We (Heart) Batik Valentine’s Mugrugs!

If you LOVE mugrugs AND batiks like we do, then you’re sure to also LOVE our easy Valentine’s Day Mugrug design!  Not only can you make these by the dozen for all the loves of your life – you can also enter each and every one of them in our new Mugrug Challenge, for a chance to win one of our weekly prizes!  Check out the Challenge details, then read the how-to below make this design… it’s the perfect complement for a cup of tea made from fresh sage leaves and a couple of tea biscuits, as shown

HeartmugugFinished

First, I cut out a paper heart shape pattern to the desired size, plus about 1/4″ seam allowance all around.  (If you’d rather not hand-cut your pattern, you’ll find about a zillion of them online, print out your favorite ; ).

HeartMugrug

Using three tonal RADIANT REFLECTIONS batiks, I started stitching up a crazy quilt block directly onto the batting (I used Fairfield Soft & Toasty cotton batting), for an easy quilt-as-you-go construction method. I added fabrics randomly until the block was just larger than the heart pattern.  I cut both the pieced block and a backing fabric from the heart pattern, and stitched them right sides together all around with a 1/4″ seam, leaving an opening to turn. Next, just turn and press, closing the opening with hand stitches or a narrow strip of fusible tape.  Add a coordinating mug or teacup, a packet of cappuccino mix or some gourmet teabags, and a love note.  Maybe a matching batik napkin for extra credit?

Now, just take a picture, enter the Challenge on Instagram with #MarcusMugshot, and your Valentine is now ready to give!          —   lisa

Congratulations to Our Aurifil Designers!

We’re thrilled to share the news of Aurifil’s latest designer thread collections, especially those by our own Marcus Makers, Sarah J Maxwell and Victoria Findlay Wolfe! So now, you can use the same great Aurifil quality the top designers use, expertly curated for foolproof results  ; )

Sarahs’ new thread pack coordinates with her DANDY DAYS line… check out the LOOKBOOK.

Victoria’s new thread pack coordinates with her MEADOW STORM collection. View the LOOKBOOK.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe - Auriful Threads & Marcus Fabrics

Look for the fabrics, the threads, quilt patterns and more at your favorite local quilt shops and online resources, including Designs by Sarah J and VFW Quilts. ! And if you’re in NYC, visit Victoria’s retail shop, too…you might even catch her there ; ) Keep up the great work, ladies!!

 

Quick Q&A: Pam Buda’s “Conestoga Crossing”

PamBuda2016You might have noticed that our new CONESTOGA CROSSING BOM starts this month at your local quilt shops, so we went behind the scenes with Pam Buda to learn more about her project:
Q.  Tell us about your inspiration for Conestoga Crossing. Did the quilt design influence the fabric prints and colors, or vice-versa?
A. The inspiration came from a working vacation my husband and I took to Idaho and Wyoming a few years ago.  I’m very interested in the pioneer women who made this arduous journey, which was much tougher than we think.  We followed the Oregon Trail for many miles, enjoying stops along the way with markers and information about the Trail.  A park ranger also guided us into the foothills so we could see the wagon ruts that were still there and walk them as they did so many years ago! 
conestoga_crossing
Which came first? The quilt design influenced the fabric choices for sure.  I wanted to focus on red, black, gold and green as the primary colors, then decided to add just a few blues for a bit more color.  I wanted several pretty light print tone-on-tones, especially for the big center of the quilt, but also added light prairie style prints that really represent the 1800’s when the Westward migration was happening. 
 Conestogabasket
Q.  The quilt features a border of basket blocks – is this common to the era of the Oregon Trail?
A.  Block quilts are truly an American invention and they slowly came into being in the first half of the nineteenth century.  The means of sharing information, even in published newspapers and books, was so very slow that it took a long time for blocks to be seen and for creative women to begin to play and invent them.  The Basket blocks in particular were likely around toward the latter half of the nineteenth century, and they are still as popular today as they were then.
 
Q. The overall design is so outstanding, it just might attract someone who’s never done a BOM program. Any advice or tips for a first-time BOM quilter?
 
A. My advice is to be organized and take your time with it.  Conestoga Crossing may look difficult but is relatively easy to piece and assemble.  If you’ve made a few quilts, you’ll be just fine piecing this one.  Keep all extra fabric you may accumulate each month for any mistakes that may happen, and definitely seek out advice from your local quilt shop.  There’s so much support there, not to mention loads of gorgeous Marcus fabrics! 
 
Q.  Aside from a gorgeous quilt, what do you want quilters to gain from this BOM  experience?
The patterns include historical information on the California/Oregon Trail experience from its beginning to end.  Quilters will surely gain a real sense of what it was like to leave home and arrive in Independence, MO, the beginning of the Trail, walking the thousands of miles, cooking, camping, birth, sickness, and death.  How they dealt with different challenges along the way like homesickness, dealing with bad weather, broken wagons, crossing rivers.  Not surprisingly, friendships were made among families.  Eventually each family had to make the decision to go to California or Oregon, possibly separating from new friends.  And finally, arriving at the end of the Trail. I hope you all enjoy the history, the Prairie fabrics and quilt blocks that take you back to the days of the Oregon Trail! 
 

January Buzz: The Rainbow Fish

rainbowfishscalesIf these first days of 2017 are any indication, January is all about THE RAINBOW FISH hitting the quilt shops!  And we’re not surprised by all of the excitement caused by Marcus Pfister’s friendly, lovable character.  In fact, just as I began to write this post, Pati shared this note from one of our sales reps discussing her customer’s experience with the “Scales” (Style 9752-0750)

“Janet made up a pillowcase of The Rainbow Fish, washed it, dried it, ironed it, and brought it in to the store.  She said there wasn’t a single piece of glitter that came off, and the fabric has a lovely hand.  She was really impressed with the quality of the metallic and printing overall, and ordered more of the line today.  I had some customers who thought the glitter wouldn’t make a nice pillow surface, but it was a beautiful, soft pillowcase.”

And the rest of the prints are equally beautiful, some with touches of metallic shimmer. We even have three quilt projects, available through your local quilt shops:

rainbowquiltscomp

Look for the collection in stores now, and ask for Rainbow Fish books in selected shops!

rainbowfishbooks

Behind the Scenes: The Story of ELIZABETH’S DOWRY

Look at what literally just arrived on my desk…it’s Today’s Quilter, our favorite UK quilting magazine, with a big BONUS!

todaysquiltersupp1Issue Seventeen was packaged with a special supplement all about our ELIZABETH’S DOWRY fabric collaboration!  With input from The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork, it not only outlines the journey of how this unique collection came to be, but also offers great projects and insights to help you make the most of this historic collection.todaysquiltersupp2

Like the magazine, this special publication is beautifully done — a true collector’s item.  Of course, having contributed to one of the articles, we knew it was in the works, but it’s always sew exciting to see the finished product in real life!

To order your own copy:  Visit Today’s Quilter and check out their special offer for new US subscribers, now thru February 28, 2017.

elizdowry3-4comp

Meet Aurifil’s 2017 Design Team

Sarah-NewFeb16Congratulations to Marcus’ own Sarah J Maxwell and the many other talented designers who were chosen for the 2017 Aurifil Design Team!  Pat Sloan, who heads the program for the rockstar thread company, recently announced the team and their upcoming group BOM project.

Did we mention that thread giveaways are also involved? We can’t wait to see what “Sarah and friends” come up with next year…Learn more

2017 Aurifil Design Team

2017 Aurifil Design Team

aurifilthreadqm

We’ve Got CHEDDARS!

cheddarcheeseThese familiar golden yellow-orange tones are a longtime Reproduction favorite, and Cheddar in its many variations is enjoying a resurgence this season!  It’s a rich, warm, inviting color and like the food it’s named after, the category ranges from muted golds to deeper orange tones.   In Repro quilts, cheddar generally used as a highlight against darker blues, greens, reds, plums and browns.

Like the quilters long before them, modern quilters have also embraced the color as a special accent, giving life to the colors around it in simply pieced designs.  We love Pam Buda’s new take on the color, pairing it with taupe-grey neutrals for a look that bridges tradition and trend in ANTIQUE COTTON CALICOS: Cheddar and Friends!

cheddarfriends

 

Join Us for Quiltmaker’s “100 Block” Blog Tour!

sarah100blockWe’re thrilled to sponsor the all-new issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 14, especially since one of the the 100 quilt blocks features the REVVED UP RETRO line by Studio 37 Fabrics designer Sarah J Maxwell of Designs by Sarah J!  View the LOOKBOOK for more about her colorful collection.

 

quiltmaker100blocknowWhen you follow the Blog Tour you  might also find some great Marcus goodies among the many giveaways! There’s still time to join in the fun — for starters, just comment below for the chance to win a copy of the magazine from Quiltmaker!  Then, check out Quiltmaker’s Quilty Pleasures blog for tour details, magazine info and more..Good Luck!.

Grumpy Cat…on Broadway TOMORROW!

Crain’s New York reports that the internet sensation herself will be worked into the end of tomorrow’s performance of “Cats” on Broadway. tomorrow evening (Friday, September 30)!  We wonder if the online feline demanded that her dressing room to be decked out in her new cotton prints and flannels

grumpyflannel

Good Morning, New York!

See, this is what we love about working in New York City…you never know what you’ll come across on the streets  ; )  Right now, we’re being treated to these very cool art installations, guaranteed to wake up even the groggiest pre-coffee commuter…

bwaypandasuse bwaybulluse bwaygiraffeuse

These unique pieces are part of the “Fancy Animal Carnival” by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi. They’re baked enamel on steel plate, presented by the Garment District Alliance and the NYC Dept. of Transportation  Art Program.  Eight pieces in total run along Broadway from 41st to 36th Streets.  Check out the Alliance’s twitter feed for pics of the opening on Sept 20.