My Favorite Month

Leaf prints by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics

Leaf prints by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics

Fall is my favorite time of year and October (being my birthday month) is my favorite month of the year. I have always loved trees and tend to draw and paint them a lot. Many of my fabric collections contain some sort of leaf print:

Top row - Sketchbook Framework, Tapestry Eternal, and Coastline Tropical

Middle row - Bountiful Vine, Bountiful Arborescent, and Sketchbook Framework

Bottom row - Tapestry Eternal, Coastline Tropical, and Bountiful Scenic. 

This year the weather here in Ohio has been all over the place and our growing season seems a bit turned around. The plants and trees got an early start due to a mild winter but a hot spring slowed growth so spring and summer flowers were not very showy. Although the plants in my yard are still not full, we are experiencing some second blooms on plants like Coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, Coreopsis, and of course Mums, Autumn Joy, and Sunflowers are seasonally now in bloom. I don't normally have this much color in my yard this late in the season and it makes one think summer might last forever. 


In the past I've painted predominantly landscape paintings and landscapes with barns. I've been wanting to get back to my canvases for some time now but it never seems to fit into my schedule. I've been taking photos of flower bouquets to have a reference for painting later when I have time to paint and want to try my hand at still life painting this next time around. I wish I could stop and paint while the flowers are fresh but my days seem to always be full of other priorities. These photos will have to do when I'm ready to paint and I love that the flowers and branches came from my yard. 

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I did have a chance at the end of September to get out my oil paints and relearn how to paint. It has been too long between sessions and I feel very rusty. In fact, I am so rusty that my first attempt paining this creamer with flowers I grabbed some tubes of acrylic paint (which I though were oils) and painted with a mix of oil and acrylic. Needless to say it was not a great experience and I couldn't figure out why the paints didn't act like I was used to them handling. 


This very clumpy painting is okay but left much to be desired. I decided to redo the same image the next day so I could concentrate on mixing colors better, working with only oils (hee hee, that was a big improvement right there!), bolder and looser strokes.


Much improved but still a long ways to go to get to where I want to be. This is something that will take time and because I love the process of learning as much as I like doing it will be a fun challenge. I still want to loosen up my strokes but once I have reacquainted myself with the basic techniques of painting with oils I wont have to concentrate on those so much and can work on style and strokes next. 


Last week my husband and I had a great time in Phoenix, Arizona celebrating his father's 89th birthday. It always blows my mind seeing the desert landscape and I cannot help but feel I've stepped onto a different plant! I have no idea if the plants in AZ normally bloom this time of year or if they're also experiencing a second bloom season but I was pleasantly surprised to find so many blooming plants there this visit. I do love all the texture and the small leaves on the trees. 

I did come away with a pattern idea from our trip that I intend to explore this week and see if anything comes from it. My only hint is it's not from the plants and is inspired by something man-made and natural at the same time. Although the desert plants are really beautiful I don't feel a deep connection to them as I do the plants native to the Midwest so I will leave those to photography at this time. 

Photo cortesty of Quilter's Planner

Photo cortesty of Quilter's Planner

Looking ahead October will fly by. Quilt Market is only a week and a half away! The 2018 Quilter's Planner calendar will be available soon and this year it's packed with goodies. A separate magazine will have quilt patterns and it also comes with 4 pages of planning stickers by Alison Glass! To see all what the 2018 Quilter's Planner has to offer read more here (affiliate link).

Photo courtesy of Quilter's Planner

Photo courtesy of Quilter's Planner

Enjoy the beauties of October and soak in the last warm rays left-over from summer!

Reinvent and Recharge

New Quilt Pattern!

Hopewell by Sharon Holland

Hopewell by Sharon Holland

Hooray, there's a new pattern for purchase! Meet Hopewell. You may remember seeing this quilt hanging on the wall in my Art Gallery Fabrics Bountiful booth for Spring Quilt Market. See my Shop Patterns page. Right now this pattern is only available through my Craftsy patterns (see link to Craftsy on Shop Patterns page.)

Bountiful booth Spring Quilt Market 2017

Bountiful booth Spring Quilt Market 2017

I wanted a statement quilt for my booth and I love how this one came together. I don't normally do medallion type quilts but because I wanted something that looked more like an Indian blanket or woven rug design, a medallion was just the thing. Once I started thinking about Indian blankets it made me think of the time my kids and I visited Fort Ancient in Ohio. The earth mounds stuck in my mind and although this quilt design is completely original and uses no Indian culture motifs (that I'm aware of) it has a definite Southwest or Native vibe to it. The central medallion, the colors, and prints I used are really representational of topography and the mounds than any actual references (other than the name for the quilt). 

Mounds at Fort Ancient County Park in Oregonia, Ohio. Photo by Sharon Holland

Mounds at Fort Ancient County Park in Oregonia, Ohio. Photo by Sharon Holland

I know, it's a stretch but I love how I took some basic quilt blocks, moved and flipped them around to come up with this design. My Bountiful fabrics and AGF Smooth Denim made the perfect rustic combination of colors and prints that pulled everything together. See shops that carry my fabrics on my Shop Fabrics page


Recently, I've done a bit of what I call "bandaid decorating" to my family room. The reason I call it that is because instead of address the hard stuff like repainting the walls, replacing the nasty carpeting, and getting a new sofa and chairs I've instead made some simple quick fixes to spruce up the place and buy myself some more time before I can't stand it any longer. 


Most of my furniture I've had for years (and it probably shows :). Not many are new and most I picked up thrifting. I just don't have the time to change my decor and since the items I have are for the most part really neutral, I just don't get tired of them either. But, this room was looking a bit sad and needed a little pick-me-up. So, for just a smidge over $400 I got the pouf (upper right corner), the coffee table, and the rug from Target. No affiliates here, it's just really nice stuff, shipped for free to the house and I'm so happy with all of it. The new throw pillows ($15 each) are from HomeGoods. Again, no affiliate just love them, especially the pops of teal that bring out my pottery collection of vintage aqua to teal pieces. I'm kinda mad about the rusty orange and teal combo! That's why when I was working on getting this new quilt pattern prepared as a PDF I could have hit my hand on my forehead with a Dah! moment--the colors were perfect for this room!


I'm really enjoying my space now and with the chilly evenings it's fun to snuggle under my quilt--now, if there was just something good to watch on TV, I'd be all set. Maybe time to find a good book to read instead!

Speaking of good reads, have you seen the first edition of Curated Quilts


I was so honored to be asked to write an article for this amazing publication. The entire issue is ad-free and printed with incredible quality. It's more like getting a book than a magazine and definitely one you'll want to reference time and time again. Go explore their website and maybe you'll want to take part in the various quilt challenges!

My article is for the Creative Reset and is a regular feature they will have with issue. 

Photo courtesy of Curated Quilts

Photo courtesy of Curated Quilts

It was an absolute blast writing this article and coming up with a quick project you can try for a creative reset. I especially loved taking the photos for the step outs and think the Curated Quilts team did a tremendous job putting it all together for the article. 


Fall is my most favorite time of year and I always get a burst of energy as well. Does that happen for you too? These quilt projects are just a drop in the bucket for what I can show you right now. There will be plenty more in the next few weeks so stop back and visit me soon! Till then, I hope you can find ways to reinvent and recharge your world too.



My Book!

Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living

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My first book is at the printers and I'll have a copy in my hand soon. The whole idea that I will have a book is still a bit unnerving and surreal. Yes, I'm not new to publishing and worked producing two magazines for over two years but this publication is all my vision. All twelve quilt projects were created by me, the fabrics are a reflection of my aesthetics and of my stash, the photographs (all except a few images) were styled and photographed by me, and the book layout is also my baby. No wonder I'm anxious and nervous about how this book will do--there's a lot of responsibilities here!

Hawthorn quilt by Sharon Holland Designs - Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living

Hawthorn quilt by Sharon Holland Designs - Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living

The premise of my Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book is a very simple one--make quilts to be used. I invite you to play with fabric combinations in a new light and not fuss with having enough of that perfect fabric because substitutions are the mother of all creativity. 

Here's what else you will find in my book:

12 well illustrated projects, ranging from table runners to a queen-sized quilt

Great as a beginner book

Skill-building design tips and suggestions throughout

Techniques are taught in an unintimidating way with a focus on the quilt's ultimate use—not on unattainable perfection

Each fast-pieced project is great for beginners, with skill-building design tips and suggestions throughout. These lovely patterns are a reason to dig into your stash and make a quilt that will be used and loved for years to come.

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You can now pre-order this book on Amazon (an affiliate) and it will be shipped November 15th, 2017. 

If you're planning on attending Quilt Market next month in Houston I will be having a trunk show of the quilts from the book during School House on Friday (time and room TBA) and have at least two book signings! More info on book signing times and booth numbers next month. 

Star Crossed by Sharon Holland - Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living

Star Crossed by Sharon Holland - Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living

There's a quilt design for everyone in this book. I structured the book as more of a life-style book to show how quilts can be used around the home. The cover starts you on the outside of a house and the interior pages walk you through all the living spaces within a home ending in the back yard. Star Crossed was made with a tween girl in mind and I love the funky plaids (vintage and new) mixed with soft pastels. 


I've always been overly ambitious and this book is no exception. Not only are there 12 great projects but I also cover how to quilt them in several utility-style, simple quilting patterns. Machine, hand, and tied techniques are also covered so you can find what works for you with each project. 

Roman Stripe by Sharon Holland - Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living

Roman Stripe by Sharon Holland - Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living

Of course with every book (or fabric collection) there needs to be a free quilt pattern! This beautiful scrap quilt called Roman Stripe will be available for download through Landauer Publishing once the book is available. I love this quilt and secretly wish I'd have thought of it last year when I was sewing the projects for the book. It has the potential of using dozens of different fabrics and is a great one for using up scrap strips.  

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It's hard to be patient, believe me, I know! I'm looking forward to sharing this adventure in sewing with you and can't wait till the book is available and you can start sewing your utility-style quilts too! 

Helping After the Hurricanes

Helping After the Hurricanes


I cannot even fathom what the victims of hurricanes Harvey, Jose, and Irma are experiencing as they rebuild their lives and homes. Natural disasters like this happen all the time and can make us feel powerless in their wake. 

The outpouring love and donations fill my heart with joy as ordinary, no, make that extraordinary, people reach out to help and donate what they can. 

Earlier this month, Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft hosted the Helping Houston Auction on Instagram. 

Courtesy of Nicole Daksiewicz Modern Handcraft

Courtesy of Nicole Daksiewicz Modern Handcraft

With the help of donations by designers and by offering her own items up for action, Nicole raised over $25,000 in relief funds to be donated to different charities in Houston. 

I had the privilege to donate two of my quilts to this cause and I cannot get over the generosity and huge support from the quilting community which is truly the kindest community there is!

Platform by Sharon Holland

Platform by Sharon Holland

My Platform quilt made with Bountiful fabrics and Smooth Denims for Art Gallery Fabrics is one of the quilts I donated to the auction. It raised $210 dollars and went to a lovely home in Alabama. This quilt is 50" square and a great lap-size quilt. You can find the pattern for this on my Shop Patterns page


The second quilt I donated to the auction is also a quilt you can purchase as a pattern and is called Totem. 

Totem by Sharon Holland

Totem by Sharon Holland

Totem is a made using prints from my Tapestry collection and Pure Element solids both from Art Gallery Fabrics. I'm particularly proud of the machine quilting I did on this quilt. This beautiful 77" x 85" quilt raised an amazing $600 and now resides in North Carolina. 

Many thanks to both the ladies who bid on and won my quilts!

There are still many more drives going on in which you can play a part in helping those in need. Art Gallery Fabrics is sponsoring a quilt drive and gathering quilts to be sent to Quilts of Compassion and hand delivered to those who need comfort. 


Art Gallery Fabrics is collecting quilts now through September 22, 2017 (Read complete details and shipping address here.)

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Quilts sent for the AGF Comforts Texas drive do not have to be exclusively AGF fabrics. Only four of the nine I'm sending are made with Art Gallery Fabrics materials but the love and comfort is still there and all of these quilts will bring a little beauty to the recipients lives. 


With love,