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 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.

Hold Tight Sew Along Week #4

Hold Tight Sew Along Week #4

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It’s the fourth and final week of the Hold Tight Sew Along where I’ve been sharing 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 along with the Hold Tight quilt kit. 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 as the blog post for the sew along will remain up to access any time. 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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The Hold Tight Sew Along tutorials are 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. I’ve added a new video dedicated to hand quilting and adding the “strings” embellishment to this quilted quilt before binding. View video support Weeks #1 through #4 on my Sew Along page. All the videos will stay a permanent feature to resource in the future.

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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Quilting

If you’re a beginner or just in need of a refresher on how to baste your quilt top, machine quilt, and add the binding, check out the Finishing blog post I had written for the Sewcial Bee Sampler quilt. Since I cover the way I put together my quilt sandwich and how I go about machine quilting in the Sewcial Bee Sampler post I won’t go over that identical information here but instead add information specific to the Hold Tight quilt such as batting selection, the machine quilting design I used on both of my Hold Tight quilts, and hand quilting the string embellishment.

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To help illustrate how different batting lofts look in a finished quilt I decided to use the exact same quilting design on both of my Hold Tight quilts.

The white background quilt on the left has a Hobb’s Tuscany Silk batting inside and the ombré quilt on the right has Hobb’s Tuscany 100% Polyester batting inside. I love both of these battings but they have completely different properties.

Here’s what I love about both of these products:

Both preform beautifully with quilting stitched up to 4” apart.

Both have a beautiful drape, light weight (no heavy quilt to wrestle with when stitching), and easy to handle.

Both are excellent for hand stitching and machine quilting.

There’s no shrinkage with Tuscany Polyester and only 3%-5% with Tuscany Silk (but I’ve noticed very little after laundering).

I’ve had no issues with laundering these battings and set my machine to Delicate Cycle, Cold Water wash and rinse, and low heat (delicate) drying.

The Tuscany Silk is similar to a cotton batting for stitch definition and feel but without the weight. The Tuscany Polyester is a high loft for a puffier look and is light as a feather (great for kids and extra snuggly quilts).

You can read further direct from the source at Hobb’s Batting plus take a look at their handing Quilting Products Batting chart to know what’s the best batting for your needs.

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I decided to do a very simple quilting stitch on these two quilts. The original Hold Tight quilt is filled with Tuscany 100% Polyester batting but has a dense, overall quilt design (see quilt below) so the quilt doesn’t puff as much as with the simple, looser machine quilting (see quilt on the right, above). It just depends on the look and feel you want to achieve.

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To stitch the loose Looping Scallop design you will need to do a little prep work of marking a horizontal line across the middle of the block rows.

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By dividing the block rows in half horizontally you’re making guides for two Looping Scallop quilting lines per block row. Stagger the two Looping Scallops in alternating rows as seen in the illustration above. I freeform stitched my Looping Scallops and they look in real life about as wonky as they do on my illustrated drawing.

For one horizontal row of Looping Scallops I used the block seam lines as my guide where I would make the loop. On the next row, that seam line was my midway point between loops that I eye-balled to land in the middle of the block.

I worked from the bottom of the quilt up, as I wanted the scallops to give a bit of a cloud illusion and this felt the most natural for me in creating the loops. You can work from the top down if that feels more comfortable to you. If you’re not sure about eye-balling where the loops and scallops are to be stitched, then draw out the machine quilting design or make a little mark at the midpoints for reference so you have more of a guide to follow.

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Once your quilt has been quilted and before you add the binding, you’ll want to add the hand stitching to create strings on the ends of the balloons. I’ve put together a helpful video all about Hand Quilting and you can find it on the Sew Along page with the other Hold Tight Sew Along videos.

I used all 6 strands of 6-ply Aurifil floss for my hand quilting thread.

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All of my Hold Tight quilt use Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids for the top. The white background quilt I’m calling the Art Class color way and you can see the full list of fabrics used on week #1 of the Sew Along. For the backing I had to sneak in a print and used Sporangia Plaid print from my Art Gallery Fabrics Signature collection as the perfect compliment to the colorful front.

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For the Ombré Desert color way I mixed it up a bit and made a gradient background to simulate the sky. Read about the colors that went into making this top along with the color inspiration for the quilt on week #2 of the Sew Along.

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The backing for the Ombré Desert color way is Destination Aerial from my Tapestry collection for AGF. It was the perfect shades of blues and peaches!

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I lucked out with the perfect (although a bit windy) day for photography and love how the blue of the sky looks with these quilts. The balloons look as if they will fly away!!!

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I can’t wait to see your finished Hold Tight quilts, there’s so many possibilities for coloring and even the finishing options make this quilt look completely unique. Be sure to tag me @sharonhollanddesigns when posting to social media and don’t forget to use the hashtag #holdtightsewalong to be entered into our final giveaway that will be drawn from the Instagram hashtag pool on Monday, April 15 (see below for more details).

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Let’s give a huge shout out of thanks to our fine sponsors and their generous giveaway prizes. I personally love the people behind these companies, their quality products, and their dedication to serving makers like you.

Thank you to our friends at Dritz Sewing, the Fat Quarter Shop, Hobbs Batting, and Omnigrid have generously sponsored the Hold Tight Sew Along.

This Friday, April 12th will be our last Hold Tight Sew Along 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 The Fat Quarter Shop

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You may need to be restocking your solids stash after this sew along so what better way add some color to your fabric cabinet than with a chance to win this giveaway! One lucky IG winner will be sewing with this beautiful 15-piece Art Gallery Fabrics Summer Sun Pure Elements fat quarter bundle generously offered by the Fat Quarter Shop.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.