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

#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!

Video: Make This “Joseph’s Coat” Project with Patch-It Fabrics!

We know you’re gonna love Vicki McCarty’s expert tips for creating with her Patch-It fabrics! These pre-printed 5″ stripe designs are designed for fussy cutting and creative piecing. Watch above to see how she creates a modified (and simplified!) Joseph’s Coat design.

You’ll find three of Vicki’s Patch-It collections in quilt shops now: Patches of Autumn, Patches of Joy, and Patches of Americana. Each includes a coordinating panel along with the 5″ stripe fabrics, for more easy project options.

Enjoy, and be sure to visit Vicki online at Calico Patch Designs for her patterns, rulers, kits and more…

Designer News: Magazine Mania!

Our designers are always up to something fun, and to get the year started, we’ve got three designers with winter magazine features…let’s see what everyone’s been up to:

First, Pam Buda reveals her “Most Cherished Quilt” in the April 2020 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, as the most recent entry in their new column of the same name. Can you guess what it is? And how could she possibly choose from among all of her gorgeous works!!??

Vicky McCarty / Primitive Quilts Spring 2020 COVER!

We’re thrilled to see Vicky McCarty’s “Rabbit Patches Runner” project gracing the cover of the Spring 2020 issue of Primitive Quilts & Projects magazine! Of course, it features her own PATCH-IT pre-printed stripe fabrics. Although the official collection is called Patches of Autumn, it’s easy to see the transitional appeal of Vicky’s palette, right into spring ; ). She adds applique for a beautiful table topper or wall accent. Look for the fabrics in your local quilt shops, or visit Calico Patch Designs for kit info.

Plus… Sarah Maxwell’s PEACEFUL PETALS collection is featured in the February 2020 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, in her gorgeous quilt design called “Gray Area”. We love the decorative accents of mustard to bring out the warm and cool neutral tones in the quilt. It would work just as well with your favorite accent colors – think brick red, teal, black…or whatever works with your decor.

More Designer updates to come… Stay tuned!!

Welcome, 2020!

Thank you, quilting friends, for another year of support and inspiration! So, how did you do in 2019, creatively speaking? Did you learn any new techniques, complete some long-standing UFOs, take on a favorite BOM quilt, attend any cool retreats or expos? If so, Bravo! and if not, we’ve got a fresh new year to indulge ourselves (not to mention a fresh new decade) so there’s still hope ; )

We wish you a Joyous, Healthy and Creative New Year! One filled with your favorite Marcus and Studio 37 fabrics, great patterns, handy notions and fun gadgets — and of course, some time to enjoy it all… Happy 2020!!

Stitch Up “Woven Heritage” Baskets by Red Crinoline

“Woven Heritage” by Red Crinoline Quilts / HILL COUNTRY HERITAGE Fabrics by Paula Barnes

When Paula Barnes designed the HILL COUNTRY HERITAGE Collection, she and Mary Ellen Robison knew that the elaborate border stripe was too great to be used in just one quilt! And so, following the Hill Country Heritage BOM release comes “Woven Heritage”, a quilt pattern that beautifully showcases Paula’s elegant border stripe.

To create the 92″ x 94″ quilt, Mary Ellen highly recommends using Star Singles HST paper for the half-squre triangles that make up the basket blocks. “They provide the accuracy you need for piecing.”

Fabrics are available in your favorite quilt shops now, and the Woven Heritage quilt pattern is available through Red Crinoline Quilts.

Great Additions for Your Quilting Library!

Looking for fresh inspiration as we enter the best part of the quilting season? Check out these new and upcoming titles by some of your favorite Marcus fabric designers! The variety of themes and styles make it easy to choose holiday gifts for your quilting buddies.

Or, add them to your own gift wishlist. And, for those titles being released after the holiday season, gift cards are the obvious choice! Which titles are on YOUR list this season?

Vintage Treasures by Pam Buda (Martingale) includes miniature quilt projects done with Pam’s reproduction collections. Coming in April! DETAILS
Calico Patches features Vicki McCarty’s own “Patches” series of fabrics, using these pre-printed stripes and beginner-friendly panels in easy and creative ways. Available now. DETAILS
Blue & White Quilts (Martingale) includes Paula Barnes and Mary Ellen Robison among its many featured designers. Available Dec 2019. DETAILS
Morse Code Quilts by Sarah Maxwell (Fox Chapel Publishing) features 10 projects that express the aesthetic of modern quilts while communicating special messages. DETAILS

ICYMI: Fall Quilt Market 2019

In Case You Missed It, we’ve got some highlights from The Marcus / Studio 37 Fabrics booth at Quilt Market in Houston! Enjoy the slideshow below —

What were your favorite looks at Market? Did you spot any interesting trends? Comment below and let us know!

Houston Highlights at Booth #1114

It’s Quilt Market Time, and as always, we look forward to seeing all of you in Houston — You’ll find Marcus Fabrics and Studio 37 Fabrics in Booth #1114 with the best in traditional and trendy fabric collections, top-notch BOM programs, basics, must-haves and more! Let’s start with a sneak-peek of our newest Block-of-the-Month programs…

Then, be sure to stock up on these popular must-haves, including premium quality 108″ quilt backs in contemporary designs, new trending cheddars and browns, and an array of artful textures for piecing, applique and handwork backgrounds!

Once you’ve brought in all of this fabulous fabric, learn how to protect it! SCHOOLHOUSE happens on Oct 25 – and you won’t want to miss our session entitled “Loss Prevention for the Quilt Shop”. Join Vicki McCarty of Calico Patch Designs, and her husband Tom, a police detective with over 17 years in retail, as they share loss prevention tips, from theft deterrence to dealing with shoplifters. Prepare yourself for the critical but less glamorous area of retail life.  4:55pm-5:25pm  / Room 371E

and visit our exhibiting designers at Market:

  • Calico Patch Designs  /   Vicky McCarty                      Booth #1108
  • Designs by Sarah J   /  Sarah Maxwell                         Booth #1119
  • Material Girlfriends   /   Lisa Norton & Lora Zmak        Booth #1003
  • Nancy Rink Designs   /   Nancy Rink                            Booth #1117
  • Red Crinoline  /  Paula Barnes & Mary Ellen Robison  Booth #1115
  • Somerset Patchwork & Quilting   /   Karen Styles       Booth #1015

You’ll notice that our designers are all close to the Marcus booth, making it easy for you to take in all of the inspiration at once! We look forward to seeing you and serving you at Market… if you’re not attending, we’re sorry to miss you, but be sure to follow us on Instagram @marcusfabrics and @studio37fabrics, and on Facebook (Make It with Marcus Fabrics).