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…

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).

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.

Cheddars are Trending, and We Love It!

Always popular among the reproduction crowd, cheddars have always been popular, often in combination with rich warm browns and other accents! These days, you’ll also find it in flannel prints and plaids, reproductions, even contemporary textures, as shown below. Even better, you’ll find it all year long, not only limited to autumn / harvest projects. So, choose your favorites and spice up your quilting with a few cheddars ; )

Visit the Marcus fabric gallery to view Cheddar & Chocolate, Tarrington, Semi Solid, Paula’s, Patches of Autumn, Maple Lake Flannels, Primo Flannels: Maple Lake and Harvest, Scrap Heap, Temecula Treasures, Companions, Songbook: Harvest, Special Scraps.

Meet Your New Favorite Fabrics…

It’s August, and at Marcus Fabrics & Studio 37, that means it’s time for one of our biggest and best introductions of the year! Whether your creativity leans more toward traditional/ reproduction style, or you prefer a more trendy, contemporary feel (or maybe BOTH??) we’re pleased to present you with a plethora of exciting options from your favorite Marcus designers! To get more fully acquainted with these beautiful collections, visit MarcusFabrics.com

First, let’s get started with Marcus…

Golden cheddars, rich blues, traditional prints and shirtings, and the building blocks of a great quilt!

You’ll also love these designs from Studio 37:

Bold colors, florals, dots, stripes and textures!!

Fun stuff, right? And not only for quilts, but also for crafts, home decorating — from pillows to table settings — to handwork, applique, mending, embroidery, artful clothing and sew much more. Enjoy!

Have You Seen Our BOM Quilts for 2020?

View the Slideshow!

Our big, beautiful new BOM programs for 2020 have just been released, and with traditional, contemporary and updated classic looks, we’re sure you’ll find a favorite among them! View the slideshow above for a preview…

Reunion features Sarah Maxwell’s FULL CIRCLE collection, a tribute to Judie Rothermel ‘s signature reproduction style, in an updated, slightly brighter palette.

Harmony is Nancy Rink’s new BOM, designed with prints from her NIGHT RIVIERA collection of cool, calm purples and greens. It continues her exploration of medallion style quilts, with well-placed touches of applique, or course!

And the Red Crinoline ladies bring us Hill Country Heritage, designed in a gorgeous fabric line of the same name by Paula Barnes. The HILL COUNTRY HERITAGE prints were inspired by an antique border stripe.

Quilt Shop Owners: Reserve a Trunk Show Model

Do you own a quilt shop? If you’re interested in available dates for Sarah Maxwell’s Reunion quilt, and Red Crinoline Quilt’s Hill Country Heritage quilt, please contact the respective designers directly. Simply email: sarah@designsbysarahj.com; or call Mary Ellen Robison at Red Crinoline at 281 232-2583.

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!!

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: