Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hi, I'm Maureen : :

I have thought about writing this post many times over the last year, but would always talk myself out of it. Convincing myself that it wasn't necessary, worried that I wouldn't be able to explain my thoughts on this issue well enough, insecure about how bundling all the things I want to share on this topic might read. In light of receiving several emails on this topic yesterday and the private discussions that emerged, I think today is the perfect time to finally share this post.

Honesty : : I really hope my authentic self comes across on this blog. It will always be hard for me to share negative personal things here. But at times, sharing the big things in very small doses, feels really important. As far as sharing any negative feelings that I might have within this sewing community here, well, that's easy -- I don't have any. My Mom taught me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.  I've lived that my whole life and teach that now to my children. That's not to say that open discussions and debates shouldn't occur. I just choose not to get involved if it might lead to taking sides, hurtful commenting, or the end result being "I'm right, you're wrong." The only real time I have felt a need to involve myself in this kind of drama, is when I have felt like I needed to defend myself, but even then I shy away. Life is much too beautiful to focus on the negative!

Falling
Our children playing in the leaves.

My story : : If you don't mind, I want to explain a little of my back story that I haven't shared before. I am one of eight children. I am the only one that knits or sews in my family. I have no "real life" friends that have a passion for the kind of things I like to share here. THIS is my only place to share and connect with people just like me! Out of the eight of us, I am the only one who never went to college or joined the military. I always just wanted to be an artist. Sometimes I considered teaching art, but new that I would much rather spend my days creating. Although no one in my life would ever make me feel bad for any decision I have made - as a mother who wants to be a good example to my children, sometimes it has bothered me. I got married at 20, had my first child and became a stay at home Mom at 21. That was my job. I got really into cooking and organizing. I was the hovering mother who made her whole life her children. And as fulfilling and wonderful as it is, I was losing 'Creative Maureen' during those early years. Sound familiar? I know many of us are or have been there.

My only drawing
A drawing I did when I was 17, and the only thing I still have from high school.

Finding my niche : : About 6 years ago, I jumped back into creating after my husband said these four words, "you need a hobby." lol  I started out by knitting, which I became completely obsessed with. I started this blog a little more than two and a half years ago, and began sewing a few months after that. I could have never imagined how making that decision would open up a whole new world to me and ultimately change my life! After about a year, using a few of the popular blogs I follow, like Soulemama and Posie Gets Cozy as inspiration, I started to blog more regularly and thoughtfully. As my reader number increased, I would wake up each day excited and motivated to create something new to share.

Each of you has been a gift to me, one more person to share with. Every comment has been read and appreciated, encouraging me to keep at it. I eventually became brave enough to share a couple tutorials, and that teacher-desire in me felt fulfilled. Those BIG dreams that seemed impossible and in some ways forgotten, were beginning to stir in me again and feel reachable.

I'd rather be sewing....always!
A peek at my next Janome Project.

A shift : : Some of you wonderful folks who have found me and decided to read this blog, have also been people behind some really special fabric and supply shops. Some of them have become sponsors, whom I am so grateful for. Some are folks associated with amazing companies like Riley Blake, Art Gallery Fabrics, Janome, Aurifil, and Accuquilt, who have asked me to be a part of their design teams, gangs, or as an independent designers. And, I still can't believe they know I exist!

Through being shared by you readers, through sponsor giveaways, through tutorials I create for companies, you have found me. My HOPE is that because of what I make to share here each week, you COME BACK! I put a lot into this blog -- because of the connection I feel to you, because of how it has changed me and my life, because I am realizing my dreams through it, because of what I am teaching my children. By my husband's and my example, they are learning that it doesn't matter where you live, what you come from, how old you are -- you can be anything you choose to be, if you work hard and believe in yourself. It's not a cliche, it's true!

she
By valentinadesign

My future : : I've always been excited to announce the new opportunities that have come my way because of this blog, and I will continue to!

The fabrics I share always come from my sponsors. I purchase most of them, but some are sent to me in exchange for sponsorship, as well. Doing that gives me a chance to share what's new, but the fabrics are always of my taste and choosing.

The Fabric Giveaway's I offer each week, are picked by me, as well. I try to find things that fit in with my style, that I think you'll like. I get a chance to promote my sponsors individually. And, even with as much as I sew, I still don't have enough time just yet to blog five days a week. I think sharing a new sponsor giveaway each week, is a nice way to welcome the weekend. That's all. I know some of you don't like them, but I do! My plan is to eventually just blog them Saturday and Sunday, sharing my daily makings Monday-Friday, but I'm not there yet.

AGF Solid's Bundle from Contemporary Cloth
Art Gallery Pure Elements for Friday's Fabric Giveaway with Contemporary Cloth.

Tutorials for Fabric? Oh, I get so much more than that! I put a lot into each thing I make, and to have my creativity noticed and appreciated enough to be invited to design for companies I love, wow! I could never pass on an opportunity like that. And I think very few would. Sharing a tutorial on the manufacturers blog is no different than guest posting. The opportunity introduces me to their readers and vice versa. The fabrics I choose, always inspires me to make something new and to push myself creatively. Plus, I love creating tutorials! The only thing that stifles the complexity of my sewing tutorials, is my inabilities to use this computer, which I promise I'm working on!! I even plan to buy a printer for the new house -- yes, I'm that behind!

Indie Pillow inspired by West Elm Kantha Chevron Pillows -- tutorial to come soon!! To be shared on the West Elm blog!
A Scrappy Chevron Tutorial that I'm planning to share soon.

So that's it! If you're still here? It feels good to share all of this with you today! Each day I am simply just doing my best. I'm making the best decisions I can for myself and my family, while trying my best to contribute in some small way, by doing what I love. The fact is, I won't ever give up on this dream now! I trust that all of you will respect and hopefully support that! Thank you! Maureen

195 comments:

  1. You're an inspiration to this community. And you are living my dream life :) Raising babies and creating fun stuff!

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  2. I think you're lovely. I've only been sewing for six months and I love having blogs like yours to turn to: from you I get mentorship - you teach me practical skills but you also build my confidence. What a perfect combination. I'm so glad you're blogging.

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  3. You have a fabulous gift and thank you for sharing. The portrait is amazing.

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    1. Thank you! I treasure this portrait now because of how old it is and since it's all I have from all the time I spent drawing growing up. And it's also a reminder that at the age of 17 I remember tearing it apart, focusing on only my mistakes. I'm SO glad I am not that girl anymore. It's a much better life to focus on the beauty that can be found in what we make and do!!

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  4. Good for you! I had this discussion with another friend on her blog yesterday and I'll tell you what I told her--I have absolutely no problem with sponsorships/ambassador programs/etc IF the blogger remains true to herself and shows us things she would otherwise. In fact, I applaud you that you've come far enough they'd notice you and want a symbiotic relationship with you. Maureen, you are an excellent example of someone who does just this. Keep doing it, girl.

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    1. Thank you Kelli! Even before I had sponsors or partnered with manufacturers -- I was quite the fabric ambassador, and openly joked about it! I just hope my passion and LOVE for what I do and for this community comes through. Thanks again, friend!

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  5. Lovely, Maureen, thank you

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  6. love your blog - love getting ideas from you.

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  7. I enjoy reading all your posts - sponsor-linked, personal, sewing-related - ALL of them! Your point of view is very clear and it makes your blog the most memorable among the many I follow. I do not mind that you work with companies and showcase the products you believe in - I have grown to trust your opinion and taste. I love your giveaway posts even though I have only a small chance of winning - there is still a chance! Keep doing what you are doing - YOU are why you have somany followers and have made such great strides in the sewing world in such a short time. Don't let other discussions make you question what you enjoy doing and we enjoy reading :-)

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    1. Yes, B Greene, this is the perfect comment! I agree completely. LOVE YOU, MAUREEN! I haven't been following you all that long but your creative journey sounds a lot like mine and it give me feelings of hope, not jealousy. You rock.

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    2. You ladies are going to make me cry today!! Thank you for being so wonderful and sweet, I'm in awe!

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  8. Has this been triggered by yesterday's post on Stitched in Colour? I think sponsorship is fine if you stay yourself and aren't bound to specific lines/projects and if you stay yourself. I love that you're picking fabrics that speak to you instead of fabrics that you have to promote for the sake of promoting only. (Like I only enter fabric contests when I like the fabric.)

    And I love that you're still staying in touch by answering our comments but also by keeping us up to date with your life. I'm glad that you're putting on the brakes when necessary, too! And I enjoy being part of your world. I might not always comment but yours is one of the blogs that I always read and look forward to a lot.

    Go on doing what works for you and enjoy it. Life isn't about degrees or specific career choices - it's about attempting happiness which doesn't come in pre-cut shapes. Life ain't no charm pack, rather yardage we've got to work with. Great that you'Ve found your niche!

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    1. Mareen, I love that -- "Life ain't no charm pack, rather yardage we've got to work with." You're awesome!!!

      I have wanted to share more about the decisions I have made and why for a while now. Today seems like a good day to do that, in light of some discussions I was involved in yesterday. :)

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  9. good to know you better! Thank you for sharing your story.

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  10. I read a blog post on another blog this week with a high readership that seemed to question the integrity of blogs with sponsors- do you think the emails you've received are in light of that post?

    I must say my favourite thing about your blog that brings me back is you and the things you make, I wouldn't be bothered if you had sponsors or not!

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    1. Thank you Kerry! The emails I received did stem from a blog post yesterday, but the conversations I had with some of my blog friends is what inspired me to finally share this today. As far as my thoughts on "transparency", I summed that up when I wrote "Each day I am simply just doing my best. I'm making the best decisions I can for myself and my family, while trying my best to contribute in some small way, by doing what I love." I personally don't feel like those decisions should be up for public debate! :)

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  11. Oh, Maureen, I didn't think I could love you more, but now I do. What a beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Michael, You are such a great example of where all of this can take you, if you just believe in yourself and work hard. I am enjoying watching all of your success and am SO proud of you, my friend!!!

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  12. Oh my gosh - now I know what makes your blog so special to me. We are very similar in how we have lived life. Thanks for taking time to write your blog and I am grateful to you. Gayle

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  13. You are amazing and I love your Blog. I secretly wish I could be like you (well it's not a secret anymore!)

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  14. Thank you for sharing. I really enjoy your blogs and your creativity! Keep on doing what you are doing and sharing when you can!

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  15. I look forward to all your posts! Please don't change a thing!!! You are honest and true to yourself, inspiring us readers not only on creative levels but personal as well! Thanks and keep it up! XOXOXO

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  16. I really enjoy your blog and seeing all that you create. It gives me inspiration! As for the sponsors and giveaways i think are wonderful.
    Keep making your dreams come true!

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  17. I have been a follower for only a short time, but can tell you that I look forward to each and every post. I love all your gorgeous tutorials and choice in colors. I can understand the risk in putting yourself out there, but you spoke from the heart and that is what matters. I just started a blog after debating for the past year whether I had anything to offer, finally just said go for it. I have a day job and I wish it were sewing, but most days, I just have to spend just a little time in my sewing room. As I make my husband Ohh and Ahh over each new project, he always asks what I plan to do with it once done. And I always tell him that I don't know...I just HAD to make it. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Well stated....now.....do what you do best....CREATE! Have fun and enjoy the process of living and creating as you pursue your dream. And remember Dream Big!!! :)

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  19. I LOVE this post Maureen. Thank you so much for doing this. I couldn't have stated my feelings on this subject any better. Rockstar!!! ^_^

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    1. Thank you Rashida, that means so much! I'm so grateful for talented people like you who have paved the way and made this dream possible! You're amazing!!

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  20. I agree with everything that others have written! Yours is one of my favourite blogs Maureen and I will keep reading as long as you keep writing! Thank you!

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  21. Great post today! I love reading your blog! You are doing a great job!

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  22. Lovely to learn abit more about you. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Jude! It feels good to share a little bit more of why I do what I do. Thank you for taking the time to comment!!

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  23. I agree with Rashida - you're a rockstar and we all couldn't have said it better.

    Let the negativity hit the road....this community is a place for positivity, inspiration and all of us enjoying the love of the craft. There is no need for negative, mean spirited conversations that end up hurtful and insulting to those of us who take PRIDE in our decisions, our blogs and the relationships we have formed with wonderful fabric designers and the companies who produce the awesome fabrics we get to sew with. We are crafting/blogging for the joy and passion of it and have been lucky to turn it into our careers just as those fabric companies have done with their passions. I find it really hard to understand why women can't just encourage, embrace and support each others successes. Why does it have to become a negative when one should be celebrating a new and exciting opportunity?

    I'm still sitting here shaking my head in disbelief, honestly, that "such discussions" that arose yesterday even had to be said aloud. Basically the bottom line of it all is if you don't like it don't look at it. Move on. Don't waste your time. Those haters would all be happier women for it :)

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  24. You are an awesome person! When I grow up (when I retire in 2 years!!!), I want to do exactly what you're doing. I really admire that you are your own person. I know this was probably an intimate post for you. We (the readers) feel like we have peaked inside your life. Rock on!!!

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  25. Hey lady, thanks for sharing your heart with us today. If I haven't told you before, I've meant to tell you that your blog is one of the few where I truly feel that your heart and passion and true self is coming through. I so appreciate that about you! Please continue to share - you are such an inspiration to me (and to many)!

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  26. I read you from Costa Rica...See? You are even international!
    Pura Vida!

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  27. I think you are wonderful. I can't imagine anyone saying anything negative to or about you. Keep doing what you are doing! Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us in the process.

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  28. I love visiting your blog and reading your words. You are a true inspiration personally and professionally. I am so happy to "meet" you.

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  29. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I honestly thought you were born sewing - wow! Your story inspires me because although I don't blog, I do quilt and I stated about 14 years ago when I became ill with an autoimmune disease that left me unable to work. I quilt by hand - all of it - because it relaxes me and I forget that I can't breathe or the pain I feel when touching beautiful fabric. Recently a very horrible family situation occurred and I was devastated, heartbroken. For 2 months know I couldn't sew or even think about sewing even though it had been my lifeline. Just in the last couple of days my heart feels like sewing & quilting. I am encouraged by your statement, "It doesn't matter where you live, what you come from, how old you are -- you can be anything you choose to be, if you work hard and believe in yourself". Perfect timing. I won't let those who betrayed me keep me down. I do believe in myself and sewing is way more than just sewing. It is a lovely way of living a life. You do it beautifully and now I will again, too. Thank you!

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  30. Well, first of all thank you for blog. Now I'm going to write in Spanish some words about your job: Gracias por compartir tus magníficos trabajos, eres una fuente de inspiración, tienes un gran sentido del color. Tu blog es uno de mis favoritos (lo sé, suena repetitivo), espero con impaciencia tus actualizaciones. Besos desde España.

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  31. Maureen,

    I love hearing your story. It is so cool that you only just started sewing and look how far you've come! There is so much creativity and talent out there, but what draws me to particular blogs (including yours) is the spirit with which the creativity and talent is expressed.

    The fabric giveaways are fun! I haven't won one yet, but I'll keep crossing my fingers!

    Thanks for sharing and staying true to who you are.

    :)

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  32. Your blog header says "a creative journal" and that is definitely the way your blog feels to me. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  33. Your post was so moving, Maureen...I loved every bit of it and was delighted to see that you only started sewing a couple of years ago. Look how far you've come in such a short time! Keep rockin' it, just like you have been. That's why we love ya!

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  34. Nice to meet you Maureen. I'm a newer reader but older gal. I grew up in a big family - not as artistic as my brother, but always working with my hands. I guess I was kindof smart, too, as I was encouraged to study engineering, which I did. But motherhood and creating are my calling. My family gets that now. And, like you, I have enjoyed meeting all kinds of creatives on the internet! I see your blog as a beautiful place to be with a beautiful person behind it who makes beautiful things! Negativity can really bring you down. So congrats on trying to stay positive! Your artistry inspires me and I hope, some day, to find my inner artist!

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  35. You're too cute. Glad you shared about yourself. I always like getting to know you better. I am inspired by you. I feel like I have all this pent up creative energy that I can't get out because I'm too busy making things for other people. I have been whittling away at my list, and when I finish, I intend to do things I want. I intend to try things that scare me; skills that have alluded me. And all because I look at your beautiful blog and swoon at all your creations! I love that you have time for your art AND your family and that you blog it all to share with us. Even through your trials, your sunshine glares through. It's a large part of the reason I like reading your blog so much! So happy to hear you are planning to stick around!

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  36. You are such a beautiful soul :D

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  37. Thank you for that post Maureen. Your work and positive energy has always attracted me to your blog. It's great to get to know you more on a personal level and that was a lovely post to do so. Continue the great work and all that you do :)

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  38. Wonderfully said, Maureen! Your's is that blog I read and I know I'm not coming into a war zone. It is very apparent in each and every post that you love just making and creating and that's all! Its not about sponsorship or money or fabric, though those are wonderful perks to be sure. It all seems very genuine and you should know this blog is a breath of fresh air. Be encouraged, Maureen! :D

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  39. What a wonderful post, Maureen! Thank you thank you thank you for putting this out there. I appreciate your positivity and creativity!

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  40. Ever since I found your blog I've been amazed by your creativity and generosity. I also find that you are a very authentic person and I love that about you. I wish we lived closer so we could be friends in person. I'm also touched that you reply to each comment I've ever made here ~ not all bloggers do that.
    I'm so glad that you found your creativity, blogging and are so willing to share.
    elsa

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  41. Great post Maureen!! I love your sponsored giveaways, and your tutorials. I would be very disappointed if that stopped. It is nice to know more about the girl behind the blog....you and I did a lot the same at a young age. I too, married young(19) and stayed home after my second child. Have never been bored!! I did the mom thing for years(3sons)..gardening...then got into quilting....love it all!! Thanks for sharing.

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  42. Thank you for sharing that was lovely and I so understand the losing ones creativeness to motherhood, I am hoping to jump back into my creative juices here with my kids getting older.

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  43. Maureen I love your story. Your creativity amazes me. The portroit is beautiful. The quilting in picture with the fabrics is amazing--very original. Keep creating & I will be watching.

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  44. I follow you regular, your's is one of my top 'go to' blogs. Thank you for your post, I love getting to know more about the bloggers and their background. If you were not true to yourself and your gifts, it would no longer be your blog, and it would certainly show.

    I resemble my grandmother, who was addicted to all things crafty. I was the only (of 4) grandchildren that spent my Summers learning at her knee. I remember assisting her at classes she taught for the Extension Office in her state. I have inherited her stash. I am the only one that still sews, quilts, and crafts. I am thankful that all three of my children have the love of crafting. I am currently teaching my 2 oldest DD-10 DS-8 how to sew. I quickly noticed a difference to each one's qualities and approach to sewing. I love that I am able to share this gift with my children and my family.

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  45. Thank you so much for sharing! I am awed that you he only been sewing for such a short time. Your blog is the first I check each day, as I know I will always find something positive, modern, artistic, and just beautiful.

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  46. You have a great blog and you inspire me to accomplish more and work harder, you are amazing.

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  47. It was so nice to read a bit of your back story. Even though I know you in real life, I didn't realize you have only been sewing for such a short time. As always, thanks for sharing!! =D

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  48. I don't have any "real" crafty or stay-at-home mom friends either. The women in my family work outside the home. I enjoy what I do as a mom, but it is hard finding a place in the world outside. Knowing your story makes your blog even more inspiring! Thanks!

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  49. I have been inspired by you and what you make and started buying the bundles you picked out because it also suites my taste, You made me see Color. Transitioning into my illness and seeing you grow has given me an idea for a new way of approaching my daily life and making beautiful items for my family that reflects who I am, which gives me strenght to over come pain that I suffer daily. I think Art is important to express ones self and if you dont create that way, then your not truely being your self and others around you dont see you. I am excited to see where both of us will be at in another year. Thank you for your personal emails, it makes me feel someone cares. Take care of yourself and I am so happy for you and the new house. I am really excited to see how you decorate it. I know how this makes you feel inside because I got to buy my dream home 5 years ago today, Its always work in progress as my Family Grows.. What fun,, I love to see the colors of fall also where you live because here in TX, we dont have that. Thank you for Sharing.

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  50. Oh Maureen, I adore your blog and all of your creations. I remember before I was a regular reader of your blog I would see your name pop up in another bloggers post here and there or see a picture of something you made on Flickr. Finally I decided I should probably check out your blog and I am so glad I did because I have been hooked ever since. Your creativity is out of this world! I appreciate that you take your time to sit down and write about your creative process to share with a bunch of stranger quilters - by stranger I mean unknown to you, not strange as in crazy, although I guess there are some of those too. ha! I always benefit from your tutorials so you know the time you spent writing it is well spent. Thank you also for being confident in yourself. Thanks for sharing!

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  51. Thanks for sharing this! Your blog is one of my favorites and is super inspirational. You are very relatable and talented and I always look forward to reading your new posts. In fact, your blog is really the only blog that I comment on frequently. Keep up the great work...I can't wait to see your pillow tutorial!

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  52. Is this somewhat in response to Rachel's post yesterday? I didn't comment on hers, but I just want to say I like your blog. Your sponsored posts are fine with me...a girl's gotta get paid!

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    1. Thanks Jamie Lee! I wrote this in above comment as well -- The emails I received did stem from a blog post yesterday, but the conversations I had with some of my blog friends is what inspired me to finally share this today. As far as my thoughts on "transparency", I summed that up when I wrote "Each day I am simply just doing my best. I'm making the best decisions I can for myself and my family, while trying my best to contribute in some small way, by doing what I love." I personally don't feel like those decisions should be up for public debate! :)

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  53. Wonderful and thoughtful post, Maureen. Thanks for Sharing!

    x Anne

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  54. Maureen, I love your blog. I love the tutorials and patterns and I am inspired every time I log in and see what you were able to accomplish as well as being a full time mom to THREE children! I have a hard time organizing my life with just a 6 month old, but because of you and other blogging SAHM's, I am inspired to keep sewing and creating. Thank you for sharing this today. (Of all the days you could have posted it, this feels like it was written just for me, even though I know it was not, because of how I have been feeling lately.) I admire your philosophy and I hope that you keep creating and inspiring us with your beautiful words and works!

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    1. Thank you so much!

      There is a reason I didn't begin to sew until my daughter was 3+ -- I seriously don't know how you Mother's of little, little ones do it all!! I am always amazed!

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  55. Thank you so much for sharing Maureen! This conversation has been stirring about in the quilting community the last couple days, which I think is why you are posting about this. I am so glad you did! My ideas, goals and philosophies for my own blog are much like yours and just like Soulemama was to you, you have been the push and inspiration to me. Throughout the experience I have had to stop and make decisions (sponsors no sponsors? giveaways? how many? being loyal to one brand? etc.) that would greatly effect my blog and my readers, and each time I really had to think about what was truly best for me. Of course it is important to consider your readers and others. But, I found it can be so easy to want to just do what every one else is doing or what pleases just your readers, but maybe not yourself. So I am working on finding that balance so that I continue doing what I love, respecting my readers, and giving back to the quilting community. I too have been wanting to write about exactly what you just did, and I almost feel like I don't need to now, because you said it so well! Thank you Maureen for what you do, for sharing about who you are. I would say the true you DEFINITELY comes out in this blog and is what keeps me coming back for more and more :)

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  56. This is why you are one of my most favorite blogs! Heck you inspired me to get started on one of my own...still quite new...but I am learning (thanks to you).

    Sincerely,
    Gil

    http://craftycatscorner.blogspot.com/

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    1. Wow Gil!! You just made my day! Thank you so much!!

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  57. Maureen..the sketch you did at 17 is woderful. My mother was an artist and perfect seamstress..the went to FIT in NYC! her drawings look like the sketch you did!

    She taught me sewing, although I did not have an easy time learning from her...I don't think she could teach very well...and I'm a chemist, so accustomed to precision. That's why the quilting I did for many years, when my babies were small, was perfect for me, as I REALLY learned how to sew well.

    My kids are grown and I have enough materials, yarn and fabric, in my house to last a few lifetimes. hmmmm....

    thank you for the sharing of yourself.

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  58. Maureen, you are the me I wish I had been in my younger days. I didn't have the courage to find a way to be a stay at home mom and create like I wanted to. I regret that sometimes. I love my life now. I still have to work outside the home, but I sew and blog a lot. I have grandchildren who I sew for and I love the creative community. You inspire me and I thank you for that and also for your mom's lesson of if you can't say anything nice...I grew up with that too. I will always come by to visit.

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  59. I too was a wannabe artist but life got in the way. I am now 68 with physical issues that keep me from doing the things I truly wanted to do even though I am finally free of family obligations and have the time. So I do what little I can. Your work is beautiful and I enjoy your blog greatly. Now, if only I could win one of your fabulous Friday giveaways -

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  60. I have been inspired since the first day I found your blog, and look forward to each post. Sharing your talents is a very generous gift to all of us. Your creativity is amazing. To be able to find a balance between family, home, and self is a difficult task, but one you seem to do very well. Your sponsors also know your talents, and you have a happy collaboration that benefits both of you. Keep up the good work on all fronts!

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  61. I love your comments about if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything....I also try to live my life this way and I try not to get caught up in negative thinking. I have a chronic pain and fatigue illness and love reading many blogs. I enjoy what I enjoy and if it isn't for me on a specific day I wait patiently for the next post. Keep doing what you are doing...you are doing a great job!

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    1. Karen, I am sorry about your struggles, but I am glad you shared that, too. So many of us sew, blog, and craft to deal with those things that we struggle with -- we use this happy place as a way to work through negative situations. It doesn't need to be tainted by negative comments or discussions that can lead to negativity or hurtful comments. Thanks again!! x, Maureen

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  62. As I read this blog, it just brought tears to my eyes. You have pulled out words that I have felt since I start to blog. I must solute you on what you have accomplished in your life so young. You have inspired all of us to do better. Than you Maureen for being a light and the end of most of our tunnels.

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  63. Maureen, you're one of my favorite bloggers. I am so happy you shared all this! And I am blown away by your art. Your self-portrait at just 17 blows me away!
    So happy to get to know you more and looking forward to your projects!
    kimberlee

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  64. I love your blog and look forward to reading your posts. Even though you might not have gone to college it sure isn't because you aren't intelligent! You are probably better off for not having gone if you were going to study art. That was my daughter's third choice for a major and she had to drop it because it required so much time and was so expensive for the amount of credits she would have received. Sometimes I think that college changes a talented person because they are taught how to be "professional" and their skill was in their individuality.

    I wish all mothers saw their job at Mom as their first priority. I was a nurse but I never let a job come between me and my family even if we needed the money--I thought they needed a parent more. My daughter has a Masters in Education now but she is a full time Mom. I'm so glad she took on my values that family comes first.

    Keep up the good work.
    Pat H.

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  65. Bah to all the debate.

    I just needed to say your drawing is gorgeous.

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  66. Thank you Maureen. And I always appreciate your honesty. I look up to you when you emailed West Elm about making a pillow like theirs. I don't know if I would have done the same thing, but use it as an example of how honesty pays off. I love your fabric choices and the projects you create. I feel like we are cut from the same cloth. Pardon the pun. Thank goodness for the internet and our online communities. I don't have real life crafty friends either and my family is not close by. If it weren't for the internet, I don't know that I would have had the mental stamina to remain a stay at home mom.

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  67. Dear Maureen---Thank you for your beautiful blog and the inspiration for me to make time to create, too! I can't wait for the scrappy chevron pillow tutorial!

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  68. Such a beautiful post, Maureen! I love all the creativity that is to be found and shared in the online sewing community. I was like you - I had no real-life friends my age who enjoyed sewing and quilting and fabric-obsessing like I did. I still remember discovering the online blogging community for the first time and feeling like I had just discovered a bunch of new best friends. I continue to feel that way. And it's been fun to cultivate real-life friendships as a result. I truly love all the creativity and inspiration there is to be shared and found. And I love your contribution to it.

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  69. Is there something in the October air? Stitched in Color (I think that's right)had a post yesterday along the same vein. Such lovely words from both of you. I think having even a few moments each day to do something creative is almost necessary for the rest of our day. Children are small once. Marriages are young only once. Each day happens once. As our lives change and go through each cycle, so will the use of our time and our interests. You seem to be juggling it all quite well. Keep it up. And never ever be afraid to just throw up your hands and laugh. Sometimes that's the only answer.

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  70. Maureen, as I commented on Rachel's blog yesterday, it makes sense for larger blogs with lots of readers to get paid (in fabric or money) for all their hard work. And it is work. I have a tiny blog but even that takes time with the creating, the photos, the editing, the writing. And I produce content far less frequently. So, I do believe that you should be compensated and think it's great that you are.

    I actually have really enjoyed some of the posts that you've written that have really made me stop and think (the West Elm one, for instance). I love blogs that challenge and inspire and yours does both. I think you are doing a fantastic job balancing sponsorship and your own creative voice.

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  71. Creativity flows all over the place!! Looking at the sketch from high school, me thinks drawing is something that needs a reconnection. That is pure talent!! Of course, not sure where you would fit that in, but my goodness, it is awesome!

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    1. Thank you Margie!! I am slowly re-connecting with my drawing roots. It is SO different than sewing for me. Right now I am enjoying sewing so much, that I am not ready to sacrifice much of my time behind the machine for pencils and paper just yet. I Do hope to make portraits for each of my children one day, as gifts for them. :)

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  72. Beautiful post Maureen. I have always wondered about the sponsor thing, and all of the giveaways that are sponsor supported. I too am so grateful for the people who read my little blog. I am not a designer, just a gal who loves to quilt, and share a little bit about my quilting experience. Thanks for sharing. It's always good to hear from your heart.

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  73. Maureen, I love your blog and your voice and think you are uber talented. I love this post too. I think you are very honest and that authenticity always comes across in what you write. I don't mind your fabric giveaways- who wouldn't want a chance to win fabric? Keep on doing what you are doing- you are doing it well. :)
    xo

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    1. Maureen--This post from Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts perfectly sums up my answer. I find you very authentic & honest. In the time I've read your blog (and made through your tutorials), I haven't seen your voice change at all. We all love to win free fabric (or at least I do!). Thanks for speaking your mind, in your own, very sweet way. It makes me cherish you more.

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    2. I totally agree, and I've felt that any new sponsorships you've received are well earnt and are becauase you do what you do so well. No one complains about athletes wearing their sponsors clothing etc and it doesn't make a difference to their talent. It's your talent and beauty that draws us back and always has.

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  74. I think it's because you are doing and sharing what you love that makes your blog so enjoyable to read. It's hard to believe that you've been sewing and blogging for less than 3 years. You're doing it all so well! I think sponsorships are a win-win for everyone because you choose sponsors that you honestly like. Keep up the good work.

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  75. Love the photo of your kids. Thank you for sharing a little more about yourself. I'm a LOYAL fan, and I love your giveaways.

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  76. Beautiful post Maureen. I started sewing earlier this year and yours is one of the blogs I like to read each week because I enjoy seeing a variety of things and you don't make me feel useless. On some blogs everything looks hard and complicated but you have a good mixture of things. Thank you.

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  77. I just found your blog recently. I read/follow a lot of blogs and yours is one of the few that I have the posts sent to my email so I can make sure to not miss anything. I find you to be refreshingly honest. I was also married at 20 & had my first child at 22, am the only one of the 4 kids in my family to not have a college degree, etc etc. I also don't have any friends here that do anything creative so I thank God daily for the internet! I'm so glad for you that you have a creative outlet in your life. Keep on doing what you do and being you.

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  78. Maureen, Even though we may never meet I would like to consider you a friend. You are making a difference in people's lives by being honest, creative, by sharing. Your family is the most important thing in your life and so it should be. I can tell by your children's eyes that feel loved. What is more important than to be loved. Bless you for sharing.

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  79. Beautiful post, and very well said. You are amazing at what you do, and I'll be here to read your blog each time you post whether you have sponsors or not! You are such an inspiration to me... My husband thought I was a lunatic for being so excited that you and Pat Bravo commented on something I made all in one day....to say it made my day is totally an understatement :).
    Thanks for being so awesome!

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    1. I remember the first time someone I really looked up to commented on my blog, I was the same way!! Actually it just happened to me the other day when Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew left me a comment! :)

      There is nothing better than receiving a comment or a link to something someone has made because you inspired them -- it's AMAZING!!

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  80. thanks for sharing!! good to know there are others that feel the same way as me!

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  81. I'm a fairly new reader, but I am so happy to have found your blog-you are amazingly talented!

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  82. Great positive post Maureen! I wonder what one plans to do the information a discussion post generates? What's the point? I mean, will they take that information and side with the majority? Probably not, I assume they already know where they stand. I just don't get these sort of posts and why a certain blogger out there continues to write them, as if they are providing some sort of insight or might reveal something new. It's just plain stupid if you ask me, and what's even worse, they act as an invitation for people to draw comparisons, call people out, and in the case of what happen to sweet Aneela, hurt people!

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  83. Hi Maureen, thanks for sharing your story. It helps us readers know you a little bit more on the personal level. I love the drawing you did at 17. You ignite creativity and I enjoy seeing all your creations. I really like the chevron pattern pillow. I read your blog daily and enjoy it very much. Thanks for sharing.

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  84. Well said, Maureen! I find so much inspiration here - your creativity, and even more so, your honesty. Thank you so much, and I hope you ALWAYS stay true to your own dreams - it is so inspiring for me to see strong women who are so true to themselves and share it with everyone. Thank you so much

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  85. thank you for sharing ♥ keep it up!!! I told my girls recently that they shouldn't think they HAVE to go to college, because honestly, I wasted a lot of $$$ (I still owe about $10k in student loans) and studied fine arts (painting was my focus) in college. Really doesn't matter...it's how much you love something and how hard to work on it!

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    1. Thank you for sharing that with me! I have so many young mother friends that feel "forced" to work, because they have degrees they don't want to "waste" or student loans that need paid. It is working out for me and I am so grateful, but it was a struggle at times financially, too. It surely isn't everyone's dream to go to college, for all sorts of reasons, and I respect that!

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  86. Love your blog, love everything you create. Keep on keeping on. :-)

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  87. Thank you for sharing!! I love reading your blog posts... all of them. You inspire and encourage in so many wonderful ways and I really appreciate you and your blog! I think it is wonderful that you have found your niche and can blog and create for a living. I hope to do the same some day. Thank you for being you!

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  88. Hi Maureen.. thank you for sharing.. I get inspired from your sewing project and much more! :) I come here when you have an update! I never lucky enough to win any giveaways! But I love seeing fabric stashes that you put together!

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  89. Thanks for sharing this post, Maureen. Reading your posts are like getting to sit down for a cup of tea with a faraway friend! (Like you, not too many of my friends around here share the hobby....) I always appreciate your voice on this blog, and I look forward to seeing where you go next. I am so thrilled for you that you have been able to make your creative dreams a reality.

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  90. You are a gifted artist - I was in awe of those butterflies you sketched. Wow - look at that portrait. I look forward to each time you share your creativity! Thank you for sharing yourself today.

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  91. Thank you for sharing!! I love reading your blog - gives me inspiration for new projects and to push myself further. I also am 1 of 8 children - none of my siblings own a sewing machine! I have offered my siblings to come and pick out a quilt they would like ... in the 8+ years I've been quilting, none have shown any interest. Thank goodness for my quilting & non-quilting friends who enjoy my quilts (looking at, snuggling up in, etc.). Being creative is so much fun & I can not imagine my life without a sewing machine! Keep on blogging & sharing your wonderful talents!!

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  92. You are an amazingly creative person, and have obviously chosen the perfect path for you so far to end up where you are now, I'm sure your dream will only grow and grow :o)

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  93. Maureen, I really loved reading your post. Thank you for sharing more about yourself with us, that can be so hard to do. Ever since the day I found your blog, I've been hooked-- so much of what you make, what you write, and the photos you share resonate with me. I'm thinking we have some similarities in our aesthetic :) I also really appreciate the positivity you bring to the table, even when dealing with less than positive situations. I'm so glad the internet has made the world just a little smaller and I found your blog!

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  94. Maureen, I am new to sewing and have recently found your blog and I LOVE it! You are so inspirational, you make me want to sew, sew and sew some more. I have found many other fabulous websites through you as well and have so much fun looking through them, adding to my "To Do" list...maybe one of these days I'll even win one of the fabric giveaways!

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    1. Thank you SO much Anne! That is how I feel about the blogs I read regularly, too, so that means a lot! I'm so happy you enjoy the giveaways! I will never understand the criticisms of them, but I guess you either love them or hate them?! I LOVE them and so they will continue here. I know that no one has ever won twice, so hopefully every will get their turn!! :) :)

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  95. I think you are just pretty special and I'm glad I found you! It has been fun watching you spread your sewing wings and seeing the opportunities come your way. I look forward to seeing what else you will do! :)

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  96. Maureen, I love your blog and your style of creativity. You remind me a lot of my daughter Kat, who's also very creative and talented yet knew she wanted to be a Mom since her teen years. Mom of 3 and Miss Martha Stewart Jr/June Cleaver of 2012!

    You need to be compensated and folks are selling hand crafted items in the USA for way too little money versus Western Europe. The pricing for quilts on Etsy! Don't get me started.

    I did respond on Rachel's post yesterday, my concern is compensation from the big fabric houses. Free fabric is nothing to a blogger for them, what I'm concern about Intellectual Properties, Copyrights of Tutorials, Patterns, Ideas created out of the Bloggers head for that stack of 18"x32" of fabric. That's what scares me from a business stand point. As a graphic designer and painter, I hold those things as golden objects and I'm not going to give it away without Royalty Fees for a free flash drive or a tube of paint.

    Sponsor Ads/Give Aways are fine/Click for Pay through Amazon no problem - You host a blog, You write an informative blog, You need to be compensated, You need to feed your family - And rightfully so...Not up for public debate. :)

    However, Fabric/Quilt/Sewing Designers need to be sure they are compensated for their I.P. just like any other industry.

    Life is real and not everything in a Blog will be Rosy, we can still have an open discussion.

    I think as long as the fabric choices speak "Maureen" and your style then your Blog is still you and your family. If it changes to all the fabric houses lines and design/styles that are soooo not you, then readership will go down because we lost "Maureen". Don't see that happening but that's the reality of blogs and it has happened to others who have made the shift. Not only in Quilting but other industries, it's not an isolated case.

    Hate to think that sparring is going on and I hope that this is will be the end of it. :)

    There are too many blog days to come...I waiting to see how that Family Room ends up looking! lol

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    1. Thank you! Making sure that I am being rightfully compensated for my work is very important, I completely agree! There have been times when it hasn't worked out and times when I felt like I was being overly-compensated. There have been more times than any, when I have had to say I wasn't interested. It's a learning experience, and helps me with my future decision making. It's also a challenge at times, because no one is more surprised than me at any of the success I have had. I am very critical with myself, like most artistic people are, and so I talk myself out of opportunities, as well.

      As far as compensation goes, that definitely depends on the person, too. I was also raised and raise my children to believe that there are other form of currency than just money. I will not always be paid in money transfers or goods, but in other ways, too. Sometimes the feeling I receive for making something is my compensation. Sometimes it's all about just getting my blog out there, where I might be seen by someone new. Sometimes I say yes to an opportunity to make friends, for the fun of it, or even "just because", and I gain something personal from doing so, that I just can't explain.

      I have had critical statements made to me by Rachel, for creating tutorials for magazines, etc.. without accepted cash payment. I don't intend to ruin the opportunity to get paid for everything, for anyone, I just feel as I stated above. My decisions come from a good heart and a pure place, and so I don't think they should be debated or criticized.

      Thanks again!! And, I can't wait for that room either. I have it all planned out in my head already (and on pinterest!!:)

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  97. Maureen,

    I feel like I know you. You are my inspiration and I enjoy reading your blog and seeing what you make but I also enjoy sharing your life and the smiles of your dear children. I also have no friends that enjoy what I do. I go out with my friends to rabbit shows, etc but sewing and crochet is what I like to do the most. My mother is no longer here and my daughters live far away. My friends are here in the several blogs that I follow and sew with. I am so thankful that I found you. Your creativity keeps mine going.

    I love your new house and as I told you, I cannot wait to watch every step of how you decorate:)

    Thank you!

    Sandy

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  98. All I can say is: YOU ROCK. I look forward to every post and your creativity keeps me going on my own journey. Did I already say YOU ROCK Maureen? Because you do.

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  99. I love your blog. It sounds like you know what you are doing and are living the dream I am grateful you choose to share your life with us and look forward to each new post.

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  100. Thank you for sharing. I am retired and have sewn for many years. I really look forward to your blogs. I also was a pretty much self taught sewer. I was older than you when I married and had children and gave up my profession to be a full time mom. It is a very satisfying thing to do but you have to do something for yourself too. I found sewing to be that thing and am glad you did too.

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    1. I am self taught, as well, but would know nothing if it weren't for this online community and how open and willing folks are to share what they have learned and do so well.

      Having this craft and this blog as an outlet has gotten me through some really tough times and will continue to. Sewing and this community are my, and many others, happy place! It's a beautiful thing!!

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  101. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. I love your blog and what you offer in the way of tutorials and inspiration. That you are successful and have found opportunities to get sponsorship and work for others is a great thing - it is nice to be able to get something back for our creative work, congratulations. Thank you for letting us all into your life.

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  102. Enjoyed hearing your story Maureen! Thanks for sharing!

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  103. I really enjoyed reading your story and finding out where and why you got your start! As a recipient of your Friday giveaways, I certainly appreciate the sponsors you have! The fact that you share your tutorials with us is wonderful, although it's reading about you, and what inspires you, that has me returning to your blog!

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  104. No need to explain or apologize for anything you do on your blog. I, for one, feel that you are extremely authentic, and of course wildly talented. Please keep listening to your own beautiful, creative voice...it makes for a grand blog and a nice friendship.

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  105. Great post Maureen. I totally understand the not having anyone to share with in your personal life. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and is genuinely interested in any sewing/quilting/machine embroidery post I show him or anything I've made. It's great to have a husband like that but, it does get a little depressing when that's the only one really that you have to share with. Of course my *almost* DIL does as well and I keep working on her to set up my D1 machine now that I have a newer machine so I can help her to learn to sew and/or quilt and machine embroidery. Because they are living her temporarily it's the perfect chance. She says she wants to but is afraid of sitting in the other room by herself to do it. I am technically only about 8 feet away on the other side of a wall and can hear anything she says to me while sitting there or if the machine sounds weird even. I hope she decides to overcome that very soon before they move out again because she has the perfect model to sew for; our Granddaughter who will be 8 months old in just a few more days. And I have enough fabric that she and I could sew for a month straight and not make a dent in it even. LOL I'd love to have her become more excited and want to learn so I have someone to leave all my sewing things to that I know wouldn't just sell them. It would be great to set her up in my sewing room but it's so small that I can barely move while working and having her in here would make me very grumpy since I wouldn't be able to move even two inches when needed and I'd lose my cutting table too.

    Anyway, I think you are doing great and I love the Friday giveaways even if I haven't won yet but it's always something I look forward to on Friday. I think I'd be sad if you moved them to another day if you want to know the truth. :)

    Have a great weekend.

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  106. I love this post. I love your blog. I love that you're able to do what you love. I have lots of love, huh? I just think that you're one very blessed and talented person, and I'm a huge fan :)

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  107. I enjoy your blog very much and I believe your blog is a gift. I am amazed at your talent. Thank you for letting us be a part of your day.

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  108. Hi Maureen,

    Great post, I enjoyed reading about your background. You are very inspiring, and it's great to read your blog, especially when life is so darn busy that I can't get to my sewing machine, it's like the little "fix" that I need! Thank you for sharing your creativity!

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    1. It's so easy to get caught up in just producing new things to share. When I started out blogging for at least the first few months, I never felt it necessary to share any personal details since it was my journal and I didn't need to explain who I was, to myself!! lol ;)

      Now, I can't believe it will be three years that I have been sharing here in January!! Of course I'm in shock that it has evolved into such an important and special part of my life. I love blogging and following blogs, too -- it is definitely "my fix!!"

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  109. I'm so glad you posted this! I always read your blog, and it's good to know about your background. I've only been sewing since August, but I've already pieced and quilted 3 quilts (just got to get to the binding...), made some glasses/phone cases for friends, and of course a thousand pillows. I couldn't have accomplished all that I have in the two short months that I have been sewing without the wonderful inspiration that I get from reading such lovely blogs as yours. I'm so appreciative of the time you take to post tutorials and I will continue to read your blog as long as you continue writing it! :)

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  110. So well put! You are a beautiful soul, it is inspiring to be able to watch and follow along as you go after your dreams! xo

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    1. Lindsey, Thank you!! You are SO amazing and I want to steal your Indie Washi TUnic!! How come you're a no-reply commenter?? ;)

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  111. Congrats on following your dreams and making it a job! I enjoy your blog and feel happy for you...

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    1. Thank you Bea!! I believe that most people are just happy, supportive, and encouraging in this community. I absolutely don't think most people have jealous feelings or negativity towards anyone's success!!

      Thanks again! x, Maureen

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  112. What a wonderful post. Thank you and keep on sharing what you are comfortable with- personally and creatively. I'll be here.

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  113. Maureen, you've been an inspiration to me from the very start of my sewing career. I too am a stay at home mom who needed a hobby, and I too am finding the realization of some of my joys and dreams through creating at home and blogging online. You keep being yourself, and I'll keep enjoying the chance to learn along with you. :)

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  114. I'm so happy to read this - I like that your blog has part of your 'story' as well as your creative journey. You are such a generous blogger (not in terms of 'stuff', more about sharing YOU) & it's one of the things that make your blog so wonderful. I know that it mustn't be easy to put yourself out there but I hope that the positive feedback from your readers validate you. Thanks again, you're awesome!

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  115. thank you for sharing, Maureen! you have some serious drawing skillz, dang! hopefully you will do some portraits of your adorable kids!

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  116. Thank you for letting us into your life. You are great at what you do and I really like reading your blog and take inspiration from you.
    Alice B. (all the way from Ontario,Canada)

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  117. Thank you for letting us into your life. You are great at what you do and I really like reading your blog and take inspiration from you.
    Alice B. (all the way from Ontario,Canada)

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  118. I love your blog Maureen and I never miss a thing because I subscribe to your RSS feed. Your drawing of the girl is amazing!! The hair blows me away. You have a great talent and we get to enjoy it through your blog. Thank you!

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  119. You rock, honest mama, and I am proud to call you my friend.

    Sally

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  120. As I read your heartfelt comments in today's blog, I couldn't help but think back to when I was a young mommy. I felt there was something more I should be doing besides putting my whole being into raising my children (and sewing all their clothes). After getting my Masters, working part time as an accountant and then as an Algebra teacher, I now realize my most amazing success was in raising my incredible children who are now themselves young adults, my son with his own child.

    Now I've retired early and getting back into my sewing. I've told many of my friends about you and the other blogging mommies and how wonderful it would have been to be able to make a successful career while being home. I so admire your entrepreneurship and success with your creativity! Wow, so much smarter than struggling to sew holiday turkeys to make Christmas money.

    I appreciate the great tutorials and notifications of various fabric lines. You have been an inspiration and I am having so much fun creating for my family once again.

    I am curious...did something happen that this is the second blog I've read in the past two days concerning this subject? You all are doing a fine service for those who really want the inspiration and contact with a fellow crafter. Keep enjoying your children! They grow up way too quickly!

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  121. Thank you for sharing yourself so openly. Your warm and genuine personality shines through in your blog and I very much enjoy the opportunity to follow along. Much of what I would have said has already been written, so a simple "ditto" will have to do.

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  122. Thank you for such a warm, inspiring and real post. I have just caught up on what I missed being offline for two months and this was exactly the post I needed to come back to.

    As always, beautiful work. Love the fox pillows, the wonky pinwheels, all of it. Best of luck with making the new house your home!

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  123. Thank you so much for sharing. You're blog is such an inspiration & I always look forward to reading it - and seeing the beautiful pieces you create. Look forward to mak=ny maore blog posts. Thanks!

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  124. Thank you for sharing. It is so lovely to get to know a bit more about you and your passions and inspirations. I think you are amazing to do everything you do, as a Mum I often feel I have no time for sewing or embroidery and no energy left for it after the washing, cooking, cleaning and ironing is all done. I find so much inspiration from you and other beautiful ladies (and occasionally gents) like you who create and express themselves and have families and lives and achieve so much with all of it.
    Thank you
    Jodi R

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  125. Oh and your drawing from High School is stunning.

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  126. It is great to get to know you in this way. We share many of the same elements in our life stories, although I have been around a lot longer than you. I too married very young, and had children early. I ended up raising my children on my own, I've never looked back, and never (well hardly ever) regretted my decisions. Through all the hard times creativity has shown through and hopefully will continue to do so.

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  127. Oh, it was such a pleasure to read your post!!
    We are very different, but passion for craft and creating unites us!
    Thank you for sharing those wonderful words!

    Hugs,
    Tatyana

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  128. We all LOVE you, Maureen!

    Here's a great big virtual hug for you. Maybe two...

    Cheers!

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  129. I am a happy follower of yours!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  130. I'm really loving different shades of grey right now.

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  131. I am following contemporary cloth on Facebook.

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  132. Maureen, this is a wonderful post! You are truly your authentic self and "give" to everyone who reads your blog. I love the image of your children and your portrait is just stunning. Everyone has their own path in life and I am so glad that you are using your creative art skills.
    I am so glad that I found you! I am looking forward to what is ahead.
    Always wishing you and your family the very best.
    XXX Sondra

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  133. Maureen, your blog feels very 'you' to me, sponsorship just seems to have given you more opportunities to bring more sewing goodness to us. I'm very glad that you can contribute to supporting your family (and are compensated for your great work here) without having to produce things you don't really believe in because of sponsorship ties.
    And please don't think you need to post everyday. In fact, I would really prefer you didn't - which I hope you don't take personally - it's just that I have so little time for blog reading that I want the very best in every post. I find that those who start to post everyday have to scrounge to fill up posts and quality starts to drop. You should only post when what you have to say really excites you - then it will excite us too! There's nothing worse than a post that is just filler. That's just my 2 cents worth - the point is I love what you're doing now and don't want it to change! x x

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  134. Maureen, you are extremely authentic and I, for one, certainly don't begrudge you your opportunities! Your work is lovely and it's being recognized as such - any fabric line would be lucky to have you as an ambassador. Keep doing what you're doing - as a blog reader I appreciate the good balance you appear to have struck between posts about you, about your work, tutorials, and giveaways. I wish you many continued successes.

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  135. Being new to you as of Sept, I had assumed that you had been doing this for quite awhile. You do a great job, so just keep doing what you do, and I'll keep enjoying reading your posts!! Love your personal style, and kudo's to you for jumping in and going for it!! Helen in Healdsburg, Ca

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  136. Glad you share your creativity with the world - you have an amazing eye for things and I am glad to have found your little corner of cyberspace!!! Keep following those dreams! :-)

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  137. Wow I had no idea you'd only started sewing that long ago, you are obviously creative at the core! You have one of the first blogs I started following - you do such a good job at having a well rounded blog so it's very enjoyable to read, so I'm glad your husband told you to get a hobby ;)

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  138. finally I found the time to read this post, I am glad I did.
    Maureen I wish I could do as you in my future, I don't want to open up my own blog, it's enough my family and raising my two little kids (the boy is 4 and the pincess is 2) I'd like to craft and create more, but I know someday this will be easier than today.
    thanks for all your inspirations ^_^

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  139. I join the hoardes of other commenters encouraging you - I too dream of being in a position like your's! You clearly have a very loyal and proud following; there will always be naysayers and Negative Nancies but the rest of us come back for more each time you publish a post! I follow way too many blogs, but your's is one I will always open in my Reader :) Bless you!

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  140. Thank you so much for sharing Maureen. You are a truly beautiful person both inside and out and I love your blog.
    Love
    Patti xxx
    (who should be called Patricia as I'm so old now)

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  141. Oh my Maureen, what an amazing post. So thoughtful and inspiring. You do brilliant work (you know I love the stuff you make). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us and isn't it great what your 'hobby' has now turned into? All my best wishes to you, Jowyn xxx

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  142. i love your blog-i get so much inspiration from what you do and how you write about it and present it to us. i wish i had the words to address everything you brought up, but i'll leave it at thank you, i appreciate your creativity and spirit.

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  143. What a great way to share with us. It makes me feel like we are your friends. You are definitely on the right track!

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  144. IPOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I;m proud of you for accepting the challange.

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  145. I love your blog and photos and fabric giveaways that you have! I have yet to do a blog! But my real life friends that share my love of creating are far from me here in New Jersey. We were all together in Texas and it was fun to be able to run over to each other's house and share and work on projects or just show each other: Look what I made. I figured you had friends by you that did the same thing. Wow ! You have made a friend of me because when I read your blog I feel that I am now coming over to your house to work on projects and be inspired and ooh and aah over fabrics that we have and love and want to make something with! You I think are a 5 hour car ride and not a 5 hour plane ride! Thank you for sharing the beautiful and creative you and touching my heart with friendship thru your blog!xxoo stephanie

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  146. I am your number one fan. I've just started my own blog and until I started this I thought I was a computer expert lol. When I get confused or muddled I go over to Maureen Cracknell Handmade thinking "what did Maureen do"

    You are an inspiration to many across the world

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  147. Wow. I'm sorry if you have had to hear some bad words about what and how you do things. Kinda sounds like it. I am a paper crafter and somehow found your blog (can't remeber how) a while back and just got stuck. You are such an inspiration! I started my own blog a few months ago but havn't really found my way. I want to share what I create with others but for me it's a real hassle taking nice photos and then all the technical issues with posting. This together with the fact that I have very few readers makes me wonder if it's at all woth it. Anyhow. I'd love to have a blog like yours! That's what I wanted to say really...

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    1. Thank you!! If it makes you feel any better, I felt like I was talking to myself for the first few-six months! It's normal. The good thing for me was that this was meant to be a journal just to document what I make and how I grow as a creative person for myself. If someone followed it was just a bonus!

      Good luck ! xMaureen

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  148. Maureen, I think you are amazing and strong and obviously creative. You are an inspiration to me. I wish we lived nextdoor Keep up the good work.

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  149. Maureen,
    I missed this post but came here specifically to look at it because I had missed it in the chaos here. It's beautifully written. Knowing you in person, I can say that not only do you create beautiful things, but you are beautiful both outside AND IN.

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  150. i am so behind on my blog reading! i loved reading this post so much maureen. you are absolutley beautiful on the inside and out and i am so glad you are my dear friend! xo you are so talented and your creativity and light draw people to you. people crave beautiful things and you are kind and gracious enough to share your talent and beauty with all of us. thank you for that! i can't wait to talk to you tomorrow! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  151. I just wanted to tell you that I recently found your blog, and I am SO inspired by you! You are a true artist, and the ideas you come up with are absolutely adorable! As a SAHM without a college education, I can totally understand what you're saying, but I hope you will realize that you are an amazingly talented woman, and your kids are lucky to have you! Thank you so much for blogging!

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    1. Oh, and I just have to say that I can't believe people would be grumpy about you hosting giveaways! Those are the kinds of people who will never be happy with what you do, no matter what you do. I for one think they're awesome, and I hope maybe someday I will win something! :)

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