Star Light Quilt

Star Light Quilt

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The very first time I made this star block was for the Community Sampler Cactus block and knew then and there I wanted to eventually make a quilt using just this block.

When sewing for my new Art Gallery Fabrics collection called Signature I designed projects around themed rooms and one of the rooms was to be a baby room which would be the perfect look for the Star Light quilt born from the Cactus block!

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This gender-neutral design is perfect for any baby and is a generous 50'' square finished size. I consider this an intermediate project but with my tutorial on piecing the star block and other tutorials of Quarter-Square Triangle Units and working with directional prints, I feel even a beginner could make this quilt with a little extra attention paid to accurate seam allowances and cutting and a care with the trickier aspects of this design.

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For my nature-loving baby I selected Signature prints and Pure Elements solids in a green, teal, and golden yellow palette that made me think of being outdoors on a summer's evening, chasing fireflies and looking at the stars. 

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This week Art Gallery Fabrics will be virtually publishing the Signature fabrics Look Book and it will be packed full of beautiful projects made with my Signature collection. To celebrate the Look Book and collection I've added this Star Light baby quilt pattern to my Free Patterns page

Download the free PDF pattern for full instructions and illustrations for piecing this large baby quilt. I've also included a Quilting Diagram for how I machine quilting my quilt. This is a nice size for quilting on a domestic machine. 

I used Hobb's Tuscany Silk Batting to fill my quilt and I love the lightweight, sumptuous drape it gives a quilt. Silk batting handles and launders just like cotton with very little shrinkage. 

Tip for machine quilting like I've done is to stitch all the stitch-in-the-ditch diagonal, vertical, and horizontal lines first then go back in and stitch the oval leaf shapes last.

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Be watching later this week for the Art Gallery Fabrics release of the Signature Look Book! If you're sewing with Signature and posting to Instagram, be sure to tag me @sharonhollanddesigns and use the hashtags #artgalleryfabrics #Signaturefabrics and #agfsignature so I don't miss any of your makes!

Community Sampler Grand Finale (Blog) Giveaway

Community Sampler Grand Finale (Blog) Giveaway 

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For the final week of the Community Sampler we have a huge grand finale Friday Giveaway that's so big it has to be done across two social media platforms!

A Maureen Cracknell Giveaway Prize will be offered on Maureen's blog (see entry details below) and a Sharon Holland Giveaway Prize will be offered on Instagram

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Even though the Community Sampler officially ends this week, there will still be quilters who want to make the sampler. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. Then, work your way through the first Community Sampler post to the present and take advantage of the in-blog tutorials for the different patchwork techniques used throughout the Community Sampler. Both Maureen and I will leave all the Community Sampler downloads up on our blogs for you to download long after this event is done.

Also, check out the #Community Sampler hashtag on Instagram, you'll see an amazing array of beautiful blocks as inspiration overload! Soon, you'll be seeing finished Community Sampler quilts too! Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your Community Sampler blocks and quilts to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!

A Big Thank You to the 2018 COMMUNITY SAMPLER SPONSORS

The Blog Grand Finale Featured Sponsors are:

Maureen Cracknell, Art Gallery Fabrics, Aurifil Thread, and Hobbs Batting!

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Maureen Cracknell is a wife, momma to three, AGF Fabric Designer, Craftsy instructor, Janome girl, and Aurifil Thread Designer. Her blog is filled with sewing and quilting inspiration, tutorials, and Friday fabric giveaways. Maureen is the co-host of the 2017 Sewcial Bee Sampler and 2018 Community Sampler run with sister AGF fabric designer Sharon Holland.

Blog  *  Facebook *  Instagram  * Pinterest  *  

Maureen has designed eight fabric lines for Art Gallery Fabrics and is generously including a 20-pc. fat quarter bundle of her Flower Child fabrics as part of the Grand Finale Community Sampler Giveaway. 

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Art Gallery Fabrics was started in 2004. Since then creativity, beauty, and design have been their passions, and to this day, they have not changed, bringing a chic and modern perspective to the quilting industry.

When it comes to designing a fabric collection we always keep originality and uniqueness on the top of our list. We have the pleasure of working with a talented fabric designers who create enticing color palettes and artful, intricate prints that make our collections one of a kind. Art Gallery designs modern fabrics that keep up with ongoing trends and at the same time it encourages our customers to use new colors and patterns so they venture out of their usual comfort zone.

At Art Gallery Fabrics believes strongly in the quality of the fabric and that is transcended in their superior thread count and fine weave. This makes our premium cotton as soft and smooth you can get. You really feel the difference with just one touch!

Blog  *  Facebook *  Instagram  * Pinterest  *  

 Art Gallery Fabrics is offering this gorgeous 10-piece Blue and Yellow fat quarter bundle and the 9-piece Colorful bundle both with prints from various AGF designers! Be sure to follow Art Gallery Fabrics on all their social platforms.

 AGF Blue-Yellow fabric bundle

AGF Blue-Yellow fabric bundle

 AGF Colorful bundle

AGF Colorful bundle

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Aurifil is a wonderful thread company dedicated to developing amazing, new products based on quality and solutions. Established in 1983, Aurifil is an accomplished Italian company based near Milano, with a full-grown experience in producing superior quality threads for professional and domestic quilters. The company headquarters is the ground where new ideas generate original items, always more refined and advanced, to provide assistance to all the quilting needs through a wide range of threads in several weights and accessories. Aurifil's success is based on developing projects carefully, always looking for high quality and great style, with a commitment to create contemporary products that will appeal to everyone!

Aurifil.com  *  Instagram  *  Facebook  *  We hope you enjoy visiting Aurifil!

For the Community Sampler Finale (blog) Giveaway, Aurifil is offering the lucky winner the Maureen Cracknell Bohemian Garden Aurifil Thread Collection! This hand-selected set of threads includes TWELVE large colorful spools of Aurifil thread, in 50wt 100% cotton, in colors chosen to coordinate with Maureen's Art Gallery Fabric collections!

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Hobbs Quilt Batting has manufactured high-quality batting for hobbyist, commercial, art and show quilters since 1978. They're proud to come from a family of quilters and are committed to providing the same quality Hobbs batting that provide to their own family of quilters. At Hobbs Batting, they never forget that quilts are gifts from the heart - an expression of love, commitment and caring for a specific recipient - or an expression of artistry and skill- artistry and that's submitted and judged in quilt shows and events around the word - or both! At Hobbs they're committed to doing their part to enhance our #JoyofQuilting!

Hobbsbatting.com  *  Blog  *  Instagram  *  Facebook  *  We hope you visiting Hobbs Quilt Batting!

For the Grand Finale Community Sampler Giveaway, Hobbs Batting is offering a lucky winner both here and on Instagram $100 worth of their wonderful batting! Maureen and I both love the quality of this batting, especially Hobbs line of Tuscany battings that includes Silk, Wool, Polester, and Cottons that add a soft, luxurious feel to any quilt!

TAKE A LOOK AT THE WONDERFUL PROPERTIES OF HOBBS BATTING HAS TO OFFER:

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 Chart courtesy of Hobbs Batting

Chart courtesy of Hobbs Batting

What an amazing giveaway of prizes--enough goodies to make several more quilts! Good luck to everyone and thank you for being part of the 2018 Community Sampler!

ENTER TO WIN!

Visit Maureen Cracknell's blog to enter the Community Sampler Grand Finale Blog Giveaway. On Maureen's post you'll be instructed how to enter the giveaway. 

For a chance to win the Sharon Holland Community Sampler Grand Finale Instagram Giveaway, visit mine or Maureen's Instagram feeds at @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell to see the prizes and learn how your #CommunitySampler hashtag posts automatically enter public Instagram accounts into this Instagram drawing. 

A BIG thanks to all of you who took part in the Community Sampler sew-along and to those who enter our Giveaway!  

♡ Sharon

Signature Butterflies

Signature Butterflies

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When I was planning my projects for my new Signature fabrics collection for Art Gallery fabrics I created rooms and looks, then designed my sewing around what would fit into those rooms. 

One of the looks is what I'm calling the Signature Baby Room. I wanted a gender-neutral room for a baby or young child that loves nature. Using my granddaughter as my model toddler, I knew there had to be butterflies, because she LOVES butterflies!

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My original inspiration for making butterflies using fabric came from Kim of Go-Go Kim. Kim has a great tutorial for gluing fabric to paper to hang butterflies in shadow boxes. I wanted to make a bit sturdier butterfly with all fabric and came up with a hybrid of sorts...

Materials Needed for Making Signature Butterflies:

  • Signature Butterfly Templates
  • Fabric scraps at least 1/4'' larger around than template size
  • Heat n Bond Lite iron-on adhesive or similar product like Pellon EZ-Steam one-sided pressure sensitive fusible web (optional, see next item on list)
  • Pellon TP970 Thermolam Plus Sew-in fleece (Note: If using a fleece with an adhesive side, omit iron-on adhesive product from the line above)
  • Iron and pressing cloth
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Air-solvable marking tool
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Frame or shadow box

Making Butterflies

Download the Signature Butterfly Templates and print out at actual size. Check for accuracy using the 1'' reference square on the PDF. Cut out butterfly shapes. Tip: For a more durable template, print onto card stock paper. 

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On the Pellon Thermolam Plus Sew-in fleece, trace around desired butterfly shapes, leaving at least 1/8'' between shapes. Note: There's no right or wrong side to sew-in fleece but if using a fleece with an adhesive side then draw on the non-adhesive side. 

Following the manufactuer's instructions, adhere the iron-on adhesive (Heat n Bond or EZ-Steam type product) to the unmarked side of the fleece. Omit if using a fleece with an adhesive backing.

My butterflies only have fabric on one side and those wishing to do the same can move onto the next step noting that my tutorial images reflect only one side with fabric. But, if you're planning on fabric backing both the front and the back of your butterflies then adhere iron-on adhesive to the marked side of the fleece as well before moving to the next step, leaving the paper backing on until ready to adhere to fabric.

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Cut out butterfly shapes.

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Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse the adhesive side(s) of the fleece butterfly shape to the wrong side of desired fabric(s). 

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Cut out butterfly shape using the edge of the fleece as your guide.

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To add even more durability to your butterfly, add decorative stitches around the shape, add details like body shape, or embellish as desired. 

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I always love playing around with materials and thinking outside the box. Because I wanted to add a bit of bling to my butterflies and include some metallic elements I decided to try spray painting the backs. 

Using a piece of cardboard and pin to hold the butterfly in place while I sprayed it I was very pleased how the gold spray paint took on the fleece backing. It didn't change the feel of the fleece and gave a nice gold tipped edge to my creations. 

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After the spray paint dried, I could go back in and add more dimension to my butterfly by folding and sewing very close the the folded body edges. 

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Let Your Imagination Soar!

Once know this technique for fusing fabric to fleece and making butterflies, the sky's the limit to what you can create. 

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My largest butterfly became an unique piece of art when I hand stitched it to the center of a rush placemat from Target. 

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I used this technique to cover a mirror with fabric faced fleece and simply glued the fleece in place with Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue so it's non-permanent and can easily be removed with water in the future. 

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To fill the gaps between my mirror backing and the frame I used fabric glue to attach some Dritz natural-colored Twist Cord to act like decorative molding. 

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A 3-D butterfly was simply pinned with a decorative straight pin directly to the fabric backing. 

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For this bejeweled shadow box I fleece backed fabric in the same technique as in the above projects and cut a backing size to fit a dollar store shadow box frame that had a saying printed on the backing. The opaque quality of the fleece blocked out the saying on the picture. Before hot gluing the fleece back fabric to the frame I pinned vintage brooches to the fabric for a one-of-a-kind, nature-inspired wall art. 

Hoop Art

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For a more traditional way to create art for your walls and bring nature inside is to use prints from my Signature and embellish them with embroidery and appliqué. For my Hoop Art I fussy cut a bouquet from my Extempore Celebration print and appliquéd a dragonfly, bee, and butterfly from the Small World Sprightly print. 

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Starting with an over-sized square each I sandwiched the following materials: Extempore Celebration right sides up on top, Hobb's Tuscany Silk batting in the center, and a Pure Element solid right side out on the back. I embellished the main print with embroidery and quilting stitches then added needle turn appliquéd cut outs from the Small World Sprightly print with blanket stitch edge detail. 

Once all the needle work was done, I re-stretched the art in the hoop, secured it tightly with the screw at the top, then trimmed the edge of the fabrics even with the edge of the hoop. 

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I hope this gives you some new ideas for how to customize and create art for your home. So many more things can be done with these techniques--I hope you'll give it a try!

Community Sampler Week #16

Community Sampler Week #16

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It's finale week for the Community Sampler. I know many of you will not have your tops finished or quilted this week but both Maureen and I will be watching for you to post pictures of the finished quilts in the weeks and months ahead. Many are still posting their finished Sewcial Bee Samplers from last year's sew along so it's never too late to complete a quilt.

Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your Community Sampler blocks and quilts to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!

It's been a real pleasure to co-host the Community Sampler. We've seen many returning makers from our last years Sewcial Bee Sampler and loads of new friends joining in this year's sew along. I hope you've learned some new patchwork skills or are continuing to improve upon what you already know. All the blocks and quilts I've seen are so well made and have beautiful fabric selection. Thank you so much for sewing with us!

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Surprisingly we still have a few new Makers joining our sew along at this late point. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. Then, work your way through the first Community Sampler post to the present and take advantage of the in-blog tutorials for the different patchwork techniques used throughout the Community Sampler. Both Maureen and I will leave all the Community Sampler downloads up on our blogs for you to download long after this event is done. Also, check out the #Community Sampler hashtag on Instagram, you'll see an amazing array of beautiful blocks as inspiration overload! Soon, you'll be seeing finished Community Sampler quilts too!

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There's nothing new to download this week and no tutorials--this week's post is purely show and tell for me to blog about my finished sampler and the design inspiration behind how a chose to machine quilt my sampler. 

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Last Wednesday's post showed how I had my top pieced and my backing fabric of Untamed Beauty Daybreak from my new Signature collection for Art Gallery Fabrics all selected and cut. The following day (Thursday) my husband and I took off for a trip to New York to visit our youngest son. 

We had a wonderful time visiting the city and packed an unbelievable amount of sight seeing into four days. We averaged 8 miles a day on foot and I've no idea how many more miles we traveled each day by subway, bus, Uber, or boat. We were Uptown, Downtown, and all around that town!

 The Cloisters in New York City

The Cloisters in New York City

On Sunday we visited the Cloisters (a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art), which is a medieval castle housing exclusively art from the Middle Ages. Situated overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan, it's a specular place to visit. 

 The Judy Black Garden in the Cuxa Cloister

The Judy Black Garden in the Cuxa Cloister

I loved the building and the amazing artifacts from the Middle Ages. We were lucky to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) and the Cloisters while the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibit was in progress and I found the garment design so imaginative and inspiring.

 The Bonnefont Cloister Herb Garden 

The Bonnefont Cloister Herb Garden 

But my most favorite part of the Cloisters were the serene courtyard gardens.

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Garden at the Cloisters

I didn't realize it at the time but the Cloisters courtyard gardens were to be the inspiration for the quilting on my Community Sampler quilt... 

We returned home just before lunchtime on Monday and we had already put in a long day because we'd needed to get up at 3 am to get to the airport in time for travel and check-in.

First thing I had to do once home was jump in and get my sampler quilted so I could work on binding that evening and photograph it Tuesday in order to put together this post. While I was spray basting I was thinking of how to quilt it. I sometimes feel like a Quilt Whisperer because I always let the quilt tell me how it should be quilted. 

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With my trip still fresh in my mind, I thought about those peaceful medival courtyards and thought how the sampler quilt reminded me of a walled garden and the blocks represent how every column had different relief carvings in their capitals.

Thinking of the quilt as an aerial view of the castle, I decided to treat the border and center of the quilt with two different quilting designs.

On the border I did a simple, wavy parallel lines that represent the woven twig fencing seen in the herb gardens.

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The center of my quilt is a free-form, stylized organic design to represent the flowers seen in the Cuxa Cloister gardens. I love how my Untamed Beauty print on the back looks right at home in this idea of a garden.

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The batting used in my quilt is my favorite, Tuscany Silk Batting from Hobbs Batting. The drape and feel is incredible and it's as easy to handle and quilt as cotton but with much improved properties over cotton. 

I chose to bind my quilt in the same Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements solid Sweet Macademia as I used for the background of my quilt. This keeps the quilt looking clean on the edge and that soft peach/pink color is the same as used in my Untamed Beauty print. By the binding coordinating with the print on the back, it now becomes a whole cloth look of printed fabric if I wanted to flip the quilt around for multiple looks. 

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Please visit Maureen's blog to see the beautiful Community Sampler quilt she's making from her gorgeous Art Gallery Fabrics Love Story collection.

COMMUNITY SAMPLER SPONSORS

Don't forget that this Friday's the final Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Because the finale is so big, Maureen and I handle this last giveaway differently than the previous weeks. Maureen will be hosting the blog giveaway with a special grouping of prizes and I will be hosting the Instagram giveaway with a grouping of special prizes. Our posts on Friday will include all the details for prizes and how to enter.

Happy sewing!