All About Flying Geese

Flying Geese are everywhere in our March/April issue – plus, we’ve got a few freebies for you!

FlyingGeese All About Flying Geese

Left to right: On Course, Swoopers and Twisted Geese

If you’ve picked up a copy of our March/April ’16 issue, you’ve no doubt noticed that several of the quilt patterns include the traditional units widely known as Flying Geese. There’s Susan Geddes’ dynamic On Course, which features Flying Geese in a chevron pattern; Scott Alan Flanagan’s foundation-pieced Twisted Geese, which showcases Flying Geese formed in spinning circles; and QM Associate Editor Diane Harris’ Swoopers, which combines Flying Geese with fun owl blocks. Diane also shares a helpful step-by-step how-to article in this new issue showing you the four different ways to make this common unit: Fast Flying Geese, Foundation Piecing, Stitch and Flip and Cutting Triangular Patches.

For more Flying Geese fun, check out these bonus freebies from our website:

Fast Flying Geese video tutorial: Making Flying Geese can be quick and easy using this technique. QM Associate Editor Paula Stoddard guides you through the process while showing you how to make Evonne Cook’s Checkerboard Star block from 100 Blocks, vol. 6.


flyinggeese 200 All About Flying Geese

Flying Geese foundations: Download a printer-friendly PDF file containing foundations to make foundation-pieced Flying Geese in a variety of sizes.


10 All About Flying Geese

Flying Geese Pinwheel Bitty Blocks: QM Content Director Carolyn Beam shows you how to make adorable little 4″ x 4″ Flying Geese Pinwheel quilt blocks in this tutorial.


FG7 All About Flying Geese

Bitty Flying Geese: Plus, make bitty Flying Geese for your Bitty Block row quilts!

Check out our March/April ’16 issue for more Flying Geese instruction and inspiration.

What’s your favorite way to make Flying Geese? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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Help us Choose Our May/June ’16 Cover!

160205 Survey Help us Choose Our May/June 16 Cover!

Here are three covers we are considering for the May/June 2016 issue of Quiltmaker.

We’d like to invite you to help us choose the cover for our May/June 2016 issue of Quiltmaker. We have three potential covers we are considering. Please vote to let us know which of the three you would notice and reach for on newsstands!

Click here to take the short survey.

This magazine will be on sale at newsstands April 5, 2016.

Thank you for your input!

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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New Issue: Quiltmaker March/April 2016

This edition includes 11 quilt patterns, tips and tutorials, a new Bonnie Hunter block and more!

QM1604 COVER 500 New Issue: Quiltmaker March/April 2016

Our new March/April ’16 issue of Quiltmaker hits newsstands this week, and if you’re a subscriber you’ve either received your copy or will very soon! This issue includes 11 quilt patterns, great tips and techniques, a new Bonnie Hunter “Addicted to Scraps” quilt block and more. The cover quilt, Zoe Zebra designed by Deb Grogan, is an adorable crib quilt featuring super-sized patches and 3-D appliqué. Other quilts in this issue include three Flying Geese quilts and a new Patch Pal. Let’s take a closer look at a few of my favorites:

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Chocolate Covered Cherries

Chocolate Covered Cherries: Is this exquisite or what? Designed by Will Bennett, the design uses a traditional eight-point star with diamonds as its center and expands around it with more diamonds, resulting in another eight-point star in the white space of the quilt block. Foundation piecing simplifies the construction of these complicated blocks.

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Swoopers

Swoopers: I love anything with owls on it, and this fun quilt designed by QM associate editor Diane Harris is too cute for words! It’s one of the three designs in this issue that feature Flying Geese. Diane used Flying Geese made by members of Pivot Point Quilters in south central Nebraska along with Flying Geese from a QM office exchange in the design.

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Sweet Tweets

Sweet Tweets: This cheerful little wall quilt designed by QM associate editor Erin Russek is just what you need to decorate a favorite spot in your home for spring.

qm1604 twisted style350 New Issue: Quiltmaker March/April 2016

Twisted Geese

Twisted Geese: Here’s another of the Flying Geese quilts in this issue, but it has a twist! Instead of the Flying Geese being in rows, Scott Flanagan designed this quilt so they are formed in spinning circles. The clever design is made with foundation paper piecing.

qm1604 everybunny flat450 New Issue: Quiltmaker March/April 2016

Everybunny

Everybunny: This sweet quilt designed by Diane Harris is perfect for Easter. Sew it up in fresh and happy prints – you could even give the rabbits extra personality by making some bodies or ears a little wider or narrower and placing the ears at various angles.

Kits are available for several of the quilts in this issue – shop all of our kits here.

Browse through our online gallery to preview all the quilt patterns in the March/April ’16 issue! Look for it on newsstands, or grab a print or digital copy from our online store.

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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Sister Sampler Quilts Book Preview + Free Project

SisterSamplerQuilts Sister Sampler Quilts Book Preview + Free Project

Don’t you just love a good sampler quilt? It’s so much fun to combine a variety of different quilt blocks into one quilt design. Sister Sampler Quilts, the new book by designer AnneMarie Chany, takes the concept of a traditional sampler quilt and gives it a creative, modern twist. AnneMarie is the owner of quilt pattern company Gen X Quilters and you may recall some of her fabulous quilting designs from our own 100 Blocks and Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazine issues, among many other quilting publications.

Sister Sampler Quilts (F+W Media) includes 25 interchangeable quilt block patterns in two sizes (9” and 12” finished blocks) and three sampler quilt layout designs that challenge traditional grid layouts with innovative settings. AnneMarie shows you how to create her quilt blocks as “sister” pairs to learn about color placement, practice piecing techniques and create balance in your samplers. Take a look at the three lovely sampler quilts:

SisterSampler3Quilts Sister Sampler Quilts Book Preview + Free Project

From left to right above: the Vice Versa Sampler, the Sisters’ Ten Sampler and the Bonfire Sampler. You’ll enjoy practicing and perfecting techniques like quarter-square triangles, flying geese, hourglass blocks and more as you construct these spectacular designs.

 Sister Sampler Quilts Book Preview + Free Project

The book is now available to purchase in our online store, and to celebrate we have a FREE bonus project from AnneMarie to share with you: the lovely Ataraxy & Ataraxy Inverse Envelope Pillows. The Atarxy quilt block is based on the Ladies’ Art Company block called Square and Star. AnneMarie added some fun in the middle of the block to create a focus in the center, then used the finished 12″ block to make a beautiful pillow with an envelope closure. She also made a Vice Versa block (or an inverse) in which the positive and negative spaces are switched between the blocks, and made a pillow using that block too. Sew them up in fabrics of your choice to create a matching “sister” pillow set! Click here to visit the Sister Sampler Quilts website and download the free project.

Visit our online store to learn more about Sister Sampler Quilts!

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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14 Valentine Quilt Patterns & Project Ideas

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and that means its prime time to infuse lots of hearts and shades of red into your quilting! Whether you’re looking for quilted projects for your home or a gift to make someone special, we have lots of great Valentine-inspired patterns and projects available. So in honor of February 14, I’ve gathered together 14 of my favorite Valentine quilting ideas – from quilts and quilt blocks to table runners, placemats and other quilted goodness. There are even a handful of freebies included for you. Enjoy!

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Love Chain quilt block

Love Chain quilt block pattern - Our associate editor Diane Harris designed this heart quilt block for Quiltmaker’s new 100 Blocks Volume 12. Isn’t it just the sweetest?

bbhearts11 14 Valentine Quilt Patterns & Project Ideas

Bitty Love quilt block

FREE Bitty Love quilt block pattern - What could be cuter than a Bitty Block heart? Get the full free tutorial for making this 3” heart block here so you can make your own!

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Floral Hearts quilt pattern

FREE Floral Hearts quilt pattern - Designed by Meg Cupman, this easy scrap quilt is perfect for floral fabrics and makes a wonderful Valentine gift for someone special or wall hanging for your home. Get the free quilt instructions and motif template here.

TwoHearts 14 Valentine Quilt Patterns & Project Ideas

Two Hearts placemats

FREE Two Hearts placemats pattern – Dress up your dinner table with this Valentine quilted placemat pattern designed by Diane Nagle. Get the free pattern here.

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Starry Heart quilt block

Starry Heart quilt block pattern – This creative quilt block is Starry Heart by Elizabeth Balderrama and Kate Colleran for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 10.

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Valentine Treats

Valentine Treats pattern – If you’re looking to give out little Valentine treats to your loved ones this year, this project designed by Patrick Lose is perfect for you! A clever pocket on the back of these sweet hanging hearts conceal a treat for your Valentine.

QM1602 DUETS 506pxFlat 14 Valentine Quilt Patterns & Project Ideas

Duets quilt

Duets quilt pattern - Of course we can’t leave out the cover quilt from our current issue (Quiltmaker Jan/Feb ’16)! This twin-size heart quilt was designed by Eileen Fowler and is made with just two easy blocks. Kits for this quilt are also available for a limited time.

8fd32d01ae1eba418475b5dd80a4611d 14 Valentine Quilt Patterns & Project Ideas

Hearts Afloat quilt

Hearts Afloat quilt pattern - Easy-to-piece blocks adorn this cheerful throw quilt designed by Bev Getschel. And don’t you just love that pretty heart scalloped border?

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Pretty in Pink table runner

Pretty in Pink table runner pattern – This runner by Patrick Lose is adorned with appliqué hearts you can embroider by hand or machine. What could be sweeter?

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Pieces of my Heart quilt block

Pieces of My Heart quilt block pattern – I just can’t get enough of heart quilt blocks! This is Pieces of My Heart by Melva Nolan for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8.

15015 pattern img 14 Valentine Quilt Patterns & Project Ideas

Heart to Heart quilt pattern

Heart to Heart quilt pattern – Make a scrappy wall quilt for your favorite valentine with this pattern designed by Anelie Belden. It’s featured in our Jan/Feb ‘13 issue.

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Tangled Hearts quilt block

Tangled Hearts quilt block pattern - Teresa Rawson designed this Tangled Hearts quilt block for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 10. Isn’t this design just fabulous?

0f9c118c3fd5cf888a4be554b77e411a 14 Valentine Quilt Patterns & Project Ideas

Love Squared quilt block

Love Squared quilt block pattern - This lovely quilt block is Love Squared designed by Julie Comstock. This block is featured in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 6.

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Sweethearts’ Chain quilt block

FREE Sweethearts’ Chain quilt block pattern – Now here’s a true Quiltmaker classic! Designed by Christine Brown, this block appeared in one of our earliest editions, our Fall/Winter ’85 issue. If you’d like to use this block in a quilt, sew a sash between each of the blocks in a row and at each end. Download the free pattern for this block here.

Teardrop Hearts 1 1 14 Valentine Quilt Patterns & Project Ideas

*BONUS* FREE Teardrop Hearts – As a special bonus, here’s a free heart machine quilting motif you can use to add a lovely finish to your Valentine quilting projects.

Be sure to check out our Valentines Pinterest board for even more inspiration!

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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Vote on our Next Quiltmaker Cover!

We’re putting the final touches on our Spring 2016 issue of Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, and we’d like your feedback on the cover! We have three covers currently under consideration – please vote to let us know which cover you’d prefer to see on newsstands.

160111 Survey Vote on our Next Quiltmaker Cover!

Which cover would you buy on the newsstand? Vote to let us know your favorite!

Take the short survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QFSPR16

This special issue will be on sale at newsstands only starting March 1, 2016.

Thank you for your input – we appreciate your help!

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

Posted in QM Issues | 2 Comments

New Block of the Month Quilt: 100 Blocks Sampler

Our new Block of the Month uses some of our favorite designs from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks reduced to 6″
QMK159 New Block of the Month Quilt: 100 Blocks Sampler

Red & white colorway

Happy new year, friends!

The beginning of the year is a time to set resolutions, and quilting goals are no exception. Perhaps there’s a certain type of quilt you want to make, a new technique you want to master or a class you want to take. Maybe you just want to clean out your sewing room and get it organized, or at least finish up some of those UFOs sitting in the corner.

One thing you can definitely look forward to in 2016 is our new 100 Blocks Sampler Block of the Month, featuring quilt blocks from our popular 100 Blocks issues. To create this 12-month BOM that starts in March, we reduced blocks from our 100 Blocks magazines to 6″, placed them in a creative sampler setting and added a pretty piano key border.

QMK158 New Block of the Month Quilt: 100 Blocks Sampler

Traditional colorway

Kits are available to purchase in our online shop in three colorways: red and white, traditional and reproduction. Four new quilt blocks will be presented in each month’s kit with a bonus block in month 12, along with fabric for the sashing and binding.

QMK157 New Block of the Month Quilt: 100 Blocks Sampler

Reproduction colorway

The complete quilt pattern alone will also be available to purchase soon, plus we’ll be hosting a sew-along right here on Quilty Pleasures! We plan to blog step-by-step block instructions each Wednesday starting in March, and we’ve invited the designers whose blocks we’re featuring to post on their own blogs as well. We’re also planning to include some additional projects in some of our blogs using leftover fabric from the kits.

We hope you’ll join us for all the fun! Pre-order your 100 Blocks Sampler Block of the Month kits in our online store, and stay tuned to our blog for more information.

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

When we started sharing QM Bitty Blocks last January, we had no idea people would be so enamored with our free quilt block patterns. It’s been inspiring to hear about the fun you’re having with these adorable little designs.

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

And if time flies when you’re having fun, it’s no wonder that the end is already upon us, because we’ve had a riot!

Let’s look back.

January: Bitty Bow Tiesbittyblocks121 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

February: Bitty Baskets baskets1 e1422632444174 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

March: Home Sweet Home march14 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

April: Flying Geese Pinwheels10 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

May: Bitty Bear PawGroup The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

June: Bitty Love heartcropped The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

July: Bitty Boatsboats4 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

August: Log Cabin LGBB group The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

September: Bitty Starsbittystars7 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

October: Bitty Trees Finish2 67294 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

November: Bitty Friendship Stars

Friendship Star The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

And that brings us to December: Bitty Pinwheels! Find the step-by-step tutorial for Bitty Pinwheels.

pinwheel15 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block PatternsAnd find the printer-friendly free quilt block pattern for Bitty Pinwheels on our Bitty Blocks homepage.

photo The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block PatternsPaula Stoddard is our managing editor, which means that she keeps all the QM balls in the air. We’d be lost without her. But here’s the thing—after thinking about quilts and projects all day long, at night she goes home and sews! Her children are grown and she’s in a season that allows her to be prolific. So it’s no wonder that she’s the one who kept up with the Bitties and recently joined them all together into one big fabulous quilt.

partial1 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

Some of Paula’s fabric choices

I’d call Paula’s fabric choices bright pastels—they’re happy (like she is) but not in-your-face neon.

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I’d call these “bright pastels.”

There is still a softness to them.

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There are some darks to give the quilt dimension.

Notice how there are some very dark fabrics like navy blue and black. I think these help to give the quilt some dimension.

detail2 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

We love Paula’s scrappy Bitty Blocks quilt.

If you ever see a quilt that looks rather “flat,” check to see if there are some very darks or very lights. Chances are they’ll be missing!

Paula auditioned quite a few different fabrics for the sashing. Several of us offered feedback on the options when she asked us. You’ll want to decide on sashing after your blocks are made. Be sure to put them up on a design wall, or another vertical surface if you don’t have a design wall. Nothing beats this method for really evaluating how things are going to look. Use a sheet or a flannel-backed tablecloth tacked to the wall, but get those blocks up before you decide!

And now without further adieu, here is the full Bitty Blocks quilt top that Paula made this year.

fullshot1 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns

The full shot of Paula’s quilt top, made entirely of Bitty Blocks.

Paula decided on plain borders for her quilt. We originally drew the row quilts with checkerboard borders but after Paula’s quilt center was finished, she felt they weren’t necessary. I would agree. In fact, they may have distracted from the action at the quilt’s center. I think she made a good decision.

You’ll have to decide for yourself if you want plain borders or checkerboard borders. Or maybe you’ll come up with something all your own!

The checkerboard patches shown in the original row quilt drawings are cut 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ to finish at 1″ x 1″. The inside border is 1″ wide (cut 1-1/2″ wide), so you’ll need to figure out how many checkerboard patches there are based on how many rows you made and what sizes they are. I’ll talk more about this next week to help you!

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 The Bitty Blocks of 2015: Free Quilt Block Patterns
We have kicked around the idea of doing more Bitty Blocks in 2016. I’m inviting your feedback. Would you like Quiltmaker to keep going with #qmbittyblocks? Please let us know in the comments. And if your quilting friends haven’t heard about Bitty Blocks, please help us spread the word. The patterns are all free on our Bitty Blocks homepage.

Thank you for joining us on this project. It’s been great fun!

Coming soon: More about the checkerboard borders and some quilting ideas!

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Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

About five years ago, I went to a sew-in with a group of quilters in my area. They’d put together a small table of quilt-related items for sale, kind of like a garage sale for people like you and me.

garage sale Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt
At the end of the two-day event, there were still a few things on the table, so they just gave them away to anybody who wanted them.

I’m a sucker for other people’s UFOs, and while I should know better—because I have plenty of my own UFOs without adopting other people’s—I took three castoff Christmas quilt blocks home with me.

tree1 Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

Castoff block #1

One was this tree. It looks pretty good now because it’s been beautifully quilted.

joy1 Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

Castoff block #2

But believe me when I say that they were kind of sad when I got them. The JOY above had no holly leaves when it came to me, and I’m sure it was rejected because its lines didn’t match up.

candlestick1 Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

Castoff block #3

There was this little candlestick. The whole affair was kind of like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

8668 a charlie brown christmas tree  600 450 q50 Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

The rejected quilt blocks were a little like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

But I felt like there was potential there, and I’d been seeing quilts with all kinds of flaws and funky approaches, and I determined that I’d make something wonderful.

61EYI1uPRCL. SX258 BO1,204,203,200  Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

Since I already had the word JOY, I decided another word was in order. Using Tonya Ricucci’s Word Play Quilts as my guide, I improvised the word Merry. Then I made Cheer.

61RHEET9NEL. SX258 BO1,204,203,200  Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

I had been reading about a concept called The Parts Department in Collaborative Quilting by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston.

gwen1 Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

I made Flying Geese and other “parts” to add to the quilt.

I put that idea to work by making lots of half-square triangles, Flying Geese, Nine Patches and so on. Gwen teaches a slick method for making bias vines, so I gave that a shot, too.

orphans1 Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

The flower was robbed from another UFO. The mittens were improvised.

I robbed a few blocks from other projects, like the flower above from a Jan Mullen pattern. I made a few improv blocks, like the mittens.

label1 Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

This “label” is a block on the front of the quilt.

I made a label that would live on the front of the quilt. I played and played and played. I made some angels. (Someday I’ll make an entire angel quilt with these little weirdos.)

angels1 Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

I made a few angels: weirdly bald and lovable.

I wondered how I would make everything fit. I had to make more of some things, and I had to discard some things. I pulled out every remotely Christmas-like fabric in my stash. You wouldn’t believe how much fun it was!

And about four years later…I had myself a quilt top. I sent it off to Kristy Wolf at Wolf Creek Quilting, who I highly recommend.

*     *     *     *     *

So with this longterm project that turned into one of my favorites finishes ever, I wish you a Merry Christmas. In the coming year I encourage you to pursue your wildest quilt ideas, to tackle something challenging, and to have more fun than you knew was possible.

fullmerry Merry, Joy and Cheer: My Christmas Quilt

My finished Christmas quilt, about 72″ x 90″

Posted in Quilty Lifestyle, Scrapbag | 6 Comments

Paper Piecing Patterns eBook – FREE!

We love foundation paper piecing, and that’s why we’ve selected this technique as the topic of our new free eBook: Paper Piecing Patterns. That’s right, free! Think of it as our special holiday gift to you. The three quilt designs included in this eBook are perfect for the warmer months ahead, and great for quilters of all skill levels.

PaperPiecingPatterns Paper Piecing Patterns eBook – FREE!

The quilt patterns featured are all Quiltmaker classics: Primrose Patch, a wall/throw quilt designed by Eileen Fowler that showcases foundation-pieced flowers; Spring Hop, a sweet bunny-themed wall quilt designed by Theresa Eisenger that’s perfect for springtime; and Zanzibars, a dynamic and dazzling geometric wall quilt designed by Susan Cook.

Download your free copy of the Paper Piecing Patterns eBook today to add to your personal quilt pattern library. With your free download of Paper Piecing Patterns, you’ll become a part of the Quiltmaker community – this includes Quilty News, our free biweekly e-newsletter that’s full of extra projects, free quilt patterns and special offers.

Is this your first Quiltmaker free eBook download? Be sure to check out the rest of our free eBooks here. We hope you all enjoy this special new collection of free quilt patterns!

Happy Quilting,
Natalie

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