Thursday, January 18, 2018

Soulmate Blooms Boho Bag : :

Love Story Boho Bag

On the last day before Christmas break I needed to make and photograph one last bag for my Love Story LookBook and I'm so happy with what I made!

I wrote last week how my skills and love for bag making has grown over the past year, but it's still fairly limited to simple and quick patterns. For this bag sample I wanted to stretch myself a bit, but because I was so limited on time, it still needed to be a quick-sew project. There wasn't much time to look for boho bag inspiration on Pinterest and definitely not enough to order a new pattern to follow. So, I looked through the bag samples that I have on display in my studio and these Wild & Free bags by Sarah Markos were the perfect shape & style and seemed simple enough for me to try!

Wild & Free Inspiration by Blue Susan Makes

To make this pair of Wild & Free bags for my Quilt Market booth, I purchased the Beautiful Belle Handbag pattern by Amy Butler to send Sarah, along with the fabrics. Since I had previously purchased the pattern myself I felt okay using the bags Sarah had made to be my guide, since I didn't have access to the pattern myself. Of course, my bags aren't exact Beautiful Belle bags, but the shape of both the body and handles are a pretty close match for those of you wanting to make something similar!

Love Story Boho Bag

Rather than using all quilting cottons or my Love Story canvas, I had to use my Soulmate Blooms Passion knit for this bag! This red if SO pretty and since I don't make garments YET, I'll be using this print to make a variety of bags in the weeks ahead.

Love Story Knits

Most of the bag exterior is made in knit but for the center panel of both the front and the back I pieced together a striping of quilting cotton prints for one side and a patchwork for the reverse.

Love Story Boho Bag

The details on the front get a little lost in the photos, but if you look close you can see that I added a little pleating, piping and gathering detail, as well. I think the addition of the red pompoms might just be my favorite extra embellishment of all! Experimenting with fun details and techniques is really what makes bag making so much fun for me!

Love Story Boho Bag

Love Story Boho Bag

I hope you love this bag as much as I do!

xo Maureen

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Love Story Zipper Bags!

Love Story Herringbone Zipper Bags

Love Story Herringbone Zipper Bags

For my first SALE of the new year I'm offering Love Story Herringbone Zipper Pouch Bags! I was getting a head start on stitching up a few to gift this Valentine's Day and decided to make enough to offer in a special sale right here & on my Instagram!

Zipper Rainbow & Love Story

Colorful Zippers!

Love Story Herringbone Zipper Bags

The front side is the herringbone qayg pattern I teach in my Craftsy class and use so often in a variety of the projects I make from bags to pillows to full size quilts. It will forever be my go-to for pretty much everything! I love sewing using this technique and I love the scrappy style of this pattern, especially when using very thin strips of prints the way I did for these Love Story zipper bags!

Each bag has a cushiony layer of cotton batting, a colorful zipper, linen side loop to add your own embellishments, a red i-cord zipper pull and each bag is lined with my Love Story Daring Tribal Noir quilting cotton for a really nice finish!

Daring Tribal Lining!

Each bag reverses to a striping of  Love Story prints so that both colorways of this new collection are used for each bag!

Love Story Herringbone Zipper Bags

My Love Story bags measure a little bigger than 8" x 8" finished and have boxed corners for a flat bottom making them perfect for makeup, travel, art supplies, knitting & epp project, and more!

Love Story Herringbone Zipper Bags

I'm offering these for just $25! If you're interested in ordering you can leave your Paypal email in the comments or you can email me at anytime! A BIG thanks in advance to everyone who orders and for your continued support!

xo Maureen

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Love Story GIVEAWAY!

Today I have a special Love Story GIVEAWAY to share from my wonderful sponsor, Lady Belle Fabric!

A Love Story GIVEAWAY with Lady Belle Fabrics!
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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  
We hope you enjoy visiting Lady Belle Fabric! 


For this week's special Fabric Giveaway Friday, Lady Belle Fabric is offering the winner a generous FQ Bundle of my brand new collection for Art Gallery Fabrics, Love Story! This bundle will include a fat quarter cut of each of the TWENTY prints that make up this pretty new collection, PLUS an EIGHT piece FQ Bundle of Lady Belle's hand-selected solids that coordinate perfectly with Love Story! 

You're all invited to checkout LOVE STORY, along with a special discount of 20% OFF in the Lady Belle Fabric shop as fat quarter bundles and as half yard bundles! Be sure to visit this amazing shop!! 
A Love Story GIVEAWAY with Lady Belle Fabrics!

Win a FQ Bundle of Love Story!

A Love Story GIVEAWAY with Lady Belle Fabrics!

There is no code needed to enjoy any of these special discounts! Enjoy!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Enter to win!

Here's how,

1. Simply leave a comment here in this post! We'd love to know what you plan to stitch up with Love Story? Feel free to share! (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, January 15th. 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 enter our Giveaway!  xo Maureen

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Little Bag LOVE!

Stitching up little bags has become my go-to when I'm in the mood for a quick-sew with a guaranteed beautiful finish! Throughout this past year my love for making bags has really grown. I think mostly because the ones I make are simple and I can easily make one or two in a single afternoon sewing session!

The first style of bags to really lure me in were drawstrings bags. I made my first following my friend Svetlana's, of the sotak handmade blog, drawstring bag tutorial. After following her wonderful instructions to make one, I was completely hooked and capable of taking what I had learned to go on to make all different sizes and styles of drawstring bags!  For my Love Story LookBook I made two very different drawstring bags, one very similar to Svetlana's with added layers of batting and a combination of quilted denim, red pompoms & my Soulmate Blooms print. Then a second, much larger Love Story bag, in my scrappy herringbone quilt as you go style with boxed out corners for a flat bottom. I could seriously make these all day!

Love Story Drawstring Bags

Up until last year I was so intimidated by zippers and now I have no idea why I was afraid, they are so easy! Just like with drawstring bags, once you make one you just get it, and now zipper bags will forever be my go-to when I need a handmade gift. Everyone loves a new bag, right! Since making my first, I’ve made zipper pouches in all shapes and sizes and styles and I feel like there will always be a new, creative way to make a zipper pouch bag. Before I made my first one, I bought zippers in bulk from HERE (affiliate link), I love the colors and now I'll always have an assortment of zippers to choose from!

With my new Love Story fabrics I made three very different zipper pouch bags!

Love Story Zipper Pouches

I had just my strike offs, small pieces of each print, to make these LookBook samples which is why these three zipper pouch bags ended up a bit scrappier than the ones I'm making today and will be sharing in a sale on Monday. Still they each showcase my Love Story prints in a really fun way!

Patchwork + Pompoms...

Love Story Pompom Zipper Pouch

Patchwork + Lace...

Love Story & Lace Zipper Pouch

And the tiniest Herringbone QAYG...

Love Story Herringbone Zipper Pouch

In addition to all the little bag making, I've branched out into making totes! The tutorial I learned tote bag making from is the Easy, Easier, Easiest Totes by Purl Soho, which includes simple fold & sew tote making instructions!

Love Story Canvas & Patchwork Tote

After making several of each of the three versions of Purl Soho totes, I've been able to whip up my own ideas for tote bags with no problem! For my Love Story LookBook I made this Love Story tote in my Daring Tribal canvas with a large front and back quilted patchwork pocket. I'll be making many more of these for sure!

AGF Denim Handles

Tutorials take a lot of time to put together and the busyness of life & designing fabrics the past couple of years has certainly put a dent in the time I have to sew and post here on the blog, but I hope to make time to share more how-to's in 2018. Writing today's blog, and referencing the tutorials that have taught me so much about bag making this past year, was a great reminder of the generosity of sewists and their willingness to share their tutorials online with no motive other than the joy of giving. It's a wonderful thing!

I hope these projects inspire you to make some Love Story bags of your own and that you'll take a look at the LookBook that's full of references and tutorials to get you inspired to sew with this new collection!

xo Maureen

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Love Story LookBook is out!

The LookBook for my brand new collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, Love Story, was just released and I hope you'll enjoy taking a look! Inside you'll find each print of this colorful new collection on display in the form of dozens of inspirational projects from creative bags, to beautiful garments and lots of quilty projects! Today I want to start by showcasing some of the amazing quilts and pillows featured in the LookBook to get you inspired for Love Story quilting!

Love Story LookBook is out!
Love Story

Two of my favorite projects from the Lookbook both include AGF's Solid Smooth Denim in Afternoon Sale -- a cornflower shade that goes perfectly with the blues of Love Story. This Half Hearted Quilt is made by Paola Baker using Amy Sinibaldi's free pattern and is so perfect for the Love Story collection! The matching pillow was made by me, inspired by my Flower Stamp floral print. I enlarged a simple sketch of the flower and leaves shapes and used raw edge applique, a wide satin stitch and Aurifil thread to finish the applique design!

Love Story Quilt & Pillow

The AGF Studio stitched up several Love Story quilt blocks and filmed a wonderful video tutorial for their Union Square Quilt Block as part of their AGF Quilt Block Collection for the AGF YouTube channel!

Love Story Quilt Block

In the Block Corner of the Love Story LookBook AGF Studio also share a how-to for this Amity quilt block!

Amity Love Story Quilt Blocks

In the Lookbook you'll also find plenty of pillow inspiration, you all know how much I love making pillows! I made these three using the Quick Quilt As You Go technique that I share in my Craftsy class, using cotton batting as my foundation to create simple, qayg pillows so fast!

Love Story Pillows
Love Story Fabrics & Pillow

This stunning Love Story wall art by Sarai's Hobbies is also available as a free pdf download via her Craftsyshop. Sarai's Fractured Applique can be found HERE!

Love Story Wall Decor

My free Love Story PDF quilt pattern is called X's & O's and was designed just for this new collection! To me, this pattern couldn't be more perfect for this LOVE themed collection! You can download the pattern for yourself right, HERE!

Love Story Free Quilt
X's & O's Quilt Pattern

I'm overjoyed that Love Story & the inspirational LookBook is finally here, that it's shipping to stores and I can't wait to see all the things you're going to create with this new collection! To ensure I don't miss a thing, please remember to use the collection hashtag #LoveStoryFabrics and to tag me @maureencracknell when you share anything Love Story on Instagram, or to upload your Love Story stash and project photos to my Maureen Cracknell Handmade Facebook page!

Love Story Swatches

To celebrate this release, the AGF Blog is having a huge Giveaway for a complete fat quarter bundle!! Be sure to enter by clicking right HERE for a chance to win!

Love Story Giveaway at AGF Blogf

I'll be back soon to share the amazing Love Story garments & bags that were featured in the LookBook, along with more of my own projects to get you inspired to sew with Love Story!

Thank you all for your continued support, encouragement & love! ♡ Maureen  

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hello, 2018!

Happy 2018, friends!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and brought the new year in with good health and happiness! We had a quick bout with the flu and have been snuggling in here keeping warm, it's been so cold in Pennsylvania, enjoying a few relaxing days after the holidays together resting up and eating the last of the treats before those resolutions begin. I meant to pop in here last week to share a few of my favorite Cracknell family photos, but I was right in the thick of it all, so better late than never!

The things I most love and look forward to over the holidays are with out a doubt our family traditions -- a trip to Wending Creek Tree Farm, decorating our tree with hot cocoa and Christmas music, Christmas Eve gifts of new pajamas and nutcrackers - fifteen years strong has grown quite the family of nutcrackers! It's so wonderful to see how our traditions have taken root. These things that we started all those years ago, that initially felt 'made up' when we decided to do them, are now ours so fully and deeply. It's a beautiful thing!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tree Farm 2017 Collage

Decorating 2017 Collage

Holiday 2017: Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday I went to the studio for a few hours for the first time since before Christmas to stitch up a few Etsy orders all while thinking about my intentions for the coming year. I have some exciting new plans already in the works that I'll be sharing more about soon, as well as lots of sewing to be done with Love Story, my brand new collection for Art Gallery Fabrics that began arriving to shops right in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm really looking forward to giving some creative time to these pretty prints, I have so many projects planned! My Love Story LookBook should be out any day and I'll be back to share those details just as soon as it is!

From my family to yours & from my heart to yours, I wish you all a very happy, healthy and creative 2018!