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

Speaking of the MUSLINS, Check Out Rob Appell!

Quilting expert Rob Appell has just launched a new site called Mansewing.com, in conjunction with our friends at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Well, we were thrilled to learn that his premiere episode features our own NEW AGED MUSLINS, in a curved piecing tutorial.

If you’ve never done cured piecing, trust me, it’s sooo much AgedMuslinsFQ-Missourieasier without pins, as Rob demonstrates.  So be sure to check out his site for some great mid-winter inspiration  ; )

To mark the occasion of the launch, MSQC is offering a special FQ Bundle on these beauties.

Speaking of, stay tuned as we pick the winner of our New Aged Muslins swatch card giveaway, later today.  Yes, there’s still a little time to get your comments in for a chance to win  ; )  Enjoy!    — lisa

Overdyeing = Fun Color Transformations…

Did you catch the recent AllPeopleQuilt.com blogpost on overdyeing? It’s an easy technique that never gets old, and we were happy to see that APQ editor Linda Augsburg recently discovered our overdyeing feature and some of my projects on the all-new RIT website, and shared them with readers.

What’s great about overdyeing is that it’s not only useful for drastic color changes – sometimes you just want to intensify a lighter shade, or “warm up” a fabric’s tone with a bit of yellow, or use a tan dye, applied unevenly, to give an aged effect, the perfect touch for reproduction quilts. Aren’t you just dyeing to try it?

Last Call for Lucy Boston!

A big THANK YOU to all of our quilting friends for participating in our Lucy Boston Challenge this weekend at the Road to CA event!  With over 125 blocks completed this weekend, we appreciate your talents, comments and enthusiasm, and we can’t wait to unveil the finished project.  Pati says, “Looks like we will be making a couple of quilts for the ALS donation. Thank you all that participated.  I had the best time seeing how excited you all were to hand in your blocks.” 

Check out our final collection of paper-pieced blocks below …and watch for the announcement of our ten lucky Prize Pack winners, too!

Wishing everyone safe travels home, especially those on the East Coast, in advance of the coming blizzard…including Pati!!

100winner

Amy Tangiguchi brought the 100th block to the booth, which earned her a special prize.

All stacked up - an impressive grouping!

All stacked up – an impressive grouping!

Nancy brings in the 125th and final block!

Nancy brings in the 125th and final block!

Pati and Vicki make it to the end of the show!  Congrats, girls!

Pati and Vicki make it to the end of the show! Congrats, girls!

Look at These Great Blocks Coming In!

The Lucy Boston quilt block craze is in full swing at the Marcus Fabrics booth at Road to California!  This exciting annual event for quilters runs through tomorrow, so there’s still time to join the fun!  Attendees are stitching up their Lucy Boston blocks with various Marcus striped fabric and supplies from Paper Pieces.  All blocks submitted back to our booth will be sewn up into a quilt to be donated to a worthy cause.  Here’s a peek at the progress…

Road4

Quilters choose their fabric strips. In the background is our AUNT GRACE SIMPLER SAMPLER Block of the Month quilt.

Road5-first

Barbara Baker was the first to return her challenge block on Friday.

RoadA1

Looking good, quilting friends – keep up the great work!

 

 

 

Victoria’s Violets Featured in McCall’s Quilting

McCallsMar15COVERHave you seen the McCall’s Quilting Mar/April 2015 issue yet? Look for the VICTORIA’S VIOLETS collection by Molly B’s Studio, featured in a quilt by Sarah Maxwell and Dolores Smith.  It’s featured on the cover.  The design makes great use of the distinctive stripe, the quilt’s focal point – see how nicely it shows up even when folded, on the cover of the issue!  Complete instructions are included in the issue, and a kit is offered through the magazine as well.