June 1, 2022

Hello!  It's been a minute, hasn't it? We've been quietly busy -- "sewing is my happy place!" -- and are happy to finally be getting out to a few shows and seeing old friends in person rather than on our computer screens!

We've added some new products to the line, like companion tools for the Nine Patch Rulers, and we made a new website and a new blog --  frommarti.com/blogs/news

And -- it's been a long time coming! -- we have uploaded all of the 1930s Farmer's Wife From Marti Michell Templates conversion charts to our new website. They're available under "From Marti Extras" where you'll find loads of good stuff (including all kinds of grid paper you a can download and print). 

While you're at our new site, sign up for our email list so you won't miss any of the Free Block Friday mailings, too! (You can opt out any time.) This is another fun freebie that we're co-hosting with Gnome Angel, our favorite blogger in Australia. The series runs for 12 weeks and you'll get a free pattern every week that you can use in any projects you like or for a sampler quilt using the instructions that come with the final block.  You can sign up and still get all the blocks in the current series -- get them all for free before the series ends -- after that, they will only be available as a purchased pattern afterward!




May 12, 2020

I'll be on Maywood Studio's live Instagram today at 1pm PST.  Hope to see you there!   The video will be available for 24 hours on Instagram afterward. :D  I can't guess how many bolts of Maywood fabrics I've used in the last 20+ years, we've teamed up for so many projects.

Be our Guest is live every week, Monday-Friday at 1pm PST, for "friends, inspiration, quilts!"


April 17, 2020

This is a Great Tme to Learn Something New!

We've got a great pattern called "Hexagons, Hybrid Style" (and it's on sale!) that features a new technique for a standard Flower Garden Rosette.

Just as a hybrid car is part gas/part electric, hexies, hybrid style, are part hand sewn and part machine stitched. No paper! No whip stitching! No set-in seams by machine! Making a rosette is easier than ever!

1. Start with efficient cutting.

Cut 3 strips, 1 of first round and 2 of second round, as wide as flat side to flat side of hexagon template and long enough to cut 6 hexagons (17” for hexagons shown). Layer with fabric for row 1 on top right sides together with a strip of row 2 fabric. Cut 6 sets. Cut center hexagons, fussy cut, stacked, etc.


2. Pick up top two pieces and by machine, and stitch dot-to-dot. Use a 1.5 stitch length so it will not necessary to back stitch.

3. By machine, stitch one pair dot-to-dot to every other side of the pre-cut center hexagon.

Now switch to hand piecing – just a small running stitch, not the whip stitch associated with English Paper-Piecimg.  Take a back stitch at every dot and half way between dots. (This is when you pack all of the sewn parts and the remaining hexagons cut for the second round into a sandwich bag for your “carry-along” projects!)

The great thing about the hand piecing is that when you come to the corner, (a “dot”), it is easy to pivot and keep going. On this round you will complete 3 sides of the hexagon before you need to break your thread and move to the next piece.

4. Join the three remaining pieced pairs into every other empty side of the center hexagon.

5. Now there are 6 remaining hexagons for the second round.. When you insert these there are 4 consecutive edges sewn without breaking your thread!

6. Turn the  block over and swirl press.

Don't you love the symmetry on the back of the block?  When I take quilt tops to lectures and classes, people always notice the pressing. Consistent pressing means that, once quilted, if any seam allowance "show through" to the front of the quilt, they will be less noticeable because they will all look the "same"!

For complete instructions and more Hexie Hybrid designs get the pattern Prod #8302 for $5 during our sale April 17-22, 2020.

Better yet, take advantage of the combo offer #8706 that includes both the Grandmothers Garden templates Prod. 8351 and the pattern for only $14.98 and on sale with 20% off or just $11.98.

April 15, 2020

What did Brenda say?

Those of you who have met or talked with us at shows have probably also met Brenda Asmus, who has been a From Marti Michell “show girl” for many years.  At home in Texas, she teaches at guilds, and runs a From Marti Michell Club and teaches at Scrappy Quilter in the town of Schertz.

Back in February, Becky Thompson, whose YouTube channel is "Power Tools with Thread", took Brenda's Log Cabin class using the From Marti Log Cabin Ruler, which is designed just for 10" x 10" pre-cut squares. Becky recorded a tour of the shop and included an interview with Brenda.  It's a pretty fun video. We’re also happy to say Scrappy Quilter carries a great supply of our tools!

We thought you'd enjoy this virtual tour of the Scrappy Quilter. You'll meet Brenda at about minute 9 and hear what she has to say about the 10" x 10" Log Cabin Ruler.  I'm looking forward to getting down to Texas as soon as we can reschedule my visit!

April 8, 2020

It's Raining on the Nine Patch Parade

Sad to say, coronavirus has corona-rained on our parade -- but everyone is healthy, no worries there!

As many of us are doing these days, our sewalong partner Angie, the Gnome Angel, is adapting to many changes at home in Australia and we are "working different" here, too, with some staffers connecting to their From Marti computers from home. Both Angie's business and ours are still going strong online; FMM orders are still being shipped the day they are received.

But, given the logistics, we have decided to suspend the Nine Patch Parade and start fresh at a better time down the road.

In the meantime, we will keep the Nine Patch Parade Sew Along marching along in our studios to make it even better when we get the green light!  Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

In Atlanta, there is an organized group of 7,766 sewists making thousands of masks for our local hospitals. We thought you would enjoy seeing some of the cards Patti is making cards to send to her friends who are helping.

We wish you and yours good health.  Keep calm and sew on! 

March 27, 2020

How About a Nine Patch Block Exchange!

EDITED 3/30/20

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by again.  In the article below, we didn't mean to imply that it's okay for quilters to gather in groups at the present time  -- We are all about social distancing and having no group events! But we can still communicate with each other, and plan, and look forward to the time when we can get together with friends again and celebrate spending time together. For now, we hope quilting will be your comfort zone.

Nearly everyone has participated in a cookie exchange during the holidays. It is a great concept! Instead of making six different varieties of cookies to get the variety you would like to have, six people make six dozen each of one recipe and get together to exchange. You go home with a dozen each of six different cookies.

For example, make 18 blocks:

And come home with 3 each of these:

The idea is the same for the Nine Patch Block Exchange. Even better, there are no calories! For a quick scrap quilt, organize a group of your friends to make and exchange Nine Patch blocks. As an example, all of the quilts in the Mock Diagonal Nine Patch pattern booklet were made with blocks I “inherited” from a friend who did online block exchanges.

The success of the Block Exchange depends on the establishment of good guidelines -- we don’t call them rules. You want the first attempt to be as successful and fun as possible. That increases the chance that the group will want to swap other blocks in the future. There are always different sizes, styles and color combinations of Nine Patch blocks for other quilts!

You may already belong to a small group of quilters ready for a block exchange. Or you could ask at a guild meeting or in an online group. Or you could even start an online group specifically for this swap! It can work so many ways.

Download our Block Exchange spec sheet or design your own with the following things in mind. 
  1. Naturally, we recommend that everyone needs to use the From Marti Michell Nine Patch templates to ensure that the blocks will be the same size – especially 2-, 4-, 5-, and 8-inch finished blocks.

  2. Establish specific color and fabric guidelines. Don’t say blue and white blocks when what you really want is assorted dark indigo and muslin. Likewise, muslin isn’t the same as off-white. Being specific will help avoid disappointment. 

    Do the fabrics need to be prewashed or not?  100% cotton? Prints or solids? Batiks okay? Only batiks? Perhaps someone wants the same background fabric in every block…they probably need to provide that to the group, etc.

    If flannel, chartreuse, plaid, juvenile prints or anything else is a complete “no-no” to anyone participating it should be specified at the beginning.
  3. Establish ahead of time the number of blocks each participant will complete. For example, the three throw-size quilts in the Mock Diagonal Nine Patch Parade Starter Pack have two or three blocks each with the same fabric combinations:

    A logical exchange would be three blocks per participant. So, if there are eight people in the group, everyone would need to make 24 blocks; 12 people in the group would need to make 36 blocks, etc. For more blocks you would either add more people or have everyone make and exchange two combinations.
  4. Remind people that they don’t have to have a large stash to participate in a Nine Patch Block Exchange. In fact, the real purpose is to get variety without owning every fabric!  The chart on page 13 of the Nine Patch Parade Introduction (Pattern # 7120) tells how many squares of each Nine Patch block size can be cut from a fat quarter or half-yard of fabric. Divide that number by the number of squares of that fabric in the block (typically 5 or 4) to determine how many blocks you can make with the fabric you have.

Don’t be surprised if your block exchange group turns into a challenge quilt  group…but that is another story for another day!

March 11, 2020

Update to Twice As Much Fun Nine Patch Parade Pattern

Angie, the Gnome Angel and our partner in the Nine Patch Parade sew along, asked us a few good questions about the table runner project in this pattern, and we were glad she did! 

We have corrected and clarified a few bits on pages 8 and 9.  Please download a PDF of the updated pages by clicking here. Please print these pages and tuck them into your pattern booklet at the appropriate place, so your pattern will be all up to date and ready for your next project. We apologize for the inconvenience.

November 26, 2019

Announcing Our
Nine Patch Parade Sew Along
starting February 1, 2020!


We've been having fun making new quilts and writing how-to's to celebrate our new Nine Patch Rulers! From Marti Michell has once again partnered with Angie Wilson, the Gnome Angel, for another great online sew-along -- and we want you to join the Parade! Ask at your local quilt shop to see if they will be joining the Parade!  You will need the Nine Patch Parade Starter Set to participate in the sew-along. Nine Patch Parade products are available at participating shops, directly from Michell Marketing and from Gnome Angel.

Use the signup form below to join the Nine Patch Parade email list using the form at the bottom of this article.

Follow my blog (signup is at the top this page at right), and follow Angie's blog so you won't miss the kickoff and all the fun to come online!

Nine Patch Parade - Gnome Angel's Blog

Take a Quick Look at the new Nine Patch Rulers!

Here's a 4-minute video on how cool the Nine Patch Rulers are, courtesy of American Quilt Retailer magazine!

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August 17, 2018

We've been busy!

Sally, my studio associate, is a beginner quilter but a skilled seamstress with a theater costuming background. She's been making Mariner's Compass blocks with me for some weeks and I've shown some of them on Instagram. Believe it or not, it takes Sally about 2 and a half hours to make a 16-point Mariner's Compass!  There are 6 templates in each set and 4 are used to make the 16-point block. 

And no "Y" seams, yay!  

Template set No. 8703 makes a 14 inch finished circle. $25.98

Template Set No. #8704 makes a 20 inch finished circle. $37.98

We've got a bunch of blocks to show you, and they can all be made in both sizes. We're making more blocks and after I return from a teaching tour in Europe this month, we'll have a pattern of quilt layouts to make with them, too! We'll make a fancy announcement when it's available. Aren't these blocks great?! And they're surprisingly easy to make. The instruction booklet starts with the basic 16-point Compass and the 32-point Compass. Instructions are also included for all the variations you see here.

The instruction booklet is the same for both template sets. Inside it you will find:
• Color photos and a coloring page
• Yardage for all positions in one block
• Cutting and sewing 16 and 32 point Compass blocks
• Making split points and halos
• Full size pattern for making a pieced center with fussy-cut option
• Discussion on using mirrors to preview designs
• Finishing instructions include line-and-turn applique for the center circle
• Reverse applique technique for the background square

NEW! Small Flying Geese Ruler

I haven't looked yet, but I bet there are some Farmer's Wife blocks that could benefit from cutting triangles with this ruler. There are 9 sizes of both the large and small triangles needed for Flying Geese units! From 1 x 2 inches to 3 x 6 inches. And you can make the cutest ruler tote with it!  And 12-inch finished size Rising Star blocks using two of the sizes! #8705 $11.98

NEW! 60-degree Fussy Cutter

A shopowner asked us to make a 60-degree fussy cutter, and we thought it would make a great addition to our 60-degree family of tools. It's perfect for centering fabric motifs in 4 sizes of equilateral triangles. Works with all of our hexagon and 60-degree triangle templates and rulers. Product #8702 $12.98

Large 60-degree Triangle Ruler is new, too!

This is our third and largest equilateral triangle ruler, and maybe my favorite because it's so easy to cut large setting triangles with it and use it for large triangles to add interest to designs like A Thousand Pyramids.  #8975  $25.98

Swirlygig Template Set

I became intrigued with this block design and we had so much fun with the prototype templates that we decided surely there were other quilters who would love it, too! It's our newest One-derful One Patch template, and you can pick your favorite construction method in the accompanying booklet to make it. #8649 8649  $14.98


Perfect Patchwork Template Sets

These are not new, but this would be a great time to add to your template collection if you're following Gnome Angel's Farmer's Wife 1920s Sampler Quilt Sewalong, or her Farmer's Wife 1930s Sewalong. The tool list is on my blog here

Details about the 1920s sewalong reboot for 2018 are here. (I made my blocks in groups based on common template sets. Blocks are listed in the order I made them as well as in numerical order as in the book.)

Yes, we have been busy this year!  

And it goes on!  I'll be teaching at the 24th European Patchwork Meeting September 14 - 16 and then we'll travel to Spain to meet with quilters there. Richard's birthday is in October, so we have planned a vacation in between France and Spain! Haven't had one in years! After a flurry of new products, we deserve a vacation, don't you think?

August 30, 2017

My Kingdom for a Design Wall

In my life, a Design Wall is not a luxury, it is a necessity! Yes, I’ve been known to write that a design wall can be as simple as pinning a piece of batting to some foam-core and leaning it against the wall. At the same time, I have to admit that I can’t remember when I didn’t have an 8' x 10' design wall covered in black batting.  In fact most of the last 20 years I have had two!  Call me “spoiled!”

Well, in the last few weeks we have moved! I won’t go into the gory details of trying to reduce our stuff, including my big sewing studio, to fit our new space! I’ll just say that in the process of moving, the plans for my new 8' x 10' wall have been stalled!

Last week, I worked on something small and that piece of foam-core was just great. But this week I’m working on a Queen Size Scrappy Hexagon quilt. The moment I started to pick fabrics, I realized my little batting-covered piece of foam-core was not going to be adequate. I was looking for 25 or 30 fabrics that “play well together” and also complement the beautiful multicolor floral border.

Then, with a self-defined “stroke of genius,” I looked at the door to my new office and saw a new design wall. I grabbed one of the pieces of black batting I had rescued from my old studio, folded it in half and threw it over the top of the door.  Then on one side I pinned the batting edges together so it would not slide off the door. Because I’m eliminating the “Y” seams in my quilt by using the From Marti Michell multi-size half-Hexagon, the door was a great size for approving fabrics to actually be included!

However, when I wanted to arrange the cut pieces into vertical rows before sewing, the door seemed very small! Then I realized there is another door across the hall and I have a second black batt!

Things went really well until I wanted one last look before sewing all of the vertical rows together. Then we realized we could pin the strips to the top of the door frame next to the first door and see all of the pieces together.

A Giveaway - Updated

Ann Dunn, your comment was selected!

Please send us your mailing info so we can send you a Scrappy Hexagon pattern!  If you know Ann, please share the news with her.  If we don't have mailing info by September 19, we'll pick another comment to win.
Happy hex'ing!

Quilt Show Atlanta Sept 7-9, 2017

We just got a flyer from Dana and Quilt Connect USA about next week’s quilt show at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, GA. It's a great facility and close to the airport.  I'm looking forward to meeting “local” quilters and 1-to-3-daytrippers!

I'll be doing a few lectures and teaching several classes. This show has everything -- quilts! and about 45 classes being taught by over a dozen teachers. And the vendor area will have about 50 booths! Go, Georgia!

The schedule of dates and times for classes is available here - http://www.quiltconnectusa.com/quilt-connect-usa-2017-atlanta-quilt-show-class-schedule.htm.

Class descriptions and costs are available here -- http://www.quiltconnectusa.com/classes.htm

Maybe I'll see you at the show!


July 27, 2017

Adventures in Hexagons Blog Tour & Giveaway | Welcome to my stop!

If you know anything about me, you know I love making hexagon quilts almost as much as I love Log Cabins! Both quilt families have been perennial favorites of mine, well, for decades! and I've enjoyed watching the humble hexagon’s popularity grow.

So, I was very flattered and happy to say “Yes!” when Emily Breclaw asked if I would be part of a blog tour to celebrate her new book Adventures in Hexagons with C & T Publishing. (You’ll want to visit all the blogs on the tour to get plenty of chances to win a copy of the book!) (Update: the blog tour has been completed.)

I met Emily and her delightful family in Houston when she first started working on this group of quilts -- in fact, she may have been the first person to ask us for a kite template. You may know her through her blog, The Caffeinated Quilter.

Guess what?!

You can make all of the quilts in the book using our templates!

How cool is that?!  To help celebrate the book’s publication, C & T Publishing is giving a copy of Adventures in Hexagons to one lucky commenter on each of the blogs on the tour, including mine!

And WE have a second giveaway here, too!  We will be picking a second winner from comments left here and giving the second winner his or her choice of a hexies tool bundle! Keep reading for some great offers and details on the prize giveaways.

The Adventure Begins

“Adventures in Hexagons” is the perfect title -- the 11 quilts in the book are not like your grandmother’s one-patch hexagon quilts, nor mine! Thoroughly modern, Emily’s quilts really are adventures in using the same shapes in new ways. I chose a few favorites to share with you here, like “Loverly” with its sweet hexagon hearts.
Images of the book and the quilts are courtesy of C & T Publishing.
Copyright © 2017 by C & T Publishing.

And I love how “Hello Orion” uses six-pointed stars in a different way. 

I especially like “Twinkling”, made with what we call Kites and Crowns. (We’ve got rotary cutting templates for the matching diamonds and hexagons and 60-degree equilateral triangles, too.)

Emily has covered a lot of territory, too, from ways to make the 11 quilts to sewing Y seams by hand or machine. Y seams aren’t hard -- I not only sew them by machine, I pivot as I go -- and we love seeing them discussed and sometimes even embraced, by modern quilters. There are lots of great quilts and sewing tips in Adventures in Hexagons along with yardage charts, paper patterns and a design primer to start your own adventure. And, of course, we love that you can make everything with our tools!

Our 60-Degree Family Loves These Quilts!

If you already have some From Marti Michell 60-degree tools in your quilting supplies, you can use your Set G, H and Kite and Crown templates to make the quilts in Adventures in Hexagons rather than the paper patterns in the book!  We love it when people who already own our tools can use them in more projects! A cool bonus in the book is the chart on page 102 for figuring yardage -- you can write the appropriate template numbers in the “Notes” column for a handy template reference!

Just as Emily does in Adventures in Hexagons, we measure hexies on a finished side because it is the only measurement 60-degree shapes have in common. You can learn more about our 60-degree family of tools in this 2-page PDF (you can look at in your browser or download to your computer)  or on our website (where all of our 60-degree tools and other products have their own web page). 

The quilts in Emily's book and the template sets you can use to make them are given in the descriptions below.

Giveaway! and Special Offers

Our template winner can choose Bundle #1 or Bundle #2 below!

We’re offering 3 money-saving bundle deals during the blog hop so you can get started on your next favorite hexagon quilt. These From Marti Michell tool bundles will be available only during the blog hop and expire at midnight your time on August 12, 2017.

Bundle #1 The 2-inch Bundle of 2 template sets, Product # 8319
  • From Marti Michell Template Set G (based on 1- and 2-inch finished shapes) and the 2-inch Kite and Crown set.
  • Use these tools to cut pieces for the Loverly, Stardust and Moonbeams quilts.
  • Special bundled price: $31.96

Bundle #2 The 3-inch Bundle of 2 template sets, Product # 8320
  • From Marti Michell Template Set H (based on 1-1/2- and 3-inch finished shapes) and the 3-inch Kite and Crown set.
  • Use these sets to make Independence Day, Meteor Shower, Confetti in Times Squares, Sparkler, Starburst, Twinkling, Hello Orion, and Superstar.
  • Special bundled price: $27.16

Bundle #3, The Big Bundle, Product # 8321 (not eligible for giveaway)
  • All 4 tool sets in Bundles 1 and 2
  • Plus a copy of my book Six is for Hexagons, Volume 6 in the Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks series
  • Special bundled price: $72.72 (Save $18.18!)

Comment for a Chance to Win!

We will choose 2 comments using a random picker on August 6, 2017. One comment per person, please. C and T will send our first winner a hard copy of Adventures in Hexagons if the winner is a US resident or an electronic copy if the winner lives outside the US. We’ll be sending the second winner their choice of Bundle #1 or #2 above. If the winner has a US address, prize includes free shipping. If the winner lives outside the US, he or she will be issued a PayPal invoice for the actual cost of shipping and pay using PayPal or any major credit card).
  • Answer the question "What's your favorite traditional hexagon quilt pattern?’ below, and tell us if you want to win Bundle #1 or #2 if you win.
Bookmark this page and come back here on August 6 to see if your comment was selected!

Update ~ The giveaway is closed now and Lisa Boyer's comment was randomly picked to win the C & T giveaway and a copy of Adventures in Hexagons.  Ramona's comment was our template bundle winner!  Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment :)

Adventures in Hexagons Blog Tour

Visit the blogs and comment on each one for more chances to win a copy of the book and some other surprises. All the blogs will pick a comment and winners will be announced on August 6, so hop to it!

July 24 - C&T Publishing www.ctpub.com

July 25 - Generation Q Magazine http://generationqmagazine.com/

July 27 - Marti Michell https://www.frommarti.com/

July 28 - Clothworks Fabrics www.clothworks.com

July 29 - Cathi Godwin, https://quiltobsession.blog/

July 30 - Paper Pieces, www.paperpieces.com

August  1 - Mary Huey, http://maryhueyquilts.blogspot.com/

August 2 - Linda Franz, www.inklingo.com

August 3 - Patty Murphy, https://pattymurphyhandmade.com/

August 4 - Cheryl Sleboda, www.Muppin.com

August 5 - Wendy Sheppard, https://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/

August 6 - Emily Breclaw, www.thecaffeinatedquilter.com

July 18, 2017

Week 19, Long Time Gone Sew Along | Reveal & Winners Announced

How fun was that?! It was amazing to watch the quilt grow. I want to thank Angie for inviting me to be one of the bloggers for this sew along, and everyone who participated, too!  I will be watching to see all of your finished quilts.

Mine will stay in its partially completed “ready to finish” state until at least March of next year. Because I teach Machine Quilting in Sections (I’m sure I’ve mentioned both my book and my Craftsy class with that title) it is nice to have pieces in progress to show my students. Pictures of quilts in sections are nice, but quilters who take my classes or attend a lecture really love to see the real thing! (Speaking of pictures, click here to see 15 quilts discussed in the book!)

The left half is completely quilted and bound. Section 5 on the right half is layered with extra batting and backing for the borders and partially quilted. Section 6 is completed, but not layered.

The borders are all pieced and the top and bottom borders are actually joined to the the left half of the quilt, rolled up and pinned so they won’t get lost.  The other borders the remaining batting and backing are in a bag with all of the pertinent information for future finishing.

https://www.instagram.com/MartiMichell/Follow me on Instagram so you won't miss seeing the photos of my quilt after I've put it all together!

Thank You

I have really loved everyone’s nice words about using our tools. I'm sure many of you came to the LTG Sew Along after participating in the 1930s Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt along and brought your templates with you!  Or maybe this quilt was your first experience using templates -- in which case, I'm excited for you!  I hope you will discover how versatile our Perfect Patchwork Templates are and that they will become your go-to cutting tools! Our thanks for inviting us to participate in this fun event goes out to Angie and our companion blogger Nicole. Such fun!

(edited) vector by http://vecto2000.com

I'll be Talking “Quilting in Sections” at Quilt Festival

If you are going to Houston this fall for the International Quilt Festival (I recommend that every quilter should go at least once!), look in the class registration list for my lecture on Machine Quilting in Sections at 2:00 on Friday, November 3. Come and see my ready-to-finish Long Time Gone quilt in person!

I've got another machine quilting in sections event on the calendar next spring but I can’t announce it yet. Suspense!

Update August 2, 2017

Sew Along Winners Announced!

Angie has posted on her blog the names of 7 lucky participants who won a prize in the Long Time Gone Sew Along. Congratulations to our winner of a $100 gift certificate, @patsquilting, and to everyone who finished their quilt top!

All the winners and prizes are listed here --

July 11, 2017

Week 18: Long Time Gone Sew Along | Assembly

Partial Seams

Didn’t you love the way Jen worked magic with the use of partial seams in joining the units in sections 5 and 6? That is, didn’t you love it after you were done, and it worked — especially if this happened to be your first experience with a partial seam. My observation is that nearly everyone’s first experience with a partial seam is confusion and doubt, all the way to a perfect ending! Partial seams just don’t appear often enough to be part of our everyday piecing “vocabulary.”

New Meaning to Partial Seams

I've been finishing quilts on my home sewing machine for a long time! I've found that nearly every quilt that is machine quilted in sections provides an opportunity for new solutions (and have written a book about several ways to do it, depending on how the blocks are set and how the sections are quilted; a little more about that later).

For my Long Time Gone quilt, I decided to completely quilt the left half first and then put it and the right half on the design wall. Then I pieced all of the borders into long strips and put them on the design wall around those sections. When they passed inspection, I actually started adding them to the left half of the quilt using the "stitch and flip" method. You saw the photo with the first side border in a previous post, but here it is again:

Then I started the partial seams, adding just the top and bottom first borders to the left side. The remaining 36 or so inches of top and bottom borders were actually hanging off the left half of the quilt until I rolled them up and secured them to the edge.

And so it went, one partial seam after another, for the second and third top and bottom borders. Here you can see the result of the borders on the left half, but I edited out the excess border. It looks pretty great, doesn't it?!  (Click on images to see larger versions.)

As for the right half of the quilt, after it is quilted, joined to the left side and finished on the back, and with the extra batting and backing sections extended, I will add the first side border using the "stitch and flip" method described in my Week 16 blog post.

... Then the partial seams that are the first stitch-and-flip borders both on the top and the bottom of the quilt will be competed. The first border will be completely done.

... Then I will stitch-and-flip the second side border in place and repeat finishing the partial seams of the top and bottom second borders.

... And, finally, the third border will be added and my quilt will be ready to bind. Well, I couldn't wait, so the left half of my quilt is also bound! (When you are looking at this photo, remember that the partial seams on the top and bottom borders will not be completed on the right side of the quilt until after the 2 sections of the quilt are joined.)

We cut 10- or 12-inch strips of some of the neutral fabrics used in the quilt and joined them with diagonal seams to make the binding. Making binding this way is so easy if you have one of our corner trimmers. It’s the perfect width and perfect angle.

Here’s a close-up that shows an angled joining seam:

And, because the quilt was made in sections, the binding can be easily joined after the two halves of the quilt are joined and completed. Just like quilting in sections is lighter and easier to handle, it was nice to add the binding to just half a quilt -- something I had never done before, but it was perfect for this quilt!

Some Designs Require a Partial Seam

I'm using partial seams to finish my Long Time Gone quilt because the method is a great solution for adding borders to the quilted sections. But partial seams are also used to make some quilt blocks, like Friendship Star. You could make this block entirely out of squares and HSTs, but fewer seams are more attractive and so much easier to quilt, it's worth a cutting trick (easy with our templates) and a few partial seams. I’ve covered template cutting tricks and loads more in my book More Bang for the Buck.


One of my most popular classes, The Interlocking Hexagon, features a block with a partial seam. The class pattern is “Ode to Asia” and the tool is the 4-1/2 inch hexagon, the outside edge of our large Multi Size Hexagon Ruler. Those of us who have just spent 16 weeks with 1-inch finished squares would not know how to handle a piece in a quilt that is almost as big as a standard sheet of paper! Everything looks so big now, doesn’t it?


Other LTG Assembly Options

Visit these Long Time Gone Sew Along blogs, too, for tutorials, contests and other info:



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Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Copyright 2016 by Jen Kingwell Designs. Available on the From Marti Michell website, www.frommarti.com