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

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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 ; ).

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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!!

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…

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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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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

Behind the Scenes: The Story of ELIZABETH’S DOWRY

Look at what literally just arrived on my desk…it’s Today’s Quilter, our favorite UK quilting magazine, with a big BONUS!

todaysquiltersupp1Issue Seventeen was packaged with a special supplement all about our ELIZABETH’S DOWRY fabric collaboration!  With input from The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork, it not only outlines the journey of how this unique collection came to be, but also offers great projects and insights to help you make the most of this historic collection.todaysquiltersupp2

Like the magazine, this special publication is beautifully done — a true collector’s item.  Of course, having contributed to one of the articles, we knew it was in the works, but it’s always sew exciting to see the finished product in real life!

To order your own copy:  Visit Today’s Quilter and check out their special offer for new US subscribers, now thru February 28, 2017.

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You’ll Love Our Chill-Chasing Neck Warmer!

neckwarmercomp2So, who’s down to the wire on stitching up quick holiday gifts?  Here’s one FREE PROJECT you’ll love!  It’s really a perfect “anytime” gift for him or her, so if you don’t quite finish for the holidays, don’t worry, they’ll enjoy wearing these all season long.  We suggest you cut several at once and sew assembly-line style  ; )   It also makes a great beginner sewing project for all ages.

Simply choose your favorite combination of PRIMO PLAID FLANNEL and Marcus WOOL to create this easy Neck Warmer.  Here we used Primo Plaid Flannel #J369-0113 and Wool in Oatmeal Heather #7746-0148…by the way, we love it when our president, Stephanie, volunteers to model, but I digress… Finish with hook-and-loop tape closure and a decorative button.  Then wrap and adjust it as desired.  For a softer hand and worry-free laundering later, consider felting the wool before you begin (easy felting steps are included).  Just remember to make one or two for yourself, too!

A Quick Q&A on CLARET, with Paula Barnes

claretcompWe caught up with Paula to chat about her new CLARET collection. Here’s what she shared with us:

Q. The line is inspired by quilts of the 1800s.  What made Claret such a popular color during that time??

A. Claret became popular in the 1800’s to some extent because the synthetic dye used to produce the color was a stable dye.  This made the color more available, and more affordable, which of course, contributed to its wide appeal.

Q.  And how was it commonly used at the time?PaulaBarnes-SP15

A.  You’d often find the Claret color paired with shirting in quilts. Many quilts were made with Claret, Indigo and Cadet blue (blues included in my INDIGO line).  Red and Grey were popular for the time period.

Q.  The depth of the color is striking, definitely a stashworthy choice for all red lovers.

A.  Yes, it is definitely a darker red color, similar to the French red wine from the Bordeaux region thus giving it is name.

We can only imagine the joys of stitching a Claret quilt while sipping a fine Claret wine!  Paula introduced her INDIGO line a few months ago, then followed up with CLARET.  You’ll find that they work beautifully together now, just as they did in the 1800s. Look for the collection in your favorite quilt shops beginning February 2017!

We’ve Got CHEDDARS!

cheddarcheeseThese familiar golden yellow-orange tones are a longtime Reproduction favorite, and Cheddar in its many variations is enjoying a resurgence this season!  It’s a rich, warm, inviting color and like the food it’s named after, the category ranges from muted golds to deeper orange tones.   In Repro quilts, cheddar generally used as a highlight against darker blues, greens, reds, plums and browns.

Like the quilters long before them, modern quilters have also embraced the color as a special accent, giving life to the colors around it in simply pieced designs.  We love Pam Buda’s new take on the color, pairing it with taupe-grey neutrals for a look that bridges tradition and trend in ANTIQUE COTTON CALICOS: Cheddar and Friends!

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See Our Fabrics & More at Bellwether Dry Goods!

Thanks to our friends at Bellwether Dry Goods in Lothian, MD for the reminder about their upcoming 6th Annual Open House & Quilt Sale:

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You might even catch a glimpse of this beauty, and other Marcus reproduction quilts…

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Jennifer describes it to us: “One of my mom’s newest quilts, “Star Gazing” was created with Marcus Fabrics. Every time she goes fabric shopping, she just pulls what she likes, and half of them are usually Marcus Fabrics. We have also hand quilted for Judie Rothermel, so of course, those Civil War prints are favorites.”

Enjoy the Bellwether event from December 2 to 4…and feel free to report back!

Join Us for Quiltmaker’s “100 Block” Blog Tour!

sarah100blockWe’re thrilled to sponsor the all-new issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 14, especially since one of the the 100 quilt blocks features the REVVED UP RETRO line by Studio 37 Fabrics designer Sarah J Maxwell of Designs by Sarah J!  View the LOOKBOOK for more about her colorful collection.

 

quiltmaker100blocknowWhen you follow the Blog Tour you  might also find some great Marcus goodies among the many giveaways! There’s still time to join in the fun — for starters, just comment below for the chance to win a copy of the magazine from Quiltmaker!  Then, check out Quiltmaker’s Quilty Pleasures blog for tour details, magazine info and more..Good Luck!.