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Monday, November 30, 2020

Monday's With Marcus ~ Cindy Staub ~ QuiltDoodle Designs

This past week flew by at warp speed.  I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving Day, albeit very different from years past.  While the world deals with this Covid crisis, there is so much to be grateful for!  Among my many blessings, I gave thanks to Dr. Fauci for his tireless work to update our nation on what to do to keep us all safe, all of the first responders and front-line healthcare workers taking care of patients suffering from this horrible virus, and to the unnamed and unknown scientific research professionals who have worked so hard to develop a vaccine to ease human suffering.  Those are the Rock Stars I admire!  

With Thanksgiving now past, we all look forward to Christmas.  My home is about half way decorated.  Hoping to have it all done by Friday so I can just enjoy it all.  The weather here in Chicagoland is now nippy with snow flurries today.  Certainly gets us in the Christmas spirit and wanting to curl up in a cozy flannel quilt.

This week's Marcus designer is Cindy Staub of Quilt Doodle Designs.  Cindy loves to work in Marcus' Primo Plaid flannels.  She combines the flannels with her charming applique designs.  She does so many wonderful things....you just have to visit her website to see it all!  Click here to receive all Cindy's goodies ~ free pattern, buy her kit and watch her video.

Don't miss your chance to win fabric!!  Be sure to LIKE/FOLLOW/SHARE at Monday's With Marcus Facebook page!!  

I am expecting several fabric deliveries this week!!  Plumberry, and ForeverMore so stay tuned.  I'll be doing a Happy Dance when it all arrives.  The fabric mills and customs ports have been backed up from Covid, so it's been taking a lot longer to receive fabrics.  Boo!!!  I'll be sure to post news when it all arrives.  

In the meantime, keep on stitching, stay safe and be well!  


Monday, November 23, 2020

Monday's with Marcus ~ Designs by Sarah J ~ Sarah Maxwell

Can you believe this is the eighth Monday with Marcus designers?  Wow....time is flying by, and if you've been waiting for this particular Monday, wait no more!  Sarah Maxwell has been a Marcus designer for a very long time.  She switched from designing historic reproduction prints to a more modern style, and boy is she good at it!!  She is also a book author and quilt shop owner, partnered with another Marcus designer you met a few weeks ago, Dolores Smith.  Together, they own the Homestead Hearth quilt shop.

Don't forget to visit Monday's With Marcus Facebook page to LIKE/FOLLOW/SHARE for a chance to win this week's fabric giveaways!!  Love this!!  

Did you know that this week, all of the designers of #MartingaleTPP new book, Red & Green Quilts, are offering a FREE book giveaway??  Many are offering other prizes as well.  

Visit each designer's Instagram account, FOLLOW them, and read their Instagram post for what to do to win a book/prizes!!  That's it!  Many thanks for Martingale Publishing for supplying the books to give-away!!  Yay!  Here are all the designers' links.

#redandgreenquilts  #martingaletpp #giveaway

@corianderquilts. #corianderquilts
@minickandsimpson #minicksimpson
@yardgrl60.    #susanache
@betsy_chutchian #betsychutchian
@joquilts #jomorton
@temeculaquiltco #temeculaquiltco
@lisabongean #lisabongean
@heartspunquilts #heartspunquilts
@karenatsomerset #somersetpatchwork
@carol_hopkins_designs #carol_hopkins_designs
@modalissa #modalissa
@martingaletpp ##madewithmartingale 


Monday, November 16, 2020

Monday's With Marcus ~ Red Crinoline Quilts ~ Paula Barnes & Mary Ellen Robison

 Oh, Happy Marcus Monday, everyone!!  Today, we spotlight my dear friends, Paula Barnes and Mary Ellen Robison of Red Crinoline Quilts!   This dynamic duo create some of the most gorgeous traditional quilts of our time.  I love their work!!  Paula designs historic reproduction fabrics for Marcus and I've been a fan for a very long time.

Did you buy a kit ahead of time to sew along with them?  I hope so!  I can't wait to check out their video and see what hints they have to offer.  I've taught with Paula several times and have learned quite a bit just from hanging around her, so I'm sure you will, too!  Be sure to LIKE/FOLLOW/SHARE on the Red Crinoline Facebook and Instagram pages for a chance of a giveaway of some of Paula's fabric.

Do the same at Monday's With Marcus Facebook and Instagram pages, too.  Have you seen all the fat quarter bundles Marcus has given away already?  Don't miss YOUR chance to win!! 

Sewing Room Make-over Update

I'm almost done with moving everything back into my sewing room.  I work on things a couple of hours in the morning, taking my time, and deciding just how I want to handle storing things.  What I'm talking about are UFO's, projects in-the-works, scraps that have been starched but need cutting, and scraps that need starch.  All the odds and ends we have.  

I want to keep my space pretty and functional.  So, I'm trying to come up with ideas to store things in attractive ways.  I have plenty of storage space.  Before, the cabinets were just jammed with years and years worth of stuff....I didn't even remember what was there, to tell the truth.  Now, I have open shelves!  So exciting!  

In the photo above, I bought two pretty storage boxes from Michael's to keep the fabric for two larger quilts together.  I used to put it all into clear plastic bags so I could see what was in there, but it all became a mountain of bags that slid around and made a mess.  Now, all the stuff I need is in the box, and it all looks really nice.

I've had these photo boxes for years, and they sat empty.  (DUH, Pam!)  Now, they hold fabrics for smaller works-in-progress and fit inside a cabinet.  That keeps the clutter off the floor and out of sight.

I have a few mini projects going and all those boxes were just way too big for the tiny little pieces of the mini quilts.  During my purging, I came across this adorable box that I received while taking a class years ago.  My kit for this cross stitch sampler came in it.  It was perfect for one of my mini projects.  But....I need a few more of this size box, so I decided to play!

I have a bunch of these paper boxes in the basement....not doing anything useful.  Well, I'm about to change that!  This is a 5 x 7 box, but they come in a wide variety of sizes at the hobby stores, and they're very inexpensive.  

I had this bottle of paint handy, and using a sponge brush, painted a thick coat of paint to the bottom and top Saturday morning.  By the afternoon, it was dry.

My friend, Karen makes the most adorable cards, and I loved this one and saved it.  This sweet picture would be perfect for my box.  I cut the back of the card off.

I happened to have this product from Paper Source on hand, but good 'ol Modge Podge works well, too. 

I applied the first coat under the greeting card, to the top of the box only, to glue the card to the top.  I allowed it to dry a few hours.  Then, later in the afternoon, I covered the entire box and allowed it to dry overnight. 

This was my gift in the morning!  Isn't it so cute!!  

I'd much rather look at these pretty boxes than a bunch of plastic bags.  And....they're functional.  They fit into my cabinet and clear my counter top for whatever I'm currently working on.  

I'm thinking they would be so fun to make for tucking Christmas gifts inside, and the box is a gift as well.  Save your cute greeting cards, photos or other paper memorabilia and decorate a box.  It took minutes to make (hours to dry but I was doing other fun things) and costs pennies.  And, I was totally playing - it was fun!!  

Hope this idea is something that you can use in your life.  If you have pretty storage ideas, I'd love to hear from you!  I have a few more things cooking in the sewing room to share in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.  

I encourage you to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for behind-the-scenes posts that don't appear here on the blog.  

Be well, my friends....keep on stitching!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veteran's Day ~ Quilt of Valor

A few days ago, Maureen E., of Portland, OR, emailed me a little story and this photo I thought I'd share with you.

It seems that Maureen saw my Plantation Stars 
pattern and thought it would look great in red, white and blue.

She bought the pattern so her Northwest Quilters Quilts of Valor volunteer group could make it.  

Actually, 91 year old Joy Nichols pieced the quilt, and Jane Ratcliff longarm quilted the quilt.

I adore their red, white and blue version and I am so, so honored they chose my Plantation Stars pattern to give to a veteran!!!   Thank you, QOV volunteers, for your hours of work making quilts to comfort our veterans!  

Today is Veterans Day

Let's honor all of our veterans, for their service and sacrifice to our country, and keep them in our hearts all the year though.


Monday, November 9, 2020

Monday's With Marcus ~ Material Girlfriends


I don't often say 'Yay' on Monday morning, but I am today because it's yet another Monday's With Marcus day! 

Meet Lisa and Lora of Material Girlfriends.  They LOVE Batiks!  Do you?  Then you should be girlfriends with them, too.  Please browse their website (above) where you will, of course, find the free pattern for their "Lovely Weather For Ducks" applique design and loads of other goodies.

Don't forget to LIKE/FOLLOW/SHARE on Monday's With Marcus Facebook page and Instagram for FABRIC GIVEAWAYS each and every week!!!  Who doesn't LOVE that????

My stash closet is about 40% purged and organized.  Only the last shelf and the floor have been sorted, re-stacked and regrouped.  I will tackle the other shelves as time goes by.  This is already a huge improvement!   I look for fabric by color, so I sort it by color.  I also separate it by tonals and prints within each color as it makes it that much easier for me to find what I'm looking for.  
I am determined to have a functional AND pretty sewing studio, so I am rethinking many of the ways I use and store (which formerly would mean pile-on-the-floor) tools, notions and ongoing projects.  

One of the things I did that I am really enjoying was to buy some antique hangers, so I can drape a couple of quilts, and hang them on the outside of the closet doors.  I have so many quilts and can't possibly display them all at once.  You, too?  This way, I can rotate them every so often and enjoy them for awhile.  It's good that they aren't folded up all the time, too.  

As I go along reorganizing my sewing space, I'll try to share some of the things I am doing to keep my sewing room functional and pretty.  It's not a huge space, remember, but I have cabinets and shelving that I can use, I just have to maximize what I have.  

Today....no matter what....I will find some time to sew in my new, happy place.  Our weather here in Chicagoland has been summer-like, really unseasonably mild for a week, that everyone is in a great mood.  Windows open, air is fresh and warm. The only thing that's somewhat strange are the Christmas carols I hear coming from the garage as my son is taking advantage of the warm weather to decorate the bushes with our Christmas lights.   Smart guy!  

My hope is that you and your family are healthy and happy!  Off to sew something.........

Monday, November 2, 2020

Monday's With Marcus ~ Timeworn Toolbox ~ Dolores Smith


Well.....hello once again!  It's another bright and sunny Monday which means our next Marcus Fabrics' designer has her turn.  Today, let me introduce you to Dolores Smith of Timeworn Toolbox.  

Dolores is known for her very soft and muted colors.  Her look is super special and you really must check out her fabric.  I can't wait for you to get to know her!!!  

Visit her website (above) to download her free "Harvest In A Row" pattern and browse to see what else she has to offer.   Oohhh....this is so much fun!

Don't forget to LIKE/FOLLOW/SHARE Timeworn Toolbox's social media for fabric giveaways!

And, by now you also know to do the same thing at Marcus Fabrics' Instagram and Monday's With Marcus Facebook page!!  Did you see the fat quarter bundles that were given away last week??  Gorgeous!!! 

Sewing Studio Update

This is a 'Before' photo of my sewing room.  The carpet was original from when we built our home 25 years ago and just needed to be replaced.  You can kinda see the chipping of the laminate floor a bit in this photo.  It was really bad all over.

This room is not that big, but I try to make the most of it, grateful that I have a room dedicated to my business and sewing messes.

Now, the renovation of my sewing studio is complete.  At least the part where someone else is doing the work.  So, so happy with the color of my new carpet.  The carpet installer thought I was nuts picking that color.....but what does he know?

A new laminate floor was installed and extended so my roller chair won't be hitting the lip strip and tearing it up. 

I added a magnetic black board next to my bulletin board.  That is where all my new quilt design ideas and fabric lines get their start.  A new place to pin, tack and doodle!  

Now, it's my task to organize and bring back all of the stuff I want in there.  Truth be told, I've been going through cabinets and drawers for months now, but there's a bit more to be done.  I don't have a whole lot of time to mess with that stuff....I have to get back to work.  And, I haven't sewn in quite awhile and I MISS IT!!!  

It's all be keeping me busy (to say the least) and safely tucked in the house most of the time.  I hope you're safe and well.  I'll post again soon with more updates on what's coming very soon in the way of new quilts and fabric lines.

Best wishes for surviving this election week!  The endless onslaught of political commercials should be deemed cruel and unusual punishment!!! 

Be well, dear quilting friends!