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.

Looking Ahead to Autumn Projects Already?

If so, you’ll want to consider this scrappy design by Homestead Hearth.  It’s featured in the September/October issue of McCalls’ Quilting magazine.  The beginner-friendly design is made up in a lively mix of prints from PAULA BARNES COMPANIONS and Pam Buda’s PRAIRIE STITCHES.  

Finished size is approx. 84 x 90″

Lucky Quilters Visit Judie Rothermel at Her Shop!

JudieInShop-CantonWe were thrilled to see the recent pictures posted on the Patchwork Breeze blog.  A group of quilters reported their stop at Schoolhouse Quilts in Canton, OH as “Day 4″ of a special 6-day quilter’s excursion, by coach from Michigan to West Virginia.  The post provides some great pictures & commentary about Judie and her beautiful quilt shop, including the beautiful quilts on display.

See ALL of the pix from their visit…enjoy!

Love FABRIC? Join the Celebration in August…

ILoveFabricDay14SQWho doesn’t love fabric?  From Reproduction prints to contemporary designs to a stashful of basics, we know just how special they are to us.  And our friends at the Fabric Shop Network have done it again, creating a special event around our collective love for all things FABRIC!  This time, they’ve created a three-day celebration called “I LOVE FABRIC DAYS.”  From August 14 to 16, 2014,  fabric lovers across the country can enter to win $50 shopping sprees at the favorite local quilt shops (check here for yours!)  If your favorite shop isn’t involved yet, let them know that there’s still time for them to join in the fun with a special Treasure Hunt and other activities.

Have You Ordered Your Marcus Sew-Along Fabrics Yet?

As the long holiday weekend approaches here in the US, we think it’s the perfect time to prepare for “Friends & Companions, our upcoming sew-along featuring some of your favorite Marcus designers!

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First, you’ll want to order the required PAULA BARNES COMPANIONS kit from one of the designer websites, or your local quilt shop, and you’ll be ready to start with us on August 1. The project features blocks designed by Paula Barnes and Mary Ellen Robison of Red Crinoline Quilts *, Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts *, Gloria Parsons of Olde Green Cupboard Designs, Nancy Rink of Nancy Rink Designs, Sarah Maxwell and Dolores Smith of Homestead Hearth *, plus Pati Violick and me, representing Marcus!

MB Friends & Companions Kit Fabrics 2Next, we suggest you subscribe to all of the designer’s blogs (and this one!) so you’ll be notified of the next blog post each week during the 10-week series.  It’s that simple…and you can win one of the weekly prizes, or even our Grand Prize gift basket, which will be awarded after the Big Reveal, so get ready to Sew Along with us!!

 

Capture The Great Outdoors in Plaids & Stripes…

Just in from Homestead Hearth…a sneak peek at their latest project for McCall’s Quilting magazine (August 2014 issue). They’ve mixed fabrics from the MOLLY B’s CLASSIC WOVENS II collection to capture the very essence of the comforts of hearth and home.  The Great Outdoors design is perfect for showcasing yarn-dyed woven plaids and stripes like Molly B’s.  Instructions are in the issue, and a quilt kit is available.  Size approx 84″ x 101″

Coming Soon…Pam Buda’s A PRAIRIE GATHERING!

prairieGatheringheaderPrairieGatheringWomenDebuting online July 1 is Pam Buda’s latest collection for Marcus, A PRAIRIE GATHERING.  Pam’s ongoing passion for Prairie brings us a wonderful blend of traditional deep red and beige prints that she incorporates into a gorgeous medallion quilt design.  Together the fabrics and quilt pay a year-long tribute to the women who used needle & thread to affect change.

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Pam’s new Quarterly Quilt Series is built around 4 Quarters, with (3) Chapters in each. The quilt grows gradually from the center medallion section, as compared to standard BOM’s where blocks are sewn separately then joined together.  The 12-month program begins in January, with fabrics available in your favorite quilt shops beginning  November.  Read more on Pam’s blog now, and check out Marcus Fabrics on July 1 to view the fabrics and more!

Stitch Miriam’s “Buttoned-Up Flag” for the Fourth!

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This wonderful summer weather makes us all think of celebrating Independence Day, family picnics, lemonade with a hint of mint, tables with red, white and blue decorations, front doors with festive patriotic wreaths, and the great freedom we enjoy in this beautiful country!  Add some “Grand Old Flag” décor to your home with Miriam Rawson’s project – it measures approx 8″ x 10″.

Materials:

  • Fat quarters: Two red prints  and one plain red shot cloth; one cream hand-dyed flannel, one cream shot cloth, and one blue hand-dyed muslin.(Miriam used POMEGRANATE LANE and SHOT-CEE Shot Cloth, but other Marcus fabrics can easily be substituted)
  • 8” x 10” foam core or cardboard to mount the finished piece
  • Embroidery floss, light oatmeal color (Anchor #0388) and needle
  • About 36 buttons, various sizes (cream, tan, etc.)
  • Hot glue gun or white craft glue for fabric

Instructions:

  1. Cut out a 10” x 12” piece of the red shot cloth for the flag backing. Zigzag around the edge with your sewing machine to prevent raveling.
  2. Cut two strips measuring 1 ½” x 22”, of the two red prints, and two strips of the two cream fabrics from the fat quarters.
  3. Cut one 4 ½” square from the dark blue muslin.
  4. Center the foam core or cardboard mounting board onto the red shot cloth and use a Pilot Frixion® pen to mark a line around the board.
  5. The marked border will serve as the boundary of the ‘flag’ components. Start with the left upper corner and pin the blue square in that section.
  6. Starting at the top, next to the blue field, place a red stripe. Trim the right end to fit within the marking.
  7. Add a cream strip, overlapping over the red about 3/8” of an inch. Trim and pin each stripe in place.
  8. When the stripes get to the bottom of the blue field, adjust the overlap amount, if necessary, so the bottom of the blue field and the stripe are even.
  9. Continue to the bottom edge of the flag, starting and ending with red stripes.
  10. Stitch the blue field in place with a 3/8” seam allowance.
  11. Stitch each stripe in place, with a 3/8” seam allowance. Do not stitch through the next stripe—lift it up a little, if necessary so you won’t stitch through both stripes at the same time. This will give the flag a better ‘raggy’ effect.
  12. When you are through stitching, use a light-color pencil to mark  X’s onto the blue field. It doesn’t really matter how many you do—mine ended up being five rows of four, with a total of twenty.
  13. Thread the needle with the floss and stitch each X.
  14. Throw the flag into the washing machine with a couple of old towels. When it is finished, throw it into the dryer.
  15. You may need to trim some of the loose threads which have formed ‘balls.’ Just don’t trim too many of the loose threads. It’s what makes the flag so charming!
  16. Center the flag onto the foam core (or cardboard), and hot glue the edges onto the back. Be careful not to burn yourself!
  17. Hot glue the buttons down the cream stripes, and frame the flag for a nice way to celebrate the birthday of our country!

 Thanks, Miriam!

The “Season” for Wools and Cotton Prints…

CrowBundlesComing soon to a quilt shop near you… two debut collections from the Quilting Crow Girls of Australia – THE SEASONS WOOL COLLECTION and POMEGRANATE LANEThe design duo combines easy pieced blocks with wool applique in Marcus’ new BOM, The Seasons on Pomegranate Lane (shown below).

If you’re new to felted woven wool applique, the Girls Crow-BOMquiltshow you how to felt the wool for a soft, luxurious feel, how to pair up prints with wools, applique with wool and more — you’ll even find free pincushion projects online to get you started! Download the PDF for tips & the Girls’ free “Birdee” Pincushion projectCrow-Faces

For even more inspiration, be sure to check out the Quilted Crow Girls’ books and patterns, including their upcoming second title, Country Elegance, available in September 2014 (Martingale).

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Marcus Fabrics “Friends & Companions” SEW-ALONG

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(Links Corrected)  Looking for a fun summer quilt project?  We’ve gathered Marcus designers to help create an exciting new Sew-Along, using selected prints from the PAULA BARNES COMPANIONS collection!  Each Friday for ten weeks, you’ll visit a designer’s blog for the block info and instructions, followed by the finished quilt reveal in Week 10.  AND, you’ll have a chance to win a great prize each week, in addition to a Grand Prize at the end of the Sew-Along! Be sure to order your fabric kit from one of the participating designers now (see below), so you’ll be ready to begin with us on August 1.

MB Friends & Companions Kit Fabrics 2Sew-Along tip: Visit each designer’s blog before August 1 and enter your email address in the “Follow by Email” icon or “Subscribe” box on each designer’s blog shown below.  That way, you won’t miss any of the good things we have in store for you, and you’ll be able to print all of the block directions to take to your cutting table and sewing machine!

8/1  Pam Buda ~ * Heartspun Quilts
8/8  Paula Barnes ~ * Red Crinoline Quilts
8/15  Sarah Maxwell ~ * Homestead Hearth
8/22  Pati Violick ~ Marcus Fabrics
8/29  Gloria Parsons ~ Olde Green Cupboard Designs
9/5  Nancy Rink ~ Nancy Rink Designs
9/12  Mary Ellen Robison ~ Red Crinoline Quilts
9/19  Dolores Smith ~ Homestead Hearth
9/26  Lisa Shepard Stewart ~ Marcus Fabrics
10/3  Red Crinoline Quilts ~ Quilt Revealed!

(*Kits are available from the first three designer websites above)

If you’re a Paula Barnes collector and you already have the prints, or you’re choosing your own fabrics, here’s what you’ll need:

* For Blocks:
1⁄4 yard cheddar print
1⁄2 yard light print #1
1/6 yard red print #1
1⁄4 yard black print
1/6 yard blue print
1⁄3 yard olive green print

* For Quilt Setting and Borders:
1-3⁄4 yards red print #2 for outside border
1-1⁄4 yards black print for alternate block, inside border and binding.
1-1⁄8 yards light print #2 for alternate block
1 yard olive green print for setting corners and triangles.
4 yards for backing

*Prizes will be awarded each week from the featured designer
*Quilt size  60 x 60 and block size 8 inches
So join Marcus & our designers for this exciting new Sew-Along!  See you on August 1!