Saturday, 13 February 2016

Mug Rugs with a printed picture Tutorial

Recently I made a few mug rugs with a little saying on them that I printed onto printable fabric.
Bailey's Mug Rug - SORRY, SOLD OUT!
I also found some photos from my garden over the last few years and decided to see how they would look as mug rugs.
Floral Photo Mug Rugs
These little sayings about how to keep calm are popping up all over my social media & I grabbed this one as my starting point. You can always use your computer to make something that's totally original, dress it up with a fancy font and save it to print whenever you need it.

To grab a photo from the web - first check for copyright. Not all images are free for the taking, so take the time to go to the original source of the photo and ask. When you have your permission, go to the image you want and right click it. You should get a little pop up window that has an option to SAVE this image to your computer. Please save it somewhere you can find it back, like on your desktop and maybe take the time to give it a descriptive name, especially if the original file name is a series of letters & numbers that mean nothing to you. Better yet, use one of your own original photos and you won't have to worry about copyright.
http://www.staples.ca/en/Avery-Printable-Cotton-Fabric-White/product_522210_2-CA_1_20001

You can pick up printable fabric from an office supply store like Staples, or a craft supply store like Michael's or from your local quilting shop. These are all set up with fabric fused to a paper back so they will feed through your printer easily and without any fuss. I've tried printing on my own fabric with a product called "Bubble Jet Set" and fabric ironed onto freezer paper and the results were not near as good - but you may have a different printer and may get better results than I did.
Bailey's Mug Rug in use! 
Use your word processor to set up your page. A single sheet of printable 8.5"x11" fabric will make 4 labels, so make all four the same or find four different images to print. I reset my page margins on my document to .5" and added my first picture. I clicked on the picture and used the little boxes on the corners to stretch and size the picture until it was close to 3.5"x4.75". If you only use the corners to change the size of your picture, you will keep the proportions and it won't stretch out too long or too wide. If you use the side arrows to change the size, you will get stretching and the final picture will not have the same proportions as the original. If that happens, just use CTRL Z (PC users) or COMMAND Z (Mac Users) to go back a step or delete the picture and start over by importing the original picture again.

When you have the photo sized right, select it again and use CTRL C to copy (or right click and select copy). Paste it 3 more times so you have 4 pictures on your page. Or if you are doing four different pictures, add them one at a time and resize until they are all completed. You want at least 1/2" clear space between them so you have room for seam allowances when you are sewing.
Here I am printing some photos taken in my garden onto a fabric sheet.
At this point, make sure your document is SAVED so you don't loose your work - I like to save every time I complete a step so I don't have to start over if something doesn't go right. If it all looks great on your screen, print out on a piece of plain paper to make sure your printer has enough of all ink colours to make a good print and to make sure you've sized and spaced your pictures so there is room for a seam allowance around each one. Make adjustments to your document as needed and then print on your printable fabric.
Sunflower Mug Rug - FOR SALE
Now, you can cut 1/4" around each picture. I leave the paper backing on until it is time to sew the pieces together.

Alternate method to set up page for printing - use your photo program and print using it's presets.
Yellow Lady's Slipper Mug Rug - FOR SALE
Depending on your picture and the size you want your mug rug, the next steps will be up to you for measurements. I like my mug rugs to be 7"x9", but will often "eyeball" it until I have the mug rug together and quilted and do my final trim to size right before I adds binding.

I placed my picture on the left side of the mug rug. Removing the paper backing first, I add a strip of background fabric to the top, bottom & left side of the picture. Then, I add a piece of fabric to the right side of the picture so the unquilted piece is slightly larger (about 1/2") than the finished size I want. (For me, a good mug rug size is 7"x9" so that I can use 1 strip of 2.25" fabric by the width of the bolt, usually 42" for the binding.)
Lilac Mug Rug - FOR SALE
Quilt as desired! I quilted in the ditch around the picture and free motion quilted the background. I've also made these with straight line quilting that echoed around the picture.

Trim to the finished size you want and add binding.
Yellow Rose Mug Rug - FOR SALE
Gift to your fav person or keep for yourself! Make yours with a vacation photo, pet photo, special someone - the possibilities are endless!

--Ann

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Year of the Miniature Quilts

I've decided that this year will be the year of the miniature quilts at Magpie Quilts. I hope to make at least one for every week of the year - I'm behind already, but we will catch up! I am determined!

Here's the first four for 2016! These all started with a few coordinating fabrics from my stash of fabrics, a block pattern and a border or two. All these mini quilts can be used on the table as seen in the photos or they can be hung on the wall with command hooks and a dowel.
Blue & Gold Mini Quilt - FOR SALE

Walkabout Mini Quilt - FOR SALE

Ohio Star Mini Quilt - FOR SALE
The last of the first four miniature quilts is made from a fan block that's been in my cupboard for a very long time. The block is from Quilter's Newsletter magazine and they had done a series of embellished fan blocks. I never made more than the single block and never had quite the right project to use it in. So I made a miniature quilt around the block and I love the final result.
Reproduction Fan Block with Embellishments - FOR SALE

Do you have something that's been in your stash of fabrics or UFO's (Unfinished Objects) for a very long time? Perhaps you can turn it into a mini quilt!

---Ann

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Mini Stockings

Every year our guild gathers donations of toiletries for our local Wheatland Crisis Shelter. This year we did something a little different and packaged those toiletries in little stockings made from the method shown on Diary of a Quilter's blog here http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2010/12/easy-stocking-tutorial-today.html
Stockings filled with toiletries
These were such fun to make, took only a little fabric and are super easy. The pattern was a bit small for what we needed (it's perfect for gifting gift cards), so we added about 1/2" all around the printed pattern.
Donations for Wheatland Crisis Shelter
Do you make anything in your sewing room for charitable causes? I'd love to hear about it!

--Ann

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Repeat Customers

Repeat customers are the best! This customer is great to work with and pushes me gently out of my comfort zone to make quilts for her family. The first quilt is a baby quilt in teal blue and tangerine orange with a square in a square pattern.
Square in square Baby Quilt
And this one is a twin in oranges with smaller blue squares. We wondered if so much orange would make this look a little Halloween-wish, but it looks just great for a modern boy's room.
Orange and Blue Disappearing 9-patch
Baby quilts are always fun to make and this one was for a baby girl nursery decorated in a jungle theme. If you click on the photo, you can see the detail close up and the prints I chose. The dark brown one looks pretty dark in the photo, but is a great Heather Ross (I think) print of pink butterflies on a brown background.
Baby girl Jungle Quilt
I hope there will be a few more quilts to be made for this customer! It's such a satisfying feeling to know someone likes your work enough to come back and get one (or two or three) more quilts!

--Ann

Friday, 8 January 2016

Christmas Mug Rug

Now that Christmas is over, I still have a few projects to share with you. One of the quilt guilds I belong to had a mug rug exchange at their Christmas potluck. I found a great mug at Home Sense that had a beautiful poinsettia on it. And I had a great Robert Kaufman poinsettia fabric at home that was a pretty close match.
Poinsettia Mug Rug
I added a checkerboard border from some ivory & green Christmas fabrics. A little quilting with an all over meandering pattern & a green border and this mug & mug rug were ready to go!
Finished Poinsettia Mug Rug
Love the result! Might have to make one of these for myself if I can find another mug!

--Ann