Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Floral Universe and Soulful Strings : :

Floral Universe QAYG

Floral Universe and Soulful Strings

One of my recent Soulful zipper pouches inspired me to begin this new Quick Quilt As You Go project and I am loving it!

Herringbone Pouches

Over the Summer I spotted a similar traditionally pieced block to this one, likely on Instagram, and I put it away in my quilty brain for future quilt as you go use. If you happen to recognize this block pattern, please do share so I can update my post. I'm certain I saw something similar, somewhere.

While you can transform any quilt block into quilt as you go by simply quilting the finished block to a square of batting, I particularly love block patterns like this one that are perfect for the Quick Quilt As You Go method that I teach in my Craftsy class! With this method you sew your fabric strips and patches through the batting itself, creating the string patchwork and quilting it to the batting all in one step, with the quilting lines hidden on the reverse side of the cotton batting. Easy, fast and so much fun!

Floral Universe and Soulful Strings

For my qayg blocks I'm featuring the Floral Universe Plum print from my Soulful collection with Art Gallery Fabrics with 1-2" strings cut from all twenty Soulful quilting cottons.

Floral Universe Plum

Floral Universe QAYG Blocks

I love the combination of having a feature print paired with the super scrappy patchwork that I love so much! I'm not yet sure how I'll arrange my blocks, there are several great options, and I'm still undecided on if I'll use them for a new Fall table runner or if I'll have the time for a quilt. Once I finished the first four blocks, I particularly love the way they look set in this arrangement with the feature fabric on the outside. Just eight more blocks and I'll have a pretty great table runner! What do you think?

Such a fun QAYG!

I'm excited to read your thoughts on this new project! In the meantime, I'm going to keep adding to my stack of blocks. Maybe I'll have enough for a runner and a quilt!

Floral Universe and Soulful String Blocks!

xo Maureen

p.s. I have just a few studio scrap bundles left (see this post for details) and email me at maureencracknell@hotmail.com if you're interested! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Zipper Pouch LOVE : :

Zipper Pouches

I've been busy making zipper pouches and just as I figured after finishing up that first one, I am completely addicted! Each one inspires an idea for the next and so it goes... It was wonderful to take the time to sew these up this week, especially to have found the time to sew with Soulful! I LOVE my Soulful collection and haven't had much time to sew with it since it's release. I'm look forward to lots of Soulful sewing this Fall!

Herringbone Pouches

Out of all the zipper pouch making my favorites so far are these herringbone qayg bags. No surprise there, right? I made one using more colorful Soulful prints and a second using mostly the lower volumes. Both have fun added details -- colorful zippers, a denim loop with coral leather tassel keychain, cotton lace, and a Soulful fabric and felt flower zipper pull that I love. I made dozens of the tedious flowers for my Soulful Quilt Market display last Spring and I'm so excited to have found the perfect use for them!

Soulful & Felt Flowers

So much fun!

These plus pouches are my first attempt at making mini quilt blocks to turn into zipper pouches! I used Nightfall and Garden Dreamer patch scraps paired with AGF denim to make these two reversible, quilted pouches. I think my two boys would happily use these!

Plus Pouches

I experimented with a sweet ruffle zipper pouch, as well. Quick Quilt As You Go made it super easy to add the ruffle detail. I'm excited to try this style again, perhaps with a Soulful and linen combination!

With Ruffles & Stripes

Each of these zipper pouches are lined with one of my prints and reverses to a different patchwork design. I think I found the perfect use for my endless scraps!

Fun Details

Reversible Pouches

Zipper Pouch LOVE

Soon I plan to add these to my Etsy shop, along with many more I'm sure. These are so much fun and will be perfect for gifts this coming holiday!

xo Maureen

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Comfort for Houston : :

Quilts for Comfort

I am always amazed by the incredible generosity of quilters. Many of us will agree that one of the best ways we know how to serve those is need is through our shared passion of turning pieces of fabric into quilts that are made and given straight from the heart to offer comfort.  It is a language of love that we all share.  As we watched the hurricane induced devastation effect Texas, Nicole @ModernHandcraft immediately took action, announcing the Helping Houston Auction to raise money to send to relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Like so many of you, I was looking for a way to help and I'm grateful to have been able to donate my fabrics and thread as part of the auction. Nicole's community effort raised over $25,000 in just one week! Proving once again just how incredible the sewing community is when it comes together!

Ninety-six FQs & thread

While there is no doubt that giving what we can monetarily is so important, as makers it can feel like it’s not enough. Although many will have insurance and FEMA to offer assistance, there is so much lost in these disasters that can never be replaced. #AGFComfortsTexas is an effort to collect handmade quilts to offer flood victims as a way to bring more comfort & warmth to these lives as they recover. The love, hope and prayers that we stitch into our quilts will surely help restore a little bit of what washed away that money can't replace.

Comfort Quilts

Art Gallery Fabrics will be collecting any quilt (at least 50" x 65" or larger) that you would like to donate now through September 22nd. To assure that the quilts are given to those in need, AGF is working in collaboration with Quilts of Compassion, a nonprofit organization who have been delivering quilts to victims in disaster areas since 1999. AGF is hoping to collect as many quilts as possible. As a way to show their appreciation for your generosity, those who donate a quilt will receive a bundle of six fat quarters as a thank you from AGF.

Please send your quilt donations to:

Art Gallery Fabrics
ATTN: AGF Comforts Texas
299 Bryan Road
Dania Beach, FL 33004

It's important to add that all of this was organized immediately following Hurricane Harvey and the flooding, before we knew how Hurricane Irma was going to effect the Miami Beach area. Now that the storm has passed, please feel free to contact AGF in the comment section of their blog post HERE -- if you have any concerns about sending a quilt. I think it's likely that AGF will extend the deadline for donating quilts due to the unpredictability that comes in the aftermath of these storms.

A BIG thank you in advance for your generosity! xo Maureen

Friday, September 8, 2017

Scrappy Strings & a Detash!

Love Story Pillows

With each new collection I receive a set of strike offs -- large swatch fabric samples of my designs that are printed in a very short run just so we can take a look and make final approvals before sending the finalized designs to the mill for mass printing. It's always so exciting to photograph these little special pieces of fabric to announce each new collection!

Love Story pompoms

Once we get everything just right, I use the strike offs to make as many sample projects as I can for International Quilt Market and the collection LookBook. At next month's Fall Quilt Market in Houston I'll be showing a brand new collection due out this late winter\early spring, and I'm expecting those strike offs to arrive any day! This is why I've spent so much time sewing with Love Story these past two week. Once the next set arrives, I'll be so busy preparing for Quilt Market and Love Story will be shipping right after I return back home. I just wanted to give a little explanation behind my current sewing projects, incase it seems like I'm jumping away ahead. Hopefully sharing my Love Story projects has you excited for it's release! I have just two more projects planned for this weekend and then I'll be taking a little break with this collection to stitch with Soulful and for secret sewing with the next collection (which I cannot wait to show you, eeek!!)

The best way I know how to make the most of a set of strike offs, that will ensure they stretch into as many completed projects as possible, is to start by cutting colorful scrappy strips in random sizes from each print. Using my Quick Quilt As You Go technique and the herringbone style I love so much they seem to really go the distance. My current Love Story project count is at eight finished samples and I have more than half of what I received left to use. hooray!

Love Story Strings

Today I thought I'd share a couple more Love Story finishes. Including a third zipper pouch using herringbone qayg, of course!

Love Story Zipper Pouches

Zipper Red

A Herringbone Zipper Pouch

I recently finished this scrappy string pillow and decided to attach my qayg blocks to form an X pattern, thinking it will be really cute and very fitting to come up with an O patchwork pattern to make a cute pair!

Love Story X strings

Beside Love Story sewing, this week I cleaned and reorganized my studio to make room for the new fabrics that will be arriving any day. Which means it's time for a Scrap Bundle Destash! I typically offer these on my Instagram but I wanted to announce here first incase anyone is interested in a studio scrap bundle? Just let me know!

Making Fabric Scrap Bag!

Scrap Bag Destash

Scrap Bundles will include 2+ yards of fabric for $20 each plus shipping, and they are perfect for scrappy string projects!! If you'd like one feel free to leave your Paypal email address in the comment section under this post or feel free to email me at maureencracknell@hotmail.com. Thanks in advance for helping me destash and for stopping by!

xo Maureen

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Zippers : :

Yes, zippers. Okay I feel a little silly admitting that yesterday was a BIG first for me -- I made my very first zip pouch, as in ever, and then a second immediately after finishing the first. Can you believe it? I've been sewing for about seven and a half years and I'm just now adding zippers to my sewing skills. Now this is not because I haven't wanted to or because I find zippers intimidating. My main excuse is that when it comes to sewing samples for my fabric collections, there's always sewing friends willing to sew the cute, necessary zipper-things so I stay focused on the quilty-things. I've liked it this way until very recently when I was buying school supplies for our kids, which included pencil cases (zip pouches) and a little cosmetic bag (zip pouch) for Haila to keep her little brush, tissues, lotion, etc.. organized in her backpack. Folks, twenty dollars later it was high time this mama learned!

Zip Pouch Firsts

I went to Amazon in search of zippers and immediately found this great deal! I did not need a 120 zippers in a full rainbow of colors. But I do know myself well enough to know that if I'm going to make one of something, there's likely to be a dozen or so more to follow. I'm sure some fancier zippers will soon be added to my new zipper stash, as well.

Zipper Rainbow & Love Story

The zippers were ordered Thursday, arrived Saturday, and yesterday I made my first two zip pouches with zero issues and I'm really happy with the quality of these zippers and my pouches. I did watch a couple of YouTube videos just to be sure I knew what I was doing before beginning.

Love Story Zip Pouches

Of course the exterior of my pouches is made using Quick Quilt As You GO, with a cushiony layer of cotton batting, bits and pieces of my Love Story strike offs in the Enamored colorway, with a little added pompom and lace embellishment. I also lined my pouches using AGF's denim for a really nice finish!

Love Story - Enamored

Love Story Samples

QAYG with Lace

QAYG with Pompoms

Lined Zip Pouches

After making these two, I think zip pouches will be my new go-to scrap buster. Only 118 more zippers to go! This is going to be fun!!

xo Maureen

Friday, September 1, 2017

Pretty New : :

Botanical Sketches

Happy September 1st!

This week I enjoyed folding and photographing my newly stashed Lambkin collection by fellow AGF designer, Bonnie Christine. Bonnie has such a such a beautiful, sweet style that I really admire. Each print had me sighing and wishing my kiddos were small again. Lambkin is the first collection that would have been perfect to sew with for all three of my children when they were littles!

Lambkin by Bonnie Christine

For Haila -- Pretty Twiggy, Keeping Watch Mist, and My Darlings in these soft peachy pinks would have matched her little girl room perfectly!

Lambkin Pink

Jacob, my camping and forest loving boy would have loved Valley View Echo and Keeping Watch Dim! And for Kaiden, who loves birds and used to LOVE bugs and beetles just as much, Wind Observer and Little Entomologist!

Lambkin Teal

These were also the days when for a little while I would knit just as much as I sewed and would have loved a little knitting bag in Lambkin Sir Wooly. It would have made the most perfect bag for carrying around my wool hat projects!

Lambkin Round

If you think these are as perfect and pretty as I do, you can find Lambkin newly available at Lady Belle Fabrics, Fat Quarter Shop and Fabric.com! I'm sure I'll have a Lambkin project or three to share soon, as well. I think I'll surprise my ten, thirteen, and fourteen year olds with pillowcases to remind them of those years when we still held hands when we crossed the street, and spent our days picking wildflower bouquets and looking under rocks. I'm sure they will tease me when they discover them on their beds, but I guarantee they'll use and love them!

Lambkin by Bonnie Christine

This week I also added a Dahlia and Brown Eyed Susan to my collection of sunflower family pencil sketches. I can't begin to describe just how much I'm enjoying drawing like this again! There was a time when it was all I did, every chance I had. Those were the days before parenting, knitting, sewing, blogging and designing. I didn't realize how much I've missed it. It's become such a nice addition to my creative time and I'm really hoping to stick with it. Perhaps these will be available on future fabric designs or maybe in some other form. Either way, it feels worthwhile to give drawing some time again during my work days.

Brown Eyed Susan

And since I have a preference for even numbers, I'll have to add at least one more to my collection. Any suggestions?

Sketching the Sunflower Family

xo Maureen