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.