Aura Blog Party

Aura Blog Party

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Aloha, and welcome to my stop on the Aura Blog Party hosted by Mathew Boudreaux (AKA Mister Domestic), the textile designer behind the Aura fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics.

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This bright and playful fabric collection is Mathew’s sophomore collection for Art Gallery Fabrics and was the perfect way to chase away the winter blues and escape to a magical paradise of warm colors, sea turtles, dolphins, and tropical flowers.

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Instead of stitching a quilt for this blog tour I decided to mix things up a bit and sew garments for my granddaughter. Ever since I made her a stuffed turtle with my Signature fabric collection she’s been crazy about turtles. So, of course I just had to sew her something fun with Mathew’s Hawaiian Honu in Dawn sea turtles print. Clockwise from the turtle print is Aloha Spirit in Windward and Hula Dolpins in ocean. See the full collection HERE.

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I don’t consider myself much of a garment sewer even though I used to sew dresses for my daughter when she was little—it’s just not something I feel as comfortable doing as I do for sewing quilts. But, you know what? Everything I made for this tour turned out wonderful and even fit her nicely so that gives me so much more confidence to do more garment sewing in the future!

This adorable dress is from Little Lizard King and is called the Napoli dress. I love this style of dress because right now (at a 3T) it’s a dress but as she gets taller she can wear it as a top. I selected the long sleeve option and again, these are just as cute rolled up when she’s small as they will be down when she’s taller.

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I was even able to dig into my button box to find the perfect shade and size buttons for this fabric!

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The most marvelous thing about sewing for toddlers is you hardly use any fabric at all. This too-cute-for-words vest is also a Little Lizard King pattern. The Madison Vest was super easy to make and I love that it’s reversible!

Since it’s still winter, I couldn’t resist adding some faux shearling for some snuggle and texture. A girl’s got to have options, right?!!?

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Such a great way to use a half yard of (each) fabric. I went with the loop closer option and stitched matching vintage buttons on both sides for a fully reversible vest.

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Like I said, toddler clothes hardly take any fabric at all so I still had material to play with. Why not make her another turtle!!!

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Meet Myrtle the Turtle. This adorable softie is a pattern by Purl Soho. I thought Mathew’s medallion print would be the perfect print as a turtle shell and mirror imaged the design so the motifs reflect each other on each side of the turtle back. More vintage buttons saved the day as eyes and Myrtle now has a permanent home with my granddaughter getting lots of love and snuggles.

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This is how to be a turtle.

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And, for my final make for the Aura tour I chose the most fun and easiest project of pajama pants! Art Gallery Fabrics very own Dana Willard has a fantastic and free Kid Pants pattern perfectly sized for a toddler.

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The Aloha Spirit print is so cute for PJs and brings a bit of a hippie-girl vibe that looks perfect for lounging and playing with your matching turtle. If you’re hesitant about garment sewing, this pajama pattern is an ideal beginner project and a very quick make.

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I had a blast sewing for this blog tour and even better, an excuse to have my daughter and the grand babies up for a weekend photoshoot. After we had finished photographing we had gone out shopping and stopped for a bit of thrift store poking around. I found this wonderful carved wood turtle that the shell comes off and the inside is a shallow dish. Of course I bought it for my granddaughter and she said it will be her box for special things which I suspect are rocks. Three of anything makes a collection—she’s well on her way to being just like her Mimi!

Thanks for joining me on the tour. For loads more inspiration, be sure to follow along on the rest of the tour as crazy talented makers share their Aura Blog Party makes.

MISTER DOMESTIC’S AURA BLOG PARTY



Happy New Year - 2019

Happy New Year - 2019

My last post was the end of November 2018 so I need to fill you in on what’s happened between then and now. December went by so fast I didn’t even get a chance to make an appearance on this space-my apologies.

Holly Spring by Sharon Holland

Holly Spring by Sharon Holland

My December revolved around friends and family and I just didn’t bother with keeping up my social spaces during that family time. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving through Christmas and I hope you did as well.

If you follow me on Instagram you saw that I had painted similar sprigs of holly art for sale and then painted larger pieces as gifts. I was very pleased with the response to my art and am very encouraged to continue painting and eventually selling prints and originals in the future. Thanks to everyone who purchased my art!

Holly by Sharon Holland

Holly by Sharon Holland

Right after Christmas and up until writing this post I’ve managed to find extra time to paint. I’ve been exploring acrylics and revisiting watercolors when painting these following pieces.

October Bouquet by Sharon Holland

October Bouquet by Sharon Holland

Daisies by Sharon Holland

Daisies by Sharon Holland

 
Floral Wreath - yellows - Sharon Holland

Floral Wreath - yellows - Sharon Holland

 
Floral Wreath - reds - Sharon Holland

Floral Wreath - reds - Sharon Holland

Exploring with different mediums and styles is a good way for me to reacquaint myself with painting. The more I create, the more my style as an artist will emerge. I feel I need to make a larger body of work before I decide which paintings to turn into prints and what sort of products to offer (note cards, posters, fabric, original art, etc).

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In the world of design there’s a lot of hurry up and waiting going on behind the scenes. It’s not always easy to have things to share because release dates are set way into the future. Very soon spring fabric collections will be revealed and this week I’m putting the finishing touches on a short intro video for my next Art Gallery Fabrics line. The photo above shows my office workspace littered with ideas for a fall collection that I’m currently working on and the photo below is a still shot from my promo video.

Sharon Holland - Designer

Sharon Holland - Designer

Case in point is my quilt featured in Quilts & More magazine. I made this quilt last spring and sent it off to my friends at All People quilt as soon as it was finished. Because a magazine need to work so far in advance, it was not going to show up in print until the Spring 2019 issue—that’s a long time to wait to be able to show you my quilt! Good thing I had plenty to keep me busy with until now because I really hate wating!

Sense of Direction by Sharon Holland. Used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Sense of Direction by Sharon Holland. Used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

This fun quilt is made using fabrics from my Signature collection for Art Gallery Fabrics and AGF Pure Elements solids. Great for even a beginner, this full-size quilt is a quick to piece and with it’s simple, diagonal quilting it’s also quick to finish.

Sense of Direction by Sharon Holland. Used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Sense of Direction by Sharon Holland. Used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

 
Sense of Direction by Sharon Holland

Sense of Direction by Sharon Holland

Look for the Spring Quilts & More magazine on newsstands beginning January 11th.

Quilts & More Spring 2019. Used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Quilts & More Spring 2019. Used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

What a bright and beautiful way to start out the first post of the new year with all these flowers and colorful quilts and projects!

Looking ahead, I know many of you are wondering if Maureen Cracknell and I are planning a new sew along for this year…well, remember that hurry up and wait aspect of designing? After much deliberation we both decided we’ll be skipping this year. Preparing a sew along takes months of advance work which both Maureen and I don’t have at our disposal right now. Speaking for myself I have personal and artistic growth reasons why I need to step away from a sew along this year.

Over the last two years and three sew alongs we’ve prepared you for patchwork success and pushed you to push yourself as an artist. When we start our next sampler (hopefully in early 2020) you’ll be ready to take on bigger challenges right along side us.

You can expect to see new fabric lines from both Maureen and myself, blog tour appearances, and with various “irons in the fire” you won’t be without new inspiration, new sewing projects, and fabrics to add to your stash throughout the year. We hope you’ll continue to stop by our blogs and other social platforms to say “hi” and see what we’re up to.

Cheers to a new year and all it has to offer!


Gift Guide for Makers

Gift Guide for Makers

Let It Snow pillow pattern by Sharon Holland

Let It Snow pillow pattern by Sharon Holland

Nothing beats a handmade gift like these all-winter decor pillows made from my free Let It Snow pillow pattern. But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect gift (handmade or store bought) for a fellow creative person or ideas for what you’d like to put on your wish list.

This year I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with several fabulous companies either as an affiliate (I get a small kickback on sales made from my affiliate links from this blog as a thank you for my promotion and time) or the company is a sponsor (company sends me products and I, in turn, offer giveaways on this blog or Instagram).

I only affiliate myself with companies and sponsors that I endorse 100% and feel their product or service is a true value and outstanding product. So, with that said, this Gift Guide for Makers blog post is mostly a product review of these amazing companies I’ve become an ambassador for and some of the links provided are affiliate links in which I will receive a small return from any sales made from those links.

The Quilter’s Planner

Photo courtesy of The Quilter’s Planner

Photo courtesy of The Quilter’s Planner

I had the great opportunity to make a quilt for the 2018 Quilter’s Planner calendar and magazine. You can read about my quilt in the Share the Love: 2018 Quilter’s Planner blog post. Founder Stephanie Palmer and her amazing team not only produce an outstanding quality calendar and magazine they but host a block of the month sew along where the blocks are part of the fabulous magazine, they are a wealth of quilting information, tutorials, and support on their website, and they are all passionate, talented sewers themselves and truly lovely people!

Photo courtesy of The Quilter’s Planner

Photo courtesy of The Quilter’s Planner

Wether you grab a calendar for yourself or for a quilting friend you’re getting way more than just a calendar. Check out all the features and options with this affiliate link HERE.

The Dutch Label Shop

The Dutch Label Shop asked if they could send me labels and in return, I would write a review of their product—nice! I was just about out of my old labels anyway so the timing was right but I didn’t just want any old labels and had to check them out before accepting the offer. I was impressed with what I saw on their site and images of the tags and labels printed so went ahead and placed my order.

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I chose a Woven Logo label that center folds (the raw edges are sewn into a binding or garment seam). If you like the size I selected, here’s a screen shot of how to select this type and size of label (below). I uploaded my Sharon Holland logo design for a custom label but you can also work from their templates and fonts to create a label on their site.

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When ordering a center fold tag like mine you want to know what size the tag will be once folded in half. I ordered a 2” high tag so when folded in half it becomes a 1” tag. If you sew it into a binding you will loose 1/4” on the raw edge side, so keep that in mind. The width of my labels are 2-1/4” wide.

I am slightly disappointed in the peach color I ordered but the color may have been affected by the blue thread used for the logo since this is a woven label. I did not opt to have a photo proof so I cannot tell you if the colors would have been true looking or not with a proof. Regardless, the labels are a fine quality and should do extremely well when laundered.

The customer service from this company is excellent but shipping is a bit slow so order early if you want labels for Christmas. I am please to be able to offer you a 15% discount on your order if you use the promo code: sharonhollanddesigns15 when ordering.

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oliso

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There are definitely many perks that come with my line of work and getting an iron from oliso is one of them!

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Let’s face it, most of us don’t give much thought to our irons and pretty much dread that aspect of sewing. This pink cutie makes ironing almost fun! I still have yet to add any water to my oliso pro because I prefer to iron without steam for the most part. As long as the iron gets HOT enough like this model does I don’t feel the need for adding steam.

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The outstanding and innovative feature of an oliso iron is the hydraulic lift system. It takes a bit of getting used to—to leave the iron flat but you soon adjusts your muscles memory of standing the iron on-end. Soon you also realize you’re not nearly as fatigued by all the lifting of that old iron.

The biggest selling point to me of this oliso iron is the safety. I’ve always been nervous about a traditional iron falling over if the ironing board is bumped. And as one that has always had kids or dogs under foot as I sewed it was a constant concern. This iron is so steady and responsive to lift the hot plate up off the surface immediately after your hand is off the iron—it’s a dream to use!

Side note: I just went to their site to get you the link and oh my goodness, saw they have a OLISO SMARTHUB™ that looks pretty amazing! Are you familiar with sous vide cooking? Well, check it out—it’s such a smart way to cook.

I get no affiliate kick backs from these links but oliso is now a sponsor of this blog which means in the future I will be hosting oliso iron giveaways for the oliso pro and for their new mini iron!

Skillshare

Give the gift of learning to yourself or someone special. Skillshare (affiliate) is an amazing resource for whatever you want to learn or improve a skill. I’ve had a membership with them for two years now and I’ll never have enough time to view all the incredible courses—there’s so many of them and so many being added! The beauty of a membership is you can watch an unlimited number of courses!

Here’s some screen shot examples (not linked) of courses but just about everything under the sun is a Skillshare subject:

Fundamentals of DSLR Photography with Justin Bridges

Fundamentals of DSLR Photography with Justin Bridges

Watercolor Winter Illustrations with Olga Bonitas

Watercolor Winter Illustrations with Olga Bonitas

Insta Creative | Documenting Your Creative Journey on Instagram with Linda & David

Insta Creative | Documenting Your Creative Journey on Instagram with Linda & David

How to Sell Your Art on Etsy in 2017 with Melanie Greenwood

How to Sell Your Art on Etsy in 2017 with Melanie Greenwood

Beginner’s Guide to English Paper Piecing with Kylie M. Kelsheimer

Beginner’s Guide to English Paper Piecing with Kylie M. Kelsheimer

The Beginner’s Guide to Fashion Fabrics: Wovens with Caroline Somos

The Beginner’s Guide to Fashion Fabrics: Wovens with Caroline Somos

Okay, those all look amazing, right? Many of these I have in my Class list and am currently watching. The great part about being a Skillshare affiliate is I can offer my followers a 2 month free membership! This allows you to watch as many course as you’d like for FREE when you use this Skillshare affiliate link. If you end up purchasing a membership after your free 2 months I will get a small commission from your purchase.

Color Master Designer’s Palette

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I first introduced you to the Color Master Designer’s Palette bundles in my October 18th blog post HERE along with a free quilt pattern for the fat quarter bundle.

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Art Gallery Fabrics has made gift giving easy with these beautifully packaged box sets or paper label bundles. You can give a gift of your favorite AGF fabric designer to yourself or a friend. Each fat quarter or half yard set contains 10 prints from across the designer’s fabric collections and are expertly matched to create a new curated palette. My Sharon Holland Designer’s Palette contains prints from Signature, Coastline, and Sketchbook.

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Download the free Feathered Nest quilt pattern HERE.

For shops that carry my AGF Color Master Designer’s Palette boxes and bundles, see listing on my Fabrics page.

Bloc_Loc Rulers

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As you remember from the Community Sampler sew along Bloc_Loc Rulers has been a wonderful sponsor on this blog. I only recently started using these rulers with our sew along and have no idea how I’ve lived without them all these years! I you’re going to ask for Santa to bring you anything this year and don’t already own some of these rulers you better put them on your list and be on your best behavior!

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I just recently splurged for the Blooming Cogwheels templates and pattern book. You’re looking through the back of the templates because I haven’t even removed the paper on the templates yet. I also received a Pineapple template and am excited to test these babies out early next year. I just wrapped up my spring fabric collection (coming in May) and want to make some special quilts with these templates.

Hopefully you have a few gift giving ideas or maybe ideas for what you’d like to receive. It’s been a wonderful year and I want to say thank you to all of you that have been following along with my blog, sew alongs, and creative pursuits throughout the year. I’m hoping to make at least one more post before the end of the year and fill you in on some of my goals and aspirations for 2019.

Happy sewing everyone,

Sharon

Castle Garden Quilt

Castle Garden Quilt

Castle Garden quilt pattern by Sharon Holland

Castle Garden quilt pattern by Sharon Holland

Hi everyone, I’ve got a new PDF pattern release in my SHOP! The beautiful Castle Garden quilt pattern is now available as a PDF download and in addition you can now purchase and download this pattern directly from my website in a secure shopping cart.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be adding my other for purchase PDF patterns to my SHOP page so it’s more convenient for you to make purchases—rather than sending you off-site to a second-party like in the past. My patterns will still remain up on Crafty but now you can shop right from this blog as well.

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My Castle Garden quilt pattern was originally designed for the May 2018 Quilter’s Candy Box as a collaborative project using Maureen Cracknell’s Flower Child fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics and was originally available only as a printed pattern.

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Hidden amongst mother earth’s beauty lives the Flower Child. A world filled with lush meadows, wild bouquets & the spirit of the flower child painted with fuchsia, blush pink & teal.

Maureen always creates magical collections and when she asked me to design a quilt for her Flower Child prints I wanted it to be special and showcase the beautiful Sisterhood print of crowned flower girls.

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The extra-large Castle Garden blocks are perfect for showing off all the prints and framing the Sisterhood print in what I like to think of as an aerial view of a four tower castle complete with Pure Element solid peach flags.

I’m very pleased with how this quilt looks and from a piecing-geek perspective, how I devised and new no-waste method of piecing a tricky patchwork unit used in this design. I do label this quilt as intermediate because there’s a lot of moving parts to the blocks and several different types of units to make before block assembly. But, with that said, the instructions are fully illustrated with step-by-step instructions and I feel confident great results can be achieved even from a confident beginner level maker.

This full-size bed quilt was quilted with Hobb’s Tuscany Silk batting inside and you know by now how much I love that batting. It’s lightweight, drapes beautifully, and handles like a dream. I chose to do a clam-shell type of freeform quilt design with an extra curly flourish in the center. I like how the quilting feels wispy and cloud-like around the castles.

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This pattern is now available in print or PDF format. See SHOP for details and select desired format type when ordering.


Giveaway now closed. Congratulations to: Kathryn Laposata, Anna Brown, and Amy Loar!

To say “Thank you” to my wonderful followers and celebrate me finally getting around to implementing the digital download feature on my commerce page I want to give away PDF versions of my Castle Garden quilt pattern.

I will randomly draw three lucky winners from the comments left on this post. Winners will be sent a Castle Garden PDF pattern via an email address. Please remember to leave some way to get ahold of you—I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to redraw a name because of no contact information.

Note: This giveaway is open to everyone. If you're a "no reply" or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment(s)--you can't win if I can't get a hold of you!

1. Simply leave a comment here under this post telling me what you’re thankful for.

Enter now through Tuesday, November 13th! The winners will be picked at random around 4pm Eastern. I will post the name of the winners on this post once they've been notified and responded to my email.

Thank you!

Sharon