Marcus Sew-Along, WEEK #9

SAL-LisaBlockOnMatCROPPEDHi, I’m Lisa Shepard Stewart, marketing manager at Marcus.  If you’re a regular reader of our website, blog posts, press releases and newsletters, chances are I’ve written it.  In addition to working part-time for Marcus, I own a company called Cultured Expressions, specializing in the creative use of authentic African textiles for decorating, quilting, sewing and crafts.

Well, if you’ve followed us this far in the sew-along, you’re likely already a big fan of Repro prints.  But even if you’re like me, and the Repros aren’t necessarily your go-to category when you quilt, I’d encourage you to try mixing them in with your favorites and see what happens.  (The many deep, saturated colors and earthy tones of some repros would look great pieced in with bogolan / mudcloth from Mali or even Indian raw silks for a different take, but I digress…)

By now I know you can’t wait for the big reveal of the “Friends & Companions” quilt next week, so let’s get on with the instructions for the final block!  For this block, you’ll need the following from Paula Barnes Companions:     1035-0112 Black, 1034-0111 Burgundy, 1702-0116 Sage, 1038-0188 Beige, 1033-0128 Cheddar

Cutting Instructions:

– from Burgundy, Sage, and Cheddar:  Cut (1) strip 1½” x 15″ long
– from Black, Sage: Cut (4) squares 1½”
– from Beige:  Cut (4) strips 1½” x 2½” and (4) strips 1½” x 3½”

                        (OR Cut one strip 1½” wide x at least 28″ long (for Alternate piecing method)

Block Instructions (Read thru all steps before you begin)SALHowTo1

1. Sew burgundy strip to sage strip. Sew cheddar strip to the other side of the sage. Press. From this pieced strip, cut (4) 3½” sections.

2.  Sew one sage square to each of the four 2½” beige strips. Sew one black square to each of the four 3½” beige strips.*

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Note: In the first photo, the beige strip under the machine needle is about to be trimmed down to 2.5″ as the first two were. Next, the units are simply cut apart, then pressed.

(*As an alternate piecing method, stitch the first square to the beige strip. Without removing the piece from the sewing machine, trim the beige strip to 2½” long, Stitch the next sage square to the remaining length of beige strip, and again trim the beige strip to 2½” long. Repeat until you have the four green-tipped strips, and four black-tipped strips. Cut strips apart; press.

3. Stitch the green-tipped strips to the four Rail Fence sections, lining up the sage square and cheddar strip as shown.

4. Stitch the black-tipped strips to the units, lining up the black square to the burgundy side as shown.SAL-Howto3

5. Join the four units as shown; square up for an unfinished block size of 8.5″.

(Download the PDF version)

Week9-CoinPursePrizeRemember to leave a comment below for your chance at this week’s goodies – a bundle of Marcus fabrics in dark reds, one of my favorite palettes, and a Vintage Coin Purse Kit, a gift from Cultured Expressions, so you can create your own.  Good Luck, everyone!  

With your nine blocks now complete, we all THANK YOU for participating, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the process so far! Congratulations – your efforts will soon be well rewarded  ; )  See you next week for the Big Reveal!!  Late to the party?  Start from the beginning!

So, Who Won Those Gorgeous Wools & eBook?

MarcusWoolBundleCROWSThanks to everyone for your enthusiastic comments about the Quilted Crow Girls’ wool collection and new book by Martingale!  We learned that many of you  have never tried wool applique on cotton, so we hope you’ll enjoy this new creative endeavor with some help from the Crows, Martingale and Marcus.  We’re pleased to announce that the winner of the wool bundle and eBook is Faith Stanton of Trenton, FL!  Congratulations, Faith — your autumn-toned FQ pack from THE SEASONS WOOL COLLECTION and eBook are on the way to you!

CrowBundlesAll other quilting friends, watch for the full 20-color range of these juicy wools and coordinating POMEGRANATE LANE cotton prints in your local quilts shops now!

It’s A Quilted Crow Girls Giveaway!

That’s right!  We’re again partnering with our friends at Martingale, this time to celebrate the release of the Quilted Crow Girls’ new book, Country Elegance. 

With their first hugely popular book Elegant Quilts, Country Charm, design duo Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel won fans around the world.  Now these talented Australian designers are back with stunning all-new designs featuring wool appliqué on cotton backgrounds.

Best of all, you’ve got TWO chances to win this free eBook courtesy of Martingale, PLUS a bundle of FQs from the Crow Girls’ gorgeous new group for Marcus, THE SEASONS WOOL COLLECTION, so leave a comment below, and on the Martingale blog too, to increase your chance of winning…Good Luck!

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It seems Australian design influences are big here in the US quilting market, and around the world.  Read more about some of the specific elements behind this exciting creative surge!

September is National Sewing Month!

Celebrated officially in the US since 1982, National Sewing Month is a perfect opportunity to indulge ourselves in our collective passion for sewing, quilting and all things FABRIC! Visit your local quilt shops and fabric stores, visit or join your local guild, or just gather a few friends to share some creative time…the National Sewing Month website has project ideas and more for you!

English Paper Piecing vs. Paper Piecing

One of our comments from WEEK #4 of our SewAlong asked Pati about the difference between English Paper Piecing and Paper Piecing.

“There is always a little confusion with this:

In English Paper Piecing-is a hands on sewing method –no sewing machine required.   Working with paper templates that are die cut from card stock in specific shapes and measurements like hexagons, diamonds, triangles etc…   fabric is cut little larger than the template all around –(I usually cut a generous  ¼”)   then hand stitched around the shape thru the paper  (or new glue pen method is being used a lot).   Then the fabric shapes are whip-stitched together to create you block design like Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Stars etc…  The beauty in English Paper Piecing is always the accuracy of the finished design and the hand work which is I love.  Watch out – very addicting for some.

Paper Piecing is sometimes confused with Foundation Piecing.  In Paper Piecing a design is printed or drawn on paper.   Fabric is placed on top of the paper design and stitched thru paper and fabric to create the design (usually using a sewing machine) after the blocks are sewn together the paper is torn off.  With Foundation Piecing –usually a light weight fabric is used and similar to Paper Piecing a design it can be printed or drawn on to the fabric or Crazy Quilt method where you just piece as you go but in all cases the base fabric is left in place.

Of course there are many other references for “paper piecing” –freeze paper, parchment paper etc..  This is just my spin on it.”

Our Designer SEW-ALONG Starts Today!

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Are you ready?  Today we launch “Friends & Companions” our first designer Sew-Along, featuring quilt blocks created by MB Friends & Companions Kit Fabrics 2some of your favorite Marcus designers, using Paula Barnes Companions prints!  Get the details here.   Not quite ready yet?  Just follow the blog posts and catch up as soon as you can.  By visiting each designer’s blog on her designated week, you’ll get the instructions for that designer’s block.  Leave a comment, and you’ll also be entered into weekly prize drawings during the 10-week sew-along!  We begin today with Pam Buda…here’s the full schedule:

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
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! SAL-Prizes

At the end, we reveal the gorgeous quilt (trust us, you’ll love it!) and we’ll also choose one winner will receive our Grand Prize goodie basket.  Here’s a sneak pic of just a few of the basket contents…thanks to our friends at MistyFuse and Martingale, and to all of our designers.  Sew along with us each week!

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!

The Classic Appeal of Red and Blue

GalleryRedBlueCOLLAGETrends continue to point toward the graceful elegance of red and blue with white across all design categories, which might help to explain the lasting appeal of GALLERY IN RED AND BLUE by Faye Burgos.  Her stylized florals, paisleys and coordinates are the very look being shown currently in top decorating and lifestyle publications, blogs and specialty retailers, both traditional and contemporary.

From Valentine’s Day right through to the Christmas season, red with white is a natural favorite, while blue and white is always fresh and calming. Combine them during the summer holidays and any patriotic themed activities, including the fast-approaching July 4th holiday here  in the US.

Look for GALLERY IN RED AND BLUE prints, and our free quilt pattern by Heidi Pridemore, in your local quilt shops.  You can also purchase Nancy Rink’s “Glory Days” quilt pattern at www.nancyrinkdesigns.com.

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A Year of Purples & Plums

It looks like plum is the color of choice for more traditional quilts, judging from the highlights at our Quilt Market booth.. you can call it purple, lavender, lilac, berry, mulberry, violet  or pomegranate.   It mixes beautifully with cool blues as well as earth tones and neutrals, making it a fresh (and gender-neutral) choice for home decor. Choose from MILL WORKS

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THE SEASONS on POMEGRANATE LANE, a BOM featuring both THE SEASONS WOOL COLLECTION and POMEGRANATE LANE prints by The Quilted Crow Girls…

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Quilt Market – Before Booth 2335 Became Booth 2335

Spring Quilt Market gets underway soon in Pittsburgh, PA, and most of the office crew is now onsite.  Mechelle sent along these photos of the empty booth space that will be magically transformed into a gorgeous display of new and upcoming Marcus designs & inspiration!  Stay tuned…QMSp14-EmptyBooth1 QMSp14-EmptyBooth2