About Lisa Shepard Stewart

Hi - I'm the Marketing Manager for Marcus, and I handle the website content and general marketing communications, including our exciting new blog... We hope you'll enjoy it! - lisa

The Power of PAISLEY

Paisley’s timeless appeal is unmatched in the world of textiles, with a multicultural history that encompasses Iran, India, Uzbekistan, Scotland and beyond.  The familiar teardrop design is popular all year long, making it a transitional favorite for home decor, fashion, and of course, quilting and crafts!  A quick survey of our current online collections turns up a wealth of gorgeous paisley design, from reproduction to modern…enjoy!

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What’s Your Favorite Rotary Tool?

gloria and Vicky at Olde Green Cupboard thought it would be fun to share some of their favorite quilting tools with you! These make your quilting, cutting, and sewing so much easier and faster!!! Here… take a peak!

“Our first favorite is the Shape Cut Pro by June Tailor – If you are cutting out hundreds of strips, squares or rectangles… this is what you need. It makes the ShapeCutProcutting so fast! You know sometimes when you are cutting many strips from a folded piece of yardage… how the strip can get a little peak at the fold after many cuts…then you have to give a new clean cut to get them even again? Well…with the Shape Cut Pro – that never happens. There are small slits in the plastic ruler/mat where your rotary blade fits.
What is especially wonderful is to use a smaller cutting mat. Make all of your cuts in one direction… then slowly remove the Shape Cut Pro – turn your mat – line up your ruler and cut again – the opposite direction of your first cuts! Boom! You have just cut tons of shapes at one time. Be sure to keep the wrapping on the Shape Cut Pro – look on the back for the great directions!”

Picture1“Our second tool that is great to use (and I don’t think many quilters use them) is the Pinking rotary blade! We like the Olfa blades. If you are cutting fabric which frays easily, wool, or just love the zig-zag look… this is for you. I recently taught a wool class and we used this blade to make these flower pins! OlfaFLOWERThey are also great to use if you are making an applique raw edge quilt and you do NOT want the cotton fabric to fray! Check with your local quilt shop today and see if you can locate our favorites… and soon they will be yours!”  Thanks to Vicky, Gloria & Heather of Olde Green Cupboard Designs! 

Editor’s Note:  Watch for a gorgeous new line of wools to come from Marcus in the coming months – the perfect opportunity to try your new Pinking blade!

Stitch Up APQ’s “Dream Machine” Pillow!

APQ Color Option PillowWe love this appliqued pillow by Elizabeth Beese, featured in the June 2014 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine!  Elizabeth used Bordeaux and Sienna collection and the Paula Barnes Companions collection, both by Paula Barnes for Marcus FabricsHer version of Gina Martin’s Dream Machine pillow is one of APQ’s Color Options. See this project, as well as other featured projects from this issue, here.

 

Designed by Gina Martin. Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.

Like English Paper Piecing? You’ll Love This…

Attention, EPP fans: Vicki Bellino’s new book comes out on May 6! English paper piecing dates back to at least the early 1700s, but no worries—just like Vicki Bellino’s first book about EPP, her latest collection of vintage-vibe quilts relies on 21st-century techniques. Pre-cut papers, rotary cutters, glue pens, and sizing spray take this time-honored handcraft to a new level of ease and speed.Vicki turns hexagons, diamonds, Dresdens, and more into happy handwork. (Martingale, 2014)    Challenge yourself with the quilt on the cover, made with a mind-boggling 2,031 hexies! Congratulations, Vicki!

Here’s a quilt by Susan Gilbert (read her comment below)

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Flowers in Bloom

Look for lots of flowers in the fashion forecast, from fashion to home…to quilts!  Here’s a bit of inspiration from the annual Macy’s Flower Show. This amazing 14-foot tall “lady in red” is built from over 2,000 flowers in various shades of red. You have to see it to believe it!  The NYC show runs thru April 6.FlowerShowRedred flowerdressIf you’re not near any of the US Macy’s stores with the annual floral display, here’s our private flower show for you!  Check out these collections online, then in your local quilt shops!  Happy Spring…

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Remember Your Girl Scouts Sewing Badge?

Pati-ATHMbuildling3 On a recent visit to the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, our division President, Stephanie Dell ‘Olio and Director of Marketing, Pati Violick (shown below with two Scouts), happened upon a Girl Scouts sewing session.  They learned that ATHM partners with the local Scouts so they may obtain their sewing badge. (Who remembers that?)

Pati-ATHMkids2 They made headbands and pillows, then worked their way thru the museum to learn about all the textiles.  The girls were using donated fabrics — sounds like the perfect destination for a Marcus donation fabric box!

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Look at What Arrived in the Marcus Offices!

Today’s office buzz involved the real-live quilts sewn up in MOLLY B’s STYLE SERIES; Romantic Renaissance.

MollyRomRenQuiltsOfficeAs one of our office-mates remarked, these quilts are larger than her bedroom! If you’re feeling ambitious, the 104″ x 122″ quilt pattern is available through Homestead Hearth!

Great Girlfriend Getaways with Pam Buda

Road trip, anyone??  For most of us, the only thing better than quilting, is quilting with girlfriends…away from home…with a great workspace…and prepared meals, etc!  With that image in mind, read on to learn more about Pam Buda’s increasingly popular girlfriend getaways:

“Designing original quilts for my company, Heartspun Quilts, and fabric collections for Marcus are dream jobs for sure, but they require me to spend most of my time at home.  Now, I’m a home-body at heart and love working from home, but sometimes a girl just has to get out and be with girlfriends!!

I also love to teach, and traveling all over the US not only gets me out of the house, but allows me to spend the day with very special people….quilters!!

Most of the time, I visit quilt guilds and quilt shops, but once or twice a year, I partner with my girlfriend, Lynne Hagmeier, and we host our own retreats!  We call them Great Girlfriend Getaways, and so far, we’ve cruised to Alaska, and explored St. Augustine, FL, all while getting to know each other, laughing, sharing tips and tricks, and making lots of new friends!”

Their next Getaway retreat takes participants to Mackinaw City, MI, September 8-12, 2014.  They chose this destination because “it’s just a ferry ride away from historic and charming Mackinaw Island, where life is a bit slower and motorized vehicles are not allowed!”

See the brochure for full details, including the FOUR workshop projects being offered, hotel, food, pricing information, and other goodies. A ticket to ride the ferry to the Island is included!!  Have fun!

1930s Prints – The New Modern Palette!

AGMiniNOBORDERJudie Rothermel’s Aunt Grace prints will always hold a revered place in traditional quilting, and increasingly, we’re seeing these traditional 1930s prints incorporated into a more modern quilt aesthetic as well, with gorgeous results. Part of the new appeal may be that contemporary quilting attracts a younger quilter, often with babies or young children as project inspiration.  These delicate, small-scaled motifs are easy to mix and match in even the simplest quilt blocks, and work beautifully for a baby’s nursery.  The 1930s collections often look best when all colors are mixed, a fresh, change from the too-familiar “pink or blue” choices.

Another reason for the renewed interest in Judie Rothermel’s 1930s designs is that, to beginning quilters, they’re actually brand new!  Blending them with earthy linens, silk douppioni and other textures, modern quilters are giving the miniature florals, geometrics and conversationals a more artistic spin, creating not only baby quilts, but also chic totes, small accessories, and even garments.

Shopowners who quilt are enjoying the Aunt Grace renaissance as well.  Jodie Heinold, owner of Fort Worth Fabric Studio offers the Aunt Grace prints, including new Aunt Grace Miniatures, alongside her decidedly more contemporary prints, and recently added linens to the mix to satisfy customer demand.  “The 1930’s really can be mixed with more modern elements – I’ve seen a few blogs/quilts where they mix them with the natural linen/flax fabric – totally amazing!  Heinold herself has always been drawn to “those sweet 1930s prints,”  and has carried many full Aunt Grace collections since opening her online shop in 2009.

If you haven’t yet tried plugging 1930s prints into uncommon quilt designs, you’ll find great inspiration in Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen (Interweave).

For craft project ideas, also check out Zakka Style by Rashida Coleman Hale.

 

 

A Quilt Exhibit…In Grand Central Station?

Grand Prize Winner – ” Time Flies, But We Take the Train” by Amy Krasnansky, Baltimore

Even if you’ve never been to New York City, you’ve surely witnessed the grandeur of Grand Central Station in movies!  Imagine it as a setting for a quilt exhibit, namely, Grand Central Centennial Quilts, on view from March 15 through July 6, 2014.  It’s a fiber art celebration of the famous terminal’s first 100 years.

The exhibition shows off the works of thirty finalists of a competition sponsored by American Patchwork and Quilting and the City Quilter, a New York City quilt shop.  Participants were challenged to include fabrics designed by City Quilter and inspired by iconic Grand Central architecture, colors and textures.  Full exhibit details.

Can’t come to New York?  Check out the winners online at AllPeopleQuilt.com