As all of you know, Maureen Cracknell is one of our newest additions to the AGF family. She's sweet, humble, and a remarkably talented artist. Her collection for AGF Limited Edition is called Wild & Free, and is available this November.
She is a mother, wife, blogger, quilter, and lover of all things creative and handmade.
Maureen started her sewing blog about four years ago, Maureen Cracknell Handmade; a fresh, inspirational, and creative space. Fast forward two years, Maureen created a Facebook page to connect with people who have similar passions, and with enormous amount of support, today her page has grown to over eighty thousand followers.
With all of her accomplishments, she's incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have led her to where she is today, and coudn't have done it without her family!
In today's interview, she describes her new adventures as a fabric designer, and where her inspiration for Wild & Free derived from. We sincerely hope you have fun getting to know Maureen and her new collection.
1). Why choose Art Gallery Fabrics to launch your first fabric collection?
From a service standpoint, Art Gallery Fabrics is one of my most favorite manufacturing companies. The unique feel and reliable quality guarantee that anything I create from pillows, bags, and quilts will all turn out comfortable and sturdy. The collection of talented AGF designers are constantly producing new gorgeous and modern fabrics that I can't wait to use in my own sewing and quilting projects. From a character standpoint, Art Gallery Fabrics is made up of the most lovely, helpful, encouraging group of creative people. It's an honor to have been asked to join their family and a real dream come true!
2). How does it feel knowing your fabrics are exclusive to the Limited Edition concept, and will only be printed once?
It's exciting and is such a wonderful opportunity to create a collection that will truly represent my own personal style!
3). How and when did you decide fabric design was something you wanted to do yourself one day?
While growing up, drawing was my number one passion and it was always my dream to work as an illustrator of some sort. It wasn't until I became a mother that my hobbies and interests changed, and at times were put on the back-burner altogether. Then four years ago, I took up sewing and fell in love with it right away! While I created things for our home and for my children I would occasionally dream of a day when I might be able to take my past love of drawing and new love for sewing and combine them in the fabric world. That is why this opportunity is so exciting for me!
4). If you had to choose one print, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite in the group would have to be Luminous Field. It's such a great representation of my drawing style and love for color! When I draw with my children I often sketch the bouquets of wildflowers we pick from our yard, on walks, and when we go out as a family to photograph my quilts. In addition, I think this print in particular could be used for a number of things; a beautiful skirt or dress, pillows or curtains for your home, and will also play nicely with other prints or can stand on its own as a whole quilt backing.
5).What are you hoping to translate and offer to fabric lovers with your collection?
My hope is that this collection will be fun for fabrics lovers to use in all types of sewing projects! I hope it inspires them to embark on new, creative, and fun sewing adventures which they can share with me.
6). Which print was most challenging to create and why?
The concept and theme for my collection came to me immediately. Followed by lots of ideas and sketches for each print. I had to ask myself right away, "What would be made of these fabrics? How would I like to see them used?" Although my arrow print, Fletching Chant, was one of the first I really wanted to make happen, it was the most challenging to decide on scale, colors, orientation, spacing to maximize its versatility. Lots of editing, coloring, reediting, and recoloring was done to get it right!
7). Explain your creative process when designing fabrics from start to finish?
Deciding on a concept was the first step, followed by gathering inspiration and lots of sketching. I spent a lot of time looking at colors, carefully choosing the story that would best embody the feel of my collection. From paper I moved to Illustrator, and thankfully had the guidance and encouragement of Pat Bravo along the way!
8). What other designers, makers or artists do you look up to or inspire your work?
Since this collection is so personal and was directly inspired by my love for my family, our home, and this area in which I live, Potter County, PA---I have to first mention how much my children have influenced all of this. They make me want to create at the rate I do, and make me braver than I naturally am, to try new things and to push myself creatively. I want to make them proud and so I try so hard for them. Mindful of my belief that a simple, creative life is a beautiful life, I find inspiration from fellow bloggers Amanda Blake Soule of Soulemama and Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy. For sewing & fabric inspiration -- Pat Bravo, Anna Maria Horner, Allison Harris, Leah Duncan, Bonnie Christine, Jeni Baker, Holly DeGroot, I really could go on and on...it’s endless!
9). How does your line differ from other collections currently in the market?
As I shared above, so much of my inspiration came from this path and lifestyle I strive for that reflects a creative, free-spirited heart, so influenced by music, the landscape, photography, and my own experiences. I think because each collection tells a story and this one is uniquely mine, that alone makes it different.
10.) What is next for you in 2014?
Already this year has been so full, and honestly very tough with the loss of my father this June. He knew I had this amazing opportunity to design fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics, a company I often talked so highly about, and he was thrilled for me. I hope to make him, my family, and my children proud. I plan to continue my daily makings and blogging with a focus on original quilt work, to release a few new quilt patterns, and to finish the year with my second quilt calendar.
Thanks for reading, we can't wait to see all your creative minds make beautiful projects with this collection.