Hey Pickles,

rogregg.jpg  Jeff and I met with lead Northcott designer, Ro Gregg, to show her our new line — the one that will appear in stores AFTER califon is released at Spring Market in Portland in May.   This new one will debut at Fall Market in Houston.   She liked it a lot and even called us later to say that our stuff just keeps getting better and better.  We were very happy. 

It’s really nice to have a fabric company actually manage a line and offer guidance and support, rather than just blindly throwing shit on a wall and seeing what sticks.  There is a lot of communication with Northcott, discussion about sales strategies, marketing, etc.  I guess that’s why they’re an industry leader. Someday, you’ll read all about it in my book!  LOL  

So far, this has been a good move for me.  I’m finally learning the right way to design fabric and it’s thrilling — and a lot more challenging and interesting than I once thought. 

 In the meantime, chickens, if you have an idea for a fabric line — meaning — want to design your own fabric line and have something on paper — please email me.   Maybe you can design for Mark Lipinski Home for Northcott


I’m always on the hunt for new talent — both for the magazine front and now for the MLHome department. 


After our design team meeting, Jeff and I hit the mall.   We went to what is considered a very tony mall in New Jersey — The Mall at Short Hills.  It’s gorgeous (for a mall) and has absolutely the most high end shops and clothiers that I have ever seen (and it ain’t cheap).  

 But I’ll tell you this: Never in my life have a seen such an excess of “Fashion Don’ts” walking the cavernous marbled hallways in my entire life!  I was hysterical. 

fashion-victim.jpg fashion-victim.jpgfashion-victim.jpgJeff and I kept giving each other the eye and whispering, “Did you see that?!?”  Pullleeessszzze.  Don’t tell me you’ve never done that yourself!  Dear God!  You would have D-I-E-D!

Now, you know I would have snapped pictures of these fashion monstrosities, but I was afraid I’d get caught, and even I have limits, my dears! 


You gotta love this fountain.  It fills with water then spits it out from the top.   The photos do it no justice.

short-hills-mall-021.jpg  short-hills-mall-043.jpg

OK, time to reveal my true self (again).  I got snagged by the Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal Department.  I couldn’t help it.  It was right there!  Just as I walked into the building from parking lot to store…BAM!  Bridal gowns.  

Besides food, bridal fashion is my most favorite thing in the world.  You know I collect all kinds of shit.  If I had the room, I’d collect bridal gowns.  I love the embellishment, and the satin and beadwork and threadwork and lace and, well, I blame it all on the Sisters of Charity.  Of course I’m drawn to the gaudy — can you blame me?  I spent literal years starring at women dressed in simple, caped black habits (and that’s a tough habit to break)!

 Trusty camera in hand (sans flash) I snapped a few photos of some of the embellishment work.   Now know that no gown was under $6000.   Of course the one I liked was $8000.   So worth it (unless I had to pay for it for MY daughter). 


short-hills-mall-001.jpg  The beading was actually done on netting and then the whole piece was appliqued to the satin.

This entire gown was ornate raw edge applique and beading.  I almost fainted.  I wish I could have gotten the whole shot for you but I was afraid I’d get kicked out of the joint.   Amazing.short-hills-mall-003.jpg

short-hills-mall-004.jpg  The interesting part of this gown was that the entire tiered gown was just silk or rayon seed stitches.  Nothing more.  Just 1/4″ random stitches. I thought, “Shit, man, I can do that on quilting fabric!”   And so can you!  It adds such simple elegance.  Try it!

short-hills-mall-005.jpg  I met these two adorable, sweet chipmunks as they were watching me snap photos from behind store pillars.   The lady on the left told me that she only parks on that side of the mall so that she can come through the same door I did and peek at the bridal gowns. 

She told me the sweetest story.   Sixty years ago, when she was shopping for her own wedding gown, she shopped in every store in Manhattan and was forced to call her father to tell him that, although she looked everywhere, all she could find was a gown that was $250.    “He told me that was too expensive and to keep looking.”  

My, how times have changed.   I paid less for my first car than the least expensive gown that I saw today.   By the way,  the lady called her dad again, and her father allowed her to buy the gown she had fallen in love with.  $250.  The year  was 1948.

Not all embellishment has to be ornate.  Take a look at how just simple faux  pearls dress up this printed scarf.   Sometimes a little says a lot.   For instance, a little cake makes for a big ass.  short-hills-mall-006.jpg

Here is another example of simple embellishment that caught my eye from across the mall.   It is just a bead on a running stitch.  Very eye catching and would draw people right into your quilt and dress it up, easily. Another technique for you to try out.

short-hills-mall-028.jpg   short-hills-mall-029.jpg

Loved this shirt.   Well, not the shirt so much as the fabric.


Can’t you just see a pearl or bead in the center of each daisy?   Love it!  short-hills-mall-008.jpg

Yes, turtles, patchwork shorts are VERY in this season.  Cut up your old tops that you haven’t quilted yet and make an easy pair of drawstring shorts.   Just in time for summer. 


short-hills-mall-017.jpg  short-hills-mall-018.jpg

Jeff and I decided that this is how we’ll dress up our pool area this summer.  This was in the window of Restoration Hardware (this store, by the way, has lost a lot of its steam as far as I’m concerned).   I have to say, before YOU say it, I’m very drawn to the Katmandu-ish themes.


short-hills-mall-037.jpg  short-hills-mall-038.jpg

I saw this in Crate & Barrel.   Fabulous cobalts (that you can’t really see).  What a quilt or fabric this would make! 


On my quest for more applique from pottery designs, I found these at Williams Sonoma.  Click on the images to see larger pics.

short-hills-mall-045.jpg  short-hills-mall-044.jpg    short-hills-mall-046.jpg

Black and White is in.  At least if you live in Short Hills.  It is everywhere — along with splashes of red. 


short-hills-mall-015.jpg  short-hills-mall-050.jpg

I would like to see all of the Pickles (every single one of you) in this get up!   Can you imagine?  Hot pants are back in style.  Blech!


mlhome-finallogo.jpg califon

Now I promised you a sneak peek at my new line, califon.  So over the next several weeks, leading up to quilt market, I’ll debut some of the line just for you Pickly-poos! 

Since B&W are the fashion forward colors, I decided to create a stunning B&W line — that can be minimally embellished.

Drum-roll please:




Click on these to see a full size of the accent colors

  califonoranges6.jpg   califongreen6.jpg  califonpurple6.jpg califonmulberrys6.jpg


Here are the yellow and blue versions of this particular design.



Now, kids, this is just a VERY SMALL taste of what’s to come in the califon fabric line.

To get your shop to see the entire line and/or order califon, have your shop owner call

Bernie or Vic at (201) 672-9600 


What the hell was this!?!? 

I jumped when poor Amanda Overmyer (ridden hard, hung up wet) came out to sing (if that’s what you call it) on Idol last night.  I thought The Bride of Chuckie might be subbing for her (either that or Lainie Kazan took the stage) or worse!  Horrors!

Will the real American Idol please stand up?

overmyer.jpg  bride_of_chucky.jpg lainie-kazan.jpg

or   skunk1.jpg 


This is the funniest blog entry EVER about Quilter’s Home. It’s from Bunny Hill Designs.  I love the Bunny Hill Designs so the fact that she likes the magazine is a bonus — but she didn’t always like it — she may still be having second thoughts!   LOL  Click here to read all about it.

Designer and AQS author, Karen Griska’s blog has a friendly mention of that damn Foreward I fretted over. 


There is a great article about Long Armer Janice Jamison in today’s Star Ledger.  Click here to read it (I hope).  Janice has quilted many of my quilts and is a dear friend, to boot! 

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26 Comments on “thurs-day-on-pick-le”

  1. February 28, 2008 at 4:39 PM #

    OOh – califon! Love that black and white…and the yellow.
    Can’t wait to see more!!!


  2. Linda
    February 28, 2008 at 5:25 PM #

    Loved the peek at the new fabric! I have never been one for hand work but that fabric is making me itch to try some beadwork!


  3. Patty
    February 28, 2008 at 5:49 PM #

    OMG! Sisters of Charity!! They ran the school I attended, too. YIKES. I now have much insight into your personality. Thanks for the Bunny Hill tip — this weekend I will make the quilt with the yoyos for Bhu’s groomer, who is having a baby in a few weeks.

    Yes, my dear, thanks to Mother Seaton I’m totally screwed up! BTW, Meryl Streep plays a Sister of Charity in her new movie! 🙂 xoxom


  4. February 28, 2008 at 6:03 PM #

    Mark – you are a riot! Love the fabric line – it is beautiful – I’ll take 10 bolts of each please hand delivered if you would! LOL

    Oh, and also could you please pencil Kathy and I into your busy schedule while at spring market in Portland? Speaking for myself – I would love to go on a shopping trip around town with you, it would be the highlight of quilt market! I’d probably LMAO the entire time! In fact I’ll bring a change of clothes with because I’ll probably pee my pants the way you keep us all laughing!

    Congrats on the fabric line and I wish you well!

    Tara, I’ll either be in the CKMedia booth or the Northcott booth — and they’re right across the aisle from each other. I’ll see you in Portland, sis-tah! xoxom


  5. February 28, 2008 at 6:04 PM #

    I am liking this fabric! I just bought some Superior varigated thread that would look terrific with the blue colorway!


  6. February 28, 2008 at 6:34 PM #

    Oh my goodness – I am loving the fabric – I am particularly drawn to the black/white & white/black ones…. very dramatic!!!


  7. TerriC
    February 28, 2008 at 7:34 PM #

    Mark, I love the black and white prints! So much so that the colors don’t turn me on. I hope at least one of my LQS carries your line!


  8. February 28, 2008 at 8:30 PM #

    Califon is fantastic! I am really liking this….And like Kim, those black & white ones are really talking to me.


  9. February 28, 2008 at 8:34 PM #

    Wow, Mark! You have done a great job designing, again. I like the black and white ones the most!


  10. Bonnie
    February 28, 2008 at 8:45 PM #

    Hey Mark, the black and white looks great, but the yellow is still my favorite! What the heck, I’ll probably get some of each…

    You and I both know that when it comes to fabric we have no choice at what ends up in our shopping carts! Love you, Mary/Bonnie! 😉 xoxom


  11. ABB
    February 28, 2008 at 9:47 PM #

    Bride of Chucky, hahahahahaha Last week I thought she looked like Elvira (but without the bosom).


  12. February 29, 2008 at 12:44 AM #

    I love your blog! And your mag! The fabric is awesome and I can’t wait to see the rest.

    You are so right about less embellishment is more. I laughed out loud at your cake and ass example!

    cake = ass = the story of my life. xoxom


  13. Mary Ellen Zeitz
    February 29, 2008 at 12:52 AM #

    The Califon fabric is wonderful … especially the blue! Wow! I’m visualizing that it would make an intriguing blouse … embellished around the collar &/or sleeves.
    And your pics of NJ bring back good memories of when I lived in Bloomfield. Keep ’em coming!

    Bloomfield, NJ has the MOST AMAZING needlework shop — ever! It’s in an old warehouse area, so it’s kinda hard to find but it is totally remarkable. It’s called The Edwardian Needle. It is so worth a visit. Truly a jaw dropping experience. xoxom


  14. Andee in Wisc
    February 29, 2008 at 1:05 AM #

    My 18 year old daughter has one of those patchwork skirts in a different colorway, but it is adorable on her and I just might have to make me a pair of those shorts!


  15. mary from utah
    February 29, 2008 at 1:41 AM #

    Hey Mark… Are ya feelin’ the love? Anne from Bunny Hill had some very nice things to say about you today.

    Dude, didn’t you see her link in today’s blog? I tried to surprise her with a phone call yesterday but hung up when I got her machine! xoxom


  16. Carleen
    February 29, 2008 at 2:27 AM #

    I absolutely love your Califon – it is awesome and I can’t wait to see it “for real”!!!


  17. Sue
    February 29, 2008 at 2:38 AM #


    The blue and yellow fabrics are exquisite! I’d love to help you guys design fabric and stuff…I’d better get working 🙂

    My wedding dress was custom made for me by a designer in NYC (whose name escapes me right now). It is entirely made from off-white silk dupioni with embroidery on the bodice, hem, and sleeves. I fell in love with the fabric before the dress! (no big surprise).

    Sue in NJ


  18. February 29, 2008 at 4:15 AM #

    LOL about the short shorts — NO, you do NOT want to see me in that outfit. (giggles) I’m afraid it would blind you (and NOT from joy). LOL

    Love the blog (and mag).

    🙂 Linda


  19. February 29, 2008 at 4:41 AM #

    FAAAAAAAAAAAAABRIC! And I am SOOOO FREAKIN’ EXCITED that you’re with Northcott cos we can actually get it from LQS here in Australia – nobody had even HEARD of Troy!

    Those swirly lines = swooooons!

    I’m not surprised. No one heard of Troy here either! 😮 xooxm


  20. carlafibers
    February 29, 2008 at 5:23 AM #

    Love the new line, Mark! The black and white ones really stand up and talk to me,I MUST have them!! Plus, they would make cool quilting lines.

    Any chance we can have a blog post about the designing process for you? Do you sit down and draw it out, paint it, or what? Curious minds want to know….

    Hugs, from Carla

    Carla, I’m already working on a feature for Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home about how I design fabric from start to finish. Keep on the lookout for it. xoxom


  21. February 29, 2008 at 8:11 AM #

    The new fabric line is yumlicious! I can’t wait to actually get my hands all over it! Yah, love it, carress it, talk to it, take it home! I guffawed at your comments about The Bride of Chuckee! I’m appalled that the skunk wannabe didn’t get sent home tonight! At least Paula had the cajones to tell her to tone it down and look her age! I never would have thought that I’d be thinking, “Go Paula”! Now I’m gonna go and tini toast your new line!

    Well you know that both Amanda Overmyer and Danny Norriega are the top picks at It’s a website that urges Idol watchers to keep the very worst contestants in the game. That’s the ONLY way these two could have made it past last night! This is totally hysterical and responsible for keeping singers like Sanjiya in the competition – among others. BTW, that Jason Yeager had a skunk thing goin’ on, too! What up wit dat? xoxom


  22. Melanie in Lincoln
    February 29, 2008 at 3:20 PM #

    Love the fabric – can’t wait to get my hands on the black and whites. I have a quilt that I am working on that is black and white – back it goes on the shelf. Will wait for your fabrics to compliment it! Thanks for sharing!


  23. Jorja
    February 29, 2008 at 5:52 PM #

    Oh boy, great big YUMMY on the Califon line. I’m planning a quilt for a friend who loves black & white and this just made my fabric choice a no-brainer. Can’t wait to see the rest of it.


  24. Sue
    February 29, 2008 at 6:06 PM #

    I just remembered! Jane Wilson Marquis designed my wedding dress.

    Sue in NJ


  25. Jackie
    February 29, 2008 at 11:15 PM #

    Enough about American Idol! Lets talk what’s really important . . . who is your pick to win this season of Project Runway??

    The shitheads in charge at Comcast NJ don’t offer Bravo on my cable system so I have never seen P.R. let alone have a pick! And daddy ain’t happy about that! So the only two reality shows I watch are Idol and Celebrity Apprentice. Hating that Marilu Henner got booted and waiting for Amorosa to get whacked in a drive by. xoxom


  26. missey d
    March 1, 2008 at 11:55 PM #

    i LOVE amanda’s pants with the flames, i want a pair! i like her style/voice but i wasn’t feelin her hair style that night


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