A Community Sampler Giveaway - Week #1

Community Sampler Giveaway - Week #1

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Each Friday, throughout the Community Sampler sew-along, which Maureen Cracknell and I are co-hosting, will be a Giveaway Friday. We've coordinated special giveaway prizes with our amazing participating sponsors for each and every week! If you've happened to miss the first Community Sampler posts, take a look back from the first post Sneak Peek at the 2018 Sew Along to get caught up to the present. Feel free to start sewing with us at anytime--it's never too late to join in, and it's free! 

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The Community Sampler Sponsors

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Lady Belle Fabric  Omnigrid   Aurifil Thread  Art Gallery Fabrics 

Hobbs Batting  Dritz  Fat Quarter Shop  Bloc-Loc

Today Maureen and I are kicking off our weekly Community Sampler Giveaway with a prize from the two of us!!!

That's right, this week we're offering the winner a 12-piece Community Garden curated bundle including six gorgeous prints from my Bountiful, Tapestry, and Sketchbook collections for Art Gallery Fabrics. These prints mix perfectly with coordinating prints from Maureen's beautiful new Love Story collection and a favorite from Nightfall also from Art Gallery Fabrics. This bundle will include a fat quarter cut of each of the 12 prints that you see here. 

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This bundle is also available exclusively at Needle in a Fabric Stash! See their online shop for more information and orders will get a bonus fat quarter free to make a baker's (or gardener's) dozen. Plus, don't forget to shop their huge selection of Art Gallery Fabrics and check out the Sharon Holland Sampler bundle with free shipping!

ENTER TO WIN!

Here's how: Since Maureen and I are taking turns hosting the Community Sampler Giveaway Fridays, this week I'm sending you to Maureen Cracknell's blog to enter!

A BIG thanks to all of you who are joining the 2018 Community Sampler sew-along and to those who enter our Giveaway!  

♡ 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!

Sewcial Bee Sampler Finale

Sewcial Bee Sampler Finale

This is it, the finale week of the Sewcial Bee Sampler (SBS) and time for Maureen and I to reveal our finished sampler quilts! The last 27 weeks have been incredible. The response and participation to the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along has been more than my co-host Maureen Cracknell and I could ever imagine. So many new friendships have been formed through the SBS Instagram community and I love hearing how your patchwork sewing skills have been improving through our sewing techniques and tutorials. Thank you for making this so successful.

Surprisingly we still have a few new Makers joining our sew along at this late point and will continue to as they see your beautiful finished quilts being posted. If you're just finding out about us, be sure to take advantage of the in-blog tutorials for the different patchwork techniques used throughout the Sewcial Bee Sampler. Pick up tips and block variations beginning with the first blog post The Start of Something Sewcial. Both Maureen and I will leave all the SBS downloads up on our blogs for you to download long after this event is done. Also, check out the #SewcialBeeSampler hashtag on Instagram, you'll see an amazing array of beautiful blocks and quilts as inspiration overload! 

Before I get to showing you my finished quilts I want to remind you one last time about our Sewcial Bee Sampler Survey. The survey will only remain open one more week, until August 9th, 2017. To help us better understand what you're looking for in a future sew along, Maureen and I have prepared an 8 question survey. This quick questionnaire is completely anonymous and your answers will give us better insight into serving your needs as a quilter. To ensure the most accurate results, please only take the survey once. Many thanks to the 472 SBS Makers who've already participated in the SBS questionnaire! If you've not yet had a chance to take the survey, please do using this link provided. The link is the same on both Maureen's and my blog and goes to the same survey. So, if you access the questionnaire from either Maureen's site or mine, your answers are compiled to the same place.  

Quilt 1: Bountiful 

Originally I only planned to make one sampler quilt but very early into the sew along I could see I wanted to play with more fabric and color options and decided to make two to better show the variety that can be achieved in a project like this. I think each of my quilts has it's own personality as each and everyone of the SBS samplers have a unique point of view from the makers fabric choice, block assembly, and final layout arrangement. That's what makes a project like this so much fun.

My original quilt is made with fabrics from my newest Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF) collection called Bountiful. I also added in some coordinating AGF Pure Element solids.

I decided to keep the sashing fabric the same as the block frames to make the blocks float on the white background. 

 

The batting for my Bountiful SBS sampler is Hobbs Tuscany Wool. This is an exceptionally fine product and makes for a lightweight quilt with extra loft than a cotton type batting. It is a little different machine quilting on wool because of the added loft and takes a little bit of getting used to handling but needle quilts with ease. I chose to do a very simple free motion stitching on this quilt to give it a modern touch. 

 
 
 Photo courtesy of Alexis Wright

Photo courtesy of Alexis Wright

Visit my Shop Fabrics page to find online quilt shops that carry Bountiful.

Quilt 2: Tiny Dancer

For my second SBS sampler quilt I decided to use fabrics from my first four Art Gallery Fabrics collections with the addition of the new Fusion reprints of my prints. I call my mixed group Tiny Dancer after the Sketchbook fabrics dandelion print by the same name.

On my second quilt I used my Sketchbook fabrics Speckled Lapis print for the block frames and a medium blue Mudcloth Blue print from Tapestry for the sashing. 

Since this quilt had a decidedly feminine quality to it with the colors and floral prints, I chose to stitch a dense, meandering floral machine quilting on it. The batting is the exquisite Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting. Truly the best batting I've ever had the pleasure to work with and works and handles much like a cotton batting.

 

To find shops that carry fabrics from my Gossamer, Sketchbook, Coastline, and Tapestry collections, use the links provided on my Shop Fabrics page

It was so much fun finally putting these blocks together and I love how they both turned out! My daughter helped me photography these over the weekend and I believe she has her eyes set on the Bountiful quilt for her guest bed (it's her favorite fabric collection to date). My year and a half year old granddaughter loved the Tiny Dancer mixed prints quilt and would point out the flowers and butterfly prints. I think someday when she's ready for a big girl bed, that will be her quilt. 

This Friday we still have another Giveaway Friday and it's going to be a big one! Maureen will be hosting the giveaway from her blog and I will be hosting the Instagram giveaway. Everything will be run as normal with the exception of the giveaway being slightly different in the two social media platforms. More about that on Friday!

Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #25

Last Block!

How did almost 6 months go by so fast!?!? Today we release the final block on the Sewcial Bee Sampler quilt sew along.

This is our last block and many of you are wondering about how to put your quilts together and are thinking about the finishing. Here's the breakdown: Next Wednesday my co-host Maureen Cracknell and I will post the instructions for Assembling and Finishing your quilt. This will include how to add the sashing, layering the quilt sandwich, and binding. The very first Wednesday of August will be reveal week so everyone can show off their finished quilts, quilt tops, or progress so far. There will be a grand finale prize package on the last Giveaway Friday that will knock your socks off, so stick around, we're almost there!

I know many of you would like to get your hands on the sashing and finishing instructions right away but there are many reasons why they will not be released today:

  • One more week means one more week of giveaways--Yay!
  • SBS Makers coming in late get another week to catch up
  • Time to tweak out any oddball blocks
  • Add frames and/or square up all blocks to 12-1/2'' square
  • Select sashing fabric(s)

If you don't intend to add sashing between your blocks, feel free to start assembling your top, rearranging the block placement to however you'd like. Next week I will have tutorials about adding sashing and finishing your quilt plus other helpful tips. 

As we near the end of this incredible journey, my co-host, Maureen Cracknell and I are thinking about future collaborations. The success of the Sewcial Bee Sampler (SBS) has been phenomenal and mostly because of your participation and the remarkable community you've created out of this sew along.  

To help us better understand what you're looking for in a future sew along, Maureen and I have prepared an 8 question survey. This quick questionnaire is completely anonymous and your answers will give us better insight into serving your needs as a quilter. To ensure the most accurate results, please only take the survey once. Many thanks to those who've participated in the SBS questionnaire already. If you've not yet had a chance to take the survey, please do, we're only keeping it open now through the end of the SBS sew along and then we'll close the survey. The link provided on both our blogs will link to the same survey. So, if you access the questionnaire from either Maureen's site or mine, your answers are compiled to the same place.  

I'm not sure how many new Makers we've got joining our sew along at this late point but anyone just starting may want to take advantage of the in-blog tutorials for the different patchwork techniques used throughout the Sewcial Bee Sampler. Pick up tips and block variations beginning with the first blog post The Start of Something Sewcial. Both Maureen and I will leave all the SBS downloads up on our blogs for you to download long after this event is done. 

Time to get sewing this week's block #25--Prairie Queen. Download the free PDf for the blocks on my Sew Along page.

Our final block will be made using the 2-at-a-time Half Square Triangle (HST) technique combined with basic Four Patch units. Refer back to our past tutorial if you need a refresher on how to make your HST units. We will be making 3-1/2" (unfinished) HST and Four Patch units for this block. Be mindful and accurate with your seam allowance for maintaining the points of the units when assembling. 

I have all the blocks made for both my Sewcial Bee Sampler quilts. In the mixed collection quilt made from fabrics from my first four Art Gallery Fabrics collections I chose to stitch our Prairie Queen block as given in the instructions, using only two fabrics (not counting the frame). 

I've used fabrics from Sketchbook (the frame), Coastline (pink), and Tapestry (blue) and love the way the design pops out in this block. 

For my SBS quilt made just from Bountiful fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics I went with a three-fabric variation. Whichever way you stitch this block you will want to pay special attention to the placement of the squares in the Four Patch units to maintain the correct design of this block. 

To find shops that carry my various Art Gallery Fabrics collections, visit my Shop Fabrics page.

If you'd like to make this three fabric variation for this week's block you will need to cut the following:

(2) 3-7/8" squares and (4) 2" squares fabric A

(2) 3-7/8" squares and (8) 2" squares fabric B

(1) 3-1/2" square and (4) 2" squares fabric C

Don't forget that this Friday's Giveaway Friday and this week I will be hosting the giveaway from this blog. We've got a great giveaway planned from Needle and Foot you won't want to miss!