Meet Irene Chan – Her Cows Wear Boots!

Irene ChanWe are pleased to introduce Irene Chan, and her debut fabric collection for Marcus, NOT SO WILD WEST.   As an accomplished graphic designers whose work spans digital media to illustration to TV and broadcast, Irene now brings her signature style to our Studio 37 brand.  This fun, whimsical collection is sure to bring a smile to the faces of young cowboys and cowgirls alike – did you catch the cows… they’re wearing boots!  You’ll love Irene’s prints for sleeping bags, cute clothes, bandannas, even and camping accessories, so get on over to your local quilt shops this October.

Meanwhile, check out the entire collection online, and viisit Irene online at Eneri.

Not So Wild West by Irene Chan - Marcus Fabrics

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.



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



Speaking of the MUSLINS, Check Out Rob Appell!

Quilting expert Rob Appell has just launched a new site called, 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

“Charity Begins at Home” in West Houston, TX

Our friends at the West Houston (TX) Quilt Guild have been very busy, stitching up quilts for local recipients. Representative Betty Baker submitted these photos, reporting that so far hundreds of quilts and other items have been sewn and donated by its active and very generous membership.  We’re pleased to be a part of their activities through our community service fabric donations.

Above, Helen Recane, Barbara Ann Watson, Connie Bihner and Linda Whetsell are unpacking quilts.  Below, a wonderful array of quilts ready to comfort seniors in area nursing homes, young children’s hospital patients, and others.

We congratulate these guild members, and all quilters who share their time and talents with others.  Thank you for all that you do!  To learn more about the guild, visit the West Houston Quilt Guild.

Look Who Made the AURIFIL 2015 Design Team…

Guess what: Our own very talented Nancy Rink of Nancy Rink Designs is one of several quilt artists named to AURIFIL Thread’s 2015 Design Team!  Judging from the size of those spools, it looks like they’re all in for a really fun and eventful year.  AurifulDesigners2015NancyYou know Nancy from her colorful fabric collections and gorgeous BOMs and other quilt designs including AMISH WITH A TWIST, COLOR LOVE, MILL WORKS and POINTE PLEASANT, among others.  (That’s her in the solid black shirt, lower left end.)  We’re thrilled that Nancy will bring Marcus fabrics and Aurifil together in her gorgeous creations for the coming year, and beyond…

Congratulations to Nancy and all of the Aurifil designers!

The Marcus Sew-Along Quilt, Revealed!

SALButtonHORZ14Here it is!

SALRevealedDo you love it as much as we do? We’d like to thank everyone who has participated for the past nine weeks, block by block, and, as I promised, the end result is beautiful. Congratulations to everyone who kept up, and if you were not able to, we’re sure that this image of the finished quilt will inspire you to catch up in the completion phase.

And thanks to all of our talented and generous designers for taking time to participate, including the gorgeous finishing design by Paula Barnes and piecing by Mary Ellen Robison of Red Crinoline Quilts with quilting and binding by Gloria Parsons of Olde Green Cupboard Designs.  

Complete instructions for the finishing are available on the Red Crinoline Quilts blog, but if you still need to catch up on the nine blocks first, here are the links to the blog posts:

Remember to leave a comment on the Red Crinoline Quilts blog for your chance to win the Grand Prize package:


Did You Catch WEEK #6 of the Sew-Along?


Hi everyone! If you’ve had a busy weekend or otherwise missed it, check out our sixth block…the Marcus sew-along excitement continues with Nancy Rink of Nancy Rink Designs.  It looks intricate, but Nancy makes it easy! Read all about this creative author and designer, then stitch up her sew-along block, taking advantage of her expert tips along the way.

With just three more “Friday” block posts to go, we’re two-thirds of the way there, but there’s still time to get caught up!  You’ll find the full sew-along details here, including the schedule. With two-thirds of the blocks completed, we know you can’t wait for the big reveal, and neither can we!!  Stay focused, and stay tuned….   -lisa

It’s A Quilted Crow Girls Giveaway!

That’s right!  We’re again partnering with our friends at Martingale, this time to celebrate the release of the Quilted Crow Girls’ new book, Country Elegance. 

With their first hugely popular book Elegant Quilts, Country Charm, design duo Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel won fans around the world.  Now these talented Australian designers are back with stunning all-new designs featuring wool appliqué on cotton backgrounds.

Best of all, you’ve got TWO chances to win this free eBook courtesy of Martingale, PLUS a bundle of FQs from the Crow Girls’ gorgeous new group for Marcus, THE SEASONS WOOL COLLECTION, so leave a comment below, and on the Martingale blog too, to increase your chance of winning…Good Luck!


It seems Australian design influences are big here in the US quilting market, and around the world.  Read more about some of the specific elements behind this exciting creative surge!

The Marcus Sew-Along WEEK #5!


Hi All!  In case you missed it during the busy Labor Day weekend here in the US, here’s a quick reminder that WEEK #5 of our Sew-Along is now posted on the Olde Green Cupboard blog!  It’s designed by Gloria Parsons and includes her great tips & techniques, so be sure to visit the blog now to download this block:

Gloria-sewalong blockIt seems that many of you love Cheddar, so Gloria serves it up on a four-basket design. We’re now at the halfway point (well, four blocks to go, plus the reveal!).  It goes quickly, doesn’t it?  If you’ve got friends who still want to join in the fun, point them here for all of the details, and stay tuned for WEEK #6 this Friday, Sept 5, over at Nancy Rink Designs! Enjoy…   -lisa