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!
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!
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 adornments, and 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!
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!
- 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.
At 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.
I’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.
- Aside 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.
Looks 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!
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 Sun, a 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:
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!
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)
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!
This 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.
Our third random #mugrugchallenge winner took inspiration from her group of 1930s Aunt Grace prints by Judie Rothermel, with the contemporary touch of striped binding. And we love her embroidered “Place Mug Here” instructions, just in case you weren’t sure how to use this thing ; )
Her efforts earned @lanakuehne one of our official Challenge mugs filled with fabrics — she might even be inspired to whip up another and enter again!
And for the rest of you, there’s still time to enter this fun and easy challenge, and your entry is included in every weekly drawing now thru April 30 (unless you win earlier, of course…) Bst of all, you don’t even have to send us the actual mugrug, just post the photo with #MarcusMugshot and keep it to enjoy (or give as a gift).
So, the sooner you enter, the more chances you have to win! What are you waiting for??
This year, we were excited to return to QuiltCon as exhibitors, and as sponsors of this year’s “Modern Traditionalism” category. We’re proud to share with you the winners of the group, representing the perfect balance of traditional influence with a contemporary twist. Congratulations to the winners and the makers of all of the beautiful entries…
Modern Waves Quilt
Pieced and quilted by Kristi Schroeder
Quilted by Lee Jenkins of Dallas, Texas
Austin Modern Quilt Guild
85 x 91 inches
Pieced and quilted by Jeannie Jenkins
Willowdale, Ontario, Canada
Toronto Modern Quilt Guild
50 x 76 inches
Pieced and quilted by Daisy Aschehoug
Baton Rouge, LA,
Baton Rouge Modern Quilt Guild
45 x 60 inches
Waiting for Sanity
Pieced and quilted by Kristin Shields
Central Oregon Modern Quilt Guild
49 x 48 inches
The simple, linear quilting shown here on the Judges’ Choice was a recurring style throughout the show.
The category had lots of entries that went on for rows… and rows…
Finally, Best inShow honors went to this beauty…
Pieced and quilted by Katherine Jones
Chigwell, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmanian Modern Quilt Guild
98 x 98 inches
So, who’s joining us at QuiltCon in sunny (hopefully!) Savannah, GA next week? We’re proud to return again as sponsors, and we can’t wait to share all that’s new with you from Studio 37 Fabrics!! For now, here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find at BOOTH 549!
- #MarcusMugshot Mugrug Challenge: As if ten free mugrug projects from your favorite Marcus makers wasn’t enough, you can also visit us in Booth 549 to select a few FREE SWATCHES to get your entry started! Have your #MarcusMugshot taken right in the booth, and share it on social media. (Here’s Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s free design, just one of the 10 available online…)
- And speaking of Victoria, have you heard about her QuiltCon Booth Hop?? Simply visit all of the QuiltCon booths Victoria is associated with, including her own Booth #338, have your card stamped in each booth, and you could win a $500 prize pack from Victoria herself!! Of course, we suggest you begin your Hop at the Marcus booth…
- FREE Marcus WOOL Mini-Make-n-Take: Visit our sewing station to stitch up a cute little multi-layered bright wool embellishment. Inspired by penny rugs, these single “Wool Pennies” can jazz up a quilt, bag, or add a pin back for easy fabric jewelry. Thanks to our friends at Aurifil for supplying their cotton floss, and to Sizzix for their die cutting machine.
- On Thursday and Sunday, Sarah J Maxwell will share her favorite paper piecing tips and techniques as she stitches up blocks using her new DANDY DAYS collection and supplies from Paper Pieces!
Looking forward to a fun and creative weekend — See you there!!