Sunday, 21 November 2021

I did a lot of custom quilt making in 2021 and one of the most challenging was to make a queen size quilt from a collection of Crown Royal bags. 

The assortment of bags had a variety of purple, black and specialty bags. I bought some solid cotton fabric in a rich purple and a gold color to make the star blocks. 

Bags were cut apart and then cut into squares that included the Crown Royal words plus some of the gold stitching that held the bags together. These were pressed carefully and with a cooler iron than I would use for an all cotton quilt as the thread on some (not all) would melt at the touch of a hot iron. (Experience points here!)

Because of the shear number of bags I was given to work with, I not only had enough for the centres of the star blocks, but also enough to make a border all around from the Crown Royal bags.

Some of the specialty bags were made from a suede like fabric and still others from a satin fabric that frayed easily. From an ease of construction point of view, a lot of the bags were very tricky to sew and to make into something that would not only look good, but wear well as a bed covering.

The plain cotton purple and gold fabrics were a great way to add stability to the blocks and sashing and to the overall quilt. 

In the end, even though purple and gold are not my favourite colours to sew with, the end product looked great and even better, the customer loved it.

And there were a few bags left over that I included in the backing! (Waste not, want not!)

What do you think? Could you collect enough Crown Royal bags for a quilt? (This one has approximately 100 in the top.)


Wednesday, 17 November 2021

After almost a year of being an absent blogger, I thought maybe I should introduce myself and start again! LOL!

My name is Ann and I have been in love with quilting for most of my life, but an actual quilter since my kids were born over 30 years ago. My first quilt was a hand embroidered baby quilt that didn't make it past the 2nd baby and I haven't got a single photo of it to share. My second quilt was a bit more ambitious. It was a double wedding ring quilt that was one of the feature quilts in a McCalls quilting magazine. I painstakingly traced and cut out each piece by hand, hoping to sew it all together by machine, but quickly realized that wasn't going to work. 

So, I carefully pieced it all together with hand stitching in all the stolen moments between caring for small humans. I'm so proud that I actually finished it even if it took me all of TEN years!

I've taken a few classes, but prefer to learn on my own. The internet and its endless resources have been such a source of inspiration for me. From online swaps to YouTube tutorials, there is always someone who can show you new ideas for quilting.

I started my Etsy shop, Magpie Quilts, in 2010. The first year I had hardly any sales, but each year I've grown that side of the business and have found some great online friends and community there. As with any venue, it has it's positives and negatives, but it's been a great place for me and my quilts. 

With the combination of online and a few in-person markets every year, I've managed to make a little side-hustle that supports my hobby, keeps my passion for creating intact and allows me to keep making quilts without them overflowing my closets!

My kids are all grown and I have grandkids to make quilts for, so I still have lots to keep me busy. My quilts have gone from being entirely hand sewn to being all machine sewn, but I am still learning new techniques and upgrading my tools. 

I look forward to reviving this blog and providing more content and maybe some digital patterns. We'll have to see where things go from here. What do you like to see when you read a quilting blog?? Inquiring minds want to know!



Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Scrappy Trip Around the World

When I first discovered Bonnie Hunter of and her scrappy quilts, the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt was one of the ones I wanted to make. 
While I was cleaning up and sorting and folding my scraps, I began to cut 2.5" strips for making this quilt. 
I didn't take ANY care for which fabrics I chose or didn't choose. Anything went.
So, there's a real assortment of fabrics in this colorful quilt and it makes me happy just to look at it!
Every time I added a few more blocks, I played with the layout. 
Originally, I thought Option A was the layout I would end up using, but. . .
in the end, Option B was the one that I like the best.
Our granddog was right there when I went outside to take a photo of the finished quilt. 
All the colors look fabulous!
The full effect of this quilt is exactly what drew me to this pattern from the start.
Ready to keep someone warm by the firepit on a fall evening.
Just look at those colors pop!

This quilt is destined to be a donation quilt, but I'm still waiting to hear back from the potential recipients. If it isn't claimed, it will be kept here to be used and loved.


Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Sewing Room Clean-up

Every sew often, I have to do a little cleaning up so I can find what I'm looking for. These drawers are from IKEA and came with their own stand, but my handy husband made frames for them so I could use them in the walk in closet in my sewing room.
Often when I clean, I find fabrics that I think go good together and will set them aside in a baggie to make a quilt at a later date. 
Above are my pinks and reds all neatly folded and easy to see what's there. And below is a stack of fabrics that have similar shades. That pretty floral is a remnant from my sister's sewing for her daughters. (So, about 25-30 years old?)
I don't start with any particular pattern or design, but quilters are nothing if not resourceful and I decided on a few stars with some alternating blocks.
I cut everything out and had just enough of the floral to make the nine block centers. 
The pinks look great in a quilt together even if they weren't exact matches. It also makes the blocks more interesting than if they had all been the exact same fabric.
And this is the drawers, all neatly folded and organized. This won't last too long, but it's pretty when I do get it done!
And I used my rulers to quilt this! It's so great to have a smaller project to practice new skills and this little quilt was just the right canvas to try a few new things on
Zoom in to check out the quilting!
I had a lot of fun working on this one - sometimes it's good to do something just because it's fun!
And I used pink thread on the back too so the quilting could be seen! I still have a few thread nests that I'm sure will get less as I do more of this kind of quilting.


Saturday, 7 November 2020

Vintage Quilt Blocks

Often I get requests to finish something started by another quilter from the past and this year I received a collection of pre-cut stars and some assembled blocks from a client's grandmother.
I was unable to use the blocks that were already pieced together as the center points didn't match up, they weren't all square and they didn't lay flat. 
 I was really sad that I wasn't able to as someone had made a lot of effort to match up solids and prints to make a large quilt.
So I took the pieces that weren't already sewn together, trimmed them down slightly to make the pieces accurate enough to make pretty blocks. My centers weren't all perfect, but they are pretty close! :)
Then I needed to find a border and sashing fabric to bring all the different stars together. 
Light Blue/Gray.

The customer ended up choosing the teal blue and it looks so great; modern and vintage at the same time. An edge to edge feather quilting design just adds to the vintage feel. 

Have you ever finished someone else's unfinished quilt? Did you enjoy the process?