Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Adding A Giraffe to a Baby Quilt

Sometimes when discussing a custom quilt with a customer, an extraordinary idea comes through. This was a repeat customer who had already received one of my chevron quilts for her grandchild. When she found out she was expecting another grandbaby, she came back to Magpie Quilts. We talked about another chevron quilt and before I got started, she asked for something with giraffes.
 I didn't find any giraffe fabrics that would work with the chevrons (animal prints are often directional and that doesn't work for this pattern). But I did find a great print of fabric for a giraffe body. I searched online for an outline silhouette of a giraffe - something that wasn't too babyish and more realistic. I enlarged it until it was large enough to stand out on the quilt, traced it onto fusible web and fused it onto the quilt top.
The fused giraffe was finished with a machine blanket stitch. The quilt was quilted with in-the-ditch on the chevron and around the outline of the giraffe.

I've kept the enlarged giraffe drawing and have some of the giraffe fabric left, so I may do this on another quilt down the road.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Jean Quilt with Homespuns

I am a blue jean girl. My fav outfit is a comfortable T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans. But eventually, those jeans wear out, but a lot of the fabric is still usable and durable. I've been saving ideas for things to make from them when I'm done wearing them on Pinterest. https://www.pinterest.com/annsymes/forever-in-blue-jeans/
Jean quilt
This quilt starts with circles of blue jean fabric (this quilt features all used jeans) and squares of fabric for the centers.
Jean Quilt
 There's also a square of batting, so this quilt has a bit of weight to it and warmth.
Jean Quilt
 This would make a great picnic blanket.
Jean Quilt on the Deck
 Or a blanket for the cabin or for on the deck on a cool Canadian evening.
Black and Blue Jeans
 Some of the blue jeans were black and the rest blue which gives a different look than if they were all one color.
Jean Quilt
In hindsight, I should have spaced the black pieces a little more randomly, but this quilt is a quilt as you go and I didn't give any thought to that when I started. By the time I did think about it, it was too late to go back and change things.

If you want to make your own, the pattern is from Fons & Porter here. Or if you don't want to wait until you have enough blue jeans, this one is available for purchase here!

Next time! :)


Monday, 8 May 2017

Early Creative Influences

Growing up I was surrounded by people who created. My mom sewed clothing and crocheted doilies, especially with fine thread. My sister and I both learned to sew, knit, crochet and embroider. My grandmother did tatting. My aunt had stacks of magazines that I loved looking through while visiting. None of my immediate family were quilters.
hand piecing hexagons
School trips were supervised by mothers who often brought along their own handwork while they waited for us to learn or do whatever it was that we were doing at the time. One mom in particular would bring her hand-stitched fabric hexagons that she turned into beautiful tea cozies for church bazaars or wedding shower gifts. Another mom made beautiful rag dolls. A neighbour I babysat for had a basket filled with quilting magazines that I would page through rather than watch TV.
Antique butterflies - personal collection
Stories about the wild west and life of the early settlers fired a desire in me for learning to quilt. My first quilt was made with my mom with clothing from my Oma. Just a plain charm square quilt filled with memories. I don't know what ever happened to that quilt - it likely ended up as a picnic blanket and used until it was thread bare.

Quilting took a backseat until I was married and expecting a baby. My first quilt made on my own was made from squares of embroidered animals alternating with solid red and blue squares. It was used for both my first and second sons and fell apart somewhere along the way from much use and washing.
Double wedding ring - personal collection
My next quilt was an ambitious double wedding ring quilt made from leftovers from my sewing basket and scraps I scavenged from my mom & sisters. This quilt was entirely sewn and quilted by hand. I learned that I needed to think about better sources of fabric if I wanted to keep quilting as the poly cotton pieces I used disintegrated rather quickly.


Saturday, 6 May 2017

Embroidered Tea Cozies

Embroidered Tea Cozy
These have been in the creative works for a while. How that works for me is first I'm inspired by something. For these tea cozies, it was a photo on Flickr from Patchwork Pottery of a red and white tea cozy with an embroidered saying around the bottom edge.
Inspiration from Patchwork Pottery
This tea cozy has been in my favorites for a few years and in the meantime, I've been collecting tea related quotes and sayings that might possibly work as part of a tea cozy.
Planning the embroidery
 Next was to bring on my best hand writing - not an easy task as I rarely write by hand and if I do, it's a mixture of printing and handwriting that changes from day to day and mood to mood.
 After tracing the handwriting onto a piece of plain cotton (this is just off-white), I start to embroider a simple back stitch. I have tons of embroidery floss left from my cross stitching days, so I won't run out any time soon!
Putting fabrics together
 Then I pick out fabrics for the patchwork above the stitching.
Finished Tea Cozy
Last, I quilt both sides and sew it all together.

Tell me what you think? Should I make more? What colors do you like?


Monday, 10 April 2017

Row by Row House Quilt

One of the quilt guilds I am a part of is in the midst of an Unfinished Object (UFO) challenge with a neighbouring quilt guild. The way this challenge works is every UFO that gets finished is given some points, depending on how long it's been since it was started. The winning guild is to host our annual year-end dinner in June.
Row by Row by Beaumont Quilting Buddies
The oldest UFO I have is one that was started way back at the turn of the century - 2001. The group of quilters I was part of at that time decided to do a Row by Row Round Robin quilt. Each person began the process by making a row and deciding a theme or colour for their quilt. When their row was completed, the row (and maybe some fabric) was passed on to the next person on the list. Every month we were to pass on the rows and by the end of the process, each person would have a quilt with a row done by everyone in the group.
Ann's row of houses
This is the row that I did to start. I liked the yellow for the windows as it looks like there is a light shining out like someone is home. I moved in 2002 and lost track of who had my quilt and whether or not progress was being made on it (and the others!)
Sherry's Row houses
This row was added by Sherry and represents the cookie cutter houses that were in her neighbourhood when her husband and she bought their first home.
Deb's scrappy houses
A row of scrappy houses make up the row by Deb S. I love this row - fabrics are completely random and remind me of my friend and how she can pull together something beautiful out of diverse and random fabrics.
Deb's barns & Ann's flying geese
And the other Deb in our group gave me some barns for my horses. The variety in fabrics and the thoughtfulness in including a piece of my life was such an awesome surprise when I received the quilt rows back in 2009.

The quilt was a pretty good width, but I wanted it longer so I added some flying geese in a blue prairie sky - a regular sight in our southern Alberta sky, especially during spring and fall migration.
And a finish (16 years!)
I added borders, and the outer border fabric was just slightly too short without having to piece, so I added a little 9-patch in the corners - a good solution to a common problem of not quite enough fabric.

And then, this quilt sat for a few years waiting for me to quilt it. And with this UFO challenge, I decided to send it to Marie of Blueberry Hill Quilts to quilt it so I could show it as a finished quilt and get some points for our guild out of it. I just have to add a hanging sleeve and then it will be hanging on my quilt rack where I can enjoy it and the memories it brings back of a great group of quilters!

I love quilts that tell stories and this one tells me one of friendship, diversity and the good feeling when something gets completed.