You’ll Love Carol’s New Club, Its Backstory, and Our Giveaway!


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This month, we introduce “It’s Not a Square” an exciting new program we know you’re gonna love! It’s a 12-month Club by reproduction expert Carol Hopkins, with AMERICAN SWATCH BOOK prints by Judie Rothermel. Best of all, we timed the fabric production to coincide with Carol’s new book, The 4″ x 5″ Quilt Block Anthology: 182 Blocks for Reproduction Fabrics (Martingale, March 2017).  We chatted with Carol to uncover some of the interesting backstory that led to this exciting Club concept:

 

  • The rectangular shape of the blocks is a big feature of the book. What brought that about?

I’ve been a part of a block exchange group for about 25 years.  Four of us had just finished a year-long exchange of 6” weather vane blocks and were looking for an easier, and less time consuming, block.  We decided to frame a 3” x 4” rectangle with a 1” border—easy cutting, two fabrics, done!  However, on her way home from our lunch meeting, Linda Koenig had a brainstorm which she followed up on with a note to all of us, suggesting that instead of just framing a plain rectangle, we create designs that would fit inside a 4” x 5” rectangle.  She tempted us by enclosing a set of four blocks she made and we jumped in, not realizing just how challenging it would be to come up with block designs that weren’t square!CarolHopkins

  • Your new book is titled, “The 4” x 5” Quilt Block Anthology: 182 Blocks for Reproduction Fabrics”. How long did it take to amass such a variety of designs, and how did you know you were “done” at 182?

We each agreed to design four blocks a month for a period of nine months.  Since we make identical blocks for each person in the group, that meant we each sewed 16 blocks a month.  That’s a lot of sewing, but the good news is, we each had 16 new blocks at the end of the month!  When Linda showed our blocks to members of another group she belonged to, they, too, decided to design blocks; however, they did not exchange blocks.

AmerSwatchGiveawayAt the end of nine months, 182 different blocks had been created.  The quilt on the cover of The 4” x 5” Quilt Block Anthology, contains all of the blocks designed by the two groups, and was made by Linda, who, sadly, passed away shortly before the book went to press.  Other quilts in the book and its companion on-line photo gallery vary in size from wall hangings to bed quilts and showcase a variety of fabric designs and colors.

  • Tell us about the color palette – any special significance?

In our block exchanges, my group always uses fabrics that look old–Civil War reproductions, pink-and-brown prints, blue prints with shirtings, plaids /checks/stripes, and red-and-green combinations.  Linda suggested the 1880s color palette of red, blue, black, pink, and shirtings because it was one that we had not used before.

While we were able to select fabrics from our decades-old personal stashes, I was concerned that there was not a fabric collection in the marketplace that captured the look of the blocks in the book.  Martingale’s Chief Creative Officer and I approached Pati Violick from Marcus Fabrics about the possibility of asking Judie Rothermel, the pioneer designer of reproduction fabrics, to create a fabric line in our color palette.  Thus, the collaboration between a book and fabric company emerged, and I had the rare opportunity to help curate a collection of 22 prints from Judie’s personal collection of antique fabrics that resulted in the AMERICAN SWATCH BOOK line.

CarolBlogGuideBlocksI’ve taken the book and fabric collaboration a step further to create the It’s Not A Square Club that will debut in quilt shops this summer.  Using the American Swatch Book fabrics, The 4” x 5” Quilt Block Anthology book, and detailed monthly block guides, club members will make six different blocks a month to create a 57” x 78” sampler quilt of 72 rectangular blocks.

  • CarolSpoolsAside from quilts, how do you see quilters using blocks of this size and shape, either individually or grouped together?

I envision quilters using individual 4” x 5” blocks for things like mug rugs, purses, fabric postcards, and even pockets on clothing.  A grouping of just a few blocks could make unique doll quilts, basket liners, table runners, wall hangings, or mini samplers.  One of the most fun things I can think of is getting a group of friends together to work on blocks for themselves or to swap with other quilters.  The book includes tips and guidelines to help you set up a block exchange or organize a club.

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AmerSwatchGiveawayLooks like one you’ll want to add to your project list this summer!  And to get one lucky winner stared, we’ve again teamed up with Martingale to offer this book-and-fabric bundle. To enter the random drawing, subscribe to our blog (at right), and tell us in the COMMENTS what you would love most about making this quilt… Comments received by next Wednesday, April 12, 2017 are eligible for the drawing…  Go!

@jpearl05 Showed Us Her #MarcusMugshot and Won!

Our next lucky Marcus Mugrug Challenge winner is @jpearl05, also known as Pearl. Her clever juxtaposition of traditional prints with solids in a modern, wonky setting makes it just right for almost any home setting.  Nice job, Pearl!

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MugPrize29marWe’re two-thirds of the way thru the Challenge, so be sure to enter now through April 30 for your chance at a fun mug-and-fabric combo, maybe like this one.

Simply make your mugrug, up to 9″ x9″ in size, and using at least one Marcus of Studuio 37 fabric print.  Design your own like Pearl did, or recreate one of our free designer mugrug projects. Then, post it to Instagram with #MarcusMugshot (or email your entry to us).  Warning: These mugrugs are a bit addictive, but luckily, you can enter as often as you like, with a separate post or email for each entry.  Good Luck!

It’s a Blizzard… Let’s Make Mugrugs!

Our offices are closed today due to “Stella” the current blizzard along the East Coast. And even though we didn’t get as much actual snow as predicted (about 18″), the heavy, icy pellets, freezing rain and wind are even more treacherous! And what does that mean?  It’s Mugrug Weather, time to choose your favorite coffee, tea, hot toddy, cocoa or other warm and cozy beverage, and give it a pretty and proper place to sit on your table or desk.

It’s also a perfect time to show off some of the inspiring entries that have come in so far for our ongoing Mugrug Challenge.  It runs now thru April 30, so we’re only halfway thru, which means there’s plenty of time for you to enter again and again, and maybe even win one of our weekly mug-and-fabric prizes!

EmailEntriesBlizzardNo matter what’s lurking outside your windows this afternoon, everyone stay safe, and stitch up a quick mugrug (including at least one Marcus or Studio 37 fabric print)…then post it on Instagram with #MarcusMugshot, or email your photo to enter.  We’ll be that much closer to our goal of “A Marcus Rug for Every Mug”!

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!!

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!

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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!.

“Mr Swirl E Bones” Wins Again!

Please join us in congratulating Victoria on winning the Third Place INNOVATIVE PIECED award at Quilt Festival, sponsored by IQA and Tin Lizzie!  This is the fourth award for the fabulous “Mr. Swirl E. Bones”.   You might remember that her intriguing design (which featured skulls, in formation, wearing top hats!) also grabbed Judges’ Choice and Viewers’ Choice honors at QuiltCon earlier this year, as well as First Place at MQX in April. Impressive!
Mr. Swirl E. BonesVictoria Findlay Wolfe, Quilted by Shelly Pagliai, 2015
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#MarcusMakers2016

Red Crinoline Adds Some “Wow” to Your Wednesdays!

Check out the Red Crinoline Quilts blog every Wednesday for their “WOW Wednesday” features, like the gorgeous quilt they shared just last week…it shows off Red Crinoline’s “Gettysburg” quilt pattern, done in Paula Barnes’ LATIMER FARMS collection.

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Latimer’s warm browns and blues make it the perfect collection for quilts you’ll enjoy year-round, and the color combination is especially nice for “guy gifts”.  Be sure to subscribe to the Red Crinoline Quilts blog for their weekly sneak peeks, tips and inspiration!

Did You See Victoria in Warwick, NY?

If you attended the Warwick Valley Quilt Guild’s show this past weekend, hopefully, you caught Victoria’s presentation, along with some Retail Therapy from Victoria (and lots of other great vendors!)  The bi-annual guild show takes place in Warwick, NY.  Pati (shown in the right side photo with Victoria’s assistants, Laurie and Kim) was also in attendance, and she sent along a few pix of the exciting event.  Goodies at Victoria’s booth included MEADOW STORM and MOSTLY MANOR bundles and of course, inspiring quilts…

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