closed doors and open windows

Marian ParsonsRunning a Business120 Comments

Yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call and I could tell immediately from the tone that bad news was about the be delivered.  I had a feeling I already knew what that bad news was, though, so I didn’t feel the need to sit down to steady myself.

“We presented your second quilting fabric line at our January show and it didn’t sell enough yardage for us to make it, so we’re canceling that line.”

They assured me it wasn’t about bad design, but about bad timing in an already crowded market and there was some comfort in that.

Of course, I felt the initial sting of failure even though I was expecting it.  And I hate to admit it, but my thoughts darted to anonymous people on the internet who are critical of me and how they would delight in something I created not being successful.

But once those emotions rushed by (literally in half a second), the call felt like one closed door and several open windows.  I felt some relief that I could call this expedition into designing quilting fabric over and I could take what I’ve learned and apply it to the home decor world.  That is, after all, where my audience is and where my passion lies.  I felt freedom and excitement about how I can transition these designs into different scales and colorways to use for home decor fabrics and papers and with websites like Spoonflower, I can do that.

And there are a lot of positive takeaways.  I learned how to create repeats (which is more complicated than you would guess), think through colorways and coordinating fabrics, and how to design digitally.  And I’ve met and worked with some awesome people who encouraged, supported, and coached me through the entire unfamiliar process.  My experience with Free Spirit has been so valuable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I’m sharing this because I think it’s important for you to know that not everything is a wild success.  Not everything takes off and exceeds my expectations.  In a creative business, there is always failure balanced with success.

But failures don’t have to be discouraging, negative experiences that induce depressive episodes and excessive chocolate eating.  They can be springboards into new, better, and even more exciting things.  They can be a shedding that leaves you unfettered and fresh-faced, ready to turn that energy to something fulfilling.

And, as they always say, if you’re not failing, you’re not trying.

So, I’ll keep trying…  throwing stuff up against the wall to see what sticks, what satisfies the creative itch, and what inspires my readers and customers.

My plan at this point is to take some time over the next few weeks and months to tweak my designs and create new ones and then make them available on Spoonflower.  I’m excited to present my designs exactly as I envision them and see how they do!  At the very least, I’ll use them in my house!

Anyone else getting ready to climb through a window?

closed doors and open windows

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120 Comments on “closed doors and open windows”

    1. Great attitude–although you deserve a bit of chocolate anyway! That wallpapering is hard work! And that is how I look at all the not so great paintings I make–I am learning with each one. So… secretly I am kind of glad for your shift towards Spoonflower. I love your style/designs, but I am not a quilter. But I sew tons of drapes, pillows and do re-upholstery. So I need a heavier weight fabric for those projects. Carry on!

    2. I admire your attitude and how you always have so many potential windows open. My trouble is waiting to invest until I have picked just one window. My journey is to figure out how to explore without expectations and to do something without having it have to be that one great thing. In other words, trust the process. 😀

  1. Great attitude! Never have a second thought of the anonymous naysayers.
    Their issues are with themselves.

    1. I love your spirit and your creativity. Can you tell me about the, i’ll call it, bulletin board? Is that a board of inspiration? I’d love to hear about how you use it.

  2. Great attitude! Keep on keeping on. The more experience you get, the better you become. Life is more fun if we try new things, even if we fail once in a while. I loved what the person before me said about other people and their problems.

    1. I completely agree with everything you said! I love learning and this was a great learning experience. There is a lot of value in that.

  3. I am sorry to hear about your closed door. But thanks for the encouragement to look for open windows! Recently, I have been discouraged by some of my own creative “failures.” Your post is a good reminder not to give up, but to look for other opportunities and ways to use creative talent–to keep trying!

    1. Yes, don’t ever give up unless you’re ready to shift gears. Often times failure comes just ahead of success.

  4. If the little snippets of design you just shared are any indication, I can’t wait to see the rest! The blue tree design, I would love to see on throw pillows!

  5. Haters are going to hate and what they think/say about you isn’t your business. You are loved more than you’ll ever know. Going through an open window?? I like it!

    If we didn’t have some failures (if that’s what you want to call them), then the successes wouldn’t mean so much. I love the tree prints….is that wallpaper?!?!?!?! LOVE it!

    Keep doing you! You make everything so much better. I always look forward to reading your blog everyday!

    1. I know and you’re right. It’s not my business and I wish thoughts like that didn’t even pop in my head. Thank you for the encouragement.

      The print was for quilting fabric, but it would be pretty amazing wallpaper, right?!

      1. your designs are stunning and KNOWLEDGE IS POWER so going through this learning curve will serve you always. PS I agree with the comment on haters…although I do think shame on them. Your creative eye is such a gift and I feel blessed that you share it with us 😊

  6. Thank you for being so open and honest with us. I received a nasty comment on one of my products back before Christmas and it made me want to quit. It didn’t seem to matter that everyone else was giving me 5 star reviews. That one comment nearly shattered my desire to keep creating. To know, that someone I admire as much as you, gets nasty comments, helps me to realize that there are people out there who just enjoy being mean. You have once again inspired me and I thank you for sharing your life with us, the good and also the behind the scene things, that don’t always go as planned.

    1. Ugh, I hate how that one nasty comment can somehow have more weight than all of the good ones! I have gotten better at just ignoring them, but if I feel insecure on a particular day or about a particular project, it’s easier to let them have that weight. Anyway, I’m so glad this post encouraged you. Keep creating! 🙂

      1. I overcome the meanies by asking God to bless them. I prayed that for a family member who hadn’t spoken to me in months, and suddenly! He’s speaking. Hope this helps, if not throw it out the window!

  7. As a quilter, I can say, that it is just timing. Your fabrics are lovely! Free Spirit has some very different designs and designers. Maybe it’s just the wrong company. That does make a difference. When I go into a quilt shop I can tell whether the shop is more traditional or more modern, etc. Your designs remind me of a European company called Tilda. For someone who learned about fabric design on the fly, I think you did a great job and should be very proud of yourself!

  8. I love your style….. to look for the open window when the door closes, and to look at the experience as really not a loss but so much learned and gained! Countless lessons I have learned from your experiences and your willingness to share with us.

    I myself have been on this journey with door closings (or slamming shut) and searching for the peek of sunlight thru an open window. It is always there ~ I hear my Mom during these times….’put your two feet on the floor in the morning and get moving, in Gods timing and in his plan. All experiences are for a reason even if you don’t see it at this moment’…..I guess I should listen to my Mom more, lol!

    Thank you for sharing. PS…..I love the fabric.

  9. Your designs are lovely, glad you’re going to go with them in a different direction. But honestly – don’t toss out the chocolate! lol

  10. Inspiring attitude Marian! It’s so easy to get down on one’s self when things don’t go the way we hope but there is always room to grow as a person if you can see the positives in those experiences. I love everything that you do so you’ll always have an appreciative audience here!!! 🙂

  11. Those fabrics are beautiful. Some fabric just make you happy to look at them and you hit that mark! I’m glad you are trying to NOT take it personally. That is so hard. I’ve noticed how much joy some people take in a perceived “failure” of someone else. Social media has amplified that. I hope you can do something with those fabrics in the future. I loved all of theme and would have bought them for different fun projects. Wallpaper would be AMAZING! ♥

    1. Will you please let us know when they (fabric AND wallpaper) are available on Spoonflower? They are beautiful designs and colors!

  12. Nothing that you have learned is ever wasted, and you inspire us every day to get out of our comfort zones. I have the following posted on my bulletin board and it is so true;

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out h ow the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deed could have done them better.
    The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again,
    Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends herself in a worth cause;
    Who, at the the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievements, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…” Theodore Roosevelt

    You, my dear, are one who dares greatly. Thank you

  13. My grandmother told me this once a very long time ago. “Just remember to take your foot out of the door before it gets so broken that you can’t turn around and walk away in the RIGHT direction.” She told me this after I failed to win a writing contest. I followed her advice and went on to earn three degrees and teach college level creative writing and journalism classes. You are so talented and your work is admired by many readers. You are too talented to view this as a failure or a closed door. I am glad that you view it as a part of your learning curve. No need to crawl through a window. Just walk in the sunshine in another direction.

  14. Is your first line with Bunnies and Blooms still available? I really hoped to make curtains for my future nursery 🙁 please let me know if I can still get it somewhere!

    1. I’m a prolific quilter and I bought Marian’s fabric when it first came out. Love it! It’s still available at!

  15. Just yesterday I said to my students- until you fail, how will you learn to get back up? And this is not a failure by any means because these designs are terrific. I look forward to purchasing them from Spoonflower!

  16. I have been reading your blog for a short time, but you have inspired me immensely in several different areas. Thank you.

  17. Fabric is like everything else in the fashion world – always trending. If you don’t exactly match what is hot at the moment, think of it as you’re ahead of the curve. It gives you time to reassess, refine, and refocus on what really feeds your soul. I find your work to be very inspirational, even though these occasional setbacks remind me that you are still human (wink). Thanks!

    P.S. Did you refinish or reframe that magnetic white board? I keep considering one for my wall, but all the boards I see for sale are so ugly.

  18. Marian, I read your posts regularly and have followed your creative journey through the years. As a mother, lifelong fellow creative and entrepreneur, small creative (garden/intereior) business owner I relate to your family priorities, creative journey and the long to do list! Although I’ve never reached out to you, or commented on your posts I check in on you frequently. What I love about you most is your honesty and transparency, your willingness to be vulnerable and true. Your ability to share your creative/life balance, this has allowed me to get to know you and relate to you. I often find motivation, new perspective and an abundance of positivity as I read your written word and then yes too, inspiration. Inspiration often comes by the sheer amount you accomplish! There will always be others who are envious of your talents, achievements and follow you in an effort to find fault. Those are the people that gloss over the take away and perspective you are able to provide them. I’ve learned over time to LOVE these people anyway. As a silent reader, fellow creative, your cheerleader, just know I must be one of many out there that you have never heard from before. You are amazing and are a determined force with a to do list in hand. This world is a better place because of you Marian. Onward!

  19. I love that you have such an upbeat attitude. I also love the patterns on Spoonflower, but honestly I think their prices are very high and I don’t know if I will ever buy anything there.
    I look forward to seeing your guest bedroom!

  20. I’m sorry for your closed door but I agree with everything you said in your post. I especially liked “if you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” The little bit you showed of your fabric designs I loved!

  21. Its only natural to have feelings of disappointment or sadness when something doesn’t work out in our favor or benefit and you are right some people take great joy in that but its never a failure! I always feel that God lets us experience disappointments or set-backs for a reason. Sometimes to teach us patience in his timing or sometimes to keep us humble. I like to quote Joel Osteen when he says “a setback is just a setup for God to do bigger and better things in our life.”

    I knew a lady who owned a décor/furniture consignment store and her business did wonderful for the first six-seven years. Then her business started to slow down as there was lots of competition from other consignment stores in the area and rising rent cut into her profit. She eventually had to close the store and I remember her standing there in tears the last day as customers picked up their unsold items. At that moment, I am sure she felt like a complete failure. I gave her and hug and told her it would be okay.

    Months later, my Mom ran into her and she had landed a great job in the private sector and was doing well. She had totally re-created herself and started a whole new career using her talents and prior experience as a business woman. One door closed but God opened another much bigger door for her! There is no way a women of your talent could ever be stopped by one business set-back!!

  22. sweet girl i’m 72 years old and still have 2 stores, there will always be those who welcome our defeats but let me tell you how you’ve changed so many lives for the good, you are my first blog i started following even at my age it opened a whole new world. some of my toughest times have brought the best end. keep the faith and keep inspiring us, love

  23. This reminded to find bunnies and blooms. I have no idea what to do with it, I don’t quilt or sew….but just feel like I want to incorporate them somehow in my life.
    It’s so sad about critics. I often read comments under Facebook house tours and am always sad for reading them. If I don’t like a home, I just keep scrolling. No need to impose my idea of what is pleasing on other people.
    I also much prefer a home that is personal, and not showroom. But that’s my preference.
    The one negative as many people have expressed above…it’s a challenge. I’ve longed to get to the bottom of it spiritually. I don’t have the same experience, but there’s a similarity. My husband and I have gone through an incredible journey of health crisis where neither of us have been able to work (mostly, I’ve done what I can between all), and have been uprooted from our lives. At a time when we have needed support more than any other time, it’s been interesting who has been there, and who has disappeared. The people who have been there for us have been so amazing. So incredible. And sometimes, all I can do is dwell on the one person who really let me down.
    It’s human. But I’d like a little less human here. I wish I was able to only see the good in life and people.
    You have so many achievements under your belt. So much talent in your pinkie finger. It’s incredible what you’ve done. But in our humanity….we sometimes get blown back.
    I dunno, would you consider a blog post on how we focus on the good? I mean, I guess this blog post did exactly that….but I want more?

    1. Your wonderful designs on heavier fabric, available through Spoonflower! Fantastic news! Love your new direction. Never give up…. and keep looking UP. God’s got this.

  24. Honestly I CANNOT believe you actually have people that are that bad…WHY? WHO would want to hurt you…you ALWAYS offer positivity, goodness, beauty and fun. You’re a solid person and a solid woman in Christ! I just don’t understand!

  25. MMS, “Always we begin again…!” Your spirit is a reminder of what the mystics in our heritage taught us. Thank you for your courageous letting go and moving on.

    Diney on Camano

  26. My first thought when I saw the print was “Ohhhh I love that WALLPAPER!” I am currently looking for wallpaper and hoping those were prints already available. I’d say there’s your open window. Those prints would be amazing as wallpaper!

    1. Thanks for the transparency. I have designed coffee mugs and what not off and on.
      The stores who prospected the mugs seemed genuine. I never got an acceptance as an independent. THAT SAID, I am with others who suggest the wall paper route and then that co can produce the Companion fabrics.

  27. Marian
    I have read your blog for many years now and remember that in the beginning you got some nasty remarks from mean spirited and probably jealous persons and you overcame that nonsense. I urge you to continue on as you did before. Those people aren’t worth you wasting time or energy on them.. sorry this batch design didn’t work at this time. I am not a quilter but like you (I think) forgive any presumption, I love to give almost anything a good try to see if I can and to see if I enjoy.
    I would love if you would consider designing some weighted material designs for reupholstering and drape materials. I think you have a marvelous sense of color and I don’t sew but we do reupholster.
    I look forward to exploring your work on other websites. Could you list those.? I wouldn’t mind finding some of your older materials I wish I had purchased.
    Anyway there is always next time…keep on keeping on….stay positive. You have more than enough of us who enjoy your blog and love watching you trying new things…an inspiration for some of us.

  28. I feel what you are feeling…..Been there, done that and doing that! I had 2 fabric collections with a Seattle-based quilting company. I didn’t produce enough (and what I did produce after that, they didn’t like), so they dropped me. I was going through a rough period with having to sell my house, then deciding to move 3000+ miles to the east coast for a fresh start. My mind was hardly all there to produce what I wanted.
    But I have sold on Spoonflower for 10 years now, plus I do craft fairs, etc. Don’t limit yourself to just Spoonflower. Try Myfabricdesigns, Contrado, Zazzle, Soceity6, Redbubble and Fashion Formula, to name a few. Attack this from all fronts! It is so rewarding to see your designs on not only fabrics but also wallpapers, gift wraps, bedding, coffee mugs, plates, etc. I am wallpapering my entire house in paper i designed, with curtains in coordinating prints I designed to match! Its super fun! My sofa is heaped with lovely linen cotton canvas pillows printed in my own cottage florals, which I sewed myself, and dining chairs slipcovered in my prints as well.
    You already have a large following so part of your battle is already won with getting exposure.
    AND, I LOVE your designs!! You are a wonderful artist and never forget you do this firstly for yourself.
    My business tag line is “A Flower Blossoms for Itself”. Its my reminder that no matter what I venture into, I do what I love, for myself first.
    I can’t wait to see what you do and let us know what your shop name is on SP so I can follow you!!

    1. Wow. What an incredibly supportive comment! Amazing, Paula. Wish I could see your home interior!

    2. Such a beautiful and encouraging comment. Thank you for sharing your story and I’m excited about “blossoming for myself”. What a wonderful sentiment to embrace.

  29. I have always believed that, if you don’t try some things that don’t work, you aren’t trying enough things! Your record of success is well known, and you have a real fan club out here. I love that you are such an open, caring person. No failure here, Miss Marion, simply exploration!

  30. Raise your hand if you would love a home decor fabric line by MMS!! Here, I’ll start 🙋🏻‍♀️. What is it they say, nothing ventured, nothing great. You have a fabulous attitude and I love your fabric designs. It’s the quilting worlds loss

    1. I just discovered your website through Pinterest and immediately fell in love with your decorating sense of design. As a quilter, I know that the fabric world is overloaded with choices for us. So it seems like the advice of sticking to what you know, like the decorating fabrics and interior design makes sense. There are so many ways you can expand, as Paula Arendt mentioned above. I know that God has a plan for our lives, and failures teach us more than success most of the time. So keep on truckin and don’t look back.

  31. Through the years I’ve learned that every new venture teaches us something we didn’t know before and whether the venture is a success or not, having the opportunity to learn something new is like gold. And I’ve also found that the most difficult tasks and the most difficult people were the ones I learned the greatest lessons from. So good for you for recognizing that an open window is way more valuable than a closed door.

  32. I am a “lurker” on your blog, have been for sometime. But today I felt compelled to throw my thoughts your way. I hate that there are faceless cowards in the ether that criticize someone who is putting themselves out there! I know how hurtful it is (I take these things really personally too) especially when it is about creative work and not just a widget. Stay strong and keep trying new things (BTW which is one of the things I love about you) you love expanding your horizons and trying new things… heck with the cowards hiding behind their monitors not contributing anything but ugliness to the world. Remember, people who are actually doing it – making, creating and taking risks AREN’T the one’s being critical of you…

  33. My current inspiration is Lady Gaga’s acceptance speech at the 91st Academy Awards plus the mantra I fashioned this past week: “Find joy where you are.” As long as you are doing that, you can’t go wrong.

  34. Thank you for sharing! I do hope you will share these fabric designs on Spoonflower. I personally love your art and design and find myself going back again and again to your blog for inspiration. I started following you 3-4 years ago and my home has slowly evolved into a more homey environment (you once posted your husband felt your home design was homey when someone asked if your sons and husband objected to the feminine touches in your design). For the first eight years of my marriage I keep the design of our home very neutral. Thanks to that post, I got brave. 😂❤️😂

  35. Like Miki Reid (above) I was really surprised when you said that there are “anonymous people on the internet who are critical of me”. It would never occur to me that anyone could be critical of you! What I really love about your post today is how you admitted your initial painful thoughts and then let them go immediately. I’ve always loved your transparency, along with everything else.

  36. You have a wonderful spirit and outlook! There is no such thing as failure, they are lessons and I love that you see it this way too! And I can’t believe anyone would not want you to succeed, that makes me sad. I just don’t understand mean people. Always in your corner Marian. I can’t wait to see what other fabrics you come up with! I know they will be beautiful, because you have a beautiful spirit!

  37. Love what I have heard before….
    It isn’t rejection, its God’s redirection…
    Rest in His plan and enjoy the journey.

  38. Wow people can be so cruel sometimes never want to see anybody succeed except themselves I loved you first line of fabric unfortunately I never got any I hope you make another line and let us know in advance so I can buy some. Keep plugging

  39. Everyone has ups and downs. The key is to keep going. You’ve got this. Can’t wait to see what is next for you!

  40. I am a teacher. We put a lot of effort into teaching children to have a Growth Mindset. What a Wonderfully Perfect example you are. People with a growth mindset ARE successful. You go girl. ❤️

  41. You are so talented in so many things and seem to have such a good heart. I cant imagine why anyone would be happy if you failed at something. These people are not worth your time. Stick with the positive you get and, even though not easy, throw those negative people out of your life. Literally or figuratively.

  42. I agree with all stated above, plus I want to say that those designs are BEAUTIFUL. They would be gorgeous as wallpaper and/or upholstery.

  43. I’m listening to Reshma Saujani on Experts on Expert podcast and her mantra is “Brave, Not Perfect”. It’s so apropos. You’re an inspiration. Courage is everything! Thanks for sharing your journey!

  44. Your post title today for me was prophetic.

    It’s early morning here in Australia, and I just had a sad experience.

    It started with an awful day yesterday when one of my alpacas lost her baby near full term, it was a harrowing time with the vet needing to remove the dead baby manually. But the girl had survived.

    Then this morning my mum who lives with us rang to tell me she thinks something is wrong with the girl and a few minutes later we had lost her. I knew like you that it was bad news when the phone rang and knew it could happen.

    She was not only a beautiful animal to look at, and one of the finest fleeced we had ever bred, but what I loved about her most was she had strong zest for life, a wild spirit that made her stand out from the crowd, she had a life force within her that despite her smaller stature made her larger than life. She stood to the bigger alpacas and stood her ground over the dinner trough. It was hard to see her now so still & lifeless.

    On returning to the house I was checking my emails for work, as on a farm you learn that life goes on, and saw you post title – “closed doors and open windows”

    Then reading your post it was about moving forward, about having a positive spirit – about a door closing on something special to you, but accepting what has happened. The vets will examine her now to try & understand what happened & this may lead to them be better able to help another alpaca in the future which for me is the window I’ll climb through.

    Your post was what I needed today. Thanks for sharing your closed door experience.

    1. I am so sorry to hear about your loved alpacas….I live in Wisconsin in a small town and there are a few Alpaca farms in the area…love to drive by and look at those wonderful animals…how wonderful to raise them. We all mourn the loss of our treasured animals…and I hope that the days get better for you soon…Diane

  45. I’m a quilter and I would love to have several yards of the blue background with white trees. When you try again, please include that design.

  46. Marian, I so enjoy reading your blog. The tone of your writing is refreshing. You come across as knowledgable yet humble and I truly enjoy your content. When I talk to my husband about things I’ve seen or read here I describe you as “the one with the cow painting over the mantle :)” Thanks for sharing beauty with us!

  47. Well I can’t wait for you to write about your new line being sold & available for us to purchase. I just got some of your “Bunnies” fabric & can’t wait to create!

  48. Thanks for being brave enough to share your trials that were not excepted. We all have those and don’t ever want to admit it. We need to hear when it happens to others, especially someone like you that we admire so much. It encourages us!

    I’m so sorry for the mean sayers. You are such an inspiration to so many. I would like to say I’m shocked but I guess it’s true that women of faith can be a threat to some. Don’t ever forget how many of us are here for you. We love you, your posts, your style, and your beautiful spirit!

  49. I can’t say it any better than “JC at the uncommon pearl” above said…”it’s not rejection, it’s God’s redirection”!! And, by the way, your fabric designs are just Beautiful!!!

  50. Your generosity and courage shine through in your willingness to share what happened. It’s such an encouragement to everyone who has faced a disappointment—that is, ALL of us!
    Your fabric designs are just wonderful and I feel sure that they will be wildly successful when they find their way out in the world. I predict that window will be huge!

  51. Marian ❤️
    I’ve learned to really appreciate closed doors and crossroads. They are clear and direct. The only person I have to deal with is myself and sometimes I can deeply exhale when I realize closed doors will bring on new opportunities if I let them. You didn’t fail at all.. Your work in all you do is yours. Own it, hold it, you put your heart in it! And you’ve found your new direction!
    Onward and Upward ❤️

  52. You are so talented in so many areas. Think of the valuable experience and contacts you’ve made. Keep your chin up and move on.

  53. Well I am going to have a glass of wine, say a prayer for the meanies and keep on enjoying Miss Mustard Seed and all the happy people out there who inspire and encourage us all!!

  54. Well, after reading all these posts you should see that you have a lot of support to help you through that new window opening! Voicing those hurt feelings seems to release them from our souls and allow us to move forward.

  55. Please do not let anyone, not one person, inflict their misery on your good deeds and your beautiful spirit. It is not about you, it is a reflection of how miserable they are.
    There are many of us who wish you success and happiness.
    And love seeing you share it with us.
    Much love, many prayers. Beverlee

  56. You’re fabrics are gorgeous! I honestly haven’t seen any l like more! You are so talented in so many ways!

  57. Thank you for sharing this…my husband lost his job a week before Thanksgiving. It was a painful loss of security for me since we are a one income family. However, I now see God’s hand of provision over every area of our lives, and what seemed to be a failure has actually turned into our greatest opportunity…we are starting a business and truly experiencing the joy of faith in action.

    Not every day is sunny, but if it was, would we still love the light as much as we do after the storm passes? I’m working on seeing failures as little arrows pointing me closer to an end that is better than it would be without them. ❤️ PS—I think your work is beautiful!

  58. I had no idea you had people online that are critical of you or do not like you. Everyone I know loves you and your creativity. I just hate that people have to go trough that kind of stuff and that they feel like it’s necessary to be critical that way. You just keep doing what you are doing and like one of the other comments said. Keep throwing stuff!!!

  59. These designs are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your highs and your lows with us. 🙂 I so admire your spunk. I really do. I can’t think of another person on the Internet who motivates me so much to make the most of the hours I am given each day. Keep going, Marian. You are a blessing to so many people.

  60. I’m certain you probably know this, but you can ‘wallpaper’ with fabric. Even sheets, but due to the width of sheets it is a two person job. Endless possibilities.

  61. So many people obviously love your work, designs, inspirations, instructional videos and more; me included.
    All I can is, I can’t wait to see what comes out the other side of that window. Looking forward to the future.

  62. You have a great attitude and I am sure that comes from an inner strength that has grown through the years and experiences you have already faced. I know that all things can work together for good, it is sometimes in the present to see the good. I think you have a lot more people that love you than dislike you. You are a true inspiration. I love everything you do.

  63. Love your persistence and willingness to try new things. Also envy, but not in a bad way. You tread a path I wish I’d taken long ago. I feel locked into a different life now but your example encourages me to also blaze a new trail for myself. Thank you.

  64. I’m really happy to hear that your’e going to be issuing your lovely designs through Spoonflower. Sometimes ‘no’ is the right answer. We can step off the well-trodden path and explore new things. And just think of all those different substrates we can choose from! Very exciting…the best of luck xx

  65. One of the greatest lessons I learned from you when I worked with you is your confidence. I loved that you were willing to make decisions quickly, know it was worth a try, and if they didn’t work out, try something else. You also were relaxed about it all, no angst or stress.. You are doing great things, those designs need to be made available. Who knows why things happen, but they do, and I believe they work out.

  66. I am a quilter and loved your fabrics1 Keep in mind that quilters take the fabric and cut it into smaller pieces and sometimes we lose the “big” sense of the fabric design. I am looking forward to seeing these prints on a heavier weight fabric for home decorating .Don’t be discouraged!

  67. Well that was a timely post! Thank you for being so honest and transparent! I needed that “pick-me-up” to get over a bit of a design disappointment.
    You are awesome! You’re talent seems endless and you have inspired me so many times!!

  68. It takes such courage to put yourself out there, especially in these times. Please remember how many of us love the work you do and look forward to your posts. You are an inspiration!

  69. I echo all the other comments about wallpaper, and think that it would also be neat to see some of your murals turned into wallpaper.

  70. I LOVE the two designs you featured in today’s post….the white and the blue, they look very Scandinavian!

    You have soooo very many talents and you reach out into so many creative areas. I think of the quote that goes something like: “If you never fail it means you’re not reaching/stretching far enough!”

    I was delighted to read about you and your mom doing the wallpaper and chair rail wall in the guest room…go Girls!
    Very impressive!

  71. So glad you choose not to let this be a stumbling block but a springboard. You are creative in so many mediums and not afraid to try and fail.

  72. Marian, can you take your designs and transition them to a wallpaper line? I feel like that would be a natural transition with those beautiful patterns.

    Ps. If you ever need an assistant or someone remotely in Wisconsin, I would love to be your person!

  73. Sorry to read your disappointing news. I had ordered your lovely collection for our shop and only found out it had been cancelled when I read your post. I heard that sales of Country Folk outside the US were very good, but the domestic market is very tough right now and that’s the market that counts. It all comes down to unfortunate timing.

  74. Thank you for sharing, this is great for many to hear …..things don’t work out all the time, but life is still wonderful. Love your style, your back story (I shared with my 2 daughters aged 30’s). Just remember, how much you’ve grown and where you began. Your healthy family is the most important asset to life.

  75. I’m encouraged by your attitude towards naysayers. It’s tough. When I face public discouragement, it knocks the air out of my lungs more than I wish it did. If you let it, the negativity can stew in the back of your mind. It squelches risk-taking. Kudos for choosing to keep moving and leaving those thoughts behind. I just read a quote by Van Gogh that says, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet in order to learn how to do it.” I love that!

    I’m new to your site but I love your values, commitment to your family and your art. I share the same.

  76. You are so amazingly creative in so main areas and yet you still felt the sting. That is a fabulous story to share as it is a good reminder of ‘not everyone out there will connect with your expression. It doesn’t mean you failed.’ Feeling grateful. 🙏🏽💚🌿💛

  77. hi Marian–
    I am a brand-new reader. The designs you showcased in this blog are LOVELY!!! I am not a quilter, but I wish I had some way I might use them in my home. Could you start a pillow line (or tablecloths, runners, napkins….). I am serious! Or even sell quilts in your own online shop, or in tourist areas around the country, like Lancaster, PA.
    Don’t give up!!! Your unique designs have a lot of life yet to live!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! I’m certainly not giving up. I’ve learned it’s all about timing and finding the right niche. Everything happens for a reason. 🙂

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