About Lisa Shepard Stewart

Hi - I'm the Marketing Manager for Marcus, and I handle the online content and general marketing communications, including our blog and most of the social media... We hope you'll enjoy the blog and we welcome your comments! - lisa

@sharon1216 Showed Us Her #MarcusMugshot, and Won!

This week’s #mugrugchallenge winner is @sharon1216, otherwise known offline as Sharon.  She chats about her “wine rug” on her blog post (just scroll down after you read about her cute doggie quilt  ; )  There even room enough cheese & crackers and even a few grapes on your wine rug, Sharon — We love it!

Marcus #mugrugchallenge

We know Sharon has inspired everyone to create the own #mugrug, for whatever beverage they like best, no judgement!  You’ve got about two and a half weeks left to enter, and mugrugs are quick to make, so you can actually get in multiple entries…act fast, and remember to include #MarcusMugshot when you post to instagram.

Not on Instagram? Just email your photo instead…either way, you’ll be on your way to a chance to win one of these, or a similar assortment:  Good luck to all!

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@joyfuladornments Showed Us Her Mugshot, and Won!

Winner7-Joyfuladorn

Congratulations to this week’s Marcus Mugrug Challenge winner, Bonnie Scott, aka @joyfuladornments! Her particularly artful mugrug features the added dimension of prairie points, in a cool and contemporary color palette.  It could just as easily be hung on the wall as placed under her favorite cup.  Extra credit for the added dazzle of her well-coordinated glass bead earring adornmentsand great quilting, too!  Thanks for a fun entry, Bonnie. Your mug-and-fabric prize will be on its way to you shortly…

And for the rest of you…your own entries can be simple or elaborate, just be sure to enter before April 30 – you’ve still got 3 weeks, but don’t delay! In addition to these free projects by our own Marcus fabric designers (shown below), you can stitch up your own original design, or make one from a commercial pattern.  Thanks to everyone who’s entered so far, and remember, you can submit as many mugrugs as you like…keep ’em coming!

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You’ll Love Carol’s New Club, Its Backstory, and Our Giveaway!


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This month, we introduce “It’s Not a Square” an exciting new program we know you’re gonna love! It’s a 12-month Club by reproduction expert Carol Hopkins, with AMERICAN SWATCH BOOK prints by Judie Rothermel. Best of all, we timed the fabric production to coincide with Carol’s new book, The 4″ x 5″ Quilt Block Anthology: 182 Blocks for Reproduction Fabrics (Martingale, March 2017).  We chatted with Carol to uncover some of the interesting backstory that led to this exciting Club concept:

 

  • The rectangular shape of the blocks is a big feature of the book. What brought that about?

I’ve been a part of a block exchange group for about 25 years.  Four of us had just finished a year-long exchange of 6” weather vane blocks and were looking for an easier, and less time consuming, block.  We decided to frame a 3” x 4” rectangle with a 1” border—easy cutting, two fabrics, done!  However, on her way home from our lunch meeting, Linda Koenig had a brainstorm which she followed up on with a note to all of us, suggesting that instead of just framing a plain rectangle, we create designs that would fit inside a 4” x 5” rectangle.  She tempted us by enclosing a set of four blocks she made and we jumped in, not realizing just how challenging it would be to come up with block designs that weren’t square!CarolHopkins

  • Your new book is titled, “The 4” x 5” Quilt Block Anthology: 182 Blocks for Reproduction Fabrics”. How long did it take to amass such a variety of designs, and how did you know you were “done” at 182?

We each agreed to design four blocks a month for a period of nine months.  Since we make identical blocks for each person in the group, that meant we each sewed 16 blocks a month.  That’s a lot of sewing, but the good news is, we each had 16 new blocks at the end of the month!  When Linda showed our blocks to members of another group she belonged to, they, too, decided to design blocks; however, they did not exchange blocks.

AmerSwatchGiveawayAt the end of nine months, 182 different blocks had been created.  The quilt on the cover of The 4” x 5” Quilt Block Anthology, contains all of the blocks designed by the two groups, and was made by Linda, who, sadly, passed away shortly before the book went to press.  Other quilts in the book and its companion on-line photo gallery vary in size from wall hangings to bed quilts and showcase a variety of fabric designs and colors.

  • Tell us about the color palette – any special significance?

In our block exchanges, my group always uses fabrics that look old–Civil War reproductions, pink-and-brown prints, blue prints with shirtings, plaids /checks/stripes, and red-and-green combinations.  Linda suggested the 1880s color palette of red, blue, black, pink, and shirtings because it was one that we had not used before.

While we were able to select fabrics from our decades-old personal stashes, I was concerned that there was not a fabric collection in the marketplace that captured the look of the blocks in the book.  Martingale’s Chief Creative Officer and I approached Pati Violick from Marcus Fabrics about the possibility of asking Judie Rothermel, the pioneer designer of reproduction fabrics, to create a fabric line in our color palette.  Thus, the collaboration between a book and fabric company emerged, and I had the rare opportunity to help curate a collection of 22 prints from Judie’s personal collection of antique fabrics that resulted in the AMERICAN SWATCH BOOK line.

CarolBlogGuideBlocksI’ve taken the book and fabric collaboration a step further to create the It’s Not A Square Club that will debut in quilt shops this summer.  Using the American Swatch Book fabrics, The 4” x 5” Quilt Block Anthology book, and detailed monthly block guides, club members will make six different blocks a month to create a 57” x 78” sampler quilt of 72 rectangular blocks.

  • CarolSpoolsAside from quilts, how do you see quilters using blocks of this size and shape, either individually or grouped together?

I envision quilters using individual 4” x 5” blocks for things like mug rugs, purses, fabric postcards, and even pockets on clothing.  A grouping of just a few blocks could make unique doll quilts, basket liners, table runners, wall hangings, or mini samplers.  One of the most fun things I can think of is getting a group of friends together to work on blocks for themselves or to swap with other quilters.  The book includes tips and guidelines to help you set up a block exchange or organize a club.

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AmerSwatchGiveawayLooks like one you’ll want to add to your project list this summer!  And to get one lucky winner stared, we’ve again teamed up with Martingale to offer this book-and-fabric bundle. To enter the random drawing, subscribe to our blog (at right), and tell us in the COMMENTS what you would love most about making this quilt… Comments received by next Wednesday, April 12, 2017 are eligible for the drawing…  Go!

@jpearl05 Showed Us Her #MarcusMugshot and Won!

Our next lucky Marcus Mugrug Challenge winner is @jpearl05, also known as Pearl. Her clever juxtaposition of traditional prints with solids in a modern, wonky setting makes it just right for almost any home setting.  Nice job, Pearl!

Winner6-JPearl

MugPrize29marWe’re two-thirds of the way thru the Challenge, so be sure to enter now through April 30 for your chance at a fun mug-and-fabric combo, maybe like this one.

Simply make your mugrug, up to 9″ x9″ in size, and using at least one Marcus of Studuio 37 fabric print.  Design your own like Pearl did, or recreate one of our free designer mugrug projects. Then, post it to Instagram with #MarcusMugshot (or email your entry to us).  Warning: These mugrugs are a bit addictive, but luckily, you can enter as often as you like, with a separate post or email for each entry.  Good Luck!

@lauramattox89 Showed Us Her #MarcusMugshot and Won!

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It’s time to unveil our next Mugrug Challenge winner — Congratulations to Laura Mattox! She showed us a more traditional style, using some of her favorite Marcus reproduction prints along with Gettysburg Suna quilt block pattern by Carol Hopkins. Add in a great binding, that adorable teddy and quilt-inspired coffee mug, and you have this gorgeous result:

Winner4-lauramattox89

We’re just about halfway through the Challenge, which means there is still plenty of time to get involved.  Be sure to use the #MarcusMugshot when you post, so we can locate your entry!

Diane Showed Us Her #MarcusMugshot, and Won!

Well, we’re just a bit behind on this week’s challenge announcement, thanks to our late-winter blizzard closing on Tuesday, but we’re back, and thrilled to reveal that Diane Sala is our latest winner in the Marcus #mugrugchallenge!  Even those “I’m-not-a-morning-person” persons will love waking up to these bright, cheerful dots with their first infusion of coffee! Diane selected a group of 4″ x 5″ squares of GO-GO! DINO! prints at our QuiltCon booth, and we love her arrangement of HSTs (half-square triangles). Winner5-DianaSala

She then submitted her photo via email, and you can too, in addition to entering via Instagram post using #MarcusMugshot.  We’re about halfway thru the Challenge, so while there’s still time to enter (as often as you like) now through April 30, we can’t wait to see what you come up with! Remember, just be sure to include at least one Marcus or Studio 37 fabric and create any shape, sized up to a max of 9″ x 9″.  Good Luck, everyone!

Sneak Peek: Join Carol Hopkins’ New Club!

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It’s a rare occurrence in the quilt world to introduce a coordinated effort, where the book and the fabric are released together — It’s Not a Square is a new club designed by repro expert Carol Hopkins, with the AMERICAN SWATCH BOOK collection by Judie Rothermel! It ensures quilters will have the fabrics AND the inspiration at the same time, for maximum enjoyment.

“The unique feature of these blocks is that they aren’t square – they finish at 4″ x 5″. We recreated some classic blocks and also designed more than 50 original blocks that no one has ever seen before, ending up with 182 different blocks.” Carol says about her new book for Martingale (co-authored by Linda Koenig). “The 4″ x 5″ Quilt Block Anthology: 182 Blocks for Reproduction Fabrics” contains instructions for making all of the blocks!

We’ll unveil these gorgeous fabrics online soon*, but we couldn’t wait to partner with our friends at Martingale for the first of TWO joint book-and-fabric giveaways!  Enter the first giveaway now at Martingale, then watch this blog for the Marcus giveaway to follow.  And be sure to add It’s Not a Square to your creative schedule – the 12-month Club begins  August 2017!

(*Retailer-Only – log-in now to preview the collection and Club details)

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It’s a Blizzard… Let’s Make Mugrugs!

Our offices are closed today due to “Stella” the current blizzard along the East Coast. And even though we didn’t get as much actual snow as predicted (about 18″), the heavy, icy pellets, freezing rain and wind are even more treacherous! And what does that mean?  It’s Mugrug Weather, time to choose your favorite coffee, tea, hot toddy, cocoa or other warm and cozy beverage, and give it a pretty and proper place to sit on your table or desk.

It’s also a perfect time to show off some of the inspiring entries that have come in so far for our ongoing Mugrug Challenge.  It runs now thru April 30, so we’re only halfway thru, which means there’s plenty of time for you to enter again and again, and maybe even win one of our weekly mug-and-fabric prizes!

EmailEntriesBlizzardNo matter what’s lurking outside your windows this afternoon, everyone stay safe, and stitch up a quick mugrug (including at least one Marcus or Studio 37 fabric print)…then post it on Instagram with #MarcusMugshot, or email your photo to enter.  We’ll be that much closer to our goal of “A Marcus Rug for Every Mug”!

Victoria Chooses the Big Prize Winner!

Thanks to everyone who attended QuiltCon and took part in Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Booth Hop, where you were instructed to stop at various booths to collect stamps for a chance at her $1000 prize package…well, the winner was just announced, and it’s  Mechtild Steinert!  She’ll receive prizes from Victoria herself, as well as Sizzix, Aurifil, Juki and Studio 37 Fabrics.

VictBundlesWinnerEach prize will be shipped to Mechtild separately, which we’re sure will add to the excitement. We’ll be sending MOSTLY MANOR and LIGHT WORK FQ bundles (complete with our very cool canvas Marcus tote!)

Mechtild, have fun with your goodies…we can’t wait to see what you whip up first, maybe a modern entry for our #MarcusMugshot Mugrug Challenge??

 

Make Modern Has a Special Offer for You…

DandyWhirl-Sarah

It’s official:  The DANDY DAYS collection and this pretty “Dandy Whirl” quilt design by Sarah J Maxwell of Designs by Sarah J have gone international, with their debut in Issue 15 of Make Modern magazine!

MakeModernIssue15CoverThis issue of the Australian modern quilting publication is being offered as part of a 6-month or 12-month subscription, or you can order it as a single issue for $6.95 AUD. Better yet, use coupon code “issue15friends” and pay just $5 AUD (that’s about $3.80 US dollars).  Their special offer expires April 1, 2017.

Congratulations, Sarah!