Thursday, November 13, 2014

Simple & Sweet : :

I can't thank you enough for all the kind words and advice so many of you left me yesterday. I read every comment and felt, more than anything, lifted up by your support and encouragement. I had originally decided that I wasn't going to share what's currently happening with my health, especially after having such an amazing Quilt Market experience. I didn't want to spoil the news and excitement of it all. I came back feeling SO good. Then immediately to have what feels like my whole system just crash on me, has really got me down, which is what brought on yesterday's post. I've been dealing with some pretty severe Autoimmune issues for as long as I've had this blog. That's not a coincidence. I've turned to being creative and sharing my passion for it to get me through it all, without ever dreaming what it would turn into. I don't feel a pressure to continue on the days I'm struggling from my readers, my sponsors, or any contract I've signed. The pressure comes from ME. Each day that passes that I don't spend being productive, creative, and happy is one I feel I've wasted. There's being tired and needing rest, which I think I have no problem conceding to and feel I get plenty of. Then there's what I'm dealing with now, which is an exhaustion and fogginess that leaves me feeling defeated before the day begins. I don't want to be overcome by my grief and illness, I want to succeed more than ever despite of it. I do need to learn to give myself a break on the days I don't. Yesterday, you all reminded me of that and I can't thank you enough. I feel much better today, like a weight has been lifted. Today I'm going to continue working on my sisters pillows at my new pace, without worry or guilt for how behind I feel I am. I'm going to continue counting down the days to when my fabric collection arrives at my door with excitement, which with perfect timing should be right when I can take my medication again.  I'm going to do some of that "selfish sewing" that so many of you mentioned in the comments yesterday. I definitely don't do enough of that! I'll continue to update you all on what's going on, without feeling embarrassed and shy, because pretending it all away just isn't working anymore. But first I want to share a few photos of what I made yesterday. Just a sweet & simple set of whole cloth pillows, quilted with Aurifil, bound in a solid navy.

Simple & Sweet Pillows

Sketchbook in Pink

Quilted with Aurifil

Bound in Navy

Such an easy project, but still I managed to create something rewarding that is beautiful and special for my sister. A good reminder that sometimes the grand plans, long to-do lists, and big goals can be forgotten for awhile. That sometimes simple is exactly what's needed to bring the joy and magic of making back to our days and hearts.

Thank you all again!  ♡  Maureen

45 comments:

  1. A good reminder for all of us especially as us makers get ready for a busy season of holiday gift making. You are a gift Maureen Cracknell. Thank YOU!!

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    1. What a nice comment, thank you Sarah! And, yes, a great reminder with all that we try to accomplish this time of year. I don't ever remember how long something took me to make, just how good it felt to give it to someone I love.

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  2. This fabric is beautiful in its own right. No need for piecing or adding anything. What a great choice for pillows! I pray that your day is happy and bright.

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  3. You are an inspiration to many of us in so many different ways!! Thank you!!!

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  4. I'll try again to comment - yesterday it wouldn't post. YOU have given so much inspiration to so many of us. I come to think of this as a giant neighborhood and we all gain strength and positive thoughts from each other. Take your time to recover from this bad bout and have your strength back. You have a lot of others thinking of you at their sewing machines today

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  5. Oh and yes, love the fabric pillows.

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  6. The pillows are gorgeous! Right now, I'm in the middle of your Typography quilt for my granddaughter. So excited, seeing it come together and as this will be my first "quilt as you go" project, I want to thank you for inspiring me and giving me the confidence with your clear instructions to actual do it! Can you tell I'm excited? I pray God will comfort you in your grief and your health. As my husband and I are facing some serious health issues at this time, I find time spent sewing helps relieve the stress. Always look forward to reading your blog. Take care.

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  7. Just please listen to your body. I have many of the immune diseases you've mention here and so I know first hand the day to day challenges you face. You are very positive and strong willed I can tell and that is wonderful but you don't need to be all the time. It is also alright to have bad days and take time off. No one will ever find fault with you for it. Just be a friend to yourself.

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  8. I love how simple and stunning these pillows are. I'm a big fan of bold colors and the (navy? black?) trim really makes the colors pop! I'm sure your sister will be thrilled!

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  9. I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling with your health. Health is such a blessing most people don't even realize. I too am struggling greatly with my health and have been since having my second child. Each day is a struggle in pain and it's much harder with two little children at home! I find your determination to create and enjoy each day such an inspiration! Quilting and sewing has become a so much more of a joy as it's one of the few things that I can say that makes me enjoy my day! I hope you continue to create and enjoy your creations! It's nice to know there are others in the same boat but chose to find joy in each day.

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  10. Sometimes that 'selfish' and simple sewing is just what you need to keep going.

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  11. Yay for feeling better!
    Love love love these pillows! Straight line quilting is the best and my favorite!

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  12. Beautiful pillows!!! Amazing how making something beautiful can lift your spirits! Especially when we make it for someone we love!!! Of course you put all the pressure on yourself - happens with many of us - we don't want to disappoint anyone in our life so we put impossible demands on ourselves...your body is in a place where you just can't "buck up and soldier on" - it's time to take care of Maureen, doing what you need to do for your health. We love you and are praying diligently for you. Thank you for coming out from behind the mask and letting us know you a bit better!

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  13. What a great post! We have to take care of ourselves and be willing to humble ourselves that we were not created to do all and be all to everything and everyone. It is freeing! Thank God you came to this conclusion that you need to remove the burdens we are not meant to carry. So glad you produced these beautiful, elegant pillows! Love them! Take care and blessings!

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  14. I've been wondering how your health was holding up during this crazy time of work, creativity and success for you. I was hoping things had stabilized and I'm sorry to hear you have to endure this exhaustion off your medication. I hope the scan will give you and your doctors the information you need to move forward and regain your strength and stamina soon. Thinking about you!

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  15. So glad to hear you are feeling much better today, Maureen. I don't have much to say but, keep your heart warm by the Lord's love. He's taking care of you and your family. Your pillows are always stunning and inspiring. I also read your post about your experience going to the Quilt Market and I'm sure it brought not only tears but inspiration for many of us that think we can't do much because circumstances in life. Thank you for sharing. Really. Thank you so much.

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  16. We should all make time for some "selfish and simple" sewing. I find it always helps to keep me going with all the other things I feel I ought to do. Your pillows are gorgeous. Your sister is a lucky gal to be receiving them. Hope today is a good day for you.

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  17. Simply beautiful! Hoping you feel better soon.

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  18. Maureen, You are such an inspiration to me. You are one of my favorite Blogs and I aspire to have a blog and creative talent like you. I was so bummed to read your post this am. But So happy to have checked back this afternoon and see you were feeling better. I know your going through a lot, but just look at one of your creations and smile.. take it easy, even if its laying on the couch hand sewing a binding :) Thank you for all your posts they always cheer me up and make me want to be creative. Feel Better.... Valerie
    www.diaryofanovicequilter.blogspot.com

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  19. Thank you for sharing your story Maureen. There is such a tension between resting when you need it, taking care of yourself and working through the bad days. We each have to know our own bodies and listen to it! :)

    I would love to know the method you use to make these pillows with binding. Do you put in a zipper or envelope backing? Also, do you make the finished size of your covers smaller than the pillow insert? I've had problems with my pillows going flat if I make them the same size as the form.

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    1. Thank you Jessica! I use an envelope style backing for almost all of my pillows. For these I'm using a heavier weight sateen cotton which is plenty sturdy, otherwise I would also quilt the backing fabrics and bind the raw edges. For the binding I add it just as I would to a quilt, using my go-to machine binding method where I stitch in the ditch on the front, catching the binding edge on the reverse side. I really should do a tutorial to link to since this is a question I often receive. It's such a great way to finish a pillow and would be worth sharing a how-to! Thanks again!!

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  20. Oh, I just love this AMH fabric. It's georgeous! I have it too and I also will sew some pillows out of it. I think it's perfect for pillows.
    From my own experience I can tell you: BE SELFISH!!! Taking care of yourself and doing "selfish" things is so important. It will make you feeling better and calmer. If you are more relaxed it will be better for your health. I had to learn this the hard way a long time ago when my body decided it's enough.
    So, take care and be better soon. I love your blog and your work. Can't wait for your fabric to arrive :)

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  21. Your pillows are beautiful. I'm happy you felt well enough to make these yesterday!

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  22. Take a good multivitamin approved by your doctor and take a nap in the middle of the day so you can be rested for the late afternoon/evening demands of family. Protein-based snacks give energy.

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  23. I recently had a knee replacement, and have found that sewing and creating as a much needed distraction from pain. I have been playing with hexies, but yesterday and today I felt good enough to sew on my machine for a couple hrs. I believe it has put me on the road to recovery. So remember to try to sew when ever you have a few good moments. Love your pillows!

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  24. What a sweet set of pillows! Given the autoimmune, it might be that, next time you go out & about around crowds & their germs/bacteria, you will have to schedule in three or four days of *rest* upon your return.

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  25. IT is so great everyone is supportive. We have had a few conversations about autoimmune diseases before and I think it is great that you are talking about it. Feeling like crap is no fun, but it happens for some more than others and talking about it can help. Do that selfish sewing and remind yourself (this is beyond hard) that being down about your health only makes you feel worse. Get distractions and try to stay positive. You can do it! Chocolate helps too.

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  26. Such a simple but wonderful way to quilt a pillow! I love it!
    I think we all need to remember that no matter what anyone else is doing,
    we need to do things on our own pace, just getting this simple pillow made is
    a great accomplishment! Stay strong! and keep going!

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  27. Wow. You are such an inspiration. Everything you do is amazing! I can only hope to possess your ambition and fortitude. I love these pillows. In all honesty, I love every project I've seen of yours. These ones speak to me because I made a baby blanket for my miracle baby niece with the same lovely fabric. http://pinterest.com/pin/222083825350523013/?s=3&m=messaging
    You are an amazing everyday hero. Take care and bless you.

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  28. We are all in a "becoming" sense. Sometimes whole and sometimes broken there is no wrong in doing what we can and doing what we must. The important thing is to keep moving forward and giving ourselves grace! And trusting that God is taking care of he rest. Hugs! Hang in there we will all be here excited to hear from you, whenever!

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  29. So simple, so beautiful. I love the way you present things :) Thanks!

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  30. I so understand what you are going through. I get up some mornings and wonder why I am making my bed when I will want to crawl right back in it! Thank you for sharing and do as we have...this holiday season, I am cutting way back on cooking and baking and preparing to feel better!

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  31. You have such a great eye from finding great fabric that it amazes me. Lovely pillows! Glad you are having a better day today. :)

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  32. I didn't have a chance to post because I was out of town, though I read it in feedly while I was waiting for breakfast. I'm sorry that you are having this health crisis and have to have surgery, and I think its perfectly awesome for you to post about struggles here. Your blog and projects have brought me a lot of happiness over the last three years. Keeping you in my thoughts.

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  33. I absolutely love, love, love your whole cloth pillows!!! Wishing you well and want to thank you for sharing your amazing talent with everyone :)

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  34. I can so relate to that feeling when I don't sew in a day. I feel like I haven't been me. That the day has passed without connecting with myself. I can have a day filled with friends and housework, tick all the boxes for what needs doing, but not sew, and I end the day saying, "What have I even done today?!" I spent pregnancy feeling like an important part of me had died for that reason. I can't imagine fighting long term illness. Cheering for you Maureen. And praying, that as you've already experienced, there will be much joy and colour even in grief.
    xxx

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  35. Whatever you can do to simplify your life will make you feel better too. The stress is not worth it. The pillow is darling and I'm sure she will love it.

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  36. Love the pillows! Dealing with thyroid issues in any size or shape is not fun! Wishing you speedy recovery on the road to feeling better!

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