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).

Sharon Holland Studio.jpg

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!


Table Scraps

Table Scraps

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Okay, that blog post title was funny, wasn't it!!?? What did you think I was going to blog about, composting? No, silly, this post is about using up those left over fabric strips to make something beautiful for your table!

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I definitely have a thing for quilted table runners--they're just fun and fast to make, plus quick for changing up the look of your table for the different seasons. 

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This is my second time making my Stacked Strips Table Runner. See the original tutorial with instructions, HERE. I stitched this one exactly the same as the first, with 2"-wide strips but the finished size of this second runner is larger and finishes out at 18" x 84". The beauty of this pattern is you can easily customize the size to fit your table. 

Stacked Strips Sewing.jpg

The fabrics used in this runner are all Art Gallery Fabrics and include prints from all six of my fabric lines. Here's the list: Pure Elements solids, AGF linen, Gossamer, Sketchbook, Coastline, Tapestry, Bountiful, Signature, and Ink Outburst from Woodland Fusions.

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The other variation I made from my original pattern was to utilize Quilt As You Go (QAYG) when sewing the strips together. By doing this, not only was I assembling the runner top, but I was quilting the runner as I sewed the strips!

Stacked Strips Runner QAYG.jpg

Using QAYG for a table runner is a great way to try this method on a small project. I used my favorite Tuscany Silk Blend batting and AGF linen for the backing to give the runner a nice weight and feel. To learn how to sew the QAYG method for quilts and other projects check out my dear friend and sister AGF designer Maureen Cracknell's QAYG Craftsy class

Stacked Strips Runner 6.jpg

This was really fun to make and since I had some strips left at the end, I decided to make some matching coasters!

Stacked Strips Coasters 2.jpg

My coasters finish at 4-1/2" round and I trimmed the strips to 1-1/2" wide to start with so the scale would be better proportioned. You could even start with 1" wide strips if you wanted even more fabrics in the coaster.

I used the same strip assembly method of sewing strips short ends together before trimming to the desired size and sewing together QAYG-style to a batting and backing foundation.

Stacked Strips Coasters Assembly 1.jpg

After I had the strips sewn into a large enough piece to cut out 5" circles from, I placed another piece of linen, right sides together with the QAYG piece and marked out circles with the bottom of a tin that was the right size. 

I sewed a 1/4" inside the drawn line, back stitching at beginning and end, and leaving and opening for turning. 

Stacked Strips Coasters Assembly 2.jpg

Cut out on the drawn line. Clip curves and turn right side out through the opening. Turn opening under 1/4" and press. Blind stitch opening closed by hand. 

Stacked Strips Coasters 1.jpg

I did not do any additional quilting or stitching to my coasters once turned. This method has four layers: patchwork top, batting, and two layers of linen. 

Stacked Strips Coasters 4.jpg

I think next time I try this I will make some placemats. It's really very addictive and I'm sure we all have a bunch of left over fabric scraps begging to be turned into something useful and beautiful!

Signature Bedroom

Signature Bedroom

Signature Soho Bedroom wall.jpg

Today I'll be taking a closer look at the Signature fabrics Soho bedroom I put together for a photo shoot to show off my new Signature fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. This room was another mock-room setting I put together in my studio and I had so much fun sewing and decorating for this scene. See the Signature Baby Room posts Part 1 and Part 2.

Tracery Rose Quilt reduced.jpg

For this mock-room to make sense, it had to tell a story. I wanted something fun and flirty, just like the fabric collection so I came up with the idea to create a Soho loft bedroom from a 20-something girl who loves sewing, flowers, vintage finds, and a little bit of bling. 

Signature Fabrics Bedroom 1.jpg

I didn't want a fussy bed frame so I put the mattress and box spring directly onto the rug-layered floor and stood two same-size, narrow boxes on end. You can't see the boxes because they're covered with a wood boards that made a temporary bench of sorts that I could use as my headboard/shelf. This created the perfect look for my bed and kept everything low and modern. 

Signature Fabrics Bedroom 2.jpg

The quilt on the bed is called Tracery Rose and is an adaptation of the Tracery quilt pattern from my Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book (Landauer 2017). I wanted layers of fabrics with texture and vintage charm as well as doable DIY projects that my creative girl would want to make for her room. 

Find a tutorial for the fun Fabric Fringe Wallhanging on one of my earlier posts as well as instructions for the Improv Boho Pillow tutorial. These are both great projects to get the kids involved in sewing something for their room.

Signature Pillow 1.jpg

Crafty touches include vintage pompoms, my grandmother's Singer sewing machine on the desk, knitting yarn in the Bucket Bag tote (another free pattern on this site), Art Roll Up caddy for knitting needles or other art supplies (see Free Patterns page), thrifting treasures of vintage jewelry and furniture, and of course florals to bring the garden inside.

Signature Craft Girl.jpg

Pile on the layers and let the photo tell a story! I can just image my younger self busy working on crafts in my room and rearranging and decorating my space with pretty things.

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This photo of the basket with yarn and fabric is one of my favorite shots because of all the yummy textures, layers, and colors. I had the last minute idea to throw a piece of faux fur on the chair seat and that added a bit of glam to the look plus more texture and interest!

AGF Signature Sewing.jpg

This petite desk's was something I picked up at a garage sale almost 20 years ago! I painted it gold after I bought it and it's normal spot is as a nightstand by my bed. Because I wanted to bring in different metal elements into my Soho bedroom like gold, copper, and silver I thought it would make the cutest sewing table for this scene. The sewing machine was my grandmother's and it still works like a dream. I have it as a backup machine and don't sew with it much but it's comforting to know it's here with me when I need it. 

The chair is another garage sale find and it has a big hole in the caned seat. I've hidden the hole with a piece of faux fur to repeat the look on the other side of the room. 

Signature Kimono.jpg

Although I am obsessed with so many of my sewing makes for the two mock-up rooms, the project that's gotten the most wear is my Signature Extempore Rayon kimono. This garment was an easy make for a non-garment sewer like me and AGF rayon is the perfect fabric for a flowie cover up like this. I used Simplicity pattern 1108 and chose the cropped cut because I'm only 5'2'' and it's a good proportion for my frame. 

AGF Signature Rayon Kimono.jpg

I hope you enjoyed this look into some of the photos that went into the Signature Look Book and my styled photo shoot. Are you getting lots of inspiration? What would you sew with these prints--quilts, clothes, or something else?

Signature Baby Room Part 2

Signature Baby Room Part 2

Signature Baby collage.jpg

Sometimes my life gets moving so fast, I'm onto the next project like a machine, forgetting to slow down, enjoy, and post about all my accomplishments. My new Signature fabric collection has been such a joy and with each project comes little surprises and great photo ops that I've taken lots of beautiful photos. I thought I'd spend more time with each of these makes and post some additional stories about what I sewed in June for the Art Gallery Fabrics Signature Look Book. I hope you'll enjoy these between the projects posts.

Signature Baby Room View.jpg

It was so much fun to put together a baby room of Signature fabric projects! Signature is my newest fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics and came out this May. Ask your local shop for this line or shop the many online stores that carry it. See my Fabrics page for online stock lists. 

Last week in Part 1, I showed you behind the Look Book projects in a bit more depth and links to the tutorials for the pretty projects. I'll wrap up this week with Part 2 plus a fun stuffed turtle make I stitched up last week as a gift for my granddaughter. 

Signatrue Fabrics Crib Sheet Set.jpg

Possibly to two easiest projects stitched for my Signature Baby Room were the crib sheet and the knit blanket. Find a tutorial for my Ruching Rose pillow HERE.

I wish I'd known how easy it was to make crib sheets when my kids were little! Dana Willard, friend and also an Art Gallery Fabrics designer sister has a fun You Tube video for how to make a fitted crib sheet. AGF fabric is so soft and the perfect designer prints to customize the look for baby's room.

Signature Fabrics Baby Room 3.jpg

The knit blanket not only is cuddly soft with AGF knits but is another easy make. You wouldn't even have to finish the edges if you didn't want too because knit doesn't fray but to dress it up a bit I added some pre-made bias tape with a crochet edge for a sweet little touch. A nice tutorial for making a knit blanket can be found at Kitchen Table Quilting.

Star Light sq web.jpg

Earlier, in June, I blogged about my free Star Light baby quilt pattern. The inspiration for this quilt came when I was making the Cactus block for the Community Sampler. This shows how you can take a block you love and run with it to make a completely new quilt. Find the free pattern HERE.

Signature Butterfly.jpg

Even though my Signature Baby Room was intended as a gender neutral room I still couldn't help seeing it through my granddaughter's eyes. Because she loves butterflies and this fabric collection is about nature and includes butterflies in some of the prints I made several fabric butterflies and used them in various decor projects. Read more about how I created these HERE and learn how to make them. 

Signature Turtles Stacked.jpg

There are so many Signature makes I'm obsessed about but maybe the one that brings on the biggest smile is the turtle footstool I wrote about in my Part 1 post. Since this guy is staying at my house for the grandchildren to visit I thought I'd make my granddaughter a turtle of her own. 

Softie Signature Turtle 5.jpg

I found the cutest free softie pattern on the Make it and Love it blog and of course had to make a version in Signature fabrics!

Signature Turtle Love.jpg

To add just a little extra to my turtle I stitched some Dritz Make Your Own Chenille to the shell before adding the feet and added a fabric heart outlined with chenille to it's tummy before assembling the body. 

Signature Turtle Feed 2.jpg

Turtle, as he's called, now has an honorary spot in her bed and she love's her new friend!

Signature Turtle and Baske 2.jpg

Because every turtle needs a home, I painted an old basket up to give it a fresh new look (that coordinates, of course with my fabrics) and made the turtle his own blanket. I had as much fun making this as she's having playing with him!

Signature Turtle and Basket 1.jpg

And, way too much fun photographing this turtle. 

Sunflower Quilt from Art Gallery Fabrics.jpg

Don't forget to check out the Art Gallery Fabrics Look Books that come out with every new fabric line and all the oodles of free quilting and sewing patterns like the Sunflower quilt I designed for this collection and the AGF Studio Butterfly pillow pattern. 

Butterfly-Pillow-Instruction 1.jpg

Have a wonderful summer!

Love,

Sharon