Along with the last quilt for customer Beth M.’s daughter, I sent a quilted backpack as a “thank you gift with purchase”. I thought a young girl might find it fun to carry a few things around with it. Beth, though, seemed to have other ideas… she told me it was so cute, she almost kept it for herself!
So what do you think I made as a thank you when I finished her latest quilt? Well, a backpack just for Beth, of course!
You can read all about the process of designing and creating the Princess Mildred and the Pea quilt, but part of the story is that I went to four different fabric stores to find enough of the 1930s reproduction kitten fabric for the backing. It really was the purr-fect choice, though, and worth it, even though, as a quilt back, it will rarely get seen.
Using that same fabric for the backpack, though, means it finally gets the attention it so richly deserves. After adding a pink gingham and a black dot, Beth finally has an adorable vintage backpack of her own!
One of the things I like to do here at Whimzie Quiltz is include with every custom quilt a gift-with-purchase – a little somethin’-somethin’ for you, the customer, to go along with your actual quilt. With a bed quilt, it’s often matching pillow shams, but with smaller quilts, it’s maybe something you wouldn’t normally expect.
Here’s the scoop on a couple of recent surprise somethings that Whimzie Quiltz customers have received…
Movie Night Right
William M.’s Favorite Things quilt pattern was a mix of all of everything he loves – cats, Boy Scouts, England, music – done in a black and white palette. That color scheme inspired his gift-with-purchase… a black and white checkerboard! Knowing his affinity for old movies, too, I chose a vintage-looking film strip fabric for the border. After all, I figured, what could be better than playing a few games while you wait for the DVD to start?
Hitting the Right Note
Originally, Katherine M. wanted a quilt that featured her love of music, but it had to be purple, too. The first fabric I purchased just wasn’t purple enough, which resulted in changing the whole design and creating an ombre purple Triple Braid quilt instead. I still wanted her to have something with the music theme, though, so I used the original fabric to create a fun quilted backpack that lets her “carry a tune” 😀 wherever she goes.
DeVon D.’s email read,
“I am a runner. I would really like some type of tote made from [all these race shirts and race bibs that are just sitting around.] Any thoughts? Feel like tackling this?”
13 years of custom quilting and I’d never made a quilted tote bag! But, hey, I love a challenge, so I said, “Sure!”
While waiting for her marathon shirts to arrive, I decided to do a trial bag. That’s how I ended up with this ENORMOUS beach tote. I mean, it’s big. REALLY big. Like “hide the pregnant actress’ belly because it’ll ruin her character’s storyline” big.
With a few adjustments, though, I felt ready to take on DeVon’s projects. She sent me enough shirts that I ended up quilting her both a beach tote and a book tote.
And, I threw in a quilted backpack, just for the fun of it.
These were definitely a fun little digression from regular quilting. I liked having to figure out the math as I went along to get to a normal size on the bags and the instant gratification of finishing a small project is always nice.
And DeVon seems pretty happy with them, too. She posted yesterday on the Whimzie Quiltz Facebook page,
“I knew you were the right person to hand that project over to. The totes are all great and I just adore the fun Jingle Bell Run back pack. Such creativity!”
While putting the final stitches on 2016, I realized a few Whimzie Quiltz projects from the year didn’t get posted. This one is from late August…
One of my cousins turned 50 this year and celebrated with a tropical pineapple themed birthday party. We gave her a quilted backpack to fit the theme (yes, it’s another quilted gift. The joy of having a relative who sews…)
When we visited her home on Thanksgiving this year, this backpack was hanging right next to the front door. I smiled, but didn’t say anything. As we were leaving, though, she pointed it out and said she uses it all the time!
A couple of years ago I gave my mother-in-law a quilted backpack. She fell in love with it, to the point where she carried it with her everywhere she went. The airport, the store, the beach, the library…
She especially loves dropping by the library and filling her backpack with great new reads. Last Christmas, we got her a beach cruiser so she can ride the mile and a half there to pick out books any time she feels like it.
All that travel, shopping, beach going and reading was hard on her backpack, though. During her most recent visit, I noticed it was showing some wear and tear. So I decided she need a new one, preferably one that would match her adorable teal bike. Mission accomplished!
Now both she and her books can ride in style!
The colors, textures and patterns of nature prove pretty convincingly that the earth itself is the largest patchwork quilt ever created. Wrap yourself in the mountains, meadows, beaches and woods that the great outdoors has stitched together and take a few essential quilted pieces on your adventures – Mother Nature would approve.
Love hiking or biking trails? A quilted backpack transports your water and power bars in style (also great for carrying binoculars if you are an ardent bird-watcher or your telescope if you gaze at the stars.) Or maybe your thing is lounging on the beach – a custom beach bag can be made big enough to hold your towel, your sunscreen and even that giant floppy hat you love so much! If you plan to snack while outdoors, pick your favorite fabrics and have Whimzie Quiltz create the perfect picnic blanket. You’ll enjoy al fresco dining even more when you have a tasty quilt to spread out on the ground.
Cyanotype, or light-sensitive, fabrics make stunning nature quilts, especially if you love a blue/white color scheme. Leaves and flowers placed on these specially treated fabrics are exposed to the sun which produces a permanent photographic imprint like a blueprint; the finished blocks can be sewn together into stunning blue and white botanical quilts.