parts and put swirls in some of the longer red pieces with red thread.  I filled the white parts with feathers quilted with white thread.

Wilma Red & White 009

One of the blocks, front and back…

Wilma Red & White 019       Wilma Red & White 004

Can you guess which block this is?

Wilma Red & White 006

Here are a couple more shots of the back – yes, I remembered to take pictures of the back this time, but only because you really couldn’t see the stitching on the front.

Wilma Red & White 003 Wilma Red & White 005

And, finally the customization…  I wasn’t sure what to do with this one, the white squares were so small.  So… I added surprises!

Wilma Red & White 011     Wilma Red & White 001

I love this quilt, and I hope Wilma will be happy with the almost finished product!

Sunbonnets and a Garden Tea Party

I just finished quilting this beauty for Mary.  She said to do whatever I wanted with it, which, for me, was preserving it as much as possible with historical stitching… but also adding some surprises finishing touches to make it unique for her.  The border is about 3″ wide, so I stuck feathers in there and added traditional quilting to the sashing.  For the most part I added cross-hatching in the background of the blocks, because that is what I think of when I think of Sunbonnet Sue blocks.

Mary's Sunbonnet Sue quilt 001 (2)

Looking at this while I was working on it was a real delight.  These Sunbonnet Sues were blocks that Mary’s mom had appliqued.  Her mom is gone now, so Mary wanted to preserve them and finished the quilt for her with borders and sashing.

The fabric was like a step back in time.  Look how her mother fussy cut the red fabric so it would look like Sue is holding that shovel.

Mary's Sunbonnet Sue quilt 003

And, look at this fabric with the car.  You can also see where I stitched a table with a pot and cup on it – this was part of the garden tea party theme I quilted.  I wish I had taken a picture of the backing fabric (Why do I keep forgetting to do that???), because it has colorful teapots all over it.  Very cool!

Mary's Sunbonnet Sue quilt 004

Here’s one with medals.

Mary's Sunbonnet Sue quilt 005

I think black and rose has been a good color combination for a long time now.  Here’s one where I added her pouring tea into a cup.

Mary's Sunbonnet Sue quilt 006

A little girl can’t have a tea party without a teddy bear.  ;)

Mary's Sunbonnet Sue quilt 007

Check out this black and coral colored fabric – I thought this one was cool, too!  I mimicked the flowers in the dress fabric and added it to the garden of the tea party.

Mary's Sunbonnet Sue quilt 012

I can’t wait to see what Mary does with this one and who she gives it to!  Lucky person, who ever it is!  Maybe… ME???  ;)

Roses on a Trellis

Ibby's quilt 1 024

I thought I’d start with a picture of Ibby’s quilt, because it is fabulous!  Ibby hand stitched the appliqued roses in place and did such a great job of combining colors and spilling those roses out onto the borders.  I can only imagine how long it took her to stitch this beautiful quilt.

Here it is, on the frame as I am finishing up on it.  You can see the backing in this picture.  I am so disappointed with myself for not getting a picture of the back of her quilt, because the back is just as cool as the front.  She had leftover blocks from the front that she pieced into the back.  In this picture you can see where I quilted roses into the trellis blocks.

Ibby 003

Here’s a shot of the border along the lower right hand side.   This shows how she spilled the roses out onto the border and also added a flange just inside the border.  Ibby wanted feathers quilted in the borders, so I stitched a couple of roses into each border and then quilted feathers around them.

Ibby 002

And, here’s a shot of the top border with a rose spilling out into the border.  Ibby wanted echo stitching around the applique.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I think she made a good choice, don’t you?

Ibby's quilt 1 028

I am showing you this shot on the left, because I was following someone else’s “rules” on how to do feathers and I didn’t like how “thready” and uneven it looked.  So, I changed it up a little for the look in the picture on the right.

Ibby's quilt 1 033    Ibby's quilt 1 032

And, of course, no quilt would be complete without some surprises finishing touches to make it special and unique for the person it belongs to.

Ibby's quilt 1 035 Ibby's quilt 1 037

Ibby has a “bee” in her name, so her garden needs bees to help the flowers bloom.

Thank you, Ibby, for letting me quilt your quilt and share it with others for them to enjoy as well!

Final February Book Review

I have 2 books to share today, Strip Savvy by Kate Henderson and Candy Store and More by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine.

When I first looked through Strip Savvy by Kate Henderson, the quilts made me think of Modern Quilts.  I don’t consider myself a modern quilter (although you might not agree when you look at some of my quilting), but this book made me “look again.”  Kate uses jelly roll strips, those 2 1/2 inch strips, for all the quilts in this book.  Well, isn’t that a new take on Modern?  Personally, of all the pre-cut fabric out there, I like jelly rolls the best and have not seen them used in the way Kate uses them.  One of my favorite parts of her book, I hate to admit, is how she “collects” 2 1/2 inch strips – no, I’m not going to tell you… you’ll have to read the book to find out!  And, she tells how she stores her strips and small scraps that she gets from… yes, jelly roll strips!

Personally, I love Log Cabin blocks, so her “Ocean Waves” quilt was my favorite.

Her Butterfly quilt is cute.

And, here’s the back cover to get more of an idea of what’s inside.

To find out more about Kate Henderson, check out her blog at  You can buy this book here.

Candy Store and More by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine is the other book on the Fourth and Final February review…

As I perused the pictures of this book before really looking, I thought the quilts all looked so authentic, like they had actually come from another time period, the 1930s and 40s.  I knew the fabrics were re-creations, but the patterns made me feel like I was in a time warps.  As I looked further, I realized these ladies had actually done a LOT of research for this book.  Their patterns are from old newspaper clippings that they have scattered throughout this book and from vintage quilts that they have collected.  They use the same color strategies, but twist them and turn them around a bit.

There is a quilt with embroidered butterflies on it.  Not only do they provide several different butterflies to choose from when embroidering your block, but they show you how to embroider the stitches.

I hate to admit this, but as a quilter, one of the most fascinating things I found in this book was how to actually quilt the quilt.  Instead of “quilt as desired” when you are done with the quilts, they provide examples of motifs to use on the entire quilt for these quilts.  Do you know how hard it is to find examples for quilting vintage quilts?  Our customers may pick up these vintage quilt tops and hope we can do them justice with our quilting, but if we don’t have a quilting design that looks vintage (even though we are quilting it on our machines instead of by hand), then I feel like we haven’t given the quilt the personality it needs.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, you can find it here.

Photographs provided by Martingale, courtesy of their photographer Brent Kane

P.S.  This weekend’s post will be about Ibby’s quilt.  Wait til you see it!  I don’t think my quilting did her quilt the justice it deserves, but wait until you see it.  I doubt you pay much attention to my quilting, because she did a bang up job on it!  It’s gorgeous!


Kitchen Stitches

Last week I reviewed Martingale’s Cute Quilts for Kids.  This week I will be showing you some of Kitchen Stitches, which was compiled by Karen M. Burns.

I don’t know about you, but where I live the quilters here get together to sew and socialize a lot, and it seems to revolve around food.  So, when Martingale asked me to review this book, I thought this would be a good book for all of us to have in our own libraries.

The cover shows the French Farmhouse Chef patterns to carry bread, a pattern to wrap your bread to keep it warm after you’ve cut it, and an apron that resembles a feed sack.  Take all that to this bistro table (below) with the cute tablecloth and matching fork napkins and you’ve got yourself an Italian Dinner.  Mouth watering yet?

This tea cozy with matching place mats would be so cute when you’re all gathered around the kitchen, taking a break from quilting, don’t you think?

And, look at this coupon keeper.  It looks like you could also get ideas for making your own purse with this pattern.  An added bonus with this book…

As I looked through this book, my eyes widened with oohs and ahhs and the satisfaction that somebody finally thought of this!  Not only did I find cute pot holders, pan handle holders, place mats, napkins, and coasters,  I also found cozies for tea, casseroles and a crock pot.  Aside from the apron on the cover, there is one made from an up-cycled shirt – cool!  And, there are kitchen decor items to spice up your kitchen.  I’m so glad it is part of my library now!

You can get your own copy of Kitchen Stitches at Martingale’s website here or at for your Kindle at Amazon.