Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Quilt From My Friends : :

This past Sunday my family and I adventured out for a quilt photo shoot. It's been more than two months since we last went out, can you believe it? And, this isn't even a quilt finish of my own, no, it's much more special!

Back in early October a surprise box arrived at my door, in the midst of dealing with frustrating, endless health struggles, grieving the loss of my Dad, all while preparing for my first fabric collection release & Quilt Market. Inside was the most beautiful quilt made by Nicke, Holly, Jacey, Ara Jane, Jeni, Jessica, and Amanda, along with a note expressing their hope that this quilt would bring joy to my life and peace to my heart. This amazing gift has given me that and so much more!

A Special Quilt!

It's made up of twenty colorful, scrappy quilt blocks using the free Amsterdam Quilt Pattern, a collaboration quilt Holly created with Michelle Engel Bencsko for Cloud9 Fabrics, combined with my favorite, quilt as you go. Each block is signed by it's creator.

Amsterdam QAYG

Amsterdam Quilt Blocks

While this worn-out, broken barn so perfectly represents how I've felt so many days these past few months, this amazing gift embodies the beautiful and tangible connection that only a handmade quilt can give. How quilts are such a wonderful source of comfort. My friends who made it hoped that I'd feel peace and love when I snuggle myself under it, but it also showed me how much they care, which is so helpful and healing in sad and lonely times. I truly can't thank them enough. 

A Special Quilt! 

So much beauty!

To Nicke, Holly, Jacey, Ara Jane, Jeni, Jessica, and Amanda -- from the bottom of my heart I thank you, I'm forever grateful. 

♡  Maureen

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sewing Together : :

Last week my friend Cynthia and I spent one glorious day sewing together! We've been talking about doing this for so long, as in years, about three in fact, which is exactly how long it's been since I finished my very first quilt. I can honestly say I'm glad we waited. I didn't know what I was doing for about a year and most of our sewing plans came from hoping we'd do much better if we did it together. Today, I've grown into a confident quilter who can easily explain and share with my friend how to make a beautiful quilt fast, which made the making easy and the process so much fun!

Cynthia Sews!

As for the fabric, Cynthia chose Bonnie's beautiful Winged collection for Art Gallery Fabrics!

Winged cutting

pretty Winged

For the pattern, she's using my Herringbone QAYG tutorial!

Winged QAYG

For our day of sewing, we tried out the new Janome Skyline S5 accompanied by my Janome MC 15000 at the dining room table.

Janome Sewing!

We took turns using both Janome models. What a blessing to have such amazing machines to sew on! Janome recently sent me this new Skyline S5 to use and review. So while teaching Cynthia, I was also learning and comparing the Skyline features to my current MC 15000 and the other machines I've sewn on. I plan to continue using it this week, but can already share that this machine really has every convenience I use & need for my daily sewing projects, from birthday crowns to quilt tops! I especially love how compact it is!

Janome Skyline

We spent the day sewing away, drinking coffee, and laughing constantly. What an amazing opportunity to see my friend learn this process I love so much, to watch her instantly fall in love with the prettiness of her work, which resulted in the beginnings of such a beautiful quilt!

Herringbone QAYG in Winged!

Ah, to be wrapped up in the colors of Spring this Winter, how perfect! We plan to meet one more time after this busy Thanksgiving week to finish it up, stay tuned!

♡  Maureen

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Fabric GIVEAWAY : :

It's Fabric Giveaway Friday!

Doe Bundle GIVEAWAY!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
  Maureen cracknell 275x170ish

My sponsor Fabric Spark is a Canadian online fabric shop on a mission to help others make, to offer inspiration, and to help you find your sewing spark! At Fabric Spark you'll find beautiful designer fabric, designer bundles and unique bundles for patchwork projects and quilts. They offer lots of sewing patterns from quilt patterns to Kwik Sew garments for adults and children, and offer sewing kits containing all of the notions you'll need to make it easy! They're always on the lookout for new fabrics, so stop back often to see what they've found!

"Happy sewing, and remember to do something creative every day!"
SHOP  *  FACEBOOK  INSTAGRAM
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
 We hope you enjoy visiting the Fabric Spark sites!!

22754


For this week's giveaway Fabric Spark is offering a Doe fat quarter bundle, including eleven beautiful fabrics from Carolyn Friedlander's beautiful, brand new Doe fabric collection! You can find this bundle available as a fat quarter bundle here and a half yard bundle here in the Fabric Spark shop, as well as they're new Doe collection offerings right here!

Doe Bundle GIVEAWAY!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Enter to Win!

Here's how,
 
1.
Simply leave a comment here in this post! We'd love to know what you'd create with this bundle? (one entry)
2.
Follow Fabric Spark on Facebook or Instagram! Just let me know you do by making a separate comment here to record that entry.
(optional extra entry)
3. My followers get a third entry, as well! Just let me know you do by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (optional extra entry)
4. Help spread the word!! I know that many of you already do, so I've added that as another way to enter! Whether by facebook, instagram, tweet, pin, blog, etc... (optional extra entry) 

That’s 4 possible entries! Enter now through Monday, November 24th. The winner will be chosen at Random and I will announce their name at the bottom of this post, here on the blog!
 
* Note * This giveaway is open to EVERYONE! If you're a "no reply" or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment so that I can contact you should you win!


Thank you for stopping by today!  ♡  Maureen

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just For You Book & GIVEAWAY : :

Long ago I was invited to contribute a project for the new book Just for You: Selfish Sewing Projects from Your Favorite Sew Can She Bloggers: 24 Simply Stylish Projects by authors Sarah Markos and Caroline Fairbanks-Critchfield of SewCanShe. Over the years the SewCanShe blog has so kindly featured many of my own tutorials and I was thrilled to have been asked. To celebrate it's release there's a fun blog hop happening all month long, featuring all the book contributors, including a sneak peek of each project, with lots of chances to win your very own copy of Just for You! This is my very first book contribution, so it's all very exciting!

Just For You book & GIVEAWAY!

The book is a collection of "selfish sewing" projects from bags & totes to skirts & tops to scarves & aprons and more, all designed by many of your favorite bloggers! The projects are arranged into twelve chapters, one chapter for each month, so you can sew along with the book throughout the year. In October, you'll find my project for a Pretty Pocket Apron!

A Just For You book!

This apron is made using just five fat quarters of fabric, a denim linen, my favorite English Garden Serene print by Bari J, Art Gallery Fabrics Flumes in Citron and PE solid Nocturnal, with several scrappy bits for the colorful pocket applique!

Apron 1

Today, Stash Books is offering a copy of Just For You to one of my readers!

JustForYoucover

Enter to win!  

Here's how,  

1. Simply leave a comment here under this post! (one entry)
2. My followers get a second entry whether you follow here, on Instagram or Facebook! Just let me know by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (optional extra entry)
3. Help spread the word!! I know that many of you already do so, I've added sharing as another way to enter! Whether by instagram, tweet, facebook, pin, blog, etc... (optional extra entry

That’s 3 possible entries! Enter now through Monday, November 24th! The winner will be picked at Random and I will announce their name at the bottom of this post, here on the blog. 


* Note * This giveaway is open to EVERYONE! If you're a "no reply" or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment. U.S. winner will receive a hard cover book, International winner will receive the eBook version! 

In addition to this chance to win, Caroline is also giving away Just For You plus fabric for four projects! Enter HERE and be sure to click through the blog hop to see the other project previews from the book!

Thanks for stopping by today!  ♡  Maureen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Making Plans : :

With the completion of those eight simple & sweet pillows for my sister last week, and being just one binding session away from finishing the last of my neglected quilt makings, I feel safe to do a little quilt project planning. I'm thinking of maybe making a Christmas tree quilt, but something nontraditional since I recently destashed all of my holiday novelty fabrics and now my stash is majorly lacking in both reds & Christmas green.

Quilt Planning!

The fabrics are mostly a mix of Art Gallery Fabric collections - light citron, fern, emerald, jade, and several other variations of green, coral, cerise, fuchsia, crimson, and a little brown. Not a single print even slightly holiday-ish but still, I think these will work for what I have in mind.

Red & Green

I plan to combine the "reds" with low volume prints to make HST's!

Red!

AGF low volumes!

For the "greens" I'll cut a variety of  wide strips, in various lengths, to build a stacked scrappy fabric tree!

Green!

For me, beginning a new quilt is one of my most favorite things! The only thing better is seeing them in action, giving them to the ones I love, knowing they'll keep warm under a quilt made just for them. Today, I'm helping my best friend make her very first quilt for her family. I have a feeling that she's going to be hooked and that this opportunity to help her make her first quilt will join the top of my favorite things list!

I'll be sure to share more soon!  ♡  Maureen