Review of “Charles James: Beyond Fashion”

Met2Brandy, our office & merchandising assistant and Christine, our summer intern (shown here) recently visited the Charles James exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Check out their review of the exhibit:

“It’s not too late to catch the Charles James exhibit (http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/charles-james-beyond-fashion) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (http://www.metmuseum.org/). The show closes on August 10, 2014.Mey6

Charles James created sculptural gowns and daytime pieces. The exhibit is broken into 2 sections – the special exhibition galleries (walk through the Greek and Roman galleries) on the Museum’s first floor and The Costume Institute’s Anna Wintour Costume Center (walk through the Egyptian galleries).
Met4Met7Visit the special exhibition galleries first because this is where the couture pieces are. There are videos that break down the construction of the gowns from 3 dimensional to flat patterns. James created this cream & gold dress following a huge Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit here in the US.  Can you see the O’Keeffe influence?
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The Costume Institute has less formal gowns and daytime pieces. You will also see more of Charles James’ process here. The satin jacket above  is Brandy’s favorite – maybe because of its quilted effect? It was made in response to the all the fur jackets being sported at the time.
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Fun Fact. Gypsy Rose Lee (inset) wore Charles James. The red dress shown is believed to be one she wore in a magazine editorial.

Gadget Show & Tell

Ruler insert - Final_Outlines - use this fileThis tip comes from Carrie, one of our sales reps and an avid quilter.  Here’s her review of the Hex’n More Ruler by Jaybird Quilts

“Let me be the first to tell you something that has been super in my area.  It was “new” a couple of markets ago, but has become quite popular for kitting, BOMs and a Nifty Notion: The Hex n’ More ruler!  It’s a 60 degree triangle and hexi in one ruler.  I have blog-carrieQuiltused it in three quilts, personally! Easy and fun.”

Check out one of Carrie’s Hex n More projects.  She  made with the 60 degree part of the ruler.  Small triangles with fat strips, and fat triangles with small strips.  “I called it Tumbling Rubies.  It wasn’t difficult but it took a lot of time and fabric to put the strips on.  I gave it to my cousin actually for Christmas.”  Thanks for the review, Carrie!

What’s Your Favorite Rotary Tool?

gloria and Vicky at Olde Green Cupboard thought it would be fun to share some of their favorite quilting tools with you! These make your quilting, cutting, and sewing so much easier and faster!!! Here… take a peak!

“Our first favorite is the Shape Cut Pro by June Tailor – If you are cutting out hundreds of strips, squares or rectangles… this is what you need. It makes the ShapeCutProcutting so fast! You know sometimes when you are cutting many strips from a folded piece of yardage… how the strip can get a little peak at the fold after many cuts…then you have to give a new clean cut to get them even again? Well…with the Shape Cut Pro – that never happens. There are small slits in the plastic ruler/mat where your rotary blade fits.
What is especially wonderful is to use a smaller cutting mat. Make all of your cuts in one direction… then slowly remove the Shape Cut Pro – turn your mat – line up your ruler and cut again – the opposite direction of your first cuts! Boom! You have just cut tons of shapes at one time. Be sure to keep the wrapping on the Shape Cut Pro – look on the back for the great directions!”

Picture1“Our second tool that is great to use (and I don’t think many quilters use them) is the Pinking rotary blade! We like the Olfa blades. If you are cutting fabric which frays easily, wool, or just love the zig-zag look… this is for you. I recently taught a wool class and we used this blade to make these flower pins! OlfaFLOWERThey are also great to use if you are making an applique raw edge quilt and you do NOT want the cotton fabric to fray! Check with your local quilt shop today and see if you can locate our favorites… and soon they will be yours!”  Thanks to Vicky, Gloria & Heather of Olde Green Cupboard Designs! 

Editor’s Note:  Watch for a gorgeous new line of wools to come from Marcus in the coming months – the perfect opportunity to try your new Pinking blade!

Great Girlfriend Getaways with Pam Buda

Road trip, anyone??  For most of us, the only thing better than quilting, is quilting with girlfriends…away from home…with a great workspace…and prepared meals, etc!  With that image in mind, read on to learn more about Pam Buda’s increasingly popular girlfriend getaways:

“Designing original quilts for my company, Heartspun Quilts, and fabric collections for Marcus are dream jobs for sure, but they require me to spend most of my time at home.  Now, I’m a home-body at heart and love working from home, but sometimes a girl just has to get out and be with girlfriends!!

I also love to teach, and traveling all over the US not only gets me out of the house, but allows me to spend the day with very special people….quilters!!

Most of the time, I visit quilt guilds and quilt shops, but once or twice a year, I partner with my girlfriend, Lynne Hagmeier, and we host our own retreats!  We call them Great Girlfriend Getaways, and so far, we’ve cruised to Alaska, and explored St. Augustine, FL, all while getting to know each other, laughing, sharing tips and tricks, and making lots of new friends!”

Their next Getaway retreat takes participants to Mackinaw City, MI, September 8-12, 2014.  They chose this destination because “it’s just a ferry ride away from historic and charming Mackinaw Island, where life is a bit slower and motorized vehicles are not allowed!”

See the brochure for full details, including the FOUR workshop projects being offered, hotel, food, pricing information, and other goodies. A ticket to ride the ferry to the Island is included!!  Have fun!

…And the Winner Is…

Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic response to our Carol Hopkins eBook giveaway!

Congratulations to Cynthia Green, winner of our random drawing to win Carol Hopkin’s new e-Book!  Cynthia, yoru’ll receive yoru book shortly, and we encourage everyone to send in pix of your best Marcus Civil War quilts – they might be published here on Marcus Mentions!

Pam Buda Discusses “Prairie Stitches”

 

We caught up with Pam and got some extra insights into her new PRAIRIE STITCHES line, and her love for all things Prairie! Here’s what she shared…

You might be surprised to learn where fabric designers get inspirations for new fabric collections. I looked to my collection of antique quilts and vintage fabrics for Prairie Stitches.
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The main floral print in the line came from a vintage piece of fabric I picked up at an antique show several years ago.

What drew me to it was its simplistic, country styling which is at the heart of my prairie style.  The floral motif is about as large a floral as I like to use, and I started to image it in other colors.
With some fabrics, imagining the possibilities can be the most difficult part, and that is at the heart of the job of fabric design.   I knew what I wanted the end result to be, and worked hand in hand with Marcus’ design director, Faye Burgos, to make it happen.

Notice the original antique fabric has a solid dark brown background.
MB Blog _ 2-2014 _ multiI decided to add a little texture to the backgrounds of my prints which gives a soft, subtle feel to an otherwise flat background.

There are slight differences in the leaves and flowers on each of the prints, to best show off the floral motif on the different colored backgrounds.

I’m just delighted about the way it all turned out!

I’m working on the quilt I designed for this collection, called Ada’s Prairie Stitches, and loving how it’s all coming together! Both the fabric collection,and my new pattern will be in quilt shops in April!

Thanks, Pam!  Visit Pam Buda online at HeartspunQuilts.com