Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Sweet Home QAL -- Assembly & Finishing

Photo Sep 21, 11 28 01 AM

Welcome to week FIVE of the Sweet Home Quilt Along 2021, a QAL I'm co-hosting with Sharon Holland, the designer behind the adorable Sweet Home quilt pattern!

Sweet Home Quilt Graphic

During week FIVE we'll be assembling and finishing our Sweet Home quilt tops!

Below you can see the schedule we've been following throughout the QAL, but of course Sharon and I want to encourage all to sew at their own pace. For those just discovering our QAL, please feel free to make your own Sweet Home and access both Sharon's and my QAL blog posts anytime!

Sweet Home Home QAL Schedule

When you visit Sharon's blog you'll see the beautiful Sweet Home she's making using her brand new Bookish collection for AGF. Sharon has been sharing weekly blog posts, along with new video tutorial support each week for her Sweet Home pattern for Sweet Home quilt makers!

For my Sweet Home I'm using the Cozy & Magical Quilt Kit available exclusively at Lady Belle Fabric that features prints from both of my new Art Gallery Fabrics collections, Cozy & Magical and Plaid of My Dreams!

Cozy & Magical Sweet Home Kit Bundle

All cut up!

Bungalow Blocks

For week FIVE, we'll finish the assembling and complete our quilt tops to move on to the final quilting stage! I'll be sending my quilt to Brooke at Lady Belle Fabric who offers an edge to edge long arm quilting service, Lady Belle Quilting, in addition to her amazing fabric shop! This week I'll piece together my quilt back and will photograph full shots of my quilt top to share in full next week for the BIG reveal, before sending my quilt out to Brooke!

Photo Sep 21, 4 08 51 PM

I'm so excited reveal week is just a week away! I've loved making this new holiday version and love how these festive prints pop against the sweet Bushing Art Gallery Fabric Pure Solid background, especially the true bright red used throughout my Cozy & Magical and Plaid collections!

Photo Sep 21, 4 09 04 PM

I decided to add to our holiday traditions in 2019 to make my family a new Christmas quilt each year, and I'm honestly so surprised and proud that I've made it three years now with no problems and I credit two of those three holiday quilts all to Sharon & I planning these fun quilt alongs. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

In the photo below you can also see a peek of a Sweet Home quilt I made that I've never revealed. It's quilted beautifully by Brooke, as well, and I can't wait to finally get full shots of it all finished to share along with my Cozy & Magical Sweet Home quilt top next week!

Photo Sep 21, 11 38 01 AM

This year's QAL has really flown by and I hope you've loved sewing with Sharon + ME! As you finish this weeks assembly & finishing, be sure to share photos of them on Instagram with our QAL hashtag #SweetHomeQAL2021 and to tag me @MaureenCracknell & @SharonHollandDesigns. We can't wait to see them! Now it's time to head on over to Sharon's blog if you haven't already, to check out her Bookish version and to enter our new Giveaway with this week's wonderful sponsor, Hobbs Batting, for a chance to win their amazing quilt batting!

Thanks for joining our QAL! xo Maureen

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Sweet Home QAL -- Corner Squares & Sashing

Welcome to week FOUR of the Sweet Home Quilt Along 2021! I'm once again co-hosting this quit along with my dear friend and talented AGF sister Sharon Holland, who's also the designer behind the adorable Sweet Home quilt pattern!

Sweet Home Quilt Graphic

During week FOUR we'll tackle the thirty Corner Squares in the Sweet Home quilt pattern!

Below you can see the schedule we've been following throughout the QAL, but of course Sharon and I want to encourage all to sew at their own pace. As always, if you're new to discovering our QAL you can join the more than 1200+ makers sewing along with us at anytime by signing up at Sharon Holland Designs. Once you're signed up, you'll have access to a Quilt Kit Directory full of amazing Sweet Home quilt kit options, Sharon's weekly quilt along blog posts that will feature a new amazing Giveaway with one of our sponsors, and new video tutorials each week that Sharon is creating to support her Sweet Home pattern. As her co-host, I'm excited to share the Sweet Home version I'm making each step of the way throughout the duration of this quilt along right here and on my social media!

Sweet Home Home QAL Schedule

When you visit Sharon's blog you'll see the beautiful Sweet Home she's making using her brand new Bookish collection for AGF. The Bookish Sweet Home Quilt Kit is available at Lady Belle Fabric and is the perfect Fall quilt!

For my Sweet Home I'm using the Cozy & Magical Quilt Kit available exclusively at Lady Belle Fabric that features prints from both of my new Art Gallery Fabrics collections, Cozy & Magical and Plaid of My Dreams!

Cozy & Magical Sweet Home Quilt Kit by Lady Belle Fabric

Corner Squares

Again this week I used the speedy chain-piecing technique to make my Bungalows, a sewing technique that mimics an assembly line where you'll sew piece after piece and then block after bock, continuously feeding your quilt pieces through the machine without cutting your thread in-between each step. If you're new to quilting and/or chain piecing, Sharon has been putting together a super helpful weekly video series on her Sew Along blog that includes video support for each step of her Sweet Home pattern throughout our QAL that's full of helpful information and tips. Sharon is always incredibly informative and thorough with her instructions, so be sure to check out these amazing video tutorials!

Chain Piecing Corner Squares

These tiny corner square pieces come together so fast and they're so cute! Once you finish all thirty squares and your sashing is cut, all that's left to do is to sew together your log cabin and bungalow blocks with your sashing and you'll have your finished quilt top!

Corner Squares

Sashing

As you finish this weeks piecing, be sure to share photos of them on Instagram with our QAL hashtag #SweetHomeQAL2021 and to tag me @MaureenCracknell & @SharonHollandDesigns. We can't wait to see them! Now it's time to head on over to Sharon's blog if you haven't already, to check out her Bookish version and to enter our amazing Giveaway with this week's sponsor, Oliso, for a chance for TWO to win one of their amazing Mini Project Irons!

Thanks for joining our QAL, we’re so happy you’re here!

xo Maureen

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The Sweet Home QAL -- Bungalow Blocks

Welcome to week THREE of the Sweet Home Quilt Along 2021! I'm once again co-hosting this quit along with my dear friend and talented AGF sister Sharon Holland, who's also the designer behind the adorable Sweet Home quilt pattern!

Sweet Home Quilt Graphic

During week THREE we'll tackle the ten Bungalow house blocks in the Sweet Home quilt pattern!

Below you can see the schedule we're following throughout the QAL, but of course we encourage and want everyone to sew at their own pace. As always, if you're new to discovering our QAL you can join the more than 1000+ makers sewing along with us at anytime by signing up at Sharon Holland Designs. Once you're signed up, you'll have access to a Quilt Kit Directory full of amazing Sweet Home quilt kit options, Sharon's weekly quilt along blog posts that will feature a new amazing Giveaway with one of our sponsors, and new video tutorials each week that Sharon is creating to support her Sweet Home pattern. As her co-host I'm excited to share the Sweet Home version I'm making each step of the way throughout the duration of this quilt along right here and on my social media!

Sweet Home Home QAL Schedule

When you visit Sharon's blog you'll see the beautiful Sweet Home she's making using her brand new Bookish collection for AGF. Bookish should be arriving to shops any day and is also available at Lady Belle Fabric as an exclusive Bookish Sweet Home Quilt Kit option right now! This version will be so perfect for Fall and for any and all book lovers out there!

For my Sweet Home I'm using the Cozy & Magical Quilt Kit available exclusively at Lady Belle Fabric that features prints from both of my new Art Gallery Fabrics collections, Cozy & Magical and Plaid of My Dreams. I love how my last week's Log Cabin house blocks turned out combining these new holiday prints with the sweet AGF Pure Solid in Blushing, and I'm so happy with how cute this week's Bungalow blocks turned out!

Cozy & Magical Quilt Kit for the Sweet Home QAL 2021

Bungalow Pieces

Again this week I used the speedy chain-piecing technique to make my Bungalows, a sewing technique that mimics an assembly line where you'll sew piece after piece and then block after bock, continuously feeding your quilt pieces through the machine without cutting your thread in-between each step. If you're new to quilting and/or chain piecing, Sharon has been putting together a super helpful weekly video series on her Sew Along blog that includes video support for each step of her Sweet Home pattern throughout our QAL that's full of helpful information and tips. Sharon is always incredibly informative and thorough with her instructions, so be sure to check out these amazing video tutorials!

Bungalow Pieces

Bungalow Chain Piecing

Bungalow Chain Piecing

I absolutely LOVE how these sweet Bungalow blocks turned out with their roofs made in my red gingham Small Plaid of My Dreams Joyful print! I've dreamed of having a line of buffalo check plaids since I started designing fabrics for AGF, hence the name of this collection. Now that I do, I truly want to include them in every project I make!

Bungalow Neighborhood

These cutie blocks came together so quick and I'm completely thrilled with them all! I hope these finished blocks inspire you to knock out your ten Bungalows and to share photos of them on Instagram. Be sure to post with our QAL hashtag #SweetHomeQAL2021 and to tag me @MaureenCracknell & @SharonHollandDesigns. We can't wait to see them!

Bungalow Blocks

Now it's time to head on over to Sharon's blog if you haven't already, to check out her Bungalow Blocks made with her pretty Bookish fabrics and to enter our amazing Giveaway with this week's sponsor, Omnigrid Cutting & Measuring Tools!

Thanks for joining our QAL, we’re so happy you’re here!

xo Maureen

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Sweet Home Quilt Along 2021

Hello, friends! It's been way too long and I'm so excited to have just clicked the "+ new post" button after such a long, unexpected blogging hiatus. For the first time since the beginning of this pandemic, I'm home alone with my oldest away for his first year at college, and my other two both back in public school. It took me a few days to adjust and work on a new schedule for myself, but here I am ready to get back into a routine that includes showing up in this spot much more often! And what better timing than now that Sharon Holland and my most recent collaboration is underway, the Sweet Home QAL 2021!

Sweet Home QAL Banner

It’s been one week since the official start date of the Sweet Home Quilt Along that began on August 25th, with the first week dedicated to fabric selection and prepping the materials to start making a Sweet Home Quilt. If you're new here or you're just now learning about our Quilt Along, it's not too late to join the more than 1,000 makers that have signed up to sew along with us so far!

Sweet Home Quilt Graphic

Since Sharon is the creator of the Sweet Home quilt pattern, if you'd like to sign up and access the Sweet Home QAL you'll need to visit Sharon Holland Designs, click the "Sew Along" option and sign up to be able to sign in. Once you're in, you'll have access to a Quilt Kit Directory full of amazing Sweet Home quilt kit options exclusive to participating shops, Sharon's weekly quilt along blog posts that will feature a new amazing Giveaway with one of our sponsors, and new video tutorials each week that Sharon is creating to support her Sweet Home pattern! As her co-host I'm excited to share the Sweet Home version I'm making each step of the way throughout the duration of this quilt along!

Sweet Home Home QAL Schedule

For a fun way to end each weekly blog post, Sharon and I have lined up special Giveaway prizes that are being generously donated by our list of wonderful sponsors. Each week Sweet Home quilters will comment on Sharon's most recent quilt along blog post for their chance to win. Check out these amazing companies!

Sweet Home Home QAL Sponsors

For my Sweet Home I'm using the Cozy & Magical Quilt Kit available exclusively at Lady Belle Fabric! This version features prints from both of my new Art Gallery Fabrics collections, Cozy & Magical and Plaid of My Dreams. The color palette of this holiday collection is very sweet and I'm loving these prints paired with AGF's Pure Solid in Blushing for the background. I'm so excited to see how my cozy Sweet Home holiday village comes together!

Cozy & Magical Sweet Home Kit Bundle

For Sharon's Sweet Home, she's using her brand new Bookish collection for AGF that should be arriving to shops any day and is also available at Lady Belle Fabric as an exclusive Bookish Sweet Home Quilt Kit option right now! This version will be so perfect for Fall and for any and all book lovers out there!

Sweet Home Bookish Bundle

Last week I cut out all the pieces from my quilt kit and if how they look all chopped up is any indication of how this finished quilt will look, I'm a very happy girl! This step can be a little laborious and for some it may be the smallest sized cuts you've ever used, but with the helpful videos Sharon created to support this step you'll find lots of helpful information, so be sure to check those out!

All cut up!

Once I started sewing over the weekend I remembered how much I absolutely LOVE this pattern and exactly why this is the FIFTH Sweet Home quilt I'll have made! The Log Cabin quilt block is one of my favorites and these adorable house blocks that begin with log cabin centers are so much fun to make!

Making Log Cabins

Each step throughout the quilt block construction process is made easy with chain piecing, a sewing technique that mimics an assembly line where you'll sew piece after piece and then block after bock, continuously feeding your quilt pieces through the machine without cutting your thread in-between each step. Chain piecing is so easy and to show you just how to do it, incase you've never given it a try, Sharon has a new video prepared for you this week!

Rooftops

I chain pieced each step for this week's Log Cabin Block, including the final step of attaching my rooftop pieces to the log cabins to create all ten of my log cabin houses. It was just like adding the lid to a box. I always feel so spoiled by my Janome and extension table whenever I'm chain piecing, it makes it so very easy. I seriously couldn't live this crazy sewing life without my extension table!

Chain Piecing

Chain-pieced Log Cabins

Once all ten log cabin houses were chain pieced, I snipped the in-between threads, gave a final good press to each block, and admired the beginnings of my sweet holiday village!

Log Cabin Sweet Home Block

Log Cabin Sweet Home Block 1

Log Cabin Sweet Home Block 2

Aren't they cute?! I'm so thrilled with them! Now it's time to head on over to Sharon's blog if you haven't already, to check out her Log Cabin Blocks made with her pretty Bookish fabrics, to make use of the tutorial videos that she created to help makers this week, and to enter our amazing Giveaway with this week's sponsor, Chenille-It! If you’re on Instagram, we’d love to see your Sweet Home quilt progress, so be sure to tag us @maureencracknell and @sharonhollanddesigns and use the #sweethomeqal2021 hashtag when you share!

Thanks for joining us on this fun quilt along, we’re so happy you’re here!

xo Maureen

Friday, June 11, 2021

Pat Sloan's Holiday Celebrations Book Tour & GIVEAWAY!

Today I'm so excited to share Pat Sloan's upcoming book with Martingale, Holiday Celebrations -- an amazing quilt book full of holiday inspiration for all the fun and warm moments throughout the year including 17 designs for lap quilts, table decorations, Halloween bags, Christmas stockings and many other holiday projects to bring new comfort and joy into your home with each new season!

Pat Sloan's Be My Always quilt block

Decorating for the holidays is something I have always loved to do to make each holiday extra special, so when Pat asked me to join in her book tour, I was thrilled to! Holiday Celebrations is full of projects for all the seasons, from amazing quilts to special smaller projects, there are so many projects in this book that you will want to make!

Pat Sloan's Holiday Celebrations

For my stop on the book tour I whipped up one version of the two heart block patterns that are included in Pat's Be My Always throw quilt pattern in Holiday Celebrations! When I saw this heart block I knew it would be perfect for pairing with the pink and coral prints from my newest fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics, Open Heart!

Open Heart for Pat Sloan's Holiday Celebrations

Pat Sloan's Be My Always quilt block

These 18.5" x 16.5" size heart blocks would also make an adorable quilted pillow that you could enjoy all year round!

Pat Sloan's Be My Always quilt block

I've also always loved Pat's scrappy-happy tulips from her previous book, Celebrate the Seasons, and I knew her pretty tulip quilt blocks would be another perfect block for my Open Heart fabrics, so using the same prints I used for the heart block, I stitched up this sweet patchwork tulip!

Tulip Block from Pat Sloan's book Celebrate the Seasons

Look how adorable the two blocks look together! It has me wanting to create a sampler style quilt using a variety of blocks from my collection of Pat's amazing books!

Pat Sloan's quilt blocks

You can find Pat Sloan's books, including her newest Holiday Celebrations in quilt stores, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more! To follow Pat you can find her on her website, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram!

Pat Sloan's Be My Always quilt block

There are lots of wonderful Giveaways as part of this book tour!! You can visit Martingale to enter to win the grand prize: a HUGE, fabulous assortment of quilting things! 

PLUS I'm so thrilled to offer a special Giveaway to my wonderful readers for a paperback copy to US residents and PDF copy to International friends of Holiday Celebrations!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED • a HUGE thanks to all who entered and a BIG Congratulations to the random winner, Scottylover!

xo Maureen

Monday, March 15, 2021

Homebody Favorites!

Hello and Happy Monday! Since I so enjoyed writing my last post about the nine patch sister quilts that Sharon Holland and I made, along with sharing the free Charming Nine pdf pattern so you can make your own, I decided I'd pop back in today with a long overdue Homebody favorites post!

Homebody Banner

Homebody Bundle

Homebody Bundle

Homebody is my latest and thirteenth collection to date with fabric manufacturing company, Art Gallery Fabrics. This sixteen piece collection at its core, celebrates the unspoken magic of being home! The concept and artwork for Homebody was created and submitted to AGF long before we were all "stuck" in our homes these past 365 days, so the somewhat ironic timing will always be something I particularly treasure and laugh about when it comes to this collection. For me, home means creating a cozy space with a calm, peaceful environment that nourishes and comforts. These designs full of cheerful florals, cozy feathers, boho blenders and soft textures colored in a pretty palette reveals exactly the style of our own home and the layers of prints, patterns and things we've collected over the years that have made our house a home. Homebody has been amazing to sew with these past several weeks, from small accessory projects to large quilts. You can find loads of inspiration in the the LookBook, a 68-page book filled with beautiful pictures and amazing projects, and today I thought I'd share some of my favorites!

I'm going to start with what I made as soon as my Homebody rolls arrived, this set of quilted cosmetic bags for my daughter and I to showcase some of the main florals in this new collection! Everything I've learned about making bags I've learned from Svetlana of sotakhandmade, so if you're looking to make something similar I suggest her Essential Pouch pattern. To make these extra lux I used two layers of Hobbs Tuscany silk batting, just scraps I had leftover from some previously made quilted pillows, and the two layers quilted with a combination of the straight stitch + the wavy stitch created such amazing quilty texture on these!

CosmeticBags9

One of my favorite things when it comes to bag-making is shopping for unique tassel pulls and fun keychains to add. I found these amazing macrame keychains on amazon recently and they look so perfect with the boho style of Homebody!

CosmeticBags3

Next up are some Homebody pillows! I made quite a lot and I have some that I haven't even photographed to share yet. I included the one in Fridays post that started my new nine patch obsession, but here's a second 18" pillow that's very similar, using the same nine patch pattern just without the binding. Again I used two layers of Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting with dense straight line quilting in a light tan Aurifil thread for yummy, cozy quilty texture. 

Homebody Nine Patch Pillow

These pair of whole cloth quilted pillows I made for my LookBook to showcase the Homebody main florals -- Togetherness at Home (left) and Togetherness at Heart (right). A great tutorial for making your own whole cloth pillow covers can be found, again, at sotakhandmade. To quilt this pair I used a wavy stitch that comes built-in on my Janome that's become my first choice for quilting when I want something other than the straight stitch. I love it!

WholeClothPillowSet8

Patchwork pillows are always fun to make! This next one is made using 2.5" Homebody squares that I cut from scraps leftover from other projects. This is the first pillow I made to fill with a Hobbs Pillow Pal poly/down pillow insert. Hobbs Bonded Fibers has generously sponsored me with quilt batting over the past few years and recently sent me several of their pillow insert sizes to try out and folks, I promise you -- these are the absolute best I've tried! They have nearly twice the loft of the pillow inserts I previously purchased from Amazon and Joann over the years, which means they make for a very full pillow which in my opinion always looks and feels the best!

Homebody Patchwork Pillow

For the fun of it, since I'm still making things at home rather than my studio, I took my box of Homebody finished pillows that are eventually headed to the shop side of my studio and added them to our bed to snap some photos to share asking the question, how many pillows are too many? I'd love to know your thoughts on that!

Homebody Pillows

I've made four quilts/tops now that include Homebody, two are the Charming Nines that I shared on Friday so I'll start with my forever favorite go-to quilt to make, a Quick Quilt As You Go Herringbone QAYG quilt! I'm going to be completely honest and share that the near perfect way my fabrics lined up was a complete accident with this one. One of my favorite things about this pattern is that because of the way it's made, the fabric panels don't typically match up and istead the fabrics are staggered, creating a super scrappy zig zag effect that is all about having fun and not having to worry about perfectly matched points. Imagine my surprise when this was finished, trimmed and laid out that my panels nearly all lined up, minus the one part, well, I decided that was totally okay with me. What makes this quilt extra special is that for the LookBook my daughter Haila modeled the finished quilt!

Quilt6

Quilt2

Quilt9

Ever since Art Gallery Fabrics launched The Denim Studio line of smooth solid and printed denims I've wanted to make a classic star block quilt. I took this pic of my stashed denims in 2017 and as it would turn out, I was just waiting for Homebody to finally make my denim quilt! 

AGF Denim for Stockings

Using just two Homebody prints -- my Togetherness at Home floral as the star centers and Domestic Charm Birch as the background fabric, I pulled out my denims and started with just one block!  

Photo Feb 04, 12 19 56 PM

The Nectarine Sunrise Smooth Solid Denim is the only non blue denim I added because it's peachy pink color pairs perfectly with my floral. I used the Nectarine Sunrise denim to create an X within the repetitive star block pattern and I think it turned out so good. Using such a limited palette is not my typical choice when it comes to making quilts, but this truly turned out exactly how I had hoped it would all those years ago. when my denim star quilt was just a dream. 

Photo Feb 24, 12 46 12 PM

Photo Jan 01, 12 01 50 AM

The economy block centers of each star block yielded corner scraps that I immediately sewed into HSTs, so right after I had finished the quilt I had enough to make this matching pillow! 

Photo Feb 20, 11 14 08 AM

I think this pillow is a great place to stop today with my Homebody favorites! Of course I have tons more, but I think I'll save those for another day, soon. I hope these projects inspire you and that you love Homebody as much as I do!


xo Maureen