And the Winner of the “It’s Not A Square” Prize Pack is…

AmerSwatchBlogPrizeCongratulations to Jenny Brooks of Bartow, FL for winning our random drawing!  Her prize includes a copy of the big and beautiful book, The 4″ x 5″ Quilt-Block Anthology by Carol Hopkins & Linda Koenig, along with an equally big and beautiful bundle of AMERICAN SWATCH BOOK fat quarters!

Thanks to everyone for your fun comments – we know you can’t wait to create your 4″ x 5″ blocks, and it looks like for many of you, the rectangular blocks featured in Carol’s “It’s Not A Square” Club will be a new creative adventure  ; )  You’ve already confirmed for us that these unique blocks and Judie Rothermel’s fabric designs are a winning combination. Ask for the Club in your favorite local quilt shop beginning this summer.  And as always, thanks to our friends at Martingale for another great partnering opportunity!

If you’re a shop owner attending Quilt Market in St. Louis next month, be sure to attend Carol’s schoolhouse session on Thursday May 18 (11:00 to 11:30am, Room 267), and her book signing in the Marcus Fabrics booth #717 on Saturday, May 20 at 10am (arrive early – book quantities are limited!)

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!

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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Today is Flag Day!

PamBuda2016It’s June 14 already?  Here in the US we celebrate June 14 as Flag Day, so who better to check in with than Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts!  Here’s a peek at her recent blog post – I thought this photo in particular captures the spirit of the day.  Read more about Pam’s work-in-progress, Lady Liberty…

StarSpangledBothStacked…and be sure to make plans for Pam’s newest BOM, STAR SPANGLED LIBERTY! You’ll love her two options for the center row and her distinctive vertical “quilter’s flag” down the left side.  Pam also includes American anecdotal history about our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, the Pledge of Allegiance, Old Glory flag facts, and about Betsy Ross, who played an epic role in the birth of the new nation.

The 9-month program begins in September!  Quilt size: 74-1/2″ x 78″

Learn more about Flag Day!

Pam Buda’s Giveaway Is Happening NOW!

Pam Buda

Pam’s at it again, causing an online frenzy with one of her fun scrapbox giveaways!  You could win one of these just by commenting on Pam’s Heartspun Quilts blog post, now through Thursday!

Keep in mind that as much as we LOVE to read your comments here, too, only those comments left on Pam’s blog post will be eligible to win.  Enter now!!   ; )

#MarcusMarketMania – “Tributes and Treasures” Signing

Were you among the lucky recipients of a signed copy of Tributes and Treasures? The new book by Paula Barnes (seated right) and Mary Ellen Robison (seated left) has won rave reviews already, and we enjoyed hosting a book signing in their honor today at Booth 1022.  Fans stopped by the entire time to meet and greet the new Martingale authors. ..I hope Mary Ellen got a cool pen for the occasion as I suggested  ; )

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Red Crinoline Quilts fabric and book giveaway

The Tributes and Treasures GIVEAWAY Begins NOW!

Since our last post about the new book by the ladies of Red Crinoline Quilts, an office copy has arrived, and it just as fabulous as we knew it would be!  As promised, we’ve partnered up with Martingale for a fabric-and-book double giveaway, both here and on the Martingale blog.  

Red Crinoline Quilts fabric and book giveaway

Are you already a fan of Paula Barnes fabrics, or just now discovering them?  Maybe you’ve already been collecting the patterns from this design duo.  Either way, you’ll love these designs, and the lucky winner will receive a great fabric bundle of assorted prints by Paula to get started!  Just leave a comment below, and be sure you’re subscribed to the Marcus Mentions blog (scroll down to the sign-up box on the right).  Subscriber comments received by next Wednesday, October 14 will be eligible for the Marcus drawing.

REMINDER: If you’re a quilt shop owner attending Quilt Market in a couple of weeks, Paula and Mary Ellen will sign a limited number of free copies at our book signing on Sunday, October 25 at 12:00 noon (Marcus booth # 1022).  Join us, and be sure to arrive early!

#MarcusMarketMania  #makeitwithmarcusfabrics

At Home with Pam Buda, via APQ Magazine

PamHome-CoverWow! The December 2015 issue of American Quilting & Patchwork magazine (APQ) has a real treat for all of us Pam Buda fans – it’s a multi-page profile of our favorite prairie-inspired quilt designer, photographed inside her beautiful Illinois home!

Naturally, many of the designs shown are patterns available thru Heartspun Quilts, and they feature her fabric collections including TREENWARE & BERRIES and AMERICAN GOTHIC.

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Below you’ll see Pam on the left, and design director Nancy Wiles and photographer Greg Scheidemann styling a shot in her living room.  It’s great when a designer’s home and furnishings are a true reflection of her work  ; )

PamHome-4pixPeople

Visit your newsstand or quilt shop now, or order online (subscribers, watch your mailboxes) to read more about Pam, her quilts, fabric and inspiration in the magazine!

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Photos used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.           (c) 2015 Meredith Corp.  All rights reserved.

So, Who Won the “Random Reds” Giveaway?

Thanks for all of your great comments on last week’s “Seeing Red” post!  And without further delay, congratulations to Margaret McCullough of Okemos, MI.

Here’s the Random Reds bundle I pulled together from various collections…enjoy them, Margaret, and feel free to send us a pic of whatever you create with these!

RandomRedFabricPack

Past Endearments, as Interpreted by Lynn Wilder

We always love to see what Lynn Wilder’s been up to, and this particular blog posts shows off her interpretation of Judie Rothermel’s PAST ENDEARMENTS collection. Judie’s mix of cool pinks and blues with warm neutrals create a beautiful trans-seasonal look.  Once you’ve taken it all from this in-progress photo, be sure to read the full post at her Sew’n Wild Oaks blog, because there Lynn explains her Patchwork Math method for creating the blocks.  Thanks, Lynn!

past endearments - Lynn Wilder