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!


A Creative Life

A Creative Life

September Bouquet by Sharon Holland

September Bouquet by Sharon Holland

Believe me, I'm fully aware of how lucky I am! My sister always said I'm charmed and I think she is right.

My husband is a wonderful, kind, and giving man who not only makes me laugh everyday but has worked hard to provide for the family which allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom when our kids where growing up. He's always accommodated me in my pursuit of arts and crafts and supported all my dreams along with putting up with crazy photoshoots, sourcing excursions, and taking over the house as my workspace. 

Yellow Rose study by Sharon Holland

Yellow Rose study by Sharon Holland

My recent time spent reconnecting with painting has me first, wanting to thank everyone for the out pouring of wonderful comments and support and second wanting to encourage you to pursue your dreams and goals as well.

You have to know by now that I'm a natural-born enabler, right? Well, I like to think of it more like a cheerleader for the arts whether it's for sewing/quilting, photography, crafting, or fine arts. 

Fox by Sharon Holland

Fox by Sharon Holland

With kids back to school and summer drawing to a close, it's time to start thinking about following some of your dreams.

Even though I have a background in art from my college days long ago, I still wasn't up to date with modern technology. If I hadn't of taken the plunge and gone back to school at age 45 I may not being doing all the wonderfully amazing creative things I'm able to do today.

Luckily, there's now an easier way to learn at your own pace and right from home. It's called Skillshare. I'm a such a big fan of Skillshare that I'm now a Skillshare ambassador!

Monarch on Coneflower by Sharon Holland

Monarch on Coneflower by Sharon Holland

Skillshare is an amazing platform that lets you watch unlimited videos at your own pace the on every subject imaginable. Maybe you're interested in starting watercolors or learning how to draw? There's hundreds of phenomenal teachers from all over the globe are on Skillshare and ready to teach you what you want to learn. 

Want to be a better photographer? Yup, they have all sorts of levels from beginning photography to advanced. The courses are not just art related either, you can learn about how to improve your Instagram feed, be a better business owner, gardener, start calligraphy, learn the newest technology (like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for example), and improve your lifestyle, health, and fitness. 

Summer Lace by Sharon Holland

Summer Lace by Sharon Holland

Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start. When I wanted to start painting again I felt incredibly rusty but Skillshare helped me gain the confidence I needed to put pigment to paper again. 

So, if you're intrigued or still on the fence about what Skillshare could do for you, here's a sweet incentive for you to give it a try for 2 free months! Use coupon code: igamb1169.

Yes, no obligations other than signup for your free 2 months and start learning something new--today!

Here's just a few of my favorite teachers on Skillshare:

Leah Goren - Skillshare

Leah Goren - Skillshare


Bonnie Christine - Skillshare

Bonnie Christine - Skillshare


Katya Rozz - Skillshare

Katya Rozz - Skillshare


Robert Joyner - Skillshare

Robert Joyner - Skillshare

There's no end to what you can accomplish and each Skillshare class is broken down into bite-size segments and class projects you can share with the class and get feedback from the teacher. You work at your own pace, access the classes at anytime, and rewatch as needed. 

So, what do you say? You have nothing to loose and everything to gain!!!!

Happy learning from your creative cheerleader,

Sharon

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.

Signature Fabrics and yarn.jpg

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?

Guest On American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast

Guest on American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast

Graphic courtesy of American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast

Graphic courtesy of American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast

It's always a big honor when Pat Sloan of American Patchwork and Quilting asks if you want to be on her radio podcast - um, of course, YEESSSS!!!!!

I love talking with Pat, she's so knowledgeable about this industry and genuinely a wonderful person. This is my second time on her show--I could talk with her all day long!. Listen to my first live podcast interview on episode #336 which aired April 10, 2017 where Pat and I talk about fabric design and style of quilts. 

The new episode #373 will air March 19, 2018 sometime after 4 pm Eastern on Patchwork and Quilting Radio.

Or on Pat Sloan's website under Radio Shows.

Episodes can also be heard at the All People Quilt magazine's website.

Photo by Sharon Holland

Photo by Sharon Holland

In new episode #373 interview, Pat and I talk about my Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book for Landauer Publishing and what it means to create a utility-style quilt as well as the behind the scenes makings that went into the book and it's photography.

Bobbin quilt from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

Bobbin quilt from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

There's so much that goes into a craft book. Of course, first and foremost is a concept for the book then comes the making of the projects and writing of the manuscript. For me it snowballed into even more...

Goose Chase from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

Goose Chase from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

I soon found myself behind the camera shooting the type of life-style photos I wanted depicted in my book. Really, the behind the camera is a happy place for me in my multi-passionate career--I just wish I had a bit more time then was given to meet the 2-week press deadline.

I found surprising and creative solutions for capturing the look I wanted for this book and thank goodness for my wonderful friends that let me trash their homes to get that perfect shot! Hear more on that behind the photos on the podcast interview with Pat.

Star Crossed from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

Star Crossed from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

I like to give each quilt a personality before I even begin and by doing so, it also helped me streamline how the quilt was to be photographed. Star Crossed has a tween-girl storyline for me and was a fun quilt to style. Pat and I talk more about my process behind selecting which fabrics to use in my quilts and how I came up with the different utility quilt looks for my book.

Fabric stack photo by Sharon Holland

Fabric stack photo by Sharon Holland

When you listen to the podcast interview, I tell Pat my concept behind this book and how I want to encourgage quilters to find their voice and make beautiful quilts that give you permission to use them everyday and love them to pieces. 

This book is geared toward the beginner but a seasoned quilter will love the quick-make quilt projects and the freedom to explore design. Basically, this book is an excuse to go through your fabric stash and have fun sewing!

I had a ton of fun digging into my stash of fabrics for my 12 quilt projects in my book. Many of the fabrics used are vintage gems I've been holding onto for a long time and I'm so happy they are now in quilts that I can use and enjoy rather than the fabrics being stashed away in a closet.  

See what others are sewing using the patterns in my book by searching the hashtag #UtilityStyleQuiltsforEverydayLiving on Instagram!