Sturbridge Selects Marcus Repros to Explore the Past

Old Sturbridge Village, located in Sturbridge, MA, is the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast, depicts a rural New England town of the 1830s.  It allows visitors to step inside more than 40 original buildings, and explore homes, meetinghouses, a district school, country store, bank, working farm, three water-powered mills, and trade shops – all situated on more than 200 scenic acres. 

Authenticity is key for Sturbridge, and its collection of fabrics are no exception.  Sturbridge recently chose prints by Marcus Fabrics, a leader in reproductions for quilting.  They based their selections on colors and designs that are representative of the 1830s, choosing from among our designer collections from Paula Barnes, Pam Buda, Sheryl Johnson, and Karen Styles.  Marcus has built a solid reputation in the category of reproduction fabrics. 

While they are mostly sold through quilt shops worldwide, the fabrics are equally suitable for creating period costumes across a wide timeline.  Designers for theatrical productions, reenactment groups, museums, and historical societies can easily find the fabrics they need to outfit women, children and men alike.

Visit Old Sturbridge Village during its Textile Weekend, August 17-18, 2019 for Useful Employment: Textiles and Other Home Manufactures. Watch as costumed historians demonstrate spinning, dyeing woolen yarn, weaving, knitting, sewing, straw braiding, and sewing shoe uppers.  Discuss with them how these hand skills allowed families to use spare time at home to earn extra money, and try your hand at working a mitten or help to knit scarves for soldiers. Join a tour to make connections between each of these skills and how they were part of the economy of a rural New England Village, and of course, choose a few Marcus reproduction fabrics to bring home! Details

Trends in Mending

The trend toward intentional hand-stitching used to repair clothing holes or rips, or simply to embellish, is one of the hottest DIY activities today, and it continues to grow each season. Visible Mending is closely linked to the Slow Stitching movement — some would say it’s a modern spin-off of the trend, appealing to younger stitchers in particular, and incorporating applique, layered patches, darning stitches, embroidery stitches and more.

Pati embellishes jean with a hexie design of prints from the CONCRETE collection by Dolores Smith for Marcus.

Plus, any fun and creative techniques used for turning holes and tears into cool conversation pieces.  It also appeals to beginners because imperfection is a part of the look. And you don’t even have to wait for your clothing to show signs of wear!  

And you don’t need lots of special tools and gadgets, either! Just some of the basics… we like Aurifil’s embroidery floss and Clover Gold Eye Chenille needles. Try a variety of threads and stitches for different effects.

More tips from the pros:

· Use pins for picking and fraying edges, or simply rip the edges

·    Layering is important; the overlap is not meant to be perfect

·    Glue pens let you hold patches in place and rearrange easily

·    Fusible web is especially helpful for mending designs on larger areas.  Fuse patches to a base fabric layer for a quick, easy start.

·    Use a sewing machine to sew a grid, then embellish by hand, using the machine stitching as a guide.

·    Embellish with other elements like iron-on studs, rhinestones, beads, little labels, buttons, small found  objects, and other interesting touches. Try the scrapbooking / paper crafts section of your local craft store.

·    Work with sharp scissors

·    Try assorted thread colors, or variegated threads (pre-coordinated multi-colored threads) for more interesting effects.

The visible mending trend is fun and practical, something stitches of all ages will enjoy. The imperfection is part of its appeal, and it’s a great introduction to sewing for the younger set, especially as summer vacation time approaches! Happy Mending!

Fun Ideas for June 13 (National Sewing Machine Day!)

Did you know that June 13 is designated as National Sewing Machine Day? And with all that our trusty machines enable and empower us to do, from mindless mending to masterpiece-making, we believe that taking time out to celebrate them is a great idea! Sewing machines have come a long way over the years.

Old or new, top-of-the-line or basic, they deserve a little special fanfare, not only on June 13, but all year long, so we’ve gathered a few suggestions for you:

  • Make a fabric cover for your machine with help from FaveCrafts. They offer free patterns for 15 styles!
  • Make an appointment with your mechanic for a tune-up and cleaning.
  • Treat yourself to a few new novelty machine feet or other machine gadget, then USE THEM!
  • Spend a few minutes with the manual and learn how to use a function you’ve never used before.
  • Visit a sewing machine museum – surprisingly, they exist in several cities including: London, England; Clydebank, Scotland (formerly the largest Singer factory); Tulsa, OK; Arlington, TX; New Berlin, NY and others… When you travel, do a quick search of the city to uncover any possible machine collections at your destination.
  • No time for an involved project? Get re-aquainted with your machine with one of these Under-10-Minute projects from!
  • And while we won’t officially suggest you play hooky from work or school for a leisurely day at home with your machine(s) and your favorite Marcus fabrics, your secret is safe with us if you do!

Have any other celebration ideas to share? Tell us in the comments! Enjoy…

The Kansas City Wrap-Up!

We’re pleased to report that last week’s Quilt Market in Kansas City was upbeat and exciting! The mood overall was one of creativity and optimism, as everyone in attendance immersed ourselves in the best that this industry has to offer.

As always, it was a pleasure to meet and greet our shop owners, and industry friends and associates. Everyone was pleasantly surprised to see Indra Rampersaud, our newly retired customer service maven – she came to visit with the many customer-friends she’s made over the years! We also welcomed a few new sales reps to the Marcus family during the sales meeting.

The schoolhouse session by Vicky McCarty, and book signings by Paula and Mary Ellen of Red Crinoline Quilts, and by Sarah Maxwell, rounded out the activities at Market. Did you attend Market? What trends and style directions did you notice? These are just a few of the directions our designers noted:

  • Continued interest in visible mending
  • Oversized wholecloth printed panels, several in florals and inspirational text
  • Blue… and more blue!
  • Neutrals – whites, greys, and taupes in cooler tones
  • A resurgence of wovens, including first-time collections from some print houses.
  • Crochet is emerging as the “next” handwork direction
  • Applique – from mending to purely decorative, from heirloom to whimsical
  • Cute animal motifs with no particular animal-du-jour

Create This BOM of Soulful Pinks, Ready for October!

Introducing SOULFUL SHADES OF PINK by Laura Berringer, with a beautiful BOM quilt designed by Material Girlfriends that combines piecing with applique details.Laura’s expressive mix of dusty pinks with white and soft grey creates a fresher, more sophisticated palette for today’s breast cancer awareness projects. The Material Girlfriends developed their “Bona Fide” quilt pattern around the line, stressing specific meanings to the colors used.  In the psychology of color, Pink represents a gentle and caring love, such as a love for a girlfriend, mother, sister, or daughter. Grey represents sorrow, while White represents hope and healing.

“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, which means we all know someone fighting this disease. Our purpose for designing Bona Fide using Soulful Shades by Laura Berringer is to help us be true to the emotional roller coaster of love, sorrow, hope, and healing. This project encourages us to feel and express through color and quilting,” explained Material Girlfriends’ Lisa Norton.

With fabrics coming to quilt shops in May, you’ll be able to complete the 6-month project in time for breast cancer awareness activities in October.  In addition, a portion of all sales of Soulful Shades of Pink fabrics will be donated to support breast cancer research.

Ready for the New Designer Duo Quilt-Along?

Nancy Rink and Sarah Maxwell are all set to bring you “Mix It Up”, another exciting quilt-along project, and this one begins on May 17!

The designers “mix it up” by adding different 12″ blocks to the core combination of 18″ and 6″ blocks, and of course each uses her own fabric collections – Nancy uses DO THE MATH and GETTING TO KNOW HUE while Sarah uses her SEW SWEET BATIKS and PRETTIFUL POSIES.

And, not only can you choose to recreate one (or both!) of their quilts shown above…But you’ll also benefit from the creative input of several of the duo’s quilting buddies, including Dolores Smith of Timeworn Toolbox Designs, Elisabeth Hardy of Elisabew Quilts, Tiffany Hayes of Needle in a Hayes Stack, and Karen O’Connor of Lady K Quilts.

Happy Stitching!!

Kansas City, Here We Come!

It’s trade show time again, and with our smooth transition to Timeless Treasures behind us, we’re getting set to meet and greet all of our shop owners and associates at Quilt Market in Kansas City next month!  As always, we look forward to bringing you the best in traditional and reproduction fabric collections from the industry’s top designers, along with an exciting mix of contemporary looks!

Stay tuned for details of our Schoolhouse on creative panel merchandising with Vicki McCarty on May 16, and our Step Back in Time book signing on with Red Crinoline Quilts’ Paula Barnes and Mary Ellen Robison, and more!


Spring Quilt Market takes place from May 17-19, with education and events beginning on May 15, and Schoolhouse sessions on May 16.  More details to follow!

  Marcus Fabrics Joins the Timeless Treasures Family!

Timeless Treasures Fabrics is pleased to announce that Marcus Fabrics has joined its family of fine quality textiles for quilting, sewing and crafts.

This union combines the strengths of both companies in serving independent quilt shops and creative consumers worldwide.  Together, they will provide an expanded variety of designs, continuing their joint commitment to uncompromising quality and personalized service.

Timeless Treasures is a family-owned company, based in New York City, with more than 50 years of experience in creating beautifully printed designs for quilting, crafts, and manufacturing. Timeless is recognized for its diverse and creative designs and maintains an excellent reputation for high standards and exceptional style.  Established in 1911, Marcus Fabrics, known for its roster of talented designers, is the leading industry innovator of historical reproduction fabrics.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Marcus, whose specialties are the perfect complement to ours.  It’s an exciting time for all of us, and we look forward to bringing our shared vision to the quilting community!  We would like to thank Martin Marcus and the entire Marcus family for their century of leadership, and we look forward to continuing their legacy,” said Sari Brown Ohana, partner at Timeless Treasures.

483 Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Coming Soon to Quilt Shops Near You…

We know…spring weather is “thisclose” and we can’t wait!  And our upcoming collections prove that there’s fresh inspiration to be found everywhere, from traditional prints and palettes to silk neckties, from a tranquil garden to a coastal paradise, from an elegant manor to America’s Favorite Pastime  If you’re in need of a creative boost, check out what’s coming to quilt shops near you in the coming months:

Share Your CIRCA 1880 CLUB Picture, Like Karen Did!

Pam Buda, and all of us at Marcus, are thrilled to see the Circa 1880 Club in full swing in quilt shops across the country and beyond!  Pam just shared this photo from Karen, a friend Pam traded blocks with when creating her own Circa quilt.  Karen is one of the 70 Circa participants stitching at Pieceful Gatherings in Fox River Grove, IL:

An impressive sight!  Many of the shop’s members sent them in by mail for trading.

How is your club progressing?  Remember that your participating quilt shop can enter our video contest, to complete for the grand prize — a trunk show visit from Pam Buda, or one of two other great quilt shop prizes — have your shop look into the details!

And just for fun, club members can email club pictures for possible inclusion here on our blog!!  (Please be sure you have the permission of anyone visible in your photos before you send them.)