January 12, 2017

Announcing the "Long Time Gone" Sew Along!

It's a new year and we've got a new sew along for you! Australian designer Jen Kingwell originally ran "Long Time Gone" as a popular year-long block of the month. Now the book is available in the US and Jen has given her permission for a new sew along, brainstormed by Angie Wilson, who blogs as Gnome Angel! The quilt is fun and scrappy, and all sewn with straight seams. It is a lot of cutting and sewing! But I've got some neat tricks for you and I think you'll have as much fun working on your Long Time Gone quilt as I'm having making mine. Some of the blocks are really cute!

The Sew Along Hosts and Timeframe

I''ll be providing free template conversion charts here on the blog so you can follow along and rotary cut the pieces for the sampler blocks from strips using your From Marti Michell tools. If you were with us for the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along, you probably already have the tools and know our partner for this quilt along, the Gnome Angel, Angie Wilson. Nicole Carver will also be joining us from Canada through her blog, Snips Snippets.  Sign up to follow my blog and theirs so you won't miss any of the weekly tutorials! We'll be sharing how-to's and options for making the blocks and working with small pieces -- easy peasy with accurate sewing, which starts with accurate cutting.

Accurate cutting doesn't have to start with our tools, but we don't call them Perfect Patchwork Templates for nothing! 😊 They're laser-cut, include 1/4 inch seams and the special engineered corners makes it easy to match squares and triangles for perfect points -- really, it's easier than you may think!

The Sew Along starts March 15 and will keep you sewing until July 28, 2017. Two tutorials will be posted every week, one by me and one by Angie or Nicole, who will alternate week to week. 

What You Will Need

The Long Time Gone Book
The tutorials will guide you as we follow Jen Kingwell's book from block to block. For quilters in North America, the Long Time Gone book will be available from our website for $28 plus $5.95 S/H (our S/H charge is a flat rate for any size order). Some LQS will have it, too. If you live in Australia, check with Angie for where to shop.

From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates
Not necessary but definitely helpful for sewing accuracy! We've got an info sheet that you can download for reference by clicking here, but here's the lowdown:

The most frequently used sets are A, B, D and N. We'll be using them for the first 6 weeks of the sew along. Set Q is used to cut the Bow Tie blocks.

I'm going to show you some tricks for accurate, efficient cutting (which leads to accurate, efficient sewing!) for "now and later", and you'll love our Pineapple Ruler Set #8262 -- it's the #1 go-to tool for making this quilt! If you don't use any of other tools, you will be so glad to have this set on hand for these 16 blocks! Pineapple is shown in the "Order of the Blocks" below as #15, but we have a tried-and-true way to make them that we think you'll really like. We're going to begin working on them in the first 6 weeks, probably around week 3.

In the second 6 weeks, we'll be using Log Cabin Rulers #8037 for 1-1/2 inch and 3/4 inch finished strips for the Chevron Log Cabins, and #8227 for 1 inch and 1/2 inch finished strips for the Courthouse Steps blocks. Some people think cutting strips to exact length is a bit fussy but you'd be surprised by how much difference it makes to the finished block -- not only will it be the same size on all 4 sides, the interior strips will also be straight and "square" from row to row.

We'll cut the "60-degree triangles" with the Peaky and Spike Set #8289 (we used quotation marks because the triangles in these blocks are not really 60-degree triangles; the angle is actually 53-1/2 degrees). Or, if you have Set C or D, or the Sashing Star Ruler, we'll tell you how to cut these triangles with one of those tools.

Our tools are sold through local quilt shops and are also available on our website here.

Fabric, of course!
We'll be talking about selecting fabrics soon so you'll have time to gather together some yummy cotton goodness before we get down to business. I had a blast shopping for my favorite colors in my studio! Angie will be using Andover fabrics by Alison Glass, and Nicole is making her quilt using FreeSpirit solids by Anna Maria Horner.

The Order of the Blocks

We're hoping this list will help you plan your approach to completing your to-do list each week. If you already have the book, we hope you'll hold tight until March 15 before you get started -- you just never know when a bit of info could turn into a personal gold nugget, no matter what your experience level!
  1. Bow Tie – Make 2
  2. Square in a Square Stars – Make 1
  3. Crosses of the U.K. – Make 6
  4. Jacobs Ladder – Make 9
  5. Trip Around the World – Make 1
  6. Plus a Star – Make 1
  7. Churn Dash – Make 21
  8. Courthouse Steps – Make 9
  9. Log Cabin – Make 4
  10. Half Square Triangle 1 – Make 1
  11. Half Square Triangle 2 – Make 1
  12. Half Square Triangle 3 – Make 1
  13. Flying Geese – Make 64
  14. 60 Degree Triangle – Make 30
  15. Pineapple Log Cabin – Make 16
  16. Checkerboard

Sponsors and Prizes

Angie has put together a great lineup of sponsors and prizes! More info about prizes and how to qualify for them will be published shortly. So far we can share this list of sponsors:

We hope you'll be quilting along with us!  If you have any questions, feel free to email us through the contact page on the From Marti Michell website.


  1. I don't think I will be able to resist this somehow.

  2. Did I miss where we sign up for this?

    1. Hi Janet, There is no sign-up, except to follow my blog, Angie's blog and Snips Snippets blog. We'll all be offering tutorials; mine will be about using From Marti Michell tools. The 3 months will go by quickly! so you might want to sign-up for email notifications (at right on this page) whenever a new article is published. :)

  3. Can't wait for this to start! I did Kingwell's Gypsy Wife quilt and thoroughly enjoyed it. Using the Marti Michell templates will let me get the most oomph out of my scraps!

  4. I couldn't wait and ordered my book from Jen's shop across the water way!

  5. Where do I find Marti's tips for the blocks??

    1. Hi Teresa, Look in my blog archive for March and April; the blog posts start with "Week...". At this writing, we're up to Week 6, the "Plus a Star" block. Gnome Angel and Snippets are doing tutorials on their blogs and I'm talking about using the templates. If you are a Perfect Patchwork Template user, you will especially like using our Pineapple templates for those little blocks! They go together so easily because of the way the ends of the pieces are angled and the blocks finish a perfect 6 inches.