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!


My Signature Sampler Week #14

My Signature Sampler Week #14

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This week’s sampler block is the Double-T quilt block originally seen earlier this year as part the Community Sampler sew along I co-hosted with Maureen Cracknell. Keep reading further into this post for tips on how to achieve a two-fabric background on your Flying Geese units.

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I’m so excited how my quilt is looking and I can’t wait to show you my finished sampler with additional border option! The real treat will be seeing all of your quilt finishes as you post them to Instagram!

If you're just joining in on the fun, take a look at my first post for this sew along and pick up the quilt layout and color book page to start planning your sampler! The My Signature Sampler is based off block instructions from the Sewcial Bee Sampler (SBS), Community Sampler (CS), AGF Quilt Block Collection (AGF), and the blocks from the Quilter's Planner 2018 magazine (QP). If you have different favorite blocks and would rather include them in your quilt, please feel free to make this sampler with your own signature-style. 

If you need extra help with your patchwork or would like to learn how to control the direction of your prints in half-square triangle units and other piecing techniques, visit my Tutorials page for lots of great tutorials all in one place. Also, when making any Sewcial Bee or Community Sampler blocks you can access the original blog posts for each block and find additional tips and tutorials for piecing. If needed, just use the search bar at the top of the this page on the right and simply type in the block name.

Don't forget our blocks will be set on-point so if you have a fussy cut center, cut it on-point for best results. Note: I don't recommend cutting any other pieces of the blocks (other than a center square on-point for fussy cutting) because it will create bias edges along the outside of the block and increase chances of distortion. Keep any bias edges in the center of the block.

Double-T Piecing Tips

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Download the free PDF pattern for this block and read the original blog post for basic construction tips on the Community Sampler Week #10 post.

In my Community Sampler version I pieced all the “T” shapes using the same print, only switching up the goose fabric in the Flying Geese units. This time around I wanted to try something different and used two different prints from my Signature fabric line for the “T’s”.

Turns out, it’s a very simple thing to achieve, even when using our No-Waste Flying Geese method.

Here’s what you’ll need to cut, using the PDF instructions as a guide:

  • Fabric A

    Two 5” squares for corner HSTs

    One 5-1/2” square for Flying Geese

  • Fabric B

    One 5” squares for corner HSTs

    Four 3-1/8” squares for geese background and T-shape

  • Fabric C

    One 5-1/2” square for Flying Geese

    One 4-1/2” square for center square

  • Fabric D

    One 5” squares for corner HSTs

    Four 3-1/8” squares for geese background and T-shape

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Follow PDF instructions for Step 1 and 2 under the No-Waste Flying Geese Units using the four 3-1/8” squares of the same print on each of the two 5-1/2” squares.

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Following the directions in Step 3, use the four 3-1/8” squares from the other print on the corners for Flying Geese units with two different fabrics for the background.

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I've been adding my setting triangles to my finished blocks as I make them and have been sticking to original layout in the first week handouts. I'm using a combination of my Perennial print from Printemps Fusions and Untamed Beauty Daybreak from Signature as the background setting of my quilt. 

The setting triangles are made by cutting a 9-1/2'' square on the diagonal to make two setting triangles. Be mindful of print direction, if applicable. See Community Sampler Week #13 for block setting instructions. 

If you're interested in adding a chevron border to your sampler quilt, take a look at the week #6 blog post and pick up the border supplement PDF. I'll review the border option closer to the end of this sew along but just in case you wanted to sew or plan ahead, you have the information now.

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My blocks are made using Art Gallery Fabric Pure Elements for the solids together with prints from the Signature fabric collection that I designed for Art Gallery Fabrics. 

For stock lists of online shops that carry my Signature and other collections I've designed for AGF, visit my Fabrics page or the Where to Buy page on the Art Gallery Fabrics site.

GIVEAWAY

Every Friday when I reveal a new block to My Signature Sampler, I'll also be posting the weekly giveaway. This sew along is being sponsored by the most amazing companies and have generously donated incredible prizes to share with you. 

OUR SPONSORS

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY SPONSOR IS: HOBBS BATTING

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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  

Hobbs Batting is offering a lucky winner both here and on Instagram throw-size battings of six of their fabulous Tuscany brand battings. I personally love the quality of Hobbs batting, especially Hobbs line of Tuscany battings that includes Silk Blend, Wool, Premium Polyester, Cotton Wool Blend, and Bleached and Unbleached Cottons that add a soft, luxurious feel to any quilt! 

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Giveaway now closed. Congratulations to Kathy C!

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--you can't win if I can't get a hold of you!

1. Simply leave a comment here under this post! (First comment entry).

2. Follow Hobbs Batting on any of their social media platforms (see links above). Just let me know that you did by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment-second entry). 

3. My followers get a third entry! If you follow me via subscribing to my posts, on Pinterest, and/or Instagram, just let me know by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment-third entry).

4. Help spread the word!! I know that many of you already do, so I thought it would be nice to add that as another way to enter! Spread the word about the My Signature Sampler sew along on YOUR Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest by pinning any of my pretty images in this post, etc... (separate comment-fourth entry). 

That’s FOUR possible entries-please, no more than four entries maximum! Enter now through Monday, September 24th! The winner will be picked at random around 4pm Eastern. I will post the name of the winner on this post once they've been notified and responded to my email.

*Don't forget to enter into this same giveaway on Instagram by posting images of your sampler inspiration, sampler fabric pull, or blocks. Use the official #mysignaturesampler hashtag every time you post your My Signature Sampler makes (to a public account) and you're automatically entered into the weekly IG drawings as well! See my Instagram giveaway posts @sharonhollanddesigns for full details. 

Happy sewing!

Sharon

Community Sampler Week #14

Community Sampler Week #14

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It's bitter-sweet that we're at the border assembly part of our sew along. This week we'll put on the optional borders and have a finished top! Looking ahead, next week Maureen and I will post about how to sandwich your top, batting, and back and I'll have some suggestions for quilting. The final week #16 is the full reveals and grand finale prize giveaway so stick with us just a few more weeks. 

If you've just found out about this sew along, don't worry, you can still join in on the fun but you may want to start from the very first post and work up to the present. There are eleven blocks in our quilt, block setting, and optional borders. Each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. 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.

My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and can't wait to see your finished quilts.

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Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your set blocks will measure 17-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Let's add some borders! Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.

Community Sampler borders.jpg

If you're using directional prints, you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. I know you know how to stitch our No-Waste Flying Geese by now but if you'd like to look back on our past tutorial, revisit week #3 post, here.

Those of you that may have made your quilt bigger by adding more blocks will need to increase the length your borders and more materials will be needed for the added size. 

Adding the Borders

In a perfect world we all could sew perfectly square blocks that are true to size but let's face it, that rarely happens. The cutting and piecing sizes given in our PDF Borders instruction are written for that perfect case senecio which means you're probably going to make a few tweaks to your cutting and piecing to get this baby together.

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Cut and stitch your Flying Geese (FG) units to the size given in the instructions, making them 2-1/2'' x 4-1/2'' (unfinished). Please read the rest of this blog post and through all the instructions on the PDF before cutting the A and B rectangles for the pieced borders.

My original plan for my quilt was to make all the Flying Geese units and rectangles white on a peach/pink background to match the block setting background solid. But, the peach/pink is a very light shade and to do all that Flying Geese and rectangle piecing in white against light seemed like a waste of all that piecing! I decided to select a few mid-tone solids that were predominate in the blocks and do a mixed solids border treatment. To do this I needed to divide the number of different fabrics by the number of "pop beads" as I like to call the border shapes. Remember, that with every No-Waste Flying Geese method you'll get four units in the end and will need one 5-1/2" square and four 3-1/8" squares to get four matching FG units. The PDF instructions give the total number needed (if using the size of quilt given) to cut so use those numbers as a guide when dividing in your number of fabrics.

I'd run out of enough fabric to include a terra cotta colored pop bead so I substituted with the more muted PE-472 Cinnamon of Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements color seen on the far right of the above photo. 

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As you can see, the Flying Geese units will measure up nicely to the 4-1/2" square corner squares in the pieced border and the 2-1/2"-wide inner border (even though my points are less than perfect, you get the idea here :).

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You're quilt center (before adding any of the borders) should be measuring somewhere in the neighborhood of 51-1/1" x 60". If you're way off that mark or increased the size of your quilt by adding more blocks you'll need to make some adjustments... 

Obviously, if you've made a larger quilt than our sampler you will need to get out the calculator and cut more strips for those inner and outer boarders and make additional Pop Beads in the middle borders. Note that the rectangles in the Pop Beads are two different sizes and are labeled A and B on the PDF instructions. 

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Before you really get crazy and cut all the A and B rectangles, cut just a couple (and label) then sew some of the Flying Geese units to rectangles and check your sizing. 

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Since the B rectangle/Flying Geese units are stitched directly against the top and bottom of the quilt (no inner border between) that's a good place to start for checking sizes. If your seams match up on major points and seams of the quilt top center then you're in that perfect world senecio and are in good shape to proceed with piecing the borders as given in the instructions. 

If you're considerable off you have two options. 

One, do the math to figure what sort of adjustment is needed to the A and B rectangles to hit on those major seams in the quilt top center. Start by measuring the opposite sides of the top and average those number (subtract 1/2" for total seam allowances and work in finished sizes for now). Each FG pair will measure 4'' finished so add up the number of 4'' units needed. From the remaining amount, figure how many rectangles are needed. Divide that amount by the number of rectangles needed to get the total length per rectangle. Remember to add in the seam allowances after figuring the finished length needed for an A or B rectangles. Yeah, I know, no fun at all.

Okay, option two. Cut and piece as stated in the instructions (unless of course you need to cut more because you made a bigger quilt). After piecing each border section as directed, the adjustments will be made to the end rectangles only. You're border may not hit on the major seams and points of the quilt top but will be easier to figure up and still look balanced in the end.

Remember, don't change the 4-1/2" measurement on any of the rectangles as this side will match the length of the Flying Geese units and corner squares.  

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I truly hope these pieced borders don't cause heartache and frustration but I do want to cover any possible problems that could occur do to the variables of sewing. Do a few samples like stated above and test the waters before jumping in.

If you're not up to this challenge then maybe consider a simple 4" -wide finished solid middle border (4-1/2" x length needed cut size) and follow the same steps as for making the inner and outer border. 

Remember to use your sew along community on Instagram (#CommunitySampler) if you have questions or need some moral support!

COMMUNITY SAMPLER SPONSORS

My co-host Maureen Cracknell and I are continually amazed by the joy and excitement each of you bring to our virtual community. Thank you for making this sew along so special. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilt, using her beautiful AGF fabrics Love Story collection. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work! But, please be patient with both Maureen and I over the next few weeks if we don't comment back. Both Maureen and I are preparing sewing samples for our new spring collections and there's just not enough hours in the day (or energy) to get it all done!

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and also on Instagram. I'll be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!

 

Community Sampler Week #10

Community Sampler Week #10

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Welcome to week #10 of the Community Sampler sew along where we not only work on our patchwork piecing techniques but also share our makes on Instagram and have fun with a like-minded community of quilters. My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and look forward to seeing your sampler quilt come together.

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We're coming down the home stretch with making our blocks and this is number nine out of eleven. 

Each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. 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.

Many of the patchwork units (like Quick-Corner, Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangle, and Square-in-Square units) used in this year's sampler have already been oversized to allow for trimming and squaring of units before assembling your block. Please cut your pieces EXACTLY as given in each of the PDF instructions because bumping up the size of the pieces from the measurements give will not bring great results in some cases. Take advantage of my in-blog tutorials for each of the different quilting techniques used in our sampler.

Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your blocks will measure 12-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Download the free PDF on the free Double-T block from my Sew Along page and let's get sewing!

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Our block this week is all review as far as piecing techniques. I'm sure you can do this in your sleep by now but if you need a refresher, use the following link for review how to make Half-Square Triangle (HST) units and No-Waste Flying Geese units that we've already used in earlier Community Sampler blocks. Accuracy is always our goal so make sure all cut pieces are true to size as you work and maintain an accurate 1/4" seam allowance when sewing and the pieces will go together beautifully.

If you're wanting to use directional prints for either the HST units or the Flying Geese units you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. 

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I kept my block real simple this week and love how these Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Element solids look together. If you're curious as to the exact colors I've used I'm including the fabrics name and sku number so you can easily get the same look.

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Other fabrics of interest included in my photos this week are the Splendid Fusions prints from Art Gallery Fabrics (now is shops) that include reprints of my Petally and Woodblock prints (first two from right to left on the above photo). Also, under my Double-T block I used my Mudcloth Blue print from Tapestry as a backdrop. It's hard not to include some pattern in my posts! :)

Be sure to stop over at Maureen's blog to see her lovely blocks being made from her Art Gallery Fabrics Love Story collection. 

COMMUNITY SAMPLER SPONSORS

My co-host Maureen Cracknell and I are continually amazed by the joy and excitement each of you bring to our virtual community. Thank you for making this sew along so special. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilt, using her beautiful AGF fabrics Love Story collection. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and also on Instagram. I will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!