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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Silhouette or Cricut Magpie Paper Piecing Assembly

Now that the kiddos are back in school, I have time to design some more cutting files for the Silhouette Online store, and SVG cutting files for

When I think of Fall, I think of all the different birds that fly through during migration season. We've been treated to several magpies visiting our yard this Fall. While they are a permanent resident of Utah, they are new to my yard--and so it excites me. I figure that their food supply must be shifting with the season...and they see that I have a "bird buffet" in my yard with all kinds of bird feeders. (I'm getting ready for Cornell Labs Project Feeder Watch...that's a blogpost for another day.)

Magpies are a fascinating bird of not only beauty, but also great intelligence. They have a regal feather display and are considered a symbol of healing, strength, gratitude and in some cultures luck. The symbolism behind a magpie make them a perfect symbol for decorating a card front. Think, Thank You, Get Well and Encouragement cards...a magpie is appropriate for all of those. Some cultures see them as a mystical being, which also makes them an excellent symbol for the Halloween. Their black and white plumage with iridescent blues and greens looks great on an orange backdrop for Halloween cards and decorations. There are many legends and stories associated with Magpie. They are also known for stealing shiny objects, and offering them as gifts to those whom they favor. Sometimes they will weave shiny trinkets into their nests. Check out this fun story about a woman's lost engagement ring.

Today, I'm going to show you how to assemble the magpie paper piecing that I designed for digital cutting machines like the Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Explore. You can find it at the Silhouette store here, or in SVG format at here. The file from is an expanded download that includes both cutting and printable files.

You will need the following paper colors:
1 sheet of white card stock paper (layers 1 and 8)
1 sheet of Navy card stock paper (layer 2)
1 sheet black card stock paper (layer 3)
1 sheet charcoal card stock paper (layer 5)
1 sheet medium blue or iridescent blue card stock (layer 4)
1 sheet dark blue iridescent blue or green card stock (layer 6)
You can substitute black for the charcoal and navy layers, and use the same shade of blue on the tail and wing feathers if you wish for a more monochrome look.

Take note of the layer order on the picture above. They are numbered from back to front.
You will order them from back to front starting with the white as shown in the example above. 

If you wish to simplify the paper piecing, you can cut some of the layers from the same color of paper as their similar counterparts. 

You can also use fewer layers as shown in the example below where only layers 1, 2 and 8 are used. 
I'd love to see what you do with this file--I'm sure others in my blog community would too. Please share your magpie projects with me either through my blog, Facebook page, Facebook gallery, or the customer project photo portal


  1. Thank you for this beautiful image! Could you help me troubleshoot why the small wings with the intricate cuts are not cutting well on my Cricut Explore? I'm make cards for my daughter who is in and opera called The Thieving Magpie and I really want the cuts to be perfect. I'm thinking it's the paper and the setting I'm using - I should probably get all the same brand paper and figure it out from there but I thought I'd check with you first.

  2. ABlestMom Thank you for supporting my designs. I'll try to troubleshoot this a bit, but I will have to admit that I am more familiar with using the Silhouette Cameo, as I do not own a Cricut Explore. Is there a speed setting on the Cricut Explore? That is the first change I suggest to people trying to cut an intricate design, slow the speed, and it will cut smoother. Is the mat still sticky? If not, I use a quick trick to hold my paper steady by taping it to the sides to ensure no movement. Is your blade sharp? Is the casing free of debris? That is where I would start. I wish you the best.


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