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

My Signature Sampler Week #15

My Signature Sampler Week #15

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We’re coming down the home stretch with one more block and and borders/finale post after that. How’s your quilt shaping up? Are you loving it as much as I am?

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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.

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This week I’m adding the July Fourth block originally made during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. Pick up the free pattern and extra tips for piecing from the Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #5 post.

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.

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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 on weeks #16 and #17 but just in case you wanted to sew or plan ahead, you have the information now.

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: THE Quilter’s Planner

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Stephanie Palmer, Ph.D.,  is the creator / Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The Quilter’s Planner and The Quilter’s Planner Magazine.

With over 25,000 copies sold of the Quilter’s Planner in just over 2.5 years, Stephanie is thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with and empower other quilters and sewists who value the need to honor their creative lives.  Stephanie believes in embracing the art of planning and goal-setting to realize creative, professional and personal life goals.  She strives to empower other creative women to grab their lives by the lapels to make them authentic and fulfilling.

About the Planner

Look at the big picture and know what’s coming. The monthly calendars allow you to get a bird’s eye view of your year and months so you can plan ahead and stay organized.

  • Manage your time. A daily appointment calendar allows you to easily keep track of where you need to be, and how you spend your time.

  • Create a keepsake of your quilting and personal life. By tracking your projects and life, you are keeping a journal, a snap-shot of your life.  You can look back in years to come and see how you’ve grown and all you’ve achieved.

  • Be inspired. Inspirational quotes and beautiful artwork keep you motivated and encourage creativity.

  • Customize it. This planner is designed to be tailored to your life.  Whether you’re balancing work and your creative life, or setting new goals as a quilter, this planner gives you flexibility to use it in the way that serves you best.

  • Follow your bliss. Manage your time and set realistic goals so you can do more of what you love!

  • Get focused. Weekly and daily layouts, and room to prioritize your daily top three tasks that need to get done allow you to focus your attention on the most important things in your life.

The Quilter’s Planner is made in the USA.

SHOP  *  PINTEREST  *  FACEBOOK  * INSTAGRAM 

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Not only has The Quilter’s Planner been a resource of blocks for our sew along but they are also generously giving away a new 2019 Quilter’s Planner calendar to a lucky winner here on this blog post! The 2019 planner also includes the beautifully photographed magazine loaded with 13 patterns. You’re going to love planning everyday with The Quilter’s Planner.

Giveaway limited to US addresses only-see entry rules for more information

 Photo courtesy of The Quilter’s Planner

Photo courtesy of The Quilter’s Planner

 Photo courtesy of The Quilter’s Planner

Photo courtesy of The Quilter’s Planner

Giveaway now closed. Congratulations to Diane Beavers!

Note: This giveaway is open to US address only for this prize. 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 The Quilter’s Planner 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, Pinterest by pinning any of my pretty images in this post, etc... (separate comment-fourth entry). 

That’s FOUR possible entries—maximum! Enter now through Monday, October 1st! 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

My Signature Sampler Week #11

My Signature Sampler Week #11

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The weeks are moving along quite fast on this sew along and we're already to block 11 out of 16!

Today's block comes from the Quilter's Planner 2018 magazine (Block 7 in the magazine) and I'm calling it Flying Geese block for this sew along. 

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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.

MSS Flying Geese.jpg

I love this block from the Quilter's Planner magazine but admit that it's a tricky one to piece. This block is my third attempt at it! But, The Quilter's Planner has you covered on this with additional Hints and Tips for this, July 2018 Block of the Month. Plus, if you're wanting to try your hand at foundation paper-piecing (FPP), they also have the instructions and template for constructing this block by FPP.

I used traditional patchwork construction for my block. My first attempt, I made the classic mistake of not reading the directions and making assumptions about the construction. For this block you must follow the cutting and piecing instructions to the minute details (accept for one part I'll discuss in a bit). Cut and make the Flying Geese units as directed in the magazine as these are set on point into the block and don't comply to standard dimensions. DON'T trim down to a standard size like I did the first time around!

My suggestion for deviating from the instructions comes with the 3-7/8" squares that will be cut in half diagonally and used as the corners of the Flying Geese sections. 

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I suggest that instead of cutting the squares 3-7/8" you cut them 4" square. That way, after you attach the three triangles to make a quarter section of the block you have a tiny bit of wiggle room for squaring it to 6-1/2" square. 

 2019 Quilter's Planner

2019 Quilter's Planner

Orders are now being taken for next year's planner and you have a choice of two cover designs for the planner plus they come with the Quilter's Planner 2019 magazine loaded with projects from the calendar plus and new sampler quilt project. 

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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.

MSS Week #11.jpg

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 but because this block will be in the middle of the quilt it only uses the Untamed Beauty print in the setting triangles. 

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.

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: ART GALLERY FABRICS

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Art Gallery Fabrics was started in 2004 by Pat and Walter Bravo. Since then creativity, beauty, and design have been their passions, and to this day, they have not changed--bringing a chic and modern perspective to the quilting industry.

When it comes to designing a fabric collection, AGF always keeps originality and uniqueness on the top of their list. Find your favorite fabric designers who create enticing color palettes and artful, intricate prints that make AGF collections one of a kind. Art Gallery Fabrics designs modern fabrics that keep up with ongoing trends and at the same time it encourages customers to use new colors and patterns so they venture out of their usual comfort zone.

Art Gallery Fabrics believes strongly in the quality of the fabric which is transcended in their superior thread count and fine weave making premium cotton as soft and smooth you can get. You really feel the difference with just one touch!

Blog  *  Facebook *  Instagram  * Pinterest

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AGF has created a collector’s box of fabrics like no other! Hand-picked for makers to use in a multitude of creative projects. An explosion of color and design made of unique groups of AGF’s signature quality cotton paired up with an original and collectible box made exclusively for them! Color Master boxes include a selection of 10 prints in two choices: FAT QUARTERS or HALF YARDS. CHECK YOUR LOCAL STORE FOR AVAILABILITY OR BUY IT ONLINE.

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This week's My Signature Sampler giveaway will put this beautiful Quite Peachy box of 10 fat quarters into one lucky winners stash! 

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Giveaway now closed. Congratulations to Michele!

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 Art Gallery Fabrics 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, Pinterest by pinning any of my pretty images in this post, etc... (separate comment-fourth entry). 

That’s FOUR possible entries! Enter now through Monday, September 3rd! 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 Labor Day weekend!

Sharon

October

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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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!