Mini-Mania! Introducing the “Spice Box” Trio

Love miniature quilts?  Check out Spice Box, a trio of mini quilt patterns in a single package.    It’s Heartspun Quilts’ latest installment in the Tokens of the Past pattern series.  Spice Box features Pam Buda’s new TREENWARE & BERRIES fabric collection, a gorgeous blend of warm reds and browns.  Even better, you can create all three designs using a single pack of pre-cut 10″ squares (40 pieces, 2 each of 20 prints).  Then, just add borders!

Get the details, including ordering information on Pam’s blog, and stitch up your own Spice Box threesome!

#makeitwithmarcus

Colorful Comfort from The Pieceful Quilters

We love updates from our guild friends!  This just in:  Sandra Gibson of the Pieceful Quilters in Richland, MO, submitted this great photo:

As promised, attached is a photo of the more than 25 lap quilts our club members made for the local hospice program, using the box of donated Marcus Brothers fabric (and a little of our own).

Pieceful Quilters Guild of Richland, MO #marcusfabrics

Pieceful Quilters Guild, Richland, MO

Sandra, we applaud your beautiful creations, and we know that the hospice will appreciate your generous gifts also.  And I have to say, the color coordination of this particular display is impeccable  ; )  We’re pleased to know that our remnants are used for such a worthy cause.  Keep stitchin’  —    lisa s

Coming Soon: Bright Ideas… in Wool!

BrightWools15A sneak peek from Pati’s office reveals these juicy new wool colors, coming soon to your favorite quilt shop!  A range of brights and two heather tones round out the already popular collection, THE SEASONS WOOL COLLECTION ready to be used off the bolt, or felted, using this simple technique.

For creative applique and other techniques for quilts, accessories and more, wool knows no season.  Watch for these new additions to appear online in April, and in quilt shops in May!

#makeitwithmarcus

Flowers in Springtime

Flowers are a perennial springtime favorite, and they’ve taken over as THE motif for Spring 2015, in all forms and fashions.  So we thought we’d show off just a few of our own flower prints for the season, from gentle, romantic blooms to big, bold batiks!  We love them not just for quilts, but also for little girls’ dresses, gorgeous table settings, home and fashion accessories and more.

 #MakeItWithMarcus And we’ve thrown in some added inspiration by way of Macy’s annual Flower Show (now thru April 4 in NYC).  Much like our collections, their beautifully curated displays throughout the store flaunted flowers of every color, shape and size.

Notice Mechelle down below, among the windows photos.  She’s currently the assistant to the President here at Marcus, but I think she’s hinting at her next career move  ; )

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#macysflowershow

MacysCOMP2

#macysflowershow

#makeitwithmarcus

Our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy World Quilting Day

Worldwide QuiltiWorldwide Quilting Day logong Day is upon us again, taking place this Saturday, March 21, 2015.  Even though the day is highlighted, it actually kicks off a full month of activities, ending on April 21.  And we’ve come up with 10 great ways to enjoy this annual celebration:

  • 10.  Gather a few fabric-loving friends (and your favorite snacks) for a modern quilting bee.
  • 9.  Share your love of quilting with a young person.
  • 8. Join a local guild. (Already belong to one?  Join a second one!)
  • 7. Devote some time to your creative space by tidying up, or stitch up a new mug rug, or pincushion.
  • 6. Create a charity quilt for a nearby hospital or other organization.
  • 5. Choose a BOM quilt project — we’ve got some suggestions!
  • 4.  Book yourself on a quilting-related vacation, expo or weekend retreat.
  • 3.  Visit your local quilt shops, including those participating in Worldwide Quilting Day.
  • 2.  Enter WQD’s Star Block Challenge (you can enter from March 21 through April 21, 2015!
  • 1. Expand your creative repertoire to include fabrics you’ve never tried before, like 1930’s prints, wallpaper stripes, or wool

Of course, these suggestions are great any time of year, and we know you’ve probably got lots of other ideas… How will you spend the day?

A Hint of Print – in Hexies!

See what’s new at the Sew’n Wild Oak blog, where Lynn is showing Molly B’s A HINT OF PRINT collection in her Heartfire pattern.  It’s a versatile quilt design that any Hexie lover would enjoy …  Thanks for the sneak-peek, Lynn!

Heartfire pattern - sewn wild oak

 

 

 

 

 

To Pre-Wash, or Not to Pre-Wash?

Pam Buda A Prairie Gathering Quilt - PreWash

Do you generally wash your fabrics before you begin a quilting project?

Every once in a while the question comes up, and now seems to be a good time to address it again, especially with so many rich, vibrant colors found in today’s fabric collections.  Concerns about dye loss  or possible color migration can increase when you’re blending deep reds with light ground coordinates, similar to those found in found in A PRAIRIE GATHERING by Pam Buda.

We chatted with Pam about her preferences and best practices for pre-treating quilt fabrics.  She routinely tells her students & quilting friends:

“I never wash my fabric.  I actually add a lot of sizing to my yardage to make it stiffer before I cut anything out, so washing would remove the sizing already in the fabric from the manufacturing process, and I add more.”  (Pam firmly believe that sizing and adding the extra body/stiffness aids tremendously with everything from cutting, piecing, and pressing, making your piecing more accurate!)  “That said, when my reds are wet with the sizing (and I really saturate the fabric with sizing!) I have not had any issues with the red, or any other color, running.  In all the years I have been quilting with quilt shop quality fabrics, I have never once had an issue with dye running,” she explains.

The decision to pre-wash fabric or not is largely a personal preference that could depend in part on what you’re making with the fabric.  A quilt that will be used and washed often should probably be made with pre-washed fabrics, while a decorative wall hanging can be made with non-washed fabric.

Thankfully, there are so many fabrications and production methods available to quilters today, including batiks and hand-dyed fabrics!  So, like Pam, we always advise taking the time to do a wash test whenever you are in doubt.  Marcus’ standard for overall quality speaks for itself over the years, including colorfastness, as Pam can attest to since she began designing with us. There are products like Retayne and Dye Catcher if you’re concerned about running.  Check out Pam’s impressive wash-test results – no dyes were released in the wash, as shown by the completely clean color catcher sheet after laundering.  As you probably know, deep reds like these are notorious for at least some color loss in laundering.

Pre-wash fabrics for quilts, Marcus Fabrics, Pam Buda

Pam Buda’s A PRAIRIE GATHERING quilt, before washing

with a dye magnet sheet such as Shout Color Catcher

Pam washes the quilt with a dye magnet sheet such as Shout Color Catcher

Pam Buda - pre-wash quilt dye magnet

Pam’s quilt and the dye magnet sheet, completely free of any dyes!

What are your tricks and tips for pre-treating your quilting fabrics?  Do you, or don’t you?  Like Pam, I’m not inclined to pre-wash.  But I might for a baby quilt, to remove any lingering chemicals or finishes on the fabric before it comes into contact with the baby (of course, I don’t sew many baby quilts…).  So again, the circumstances will help to dictate your pre-washing decisions.

Thanks for the photos, Pam!   ——  lisa s

 

 

More from QuiltCon – Laura’s Picks

Marcus design director Laura Berringer also snapped a few favorites from her visit to QuiltCon.  Even better, back here in arctic NYC, she shows off the result of her workshop with the Gee’s Bend quilters, who were this year’s keynote speakers at QuiltCon as well as instructors.  Laura was happy to share what was left of her Marcus charm pack with the legendary quilters that put Gee’s Bend, Alabama on the map!  You can clearly see the influence of these African American fiber artists in the quilts that caught Laura’s eye, one of the roots of the Modern Quilt movement.

QuiltCon15-LauraCOMP

  •  1 – Heather Jones
  •  2 – Leslie Schmidt
  • 3 & 4 – Laura’s workshop result

Pati’s Picks from QuiltCon 2015

Did you attend this year’s QuiltCon in Austin, TX?    Pati did, and she sent back pix of a few of her favorite quilts on display.  Here’s what caught her eye…Which quilts were your favorites?

QuiltConPix15-Pati

  • 1-  Kathy York shows off her “Best in Show” quilt (Front and back)
  • 2 – Colorful Drunkard’s circles by Jo Avery
  • 3 – “Totally Biased” by Lucy Bail
  • 4 – “My Way” by Pamela Rocco
  • 5 – “Tuning Fork”  by Heather Prefer

Think Spring with McCall’s Quick Quilts

McQkQuiltsCOVERApr15

…You’ll find the perfect post-winter inspiration in the form of a quilt project by Sarah Maxwell and Dolores Smith, mixing prints from  VICTORIA PARK (by Karen Styles) and SOFTLY SPOKEN (by Harriet Hargrave).  Its easy nine-patch construction and light color palette make it the perfect first project for spring.

Look for the April/May issue  on newsstands beginning March 3, 2015.  Instructions are included in the issue, and a fabric kit is available.