As the new year began, the new episodes of the public television series, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting have started airing. This years series is labeled their 1900 series. Hosted by Marianne Fons and her daughter Mary Fons, various quilting projects and techniques are demonstrated using different quilting projects.
As part of this years 1900 series, in episode 1904 titled, “Feedsack Flowers” Mary Fons is joined by Sandy Gervais to demonstrate making a hexagon “log-cabin” style block set together in a brilliant, no-set-in method.
In this episode, the fabrics used in the demonstration part of the project are from my Blue Skies collection from Fabri-Quilt – Paintbrush Studio line!
If you are wanting to give this block a try – it’s super fun – use this link for a quick on-line video in conjunction to this project. This project had been first seen in their Easy Quilts – Scrap Quilts Fall 2011 issue and this link showcases the block from that source. Visit: http://www.fonsandporter.com/issues/Easy_Quilts___Scrap_Quilts
click on the technique labeled “Log Cabin Hexagons” for the video. (sign in is required to view the video.)
You will want to check your local listings for the airing times of the Fons & Porter Love of Quilting series in your area. For more information on how to find out what is available by you, visit http://www.fonsandporter.com/tv_showtimes.html
I wish I had more time right now to play around with this block, I am fascinated by a hexagon shaped block and would really love to make a full project from this technique, but, alas, too many irons in the fire right now, that one must be put on a back burner for awhile!
Hello Everyone! I want to take a moment and welcome all the new readers/subscribers to my site. Many of you have found me through the projects I have posted on my Craftsy page. I am glad you found me!
A few blog posts back, I told you about the Wildwood throw quilt I designed and made. You can find the full PDF instructions for this quilt on this blog, just use this link: Wildwood Throw Quilt Project or use the images links on the right side bar. Well, anyway, what you may not have known was that quilt was going to be a Christmas gift for my daughter who is in graduate school. I could not write about it being a gift for her because she reads my blog! Boy was she surprised when she opened up her gift!
When she was home for Christmas (along with her boyfriend) we all had an opportunity to go to an arboretum and do a photo shoot with her and her Wildwood quilt. We had a beautiful day for January in the Midwest and had a ton of fun photographing. Here are my favorite pictures of our day.
P.S. Love you Anna, wish you were still here. When you use your quilt, think of it as a big hug from me.
Another year has come and gone. 2011 was a very good year for me that included three fabric collections and lots of projects and quilts. Time flies when you are busy!
Looking ahead into 2012, I don’t have to turn the calendar pages very far to see my “to do” list already growing. I expect to see fabrics from my Dilly Day collection arriving on my doorstep in the next couple of weeks. I will be jumping right in and making two quilts right away. I have one quilt lined up for Quilt Magazine and one quilt lined up for Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting Magazine using the new collection fabrics. You will see the fruits of that labor later this year in both their summer or early fall issues.
Look for this ad in your favorite quilting magazines.
Concurrently, I am working on a new fabric collection. This new collection is only in the design stage and has a long way to go before being turned into fabric, so this project will be on going for a bit, but you have to start sometime to finish so, I started working on designs right before Christmas.
I have been enjoying having my three kids, my father-in-law and my daughter’s boy friend here at our house since before Christmas. We have had a lot of laughs, eaten way too much and just enjoyed being together which is hard to do anymore with everyone spread out across four states.
My eldest son is a computer engineer. With his help, we jazzed up the side bar on my site today. If you are returning to my site, you may have already noticed the snazzy new look to the right side bar. I have chosen some of the most popular projects posted on this site and now have an easy navigation tool of project images for quick links to the individual projects. Or use the quick link image to the Projects page for all the projects posted on this site.
Another neat side bar addition is the tag cloud called Topics. Here you will find another quick access link to key search phrases found in my blog. If you wanted to search for posts that included projects, for instance, these posts have been tagged and will show in the link results using the tag cloud Topics that are found in the side bar.
I do have several more New Years “things I want do” lists. I can see already that this year may go just as quick as last year did!
Best wishes to all in the New Year – Cheers!
With 2011 drawing to an end, it is natural to be reflective and take stock on what happened throughout the year. My year can be measured in projects along side the family milestones. I had a very good, productive and happy year!
I want to close-out this year with one last project for my readers. My Christmas tree inspired throw quilt — Wildwood. If you remember, I put up a Christmas tree with pine cone, acorn, bird and nut ornaments all in bronzes, golds, silvers and coppers. I love the woodland look and mood of this tree, as if the woodland birds and animals decorated it in the forest.
This tree inspired me to make a throw quilt that captured more of the colors and mood of the tree rather then doing a Christmas quilt. Here is the finished quilt…
This is a generous sized throw quilt, measuring 72 x 72 inches. I hand quilted it using pearl cotton DMC floss in straight, diagonal quilting lines that followed the “X” shape of the blocks. It was a very quick and easy project to do.
I hope your year has been filled with happiness and numerous projects like mine has. Best wishes and happiness to you in 2012.
Looking for some color inspiration for your next sewing or craft project? Maybe you are planning to do some redecorating around your house or simply love color and can’t get enough of gorgeous pictures combined with yummy color palettes. Well, I have found the perfect site for you to get lost in — Designseeds.com
There are scads more of these inspirational palettes to be found at DesignSeeds.com, they have different themes that draw color palettes from beautiful photographs as well as an option for you to do your own search by color with a color picker slide bar.
Try picking one, it is impossible to choose! The inspiration for your next quilt could be one of these intriguing palettes. I am thinking I will find the starting seed for a new collection within these little gems — find what inspires you!
Drinking my coffee on Saturday morning I could not help but look over and admire my Christmas tree in our family room. This is my “Woodland” tree and this year I decorated it a little bit different because I only put up less then half the normal amount of ornaments as usual – I am getting lazy. But, even with just these select ornaments (glass birds, pine cones, acorns, nuts and extra greenery) I really think it turned out nice.
Admiring the tree with all the bronze, silver, copper and gold tear drop shapes, I got inspired to create a quilt. Not a Christmas quilt, but a quilt that interprets the pine cone shapes and the colors of my Woodland tree.
My husband and I where planning to go out that day Christmas shopping so I finished my coffee and headed to the sewing room to start pulling fabrics. I knew I would be needing to pick some more prints up while we were out.
I put together a card with little swatches of the prints that I thought were going to work for the look I wanted. I already knew what design I was going to use, a variation of my “Trimming the Tree” design that would be quick and easy to make.
I simply stapled fabric swatches to a piece of card stock so I could have this with me when I went to look at fabrics. Yes, my palette choice now includes some blues rather then all coppers, golds, silvers, etc. But that is OK, sometimes inspiration is just the starting point, you can interpret it anyway you want.
I have a bunch of fabrics here to choose from and because this throw quilt is going to be a scrap quilt, I finally narrowed it down to 24 dark prints and about 12 light prints. This picture is before it is narrowed down.
So, Sunday was cutting the top out and Monday and Tuesday (today) I got it all pieced. Here is the finished top. This picture below shows the quilt a bit more purple then it really is, the border is gray to give you a reference. It is very cloudy here today, so it is hard to photograph well in the lighting I have – I will take more pictures for you when it is all quilted and finished!
This block is sort of a Kansas Dugout, but easier. I made 6″ blocks and the finished size of this throw will be 72″ square. I will be getting this put together with the batting and backing and doing some simple hand quilting to finish it all up. I love to have a project like quilting to do on those long winter evenings.
I hope your holidays are just as inspiring. Creative ideas can be found anywhere.
For about the last 20 years, my husband, myself and my kids celebrate Thanksgiving with my brother, his wife and two children. Over the years, we have established different traditions that take place over the multiple day visit with each other. Besides eating way too much food, drinking lots of wine, exchanging Christmas gifts (because we will not see each other over Christmas), going out shopping on Black Friday, etc. we make sure we have a craft each year as a keepsake of that Thanksgiving. The kids have always loved making the crafts and so does my sister-in-law Penny and myself! Now that the kids are all in their twenties (the two youngest will be 19 soon) they still want a craft, but we can get into trickier projects.
We have had some good projects, last year we did glass etching with etching chemicals where we designed our own wine glasses and used them with our Thanksgiving meal, very cool project. This year, the project was our most aggressive to date. We made cloth covered journals from scratch in traditional bookbinding style.
The project starts by making “signatures,” which are the pages of the book. They are hand stitched together on the spine. This way the book lays nice and flat when open and makes for a beautiful finished project.
My oldest boy, Ben is big into anything zombies. In fact, he has written an app called ZombieStrategies.com and loves zombie stuff. So, I wanted something real special for him to put on his journal and designed a zombie print just for him. I used Spoonflower and ordered my zombie print to be done up before hand so it was ready in time for our project. You can see the zombie fabric on the journal in the middle, top row. I ordered enough material that I plan to make him some boxer shorts with the extra fabric. You might also recognize the print top row, right from my Blue Skies collection.
All the journals turned out terrific and we all had a great time with the project. I wonder what we should do for next years project!?!?
Time to share some of the projects you have been working on.
Send me your pictures of what you have finished or are working on made from:
Any of the projects I have posted on this blog or
From the project quilts I have designed for Fabri-Quilt for my Blue Skies, Winter Song or Love Grows collections (Prairie Flower, Trimming the Tree or Kaleidoscope quilts designs) or that I have designed for magazines with those collections or
Other projects made simply using fabrics from any of my different fabric collections
I would love to see what you have been up to and share those pictures with the other readers. Let’s start a creative co-op where you can share your work and see what other clever people are doing with the same projects you maybe working on.
Here are a couple to start things off with…
Sharon Hill emailed me this photo of her finished Quilted Bean Bag Pouf project. She used scraps to make her Pouf (footstool) and combined the pieced and solid versions of the project to make this stunning Pouf in a symphony of blues.
A dear friend of mine, Mary Emmert hand pieces and hand quilts all her projects! She has used my Blue Skies and Love Grows fabrics in combination with other prints to make these four beautiful table runners and wall hangings. Mary has been VERY busy this year!
Email your pictures and a brief description or your project, processes or even problems so I can share that information with the other readers. Write to me at: Contact@SharonHollanddesigns.com
I am looking forward to seeing what you have been working on!
I have used the custom printing service Spoonflower, to print up a few textiles I have designed for my own usage and test designs. I came up with the brilliant idea (well, I thought it was awful brilliant anyway) to use this service to also print up some custom fabric labels to use on the back of my quilts. Thinking that you might want a fresh idea for gift giving, I thought I would share this with you.
You do not have to be a textile designer to do the same thing. Having custom fabric printed from services like Spoonflower or Fabric on Demand is very easy because of their user friendly programs that are able to generate your images, labels, designs into repeat patterns if you cannot create them yourself. Each service has it’s own requirements for dpi (resolution) and file format of image, but they also have good instructions for leading you through the process. Both services show you a preview of what your design will look like before you purchase so you know what you will be buying.
Now, these services create the printed textiles using digital print, sort of a super large printer, rather then screen printing like the fabrics done from traditional mills. But hey, this is a fantastic way to get affordable, custom printing done with a quick turn-around time.
The fabrics I have gotten printed from this method have stood up well being washed and dried and come in a variety of weights and types of materials. I chose quilting weight cotton for my labels. Fabric comes in the standard, 42″ wide widths.
Labels could include any sort of information you would like to have put onto your quilts or other projects. I used my logo as my design. Custom labels would make a great gift for any quilter or seamstress and can be made in any size you want. I made mine about a 6 x 3 1/2″ which includes a 1/4″ all the way around to turn under.
So, check the sites out if you hadn’t heard of them before. You never know when you may want to use a service like those or what brilliant idea you will come up with to have printed out!
I am in between projects right now and was a bit at loss for what to write a blog post about. I guess I have a bit of “Blogger’s Block.” Looking around my sewing room, I got the idea to have a Trunk Show. Literally, I have a trunk stuffed with antique quilts, finished quilts I have made and quilts I have not finished!
Today the Trunk Show will be only about quilts I have made – finished and unfinished. I will do another Trunk Show some other day just about antique quilts.
Now, big disclaimer here… when I made these quilts in the mid - 80′s through 90′s, color choices, fabric choice and my choices were a whole lot different then they are these days! Even my piecing skills were different. I am a lot fussier about my piecing now and looking back on my work, things are not pieced as good as I remember. On the flip side, looking at the hand quilting that I had done, I was so much better at hand quilting in the day. Only a few of my quilts were machine quilted (by me, on my sewing machine) those were the utility quilts for the kids beds, otherwise, I hand quilted everything, small to large!
Again, this is an early piece. The Bear Paw quilt was a wall hanging quilt. I was really into Amish quilts and my husband and I had gone to San Fransisco and got to see the Esprit headquarters where they have a large collection of antique Amish quilts on display (at least back then they did.)
When my son Ben was three years old, I made this town quilt for him for his birthday. I call this quilt “All Roads Lead Home.” He used to drive his little cars around the town and play for hours. The town is made up of buildings and places he was familiar with, our house, the school, the gas station, the library, the park, a farm and other homes that represented family members houses.
Now, you are probably thinking, why does this quilt look unfinished? Good question. It was once finished, hand quilted, bound, done. But, unfortunately, the original batting I used in it, crept up through the top along with he just plum wore out some of the areas of the quilt. When he was older, and not playing with the quilt anymore, I took it apart, took out all the quilting, repaired the worn areas, even went so far as to add another tree to “our house” that was planted since the quilt was originally made! Most of it is re-quilted, the borders still need to be finished – I told Ben he will get it back some day when he has kids, luckily, I still have plenty of time to keep that promise!
This Diamond Ring quilt I made for my daughter, Anna when she was around 2 or 3 years old. It is larger then the School House quilt and she loved to cuddle up in this blanket on the couch. There are some worn out areas on this one too, it got a lot of use.
I was really into the Feathered Star scene in the 80′s, I loved things with points and triangles in them. This throw size is just the top, I never got around to quilting it, I think it is amazing I got it finished to this degree!
This Baskets quilt is a full/queen size quilt. It is pretty much all done, can you believe it, I only had the borders have been left to finish. Good thing I have learned to finish what I start now, or I would be in a big mess!
Now we get to the utility quilt era. The kids were either in twin or double beds at this time and I wanted each one to have a quilt of their own. This one is a Flying Geese design I did for my oldest, Ben. He was a little outdoors man, a Boy Scout and loved the “camp” look. This one was machine quilted and has seen a lot of use and washings.
My daughter, Anna got this Scrappy Squares quilt. Machine quilted and 1930′s inspired. The back of this one, as well as many of my quilts is pieced from strips of fabric. I was always very economical and used everything.
My youngest boy, Nick got this nautical inspired Stars quilt. This twin sized quilt was also machine quilted. All these utility quilts have taken on such a nice, soft feel to them from repeated washings and having used classic cotton batting for a nice summer weight quilt.
Here is another one of my quilts that is pretty much all hand quilted but I stopped and put it away. This Goose Chase quilt was inspired from an antique quilt I had seen in a quilt book. I do love scrap quilts. You get to play with so many different fabrics and there are those triangles again!
OK, while I am on the baskets thing. Now, this was one of the last quilts I did (or in this case, didn’t) it is about 1/3 of the way done. I am still digging this one. In fact, I have plans to finish this one – soon. I had this fantastic, vintage orange solid fabric, small pieces of vintage prints and a unreal amount of the blue ground fabric (new fabric, that I must have gotten for a steal) so I put together this Fan Basket quilt. It is a nice, throw size and was really meant to be playful. I think it still is and that is why I am glad I dug it up and re-discovered it today.
This Stars and Applique wall quilt top I did right around the time I made that nautical Stars quilt for my son. Again, fascinated by points and getting into small applique projects at that time, I also liked how this one used a lot of colorful prints.
Quilt in a box. Here I went so far as to make all the scrappy Nine Patch blocks using new and vintage material of blues, browns, blacks, grays with the occasional pop of pink. I at least had the foresight to lay out my intended quilt design and photograph my layout/concept before boxing it all up and putting it away.
Puppies and petals. I did and still do love to sew by hand. I have bags of these Flower Garden blocks pieced but that is as far as it went. I had drafted my own templates of this Scottie Dog block after seeing an antique quilt of this design in a book. I had plans to make the kids a Scottie quilt, but alas…
So, these are just what I have still here with me. There were many, many quilts big and small done during that period that were given away as gifts. Those got finished!
I hope you enjoyed my little Trunk Show of memories. It does make one appreciate all the selection we have available now in fabrics. I still have a lot of those same fabrics in my stash. Vintage and new (well they were new 20-30 years ago!) add some of today’s fun prints and we are looking at a whole new world.