About Lisa Shepard Stewart

Hi - I'm the Marketing Manager for Marcus, and I handle the online content and general marketing communications, including our blog and most of the social media... We hope you'll enjoy the blog and we welcome your comments! - lisa

Mondays with Marcus!

While the real MONDAYS WITH MARCUS fun begins on October 5, we invite you to explore the various Marcus and Studio 37 Fabrics designers taking part in this very special FREE program! Get familiar with the projects and plan ahead…

Grab a sneak peek of the project slideshow here:

LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE your favorite designers on their social media outlets now in preparation for the series (you’ll find their links on our main MWM page), and be sure to join the Mondays with Marcus Facebook page and share directly with the designers and other participants during the series, which runs through December 14. And wherever you share, be sure to use #MondaysWithMarcus!

Who’s Participating??

#MondaysWithMarcus

Get Ready for #MondaysWithMarcus!

Beginning Monday, October 5, set your calendar to receive FREE PROJECTS from your favorite Marcus & Studio 37 designers. Some will also offer optional kits for their designs, while for others, you can just dig into your stash. Along the way, you’ll get to know our designers better as you Like, Follow and Share them on social media, and learn valuable, inspiring tips and tricks along the way. And did we mention that we’ll be sponsoring FREE FABRIC DRAWINGS throughout?

Be sure to join the fun, and tell your friends!

All-Star Designer Line-Up — October 5 thru December 14, 2020:

October 5 — Vicki McCarty, Calico Patch Designs
October 12 — Deirdre Bond-Abel, Hat Creek Quilts
October 19 — Pam Buda, Heartspun Quilts
October 26 — Nancy Rink, Nancy Rink Designs
November 2 — Dolores Smith, Timeworn Toolbox Designs
November 9 — Lisa Norton & Lora Zmak, Material Girlfriends
November 16 — Paula Barnes & Mary Ellen Robison, Red Crinoline Quilts
November 23 — Sarah Maxwell, Designs by Sarah J
November 30 — Cindy Staub, Quilt Doodle Designs
December 7 — Tracy Souza, Plumcute Designs
December 14 — Laura Berringer, Marcus Fabrics

#MondaysWithMarcus

Introducing… Marchives

One of the many benefits of our 100+ year history is the ready access to so many beautiful designs, and now, we’re excited to introduce Marchives, a brand featuring new Marcus collections that are inspired by some of our best designs from the past. Occasionally, through Marchives, we’ll take a look back at some of these designs, drawing inspiration with an eye toward re-creating them for today’s quilting enthusiasts. We invite you to join us in celebrating our past in this unique way…

FOR ROSA by Nancy Rink – the first collection to be released under the new Marchives label.

Our first collection under the Marchives label is FOR ROSA by Nancy Rink. Upon seeing the original prints, Nancy was reminded of her maternal great-grandmother, Rosa Reyes Wegis, and the keepsakes she stitched. Read more about Nancy’s inspiration.

Beautiful New BOM Quilts for You!

Whether traditional or contemporary, we have your BOM for 2021! We’re thrilled to introduce three beautiful new programs: FOREVERMORE, a new collection and BOM program by Pam Buda; calming RIVERSIDE by Krisanne Watkins featuring our favorite AGED MUSLINS, and GALACTIC EXPLOSION, Nancy Rink’s star-studded BOM design mixing COLOR BOMB, SEMI SOLID and SCRAP HEAP, all by Laura Berringer.  Plan now, and look forward to January for the fresh, creative jump-start we all need!

FOREVERMORE (Fabric and BOM by Pam Buda). Pam chooses a classic palette of deep cranberry, slate and sage, blended with neutrals for lasting appeal. She brings them together in a rich and varied sampler style BOM quilt. The result is a statement project any quilter would be proud to claim as a part of their creative legacy.
GALACTIC EXPLOSION (BOM by Nancy Rink, featuring COLOR BOMB, SEMI SOLID and SCRAP HEAP, all by Laura Berringer. The Best of the Basics! Nancy combines various colors and textures from your favorite Marcus contemporary basics to create a multitude of stars, in “Venus” (Bright) and “Mars” (Muted) versions.
BOM by Krisanne Watkins, featuring AGED MUSLINS by Marcus. (Photo by Aaron Leimkuehler)
Krisanne describes her inspiration for the quilt: Family vacations often found us just outside of Yellowstone, with extended family joining us in Island Park. While we also spent time inside Yellowstone, we fished and fly fished, floated down the Snake River, and enjoyed many family barbecues creek side. Rivers course across the country with life-giving (and occasionally life-taking) water.”

Register NOW for Virtual Quilt Market!

It’s time to experience Quilt Market in a brand new way…

Attention, quilt shop owners and industry professionals: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Quilt Market as we know it, like practically everything else, was cancelled for Spring 2020. It its place is Virtual Quilt Market. It all begins TODAY, June 2! Registration is open now, with various registration levels available offering exhibitor presentations, Schoolhouse sessions, business seminars and more…

We’re pleased to be a part of this new format. When you register, be sure to visit Marcus Fabrics to review our current designer collections, and details on our upcoming Trip Around the Sun BOM program by Material Girlfriends, featuring PRIMO BATIKS!

Trip Around the Sun BOM Inspires Hope

At this point, we all need something to look forward to, and fear not, quilting friends, we’ve got you covered! Our new BOM combines vivid batiks, themes of seasonal change, hope and renewal, and fun techniques you’ll love to recreate, all in TRIP AROUND THE SUN.

“This year, 2020, has been especially challenging and will not likely be a Trip Around the Sun we will forget. Remember to count your blessings. There is so much beauty within each season. Let go of fear and worry and hold tight to what is good and beautiful,” says Lisa Norton of Material Girlfriends.

The Material Girlfriends

Lisa and her twin sister / design partner Lora Zmak have found strength and optimism in this year’s events, resulting in a beautiful, colorful, and inspiring BOM quilt called Trip Around the Sun. It features colorful new PRIMO BATIKS in a quilt design created with piecing, applique and paper piecing, representing some of Lisa’s favorite elements of the four seasons. Shops can begin the program with any season, and the design duo will also support the program with online video tutorials!

The colors of the beautiful batik designs are enough to inspire – in a range of medium brights that span the seasons, these new PRIMO BATIKS provide the right palette for the theme of the quilt.

The program begins in September, and we can’t wait to bring it to you through your favorite local quilt shops and online resources! Until then, #staysafeandcreate!

Thank the World with Our “Heroic Hearts” Tote

Hey, sewing & quilting friends! How are you doing? We know many of you have been working tirelessly, sewing masks for local medical staffers, first-responders, friends and family, and beyond. At the same time, you’re stitching to express yourselves, occupy some newly-found free time, and reap the therapeutic benefits of needle and thread. And so, we invite you to join us as we Thank the World with a new and equally meaningful project — the Heroic Hearts Tote

Sarah Maxwell of Designs by Sarah J, in conjunction with Marcus Fabrics, has designed a 6” pieced heart block, incorporated into a 17” tote bag, to pay tribute and give thanks to these very special people in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ideally, a quilter would stitch up the bag, then add a “Thank You” gift, which could be baked goods, fruit, self-care items, a gift of fiber art, etc.

“We’re challenging all of our quilting friends to Thank the World along with us, by making Heroic Hearts Totes and presenting them to any heroes they choose — hospital staff, teachers, neighbors, first responders and others”  Sarah explained.

Marcus designers are also joining Sarah in the program by designing their own versions of the tote, with the 6” Heroic Heart block as the common design element. Each will provide instructions for her own variation, allowing quilters to recreate their favorites. 

Designers and quilt shops will be sure to offer kits, and we also invite you to dig into your fabric stashes for this challenge. Use your own choice of fabrics and customize the bag as you like. It’s a fun and practical way to build community, show appreciation, and connect with other stitchers both near and far!

“The focus here is on showing encouragement and support to the many thousands of people who are getting us through this unprecedented crisis,” said Stephanie Dell ’Olio of Marcus Fabrics.

And while competition isn’t the goal of this challenge, we can’t wait to share everyone’s inspiring photos of the totes and their makers, to be considered for fun fabric prizes throughout the challenge, rewarding creativity in both the tote design and the tote bag contents!  Makers should include any or all of these hashtags when posting:

#heroicheartstote       #heroichearts       #heroicheartsblockstars       #heroicheartswithmarcus   #marcusblockstars         #staysafeandcreate      #staysafeandcreatewithmarcus

DOWNLOAD the FREE TOTE PATTERN!

And be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates, shared photos from our designers and friends, and more. Thank you for everything you do! Stay Safe, and Create…

#staysafeandcreate – Designer Updates

It’s interesting how differently the current COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent shelter-in-place regulations are affecting people. As quilters, we can’t imagine how anyone could be “bored” at home. As one quilter’s social media meme said, “Bored? This the moment we (quilters) have been training for all of our lives!” Can you relate?

We asked our Marcus & Studio 37 designers how they are spending their time at home. With their travel schedules suddenly cleared for the time being, they, like many of us, are making the best of the situation quite well…

Cindy Staub of Quiltdoodle Designs has been “busy making facemasks for our local hospital and experimenting with different embroidery stitching on my Blue Ribbon and Woodland Getaway panels. (Facemask Pattern) I did do a three day quick scrappy quilt with my followers. I’m planning on blogging about some smaller projects too. I also have designed a scottie dog quilt as an additional project using the Aunt Grace Apron fabric. Need to get around to cutting and sewing…. Been spending a lot of time in my sewing room listening to audio books as I stitch.” Whew!! Impressive, Cindy ; )

Vicki McCarty of Calico Patch Designs also checked in with this update: “Here are a couple of things that I am working on. Barn Stars Runner using my Black/Tan Patch-Its and Tan/Tan Patch It’s. Just one cut using MSQs Rhombus Ruler and the stripe on the Patch-It!    Patterns and kits on my website. Also making a Periwinkle Quilt using my entire Patch-It collection!  6” squares.” Beautiful as usual, Vicki!

And Pam Bud of Heartspun Quilts celebrates today’s release of her new book, Vintage Treasures (Martingale). ” My new book is actually began shipping to shops yesterday and today.  Perhaps this is a good time to say….if you ordered one from your LQS, time to have it mailed or arrange a curbside pickup.  If you haven’t do so now to support our LQS.  If you don’t have a shop nearby, you can order it from me.” Congratulations, Pam! And of course, she’s working on a new collection, too…

How are you spending your time? Tell us in the comments… and watch for more fun designer updates soon. Until then, #staysafeandcreate !!

How to Support Your Local Quilt Shops NOW…

Hello! How is everyone navigating the new reality of COVID-19? We’re being challenged in so many ways, and now more than ever, we all realize the comfort and therapeutic value we can derive from quilting and sewing. Whether your “quarantine quilting” time is spent catching up on UFOs, participating in a virtual quilt-along or mastering a new technique, hopefully you’v ebeen able to devote some time to a creative endeavor.

We know you love your local quilt shops as much as we do, and we want to remind you that while most have been forced to temporarily close their brick-and-mortar locations due to varying state regulations, we can still show them our support. Many are still operating via phone orders, online stores, curbside pickup service and more! 

Other ways to help:

  • purchase gift cards now for post-pandemic redemption
  • forward shop emails and promotions to friends to out-of-town friends if the shop is now shipping nationwide
  • quilt guilds can Adopt-a-Shop (larger guilds can divide the membership among several shops so that all local retailers are supported)
  • ASK your local quilt shops how you can help since each will have different needs!

Stay safe and healthy, and enjoy your creative outlets as much as possible. At Marcus, we’re looking beyond this current situation with enthusiasm, and we’re continuing to ship to quilt shops, and create beautiful new fabrics for your future enjoyment!

Got Kids at Home? Let Them Quilt!

With schools closed indefinitely and an increasing number of work-from-home parents and guardians due to the COVID -19 situation, planning daily activities for your favorite little people will obviously be key for the well-being of all involved!

Once their online schoolwork is complete, try using your own interest in sewing and quilting to keep them occupied. Depending on the age group, they could be happy gluing colorful scraps to cardstock to create collage artwork.  Older kids might want to stitch together fabrics in their favorite color (by hand or machine) to make a simple pillow or tote bag.  

Whether they’ve expressed an interest in learning more about the needle arts, or the suggestion is yours, we’ve gathered a few tips for quilting with children to make the process both fun and successful!

  • Keep it simple – begin with a single block that can be made into a decorative pillow, a bed pillowcase, tote bag front, or accent block for a denim jacket back or a T-shirt. It can also become a simple art piece suitable for framing.
  • Mending is Trendy!  Show them how to creatively mend their clothes and/or add decorative patches with hand stitching and easy embroidery stitches.
  • Take into account the child’s personality when planning your quilting session. For younger kids, keep it fun (and safe) by avoiding projects that require precise measuring and cutting. Instead, pull out some precuts from your stash, focusing on the fun of design and the creativity of blending colors and patterns.  
  • For older kids, or those who are naturally inclined to math and geometry might be open to the more precision-based aspects of quilting, where templates & rulers are used.
  • Remember that children’s taste levels are more sophisticated than ever; have a variety of fabrics and embellishments available for experimentation. Provide the opportunity to work with batiks and other cool “adult” fabrics that aren’t strictly juvenile in design and coloration.
  • Let the child work with scraps of one of your own current projects, to create a small “featured block” you can use as the back label for your quilt. The label can include both of your signatures.
  • Remember, creative expression can help to relieve some of the stress of the situation for people of any age – with any luck, you might also create a budding new fiber artist in the process! Have a follow-up project in mind to keep up the momentum and encourage their efforts as they work. The follow-ups can introduce new techniques to gradually increase their quilting skills. 

Stay safe, and keep creating!