My Story and Bonnie Christine's Immersion Course

If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a fabric designer, please read on. Or a quilt pattern designer. Or any other kind of surface pattern designer, for career or personal enrichment, read on. No matter your age or your circumstance, your dream is attainable.

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Today I’d like to share a little bit of my story with you, with hopes that it might encourage you to keep following your dreams. We don’t always know where our dreams will lead us, or where or when the journey will end, and that is part of the beauty of a dream. Dreams come true by setting goals and moving toward them. The most important thing I’ve learned about those goals is to not let them overwhelm you. Rather, let them inspire your small steps.

I fell in love with sewing at a very young age, as I watched my mother sew my clothes and dolls. I think I took for granted that this was how things came to be, by creating them. We didn’t shop, we sewed. So as soon as I was able, I began to sew my own clothes, progressing to my wedding gown, my husband’s suits and ties and clothes, and then to my own children’s clothes, wedding gowns and so on. Most recently, a joyful progression to sewing for grandchildren.

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Along that journey I owned two fabric shops. Teaching and sharing the love of sewing & quilting with others was what I loved most. Meanwhile, my daughter, Bonnie Christine, had embarked on a journey of her own that (I like to think) began in my shops. A love of fabric grew in her and has resulted in a career of fabric design, and perhaps more importantly now, a passion for sharing with you how to embark on your own dream through her Immersion Course.

At the age of 61, I decided to sell my fabric shop and completely reinvent my business online with a monthly sewing subscription box based on teaching sewing skills. Maxie Mail was born and I was teaching again, but this time to a much larger audience!

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To help keep my costs down, I needed to learn how to design the pages of my own sewing patterns, flyers, business cards and website graphics. I needed to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator.

Luckily, Bonnie was just about to teach the Immersion Course. I took her course, put in the time and learned how to use Illustrator! I learned how to draw, illustrate and write my own patterns and am so happy to present them to my subscribers! It has truly paid off in a very rewarding way.

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Today my business is thriving and it makes me fairly emotional to think about what I’ve been able to accomplish at my age and share with people all over the world through my subscription box.

I want to encourage everyone, at any stage in life, with any reason for wishing to master design (e.g. surface pattern, graphic design or simply personal enrichment) to just jump in; you won’t regret it! If you dream of being a successful artist, let Bonnie’s course, Surface Pattern Design Immersion help you tackle it. Enrollment opens for one week, once a year, and it opens today! (Feb. 19-26th, 2019.) Sign up today through any of the Immersion links in this post and you’ll automatically receive a free 3 Month subscription to my Maxie Mail Subscription Sewing Box!

I’d like to add that my journey is far from over, and I just take the road one curve at a time, waiting to discover what might lie ahead.


















Learn Sewing and Quilting with Me - a Free Video!

Love your boxes!  Learning a lot! - LJ, Hawaii

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What better month than February to share with you my love of sewing! Teaching and sewing are two of my passions, so I’m in my happy place when I am helping you build sewing skills and have fun along the way. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction through my subscription sewing box, Maxie Mail. Shipped monthly, this box includes beautiful fabrics and supplies for a project, complete with an online video tutorial that is accessed with a password by subscribers! I’m right there with you, in your sewing room, to help you every step of the way! The projects are do-able in an evening or weekend and teach skills, shortcuts and techniques to build your confidence and accuracy.

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Past projects have included small quilts, bags, pillows or home decor and accessories. Island Cabins, above left, included the Creative Grids© Log Cabin Trim Tool and taught how to use that ruler, how to set a quilt on point and my fool-proof way of cutting accurate borders with no measuring (I promise!). Subscribers also were able to download a free Side Setting Chart for common sized quilt blocks. December’s box included supplies to make the sweet little needlebook, above right, and included a new pair of embroidery scissors and the Hummingbird Needle Threader. We learned how to do straight-line quilting, binding and more! Want a preview? How about a video tutorial for creating a beautiful 7-Way Mobius Scarf? With this video, subscribers received Art Gallery’s 100% cotton voile fabrics to make different scarves! They also received a package of special pins for fine fabrics, a wrist pincushion to store them, thread and pattern. (If you like what you see, we do have a few boxes remaining. Want to subscribe? Click here for more information! Oh, and February is our annual “February Friends” event! Sign up by February 22, list a subscribed friend as your referral and you’ll both receive a free gift in your February box!

To view the video, click below and enter the password:

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Maxie shows how to make a 7 - Way Mobius Scarf using 60" wide billowy voile fabrics to take the chill off any day, and light enough for all-day indoor use. For colder climates, try using heavier fabrics such as Minkee or Rayon.

Thanks for visiting with me today! Happy Sewing and God bless! Maxie

Give the Gift of Sewing and Save 10%!

Are you searching for that perfect gift for the sewist on your list? Why not consider a subscription to Maxie Mail, my monthly box that comes right to your doorstep! It’s packed with a complete project that includes high quality fabrics, notions and patterns, while teaching valuable skills to last a lifetime. The best part is that each box is supported with a video tutorial, walking through each step to completion! The projects are designed to increase sewing expertise and confidence and are easily finished in an evening or a weekend.

Subscribe by November 22 and your recipient will be in line to receive their box in time to stow underneath the tree!

Your recipient will also receive access to the Members’ Only page, which includes the video and other supporting information and downloads for each project. When signing up for a gift subscription, use your own email address so that no surprises will be spoiled! You can change the email address later in your account on the member’s page. Additionally, if you prefer this first box to ship to you so that you can present it at your gathering, just place your own address in the “ship to” field, which can be changed later as well. Maxie will tuck your gift message inside the box, and you can receive 10% off your first box by using the code below:

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Click the image above for more information or to subscribe!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Maxie

Gathered Fabrics Tote Bag - The Perfect Whatever Bag!

August's Maxie Makes Subscription Sewing Box featured a paper pieced mini quilt, designed by Sarah Overton. The project used Gathered fabrics , Bonnie Christine's newest line for Art Gallery Fabrics. This bundle of fabric consists of seven 4" strips, one fat 1/8th and 2" binding strips. Because I had leftover bundles I put my thoughts toward an alternate idea that might be accomplished using the same cuts. I came up with a version of The Perfect Whatever Bag, using four fabrics for the outside and four for the lining. The binding strips became handles, and adding one more fat 1/8th to the mix allowed for the inside and outside pockets. I've added this bundle to my shopping page, including the extra fat 1/8th, if you're inclined to make your own! Click the photo to enlarge.

The Perfect Whatever Bag by Maxie Ramey

To prepare the strips for the bag and lining, leave the strips folded in the center and trim away the selvage edges. Measuring from that cut edge, make an 18.5" cut, creating two pieces, 4" x 18.5" from each strip. If necessary, trim the strips to 4" wide. Discard the trimmed folded area of fabric. Repeat with all 7 strips, and cut two pieces this same size from one of the fat 1/8ths.

I don't have instructional photos, but here are the steps I followed to alter from the original pattern:

  • Choose four prints for the front and back of the bag and arrange them as you like, and 4 strips for the lining.
  • To make the outside pocket, cut two 8" squares from the remaining fat eighth and place right sides together. For stability, layer an 8" square of canvas beneath them, then stitch together the top, leaving the sides and bottom open. (Remember, this text fabric is directional.) Turn right side out and press. Set aside for the next step.
  • To make the front, sew the top three strips together. Center the pocket on the front, with the lower raw edge of the pocket even with the bottom raw edge of the third strip. Pin or baste the two pocket sides in place. (The sides will be secured later when the handles are sewn in place.)
  • To make the handles, wrap a binding strip around a 3/4" wide strip of canvas and a 3/4" strip of batting. Press under the long unfinished edge and stitch close to both long sides. Use two strips to make two handles, each about 40" long.
  • Working with one handle strap, layer the ends over the edges of the pocket. Pin and stitch the handles, stitching through all thicknesses (including pocket), stopping at the top of the second strip. Back stitch well.
  • Finally, sew the bottom strip in place, through all thicknesses. Press well.
  • Repeat for back of bag, omitting the pocket. Center handles so that they mirror the front handles.
  • Create the lining in the same way (omitting handles), and if you want an inside pocket, make a square, lined pocket and sew in the center of one of the sides.
  • Layer the bag front pocket side over a piece of canvas cut the same size as the front. Layer these two layers on batting, cut the same size. Baste around all four edges and stitch in the ditch of the seams to hold it all three layers together.
  • Repeat for back side.
  • Cut a 2" square from the bottom corners of all four pieces. This is for boxing the corners later.
  • Place the front and back quilted bag right sides together and sew the sides and bottom with a 1/2" seam allowance. (Don't sew in the 2" square area.) Press seams open.
  • Repeat for lining, but leave about an 8" opening in the bottom for turning.
  • Sew the "boxed" corners by aligning the side and bottom seams, and fold the raw edges even to form the corner. Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat for all corners on bag and lining.
  • With the bag turned right side in, drop the lining in place, right sides together.
  • Matching the side seams, pin tops together and stitch around the top with a 1/2" seam allowance.
  • Turn bag right side out. As you push the lining down to the inside of the bag, let the top lining strip wrap around the top of the bag to the outside 1/2". Press well and stitch in the ditch. This makes a "mock binding".
  • Bring the handles straight up and pin to the top of the bag. Stitch the handle to the bag's top edge, in the ditch of the mock binding seam. This makes a "belt loop" effect, perfect for a scarf or key chain!
  • Close the bottom opening.  Click to enlarge the images below. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy sewing and God bless!

Maxie

Maxie Makes Subscription Sewing Box - August 2018

Want a peek inside the August 2018 Maxie Makes Subscription Sewing Box?  Click the video below! This month features Bonnie Christine's newest fabric line, Gathered, for Art Gallery Fabrics. We brought a project that was requested several times when I polled earlier subscribers: Paper Piecing! Whether you love it or avoid it at all costs, with the help of my friend, Sarah Overton, you'll overcome any hesitations quickly with her expert tips and attention to detail in her original patterns. This month we make the Tony Danza Mini Quilt!

Just to give you a glimpse of the planning that went into this month's box, one of the first steps I usually take is to create a mock up of the project. The one above, left, was made in EQ8, quilt design software. I imported images of Bonnie's fabrics and and had fun creating with Sarah's block design. With a few final changes, the outcome, right, was fairly predictable!

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Because Sarah is such a great teacher of paper piecing, I asked her to help with the video tutorial and we had so much fun that day! There were plenty of giggling bloopers, but we ommited them for the sake of respectability.

Join the learning fun! Click here to subscribe! Thanks for stopping by!

Happy sewing and God bless! Maxie