Monthly Archives: March 2017

A Cheerful Finish

This is quite possibly the most cheerful quilt I have made yet. The colors are so bright, just to look at it makes me smile. I hope my niece and her husband will enjoy it when they receive it. My timing couldn’t have been better as my niece went into labor early this morning and is at the hospital right now. We should hear about baby’s arrival sometime today. How exciting!

The pattern, When You Wish, by Kristy of Bonjour Quilts is adorable. Simple HST’s and five inch squares make it a breeze to assemble. I think it would be really cute with other color patterns but for this project, I shamelessly copied Kristy’s quilt because I wanted a rainbow themed quilt.

It is a tiny quilt at 36″ x 36″ but perfect for baby’s tummy time, going outside, or covering baby in the car seat. My niece lives in Southern CA and the baby has two older siblings. I think this baby quilt will get lots of use at the park or in the back yard.

Quilting is simply straight lines about 1 1/2 inches apart. I drew a few lines with a ruler and chalk-o-liner and also used the seams to keep me on track.

This quilt was made entirely of fabrics I had in my stash. For the backing, I chose the, now out of print, Numerals fabric by Ikea. I have been holding on to this piece for several years and it looks great with this quilt. I would surely love to find another piece of this?  Anyone holding on to some that you are willing to part with?? (A girl can always dream….)

Love the black and white binding? It is the Cheerios piece from the Sweet Tweets line which I have in my shop. I think this print would be perfect as a binding for almost any quilt. I love the boldness of the design and it frames the star beautifully. I machine stitched the binding — I often do with a baby quilt because of the number of times the quilt will likely be laundered.

Now that this is washed, crinkled, and ready to go, I will pack it up and send it to Southern California. Three new babies have arrived and three baby quilts are finished. What a nice start to the year. 🙂

Linking up all over the place. Find my list of linkys at the top of the page, under Link Ups. I am also linking up at She Can Quilt for the end of Q1 FAL link up.  This baby quilt was one of my Q1 goals! Yahoo.

Fiction and Fabric, Round 4

With the beginning of Spring this week, I want to introduce the book we will be sharing for this round of Fiction and Fabric.  I have really enjoyed each of these book sharing events. Just in case you haven’t participated, you can read more about them here and here.  In a nutshell, I select a book that I would like to share. Those interested sign up (very quickly) in the comments. We then start reading it (the same copy) one after the other. I send the book with three fat quarters of fabric that I tie to the book in some way to the first person. Once that person has read the book, she makes a little note in the front cover saying what she liked (or didn’t like) about the book and sends it to the next person with three fat quarters that she chooses, again based on the book.

It has been great fun to hear the thoughts of the other readers as well as seeing what fabric they send.  Beginning with this round, if you are on Instagram, please share a picture of the book and the fat quarters you receive.  Let’s tag it #fictionandfabric. I don’t always get to see the other fabrics people select and it would be nice to see the different choices.  Remember that if you sign up, please don’t keep the book for too long – try to read it within three weeks and have it sent off to the next reader. If you choose “media mail” for shipping it is much less expensive (though it may take a bit longer to arrive). For this round, I am only opening it to readers in the US. We have had people in the UK and Canada participating but the book takes such a long time to get there and it is fairly expensive for the person that has to mail it out of the country as well as the international reader when she mails it back into the states.  I am sorry about this.  If anyone has suggestions on making it more feasible, please let me know in the comments.

More about the book!! I first read The Book of Bright Ideas when it was loaned to me by my good friend, and fellow book lover, MaryAnn.  We meet for coffee each month (we used to work together) and often bring a book we think the other might enjoy.  I loved the book. It is a coming of age story set in small town USA and told  from the perspective of a young girl. She is living in a fairly dysfunctional family when two sisters move into town.  They are free spirits with a very different approach to life. The story follows the friendship of the two young girls, Button and Winnalee, as well as the relationship that develops between older sister, Freeda, Button’s mother, and Aunt Verdella. The story is set in the 1960’s when women were becoming a bit more independent and wanting to experience more in life. As with many good stories, the ending took me by surprise. I read this one quickly because it held my interest throughout.

This is the first book I have read by Sandra Kring. Ms, Kring resides in northern Wisconsin and this is her second novel to be published. She tells us that the idea came to her as she watched two young girls playing dress up and she began to think about the importance of that first close friendship made between two people. From there the character of Button evolved and told the story of how this happened to her one summer. There is a sequel to this book, A Life of Bright Ideas, in which Sandra brings Button and Winnalee back together two years later as eighteen year old young women living in the 1970’s. I haven’t yet read it but I plan to. When the first book ended, I was left wanting to know what becomes of these two little girls. Luckily, I will be able to read about it. 🙂

I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Sign up in the comments, first come first served. The group is limited to six people or it takes too long for the book to make its way through the group. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Sign ups are closed. We will do another round of Fiction and Fabric in June!

Island Batik Project Finish

 

As an ambassador for Island Batik, I have a schedule of challenges issued each month to create with their gorgeous fabrics. The theme for the month of March was March Mini Madness and the quilt was to be constructed with paper pieced blocks.

:ast week  I shared the beginnings of the mini I was working on with Island Batik fabric. Using a paper pieced star pattern (free download from Craftsy) I made four blocks. Each one became a bit easier than the last which was nice. I feel like I made progress and have a better feel for paper piecing now. (These blocks were very simple which was helpful). I like the various themes designated by the coordinator at Island Batik as it forces me out of my comfort zone a bit. Isn’t it nice to have the oppportunity to learn something  new?

The overall look of this little quilt is bright and cheerful. I love the purples and blues against the black batik. Bright green strips were used for the sashing.

After the top was assembled I quilted it by first adding some straight lines to the greeen sashing, using a bright green Mettler thread. Following that I free motion quilted small loops over the black background as well as an X through each star. With a dark batik, the quilting is not the star of the show. It is very hard to see.

I decided it needed a bit more detail to finish it off. First I decided to add buttons. I think it was about two weeks ago that I read a post written by Janine, over at Quilts from the Little House, where she used buttons to embellish a project of hers. I have a jar of buttons and thought it would be fun to take that bit of inspiration and apply it to this mini. Don’t they look cute? Makes it sort of whimsical.

After the buttons, I still wanted more detail. I decided to add a flange to the outer edge before I attached the binding. Doesn’t this make a nice polished finish? I am very happy with this. Hopefully I will put a hanging sleeve on it soon and it will join the other minis on the wall in my sewing room. Just in time for spring!

Linking to all the usuals – find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups!

Springtime Blog Hop Celebration

Happy Monday Everyone!  Back in December when I first started working on the expansion of my Etsy shop, I wrote to a few blogger friends and asked for their support of my project. As one would expect of this quilting community, they immediately said they would be happy to help.

My original plan was to host this blog hop at the end of January. When I placed my fabric orders in early December I was foolish enough to believe the ship dates that I was given by the manufacturers! Silly me. There were all sorts of delivery issues. It really wasn’t until the beginning of February that product began to steadily arrive.  But then February always means QuiltCon and several of the bloggers in the hop were heavily involved with that event. Anyway, time marches on and here we are in the third week of March!  Today is the first day of Spring which is a time of new beginnings; thus the perfect day to celebrate my new shop.

 

Each of the six quilters were given their choice of fabrics to work with.  You will see lovely projects made with Allison Glass’ 76 fabric, Kim Diehl’s Modern Tykes fabric, as well as Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer. One quilter requested an assortment of prints because she had a few projects in the works so you will see a medley of fabrics in use there.

Monday through Friday this week, there will be a post celebrating the fabrics offered at Needle & Foot and with each post there will be a giveaway (of course!).  On Wednesday there is a bonus, with two bloggers posting that day. There are lots of opportunities to win this week.

I don’t know how the various bloggers are setting up the giveaway but I can tell you that each one will award one prize. The winners will have the option to choose six fat quarters or three 1/2 yard cuts from my shop. I welcome international quilter’s to join in. However, I ask that if an international person wins, they will split the cost of the shipping with me. It gets a little bit pricey!

OK – TIme to start visiting blogs! Here is the list of bloggers to visit this week!

I have only had small sneak peeks of their projects so I am really excited to visit each one and see what they have made. I hope you will enjoy it as well. Additionally, I want to offer a discount for each of you. I am truly grateful for all of the good wishes, support, as well as purchases, that many of you have provided over these last several months. It has been a blast to get this set up and I look forward to continuing to build my inventory with the fabrics you love.  For this week only, please use the code NANDFREADERS15 to receive a 15% discount on purchases made through Sunday, March 26th. Thank you so much and enjoy the hop!!

 Gift and a T-Shirt

It has been a busy week and I am happy to see Friday roll around. I really enjoyed working with Maureen and writing the posts about her work. It was a lovely bonus to see the sale on her Garden Dreamer fabric created a good number of sales which kept me busy cutting and shipping (it will be on sale through Sunday, March 19th if you are interested.) By the way, I truly appreciate all of the readers who are supporting my shop – thank you!

Thanks also to Mari of Academic Quilter. Mari and I became friends a couple of years ago (which is hard to believe actually) via our new blogs. We have struck up a great friendship and even got to have lunch and do a little fabric shopping together last summer when I was in Maine. That was so much fun. Yesterday I found a package in the mail. Usually getting the mail is so boring unless I have recently ordered fabric. Nothing much comes in the mail anymore with the exception of a few catalogues and the occasional advertisement addressed to ‘Occupant’. Sigh.

Not yesterday however! Look at this adorable lovie she made for my sweet grand baby! She even used the colors of the nursery (gray, lavender and pink). The backing is a soft gray and white flannel. Being the generous quilter Mari is, she even enclosed the leftover fabric for me to use. Thank you Mari. <3
These tiny blankets are so cool – the tags around the perimeter are made with ribbons and twill tape, and other trims which provide sensory stimulation when baby fidgets with them.


I have also seen mom’s hook toys to the loops and lay baby near it to grab the toys. It can be used in the car seat with toys attached or not. It was so kind of Mari to think of me and this little girl. I will hand deliver this when I go to Vermont – which is in only THREE weeks!! I can’t wait!

Moving on now (because I talk and think about this little girl too often and don’t want to become annoying!) I did get a fair amount of sewing done last week. I made this cute t-shirt with Butterick pattern, number B5954. Remember I posted about not having enough fabric? I decided to make the sleeveless version which took every bit of the fabric.


This version takes about 1/2 hour to sew because it is just the front and back pieces, sewn together at the shoulder and side seams. I finished the seams with a bright blue bias tape because I like that little surprise of color. I am only 5′ 4″ so I did have to alter the length and when I make it again, I would make it even a bit shorter. It is so comfortable and I am pleased with the result! Looking at these photos, I realize I should have pressed it before my modeling stint. Sorry about that!!

Cute Top But in Need of an Iron!

 

For the month of March, my challenge from Island Batik is to make something that is paper pieced. You already know how frustrated I become with paper piecing. I called my friend, Sophia, and invited her for a sew day. I knew I would need her help to get started! Sophia has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has that logical sort of brain that I so envy. She spent the afternoon with me and it was so helpful.  Plus I got to spend the afternoon sewing with her which we don’t often do. It was a very nice to spend the time together.

Choosing Colors for the Sashing

 

Before she arrived, I picked a few easy paper piecing patterns and printed the sheets. She and I looked and decided this star pattern would be a good one to learn on. (I took a class last fall to learn to paper piece but you know what happens if you don’t practice….  I couldn’t remember how to get started on the blocks!) This pattern is a free download on Craftsy.com. It is slated as a beginner pattern, which is mostly true.  The problem is there are no real instructions – reminding the quilter to cut strips a certain width or to trim each section, adding in that crucial 1/4″.  But never fear, I had Sophia coaching me! While my precision isn’t as close as I would like, overall I think it looks nice.

Perfectly Imperfect Points!

I finished the top and have begun quilting it a bit. I love the colors and it will be nice to hang this mini in my sewing room. I need a new one on the wall.

The Top is Finished!

OK – that is my week in a nutshell. Gifts, Etsy orders, and a fair amount of creative time in the sewing room. This girl doesn’t need more than that!  Happy Weekend everyone!
Linking to my favorites. I am including the end of quarter FAL link up at She Can Quilt because I had listed garment sewing on my goals for this quarter! Please check out the tab at the top of the page titled Link Ups.

Meet the Designer – Maureen Cracknell, Part Two

Welcome back! Today I want to share a bit more about Maureen Cracknell and her gorgeous work. If you haven’t yet read it, part one of this interview was posted here yesterday.

When I spoke with Maureen last week I became intrigued by her stories and her developmental process as an artist. What most impressed me though, was her humility. She spoke with such a genuine tone and it was incredibly easy to have a great conversation with her. I asked her to talk about what inspires her when she is working on a line of fabric and she told me some wonderful stories.

It seems that sometimes, drawing, painting and then designing a line of fabric is very therapeutic for Maureen; it is a way to process and work through a life experience. She shared two of these stories with me.

The first one was when she designed her very first collection, Wild and Free.  This was the first line Maureen designed for Art Gallery Fabrics. Her mentor, Pat, had been encouraging her to take the step and design a line of her own. However, Maureen held herself back by worrying it ‘wouldn’t be perfect’, that maybe her work would be only ‘mediocre’. She was afraid to put herself out there and kept saying she wasn’t ready yet.

In June of 2013, Maureen’s father passed away. This was a time of intense grief, as one would expect. Out at a restaurant, sharing a meal with her family, Maureen ran into a friend of her father’s. He was expressing his condolences to her and he asked her if she was designing fabric. Maureen was somewhat taken aback and replied no, she was not. This friend told her that her father had mentioned Maureen would be using her artistic skill to design fabric. Her father told this friend that he was so very proud of her and knew she would do well as a designer, that he was proud she was going to be ‘making fabric’. This conversation between her father and his friend stuck with Maureen and she took it as a message from her dad that she could indeed do this.

At about the same time, Maureen received a call from her mentor, Pat Bravo. They talked and Pat mentioned that the whole Art Gallery booth was ready for the upcoming Fall Quilt Market show. She said they were only missing one thing. Maureen, of course, asked “what is that”?  Pat’s reply was, “you, we are missing your fabric”. Maureen was blown away and this was just the gentle push she needed to jump in and begin.

In Wild and Free, Maureen used drawings she already had as well as new pieces of art to create the line. There is even a design based on drawings she made with her children. The star fabric, Midnight Roof, is one of these. This simple blender is based on a game Maureen often played with her children where she would draw a line and then the child would add a line. They continued this back and forth sharing and together, they would create stars. She and her children also played this game to create hearts (with each person drawing half of the heart) as well as portraits where they each add to the portrait, turn by turn.

When Maureen agreed to jump in and start designing her own line, Pat generously made herself available to Maureen, teaching her how to use Illustrator for design purposes. They had many Skype sessions with Pat guiding Maureen through the design process as well as teaching her to use the software. Not long after they began, Maureen’s first line, Fleet and Flourish, was displayed in the Art Gallery Fabric booth at Quilt Market.  Maureen won Best New Exhibitor that year! What an amazing start to her career as a designer.

The next story is as heartwarming as the first! The current Maureen Cracknell line that is flooding quilter’s stash everywhere is Garden Dreamer. It is just a fantastic collection of florals, both large scale and small, with shades of greens, blues, corals and purples. Truly a gorgeous line of fabric, she told me the story of how it came about.

When her children were little the Cracknell family lived in a house which happened to have a very small yard. Her neighbor, Leslie, kindly asked if Maureen would like to bring her children to play in her yard so they would have a little more space to run around. As any sane mother of three young children would, Maureen happily accepted the offer. She and her neighbor became very close and their children grew to be friends.  While the children played, Leslie taught Maureen to garden.  They spent many playdates together in the yard, weeding and tending the garden. This was Maureen’s introduction to gardening and she enjoyed being in the yard with her friend and both of their children. Her neighbor had a very green thumb and grew gorgeous perennials in her yard. She took the time to teach Maureen how to garden, what the names of the plants were and what sort of environment they would grow in. Sometime later the Cracknell family moved to a larger house. When they moved, her neighbor dug up plants, dividing them from her perennials so that Maureen could plant them in her new yard. Unfortunately, not too much later, her neighbor was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Maureen was very supportive of Leslie during the treatment phases but ultimately she passed away. Grieving this loss in her life, Maureen created Garden Dreamer in tribute to her neighbor. She says that “Leslie passed away just before I began sewing but I know she would be thrilled about all of this.”

I think the emotion Maureen pours into her work translates to beautiful color and composition. Her fabrics are full of joy. I asked Maureen whether she had any input into the adorable selvages that Art Gallery puts on her fabrics. She explained it was actually up to the in house designers at Art Gallery. They design her promotional materials as well as the beautiful selvages. I don’t believe I have bought a piece of fabric just to get the cute selvage, but it is a fun bonus to see a pretty selvage trimming the fabric I bring home. Art Gallery for the win here!

Fleet & Flourish Booth at Quilt Market

We had a nice time reminiscing about her experiences at Quilt Market as a part of the Art Gallery team. It was heartwarming to hear the love Maureen has for her partners at Art Gallery. She is both indebted to them for all she has learned from them as well as invested in the company as a loyal member of their team of designers. She spoke about the way that Art Gallery fosters an environment of collaborative teamwork.

From left: Sharon Holland, Pat Bravo, Katarina Roccella, BariJ, and Maureen Cracknell

I want to interject here. My experience thus far with Art Gallery as a new shop owner has been superb. I have called numerous times with questions on process, delivery dates, shipping cost, etc. Each time I have been greeted with warmth and a kind hello. Sometimes I find myself talking with a knowledgeable customer support person and other times my call is taken by none other than the owner, Walter Bravo. He treats me with as much attention as he would a large operation; I am never made to feel less important because my orders are usually five bolts at a time. This impresses me deeply. Prior to retirement, I managed a Human Resources group for quite a few years. I know first hand the benefits of fostering an atmosphere of teamwork and collaberation within a group of employees. The team becomes like a family and the positive effect of this trickles down and is felt by customers, thereby increasing their loyalty to the company. I am an example of this. I am proud to carry Art Gallery Fabrics in my shop.

Being the curious sort and not wanting the conversation to end, I also asked who makes the decision to make her fabric into the usual gorgeous cottons that Art Gallery produces as well as knits, canvases, voiles and, soon, rayon fabrics. This is a collaborative decision made by the designer and the team at  Art Gallery but the head designers have the final say. I am happy to see the other types of fabric offered as it allows for so many different sorts of projects. Art Gallery does an awesome job with their lookbooks. If you haven’t taken a peek, it is worth your time. There are samples of everything from home decor, quilts, dresses, skirts, totes, bags, pillows and more. Free patterns are offered on many of the examples. If you want to see the book for Garden Dreamer, click here.

I hope my posts have given you a peek into Maureen’s work and creative process. I feel like I made a new friend after chatting with her and I am grateful for that.

As I mentioned yesterday, Maureen’s Garden Dreamer fabric is on sale through Sunday, March 19th. Save 15% this week only. No coupon code needed, prices are already adjusted.

Meet the Designer – Maureen Cracknell, Part One

Welcome to the second installment of “Meet the Designer” at Needle and Foot. Just in case you missed the earlier posts, I have been interviewing some of my favorite fabric designers and then sharing the interviews here on the blog. In February I highlighted my talk with Sarah Golden, designer and artist here in Northern California. Her first fabric line, Maker Maker, was recently released by Andover Fabric. If you would like to get to know a bit about Sarah, you can find that post here.

Last week I had the good fortune to spend a wonderful hour chatting with Maureen Cracknell by phone. Coordinating this hour was not easy. Maureen is a wife, mom to three children, a fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabric, a talented quilter, and an Etsy shop owner. Suffice it to say she doesn’t have a great deal of free time. I was honored, however, that she made time for this interview.

It was quite the surprise to find out how recently Maureen began both sewing and quilting as well as designing fabric. She has such a huge following, it somehow led me to believe she had been sewing forever. This is not the case. Maureen has always spent a great deal of her time as a maker and artist. She draws and paints, and also enjoys knitting and embroidering. When she first started her blog, Maureen Cracknell Handmade, back in 2010 these crafts were the focus of her blog. It wasn’t until 2011 that Maureen learned to quilt.  As her blog picked up she began to focus more on quilting and quilt fabric. She had blog sponsors and hosted giveaways, often blogging about her favorite collections.

In 2012 Maureen wrote a blog post about her favorite collection at that time. It was Poetica, designed by Pat Bravo (designer for and owner of Art Gallery Fabric). When Pat learned of this post, she contacted Maureen and asked if she would make a quilt with her newest fabric line, Rock & Romance, for the upcoming Quilt Market show. Maureen was stunned as she had not done this sort of project for anyone before. She was not given very much time to create the quilt top. Based on the theme of the fabric, Maureen wanted to make something that was both feminine and appealing to the younger crowd. She designed her Skull Quilt pattern and created the top. (Her pattern is for sale here.) To Maureen’s huge surprise, the quilt top was then passed off to Angela Walters to be quilted. Can you imagine? Being very new to quilting, then being asked by a well-known designer to create something and finally, having it quilted by Angela??

Skull Quilt; Designed and Pieced by Maureen Cracknell and quilted by Angela Walters

What a heady experience. This quilt has so much meaning to Maureen and is still a treasured piece.

Quilting Detail, Skull Quilt

Let’s jump forward five years. Currently, Maureen has four very successful lines of fabric on the market, Wild & Free, Fleet & Flourish, Nightfall and Garden Dreamer. She also has two more that will be released within this year. I find this to be incredibly prolific designing. She describes her work as both, romantic and bohemian, often with florals and/or woodland creatures featured in the fabrics. Purple is one of her favorite colors and is usually found to play a major part in her design.

Her current line, Garden Dreamer, is so pretty. Florals, bumblebees, and trailing vines are featured. Maureen describes it as “Happy, colorful and dreamy.” I love it, so much so that I am stocking it in my shop! I asked Maureen which line was her favorite and she replied, “my favorite is usually the line I am currently working on.” 🙂  Right now she is getting ready for the release of Soulful, which will be introduced at this year’s Spring Market. Her next line is still hush-hush but will be featured at the Fall Market.

 Maureen sees potential design in many places. Be it a carving, a stamped design, floor patterns, or intricate tile work – all of these have been incorporated with her blender pieces. Pat Bravo mentored Maureen as a new designer and taught her to include calmer prints, or blenders, to her lines so they wouldn’t feel chaotic with only large scale, bold designs. 

When designing a line of fabric, Maureen will usually come up with about thirty designs. She works to reduce it to about 10 or 12, some of them repeated in different colorways. Pat was very helpful in culling the designs for the first couple of lines. As Maureen gains confidence, she is beginning to do this with a bit more independence. She remarked that she is happy now because her designs are now manifesting much more closely to the design she sees in her head. For a designer, I would think that is the ultimate goal; to be able to produce work that is just as it was envisioned. Any designs that she decides not to include in a collection are tucked away as inspiration for another line.

In addition to her design work, Maureen provides endless inspiration to the quilters who follow her. She designs patterns, blogs about her work, and is currently hosting the Sewcial Bee Sampler with her friend and fellow Art Gallery Designer, Sharon Holland. (Look for a Meet the Designer interview with Sharon coming up in just a few months!) You have probably read posts from many bloggers about how the blogging community isn’t as tightly knit as it was a few years ago. With Instagram’s incredible increase in popularity, the blogging world has slowed down a bit. In an attempt to strengthen the quilting community, Maureen and Sharon created this event. It is a quilt along with a weekly block design published each Wednesday on both of their blogs. This event has become wildly popular with each maker creating blocks and sharing them on Instagram, using the hashtag #sewcialbeesampler.  As I write this, there are over 2,300 photos shared and this is only the sixth block! There are twenty five blocks to create so I bet there will be a billion photos by the time this wraps up. (OK, maybe a slight exaggeration but it is going to be a large number!) It isn’t too late to join in, if you are interested. Click here for more information on Maureen’s blog. It has more been more than Maureen and Sharon expected, and I can say as a participant, it has really become a fun community project.

Birthday Crown, created by Maureen Cracknell

At home Maureen’s business continues to explode. She still has her Etsy shop where she primarily makes custom birthday crowns which are embellished uniquely for the child. These gorgeous crowns have become a tradition for many families and Maureen feels like she needs to continue making them for the children who saw their siblings wear one in the past. It is time consuming with each crown taking about an hour to construct but gives her great satisfaction to be contributing to these family traditions.

Now that she has four lines of fabric released, her house is overflowing with her work. She has decided to move her studio to a building in town. Currently they are working on the studio space and she has plans to move into it soon. (Check her blog for updates on this.) We talked about being a mom, working from home and how difficult it is to actually stop working when everything is right there and available. She is hoping that by moving her studio out of the house, she will be more present for her children when she is at home and more focused on her work when she is at the studio. Her children are involved with the transition to the studio and love the idea. Maureen plans to offer classes there as well as a place for local kids to hang out and experience art after school. She lives is a small rural town in Pennsylvania and really wants to provide this experience for the local teens.

In their off time, during summers and such, Maureen and her family enjoy traveling to various cities. She and the kids are all quite artistic and they love to get away and experience urban life and visit museums. As a mom, Maureen loves raising her children in a safe, tightly knit community but also feels compelled to make sure she provides exposure to all this is available in this world of ours. I totally get what she is saying. My children have also been raised in a small rural community and it is absolutely necessary to provide experiences that allow them to see how much of society lives and what is available to them outside of our little town.

I am going to stop the story here! I will be back tomorrow with Part Two of this interview. I want to share a bit about what has inspired some of Maureen’s work. I know you will enjoy it so be sure to check back in the morning! As with my first Meet the Designer post, I have marked down the Maureen Cracknell fabric in my shop. For this week only, save 15% on the Garden Dreamer line through Sunday, March 19th. I have several lovely bolts to choose from as well as a gorgeous fat quarter bundle for you. Come take a look.  No coupon code needed, prices have been adjusted already. See you tomorrow!

The Kindness of Friends

Yesterday I received a package in the mail. It was completely unexpected and absolutely made my day. I looked at the return address on the package, trying to figure out what it was and saw it was from Janine. Janine blogs at Quilts From the Little House and we became friends a couple of years back, when both of us were quite new to the quilt blogger community. When I saw her name I smiled to myself, wondering what the heck she had sent to me!

Take a look at this sweet gift – all wrapped up in a pretty floral fabric.

As if the fabric wasn’t enough of a surprise, the gift inside was even more so. I got a bit choked up when I opened this. She made this adorable frame for me and tucked a picture of my new grandbaby inside.

I love the little saying in the bottom right corner, Life is Grand. Isn’t that perfect for a first time grandmother? She did a fantastic job with the frame. I think she decoupaged the plaid background on to a wooden frame and trimmed it out with a deep burgundy braid around the outer edge. It is lovely and I smile at Janine and Baby Girl each time I walk by it!

I want to talk about several more very kind quilt bloggers! I have been supported by this community so much during the new year as I expanded my Etsy shop to include quilter’s cotton fabrics. People within this community have cheered me on, shopped my little shop, and shared what I have been doing. I am so appreciative of each act of kindness.

There are six bloggers who are, as I write this, making some really great projects using fabrics from Needle and Foot. They are participating in a Grand Opening Blog Hop to celebrate my shop and all of the gorgeousness it now offers. This event begins on Monday, March 20th and you won’t want to miss it! There will be projects and fabric shared as well as giveaways at each stop along the hop. Mark your calendars and join in on the fun! I think I will leave it a surprise as to which bloggers are involved. A little anticipation is a good thing. Just know I am truly grateful to each of the six for helping to celebrate my expansion!

Finally, I had the good fortune to meet and talk with fabric designer, Maureen Cracknell, by phone this week. We had such a great conversation and I will share this with you on Tuesday next week as the second installment of my “Meet the Designer” series. Maureen is a talented and incredibly kind individual and I feel grateful to have had this opportunity. I hope you will come back and check out the interview and get to know her better too. As with the first Meet the Designer post, all of the fabric in my shop, designed by the featured designer (Maureen Cracknell this time!) will be on sale for the week. This will be a great opportunity to pick up some gorgeous Garden Dreamer cuts at a reduced prices.

So much is going on right now! I am loving every bit of it. I will leave you with this sweet photo of Baby Girl. I love these tiny hands and feet and suspect this picture will make you smile.

 

Baby Quilt Number 3

I don’t know if you remember but when I was posting about the lattice square baby quilt I made last fall, I said that there would be three new babies born in the start of 2017 in our family. This will bring my parent’s number of great-grands up to 12!  I wanted to make a quilt for the third baby who is due at the end of this month. This  morning I finished the quilt top.

Isn’t it adorable? The bright, rainbow colors make it a cheery quilt for a new baby girl.

Using this free pattern, When You Wish, designed by Kristy of Bonjour Quilts was a snap. It is a collection of HST’s arranged in quadrants. To download the pattern, just sign up for her newsletter. Just so you know, Kristy doesn’t over do it with the quantity of newsletters she sends out and I enjoy reading them. She has a nice selection of patterns for sale in her shop too.

This quilt finishes out at 40″ x 40″ and because of it’s reasonable size, I look forward to quilting it.

I have this little black and white print called Cheerios, in my shop that might be fun for the binding. It is from the Sweet Tweets line and is the one on the bottom in the photo above.  I will hunt through my stash for the backing though. There is a plethora of choices in there and I want to use up some of the yardage. It was great to make this quilt top solely with the fat quarters in my stash.

Happy to have this quilt top done and I will likely get started on quilting it this weekend. I am really looking forward to seeing pictures of all three babies on their quilts. I will share them with you when I get them together.  Have a wonderful weekend all.

Linking to  my favorites, all of which are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Baby is Here

Just a quick post to share the news. My son and daughter-in-law have a beautiful baby girl. She was born late last night at 12:38 am.

 

Isn’t she just gorgeous? Parents and baby are doing wonderfully.  Baby Girl weighs in at 8 pounds and 4 ounces and is a very long 21 1/2 inches. She has such kissable cheeks! The kids and I FaceTimed this afternoon which was such a treat.  Technology is going to make living across the country from this little girl almost bearable.

The whole birthing process is nothing if not exhausting. This girl is tuckered out. I think her parents probably look much like this as well. It is an amazing thing to watch your baby become a father. Indescribably awesome.  These two will be fantastic parents. Such a sweet family of three (plus the dog and two cats!)  I am reveling in this little miracle. <3