Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Disappearing 9-patch Baby Quilts

Sometimes I pull fabrics from off my shelf and my closet and put them together in different combinations. These are a couple I did back in June.
Blue Green Baby Quilt - FOR SALE HERE

Pastel Baby Quilt - FOR SALE HERE
For the blue quilt, I pulled shades of light turquoise blue to minty green. 
 I found a blue solid that was just slightly darker than the darkest blue in the prints and used it for the smaller patches and the binding. Such a sweet baby boy quilt!
And then I took a bundle of lemony yellow to orange prints and had enough of them for the quilt top and matched them with a multi color stripe for the binding. Perfect for a baby girl!
Some all-over stipple quilting and they are done.
A beautiful sunny day for photographs. 
Disappearing 9-patch quilts are so much fun to make and depending on the fabric choices, they look completely different from each other. A good tutorial can be found here if you want to try your own.


Saturday, 23 December 2017

A New Sewing/Embroidery Machine

My local quilt shop rearranged their shop and put the sewing machines at the front of the store instead of the back. And when I went in for something small, my sweet husband saw some great deals on embroidery machines and needless to say, we went home with a large box!

I have lots of ideas that I want to try out with it as soon as I learn how to digitize my own designs, but in the meantime, I bought a bunch of designs from Designs by Juju and stitched them into some cute little mug rugs.

I made some Christmas carol ones for Christmas:

And some dog lover ones for the many dog lovers:


These were good sellers for me this year and I am loving my new machine!


Tuesday, 7 November 2017

I'm Back!

Sorry this blog has been a little dead the last few months. I've been busy with grandkids, travel, a newly retired hubby and adding stock to my Etsy shop!

I have some ideas for the coming weeks - my goal is 1 new post per week and some more tutorials.


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.


Monday, 20 March 2017

Leftover fabric plus stash fabric equals stunning quilt!

Do you remember this quilt top from last year?


It's back from being quilted by Marie at Blueberry Hill Quilts. And I love how it looks! The quilting always adds the extra little bit of texture.
Country Star Quilt
 The centre is just an arrangement of 4-patch squares along with some 1/2 square triangles.
Country Star Quilt
 The rose pink inner border was bought after the centre was pieced and the outside border fabric was pulled from my stash collection of fabrics.
Country Star Quilt
 The final binding was chosen after the quilt came back from quilting. I had a green set aside, but it just didn't look right when all was said and done. A brown shade pulled from the border floral ended up as the binding around the outer edges.
Country Star Quilt Detail
 The backing fabric is a plain muslin. It's a little stiff right now as I don't pre-wash any of my fabrics. It will soften and pucker up slightly after it's first wash and will be a cozy quilt that will last for years!
Country Star Quilt Detail
 Do you have fabrics left from another project? Not sure if you have enough to make something? Try a few 4-patches and 1/2 square triangles and rearrange until you like them! Add coordinating fabrics from your stash! No pattern required!


Friday, 10 March 2017

Wool applique Chickadee Circle

I am always game to try something new and wool applique is something I've been wanting to try for a long time. This little wool project was a kit & pattern I bought on Etsy in 2012 from a shop called Honey and Cloves.
 I love watching the birds outside my window and the birdfeeder is always filled with these cheerful little birds that stick around all winter long in Alberta.
 The colours of wool chosen for this pattern are just perfect. And the wool applique went together easily and was a great project to have beside me as I watched TV.

I finished it off with some little red buttons that were in my button jar. I'm pretty happy how it turned out and it has it's own pace on a little round table I have sitting by the easy chair in our house.

So, this is another finish off my UFO list and now I'm on the hunt for the next wool applique project!


PS. Pattern can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/86914981/my-little-chickadees-wool-and-wool-felt