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!

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!

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!

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:

So…Who Won the AGED MUSLINS???

Thanks to everyone for your inspiring ideas about our AGED MUSLINS and NEW AGED MUSLINS.  If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to read thru everyone’s terrific ideas – including some we hadn’t even thought of!

Without further delay, the winner of our random drawing is Christina Northern, from the metro DC area.  We’re pleased to introduce this new palette to so many new fans, includung Christina, who commented:   “What an interesting idea. I have not seen this kind of thing before. But Aged Muslin sounds so interesting. Can’t wait to work with it and turn it into something distinct.”   

You’ll find most of the colors in your favorite local quilt shops now, and the newer saturated colors will be shipping soon.  

And watch for details of the new Aged Muslins BOM, Stargazing, by Krisanne Watkins of Quail Valley Quilts. (shown here)

We’re Celebrating AGED MUSLINS with a Giveaway!

TEN YEARS and still going strong!! In fact, ever since we introduced this novelty “not-so-solid” solid in 2007-08, they’ve just gotten better with time —

What separates our AGED MUSLIN from the look-alikes is a special dyeing technique that creates a faded, distressed, look.  The result is an inherent overall shading that gives the cloth gives its rich, suede-like appearance.   These qualities make our AGED MUSLINS an interesting complement for prints in pieced quilts, where a true solid would read too “flat”, and a texture print isn’t quite right either.

  • The 100% cotton range began with a few neutrals in paper-bag tones
  • Then it expanded to include blues and greys — Pair these with the season’s best denims & chambrays.
  • Next came the dusty midtones (NEW AGED MUSLINS)
  • And in 2017, we added eight saturated fashion colors to the New Aged Muslins category.

Perfect for Trendy and Traditional Quilts, Home Décor, Fashion…

  • They’ll give an authentic, aged look when paired with reproductions, or a casual effect when blended with contemporary prints.
  • AGED MUSLIN’s weave is slightly tighter than standard quilting fabrics, making it an excellent background fabric for appliqué, embroidery and other forms of handwork.
  • The collection also plays well on its own, as you can see in “Stargazing”, shown below our new Aged Muslin BOM program by Krisanne Watkins of Quail Valley Quilts.  Watch for details on line soon!(Begins September 2018, 91” x 91”)

What’s your favorite use for our Aged Muslins, including neutrals, blues and greys, dusty midtones or the newest saturated colors?  Or if you haven’t tried them yet, what would you make?  Comment below for the chance to WIN a FQ BUNDLE!! All blog comments received by Sunday, April 8 at 11:59pm are eligible for the random dawing  —  Good Luck!

Look at These Gorgeous Greens!

This just in…Stephanie Dell’Olio, president and fearless leader of our retail division, couldn’t help but notice the spike in orders for NEW AGED MUSLINS, and in particular this gorgeous selection of green tones along the center of the swatch card.  The muted, subtly shaded effect of AgedMuslinGREENSthese “not-quite-solid” muslins makes them perfect for life-like appliqued leaves and stems.

We already  know that floral applique projects are big now, so  in part that might explain it, but we always love to hear about your other creative uses for our basics. Applique? Backgrounds? Sashings? Fashion?  Do you mix them with contemporary prints or reproductions, or maybe use them in place of true solids?

In fact, that would be a fun giveaway:  Comment below to tell us how you’ve used our NEW AGED MUSLINS for the chance to win this swatch card (you’ll love this giveaway — the swatches are huge!)  We’ll hold a random drawing next Tuesday, February 3!

What’s New for Spring?

This month we reveal all-new AUNT GRACE MINIATURES by Judie Rothermel! As perfect as they are on their own, they’re even better when paired with her AUNT GRACE DOTS.  Mix the prints in traditional blocks, or try a more modern quilting treatment by combining the prints with linen.

There’s a lot more that’s new this month on MarcusFabrics, so enjoy your visit!

We’re Sorry…

Already we’ve been told by more than one shop owner that they can’t possibly decide between the two gorgeous colorways created by Faye Burgos for her M FOR MYSTERY collection!  MysteryFQStackedWe really didn’t mean to make it such a difficult decision for you…but if it helps, you could always offer BOTH the blue/rust, AND the black/pink combos!  Either way, you can’t lose with these lush floral lead patterns and their companion prints when creating our new Mystery Quilt BOM, designed by Homestead Hearth! When you start with fabrics this beautiful, you can’t help but make a great quilt!  The program begins in January, so maybe you’d better begin the color decision-making process now  ; )  Quilting friends, what do you think??

April Is…National SERGER Month?

On the heels of celebrating March as National/International Quilting Month, comes a new first, National Serger Month, from Baby Lock, a leader in the home serging category!  Like sewing machines, sergers have come a long way in helping all of us to express ourselves creatively, which means we at Marcus are all for it!  Why not?? There’s even a great contest… Check out the Baby Lock site for details, and join us in celebrating your craft all year long  ; )