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).

Congrats to Our Circa 1880 Club Winners!!

It’s time to announce the winning quilt shops in our Circa 1880 Club contest!

The winner of our GRAND PRIZE – a trunk show visit from Pam Buda — goes to Village Dry Goods in Brigham City, UT! Congratulations, Village Dry Goods! Their video captured the fun, sharing and creative spirit of the Circa Club perfectly, as you’ll see below… And we bet you’ll be sharing another video once Pam arrives!

  • First Prize was awarded to QUILT MERCHANT of Winfield, IL. By posting the greatest number of photos under #circa1880club), Quilt Merchant received a $750 Marcus Fabrics Gift Certificate!
  • Second Prize was awarded to HOMESTEAD HEARTH of Mexico, MO. They had the greatest number of Club participants based on pattern sales through Heartspun Quilts, earning themselves a $500 Marcus Fabrics Gift Certificate!

On behalf of Marcus Fabrics and Pam Buda / Heartspun Quilts, we congratulate all of the winners, and we thank everyone who participated in the Circa contest, as well as the Club itself!

And remember, it’s not over… Pam’s got new prints coming soon to keep the excitement going – check out her NEW CIRCA ESSENTIALS and NEW CIRCA SHIRTINGS

A Sophisticated Take on Pinktober Quilts…

Photo: Material Girlfriends Patterns

Since its inception in 1985, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has served to increase attention and support for awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.  This campaign starts on October 1 and ends on October 31 every year, and is marked in countries around the world and has come to be known as “Pinktober.”

As we all know, our quilting community has always engaged its passion for the benefit and support of others in times of need, and projects aligned with the worthy cause of breast cancer awareness are among the most rewarding for creative stitchers, incorporating the familiar “pink ribbon” fabrics and embellishments. 

Now, as the movement matures, fabric offerings are keeping pace, as illustrated by the SOULFUL SHADES OF PINK collection by Laura Berringer for Studio 37 Fabrics.  Most notably, the palette takes a more refined tone, with updated, more sophisticated shades of pink, blended with shades of grey and white. 

By refreshing the color scheme and mixing prints with both ribbon and non-ribbon motifs, Laura takes the collection beyond the October theme, creating a year-long expression of love and hope.

Seeing the fabrics, the design duo at Material Girlfriends Patterns created the Soulful Shades of Pink BOM, using their Bona Fide quilt pattern.   Twin-sisters Lisa Norton and Lora Zmak took Laura’s inspiration a step further, explaining the significance of the colors:

“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which means we all know someone fighting this disease. We are complex emotional individuals, and as textile artists, we use color to express and process our involvement with breast cancer. So why use pink to promote the awareness of Breast Cancer? In the psychology of color, Pink represents a gentle and caring love, such as a love for a girlfriend, mother, sister, or daughter.   While the Grey represents sorrow, the White represents hope and healing.”  Their combination of the Bona Fide pattern with these fabrics “helps 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.”

For quilt makers and recipients alike, we know that this very special quilt will accomplish its mission of hope and healing. A portion of all sales of Soulful Shades of Pink fabric will be donated to support breast cancer research.