Making Colossal Quilts from Hundreds of Crown Royal Whisky Bags

Making Colossal Quilts from Hundreds of Crown Royal Whisky Bags
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The Crown Royal Bag Quilt Phenomenon

In recent years, a unique quilting trend has taken social media by storm - the crown royal bag quilt. Often referred to by quilters as the "CR Bag Quilt" or "The Beast", this massive quilt is made using the iconic purple velvet bags that hold bottles of Crown Royal whiskey. While it may seem like an unusual quilting material, the sturdy, eye-catching bags make for a dense, heavy quilt that is equal parts functional and flashy. Keep reading to learn all about the crown royal bag quilt craze!

The History of Crown Royal Bags

First, let's look at the history of the crown royal bags themselves. Crown Royal is a popular brand of Canadian whisky, first created in 1939 to commemorate King George VI's visit to Canada. Originally it was only available in Canada, but thanks to its smooth flavor profile, Crown Royal grew into one of the top-selling whiskies in the United States after being introduced there in 1964.

The iconic, purple velvet bag with gold drawstrings was designed to reflect Crown Royal's royal heritage. It adds an air of luxury to the whiskey drinking experience. While the whisky itself comes in a glass bottle, Crown Royal distillers package each bottle in one of these bags. That way, buyers have a posh purple pouch to store their bottle in after opening it.

For decades, Crown Royal enthusiasts would save these bags as mementos or reuse them for holding small gifts and trinkets. But in the 1990s, crafters began realizing that these free bags were the perfect material for small sewing projects. The fabric was luxuriously soft, durable, and had a unique look. Sewists started upcycling the bags into jewelry pouches, coin purses, eyeglass cases, and more. It was only a matter of time until quilters caught onto the trend.

The First Crown Royal Bag Quilts

Quilters have always been experts at using fabric scraps and repurposing old materials into beautiful works of art. So when crafters started posting their Crown Royal bag projects online in the early 2000s, quilters immediately saw the potential. The bags were lightweight yet durable, and that iconic purple color made a bold statement. At first, quilters would incorporate a few CR bags into projects here and there. But as the trend caught on, some daring quilters decided to go all out and make entire quilts composed of nothing but Crown Royal bags. These massive and elaborate quilts required hundreds of bags to make, so quilters would collect donations of empty bags from family and friends over the course of months or even years.

One of the very first documented Crown Royal quilts was made by a Texas woman named Piper Goode who collected over 600 bags. Another early CR bag quilt was posted online in 2009 by the "Ten Sisters" group project. Their quilt used over 1,000 Crown Royal bags and weighed nearly 100 pounds when finished!

As more Crown Royal quilts popped up at craft fairs and on blogs, the trend slowly spread among quilters. Using hundreds of those free purple bags to make a "free" quilt was extremely appealing. And upcycling something unusual into a stunning work of art aligned with the resourceful spirit of quilting.

The Crown Royal Quilt Goes Viral

While Crown Royal quilts were still a niche craft as recently as 2015, the emergence of social media and video platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube helped popularize them to a mainstream audience. As sewing influencers began making the quilts and sharing the process online, #CrownRoyalQuilt started trending.

In 2021, the CR bag quilt officially went viral after several TikTokers documented their journey of collecting bags and assembling these massive quilts. Social media users were fascinated by videos showing hundreds of bags being pieced together or artfully arranged into colorful designs. Watching the sheer size of these quilts come together was extremely satisfying.

Soon quilters all over North America were undertaking their own "Crown Royal Quilt Challenge," eager to jump on the viral trend. Hashtags like #CrownRoyalQuilt, #CRBagQuilt and #TheBeast took over sewing corners of the internet. Quilting message boards lit up with conversations about where to source bags and how to tackle such a large project.

By the end of 2022, the Crown Royal bag quilt became a sensation and proud staple among quilters and fabric crafters.

Why Choose Crown Royal Bags for Quilting?

It's obvious why Crown Royal bag quilts have captured so much attention online. But what makes CR bags actually appealing as a quilting material?

For one, they are durable. With a velvet exterior and satin lining, Crown Royal bags are meant to withstand daily wear and tear. The fabric itself holds up well to sewing without fraying or tearing. Yet the bags maintain softness and flexibility after being stitched. This means the finished quilt will be cozy and comfortable without losing structure.

The bags are also the perfect size for quilting squares and blocks. Each pouch measures precisely 8 inches by 12 inches when lying flat. So construction of the quilt top is eased by the fact that every bag is uniform. This helps take the guesswork out of cutting pieces and ensures blocks or grid patterns assemble neatly.

Of course the bold purple color is a huge factor as well. While shades may vary slightly between batches, Crown Royal purple is universally eye-catching. It creates a quilt that is vibrant, lively and impossible to miss. The gold drawstrings also add a hint of glamour and visual interest.

Lastly, the story behind the material makes Crown Royal quilts inherently interesting to people. Being able to say your quilt is made from over 600+ whiskey bags is a source of pride. Quilters enjoy explaining the repurposing process and connection to the brand. The Crown Royal name itself carries an air of indulgence that elevates these quilts from an ordinary blanket to a true artistic endeavor.

Planning Your Crown Royal Bag Quilt

Once you decide to take the plunge into making your own CR bag quilt, some planning and preparation will ensure success. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Set a bag collection goal between 200 to 1,000 bags or more. Shoot for at least 200 to make baby/lap sized quilts up to 1,000+ for a king sized showstopper.
  • Get the word out early to friends and family about saving bags for you. Offer to pick up accumulated bags or have them shipped.
  • Organize bags by color as you collect them. Some variation in shade looks fine but group darker bags together for cohesive blocks.
  • Decide on your end quilt size and style. Measure how many 8 x 12 inch segments you'll need to achieve your desired dimensions.
  • Map out block or section color patterns before sewing. Arrange bags out on the floor first to visualize composition.

Once your supply of bags is secured, it's time to start assembling your quilt top. Most CR bag quilts use basic stitching and piecing methods like chains and straps for construction. Baste bags together into strips, then join strips to complete block sections.

Finishing and Assembly

Like any quilt, you'll need batting for thickness and texture. The bags' velvet exterior beautifully hides quilting stitches. Consider tying bags instead of stitching through if desired. For backing, piece together yardage that matches or complements your bags' purple shade.

When your top is complete, baste together the quilt sandwich of top, batting and backing. Bind edges with a bold contrasting fabric for a pop of color. Add loops or tabs to corners to help wrangle this quilt beast!

Display your finished CR masterpiece prominently on a bed or wall. Sit back and admire the sheer size and boldness of using Crown Royal bags in such an unexpected way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you get so many Crown Royal bags for a quilt?

Collecting hundreds of Crown Royal bags requires getting creative. Ask friends, family, and coworkers to donate their bags. Reach out on community boards and social media. Some people have even contacted bars and liquor stores to claim empties. Spread the word early so bags can accumulate over time.

How durable are Crown Royal Bag quilts?

The velvet and satin fabric of CR bags is quite durable and will withstand regular use when quilted. Avoid excessive friction and laundering to extend the quilt's life. Spot clean when needed. These quilts are heavy, so rotate them seasonally rather than folding/stowing them away.

What can you do with leftover Crown Royal bags?

Extra CR bags don't have to go waste. Upcycle them into small sewn gifts like wallets, glasses cases or makeup bags. Use them to store trinkets and knickknacks. You can even cut bags into shapes and applique them onto clothing, tote bags or other quilted projects for a pop of purple.

Can you make a quilt out of other liquor bag brands?

Crown Royal bags are a top choice due to their iconic color and size. But bags from premium liquors like Jack Daniels, Chivas Regal, Bacardi or Patron could also work. Focus on selecting bags that are of uniform size and made from durable fabrics.

What other unusual fabrics can be quilted?

If you love repurposing untraditional materials, almost anything goes! Quilters have upcycled fabrics like silk neckties, saris, bandanas,Scarves, flags, coffee bags, and vintage kimonos. Trial and error helps determine if a fabric will withstand quilting. Go wild and turn something totally unique into a special quilt.


How many Crown Royal bags are needed for a king size quilt?

For a king size crown royal bag quilt measuring about 90"x90", you would need around 1,000-1,500 bags or more. The exact amount depends on the quilt design and width of sashing/borders.

What's the best way to join Crown Royal bags when assembling the quilt?

Most quilters recommend stitching the bags together in vertical or horizontal strips first using a basic straight stitch or chain piecing method. Then join the strips together to form block sections.

Can the Crown Royal bags be washed before quilting?

Yes, the bags can be gently washed and dried to remove any odors before quilting. Turn them inside out and use a gentle cycle. Air drying is recommended to avoid potential shrinkage.

How do you attach a Crown Royal quilt to a backing?

Cut backing fabric several inches larger than the quilt top. Use spray adhesive or safety pin the layers together, then stitch around the quilt's perimeter or tie layers with embroidery floss.

What can be done with leftover Crown Royal bags?

Extra bags can be upcycled into smaller items like coin purses, eyeglass cases, phone wallets, ornaments, coasters, or padded hangers. Get creative with sewing, gluing or hot gluing them.

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