Monday, 10 February 2020

Embroidered Journal Covers

Every year I try to find some new products for the shop and for the markets I do in person. This past season, it was embroidered journal covers.
 The quilting stores are carrying some really great linen-look cottons and I chose a denim blue and a natural color for the backdrop to these embroidery designs.
 They were well received at all my sales and online. I'm learning lots about how to get a really great result on my embroidery machine - my first few attempts had lots of puckers and thread nests, but the more I practice, the less those things happen.
 A standard composition book just slides into the front and back flaps.
 I've seen some versions with some options for pen holders as well as a bookmark and ties to close the covers together.
But for now, I really like this basic cover - it's pretty classy and a great way to personalize a notebook!

--Ann

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Buffalo Plaid Baby Quilt

Sometimes I am asked to make something and it turns out so much better than I could ever have imagined on my own.
 This buffalo plaid quilt was made as a gift for an out of country friend who just had a baby. (And what a great idea for a baby gift!)
 The little red maple leaf was fused on and stitched around the edge for durability. (You know baby quilts need to be washed. Often.)
 I found some really cute cotton fabric with playful Canadiana characters that made a perfect backing and then selected 2 shades of gray and a creamy white for the plaid. (Photos show the creamy white as more yellow than it actually was!)
Super easy to pull together and the quilting was done with my walking foot in not so straight lines from top to bottom.

I plan on making this quilt again, this time with a Minky back and I will take photos of the steps so I can make you a tutorial.

What do you think of buffalo plaid, is it a trend that will stay or be over soon.
--Ann

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Quilts for Kids

Along with making quilts for my Etsy shop, I also have kids and grandkids to make quilts for. All the babies received a baby quilt when they were born. And when they outgrew the crib, they each get a quilt for their big beds. This dinosaur quilt was made for the 3rd grandson and he chose dinosaurs. 
 A panel is a pretty easy quilt to finish and I added a few borders until I had a decent sized quilt, added a Minky back and sent it to my friend Marie of Blueberry Hill Quilts for quilting.
 It goes without saying that he is over the moon for this quilt and the Minky back makes it so cuddly!
 Dinosaurs are a great theme for boys and this quilt should last him for quite a while!
--Ann

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Reuable Produce Bags

I'll be back later this year with an easy DIY tutorial for these bags, but in the meantime, you can order them through my Etsy shop here.
 The first batch I made were from plain white cotton double gauze. The side and bottom seams are done with a french seam that covers all the raw edges of the fabric.
 The top cotton drawstring is threaded through a simple casing and finished with an overhand knot.
 Stays tight from the grocery store to home and is easy to open and close.
 And then I tried to brand them with my logo using block printing. I really enjoyed doing this but due to customer request and the extra time required, I am no longer putting printing on the bags.
 Because not all bulk items come in large quantities, I've changed things up and added a medium and a small bag to the line up.
 And I bought a serger to do the side and bottom seams. AND I recruited my daughter-in-law, Leanne to make these for me.
She now makes and finishes all the reusable produce bags in my Etsy shop. If you're in the Calgary area, contact me direct at magpiequilts(at)gmail(dot)com and we can arrange a pick up time and a local discount!

What other reusable products do you think we should make?
--Ann

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Quilt Guild 9-patch exchange

It's always an adventure to take part in a guild activity and this one was something I had wanted to do for a long time. So many quilt shows I've been to have had quilts made from 9-patch exchanges and it was only a matter of time before I was able to be part of such an exchange.
 Every month, we had a colour and were to bring 10 nine patch blocks made from that colour. Our exchange hosts were particular that these were pieced accurately and it made the end product so much easier. In return for the 10 blocks we brought, we received 10 all different ones back. So in effect, we brought 10 the same and got 10 different in the same colours.
 These sat for a while in my unfinished pile, and all I knew is that I wanted the end result to be a rainbow quilt. When I finally put the blocks up on the design wall, I realized I would need to make a few more of some colours and had extra of others.
I found this great rainbow fabric for a border and it's all ready to get quilted as soon as I find a backing fabric that will be as awesome as the front.

All in all, this was a pretty easy quilt to put together and I have a few extra blocks to begin the next version!

--Ann

Friday, 17 January 2020

Pizza Box Challenge

Last year my guild held a pizza box challenge. Everyone was given a pizza box and the instructions were that you could put any instructions in the box and also a piece of fabric if you wanted. The boxes were passed from person to person and at the end, everyone in the exchange would have made a block for your quilt with your instructions.

I didn't spend too much time thinking about what I wanted as I wanted to keep things simple. I put in a piece of bright blue fabric (I think it was about 1.5m) and the instructions to make your favourite block, using the theme of blue and white and the fabric provided should be included in the block.
 There were 8 people in the group I was exchanging with and when I got my pizza box back, I added another 8 blocks to make 16.
 I ended up adding some yellow to the blocks I made - for some reason, it just adds a little sparkle to the overall quilt.
A blue print for sashing and borders and it's ready to go to the quilters!

Sampler quilts are really a great way to use up scraps and to try new techniques. It was fun to see the different blocks made by my guild exchange group, even though our skill levels range from beginner to advanced.

I can't wait to show you this one all quilted and finished!

--Ann