Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Finishing

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Finishing

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along W3.jpg

It’s the final week of the Hold Tight Petite Sew Along and today’s post will cover assembling the blocks in a Quilt As You Go (QAYG) quilt sandwich or assembling the top and making a traditional quilt sandwich, quilting, hand quilting and binding.

As Blair Stocker’s Wise Craft Ruby Ruler™ Ambassador series August Ruby Ambassador (Read my interview by Blair—here) I thought what better way than collaborate with Blair on the Petite Sew Along and use her rulers to help navigate color and value in a fun quilt project.

Here’s what we’ve accomplished in three weeks:

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Blair’s ruby-hued artist’s viewfinder tools the Ruby Ruler™ and Ruby Minder™ where invaluable tools in the first 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 of Art Gallery Fabric Pure Solids. 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.

To catch up on what happened during week 2, read my Cutting & Piecing blog post here. Use templates to cut out shapes and sew curves with ease. Find out how with my videos for Week #2, #3 Part 1, and #3 Part 2 on the Sew Along page.

During the Hold Tight Petite sew along, Blair Stocker will be following up my Wednesday morning blog posts with a Facebook Live session. 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!

Hold Tight Petite quilt by Sharon Holland

Hold Tight Petite quilt by Sharon Holland

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 #3 - QAYG and Finishing

I like options, don’t you? I also like to be able to quilt my own quilts. The original large throw-size Hold Tight quilt and the new Petite crib-size quilts are both nice size quilts for trying machine quilting on your sewing machine as well as adding some decorative hand quilting for the balloon strings.

Hold Tight quilt throw-size by Sharon Holland

Hold Tight quilt throw-size by Sharon Holland

For tips on how to machine quilt a traditional quilt sandwich (quilt top, batting, and backing sandwich), like the quilts from my first Sew Along (above), see Hold Tight Sew Along Week #4 blog post.

For those wanting to try Quilt As You Go (QAYG) keep reading as I walk you through how I finished my Petite Hold Tight quilt.

QAYG

Hold Tight Petite by Sharon Holland

Hold Tight Petite by Sharon Holland

My QAYG finishing method is a hybrid of QAYG and traditional quilting to secure block rows to a batting and backing sandwich. Once the horizontal rows have been stitched down to the batting/backing in a QAYG row assembly, the finishing of the quilt is more traditional with the addition of machine or hand stitching.

The quilting on my Petite crib quilt is minimal. The quilting stitches are about 4’’ apart and I could get away with this because I used Hobbs Tuscany Premium Polyester Batting for my batting. The beautiful loft of Hobbs Tuscany Polyester adds to the puffy balloon look and makes for a snuggly-warm quilt and doesn’t shrink.

Securing Horizontal Rows in QAYG

Once all the block are made and squared up see Week 2, sew the blocks into horizontal rows. This is the same for either size quilt.

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Cut and piece backing according to the pattern directions and for the size quilt you’ve selected. I selected Paper Flowers Aurora from my Tapestry collection for Art Gallery Fabrics as the print for my backing. Cut batting to size indicated on pattern. Hand or spray baste batting to backing to prepare for QAYG assembly. See Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt Finishing post for spray basting batting to backing.

Hold Tight Petite QAYG-01.jpg

Just as if you were assembling a quilt top, place the first two rows to be stitched right sides together, seams nested and edges matched. Pin at seams.

You can start from the bottom and working your way up, like I did (see above illustration) or begin from the top of the quilt and work down—the results will be the same. Center the pinned rows onto the batting/backing near the bottom if working up or at the top if working down. Pin row assembly to backing/batting. Stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance through all layers, removing pins as you sew.

Hold Tight QAYG 4.jpg

Carefully press the top row open and pin the flipped row down to hold flat. I like to roll the quilt batting/backing for easier handling.

Hold Tight Petite QAYG Assembly

Hold Tight Petite QAYG Assembly

Continue adding additional rows in the same manner. Press rows open as you go and continually check that the quilt top is flat and the backing is smooth with each row addition. Remove basting stitches if you hand basted the batting/backing layers.

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After all the horizontal rows have been added, machine or hand baste around the outside edge of the quilt with an 1/8’’ seam allowance to secure the outside block edges. Note: Leave the excess batting/backing until all the quilting is finished.

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At this point you have the top secured to the batting and backing but will need to add more quilting. You’ve basically better-than-basted your top to the batting and backing. Quilt as desired or you can go minimal like I did and machine or hand quilt in the ditch along the vertical seams. I hand quilted my vertical seams with 40 wt. cotton thread so it wouldn’t be very noticeable. You can just see some stitches if you look at the orange balloon in the above photo. You’ve now secured all the blocks down in a grid.

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For the rest of the quilt I selected four DMC Perle cotton threads and hand stitched 1/4’’ from the seam lines to echo the balloon shapes. I love how Blair’s Ruby Minder™ ruler also doubles as a thread minder!

To determine where my balloon strings should go and to avoid having to put marks on my quilt to get the straight guide lines, I used tape to mask out my lines. Watch how to hand quilt using floss and how to use tape as a guide, here.

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Once all the quilting is completed, add binding according to the pattern’s instructions. Trim batting and backing to edge of binding. Turn binding to the back of the quilt and hand or machine stitch to finish.

Hold Tight Petite by Sharon Holland

Hold Tight Petite by Sharon Holland

I hope you’ve enjoyed this petite quilt along and a further chance to play with with fun pattern, learn more about working with color and value, and sewing with curves. The Hold Tight Petite quilt is the perfect crib-size quilt and I love the puffy batting for it’s warmth and drape. My grandson needs a second quilt that he can drag around and snuggle with and he’ll be getting this one when I see him next month.

I’m excited to see Blair’s finished quilt and would love to see yours too! If you’re on Instagram, tag me @sharonhollanddesigns and Blair @blairs use the #holdtightquilt or #holdtightsewalong hashtag so we can follow your progress. If you’re sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics be sure to tag #artgalleryfabrics too! Don’t forget that you can join Blair’s Facebook group and meet others working on this quilt along with value and color insights from Blair’s expert knowledge of the subject.

Thanks for sewing with us!

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Cutting and Piecing

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Cutting and Piecing

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along W2.jpg

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!

Hold Tight Petite Cutting and Piecing.jpg

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!

Hold Tight horizontal rows-02.jpg

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

Hold Tight Sew Along Week #2

Hold Tight Sew Along Week #2

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Welcome to Week #2 of the Hold Tight Sew Along! For this blog post, and the following two posts, I'll be share tips and tutorials to bring your quilting skills to a new level. No longer will curved piecing hold you back from stitching a quilt with curves! 

If you don't have the pattern already, you'll want to purchase the Hold Tight PDF pattern from my Shop page or from our friends at Fat Quarter Shop who now carries this pattern as well as Hold Tight quilt kits. These blog posts serve to supplement the instructions but don't provide the detailed pattern information that you'll find in the PDF available for purchase. The Hold Tight pattern will have your material list, cutting requirements, full-size templates, and be fully illustrated. My supplementary blog posts are just that, supplementary and meant to guide you along as you sew and give general patchwork sewing information for anyone sewing curves.

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From March 20 until April 10, 2019 I'll be breaking down the key components of the Hold Tight baby quilt pattern into four manageable tutorial blog posts. These tutorials will be useful to anyone working with fabric and patchwork regardless what quilt is being made. In addition to my written posts, I’ve adding skill-building demonstration videos to further your learning experience. The videos support Weeks #1 through #3 and you’ll find these helpful videos on my Sew Along page. All the videos will be available on Week #1 of the sew along for those wanting to work ahead and will stay a permanent feature to resource in the future.

If you’ve just discovered this blog or only just heard about this sew along, there’s still plenty of time to join in on the fun and take part in the sponsored giveaway prizes for each week of the event. To get up to speed, take a look at the Week #1 posting dedicated to color selection and working with colors like a designer.

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I’ve just finished a top for my third Hold Tight quilt! To give myself a color palette challenge I decided to find a color palette inspiration from Pinterest and let that determine the look of this quilt.

Colour Crush from Love Print Studio Blog

Colour Crush from Love Print Studio Blog

I fell in love with this terra cotta, coral, clay, forest green, and golden palette and knew that Art Gallery Fabrics carried so many Pure Solids in these ranges that coming up with a palette based on this Love Print Studio mood board would be a snap!

Hold Tight - Ombré Desert Color Way.jpg

The morning of my fabric pull I was walking the dog and marveling at the blue sky when it dawned on me that an ombré background would be an awesome addition to this already earthy, southwestern-looking color palette—was I right???!!! My top is all pieced and am waiting for some Hobbs Poly-Down batting to arrive so I can quilt it. I’ve decide to use my Art Gallery Fabrics Destination Aerial print from my Tapestry collection as the backing and it could be any more perfect!

Hold Tight - Ombré Desert Color Way List.jpg

As promised, I want to share the fabric selection information with you. Now, be warned that doing an ombré background you’ll need to double the amount of background fabric for this quilt because of the size and odd shapes of the pieces create a lot of waste and left over fabrics. I used six gradient fabrics for horizontal rows of color with the two middle blues being used in two horizontal rows. Altogether you’ll need 25 colors (or 27 if each background row is a different gradient) to make a Hold Tight quilt with an ombré background. The rest of the yardage is unchanged.

Cutting Templates and Fabrics

The Hold Tight PDF pattern comes with the full-size templates which already include the seam allowances. Be sure when printing out your PDF pattern that you set you printer to 100%, no scale. Select a US letter paper size and deselect any borderless option (no borderless). Each template page has a 1” square reference square to check for printing scale accuracy. It’s extremely important you print the templates to true size.

Hold Tight Templates 1.jpg

With a permanent marking tool, trace the shapes onto heavy template plastic. I highly recommend Dritz Heavy Duty Template Plastic. Transfer shape letter information, grain line arrow. When tracing the Block Trimming Template, include the seam allowance and curves onto your template. Cut templates out with household scissors. Learn more about creating templates from the Hold Tight Sew Along Week #2 video found on my Sew Along page.

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Refer to the PDF pattern for strip cutting information and number of pieces to cut. Let template straight edges and grain line marks help you to align the templates onto the fabrics for cutting. A 28 mm rotary cutter is highly suggested for cutting around curves. Use the extra guides of rotary cutter rulers when working on straight edges.

Tip: To help hold the template in place while cutting, roll Washi tape onto itself to make double-sided tape. Adhere the rolled tape onto the back of a template shape in 2-4 places. Fabric can be rotated for cutting ease without disturbing the template position and the taped template can be reused several times before the tape looses it stickiness.

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When cutting the B shape pieces, utilize the straight edge of the strip to cut the first shape then rotate the template to make the second cut which leaves an oval shaped scrap. For more demonstrations on cutting see Week #2 video.

Unfortunately, curved patchwork comes with waste pieces. If you plan to do additional curved sewing like trying your had at my free Orange Peel Table Runner these waste pieces can be cut down into smaller sizes and used. Start a bin of castoff curves for that next project.

Hold Tight Template Cutting 2.jpg

Stitching, pressing, and squaring up of a finished block will be covered next week and also in Week #3 Sew Along video Part 1 and 2 but I put this image here to show the importance that the template markings play in creating the Block Trimming Template.

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A sew along’s a lot more fun with sponsors and giveaways, right!? Our friends at Dritz Sewing, the Fat Quarter Shop, Hobbs Batting, and Omnigrid have generously provided the Hold Tight Sew Along with products I know you’ll love! Every Friday I’ll be posting weekly a giveaway on Instagram. By using the hashtag #HoldTightSewAlong on Instagram every time you post sew along photos to a public account (private account posts don’t show up in hashtag pools) your IG account is automatically entered into the weekly sew along drawings! Ideas for what to share include your sew along progress, the “I’m a maker” sew along badge found HERE, your fabric pull, blocks, and finished quilt. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @sharonhollanddesigns so you never miss a thing!

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY SPONSOR IS from DRITZ Sewing and Omnigrid

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If you’re wondering why I selected Dritz Shower Curtain Rings to be part of this giveaway package it’s because I love using everyday object in new ways and find this size shower ring to be so handy for keeping template pieces together, organizing swatch cards, note cards, bobbins, keys, etc. Anytime you can organize your work area is a good day, right?

Please note that this giveaway package is for US residence only (sorry, international friends, due to overseas shipping costs I’m asked by our sponsor to keep this giveaway US only.)

Don't forget the giveaways for this sew along are held on Instagram (not on the blog) and winning names are randomly drawn from the posts in the hashtag pool. By posting images of your Hold Tight color inspiration, fabric pull, blocks, or quilt. Use the official #holdtightsewalong hashtag every time you post your makes (to a public account) and you're automatically entered into the weekly IG drawings! See my Instagram Friday giveaway posts @sharonhollanddesigns for full details. 

Hold Tight Sew Along Week #1

Hold Tight Sew Along Week #1

Pure Solids Selection.jpg

Welcome to Week #1 of the Hold Tight Sew Along! For this blog post, and the following three posts, I'll be share tips and tutorials to bring your quilting skills to a new level. No longer will curved piecing hold you back from stitching a quilt with curves! 

If you don't have the pattern already, you'll want to purchase the Hold Tight PDF pattern from my Shop page or from our friends at Fat Quarter Shop who now carries this pattern as well as Hold Tight quilt kits. Please note that the kits from FQS will be ready to ship at or around March 23rd. Use the “Notify Me” function on the kit page to get updates on your order’s shipping date. These blog posts serve to supplement the instructions but don't provide the detailed pattern information that you'll find in the PDF available for purchase. The Hold Tight pattern will have your material list, cutting requirements, full-size templates, and be fully illustrated. My supplementary blog posts are just that, supplementary and meant to guide you along as you sew.

Hold Tight Sew Along Sq.jpg

From now until April 10, 2019 I'll be breaking down the key components of the Hold Tight baby quilt pattern into four manageable tutorial blog posts. These tutorials will be useful to anyone working with fabric and patchwork regardless what quilt is being made. In addition to my written posts, I’ve adding skill-building demonstration videos to further your learning experience. The videos support Weeks #1 through #3 and you’ll find these helpful videos on my Sew Along page. All the videos will be available on Week #1 of the sew along for those wanting to work ahead and will stay a permanent feature to resource in the future.

Color and Transparency Effects

As outlined in last weeks blog post, Hold Tight Sew Along, I'll be covering a new topic each week. This week's lesson is all about selecting colors and working with transparency effects. 

Color is a big subject, but I'll attempt to give you a practical and applicable approach to color as it pertains to selecting fabrics for this quilt. 

Since color is the first thing anyone notices in a quilt—even before the design, we need an entire post just on this subject. The Hold Tight baby quilt offers plenty of opportunity to play with color through the graphic shape of a balloon. But where do you begin when you must decide on a maximum of 20 different solids!!!???

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This quilt is marketed as a baby quilt but its large size also makes it suitable as a throw-size quilt for any age. Maybe there's already a nursery color scheme selected, favorite colors, or some sort of predetermined color inspiration (like from printed fabric or artwork). That's really helpful and gets you halfway to a fabric pull. If you'd like to create a color palette from creating a mood board, take a look back at the Community Sampler Week #1 post on this blog. If you remember, I made my Community Sampler quilt using Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids and my color inspiration came from creating a mood board from images I found on Pinterest. But, if selecting a color palette still seems daunting, read on.

Hold Tight Art Class.jpg

As a textile designer, artist, and newbie to embroidery coming up with color palettes and selecting just the right color for a given project is an ongoing challenge. Rather than focusing just on color relationships and schemes like you'd find on a color wheel (e.g. Complementary, Split Complementary, Diad, Triad, and Tetrad), I'll walk you through color composition instead and how to select hues that work in unity together because of their shade, tint, and/or tone. Once you've discovered how to view a color by what colors it's made from you can always go back and incorporate traditional color wheel schemes into your fabric selection process.

When you start seeing beyond the colors within a given color (hue) you'll be able to successfully mix colors physically like with paint for example or visually, like with fabric transparency effects.

In this tutorial I'll be using the following technical terms:

Shade: Amount of black added to the hue

Tint: Amount of white added to the hue

Tone: Amount of gray added to the hue

Value: Lightness or darkness

Intensity: Brightness or dullness

Before I tackle mixing colors, let's first discuss the easiest way to select colors that achieve the effect of unity and transparency by using a Monochromatic color scheme. For both the Hold Tight pattern sample and the quilt you'll see featured in the sew along tutorials I'm using a combination of monochromatic color trans effects and mixed color transparency effects and sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids fabrics.

Monochromatic Schemes.jpg

A Monochromatic color scheme uses one color and the shades and tints of that color. Art Gallery Fabrics has an array of shades and tints available for their Pure Solids and makes it easy to achieve beautiful gradation steps of colors—creating a transparency effect where the balloons overlap.

The four monochromatic color schemes above illustrate color steps arranged from tints (lightest) to shades (darkest) of a hue.

Paintbrush Color Wheel-01.jpg

To illustrate mixing colors I'm going to refer back to the color wheel and start with the Primary Colors which are blue, red, and yellow. These three colors cannot be created by mixing other colors. 

If you mix equal parts blue and red you'll get violet (or also referred to as purple). Mixing red and yellow will create orange and mixing yellow and blue will result in green. These resulting colors are called Secondary Colors because they were made from mixing two different Primary Colors. 

Tertiary Colors are the result of mixing a Primary Color with a Secondary Color. The resulting color name always has the primary color first followed by the secondary color. For example: blue-green, red-violet, red-orange, yellow-orange, and yellow-green.

Crayola Color Wheel

Crayola Color Wheel

As a kid I was fascinated by color and as soon as I could read I was memorizing the names of the crayons. From early on I saw the pattern of this primary color name first followed by secondary color name as a way to distinguish one color from another.

Paint Chip Color Array.jpg

Anyone who's gone to the hardware store to buy a can of white paint knows about the zillions of options there are for “white” paint. Do you want a yellow-white, a pink-white (which has a whisper of red paint added to the can), a cool, blue-white, a white with a warm, green cast...??? You get the idea. Once you understand about Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colors you can start to see what makes up a particular hue.

Hold Tight Quilt - Art Class.jpg

I'm remaking a Hold Tight quilt for this sew along to put myself in your shoes of where to start for selecting colors. I had no color scheme in mind, so I got out my watercolor paints. If you don't have watercolors then attempt the same exercise with colored pencils, acrylics, pastels, crayons, markers, colored tissue paper that can be overlapped, or anything that can be mixed, blended, or overlaid and put onto paper for this lesson.

Begin with mixing Primary Colors to make violet, green, and yellow. Try to get as close of a match to a true Secondary hue as possible just to give yourself a clean and bright color sample (see Intensity definition). Next, create your Tertiary Colors. This is your starting point.

Start mixing colors and see what you end up with. I guarantee you'll create a lot of stuff you're pretty meh about but what's happening is you're learning about color and what colors go into to making a new color.

Now it's time to add black to your colors to create shades and darken a hue. A fun outcome of adding black to yellow is you'll create a drab olive green. True story: I never use a pre-mixed black paint when painting. I always create some sort of near-black from the colors already used in the art.

Next, add white to make tints and lighten a hue.

For some real fun try mixing colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel (e.g. Complementary Colors). The results can vary from creating different brown hues to different gray tones depending on what colors make up the resulting hue.

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After this exercise about shades, tints, and tones you'll start to notice how adding black, white, or a Complimentary Color has changed the original color's intensity and value. Intensity and value play a big part in relative contrast and why some colors appear dull and other bright. Using fabrics of the same relative intensity but of varying values is a good rule of thumb to give the overall effect of unity. All bright colors look less bright when placed in the same quilt or piece of art. Likewise if the palette is all muted or duller those colors make sense together because of the relative sameness. Now that's not a hard and fast rule, just an example. Many times in art, mixing intensities of colors can create a focal point where the bright, pure color stands out above the more muted tones. Artists often use colors of different intensities, temperatures (cool or warm), and values to make objects advance or recede in a painting.

Contrast is very similar to Intensity and describes the amount of difference between two or more colors. We know as quilters that contrast plays a big part in how a block reads or a quilt pops. If there’s little or no contrast between touching colors (or prints) then the overall effect is very flat and at a distance may read as one solid mass.

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A great way to make a transparency areas successful is to utilize dark, medium, and light contrasting colors. Dark, medium, and light contrasts can be positioned in any order but I’ve found when a dark color is used on a balloon and a light colored balloon is overlapping it, using a medium (mixed result) color in the transparency area will be most affective for creating a transparency illusion. See the photo below at the transparency overlapping blocks.

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Take a look at the colors you mixed and hopefully, there's some colors and blending that really speaks to you! For my quilt(s) I'm using Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids. Pull out all your solid fabrics or take your paper swatches to your fabric store for reference when purchasing fabrics. You may want to cut out the paint or mixed samples you want to work with. Assign the colors and color combinations you love a fabric that matches as close as possible. Don't feel you need to follow your mixed samples exactly and depending upon your available fabric colors you may need to make adjustments. Implement what you've learned in this mixing exercise and soon you'll be able to confidently make judgements about color mixing in your minds eye. Remember to look closely at the underlying colors that make up the color of the fabrics and select the transparency fabric color that would simulate as closely as possible the “mixed” result if you could mix the fabrics on either side of the transparency shape. Notice in the Monochromatic color scheme examples I’d grouped the colors by yellow-greens, greens, blue-greens, and aquas.

I’m calling my second Hold Tight quilt the Art Class Color Story because the above photo was the AGF color palette I came up with after my paint mixing exercise. Because I still need some print in my life I like adding a fun printed backing to an all solid quilt top. The Sporangia Plaid print from my Art Gallery Fabrics Signature collection was perfect!

The Art Class Color Story quilt uses PE-408 as the background and PE-402, PE-405, PE-410, PE-414, PE-427, PE-450, and PE-466 as the transparency fabrics.

If you have a design wall, pin up some swatches and take a step back. Squint your eyes and see if the colors make sense together. Likewise, taking a photograph of the fabric pull and viewing the photo on a screen can sometimes allow you to see color relationships you didn't notice in person.

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If you’d like a fun read about fascinating and unknown histories of color, add The Secret Lives of Color to your library. Awarded NPR Best Books of 2017. (Amazon Affiliate link).

My fellow Art Gallery Fabrics Designers, Dana Willard, Mathew Boudreaux, and Alexandra Bordallo along with AGF Sewcialite Carolina Moore will also be sewing along with us and making a Hold Tight quilt. I’m excited to see the beautiful colors and looks all of you will make so don’t forget to snap some pretty pictures of your color lesson homework, fabric selection, or color palette process to share with the other Hold Tight Sew Along makers. If posting to Instagram or other social platforms be sure to use the hashtag #holdtightsewalong and tag me @sharonhollanddesigns so I see your beautiful work.

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A sew along is a lot more fun with sponsors and giveaways, right!? Our friends at Dritz Sewing, the Fat Quarter Shop, Hobbs Batting, and Omnigrid have generously provided the Hold Tight Sew Along with products I know you’ll love! Every Friday, beginning on March 22nd through April 12th, 2019 I’ll be posting weekly a giveaway on Instagram. By using the hashtag #HoldTightSewAlong on Instagram every time you post sew along photos to a public account (private account posts don’t show up in hashtag pools) your IG account is automatically entered into the weekly sew along drawings! Ideas for what to share include your sew along progress, the “I’m a maker” sew along badge found HERE, your fabric pull, blocks, and finished quilt. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @sharonhollanddesigns so you never miss a thing!

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Fat Quarter Shop - Woodlands Pure Elements Fat Quarter Bundle

Fat Quarter Shop - Woodlands Pure Elements Fat Quarter Bundle

Fat Quarter Shop - Woodlands Pure Elements Fat Quarter Bundle

Fat Quarter Shop - Woodlands Pure Elements Fat Quarter Bundle

This Friday, March 22, 2019 the giveaway prize will be the beautiful 15-piece Art Gallery Fabrics Woodland Pure Elements fat quarter bundle generously offered by the Fat Quarter Shop.

Don't forget the giveaways for this sew along are held on Instagram (not on the blog) and winning names are randomly drawn from the posts in the hashtag pool. By posting images of your Hold Tight color inspiration, fabric pull, blocks, or quilt. Use the official #holdtightsewalong hashtag every time you post your makes (to a public account) and you're automatically entered into the weekly IG drawings! See my Instagram Friday giveaway posts @sharonhollanddesigns for full details.