That Handmade Touch Book Hop

That Handmade Touch Book Hop

That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

I’ve been following the work of Svetlana Sotak for years now and am in love with her clean, practical, handmade aesthetic. When I heard she had a new book out I was excited to get my hands on a copy and be part of her book blog hop! Follow along on the hop via her Instagram feed at: @sotakhandmade

Soft Storage Bucket from That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

Soft Storage Bucket from That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

The book is called That Handmade Touch and is a Lucky Spool publication. It was so hard to pick just one project to make because honestly, I want to sew everything in this book but I needed to leave projects for the other blog hop makers to sew so I decided to sew the Soft Storage Bucket because:

  1. It’s so darn cool

  2. I can always use more pretty storage baskets

  3. I’ve always wanted to work with leather handles and try adding rivets

That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

Never having added rivets to a project before was the only part of this project that made me nervous. Sewing up the bag was a snap and the instructions and illustrations were easy to follow. I think it took all of a half hour to make the bag and another 4 days to get the nerve to add the rivets!

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Turns out, it was really no big deal to use the pre-cut leather and rivets—look for the affiliate product links at end of post. For the fabrics, I used the Sand Bar canvas from my Art Gallery Fabrics Coastline collection on the exterior of the bag and AGF Crosshatched Textured Denim for the lining.

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This bag is just the perfect size and there’s so many uses for a bucket bag like this; toys, throw blankets, craft supplies, shopping, and the list goes on. I also like the fun option of rolling the top edge down to reveal the interior print or having it up for a taller bucket bag or easy-carry tote.

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Don’t you just love the antique gold rivets with the leather!!!??? The leather adds the perfect accent for the coastal-look of this bag. I plan to make more of these to use as gifts for the upcoming holiday season—their roomy enough to fill with fun items and useful beyond just being the wrapping.

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.

Everlasting Blog Tour

Everlasting Blog Tour

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I’m so excited for next week when the Everlasting Blog Tour officially begins! Thirteen incredible designers and sewists from around the globe have been busy stitching behind the scenes to make this upcoming blog tour truly remarkable.

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This May saw the release of Everlasting, my seventh fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics. Romantic, summer-inspired prints make sewing easy with a classic palette of navy, red, turquoise, and blush. Everlasting has been a huge success and is available in shops everywhere. See FABRICS page for stock listings of online shops.

I knew right away I wanted this collection to have a blog tour and coordinated a list of wonderfully talented makers to share their love of stitching with all of us. Here in the States we’re enjoying summer and I know I’d love these long, lazy days to never end. So, to keep those summer vibes going, over the next three weeks you’ll find inspired sewing posts, exciting makers to follow, beautiful projects, and of course, weekly giveaways all focused around my Everlasting fabric collection—you won’t want to miss a day!

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

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My Blog Tour Makes

You know I couldn’t host a blog tour without contributing so this pre-blog tour post is also my opportunity to share my new Everlasting makes with you.

I was originally planning on making a new free quilt pattern for the tour but decided instead to make hand quilted pillows. I’ve been wanting to make a Pineapple block for ages and pillows seemed the perfect application! Also, these pillows are going to be gifted to a friend and it’s a win-win when I can make a project, blog about it, and use the finished piece as a gift!

Everlasting Pineapple pillows by Sharon Holland

Everlasting Pineapple pillows by Sharon Holland

It was very tempting to use more than just one print from this collection but I wanted to keep these pillows very classic and slightly rustic. Red and white, or in this case natural with Art Gallery Fabrics Linen and the bold red Flutter Buds cotton print. Besides, you’ll see the rest of the prints in action during the tour from the other makers!

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To get perfect Pineapple blocks I used the Bloc_Loc Pineapple Ruler and it was so easy! Simply cut strips to a desired width depending upon your ruler size. I have the 3/4’’ - 1-1/2’’-size ruler and cut according to the 1-1/2’’ size to make a 21’’ square for my pillow top. Bloc_Loc has a helpful video, cutting charts, and printable instructions.

Once the piecing was done and my block measured 21’’ (unfinished) I basted a 23’’ square of Hobb’s Tuscany Silk batting scrap to the wrong side of the blocks. I didn’t use any backing because it is intended for a pillow and not having the backing reduced the bulk for hand quilting.

I hand quilted with DMC #8 Perle Cotton thread in ecru for a more traditional look. Once both blocks were quilted I used my Hidden Zipper tutorial to add Dritz Sewing brass zippers, giving a professional finish to my pillow covers. The finished size of my pillows is 20’’ square.

24’’ Brass Upholstery Zipper by Dritz Home

24’’ Brass Upholstery Zipper by Dritz Home

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With the insertion of feather pillow inserts these pillows have a high-end designer quality to them and I cannot wait till I can give them to my friend—she’s going to love them! She loves red, too!

Everlasting Pineapple Pillows by Sharon Holland

Everlasting Pineapple Pillows by Sharon Holland

My next make to share was created because I love easy-to-wear summer dresses and had the strong desire to stitch something for myself. My daughter and I wear basically the same size and have similar tastes in clothing. In fact, our tastes are so similar that we bought the same dress, in the same print, on the same day, and we live a state away from each other. We both liked how it fit us so I had the big idea to use it as a template and try to make a knit dress with it.

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Now, I don’t want to take any business away from pattern companies or Indie pattern designers. This project may actually do more to encourage you to BUY a pattern rather than make your own hack like I did because after finishing the first one I really want to make more adjustments to my pattern and try it all again. Never the less, I will quickly go over my not-so-skilled hack and let you be the judge.

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  1. I used the grid side of a roll of gift wrap as my template paper because it was wide enough to accommodate the store-bought dress (once I get my final templates I’ll transfer it to freezer paper, so it’s sturdier). With the dress inside out, I taped it down to the paper with washi tape, trying not to stretch it out of shape.

  2. I drew the shape of the dress, adding a 1/2’’ seam allowance and marking the back and front necklines. I cut out the shape using the taller back neckline and then folded the cut out in half. Once folded I could do more cutting to mirror image the sides. After cutting the mirrored shape down the center (where it will be placed on the fold of the fabric) I went ahead and designated one side as the back (higher neckline) and the other I cut a lower neckline for the front of the dress. From paper scraps I cut out the pocket shape. For a great tutorial on sewing pockets into a garment visit Dana Willard’s Made Everyday You Tube channel.

  3. Finally I took a piece of rope and roughly measured around the neck and arm openings to determine the length of binding needed to finish the garment openings. Use a straight ruler to determine the amount determined with the rope and add 1’’ to that total for seam allowance. Since I’m sewing with knit fabric I simply cut my binding on the straight of grain from selvage to selvage. I cut 1-3/4’’ wide strips.

Everlasting Flutter Buds knit by Sharon Holland

Everlasting Flutter Buds knit by Sharon Holland

Overall it wasn’t a bad first attempt and some very minor tweaks may yield just the perfect fit.

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I do love this Flutter Buds print in blue knit and so does my daughter so we’ll both have one to wear this summer. I also want to make myself one in the red Cherished Wishes knit print. There’s enough unused fabric from my dress attempt that my granddaughter will be getting a summer dress(s) to match!

Everlasting by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics

Everlasting by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics

The extremely talented Marija Vujcic will be leading off the Everlasting Blog Tour on Monday, July 15th. Be sure to stop by each of the makers blogs to get the full story about their Everlasting makes and get to know these incredible women even more.

Blog Tour Giveaways!

I know you follow me on Instagram and I’ll be posting daily to keep you in the know about the tour. Each weekend I’ll have a weekly recap here on the blog and announce the special giveaway that week from one of our sponsors! Dritz Sewing, Bloc_Loc Rulers, and Fat Quarter Shop have generously offered fabulous prizes to be given away during the tour.

You’ll have two chances to win each week!

  1. One chance is here on the blog by leaving comments on the weekly recap posts (see details coming next weekend).

  2. The second chance is on Instagram. Starting today (Friday, July 12) if you repost any of the tour makers projects (including mine or any of the tour graphics) posted during the Everlasting Blog Tour, 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 all the IG giveaway drawings 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.

More details about giveaways, how to enter, and giveaway drawings will be announced at time of giveaways.

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).

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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!