Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Love : :

For the past week I’ve been knee deep in Quilt Market prep. Next week I'll travel to Houston to share my next collection due out this coming March, and everything I've been stitching up has to be kept secret until the show. I can't wait for you to see these fabrics! Today, I'm taking a break from sewing to play with crepe paper, a first for me. I ordered a dozen or so rolls of colorful Italian crepe paper to make giant flowers in beautiful reds, bubblegum pink, apricot, peachy creams and white with several shades of green for leaf making...

Italian Crepe Paper Love!

I have just one practice flower finished and already this craft has stolen my heart! Have any of you given crepe paper flower making a try?

Crepe Paper Flowers

Also to have completely stole my heart is this beautiful bundle of fabrics, Pat Bravo's brand new Indie Folk collection!

Indie Folk 1

Indie Folk 2

The rich saturated colors and eclectic prints are so dreamy, I can't wait to sew with them after Quilt Market! I'm hoping to decide on a plan to have ready to start once I'm back home!

Indie Folk Love!

Indie Folk

These fabric are the perfect complement to these changing days and the season that's upon us. Now I can't wait for Fall sewing!

I'll be back with soon with some Love Story fabrics to share, I hear they should be arriving any day!
xo Maureen

Friday, October 13, 2017

Settling In : :

My View

This week the big goal has been simply to settle in. Settle into the new studio space that I'm renting downtown, and even more, settle in to how this move changes the day to day I've know for the past fifteen years that I've been a stay at home mother. Home with my babies from the very beginning, every single day until teary-eyed I watched each of them begin kindergarten. Home for the sick days, holidays and Summer vacations. Home each day to take care of the daily chores of cleaning, dog walks, laundry, grocery shopping, dishes and meal prep all while building this fabric world around me. And so far I'm finding it a little difficult to get myself ready and out the door at a reasonable work hour. This is hard people! It has me wondering, and a little worried honestly, how does everything get done? Although this is what I've been working towards for so long now, that doesn't make these first weeks of settling in any easier. It's a big adjustment for all of us that I'm sure will be worth these new transition bumps. Truthfully, it wasn't until the other day after we had moved all of my fabric stash and rolls into the new studio that it really hit me that this is happening!

Moving In

Fabric Rolls

My Stash

Once everything was moved over, right away I decided to split the room in two -- half for my work space and half for collection & sample displays. Once all of my fabrics were back in order on my new yellow shelf, I decided to recreate a mini version of my Soulful fabrics Quilt Market display! This is the first wall you see when you enter the studio. It's been so dark this week, but it gets great light on sunny days I promise. With each new collection it will be so much fun to swap out the display on this wall!

Soulful Display

Soulful Samples

Soulful Samples Table

Since sharing the news, I've received so many encouraging comments and the excitement has been so nice! At times I have felt a little bit of pressure too, when I've read things like, Maureen is opening a local quilt shop or a fabric shop. In many ways I wish that were true, and it's entirely possible that this new journey will turn into those things. But for now, because of the big things like time and budget, I'm starting out with a studio just as I've had at our home for the last five years. Only now I have the space to grow this into something much bigger! I do know for sure that I want to create a community space for sewing and crafting get-togethers, where I can teach with room for selling ALL the things that I make with the fabrics I LOVE, specifically my own fabrics!

Sewing Space

What's most exciting is that there's just so much possibly in this space, much more than I could've ever dreamt for in the space I had in our home. I want people to stop in to visit, to show me what they're working on and to see what I'm making. I want local fellow fabric lovers to see in real life the fabrics that I've designed. I want folks who have never sewn before to stop in and feel inspired to learn or maybe purchase something I've made with my fabrics!

Settling In

Here and there throughout the last couple of years, I'd go on a little making spree for a holiday pop up shop that I always wanted to have but was never able to fully organize and make enough finished goods for. Well I started unpacking those finished items and gifts onto my shelves and it's exciting to see the beginnings of what a little shop area will look like!

Filling Shelves

Sample Space

Once I'm home from Quilt Market stocking these shelves will be priority #1! For the first time I'll have the room to make a dozen of a pillow design if I want, rather than just one to make and blog about! I can't wait to see how things change and what gets made in this space in the weeks ahead!

Thanks for joining me on this adventure!  xo Maureen

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A New Studio Update & Dixie Belle Paint : :

Hello All! Well, these past two weeks have certainly been some of the busiest of my life! Just three weeks ago on Monday, September 25th we looked at a newly available downtown rental space and decided to make the big move to get me and all the things out of the small sitting room in our home, that has been my sewing studio for the past almost five years, and into a space where I could go to work each day. Five years ago I could have never imagined where I'd be today and that I would ever outgrow this space as I have. Since deciding on the new studio, it's been a whirlwind of painting and cleaning, packing and moving, organizing and getting just settled enough to get me sewing again. These long days I know will be worth it! With all that has to be done this month for Quilt Market in Houston just a few weeks away, there have been moments that have felt like this is the worst possible timing, and then I'll remind myself that in another way it has been a true blessing to have no choice but to make it all happen as fast as possible. Today, just three weeks later, I'm about to head out the door for my first official work day in my new studio space! We've come a long way, very quickly, and today I plan to take some nice photos of how nicely things are coming along. But first, I want to share a little bit of the before photos, along with some of the Dixie Belle Paint projects I finished up last week. These first photos are from the first couple of days when we began clean up, wallpaper and office furniture removal, and painting...

Studio Before Collage

Studio Before

Clearly this space was in need of some major love, but as the built-in office furniture and dingy wallpaper borders came down, the walls were patched and painted with a few coats of semi glass white and the carpet professionally cleaned, it transformed quickly into a cute space that feels just the right size for this next big step for my little business.

White Walls  Painted Furniture

You may recall me mentioning Dixie Belle Paint in the past when about a year ago I was contacted by the Dixie Belle Paint Company to receive some product in exchange for a blog post that I happily accepted! Haila and I spent one weekend back in November and gave our hand me down dining room set a weekend makeover. We loved the results and I shared our paint project here on the blog. Since, I've been hooked on this paint and have been thrifting wood furniture and collecting paint for more chalk mineral paint makeovers to do and share once I found a bigger studio space to rent. Last week, using a few of my favorite colors -- Sea Glass, Mint Julep, Palmetto, and Colonel Mustard, I started painting some of those furniture pieces for the studio and I am so happy with how each has turned out!

Dixie Belle Paint -- Sea Glass

Bright White Walls & Aqua Shelves

Sea Glass Shelves Stacked

Dixie Belle Mint Julep

Mint Julep Shelves

Dixie Belle Palmetto

Dixie Belle Painted

Aqua, Mint & Teal

What do you think so far? I think the combination of the white walls and these pretty colors really brightened up the space and it smells so clean, hooray! And although Quilt Market prep needs to be my number one priority these next few weeks, I can't help but take breaks from sewing to slowly fill these shelves and begin to work on my fabric collection displays. I'll be back soon to show you more, I can't wait for you to see!

xo Maureen

Monday, October 2, 2017

A Soulful QAYG Quilt Top : :

Soulful Quilts

Soulful Strings QAYG Quilt Top

Just about two weeks ago I started this new Quick Quilt As You Go using a combination of Soulful fabric strings and large triangle cuts of my Soulful print, Floral Universe Plum.

Floral Universe and Soulful Strings

This new qayg is so much fun! The large Floral Universe triangles make quick work of these 12.5" (unfinished) blocks and took just a single work days worth of sewing to have this quilt top to share!

Soulful Strings 1

This new block is an even faster sew than my go-to herringbone qayg that I so often use since it's such a quick make and because that scrappy look will forever be my very favorite! The simple addition of a focal print with the two directions of the fabric strings is a really fun variation!

Soulful QAYG Quilt Top

I'm so busy these days working on the new studio and preparing for this month's Quilt Market, that I don't have time to put together a pattern to share. Now this morning I've decided that I'm not quite sure that I'm done with this quilt top just yet. Currently it measures 48" x 72" and I don't think I like this size. After looking through the photos I took I last week, I'm leaning towards shelving this one for a little while, and when I have the time I'd like to add one more row of blocks to each side to make a 72" square throw quilt. What do you think?

Soulful Strings QAYG

This full shot gives you the best look. Let me know what you think, I always appreciate your thoughts!

This morning I'm heading out to the hardware store and back to the studio to finish painting the walls again, after a big paint mix-up/set back yesterday. I plan to snap some photos to share with you all soon!

xo Maureen

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Fabric GIVEAWAY : :

It's Fabric Giveaway Friday!   

Fabric Giveaway Friday with Lady Belle Fabric

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My sponsor Lady Belle Fabric is run by husband and wife team, Rob & Brooke! In their shop you'll find both bundles and single cuts of handpicked fabrics that are fresh, modern, and fun! Designer fabrics include many of our favorites -- Art Gallery Fabrics, Cotton + Steel, Free Spirit, and Moda, just to name a few! Lady Belle Fabric's goal is to offer the most gorgeous lines of fabric, as quickly as they can! 
SHOP  *  Instagram  *  FACEBOOK
  *  Pinterest  
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We hope you enjoy visiting the Lady Belle Fabric sites!! 


For this week's Fabric Giveaway Friday, Lady Belle Fabric is offering the winner their eight piece Summer Nights mix up fat quarter bundle including prints from my Fleet & Flourish, Nightfall, Garden Dreamer and  my most recent Soulful collections for Art Gallery Fabrics! This pretty bundle is also available for purchase and would make a wonderful quilt! Look for the Summer Nights Maureen Cracknell Mix Up Bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics in the Lady Belle shop!

Fabric Giveaway Friday with Lady Belle Fabric

Throughout this Giveaway, you're all invited to checkout Lady Belle Fabric wonderful SALE with some amazing deals on fabric! ALL Bundles are 15-30% OFF! Visit Lady Belle HERE --  www.ladybellefabric.com/collections/bundles

Lady Belle Bundle Deals!

In addition, Lady Belle Fabric is offering TWO extra coupon codes! Coupon Code: FREESHIP will give you free shipping on any order placed this weekend OR use Coupon Code: LOVESTORY to receive an extra 15% OFF any Love Story pre-order purchase! Love Story is expected to ship in November and I hope you love this collection as much as I do! To view Love Story visit Lady Belle Fabric HERE --  www.ladybellefabric.com/collections/LOVE-STORY

Love Story pompoms

We hope you enjoy these special discounts!

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Enter to win! 

Here's how,
1. Simply leave a comment here in this post! (one entry)
2. Follow Lady Belle Fabric on Facebook or on Instagram! Just be sure to let me know you do by making a separate comment here for an extra entry! (optional extra entry)
3. My followers get a third entry! Just let me know that you do by making a separate comment here to record that entry.
(optional extra entry)
4. Help spread the word!! I know that many of you already do, so I thought it would be nice to add that as another way to enter! Whether by Instagram, tweet, facebook, pin, blog, etc... (optional extra entry) 

That’s 4 possible entries! Enter now through Monday, October 2nd! The winner will be picked at random and I will announce their name at the bottom of this post here on the blog!

* Note * This giveaway is open to EVERYONE! If you're a "no reply" or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment! 

A BIG thanks to all who entered our Giveaway! This week's winner is commenter, 
Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes. Congratulations! Please check your email for a message from me! xo Maureen

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sewing Social : :

Sharing my great love for sewing with others in real life and building a local sewing community is something I have dreamed about since I began sewing several years ago. So when Sunday afternoon I packed up my sewing essentials and headed to my sister's cabin for our first sewing social, it was too wonderful not to share!

Cabin Sewing

For this first get together we kept it simple, just Biz, Bri, and myself making my newest obsession -- zipper pouches! Both Biz and Bri are beginner sewists, so I decided to teach them how to make a useful make-up bag using the quilt as you go method that I teach on Craftsy and use so often. Along with my Janome and the necessary sewing supplies, I brought along several of my recently made zipper pouches to show several creative examples and the girls chose which style they wanted to make.

Cabin Sewing 2

Zipper Pouches and Margaritas

We decided on a herringbone pieced front and a simple stacked stripe for the reverse side, then began the fun part of choosing fabrics from my traveling stash!

Traveling Stash

Biz is a huge April Rhodes fan, so I made sure to bring along my bundle of Arizona after just for her. I love the combination of fabrics she chose, mixing prints from Fleet & Flourish, Nightfall, Soulful and Arizona After!

For Zipper Pouch Sewing

Soon the machines were buzzing and my sister's cabin was filled with making, laughter and heartfelt conversation. It was so special! I really enjoyed getting to guide a sewing project, step by step, and watching both Biz and Bri create something beautiful and useful to take home. I selfishly hope they are hooked so we can do this again and again!

Girls Sewing 1

Being a novice teacher, I completely forgot to take photos of the girls with their finished projects at the end of the night, but I did snag my sister's finished make up bag to snap a few photos to share today. Isn't it pretty?

Biz's Zipper Pouch

Biz's Zipper Pouch

Biz's Zipper Pouch

Now I have a little news to share! Several months back I mentioned that I had been busy working hard at fixing up a space on main street in my town to rent as a studio space for my work and to have a place to teach others how to sew. Well, that turned into quite the sad and stressful debacle, and a BIG learning lesson for me. When it didn't work out I had to cut loose that dream for a little while. Well, an opportunity to try again just presented itself on Monday and it feels right and necessary, as I've completely outgrown my studio space at home, to give this another try. Having a well equipped workspace for myself and one that I can educate, support, and inspire those who are interested in sharing our love of fabric and sewing would be such a dream come true. Pretty please say a little prayer and send some positive vibes my way that this time it works out!

Tomorrow I'll have a special Giveaway to share, so be sure to stop back! xo Maureen