My name may be new to you as well as my fabrics. I am what you would call an emerging designer (more of a late bloomer really.) Fabri-Quilt Inc. will introduce my first fabric collection, Blue Skies, sometime late fall of 2010.
Here is a little background for you. I am a Mid-west girl, born in Iowa. I graduated from Iowa State University with a B.A. in Art and Design in 1985, yes, yikes, I will let you figure that out. I met my husband-to-be in college and right after graduation we moved to Clinton, Iowa, where I met some terrific women who taught me all about quilting and life in general as I was newly married and expecting my first child.
My husband, new baby and I moved to Coal City, Illinois, in 1988 and bought an old house with plenty of charm and plenty to change. We lived in Coal City for 17 years and had two more children as well as a move to a new house that we designed and had built for us. I sewed a lot of quilts over those years and got involved in sewing handcrafted dolls and seasonal crafts for Christmas and spring craft shows. In the late 90’s I started an antique/new merchandise business at an antique mall. This experience offered quite a bit of versatility to my creative spirit. I would find cast-off treasures at garage sales and yes, sometimes even curb-side! I would reinvent these items as desirable home decor pieces and display these transformed treasures along side new merchandise I ordered from the Gift Mart. It was great fun making displays and always coming up with something fresh. I also met a lot of talented people who taught me about marketing and display. Alas, that all ended when my husband was transferred to Ohio.
I liquidated my business and decided it was time to start something new. I spent the first six months of my something new cooking and eating, which really didn’t turn out too well for my waistline! OK, after that little self-indulgence and probably a bit of a funk, I found the “something new” I was looking for. After seeing an amazing exhibit on Rembrant’s etchings and printed works, I fell back in love with drawing and painting. Remember the thing I went to college for? So, here is how I got to where I am today. I started messing around with submitting drawings and photos to greeting card companies and I do have one card that is available through the greeting company Design Design. Alright, it is a sympathy card, but you have to start somewhere right? Now this got me pretty jazzed as well as brought me to the stark reality that I have no idea how to use any of the professional software that is being used nowadays or how to work with the “big boys,” — I was clueless. I decided that it was time to learn what I needed to know and found a community college nearby that could get me up to speed. Over the next two years I learned everything I needed to know about printing and desk-top publication. During this time I also dusted off my paints and brushes and started working on oil paintings. I discovered two things: that I loved anything to do with print and that there were people interested in buying my art. You can see my paintings at: www.sharonholland.com
Now, this doesn’t really tell you how I got to be a fabric designer. It is strange sometimes how everything can come back around and a person can just sort of fall into the spot they need to be in. Certainly my life experiences have set me up well for this moment. Sewing, crafting, building and renovating houses, gardening, display work, marketing, oil painting and graphic design. I have always loved fabrics, I would try to imagine what the designer had been thinking about when he or she created the print. How did they do that, why did they use those colors, what is it about this print that makes me like it so much? When I had finished my recent studies, I wanted to figure out how to make repeating patterns for use in fabrics and surface designs. Well, I figured it out and also discovered that this is the SOMETHING I have been looking for all these years, I love creating patterns! This is beyond a dream come true because it is now a reality. So, being a late bloomer is not at all a bad thing. I think of this as a second act. My first act was to raise the best three children a mom could raise, to be married to a wonderful husband and to have an opportunity to be creative all along the way.
I hope that this introduction will give you an idea of who Sharon Holland is and that my web site and blog will help you get to know me better as I post projects, happenings and general goings on in the life of a fabric designer. (Gosh, it is cool to say that!)