Thursday, May 9, 2013

Celebrate Mom with guest Maureen Cracknell (and giveaway)

It's Day 4 of Celebrate Mom here at Happy Quilting!!!  A fun filled week of  daily guest posts and daily fabric giveaway's for you !!!  Today, I am super excited to welcome my guest Maureen of Maureen Cracknell Handmade!!!

Maureen is an amazingly creative individual and I am so happy to have her as a good friend!!   She runs a thriving Etsy shop with the cutest handmade crowns, is a member of both the Riley Blake and Art Gallery design teams, and uses her amazing sense of color, design, and artistic talent to constantly create unique and stunning projects!!  So without further ado, let's toss it over to Maureen!!

Hi, I'm Maureen and I blog at Maureen Cracknell Handmade, I'm so excited that Melissa asked me to join in as a "Celebrate Mom" guest! When Melissa reached out to me, by her second sentence, "I realized a while back that one of the most frequent comments I get is "how do you do this all with kids...," I was ready to respond YES! to her invite right away. This is something I am asked quite I bit as well, and was thrilled to have the chance to share a little on this topic! Thank you so much Melissa!!

My creation

As a busy mother of three, finding the time to pursue this passion for sewing has and will always be an ever-changing work in progress. Thankfully, my children are all intensely creative individuals, and are wonderfully encouraging when it comes to my own creating. Especially when they get to be a part of the process, often "helping" me in someway -- that's the key! When I started blogging, I wasn't sewing yet, I was a big knitter and everything I made was either for my children or inspired by one of them! When I would get a new project idea, I would describe what I was hoping to make to at least one of them and ask them to draw out "the pattern" for me. This would both get their creativity flowing and make them feel proud that they were a part of what was being made. They would be so excited to see the finished item, they were more than happy to see me working away until we were all done! Mwah, my super tricky secret!

Here are a couple examples of just that, that I had shared back in the early days of my blog, before I even began to sew!

A Jedi sweater, designed by and for Jacob : :

Jedi Sweater -- Knitting Project from 2/17/10

A Kaiden inspired stitched, felted basket : :

Kaiden Inspired Felted Basket -- from long ago!

When I decided to learn to sew, my children continued that same role. They have always been a huge part of this amazing journey -- helping me, creating along side me, and more than anything, inspiring me!

An impromptu sewing session  -- silly felt hats, designed by Jacob : : 

An Impromptu Sewing Session... from the mind of a seven year old

Since we bought our first home in November, we have all been sharing a creative space, and so far that is working out perfectly! 

Come on in!!

The activity table in the center of the room is full of art supplies for the kids to use while I sew!

Cutting Mat/Craft Table

I try my best to keep our space organized and fun, so when we are sharing the space together, everyone is happy and comfortable, and we can make the most of our sewing/craft time together. Being surrounded by beautiful fabrics and having lots of supplies on hand is really important to me, so I make sure to keep the kids stocked with new, quality supplies of their own, too.

Creative Space

For me, my blog isn't just a place for me to share my daily makings, fabric stashing, tutorials, and giveaways -- it's a journey of not just how I have grown as a creative person, but how we have together as a family. Perhaps what I'm most proud of, and I know my boys won't mind me saying this, is how all this sewing has formed such a special relationship between my daughter Haila and I. I could never put into words how much a part of all of this she has been! I'm getting emotional just thinking about it now. Besides being the inspiration behind so many of my projects, she is such a great little helper. I believe that sewing will be a very special part of our relationship forever!

our aprons

It's my wish that each of my children grows up to be just as passionate about something, as I am about sewing, and that they find the love, encouragement, and support that I have found through them and the amazing people in this community!

Thank you so much for having me today! Maureen

And thank you to Maureen for being part of this Celebrate Mom event!  As you can see, she certainly makes her passion a family affair :)

And before we sign off, how about today's Giveaway!!!

Today's Celebrate Mom Giveaway is sponsored by Christa Quilts.   One lucky winner will win one of Christa's Custom Color Fat Quarter Bundle  as their Mother's Day gift!!  And the winner will even get to choose their color bundle!!!


So what do you have to do for your chance to win???

Leave a comment here of your what Custom Color Bundle from Christa Quilts you would choose :)

That's it.  Up to 1 entry per person.  Giveaway is open to international entries.  It will close on Friday, May 10th and a winner will be selected randomly and announced shortly after.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back tomorrow when Natalia Bonner will be stopping by and The Intrepid Thread will be hosting another fabulous giveaway!!!

Linking up to SMS Giveaway Day - And just in case you missed them, here is Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Celebrate Mom with guest Angela Walters (and Giveaway)

It's Day 3 of Celebrate Mom here at Happy Quilting!!!  A fun filled week of  daily guest posts and daily fabric giveaway's for you !!!  Today, I am super excited to welcome my guest Angela Walters from Quilting is my Therapy!!!

I was so tickled to meet Angela Walter's at fall quilt market when I got to hold her quilts for her schoolhouse.  I instantly found her to be a wonderfully delightful person and now a friend!  Angela is a tremendously talented long arm quilter, author of 2 books, fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, A teacher of countless quilting classes, including virtual Craftsy classes, and a Mom too!!!  That is quite the list!!! So without further ado, let's toss it over to Angela!!

Hi, I'm Angela,

A close friend in the industry, who happens to be a mom of young children   recently confided in me that she was feeling a little overwhelmed with trying to get everything done.  In her email, she quipped, “Feel free to share any pointers that you might have, Super Mom!”

That was a stab to my heart.....I hate for anyone to think that I have anything together. Sometimes, as a work-at-home mom, I feel like I am hanging on by my fingernails. 

You may think that my family looks like this....

but, in reality most days it's a little different version at our house. 

If I had any “secret” to share, it would be that I don’t believe in a the concept of “balance”. I used to always say that I just needed to find balance.....a way to get my work done and spend time with my kids. But then I realized that there is no such thing as balance. My life is constantly day, I may be able to get a little more work done. The very next day may be all about the children. I try to take each day at a time and try to find the balance that works within that day, knowing full well that tomorrow may be completely different.

Before I go to sleep every night, I try to focus on the things that I have accomplished that day (even if it is just the fact that I took a shower!!) instead of focusing on what is left to do!

If I have spent too much time quilting and haven’t planned dinner, my go-to meal is to grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I heat up some frozen veggies and apple slices. The kids love it and comes together super fast.

Speaking of dinner....I guess it’s time to tackle that stack of dishes!


Thank you so much to Angela Walters for being part of this Celebrate Mom event!  And have you heard about Angela's Make It Right Challenge.  The challenge uses the Right Angels panel  from Angela's Textures line to create a project.  Oh, and there are lots of cash prizes at stake!!!  Be sure to check it out :)

And let's finish up with today's Giveaway!!!

Today's Celebrate Mom Giveaway is sponsored by The Scarlet Thread Quilt Co. One lucky winner will have this Spring Fat Quarter Collection put together by Julie as their Mother's Day gift!!  Don't these beautiful prints just make you want to breath in Spring!!

So what do you have to do for your chance to win???

Leave a comment here of your favorite item in Julie's shop, The Scarlet Thread Quilt Co.

That's it.  Up to 1 entry per person.  Giveaway is open to international entries.  It will close on Friday, May 10th and a winner will be selected randomly and announced shortly after.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back tomorrow when Maureen Cracknell will be stopping by and Christa Quilts will be hosting another fabulous giveaway!!!

Linking up to Sew Mama Sew
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Celebrate Mom with Guests Heather and Megan from Quilt Story

It's Day 2 of Celebrate Mom here at Happy Quilting!!!  A fun filled week of  daily guest posts and daily fabric giveaway's for you !!!  Today, I am super excited to welcome my guests, Heather and Megan from Quilt Story!!

Heather and Megan are quite the dynamic duo!!  They created Quilt Story as a place to share their passion for quilting with lots of fun filled tutorials, a weekly Fabric Tuesday linky,  and a fabulous block of the month program.  But Quilt Story is also a place for other quilters to show their fabulous finishes and share the stories behind their quilts.  Heather and Megan also keep up a wonderful Pattern Company all while still taking care of their families.  So let's here how they do it!!  Take it away ladies :)

Thank you so much for having us Melissa! My name is Megan, my sister Heather and I blog at Quilt Story!  Our blog features other quilters as well as our own patterns and projects. I think all of us quilting/creative/sewing/blogging Momma's find ourselves with the same to balance it all!  And I do not have the answer for you!! :)  My husband is graduating from medical school in 1 week (hooray!!) and we have three little kids, almost 6 years, 4 years and 6 months.  Here we all are at Easter:
I don't know if I have any pictures of my kids helping me create!! Here are a couple of little funny stories and ideas on how I try to stay balanced!
  • When they were a little smaller we would play store with my fabric, they loved it.  They also love to find patterns and help me go through my scraps! When they were 2-3 it was such a fun game to "find the purple fabrics" or "find the hearts".
  • My oldest son is very much a thinker and he likes puzzles. Last year he saw me working out of a quilt book with blocks that were in B&W.  He took my scraps and would re-create the blocks. I was amazed at how well he could do it!
  • Every box we receive the kids think is fabric :)
  • They get excited with me just to indulge me...which is so sweet.
  • Once when my second son was soooo mad at me he thought of the meanest thing he could say to me and yelled, "Your fabric isn't cute!!!!!!"
My boy's don't get too excited about things I make.  They will indulge me, like I said, and say "yeah that's cute" and go back to what they're doing. I have started a tradition to make them a quilt when they turn 4.  (And when they're born).  Here is Sawyer with his quilt:
And they do like that. I have a their names and a message on the back.
Ollie turned 4 in January and his quilt is done, but I still need to post about it.  Stay tuned!

This isn't as much of a recipe as a super-fast dinner when you need one and you usually have the ingredients. I made this the other night and it had been a while!  We're in the process of moving so faster the better.
What you need:
French Bread
Ranch Dressing
Shredded Cheese
Slice up the french bread and put a layer of ranch.  Take sliced tomatoes and add on top, with a little salt.  Next cover with cheese.  Broil on low until cheese is melted. Eat hot!

So in the end, I think at best I can say I try to limit my time creating and blogging when my kids are awake/home to a minimum. They just don't stay little forever!  I do a majority of blogging after they are in bed.  And sometimes when I'm in a panic I stop and think "okay, this blog post can honestly wait a few hours" or days. :)  Thank you so much for having us!!!  And stop by Quilt Story and say hi!

Thank you so much to Heather and Megan for being my guest today!!  

And let's finish up with today's Giveaway!!!

Today's Celebrate Mom Giveaway is sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop.    One lucky winner will have this beautiful Happy Go Lucky Jelly Roll by Bonnie and Camille  as their Mother's Day gift!!  I have worked with this line already and it is fantastic!!!
So what do you have to do for your chance to win???

Leave a comment here of your favorite Jelly Roll Fat Quarter Shop carries.  There's a whole lot to choose from, so good luck :)

That's it.  Up to 1 entry per person.  Giveaway is open to international entries.  It will close on Friday, May 10th and a winner will be selected randomly and announced shortly after.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back tomorrow when Angela Walters will be stopping by and The Scarlet Thread Quilt Co. will be hosting another fabulous giveaway!!!

Linking up to Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day :)
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Celebrating Mom and Sew Mama Sew

It's Day 1 of Celebrate Mom here at Happy Quilting!!!  If you missed the intro post, Celebrate Mom is a week long event that will include daily guest posts from some of my good friends on their mom/quilty adventure and a fave dinner recipe as well as daily fabric giveaway's for you !!!  So be sure to pop in each day this week so you don't miss any of the celebration!!

Today, is also Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day!!! When I originally scheduled Celebrate Mom I didn't realize it was over Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day.  Now I haven't missed one of these in years, and I wasn't about to start.  So today's post is doing double duty!!  (*giveaway is at the end of the post :)

I am so excited to start the Celebrate Mom event off.  I have gotten so many email from you all letting me know how much you are anticipating this week, and I have to say that and I am too!!!  So, let's get going!!!

I am a wife of almost 13 years and a mom of 5 :)  Our children are Spencer (10), Jessica (7), Kristian (6), Kamryn (4), and Jocelyn (18 mo).  So ya, things are always hopping over at the Corry household.   I am often asked, "How do you manage all the quilting with so many little ones?"  We'll, today, I am going to tell you a bit about how we attempt to do that :)

I like structure.  I was an accountant before I was a mom so it's not surprising, lining things up is just in my nature.   I have a daily routine that I stick to pretty much every day.  (with the occasional bend for craziness ;)   So, here's a typical weekday to give you an idea of how it works. (sometimes :)  

6:00 - 8:00- exercise / computer time  (ie blogging, designing, emailing, ect.)
8:00 - 11:30 - tidy up, run errands, homework for K guy, and general play and silliness
11:30 - 12:30 - Lunch time  (the kids eat while I catch up on email, why does it take kids so long to eat??)
12:30 -  1:00 - Afternoon Transition. ( take to K, Wee ones lay down, and lunch break with husband ) 
1:00 - 2:30/4:00)  NAP TIME aka SEWING TIME
4:00 - 5:00 homework and prepare dinner
5:00 - 6:00 - dinner time
6:00 - 8:00 - family time - (aka yardwork, games, walks, chores, sports, run around real crazy like time :)
8:00 - 10:00 - Unwind - Press and Pin time
10:00 - Go to sleep to start it all over again :)       

I find that when I try to stick to this schedule, as much as possible, that I have lots of time for my sewing, but still make lots of time for my kids.  (but it should be noted, I have no spare time for anything else, I don't remember the last time I watched tv in the daytime, and I listen to books now instead of reading them)   For me, It comes down to making time for what I like to do :)  

Okay, so are looking at the schedule and wondering how Unwind - Press & Pin go together??  This is a great way I have found for maximizing my sewing time!!!  I guess you could say it is my little Time Tidbit :)  

You see, I have a limited nap time and didn't want to waste a second of it, and I have tried to work in the evening but honestly,  I am tired in the evenings and not very productive.  So now, during my nap time sewing, I rarely press or pin.  I will cut for one project and then set it aside.  I will chain stitch up a huge pile and then set it aside.  I will do this for as much time as I have sometimes working on 3-4 projects.

Then . . . in the evening, after the wee ones go to bed, I bring up my ironing board, set it over my bed, and remove pins, clip threads, and press the massive pile I stitched that day.  Once the pressing is done, I pin the pieces I want to sew the next day.  Both pressing and pinning take next to no brain power,  so while I prepare for the next day of sewing, my husband checks sports, while we both watch a movie or some tv, or just chat about life and so forth, all while spending time together and unwinding from the day. Fantastic!!!

Now . . .  just so you don't think everyday runs perfect, here is a little taste of what happens when we get off schedule a bit.  Deadline looming and I find sewing time is spilling into morning or evening . . .  Well then I have assistants who hand me pins, put away pins, or use my chair to make pin cusion designs.  (they have not poked me once . . . so far)

Or, if they are not in a helping mood and want to be artistic, out come the designated scraps for scrap collages.  (Yes, I have scraps for me and scraps for them.)

Or, the good old fall back, just turn my sewing room into a toy room ;)

And if I find I have to finish a blog post, or I just need a few more minutes to finish a design, I get a musical pot symphony around me, and/or a computer typing buddy.  

And of course, on those crazy days, you need a quick fixing meal.  Our family loves Chicken Kisses.  It's just like campfire tinfoil dinners but done on your bbq :)  And you can totally change it up for whatever you have on hand.  Any meat, potatoes, any veggie, a little sauce (everyone likes different, a few BBQ, a few Ranch, and one Fry Sauce) and 30 minutes on the grill to perfection!!!  A family favorite that is easy to cook and fun for the kids to eat :)  
Image courtsey of
So in summary, what works for us is to try to be structured as much as possible, and really make the most of the good days, so that on those other's day we can be flexible and know that things will be back to normal soon :)

And with that, let's get to our first giveaway!!!

Today's Celebreate Mom/Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day is sponsored by Green Fairy Quilts.  And Judy has a fabulous giveaway for you indeed!!!  One lucky winner will have this beautiful Posy Fat Quarter Bundle by Aneela Hoey for Moda as their Mother's Day gift!!  The prints in this line are just adorable and the colors are swoon worthy!!! 

So what do you have to do for your chance to win???

Leave a comment here of your favorite Fat Quarter Bundle Judy carries in her shop, Green Fairy Quilts.

That's it.  Up to 1 entry per person.  Giveaway is open to international entries.  It will close on Friday, May 10th and a winner will be selected randomly and announced shortly after.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back tomorrow when Heather and Meagan from Quilt Story will be stopping by and Fat Quarter Shop will be hosting another fabulous giveaway!!!
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Welcome Southern Fabric!!!!

Today I am so excited to welcome  Southern Fabric as  Happy Quilting's newest sponsor!!!   Aubrey Marshall, owner and operator, opened Southern Fabrics in 2004 and her shop has grown and grown to sell thousands of yards of fabric to thousands of customers worldwide!!

Southern Fabric carries is constantly stocking it's virtual shelves with all the best and newest from Moda, Freespirit, Riley Blake, and Westminster.  

Some of my new favorites on the virtual shelf include Julie and Eric Comstock's 2wenty Thr3e!!!  I just love the colors in this line and the fun retro prints!!

And who doesn't want to add more Chevron's from Riley Blake to their stash??

Not only does Southern Fabric carry all of the new, but you can still find some of your all time favorite collections there as well and at great sale prices.  Like Amy Butler's fabulous Lark 

Or, one of my all time favorites, Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2

Southern Fabric also carries a large line of patterns from all your favorite designers!!  So ya, pretty much, no matter what you are in looking for, Southern Fabric is sure to please!!

You can keep up with Southern Fabric at their blog, twitter, facebook, and pinterest :)
Thank you to Aubrey and Southern Fabric!!!   I am so excited to have you as part of the Happy Quilting Family!!! 

Aubrey will be hosting one of our Celebrate Mom Giveaways so be sure to pop in next week for a chance to win something fantastic at her shop!!!  And while you wait, you can always pop on over to Southern Fabric and see what you might want to snatch up for a little Mother's Day Present!!!  (Please say I am not the only one that buys fabric for myself for Mother's Day, it's the perfect excuse for some happy shopping :)  
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