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!


Table Scraps

Table Scraps

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Okay, that blog post title was funny, wasn't it!!?? What did you think I was going to blog about, composting? No, silly, this post is about using up those left over fabric strips to make something beautiful for your table!

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I definitely have a thing for quilted table runners--they're just fun and fast to make, plus quick for changing up the look of your table for the different seasons. 

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This is my second time making my Stacked Strips Table Runner. See the original tutorial with instructions, HERE. I stitched this one exactly the same as the first, with 2"-wide strips but the finished size of this second runner is larger and finishes out at 18" x 84". The beauty of this pattern is you can easily customize the size to fit your table. 

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The fabrics used in this runner are all Art Gallery Fabrics and include prints from all six of my fabric lines. Here's the list: Pure Elements solids, AGF linen, Gossamer, Sketchbook, Coastline, Tapestry, Bountiful, Signature, and Ink Outburst from Woodland Fusions.

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The other variation I made from my original pattern was to utilize Quilt As You Go (QAYG) when sewing the strips together. By doing this, not only was I assembling the runner top, but I was quilting the runner as I sewed the strips!

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Using QAYG for a table runner is a great way to try this method on a small project. I used my favorite Tuscany Silk Blend batting and AGF linen for the backing to give the runner a nice weight and feel. To learn how to sew the QAYG method for quilts and other projects check out my dear friend and sister AGF designer Maureen Cracknell's QAYG Craftsy class

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This was really fun to make and since I had some strips left at the end, I decided to make some matching coasters!

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My coasters finish at 4-1/2" round and I trimmed the strips to 1-1/2" wide to start with so the scale would be better proportioned. You could even start with 1" wide strips if you wanted even more fabrics in the coaster.

I used the same strip assembly method of sewing strips short ends together before trimming to the desired size and sewing together QAYG-style to a batting and backing foundation.

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After I had the strips sewn into a large enough piece to cut out 5" circles from, I placed another piece of linen, right sides together with the QAYG piece and marked out circles with the bottom of a tin that was the right size. 

I sewed a 1/4" inside the drawn line, back stitching at beginning and end, and leaving and opening for turning. 

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Cut out on the drawn line. Clip curves and turn right side out through the opening. Turn opening under 1/4" and press. Blind stitch opening closed by hand. 

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I did not do any additional quilting or stitching to my coasters once turned. This method has four layers: patchwork top, batting, and two layers of linen. 

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I think next time I try this I will make some placemats. It's really very addictive and I'm sure we all have a bunch of left over fabric scraps begging to be turned into something useful and beautiful!

Signature Bedroom

Signature Bedroom

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Today I'll be taking a closer look at the Signature fabrics Soho bedroom I put together for a photo shoot to show off my new Signature fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. This room was another mock-room setting I put together in my studio and I had so much fun sewing and decorating for this scene. See the Signature Baby Room posts Part 1 and Part 2.

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For this mock-room to make sense, it had to tell a story. I wanted something fun and flirty, just like the fabric collection so I came up with the idea to create a Soho loft bedroom from a 20-something girl who loves sewing, flowers, vintage finds, and a little bit of bling. 

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I didn't want a fussy bed frame so I put the mattress and box spring directly onto the rug-layered floor and stood two same-size, narrow boxes on end. You can't see the boxes because they're covered with a wood boards that made a temporary bench of sorts that I could use as my headboard/shelf. This created the perfect look for my bed and kept everything low and modern. 

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The quilt on the bed is called Tracery Rose and is an adaptation of the Tracery quilt pattern from my Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book (Landauer 2017). I wanted layers of fabrics with texture and vintage charm as well as doable DIY projects that my creative girl would want to make for her room. 

Find a tutorial for the fun Fabric Fringe Wallhanging on one of my earlier posts as well as instructions for the Improv Boho Pillow tutorial. These are both great projects to get the kids involved in sewing something for their room.

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Crafty touches include vintage pompoms, my grandmother's Singer sewing machine on the desk, knitting yarn in the Bucket Bag tote (another free pattern on this site), Art Roll Up caddy for knitting needles or other art supplies (see Free Patterns page), thrifting treasures of vintage jewelry and furniture, and of course florals to bring the garden inside.

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Pile on the layers and let the photo tell a story! I can just image my younger self busy working on crafts in my room and rearranging and decorating my space with pretty things.

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This photo of the basket with yarn and fabric is one of my favorite shots because of all the yummy textures, layers, and colors. I had the last minute idea to throw a piece of faux fur on the chair seat and that added a bit of glam to the look plus more texture and interest!

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This petite desk's was something I picked up at a garage sale almost 20 years ago! I painted it gold after I bought it and it's normal spot is as a nightstand by my bed. Because I wanted to bring in different metal elements into my Soho bedroom like gold, copper, and silver I thought it would make the cutest sewing table for this scene. The sewing machine was my grandmother's and it still works like a dream. I have it as a backup machine and don't sew with it much but it's comforting to know it's here with me when I need it. 

The chair is another garage sale find and it has a big hole in the caned seat. I've hidden the hole with a piece of faux fur to repeat the look on the other side of the room. 

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Although I am obsessed with so many of my sewing makes for the two mock-up rooms, the project that's gotten the most wear is my Signature Extempore Rayon kimono. This garment was an easy make for a non-garment sewer like me and AGF rayon is the perfect fabric for a flowie cover up like this. I used Simplicity pattern 1108 and chose the cropped cut because I'm only 5'2'' and it's a good proportion for my frame. 

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I hope you enjoyed this look into some of the photos that went into the Signature Look Book and my styled photo shoot. Are you getting lots of inspiration? What would you sew with these prints--quilts, clothes, or something else?