Asheville and Outfits

Asheville and Outfits

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This August marked my husband and my 35th wedding anniversary. I suggested we take a long weekend and visit Biltmore Estates in Asheville, NC.

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This blog post is going to be uncomfortable for me because I’m not used to being the subject of so many pictures but I’ve no choice if I want to show you the pretty garments I made from my prints. Hopefully the stunning location will distract a bit—hehe.

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I’ve been wanting to make myself some rayon dress for ages now but never seem to find the time or the perfect dress pattern—I’m super picky about what style of garments I like and what looks good on my frame.

Simplicity patterns

Simplicity patterns

I found these two patterns online and loved the simple, yet interesting cut of the dress. For the two dresses I wore and modeled at Biltmore I used the Simplicity 8231 pattern by Sew House Seven in the two sleeve options of the knee-length cuts. On the Sew House Seven website, this dress is called the Mississippi Avenue Dress and Top and doesn’t have the cap-sleeve option.

Sew House Seven Simplicity 8231 pattern

Sew House Seven Simplicity 8231 pattern

My first make I went with the sleeveless version in my Flower Keeper - Everlasting rayon for Art Gallery Fabrics. When I designed this print I envisioned it to be made into dresses and I just had to make one for myself! I realize now that the photo of the dress above was taken before I added the shoulder ties to you can look for that fun detail in the following photos.

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Maybe August isn’t the most spectacular month for the gardens at Biltmore but they were no less beautiful. The walled garden was my favorite—I could’ve spent all day there.

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I felt absolutely transported as we visited the garden first thing in the morning and had it practically to ourselves. I tried to imagine how the Vanderbilt family would have relaxed and enjoyed these grounds everyday as a matter of their everyday life.

Walled Garden Biltmore Estates

Walled Garden Biltmore Estates

Here’s just a few photos because I don’t want to ruin your experience if you go and if I shared all my shots this post would never have an end!

Walled Garden Biltmore Estates

Walled Garden Biltmore Estates

Conservatory Biltmore Estates

Conservatory Biltmore Estates

Sew House Seven Simplicity 8231 pattern

Sew House Seven Simplicity 8231 pattern

The cap-sleeve version is made from my Tiny Dancer - Bachelorette Fusion rayon that has a champaign-gold metallic ink on the seed puffs. The smokey teal-green is a great color for any time of the year.

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A rayon dress was so comfy to wear in the North Carolina in August!

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For this make I hacked in side pockets which I absolutely love! My daughter liked this dress so much she requested one just like it and I stitched one for her (with pockets, of course) as soon as we got back home.

Biltmore Estates

Biltmore Estates

So, enough about me in the pictures, whew! I have just a few more photos of the house I’d like to share and then a knit dress make done after our trip that I’ve not had a chance to photograph me wearing yet because I’ve gotten busy painting and using photos from our trip as subjects. I am planning a Part 2 post in a couple weeks to talk about my personal painting challenge and finding inspiration.

Winter Garden inside Biltmore Estates

Winter Garden inside Biltmore Estates

Right off the main foyer of Biltmore is the glass domed conservatory called the Winter Garden and is in my top picks of favorite rooms in the house. But, that list would be a long one because there’s so many beautiful rooms!

Oak Sitting Room at Biltmore Estates

Oak Sitting Room at Biltmore Estates

I believe this is Mrs. Vanderbilts family sitting room. Even though this is a grand home, each room felt intimate and inviting.

Gun Room at Biltmore Estates

Gun Room at Biltmore Estates

Room after room was exquisite and I particularly loved the colors used throughout the house. It is all very much to my tastes, especially when the furnishings were less formal like here in the Gun Room.

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I highly recommend you get the audio tour when you purchase tickets to view the house. It allows you to listen at your own pace as you do a self guided tour of the rooms. There’s an incredible amount to see and learn about the house and family!

Rooftop of Biltmore Estate

Rooftop of Biltmore Estate

As well as the house tour we also took the Rooftop tour. This was an experience and we learned so much about the architecture of Biltmore as well as witnessed amazing scenes like these photos I took from the roof.

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Yup, you bet I petted the gargoyles!

Grounds at Biltmore Estate

Grounds at Biltmore Estate

We had a wonderful trip and when normally it’s hard to get back to reality after an experience like that, I was instead energized and ready to get creative and hit the ground running as soon as we got home.

Simplicity New Look N6626 pattern

Simplicity New Look N6626 pattern

I hadn’t time to finish my knit dress before we left so once back I got right to work making a dress for my daughter from Tiny Dancer rayon and then the New Look 6626 knit dress from Art Gallery Fabrics Cherished Wishes - Everlasting for myself. There’s enough material left over I plan to make my granddaughter a dress too.

I hope you enjoyed this tiny, tiny tour of Biltmore—there’s so much more than what I’ve shown here including the winery, shops, more gardens, and beautiful grounds designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted who also designed a little park called Central Park in NY. I hope I’ve inspired you to do some garment sewing for yourself or skip the garment sewing and maybe some traveling! I’ve been very pleased with these patterns and feel both were great beginner-level dresses that look, feel, and fit great.

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Cutting and Piecing

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Cutting and Piecing

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Welcome back to Week #2 of the Hold Tight Petite sew along. As part of Blair Stocker’s Wise Craft Ruby Ruler™ Ambassador series and being August’s Ruby Ambassador (Read my interview by Blair—here), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for Blair and I to collaborate on a project and explore the world of color through fabrics.

August Ruby Ambassador - Sharon Holland

August Ruby Ambassador - Sharon Holland

Blair’s ruby-hued artist’s viewfinder tools the Ruby Ruler™ and Ruby Minder™ where invaluable tools in last week’s study on Color and Value. I blogged about how, as a designer, I go about selecting colors for my fabric collections or a color story for a quilt and how I used the Ruby Minder™ to check my selections. If you missed the first week, read more here. Plus you’ll find additional color theory materials covered on Week #1 and Week #2 of the original Hold Tight sew along as well as in the skill-building demonstration videos. Find these helpful videos on my Sew Along page which are available for viewing any time.

Ruby Minder™ by Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade

Ruby Minder™ by Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade

For more Color and Value study, Blair has a wonderful online class, Make Modern Scrap Quilts Using Color Value which is an evergreen class—you buy its and it’s yours forever, there are no "sessions". Read more about this class on Wise Craft Handmade.

Plus, for this Hold Tight Petite sew along, Blair Stocker will be following up my Wednesday morning blog posts with a Facebook Live session at 11 am Pacific on Wednesday, August 14 cutting pieces with templates and curved rulers as well as sewing curves. This workshop-like experience with Blair on Facebook is a huge bonus along with connecting with more than 1,500 other quilter’s via Blairs private Facebook group! Blair will host live sessions to support my sew along blog posts and share with you her expertise. Note: Blair’s FB group is free to join by answering three questions when requesting to be added to the group. If you can’t join in the live sessions—no problem—the videos are available for replay and ready to view when you are!

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This sew along is free to join—no sign up forms—just follow along and have fun. You’ll will need, however, the Hold Tight quit pattern. If you don't have my Hold Tight quilt pattern already, you'll want to purchase the Hold Tight PDF pattern from my Shop page. The Hold Tight pattern now includes two sizes—the original over-sized throw and the new petite crib-size quilt. The material lists, cutting requirements, coloring sheet, and full-size templates are part of the fully illustrated PDF pattern. These sew along blog posts serve to supplement the PDF but don't provide the detailed pattern information that you'll find in the PDF available for purchase. If you’ve purchased the original PDF prior to August 5, 2019 and didn’t receive a special newsletter email from this blog sharing the link to the Petite Add-On download, see my SEW ALONG page to get your copy of the bonus size. You’ll find the Add-On download that contains the crib-size material list, cutting guide, and coloring sheet. Note: You’ll still need the original Hold Tight pattern for quilt details. The current PDF in my shop has been updated with both quilt sizes so patterns purchased after August 5, 2019 include both quilt sizes—no add-on necessary.

Week #2 - Cutting and Piecing

Even though I’ve labeled this pattern an intermediate skill level quilt pattern, I firmly believe that even a confident beginner can tackle curved patchwork with ease because you’ve completed the following:

  1. You’ve printed out the PDF instructions and templates to 100% scale (with borders) onto US letter size paper and because you’ve cut your fabrics true to size (see Hold Tight Sew Along Week #2 post).

  2. You’re sewing with an accurate seam allowance. As with any patchwork sewing its imperative to stitch with an accurate 1/4” seam allowance. Take a moment to read the Seam Allowance section on my Perfect Patchwork tutorial.

I’ve prepared bonus video tutorials and you’ll find the Hold Tight Sew Along Week #3 parts 1 and 2 are extremely helpful for pinning, sewing, press, and squaring up your blocks. Find all the Hold Tight Sew Along videos on my Sew Along page.

This week’s blog post is going to be an easy one for me to compose compared to last week’s epic Color and Value post because the information about Cutting and Piecing hasn’t changed from my first sew along. Instead of copying and pasting all that information to this post, I’ll refer you to Week #2 and Week #3 of the first sew along. So, go ahead, take a look at that information and then come back to this post for some additional tips, pretty photos, and information about this week’s giveaway!

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Learning Live

The beauty of an event like this being co-hosted is you get to experience different perspectives, sewing tricks, and in the case of Blair’s Live Facebook sessions, a new way of viewing information. This week, Blair will be cutting and piecing her blocks and carrying on what I started in my video demonstrations. This is your chance to ask Blair questions and maybe gain a few new tricks to sewing with curved patchwork.

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Sew On

As I briefly talked about last week when looking ahead, I’ll be covering Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) as a quilt assembly option in the next post for Week #3. If you’re interested in trying the QAYG finishing method, regardless of what quilt size you’re stitching, resist the urge to start sewing all the blocks together to form the balloon shapes and quilt top. A background square and the A/B block, and B/B/C blocks like you see in the above photo are ALL considered blocks. For this week, concentrate on sewing the blocks and only go so far as to sew the blocks together into horizontal rows. Alternate seam pressing directions on your rows so the rows will nest together when assembling. Example: Even rows press all the seams to the right and odd rows, press all the seams to the left.

Next week on the third and final sew along post I’ll blog about QAYG assembly, hand quilting, and finishing your quilt. If you’re wanting to finish your quilt as a traditional top with batting and backing sandwich to be quilted, you can work ahead. Find tutorials and tips on the Finishing post and videos created during the first sew along. It’s always nice to have options and work at your own pace!

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I’m excited to see what colors Blair selected for her quilt and would love to see your inspiration for your color story, fabric pull, and progress as you sew along. If you’re on Instagram, tag me @sharonhollanddesigns and Blair @blairs use the #holdtightquilt hashtag so we can follow your progress. If you’re sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics be sure to tag #artgalleryfabrics too!

There’s also a wonderful resource of inspiration and a look at all the Hold Tight quilt posted to Instagram if you search the #holdtightquilt and #holdtightsewalong hashtags! If you’re on Pinterest, I have a Hold Tight Sew Along board—you can find and follow me at ShareDesigns (Sharon Holland Designs).

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WEEK #2 GIVEAWAY

Our Art Gallery Fabrics sponsor will be giving away an amazing prize of a quilt kit! The kit will include: The Hold Tight PDF pattern (which can be substituted with a different pattern in my SHOP if you already have purchased), fabric to make a Hold Tight Petite quilt top just like the one I created for this sew along, binding, and your choice of any AGF print for the backing!

Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids

Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids

This giveaway and the giveaway rules and details will be announced on Instagram Thursday morning around 9 am eastern. The giveaway will be held on my Instagram account @sharonhollanddesigns and you’ll be prompted for how to enter on that post. Be sure you’re following myself and Blair @blairs and Art Gallery Fabrics @artgalleryfabrics so you don’t miss a thing!

Happy sewing,

Sharon

Everlasting Blog Tour - Week 3 Recap + Giveaway

Everlasting Blog Tour - Week 3 Recap + Giveaway

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I wish this blog tour was really everlasting because I’ve loved seeing all the magnificent sewing projects by the blog tour makers! Hasn’t it been incredible!!???!!!

Art Gallery Fabrics released my Everlasting fabric in May and the classic palette of navy, red, turquoise, and blush has stolen my heart in this collection created about love, marriage, and family.

I invited the industries finest to make beautiful things with Everlasting fabrics and blog about their projects. The results have been astonishing and over the past three weeks each day has felt like Christmas morning. I want to give a huge round of applause and my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the following fabulous ladies:

EVERLASTING BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Friday, July 12 - Sharon Holland

Monday, July 15 - Marija Vujcic

Tuesday, July 16 - Carolina Moore

Wednesday, July 17 - Dana Willard

Thursday, July 18 - Lisa Ruble

Friday, July 19 - Dritz Sewing

Monday, July 22 - Eleri Kerian

Tuesday, July 23 - Marisa Wilhelmi

Wednesday, July 24 - Sharon McConnell

Thursday, July 25 - Modernly Morgan

Friday, July 26 - Alexis Wright

Monday, July 29 - Priscilla Geissler

Tuesday, July 30 - Maureen Cracknell

Wednesday, July 31 - Elina Temmes

Take a look at the Everlasting Blog Tour Week 1 Recap, here and the Everlasting Blog Tour Week 2 Recap, here. To find this collection online, find shop stock lists on my FABRICS page.

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Week 3 Recap

Day 11 began our week with Priscilla Geissler of Cotton Stitch Collective. Priscilla doesn’t have a blog but can be found on Instagram and on Etsy. Her ability to transform fabric into useful and beautiful objects is a true talent. I’m still swooning over her Melinda Handbag she made in the Everlasting Bouquet Muse print and cork. The bag pattern is by Sotak Handmade and with left over fabric, Priscilla made a Slimline Wallet by @cpeicheff. Priscillas craft(woman)ship is outstanding—find out more about her work on Instagram and Etsy!

Everlasting projects by Cotton Stitch Collective

Everlasting projects by Cotton Stitch Collective

Day 12 belonged to my good friend and Art Gallery Fabrics designer-sister, Maureen Cracknell. You know how much I love Maureen and adore her Quilt As You Go, scrappy style of patchwork. Maureen has an amazing eye for mixing prints and getting the perfect boho-chic look. Maureen used all the prints from my Everlasting collection and lined the bag with AGF canvas from her Sun Kissed collection—I love how our collections play so nicely together!

Everlasting Project by Maureen Cracknell

Everlasting Project by Maureen Cracknell

Day 13 and the final day of the Everlasting Blog Tour stopped at Elina Temmes from Finland. Elina can be found on Instagram and she’s a prolific and masterful sewist. When I say prolific, I mean it! Elina made three quilts (all hand quilted) and three pillows for this tour and each one of them are a masterpiece. My four-image recap collage could not possibly show you all the incredible photos of her projects so go to her IG account and see everything for yourself—you’ll be blown away!!!

Everlasting projects by Elina Temmes

Everlasting projects by Elina Temmes

Have you been inspired to sew with Everlasting fabrics? —I sure have been!! Between this stunning display of creative projects from the blog tour and the Art Gallery Fabrics Everlasting Look Book you could be sewing with Everlasting fabrics for years just to make everything found in these resources!

Now it’s your turn to make something with my Art Gallery Fabrics Everlasting prints and when you do, be sure to tag me @sharonhollanddesigns on Instagram and use the hashtag #agfeverlasting —so I don’t miss your post.

Week 3 Giveaway

This week’s giveaway and final prize for following along on the tour is a chance to win a 10-piece fat quarter bundle of Everlasting prints from our sponsor the Fat Quarter Shop!

Everlasting fabrics photo courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop

Everlasting fabrics photo courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY SPONSOR IS: THE FAT QUARTER SHOP

The Fat Quarter Shop was founded in 2003 by Kimberly Jolly. An avid quilter, Kimberly began her shop as a side business while still working a corporate position, cutting, packing and shipping right out of her house during evenings and weekends. From the very beginning, she was committed to delivering top-notch service for every single order and customer. As the Fat Quarter Shop's reputation grew, Kimberly decided to make it a full-time operation. Her husband Kevin joined her not long after, and with his help, lots of hard work, and a tireless commitment, the store began to grow. Over the past few years a few more people have joined the staff! As a team, they continue to branch out with the best fabrics, exclusive kits, quilt clubs, BOMs, and more. And they will always be driven by the passion that Kimberly founded the store upon, which is always giving you the best products and service!

SHOP  *  PINTEREST  *  TWITTER  *  BLOG  *  FACEBOOK  *  YOUTUBE 

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Giveaway now closed. Congratulations to Sarah Suter!

* 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 Fat Quarter Shop on at least one of their social 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 via subscribing to my posts, through Bloglovin (or other service), or on Instagram, just let me know by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment - third entry). Note: I'm no longer on Facebook.

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 Everlasting Blog Tour on YOUR instagram, facebook, tweet, pin, blog post, etc... (separate comment - fourth entry). 

That’s four possible entries! Enter now through Monday, August 5. The winner will be picked at random around 4 pm Eastern. I’ll post the name of the winner on this blog post once they've been notified and responded to my email.

Don’t forget you have a second chance to win this same prize by reposting any of the the Everlasting Blog Tour makers projects on Instagram. Simply tag the project’s maker with their IG account, #ArtGalleryFabrics, and use the #EverlastingBlogTour hashtag on a public Instagram account and you’ll automatically be entered into the IG giveaway drawing for this tour! Enter as many times as you’d like by reposting blog tour images—just be sure to give tour makers proper credit and tag them in your repost.

Happy sewing,

Sharon

Everlasting Look Book - Part 1

Everlasting Look Book - Part 1

The second most exciting thing to having a new fabric collection is to have Art Gallery Fabrics publish the Look Book for the collection!

Over the lasts several weeks I’ve been busy sewing projects with my new collection and photographing them in preparations for the Look Book. In this Part 1 blog post I’ll give you a more personal tour of the quilt and pillow projects I made plus the beautiful Hourglass Quilted pillows Maureen Cracknell of Maureen Cracknell Handmade stitched for this virtual magazine. Next week, in Part 2, I’ll show more of the other pretty (non-quilt) projects I made—there’s just too much for one blog post!

Quilts and Pillows

Lily Pond Quilt

Lily Pond quilt designed by Sharon Holland. Made and photographed by Art Gallery Fabrics.

Lily Pond quilt designed by Sharon Holland. Made and photographed by Art Gallery Fabrics.

Every Art Gallery Fabric collection has with it a FREE quilt pattern. The Lily Pond quilt made with Everlasting prints and AGF Pure Solids is a remake of a quilt I designed a couple years ago for International Quilt Festival magazine 2017, using Maureen Cracknell’s Soulful fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics.

It’s amazing how fabric placement can change up the entire look of the new Lily Pond quilt (above) compared to the same design of the Celestial quilt (below).

Celestial Quilt design and made by Sharon Holland with Soulful fabrics by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics

Celestial Quilt design and made by Sharon Holland with Soulful fabrics by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics

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Hourglass Quilted Pillows

Hourglass Quilted Pillows by Maureen Cracknell

Hourglass Quilted Pillows by Maureen Cracknell

How perfect would these Hourglass Quilted pillows by Maureen Cracknell look with the Lily Pond quilt or the Infinity Loop quilt below!?!? Maureen has a free tutorial on her blog for how to make these beautiful pillows.

Over Memorial Day weekend Maureen’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were hacked and then deleted by the hacker. This malicious act has been devastating and erased years of Maureen’s photo memories and work achievements. I know many of you follow both Maureen and I and if you’d like to continue receiving her beautiful daily dose of sewing inspiration on Instagram please follower her on her new account @maureencracknellhandmade. She’s no longer on Facebook and may not reopen an account there. Read more about what happened to her social accounts on her pillow tutorial post.

Infinity Loop Quilt

Infinity Loop Quilt designed, made, and photographed by Sharon Holland

Infinity Loop Quilt designed, made, and photographed by Sharon Holland

I’ve been waiting since my first Art Gallery Fabrics collection, Gossamer to remake my Infinity Loop quilt and Everlasting was the perfect collection to use!

The Everlasting Infinity Loop quilt is filled with Hobb’s Poly-Down Batting. It’s a slightly different loft than the Hobb’s Tuscany Polyester batting I also love but equally as soft and drapey. I love that you can leave wider spacing between quilting stitches too and chose to quilt a HUGE floral motif on the loop rows and spaces between the loops.

Infinity Loop Quilt designed, made, and photographed by Sharon Holland

Infinity Loop Quilt designed, made, and photographed by Sharon Holland

This intermediate to advanced level quilt pattern uses both foundation paper-piecing and traditional (curved) patchwork piecing. It’s well suited for a scrap quilt and I didn’t even preplan fabric placements—just sewed and put it together with very little fussing. The Everlasting collection has a well balanced mix of light, medium, and dark prints as well as a variety of print scales that gives a scrap quilt a flawless scrap look without being super match-matchy! Find this PDF pattern on my SHOP page.

Diamond-Cut Quilt

Diamond-Cut Quilt designed, made, and photographed by Sharon Holland

Diamond-Cut Quilt designed, made, and photographed by Sharon Holland

For the Everlasting Look Book I designed a new quilt pattern called Diamond-Cut for the SHOP. I’m so in love with this quilt and purposely made it very scrappy. Large Nine-Patch diamonds show off the prints and float in a background of the new Blossomed Pure Solids from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Diamond-Cut Quilt designed, made, and photographed by Sharon Holland

Diamond-Cut Quilt designed, made, and photographed by Sharon Holland

This is a full-size bed quilt that has a modern-vintage style and ease to it. I also used Hobb’s Poly-Down batting inside and chose a simple and quick vertical stitching to create puffy channels. I think it gives the quilt an elder-down cozy look to it. Needless to say, this is now the guest room quilt!

Reversible Pillow Cases

Reversible Pillow Case tutorial by Tidbits made by Sharon Holland

Reversible Pillow Case tutorial by Tidbits made by Sharon Holland

As I was styling the bed and Diamond-Cut quilt for photography I realized that if I made pillow cases it would not only save me from buying something new but also be an opportunity to show off more of my pretty Art Gallery Fabrics!

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I found a great tutorial for these Reversible Pillows on the Tidbits website. I even had just enough of some beautiful trim I bought a few years ago at Quilt Market to finish the edge of these three cases. It was so handy to have reversible cases and three turned into six with a quick wardrobe change.

Everlasting by Sharon Holland

Everlasting by Sharon Holland

These projects in this post are by no means the end to the quilts and pillow projects you’ll find in the Everlasting Look Book, these were just mine and Maureen’s contributions. Next week I’ll blog about the other projects I made that were a fun and delightful change from quilt making. It’s always good for the mind to mix things up a bit and I learned some new sewing tricks!

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Visit the AGF Creative Blog for additional Everlasting inspiration AND a chance to win a bundle of Everlasting fabrics! Hurry, the giveaway ends June 4, 2019.