One Day Only!
Fun-Size Quilts Blog Hop

Fun-Size Quilts book coverMartingale is celebrating the publication of Fun-Size Quilts  with a one-day blog hop. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a digital copy of Fun-Size Quilts! (Details below.)

Trade secret: One of the neat things about having your design included in a publication is that you sometimes get to see a sneak peek of a few pages in the book. Most often, those pages feature your pattern or bio, and it’s your last chance to make sure the instructions and illustrations are accurate before the pattern hits the press.

True confession: I do a lot of how-to illustrations as a part of Shepler Studios, and as luck would have it, I got to illustrate this book! Not only did I get to see my pages in the book, but I got an extra-early peek at all of the quilts! Here are a few of my favorites:

Sunshine by Kimberly Jolly.

Sunshine by Kimberly Jolly.

Woven Stars by Rebecca Silbough.

Woven Stars by Rebecca Silbough.

Fox in a Box by Jeni Baker.

Fox in a Box by Jeni Baker.

Hi by Kimberly Jolly.

Hi by Kimberly Jolly.

Here’s a peek at my contribution to the book:

Elongated Triangles by Missy Shepler.

Elongated Triangles by Missy Shepler.

…plus a quick explanation of the improv-piecing technique that I used.

Have you tried improvisational piecing? If so, let me know what you think of this technique in the comments below. Martingale, the publisher, is offering a digital copy of Fun-Size Quilts. To enter, just leave a comment below by midnight, July 30th. One lucky winner will be randomly chosen from the entries!

Comments have closed! Thanks to all who entered!

Little tiny bits of fabric

My quilt is featured in Martingale's new book, Fun-Size Quilts! Check back on Thursday, July 24, to learn how you can win an eBook copy of Fun-Size Quilts!

My quilt is featured in Martingale’s new book, Fun-Size Quilts! Check back on Thursday, July 24, to learn how you can win an eBook copy of Fun-Size Quilts!

I think most women who sew can trace their personal textile beginnings back to a very young age. I remember sitting on stiff carpet in front of the hall closet, fingers fumbling to work thick thread through punched holes on a printed sewing card. Then came the era of woven potholders, made from cotton loops stretched across a small metal loom. Eventually, I advanced enough to make crude doll clothes for Tammy and Pepper, my more loved and less glamorous Barbie companions.

That was likely the start of my scrap collecting.

Even the tiniest trimming could be turned into a pocket for Pepper’s latest dress.

No fabric scrap was too small, and all the odd shaped trimmings from my mother’s sewing projects found their way into my fledgling stash. Even today I have trouble letting small snippets fall into the trash. “Waste not, want not” wars with “You can’t keep everything” in my head. I sort the scraps by color, push them into gallon-sized Ziplock bags, and pull them out when I just “need to stitch.”

You see, all those odd-shaped scraps can be sewn together to make larger scraps of fabric that can be cut into patches and pieced into a quilt. It’s called “improvisational piecing” and it’s super-easy to do. It’s also a great way to avoid any guilt over hoarding every little bit of fabric.

Get your improv on

Illustration of easy improvisational piecing.There’s really no right or wrong way to make an improvisational-pieced patch, but here’s what I do:

1. Place two scraps of fabric right sides together on a cutting mat. I find it easier to sew along a straight edge, so I align a rotary ruler along the overlapping edge of both fabric scraps, and trim the excess fabric. Then I sew along the trimmed edge, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. I prefer to press the seam allowances open, when possible, or to one side.

2. Repeat step 1 as many times as needed to make a patch at the desired size, or join several smaller improvisational-pieced patches together to make one large patch.

3. Use a ruler or template to cut the pieced patch to the desired shape and size.

Easy-peasy, eh? I’ve used this technique (or variations of it) in many projects, and I haven’t tired of it yet. Can you pick out the improv patches in my Elongated Triangles quilt (shown at the top of this post). Check back here this Thursday, July 24, to learn how you can win a free eBook copy of Fun-Size Quilts from Martingale Publishing!

Kitchen Stitches Blog Hop!

Kitchen Stitches coverDon’t miss this! Martingale is hosting a blog hop for Kitchen Stitches. You could win one of 14 copies of the Kitchen Stitches ebook, and one lucky winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the! Leave a comment on the Martingale blog to enter the giveaway. Winners will be chosen February 6, so don’t delay!

What’s all the buzz about? Visit the Martingale blog for a sneak peek at the projects, plus meet some of the designers–via video–with great sewing tips!

Need more fun? Check out this line up of designers participating in the blog hop:

February 3  Heather at The Sewing Loft 

February 4  Becky at the Patchwork Posse and  Kim at My Go-Go life

February 5   Amy at FormWork Designs and  Deby at So Sew Easy

February 6  Rebecca at Ruby Blue Quilts and Jackie at Jabot Quilts

February 7  Melissa at Happy Melissa Quilting

February 8 Kari at Fresh Cut Quilts


Projects from Kitchen Stitches--Sewing Projects to Spice Up Your Home