QuiltCon 2017: See You in Savannah!

QuiltConEast-DatesLocation1So, who’s joining us at QuiltCon in sunny (hopefully!) Savannah, GA next week?  We’re proud to return again as sponsors, and we can’t wait to share all that’s new with you from Studio 37 Fabrics!! For now, here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find at BOOTH 549!

  • #MarcusMugshot Mugrug Challenge:  As if ten free mugrug projects from your favorite Marcus makers wasn’t enough, you can also visit us in Booth 549 to select a few FREE SWATCHES to get your entry started!  Have your #MarcusMugshot taken right in the booth, and share it on social media.  (Here’s Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s free design, just one of the 10 available online…)Picture6
  • And speaking of Victoria, have you heard about her QuiltCon Booth Hop?? Simply visit all of the QuiltCon booths Victoria is associated with, including her own Booth #338, have your card stamped in each booth, and you could win a $500 prize pack from Victoria herself!!  Of course, we suggest you begin your Hop at the Marcus booth…

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  • FREE Marcus WOOL Mini-Make-n-Take:  Visit our sewing station to stitch up a cute little multi-layered bright wool embellishment.  Inspired by penny rugs, these single “Wool Pennies” can jazz up a quilt, bag, or add a pin back for easy fabric jewelry. Thanks to our friends at Aurifil for supplying their cotton floss, and to Sizzix for their die cutting machine.
  • On Thursday and Sunday, Sarah J Maxwell will share her favorite paper piecing tips and techniques as she stitches up blocks using her new DANDY DAYS collection and supplies from Paper Pieces!

Looking forward to a fun and creative weekend — See you there!!

Aurifil Launches Nancy’s GTKH Thread Pack!

Nancy Rink

Congratulations to our own Nancy Rink, whose new thread pack was just introduced by Aurifil this week! Check out this interview with Nancy on their blog.  Nancy’s GTKH BOM, like so many of her Marcus BOM quilts, is all about color, so her new coordinating thread pack is a natural complement, as you can see…

The fabrics and threads are available in your local quilt shops and online sources. Even better, Aurifil is featuring a GIVEAWAY on the blog – enter before Saturday Feb 11 for your chance to win!

Enter Your #MarcusMugshot…You Might Win One of These…

MugPrizeThe Mugrug Challenge is in full effect, and this is just one of the prizes you could win in our weekly drawings!  We’ve got a limited quantity of the Marcus mugs, but no shortage of great fabrics to award to Challenge participants!

Winners will be chosen at random every Tuesday now through April 30, so read these few simple guidelines, enter often, and post regularly using #MarcusMugshot.

Mugrugs are great little stashbusters, thoughtful gifts, and the perfect way to try out new techniques. Choose at least one Marcus and/or Studio 37 print from your stash, or visit your local quilt shop to choose from the latest designer collections.  Participating shops will also offer tips, events and more, so check back with them often throughout the Challenge.

Shows2017And catch us in Savannah, GA at QuiltCon in just a couple of weeks, where you can have your #MarcusMugshot taken, pick up a few fabric freebies and more!

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

“Show Us YOUR Mugshots!”

ShowMugShotGRAFHey Quilting Friends!  Ready for a FUN and EASY quilt challenge?  Well, whether you’re already a fan of the Mugrug, or aren’t even sure what one is, you’ll want to enter the Marcus Makers MUGRUG CHALLENGE!  Help us to achieve our lofty goal of “A Marcus Rug for Every Mug,”  now thru April 30, 2017 — here’s how…

Follow the various inspirations we’ve gathered from our own Marcus Makers (instructions for these mugrugs are available online!), or create your own look using at least ONE fabric print from Marcus or Studio 37, and feel free to add any solids of your choice.  In fact, it’s a great opportunity to go thru your Marcus stash for a few great coordinates to get started, then visit your local quilt shops for the newest collections, and more great mugrug ideas, patterns, tips and related activities…

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Then, post your entry on Instagram using #MarcusMugshot, and remember to tag @marcusfabrics and/or @studio37fabrics for greater exposure! 

If you’re new to mugrugs, be warned:  mugrug making can be addictive, which is really not a problem, because they make great gifts, AND you can enter as many times as you like (one mugrug per photo, please).  Each Tuesday during the Challenge, we’ll choose random winners from the hashtagged entries to receive exciting fabric prizes and more — Join us!!

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!!

 

A Fresh Start Leads Down Memory Lane…

With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to reorganize and re-energize, so we’ve been clearing out lots of fabrics and swatch cards that have accumulated over the years as we renovate and relocate (no, there’s no need to change your contact info; we’re only moving down the hall!)  If you’ve ever relocated your office space, you know the task we’ve been facing for the past few weeks (Note that I’m sparing you the evidence of the messiest areas, but you get the idea…

OfficeRenoCOMP

Yet, amidst the disruption, we’re also enjoying our “Trip Down Fabric Memory Lane” in the process!  Stephanie in particular was excited to uncover some of our earliest calico swatch cards, circa 1987, when Marcus first entered the quilting industry.  Stay tuned for more on these classics in a future post…

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And of course, a change like this can be subject to some type of outside reaction:  We happily shared some of the surplus fabric sample cuts that had accumulated over the years with friends from a couple of local quilt guilds.  No sooner had the fabric been picked up than we began to hear whispered rumors that “Marcus was closing its doors??!!!”  Well, be assured that nothing is further from the truth, and we’ll continue our long-standing tradition of bringing you the very best in quilting and craft fabrics for many years to come.  In fact, even in the midst of our office relocation, we’re busily prepping for upcoming events including QuiltCon next month in Savannah, and Ouilt Market in St. Louis this Spring!  See you soon!  ; )

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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:

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

rainbowfishbooks

See What Danyella Did with Meadow Storm!

Today we welcome a guest post from Danyella Nava of Made Sew Modern – enjoy!

vfw-danyellaI first met Victoria (Findlay Wolfe) when she came to Albuquerque, NM to teach a workshop that my local guild had organized back in June of 2016. I took her Double Wedding Ring workshop and totally fell in love with a classic technique! My first impression of Victoria was that she was such a fun, creative being, and I was so very excited to learn from her. 

My experience with Victoria did not stop there. I also joined her for a dinner and a lecture, and her deep love and passion for quilting continued to shine. I found that Victoria was incredibly humble. She was excited to share her knowledge with everyone and was open to conversation. I felt that she really took the time to get to know me by listening so intently over the few days I got to spend with her.

 Around the same time, Victoria’s fabric line, MOSTLY MANOR, had come out a few months before, and the quilt shop I work for had carried a few of the pieces from that line. The first thing I noticed about Mostly Manor was the bright and bold colors and how playful the prints were. It was one of my most favorite fabrics that we were carrying by Marcus, and I immediately knew I had to have some in my stash. 
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When MEADOW STORM came out, it was no different. When I received a fat quarter bundle of the fabric, I just couldn’t wait to open it up and get started on something. I decided to give my first try at designing a quilt, and use this fabric for it. It definitely did not disappoint. I appreciated the quality of the fabric that Marcus Fabrics produces, it makes working with a new pattern very easy. In my opinion, it is always much more difficult when working with a poor quality of fabric. It was also so tough to choose a favorite! It was a tie between the black and white Manor Stripe I used in the border or the Sun Shower dots in orchid. I just absolutely love the boldness and richness of that orchid color! I have also found that it can be tough to find a really good black and white stripe, so I was jumping with joy when I got my hands on that piece. I even ordered extra just so I could keep a piece for myself!
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One thing that stands out to me about Victoria’s fabric lines is how well they play with each other. The quilt shop I work for also swooned over her fabric, so naturally we had to use her fabric lines to create kits that people could purchase. It was so incredibly easy to mix and match her prints between both Mostly Manor and Meadow Storm! I just love when fabric lines can be versatile with one another.
I just can’t wait to get my hands on her newest line, LIGHT WORK, coming to shops this month! 
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 Danyella Nava / MadeSewModern