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

Color Master Designer's Palette Bundles

Color Master Designer’s Palette Bundles

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There’s so many reasons why I love designing fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics and the NEW Color Master Designer’s Palette bundles are another exciting addition to that long list of AGF awesomeness!

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You’re probably familiar with the Color Master boxes and bundles by color where prints by the different Art Gallery Fabrics designers are curated to build your stash by color, well…

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The new Color Master Designer’s Palette bundles are color palettes curated by designer! It’s like getting a Sharon Holland 10-piece sampler bundle of perfectly coordinating prints from across my different AGF fabric lines all in a pretty bundle or box of fat quarters or half yard pieces of fabric! Both the fat quarter and 1/2 yard bundles contain the same ten beautiful prints.

Learn more about the AGF designers and these new curated bundles HERE on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog.

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I was so excited about these Designer’s Palette bundles that I immediately began work designing a free quilt pattern specifically made for use with the ten prints in my Sharon Holland #1 edition. Yes, there’ll be new Designer’s Palette bundle editions in the future!

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I’m swooning over the gorgeous color palette AGF has put together with prints from my Signature, Coastline, and Sketchbook fabric collections. This is definitely my color palette!

Feathered Nest Quilt

If you know anything about me and my quilt patterns by now, you know I like to make scrap quilts but I also like to be very efficient with cutting and fabric requirements.

The Feathered Nest quilt is a 58-inch square throw quilt that uses every bit of a Sharon Holland Designer’s Palette #1 fat quarter bundle. See PDF download for full materials list.

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With the addition of three Pure Elements solids to the 10-piece fat quarter bundle I’ve come up with easy cutting instructions for a no-fail quilt design. The prints are a beautiful mix of just the right amount of light and dark, large and small scale prints, as well as visual texture. I even used the left-over scraps for a fun, scrappy binding.

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This quilt is beginner-friendly, fun, fast, and rewarding to make! You could easily make this over a weekend. Even though this is a throw-size quilt, I love how it looks on top of a double bed.

I used Hobb’s Tuscany Polyester batting for the first time when making this quilt and OMG, I’m in love!!!! I’ve been so impressed with all the Hobb’s battings I’ve tried so far but honestly wasn’t sure I’d like the synthetic batting until I took it out of the wrapper. It’s the most luxurious poly batting I’ve ever handled and quilted like a dream! The high loft was just perfect for this quilt and gives it an eiderdown-look to the quilt—especially as a bed topper like in this photo.

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Maybe it’s the recent cold snap that made me want something extra warm and snuggly but I’m thrilled with my choice of batting on this project. The wonderful bonus of Hobb’s Tuscany Polyester batting is that one, it doesn’t shrink and two, it can be quilted up to 4” apart which was exactly perfect for the minimal machine quilting I used when following the diagonal lines of the half-square triangles. Easy peasy and oh, so snuggly!

More and more shops will be adding these bundle/boxes to their listings but at the time of writing this blog post I’ve found the following fabric shops carrying the Sharon Holland Designer’s Palette bundles:

Dinkydoo Fabrics

Threaded Lines

Fat Quarter Shop

Red Thread Studio

Needle and Foot

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Download the free Feathered Nest quilt pattern HERE.

If you’re a shop that carries my bundles and would like to use this quilt pattern for a shop sample, please direct your customers to this blog to download a copy of the pattern for use with their Sharon Holland Designer’s Palette fabrics. Additionally, if you’re a shop that carries my bundles and you didn’t see your shop listed above please contact me so I can add you to the Fabrics page on my site.

Happy sewing,

Sharon

Wild Honey Quilt

Wild Honey Quilt

Wild Honey quilt by Sharon Holland

Wild Honey quilt by Sharon Holland

My good friend and sister Art Gallery Fabrics fabric designer, Maureen Cracknell has a new fabric line called Autumn Vibes. Both Maureen and I had collections this spring but my Signature line came out in May at the beginning of the season and Maureen’s Autumn Vibes started shipping in August for the last part of the spring fabric lineup.

Autumn Vibes fabrics by Maureen Cracknell

Autumn Vibes fabrics by Maureen Cracknell

As you know, with each Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF) collection, AGF produces a virtual Look Book of sewing inspiration and life-style images of their gorgeous collections in use. I wanted to sew with Maureen’s prints and what better excuse to sew than to make something pretty for her upcoming Look Book.

You know I do like making quilts so I wrote up a beginner-friendly throw quilt pattern to share with you. The hardest part about making this quilt in narrowing the fabric selection down to just eight of Maureen’s pretty prints and one AGF Pure Elements solid! The prints pictured above are the prints I selected from the Autumn Vibes collection and the free PDF pattern has all the information on the print names and stock numbers.

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This is a terrific beginner quilt project because you just cut the pieces and jump right into sewing the blocks. No units to have to make before assembling. The nine blocks and nine fabrics make mixing and matching easy so every block is unique but the entire quilt looks cohesive.

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I chose to stitch an allover freeform leaf design when quilting my throw quilt. I selected a medium-tone cinnamon colored thread to stand out but not dominate over the blocks of pretty fabrics. For batting I used my favorite Hobb’s Tuscany Silk batting and find it the perfect weight for all my quilts and has great stitch definition, too.

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Wouldn’t this also make a great table topper for fall gatherings? I had a lot of fun finding different ways to photograph this quilt—the colors are scrumptious!

Get ready for fall and download this free pattern today from my Free Patterns page.

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples

Apple Season Coasters by Sharon Holland

Apple Season Coasters by Sharon Holland

Can you guess what’s the theme is for this blog post? Yup, apples and I have two super fun (and scrappy) apple-themed projects for you to make.

Aurifil 2018 Designer Block of the Month block by Sharon Holland

Aurifil 2018 Designer Block of the Month block by Sharon Holland

Apple Season Coasters

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It’s always nice to have some quick, small projects that use up scraps and yet are still useful! I had designed these apple mug rugs several years back as a project for my magazines I worked on. The neat thing is I had originally made them with Art Gallery Fabrics and I am again—only this time with my Signature prints and Maureen Cracknell’s newest collection called Autumn Vibes!

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Download the free PDF pattern for making these easy coasters. It’s the perfect time of year to have extra mug rugs on hand for family gatherings and cozy relaxation with your favorite hot drink.

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If you’re like me you have lots of beautiful fabric scraps as well as left over pieces of batting. I couldn’t stop at just making a set a four Signature Apple Season coasters, I had to make a few more.

Later this week I’ll be sharing a beginner-friendly quilt project made from Maureen’s new Art Gallery Fabrics collection called Autumn Vibes. The beautiful fall colors and motifs really speak to me. I had some scraps left over from the quilt and made an additional four coasters.

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Wouldn’t these make the cutest hostess gifts? I can just picture them tucked into a basket with mugs, tea or hot cocoa, and don’t forget some cookies or apple butter!

Aurifil 2018 Designer Block of the Month

Courtesy of Aurifil

Courtesy of Aurifil

Last fall I was asked by Pat Sloan to be part of this year’s Aurifil Designer of the Month sampler sew along—how exciting, huh?!!! This year’s theme is “The Places We Go” and the 12 designers are to make a block inspired by favorite places.

I love NY collage by Sharon Holland

I love NY collage by Sharon Holland

I decided to use New York City, NY as my muse and what better way to show this iconic city than with a Big Apple!

Photo by Nick Holland

Photo by Nick Holland

For the free PDF download on how to make this block along with my interview with Pat Sloan and a further look at this block and my inspiration, visit the Auribuzz blog post about my September block-of-the-month.

You can jump in at anytime to make this travel-inspired quilt and get to know all the fabulous designers behind the blocks, read about their inspiration, and meet new quilty friends as you share and post your blocks. As host, Pat also has loads of awesome prizes and tips, too!

Big Apple block by Sharon Holland

Big Apple block by Sharon Holland

I used a variety of Art Gallery Fabrics prints and Pure Elements solids in my block. The color theme for this year’s Aurifil quilt is black and white plus one color of choice. There’s so many amazing black and white graphic prints from AGF that narrowing it down was the hardest part! I kept the apple a bit simpler and used solids except for the Mudcloth Bachelorette print that made me think of apple seeds. Of course, Aurifil thread was used and I had some luscious colors to choose from.

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Here’s a look at my small and large Aurifil Color Story box sets of curated threads to go with my Art Gallery Fabrics fabric collections. Look for them wherever Aurifil threads are sold.

Happy fall everyone!