Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Community Sampler Week #1 : :

I'm so excited to welcome you all to the first official day of the Community Sampler sew-along!

I shared last week that my talented friend and fellow Art Gallery Fabrics designer Sharon Holland and I have teamed up to co-host a brand new, fun quilt event once again this year and we're beyond thrilled with the response we have received so far! Just as we did for the SBS, each Wednesday, we'll release a new PDF block pattern, share piecing techniques and tips, and provide inspirational photos as Sharon and I make our own quilt blocks using our own AGF fabric collections. The Community Sampler is a 16-week sew along and we welcome ALL to join us!

CS Banner

Let's Get Started!

Today we have the very first PDF download for you!

This first Community Sampler download includes the Introduction packet. Here you'll find an overview of what to expect over the next 16 weeks, a full materials list, and coloring book pages so you can get busy planning your sampler quilt right away. Today you'll also receive a first look at this year's sampler quilt design!

The Community Sampler Week No. 1

If you'd like to include and print out our pretty Community Sampler cover, simply click on the image below and then you can add it to your PDF!

Community Sampler Cover

Just like the SBS, we want this sew-along to be a fun, personal experience for you to make your sampler in your own unique style. Once again Sharon designed a quilt perfect for those wanting to use that favorite fabric collection, as well as those wanting to make their quilt entirely from your stash or scraps!

Sharon and I plan to create a dedicated page on our blogs where you can access the Community Sampler PDFs anytime! I ask that you all visit Sharon today to read quickly about the copyright rules that apply to our samplers. Sharon works incredibly hard on creating wonderful quality patterns to share. We both put time, love and money into creating and hosting these events and we THANK YOU for being considerate and respectful of copyrights.

Today I want to share with you my Love Story fabric plans for my sampler. Love Story is my newest collection for AGF, but I'm sure once my Flower Child fabrics arrive they'll be making their way into some future block, as well!

Love Story Fabric Pull

In today's Introduction PDF it's suggested that you focus on pulling 5 light fabrics, 5 medium fabrics and 5 dark fabrics to make up the total yardage needed for the Community Sampler blocks. My Love Story collection includes twenty different quilting cottons, so I'll have plenty of options to pick and pull the colors values needed for each new block. At any time, by all means feel free to adjust and swap out different fabrics, that's part of what makes this sampler so much fun, but it's always a great idea to have a plan from the start! Here's a look at the my sampler quilt plan using Love Story, along with an inspiration collage...

My Community Sampler

When I created my collage, my plan of using both Love Story and Flower Child were on my mind. I want my sampler to be colorful and full of florals and the boho style of prints that I love! I really enjoyed all of the opportunities to fussy cut fabrics during the SBS, and I can tell that this new sampler will lend itself to lots of fussy cutting once again. When I design a new fabric collection, I love to include a few novelty style prints with this style of quilt design in mind. If you joined us in making a Sewcial Bee Sampler, it was my Garden Dreamer Bumble Bee and Buzz prints that became a standout favorite for fussy cutting. I really look forward to getting just as creative with my Love Story and Flower Child fabrics!

Community Sampler Inspiration

Sharon and I can’t wait to see your fabric pulls and selection process! If you plan to blog your Community Sampler, when you share your post be sure to add a link to where I can see it below within the comments each week. When you share on Instagram don’t forget to use the hashtag #CommunitySampler and to tag @sharonhollanddesigns and myself @maureencracknell so we can visit and see your work!

Just as a reminder: Every time you post to IG using the #CommunitySampler hashtag, you will also be automatically entered in the weekly IG Giveaway pool! Remember that your Instagram account does need to be a public account for your post to show up in the Instagram hashtag pool. But please don't worry, if you don't have Instagram we will also be hosting the same giveaway prize, alternately between Sharon's and my blog, so you can choose how and where to enter each week!

Community Sampler Maker Badge

Once again we have an amazing lineup of generous sponsors! Each Friday throughout the Community Sampler we have a wonderful Giveaway planned curtesy the list of shops and manufacturers below. We encourage you to visit them and to enjoy their offerings. Sharon and I look forward to highlighting these brands each week, they've all been so good to the quilting community!

Thank you, Sponsors!

  Art Gallery Fabrics  *  Aurifil   *  Bloc-Loc  *  Dritz  *

Be sure to check back here on Friday for a new Community Sampler Giveaway from Sharon and I! Thanks again for joining us!

Happy sampler planning, friends! ♡ Maureen

Monday, February 19, 2018

Swan Inspired : :

Swan Inspired

Last week I started a pretty sewing project that I'm so excited to share today! I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed making zipper pouch bags these past few months and I have no plans of stopping! I've already made over one hundred Love Story & Indie Folk bags, can you believe it?!

For my next batch I want to switch it up a bit and offer more of a limited edition gift set that includes a bag with a coordinating journal and maybe a few extra little things. I was so inspired when I spotted these pretty swan journals that I decided to purchase a half dozen to be my muse for this first gift set project!

Swan Inspired

These pretty journals are larger than the 8" bags that I've been making, so I purchased a bulk amount of 12" zippers (affiliate link) to be sure they'll fit perfectly. If you're looking to build a zipper stash, be sure to check out the link. I can't tell you how nice it is to have so many different colors on hand to choose from!

Swan Journal Love

I already have a beautiful stash of swan themed prints, by fellow AGF designers Bonnie Christine and Jessica Swift, that inspired my fabric pull for this project. This color and print combination is so sweet, I think these bag & journal sets will be perfect for Spring and Easter gifts!

Swan Love

When I share a curated bundle like this one, from now on I plan to include a collage of each print with a link to where each fabric is available just below it. One of the questions I receive the most, almost daily, is where the fabrics I design and use can be purchased, so I'm going to make more of an effort to include that info for all of you. carries nearly all of my prints + almost the entire catalog of Art Gallery Fabrics and they recently become a sponsor of mine, so today I'm sharing an affiliate link to each of the pretty prints I'll be using to make these new swan themed bags!

Swan Fabric Pull

Swan GIft Set Making

Each bag will even have a fun furry pompom keychain. I think these swan gift sets are going to be really special!


I'm using my Quick Quilt As You Go to assemble the bag fronts and backs. Each bag will feature a beautiful swan on one side and my go-to herringbone qayg pattern on the other.

Swan QAYG Blocks

Seeing each piece quilted has me thinking a baby quilt in these prints would be so sweet! I'll be back soon to share the finished product, I can't wait!

Swan Themed QAYG

Wishing all a creative new week! xo Maureen

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Sneak Peek At Our 2018 Sew-Along!

Today I have a BIG sneak peek to share! For weeks now my dear friend, fellow AGF design sister and Sewcial Bee Sampler co-host Sharon Holland and I have been planning a new sew-long for 2018, and today we are thrilled to finally announce and welcome ALL to join our 2018 event, the Community Sampler Sew-Along!

Our 2018 Sew-Along

The Details

This Community Sampler Sew-Along is inspired by the amazing community that grew from last's year's Sewcial Bee Sampler! The experience, response and friendships that formed through our shared love of quilting was the very best part for both Sharon and myself. We invite ALL who joined us and who made the SBS so special to join us once again, and we hope that many new friends will take part in this new sampler, as well! 

The Community Sampler Sew-Along!

One week from today, Wednesday, February 21st around 9 am EST, Sharon and I will share our first Community Sampler blog posts including the release of the very first PDF download! This sew-along is a free event to join, for quilters brand-new to experienced. All you have to do is follow along on our blogs to find the new PDF release each week, tips and tutorials along the way, our own blocks for inspiration and weekly fantastic Friday Giveaways from our generous sponsors!

Community Sampler Sponsors

  Art Gallery Fabrics  *  Aurifil   *  Bloc-Loc  *  Dritz  *

Join Us

This Community Sampler Sew-Along will be a wonderful way to connect with fellow quilters and we hope you'll join in as much as you are able to! Each week you're welcome to share links to your Community Sampler blog posts within the comments of my posts so we can visit one another. On Instagram you can find and follow me at: and Sharon at: where we'll be using #CommunitySampler as a fun way to stay connected and to create a group pool for all to share in, with the added bonus of automatically being entered into the weekly giveaway drawings each and every time you post and use the hashtag! Of course feel free to tag us when you share your Community Sampler blocks, too. We'll give more details next Wednesday, but I hope this sneak peek has you excited for the full reveal next week!!

So what do you say, will you join us in making a Community Sampler? We hope you will! You don't need to do anything official to join, just let me know in the comments that you plan to! We also created this cute button for you to share on Instagram if you'd like!

Join Us!

Sharon and I look forward to sharing more next week and we can’t wait to spend the next few months creating with you!

xo Maureen 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Studio New!

Since it's been a little bit, today I thought it would be fun to share some of the photos I took of my studio last week!

Studio New

Once the walls and furniture were painted and everything cleaned, at the top of my to-do list was to unpack my Soulful fabric samples to recreate a similar display to the one I had created for Quilt Market when
I showed Soulful. It's so nice to have the space now, to enjoy seeing on a daily basis the hard work that goes into the sample making and display designing. After a show, often I would leave samples in my suitcase for weeks or I'd have to sell them right away because I didn't have the space to keep them in my sewing room at home. Had I had this much space when I began designing fabrics, I'd certainly have more than enough goods to open up a shop already!

Now that my Love Story fabrics are widely available and the samples I made using this new collection are home from their travels to AGF, I was exited to put Soulful on the shelves to make room for a  Love Story display right away!

Filling Shelves

Love Story at the Studio

I didn't show Garden Dreamer or Love Story at International Quilt Market, so I'm especially excited to put together this simple display to share here on the blog. I have plans to make a small quilt to hang on the wall above my collection of Love Story pillows, I just need to decide on a pattern. I also ordered more rolls of the Italian crepe paper that I used to make those big, beautiful paper flowers that I decorated
my Flower Child booth with. I hope to make a dozen or so to use both for this studio Love Story display and for Flower Child when that collection arrives in April!

Studio &  Love Story

Handmade Giant Flowers

Love Story Rolls

Love Story Display

This is the view from my sewing machine and this space has truly been such a wonderful blessing for my own creativity and goal setting. I shared around the holidays that while working at this new studio, without the distractions of home chores, I've had so much time to think about the goals and plans I have for this space and my future as a maker and fabric designer. I LOVE designing fabrics more than I could ever express, but just as much I love making things with ALL fabrics. I know that pattern writing is not a strength of mine, but I do hope to both inspire other makers by all the things I make & share, and to also sell my handmade goods. I've never enjoyed making so much as I do these days in my new studio, and I've been a maker my entire life!

Love Story Wall

I hope you'll enjoy seeing the occasional "Studio New" post from me on how this new space of mine changes and evolves in the days ahead. Once I clean up the side of my room that I work in, I plan to share how I'm trying to keep things organized. I also have a second room that I'm in the process of working on that I plan to hang my quilts in and perhaps I'll finally have a design wall, I can't wait!

Thanks for visiting!
xo Maureen

Monday, February 12, 2018

Floor Pillow Love!

Happy Monday! Last week was full of wonderfully productive sewing days and I have lots of good stuff to share this week as a result. First up is this Love Story & Indie Folk Skinny Braids floor pillow!

Love Story & Indie Folk Floor Pillow

This super scrappy version of my new Quick Quilt As You Go design, Friendship Braids, is made up of 1"-2.5" strips of these pretty prints to make a big 26" square floor pillow. I have a tutorial in the works for my Friendship Braids quilt block using wider strips, and once you learn you'll see that the variations are endless. It's similar to the herringbone qayg that I teach in my Craftsy class & so often use in that it's just as fast and fun, but the pattern is very different in comparison. It feels new to me, so I'm really enjoying this new qayg pattern!

Friendship Braids Floor Pillow

For this pillow I started with two 14" x 27" cuts of cotton batting that I covered edge to edge with skinny strips of fabrics before trimming them up and sewing the blocks together to finish as a pillow top.

Scrappy Braids

As I stitched on new strips, I used a dark navy Aurifil 50wt from my Bohemian Gardens thread collection to add more quilting. I love the visible thread against these saturated colors. So pretty!

Quilted with Navy Aurifil

I love using heavy weight denims to back my pillows. For this floor pillow that will surely get lots of rough handling from the kids and pets, a denim or canvas was a perfect choice. Rather than using the right side of this AGF Crosshatch Denim in Rainy Night, I used the wrong side because I like the look of it just as much!

Backed in AGF Denim

I bought a two-pack of down alternative Euro Pillows and I think for the second floor pillow I'll do this same skinny braids pattern using my stash of AGF denims. I have several new finishes to share this week so be sure to stop back!

Friendship Braids Floor Pillow

xo Maureen

Monday, February 5, 2018

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids Quilt

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt

I'm so excited to share my first quilt finish of 2018 -- A Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt made in my recently released Love Story collection for Art Gallery Fabrics + Pat Bravo's beautiful Indie Folk collection for AGF. These romantic, boho prints and saturated colors speak to me like no other. You may have noticed my affection for them over the past few weeks, I can't stop reaching for them for bags, pillows and this first quilt of the new year!

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt

This quilt started back in November when I came up with this new qayg idea using the Quick Quilt As You Go method that I teach in my Craftsy class. To make this quilt top I used all twenty Indie Folk quilting cottons, several of my Love Story prints cut into strips measuring 3" x WOF, plus forty 8" x 15" cotton batting rectangles.

Love Story and Indie Folk Friendship Braid QAYG

Once each rectangle cut of batting was covered with fabric edge to edge, I trimmed away the access fabric and batting to measure 7.5" x 14". I stitched the pretty blocks together first in pairs using just slightly larger than a 1/4" seam allowance and then I stitched them all together to finish a quilt top measuring approximately 56" x 68", a wonderful throw size!

Love Story and Indie Folk Friendship Braid QAYG

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt

I finished the quilt by attaching the backing fabric, my favorite Indie Folk print Khokhloma Burgundia, sewing through each layer a 1/4" from both sides of where my blocks were sewn together. Video instructions for finishing this style of qayg quilts can be found in my Craftsy class. I just love how quickly this style of quilt comes together, with such a beautiful finish each time!

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt -- Backed in Indie Folk

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt -- Backed in Indie Folk

I chose to bind this quilt using Pat's colorful, unique take on a stripe, Indie Folk's Trinket Vivid. I tend to use stripe prints for my binding and this one fits this finish so nicely!

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt -- Bound in Indie Folk

I sold this quilt during my holiday sale back in December, but I've been so tempted to add this quilt as a made to order item in my Etsy shop since I sold this one, that I decided to give it a try!  It's truly one that I would love the chance to make again and again and again...

Love Story & Indie Folk Friendship Braids QAYG Quilt

I tried my best to include details for those of you who are interested in making a Friendship Braids QAYG quilt of your own, but by all means, please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments anytime. Sharon Holland and I have been busy preparing our next sampler quilt-along, otherwise I would have loved to share a quick tutorial. I still would love to, if I can find a little extra time this month. In case you missed our announcement, be sure to check it out on my Instagram! We had such a wonderful experience co-hosting last year's Sewcial Bee Sampler together that we decided to do another, with a new pattern and a new name. I'll be back with details soon!

xo Maureen