It’s Official: PEPPERY is “Hot”!!

PaulaBarnes-SP15

It looks like Paula Barnes knew what she meant when she named her newest collection PEPPERY!  Just days into its official release, the collection of black, cream and beige small prints is a noticeable winner already! Easy to see, because these colors transfer from reproduction and historical quilts to modern, and they lend themselves easily to quilts and projects with a tailored, more masculine feel, such as out Heidi Pridemore’s project (coming soon as a download at your local quilt shops):

PepperyQuilt

Peppery prints example

Versatile, stashworthy Peppery prints are also great as subtly textured grounds for applique and needlework, like this example from Crabapple Hill Studio.

PEPPERY comes to your local quilt shop this summer – see the entire collection online now, and plan a project to enjoy all year long!

 

 

Welcome, Hat Creek Quilts!

DeirdreBondAbel&QuiltWe’re thrilled to announce the addition of Deirdre Bond-Abel of Hat Creek Quilts to the Marcus designer family!  You might recognize Deirdre’s name as half of the Quilted Crows design duo, based in Australia (think Pomegranate Lane and coordinating wools).

She’s created an exciting new venture under the Hat Creek Quilts name, and we’ll continue our design relationship with her debut fabric collection called TIES THAT BIND.  Inspired by her husband’s collection of neckties, the prints work nicely together, or blended in with your other favorite Marcus collections. My guess is that she’ll also be mixing them with our wools!

**And don’t worry, I already asked her about the quilt she’s holding here, and yes, it’s one of the many beautiful patterns now available under the Hat Creek Quilts label. It’s called Oranges and Lemons -   It’s on my list already, and everyone in the office loves it!

Check out a sampling of the TIES THAT BIND prints below, and learn more about Deirdre online.  It’ll be shown online soon…

TiesThatBindCOMP

The Australasian Quilt Convention … Who’s Going?

Unfortunately, none of us in the NY office will be in attendance (Note to staff –  2016 Road Trip!!), but Marcus Fabrics will be well represented at the upcoming Australasian Quilt Convention.  It takes place in Melbourne, Australia April 16-19, 2015, and among its lineup of star instructors are Marcus designers Deirdre Bond-Abel and Karen Styles!

AQC is the region’s premier quilting event with tutors from all of the world and vendors that are only quilt related — no other crafts. People travel from all over Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to attend. Deirdre will teach three classes that incorporate Marcus prints and wools (Ashmore, Warwick and Colbrook, in the order shown below…patterns and kits to follow!)Quilts by Deirdre Bond-Abel of Hat Creek Quilts

…and  Karen is teaching Mrs Billings’ Coverlet at the convention.

If you’re attending the Australasian Quilt Convention next week, feel free to be our eyes and send in some images!

#makeitwithmarcusfabrics

Mary Ellen’s HISTORICAL STRIPES, in Progress

HistoricalStripesBlocksMary Ellen Robison, of the Red Crinoline quilts design team (along with Paula Barnes), showed off these blocks from her in progress Richmond quilt featuring Paula’s HISTORICAL STRIPES collection.  The quilt was one of her projects from the Camp Blanding Retreat, one of their annual events.  From her blog post, I’d say everyone had a fabulous time, all 110 of them!!

 

Eventually, Mary Ellen’s quilt will look like this. Don’t you love the look of an all-stripe quilt?  You can create your own; visit Red Crinoline Quilts to order the pattern.

 

 

Ready for a Brand New “Twist”?

Nancy Rink

Nancy Rink

So are we!  And we couldn’t wait any longer to share this sneak peek of Nancy Rink’s latest, AMISH WITH A TWIST III, a beautiful new interpretation of her signature BOM, created with eleven colors, including NEW Marcus CENTENNIAL SOLIDS!Amish3COMP

 

 

 

 

We think the designs speak for themselves, with pieced and appliqued options for the center medallion design, and rich Blue Coal background that allows the colors to pop.  The applique version can be stitched using traditional applique or optional pre-cut laser pieces.  The full pieced version and a smaller detail pic of the appliqued version are shown.

Complete this beauty in just 10 months, beginning September 2015!

#makeitwithmarcusfabrics  #NancyRink  #Amish

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

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

 

 

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