Dear friends,

I came home today to the best stack of mail, ever!

First, there was a sweet and thoughtful handwritten letter from my CupKate . . . the kind that makes a mother’s heart melt and that somebody will no doubt find after I die amongst my most treasured keepsakes.

Then, there was a typed form letter from the Missouri Department of Revenue. Magpie Quilts is legit! I have a tax ID number and am finally authorized to do bidness in the Show Me State.

<Picture me here doing a spot-on Steve Martin/Navin Johnson impression after the phone book arrives in The Jerk. “I”m somebody now! Things are going to start happening to me now!”>

As I have a habit of reading the mail over dinner, I very nearly did the happy dance over my plate of Mr. Mom’s homemade spaghetti. For a day of the week that normally produces little to cheer over, this Monday kicked boo-tay.

So here’s the deal: I finished a new quilt last week. And because it doesn’t make sense to mail my quilts one at a time to my cousin in Oklahoma, I’m going to post it for sale here. If none of my 47 faithful and 13 random readers are interested, I’ll ship it off to my bidness partner after I finish two or three more and the shipping cost is worth it. (Yes, I’m going to keep saying bidness through this entire post. I’m sorry. Chalk it up to Government-Stamp-of-Approval giddiness.)

By the way, I’m still thinking about opening an Etsy Shop for Magpie Quilts, as a friend suggested I might develop a Missouri following who will be disappointed that my creations are only available in Oklahoma. (I realize she was probably just being nice, but I’m willing to run with it.) Anyway, it’s going to be a while before I can make that happen for a variety of reasons mostly related to not enough time in the day.

So here it is folks . . . Listen hard and you can hear the drum roll reverberating in my head.

Sunday in the Park (Strawberry Jam, #2 in a series) — $125.


A picnic basket. A shady spot under an oak tree. And a soft and colorful quilt on which to stretch out and spend a lazy afternoon with your sweetheart. These are the elements of a relaxing Sunday in the park, and Magpie Quilts’ latest design creates the perfect landing spot for your next outdoor excursion.

Strawberry Jam is the second in a series of Sunday in the Park quilts. It is made from 100% cotton fabric and features cheery and modern prints, with a touch of old-fashioned gingham. The front is an expanse of whole cloth featuring pink “berries,” punctuated by a column of multi-colored geometric and floral patterns.  The back features four large panels of pink gingham with window-frame sashing made from the primary print. The quilt is entirely hand-made — pieced, quilted and bound by a single artisan in her Missouri studio — and measures 58″ X 60″, making it suitable for covering your lap as well as your picnic spot.

All Magpie Quilts are safe for the washing machine if laundered in cold water with a gentle detergent and dried on a low-to-medium setting. The batting is an 80/20 cotton-polyester blend, which gives the quilt an exceptional drape and a light weight. The quilt was made in a smoke-free environment and has been pre-washed to give it the vintage appearance of well-loved linens.

If you’re interested in Strawberry Jam or have questions about Magpie Quilts, don’t hesitate to leave a comment here or email me at magpiequiltsbyjoan@gmail.com.

With gratitude {for a creative passion that is definitely lighting my fire},

Joan, who wishes to say one more time that Magpie Quilts is the brainchild of a woman who grew up in a heartland town she calls Mayberry, where catching fireflies on summer nights, sleeping under quilts hand-stitched by the local quilting bee, and sharing the bounty of a backyard vegetable patch never went out of vogue. Her quilt designs combine both vintage-inspired and contemporary fabrics in unfussy patterns that evoke a simpler time, a slower pace, and a love for the creature comforts of home.

Creative cousins.

Dear friends,

I mentioned in my last post that I drove several hours on Saturday for an adventure. The fun involved going to the westernmost point of Missouri (Joplin to be precise) to  meet up with my cousin and enjoy the bounty of a huge crafts and vintage goods show.

Called “2 Friends and Junk,” the event features dealers from three states and travels to four cities over six dates. It was an extravaganza of repurposed, upcycled, handcrafted, vintage, and new wares. I bought everything from old advertising flour scoops to upcycled costume jewelry.

My cousin Allison (named after our grandparents’ surname) owns a design and vintage furniture business in Tulsa and was a featured vendor at the show. Here’s a photo of her display taken with my iPhone:


Isn’t is awesome? She has a real eye for form and color, and she comes by her love of junking honest. (Both her mother and mine loved nothing more than a good garage sale, flea market or auction. Oh how I wished they were alive to see her thrive in this business. They would be so proud of her.)

And what was especially fun for me is that she agreed to sell my quilts. If you have a keen eye, you’ll notice two of them in the bottom left corner of the photo above.

What’s funny is that Allison wanted to approach me about carrying my items and I wanted to ask her, but neither of us wanted to impose on the other. But the more I thought about the stresses of leasing my own booth and the pressure to be the sole provider of inventory, the more I worried that Magpie Quilts would never get launched. After this post, a regular reader and friend from my hometown emailed me to say I ought to sell my quilts though a woman from our town who is opening a new store. I thanked Juanita for the idea, but reminded myself I have a family member doing the same thing. A few Facebook exchanges, texts and a phone call later, we had it all worked out.

For my Oklahoma friends and readers, you can find Farrar Design and Magpie Quilts at the River City Trading Post in Jenks. (You can also find Farrar Design on Facebook.) If you fall in love with the wares of either of the creative cousins, we’ll be delighted.

With gratitude {for great suggestions and unplanned solutions to life’s minor challenges},

Joan, who risks annoying her new retailer by showing you this photo of the cousins from a family wedding but thinks they were exceptionally cute flower girls in 1974

vickie's wedding