WOOL Highlights: Our New BOM and More!

Did you know that Marcus Fabrics is quickly becoming the market’s leading resource for fine quality, 100% woven wools in the quilting and craft market? As a trusted wool supplier for over 4 years, we’re excited to be a part of the continued rise in appliqué and wool stitching projects worldwide, from traditional to trendy!

And we’re really excited to launch the Spring 2017 season with a brand new Wool BOM program, new precuts and fresh new inspiration to share! Check out the new Wool page on the Marcus website, where we’ve gathered the current wool links, tips projects and inspiration…and check it regularly for updates, new projects and more…

Now, about this beautiful new BOM program, “Tokens of Thyme”:

Pastthyme Patterns designed this beautiful 18′ x 24′ seasonal-themed design, a wool applique sampler great for a variety of skill levels. PLUS…it’s made with a 10′ x 10″ pack (20 luscious colors) — Who doesn’t love a pre-cut stack of WOOLS??

Darci Schipnewski of Pastthyme Patterns shares her inspiration for the design:
Tokens of Thyme reflects what I think of as the months of the year unfold. In the business of life, I wanted to offer something that was quick to stitch. Quilters will find the project to be versatile, with options for various finishing methods. With a manageable finished size of 18″ x 24″ this seasonal sampler will surely bring joy to your home, as you reflect upon the seasons of thyme.”  Read more…

Look for Tokens of Thyme at your favorite quilt shops beginning July 2017!  And until then, be sure to see the Wool page for other projects and more!

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!

Diane Showed Us Her #MarcusMugshot, and Won!

Well, we’re just a bit behind on this week’s challenge announcement, thanks to our late-winter blizzard closing on Tuesday, but we’re back, and thrilled to reveal that Diane Sala is our latest winner in the Marcus #mugrugchallenge!  Even those “I’m-not-a-morning-person” persons will love waking up to these bright, cheerful dots with their first infusion of coffee! Diane selected a group of 4″ x 5″ squares of GO-GO! DINO! prints at our QuiltCon booth, and we love her arrangement of HSTs (half-square triangles). Winner5-DianaSala

She then submitted her photo via email, and you can too, in addition to entering via Instagram post using #MarcusMugshot.  We’re about halfway thru the Challenge, so while there’s still time to enter (as often as you like) now through April 30, we can’t wait to see what you come up with! Remember, just be sure to include at least one Marcus or Studio 37 fabric and create any shape, sized up to a max of 9″ x 9″.  Good Luck, everyone!

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”!

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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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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Announcing our “Plum Perfection” Winner…

plumperfectiongiveawayAnd the winner of this lovely little grouping of Marcus PLUM solids, prints and flannels is…

Linda Douglas of Livingston, MT, who shared: “Hi, love purples of all shades! I’m thinking of dark purple eggplant.This collection is gorgeous! Thanks for introducing this collection+sharing some too!”

Thank you to all of you who join us in celebrating this wonderful color  ; )

Grumpy Cat…on Broadway TOMORROW!

Crain’s New York reports that the internet sensation herself will be worked into the end of tomorrow’s performance of “Cats” on Broadway. tomorrow evening (Friday, September 30)!  We wonder if the online feline demanded that her dressing room to be decked out in her new cotton prints and flannels

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The VFW Quilts Store Opens This Friday!

VFW-BlueHeadshotFans of Victoria Findlay Wolfe won’t want to miss the grand opening of her new shop this Friday!!  And in honor of the Quilters Take Manhattan mega-event this weekend, she’s planned special grand opening hours of 11am to 7pm this Friday, September 23, and 4pm to 7pm this Saturday, September 24.

vfwshopboltsIf you’re in NYC, stop by to say hello, and to pick up her latest collections for Studio 37 Fabrics, plus her threads, templates and more. Learn more at VFWQuilts!

Congratulations, Victoria – we all wish you a fun and successful launch!  Or, in your own words, “YAY!!”    ; )

Sew, Indra, Sew!

IndraSewingADon’t you love newbie sewing enthusiasts?  Indra stays so busy as our customer service manager, she rarely has time to stitch in the office (sadly, none of us do, really!), but her need for a quick curtain at home prompted this lunchtime session at our office Brother machine.  Such focus  ; )

I loved her remark about the awesome hand and overall quality of Marcus cottons!  As we seasoned office sewers already know, “to sew Marcus is to love Marcus.” I think she’s hooked!