A Sophisticated Take on Pinktober Quilts…

Photo: Material Girlfriends Patterns

Since its inception in 1985, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has served to increase attention and support for awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.  This campaign starts on October 1 and ends on October 31 every year, and is marked in countries around the world and has come to be known as “Pinktober.”

As we all know, our quilting community has always engaged its passion for the benefit and support of others in times of need, and projects aligned with the worthy cause of breast cancer awareness are among the most rewarding for creative stitchers, incorporating the familiar “pink ribbon” fabrics and embellishments. 

Now, as the movement matures, fabric offerings are keeping pace, as illustrated by the SOULFUL SHADES OF PINK collection by Laura Berringer for Studio 37 Fabrics.  Most notably, the palette takes a more refined tone, with updated, more sophisticated shades of pink, blended with shades of grey and white. 

By refreshing the color scheme and mixing prints with both ribbon and non-ribbon motifs, Laura takes the collection beyond the October theme, creating a year-long expression of love and hope.

Seeing the fabrics, the design duo at Material Girlfriends Patterns created the Soulful Shades of Pink BOM, using their Bona Fide quilt pattern.   Twin-sisters Lisa Norton and Lora Zmak took Laura’s inspiration a step further, explaining the significance of the colors:

“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which means we all know someone fighting this disease. We are complex emotional individuals, and as textile artists, we use color to express and process our involvement with breast cancer. So why use pink to promote the awareness of Breast Cancer? In the psychology of color, Pink represents a gentle and caring love, such as a love for a girlfriend, mother, sister, or daughter.   While the Grey represents sorrow, the White represents hope and healing.”  Their combination of the Bona Fide pattern with these fabrics “helps us be true to the emotional roller coaster of love, sorrow, hope, and healing. This project encourages us to feel and express through color and quilting.”

For quilt makers and recipients alike, we know that this very special quilt will accomplish its mission of hope and healing. A portion of all sales of Soulful Shades of Pink fabric will be donated to support breast cancer research.

Cheddars are Trending, and We Love It!

Always popular among the reproduction crowd, cheddars have always been popular, often in combination with rich warm browns and other accents! These days, you’ll also find it in flannel prints and plaids, reproductions, even contemporary textures, as shown below. Even better, you’ll find it all year long, not only limited to autumn / harvest projects. So, choose your favorites and spice up your quilting with a few cheddars ; )

Visit the Marcus fabric gallery to view Cheddar & Chocolate, Tarrington, Semi Solid, Paula’s, Patches of Autumn, Maple Lake Flannels, Primo Flannels: Maple Lake and Harvest, Scrap Heap, Temecula Treasures, Companions, Songbook: Harvest, Special Scraps.

Meet Your New Favorite Fabrics…

It’s August, and at Marcus Fabrics & Studio 37, that means it’s time for one of our biggest and best introductions of the year! Whether your creativity leans more toward traditional/ reproduction style, or you prefer a more trendy, contemporary feel (or maybe BOTH??) we’re pleased to present you with a plethora of exciting options from your favorite Marcus designers! To get more fully acquainted with these beautiful collections, visit MarcusFabrics.com

First, let’s get started with Marcus…

Golden cheddars, rich blues, traditional prints and shirtings, and the building blocks of a great quilt!

You’ll also love these designs from Studio 37:

Bold colors, florals, dots, stripes and textures!!

Fun stuff, right? And not only for quilts, but also for crafts, home decorating — from pillows to table settings — to handwork, applique, mending, embroidery, artful clothing and sew much more. Enjoy!

Have You Seen Our BOM Quilts for 2020?

View the Slideshow!

Our big, beautiful new BOM programs for 2020 have just been released, and with traditional, contemporary and updated classic looks, we’re sure you’ll find a favorite among them! View the slideshow above for a preview…

Reunion features Sarah Maxwell’s FULL CIRCLE collection, a tribute to Judie Rothermel ‘s signature reproduction style, in an updated, slightly brighter palette.

Harmony is Nancy Rink’s new BOM, designed with prints from her NIGHT RIVIERA collection of cool, calm purples and greens. It continues her exploration of medallion style quilts, with well-placed touches of applique, or course!

And the Red Crinoline ladies bring us Hill Country Heritage, designed in a gorgeous fabric line of the same name by Paula Barnes. The HILL COUNTRY HERITAGE prints were inspired by an antique border stripe.

Quilt Shop Owners: Reserve a Trunk Show Model

Do you own a quilt shop? If you’re interested in available dates for Sarah Maxwell’s Reunion quilt, and Red Crinoline Quilt’s Hill Country Heritage quilt, please contact the respective designers directly. Simply email: sarah@designsbysarahj.com; or call Mary Ellen Robison at Red Crinoline at 281 232-2583.

Nancy’s Amish 60″ Quilt Back: Back by Popular Demand

Back by Popular Demand! Because you love Nancy Rink’s colorful 60” quilt back as much as we do, we at Marcus Fabrics are bringing you MORE, so be sure to look for it in your favorite quilt shops beginning in September!

R39-8382-0526 – 60” backing for Amish IV BOM

Though it was designed specifically for Nancy’s current Amish BOM quilt, this backing also works beautifully with other Amish-inspired quilts, and contemporary quilts and home decor as well.  You’ll love it with our Aged Muslins, too, and even on its own. The 60″ width will open up lots of possibilities, too. Read our Tips for Using 60” Backings.

You’ll Love Sheryl Johnson’s SPECIAL SCRAPS!

We know most quilters can easily relate to Sheryl Johnson as she describes SPECIAL SCRAPS, her second fabric collection for Marcus:

Do you have a basket of Special Scraps? You know – the ones you love, the ones that make you happy every time you see them. These are the little pieces of fabric that you never want to run out of. These Special Scraps are perfect in small bits, featured in a simple little quilt or in your next vintage inspired project. This collection for Marcus Fabrics was inspired by those little bits and pieces, and by my love of double pinks, acid greens, chrome yellows, cheddars, grays and lively lights. I hope the prints in this special collection will become some of your new scrap basket favorites, too!

SPECIAL SCRAPS fabric and quilts by Sheryl Johnson of Temecula Quilt Co

She’s also designed her Special Scraps Sampler quilt, with three size options! As you can see from this photo, they make beautiful home accents, indoors, and outdoors, too… Shown here are the smallest size, and a runner version of a larger size – just piece, quilt and bind your favorite column of the quilt for use as a table runner or narrow wall accent — the pattern offers sew many options!

Look for this very special collection in your local quilts shops, where it may even be offered as a Saturday Sampler program. Quilt shops, contact Sheryl at Temecula Quilt Co. for pattern and program information.

Sturbridge Selects Marcus Repros to Explore the Past

Old Sturbridge Village, located in Sturbridge, MA, is the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast, depicts a rural New England town of the 1830s.  It allows visitors to step inside more than 40 original buildings, and explore homes, meetinghouses, a district school, country store, bank, working farm, three water-powered mills, and trade shops – all situated on more than 200 scenic acres. 

Authenticity is key for Sturbridge, and its collection of fabrics are no exception.  Sturbridge recently chose prints by Marcus Fabrics, a leader in reproductions for quilting.  They based their selections on colors and designs that are representative of the 1830s, choosing from among our designer collections from Paula Barnes, Pam Buda, Sheryl Johnson, and Karen Styles.  Marcus has built a solid reputation in the category of reproduction fabrics. 

While they are mostly sold through quilt shops worldwide, the fabrics are equally suitable for creating period costumes across a wide timeline.  Designers for theatrical productions, reenactment groups, museums, and historical societies can easily find the fabrics they need to outfit women, children and men alike.

Visit Old Sturbridge Village during its Textile Weekend, August 17-18, 2019 for Useful Employment: Textiles and Other Home Manufactures. Watch as costumed historians demonstrate spinning, dyeing woolen yarn, weaving, knitting, sewing, straw braiding, and sewing shoe uppers.  Discuss with them how these hand skills allowed families to use spare time at home to earn extra money, and try your hand at working a mitten or help to knit scarves for soldiers. Join a tour to make connections between each of these skills and how they were part of the economy of a rural New England Village, and of course, choose a few Marcus reproduction fabrics to bring home! Details

Trends in Mending

The trend toward intentional hand-stitching used to repair clothing holes or rips, or simply to embellish, is one of the hottest DIY activities today, and it continues to grow each season. Visible Mending is closely linked to the Slow Stitching movement — some would say it’s a modern spin-off of the trend, appealing to younger stitchers in particular, and incorporating applique, layered patches, darning stitches, embroidery stitches and more.

Pati embellishes jean with a hexie design of prints from the CONCRETE collection by Dolores Smith for Marcus.

Plus, any fun and creative techniques used for turning holes and tears into cool conversation pieces.  It also appeals to beginners because imperfection is a part of the look. And you don’t even have to wait for your clothing to show signs of wear!  

And you don’t need lots of special tools and gadgets, either! Just some of the basics… we like Aurifil’s embroidery floss and Clover Gold Eye Chenille needles. Try a variety of threads and stitches for different effects.

More tips from the pros:

· Use pins for picking and fraying edges, or simply rip the edges

·    Layering is important; the overlap is not meant to be perfect

·    Glue pens let you hold patches in place and rearrange easily

·    Fusible web is especially helpful for mending designs on larger areas.  Fuse patches to a base fabric layer for a quick, easy start.

·    Use a sewing machine to sew a grid, then embellish by hand, using the machine stitching as a guide.

·    Embellish with other elements like iron-on studs, rhinestones, beads, little labels, buttons, small found  objects, and other interesting touches. Try the scrapbooking / paper crafts section of your local craft store.

·    Work with sharp scissors

·    Try assorted thread colors, or variegated threads (pre-coordinated multi-colored threads) for more interesting effects.

The visible mending trend is fun and practical, something stitches of all ages will enjoy. The imperfection is part of its appeal, and it’s a great introduction to sewing for the younger set, especially as summer vacation time approaches! Happy Mending!

Fun Ideas for June 13 (National Sewing Machine Day!)

Did you know that June 13 is designated as National Sewing Machine Day? And with all that our trusty machines enable and empower us to do, from mindless mending to masterpiece-making, we believe that taking time out to celebrate them is a great idea! Sewing machines have come a long way over the years.

Old or new, top-of-the-line or basic, they deserve a little special fanfare, not only on June 13, but all year long, so we’ve gathered a few suggestions for you:

  • Make a fabric cover for your machine with help from FaveCrafts. They offer free patterns for 15 styles!
  • Make an appointment with your mechanic for a tune-up and cleaning.
  • Treat yourself to a few new novelty machine feet or other machine gadget, then USE THEM!
  • Spend a few minutes with the manual and learn how to use a function you’ve never used before.
  • Visit a sewing machine museum – surprisingly, they exist in several cities including: London, England; Clydebank, Scotland (formerly the largest Singer factory); Tulsa, OK; Arlington, TX; New Berlin, NY and others… When you travel, do a quick search of the city to uncover any possible machine collections at your destination.
  • No time for an involved project? Get re-aquainted with your machine with one of these Under-10-Minute projects from CrazyLittleProjects.com!
  • And while we won’t officially suggest you play hooky from work or school for a leisurely day at home with your machine(s) and your favorite Marcus fabrics, your secret is safe with us if you do!

Have any other celebration ideas to share? Tell us in the comments! Enjoy…

The Kansas City Wrap-Up!

We’re pleased to report that last week’s Quilt Market in Kansas City was upbeat and exciting! The mood overall was one of creativity and optimism, as everyone in attendance immersed ourselves in the best that this industry has to offer.

As always, it was a pleasure to meet and greet our shop owners, and industry friends and associates. Everyone was pleasantly surprised to see Indra Rampersaud, our newly retired customer service maven – she came to visit with the many customer-friends she’s made over the years! We also welcomed a few new sales reps to the Marcus family during the sales meeting.

The schoolhouse session by Vicky McCarty, and book signings by Paula and Mary Ellen of Red Crinoline Quilts, and by Sarah Maxwell, rounded out the activities at Market. Did you attend Market? What trends and style directions did you notice? These are just a few of the directions our designers noted:

  • Continued interest in visible mending
  • Oversized wholecloth printed panels, several in florals and inspirational text
  • Blue… and more blue!
  • Neutrals – whites, greys, and taupes in cooler tones
  • A resurgence of wovens, including first-time collections from some print houses.
  • Crochet is emerging as the “next” handwork direction
  • Applique – from mending to purely decorative, from heirloom to whimsical
  • Cute animal motifs with no particular animal-du-jour