Blithe Quilt

When I was asked if I wanted to participate in the AGF Stitched with Kimberly series of course I said YES! Quarterly, Art Gallery Fabrics and the Fat Quarter Shop team up to design a free quilt pattern. Sewists from all over make their version of the free quilt pattern with their choice of any Art Gallery Fabrics generously supplied by AGF. The participants make and then blog about what they've created. Many make the quilt while others use the block design to create a table runner, bags, or other sewing projects from the design. It is so much fun to see all the different interpretations of the original design. 

The Fat Quarter Shop Blithe Quilt project is made using Caroline Hulse's newest AGF fabric collection Chalk & Paint. Playful and flirty, Caroline's prints are so adorable and you really get to see the prints on the large half-square triangles. Find kit information here.

So, the exciting part of the AGF Stitched with Kimberly series is to take an already awesome design and make it your own. I love the simple geometry of this quilt and thought maybe this would be the perfect quilt for my youngest. My youngest is turning 23 this month and is an industrial designer, a year fresh out of college. He's always been my wild card and the one I butt heads with the most because we may actually be too much the same in personality. We use each other constantly to bounce off ideas. Sometimes, I think I learn more from him than he does from me! We sorta keep each other grounded in a way.

I sent him a mock-up of the Blithe quilt design I was playing around with to see what he thought. He really liked the design and said it reminded him of Sergels torg, which is a public square in Stockholm, Sweden.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

My world-traveling son has lived in Sweden for several months on two separate occasions and is very smitten with the country. What a cool way to make a quilt more meaningful than to have it evoke memories of a wonderful trip and place. From this image we found our color inspiration for my version of the Blithe quilt. For an off-white and grey palette I used Art Gallery Fabrics designer Katarina Roccella's Imprint fabrics. Katarina's Imprint fabrics are edgy, modern, and tend to have a more masculine look to them. The quilt design was very cool (literally and figuratively) and needed a little pop of something. I noticed the yellow taxi in the photo and my son told me that although not seen in this image, there are bright yellow planters around the square and that also during the holidays, yellow lights and decorations are installed. Brilliant! Bright, PE-448 Canary Yellow Pure Elements solid was added to the design for our POP!

For my Blithe Quilt I kept the orientation of the A/B/C blocks all the same to mimic the inspiration photo more closely. In the original, you will notice the blocks are flipped for a different overall look to the quilt. I also decided to make the quilt wider than the original design and added another block row to the width to make a 72'' square quilt. The decision to enlarge the quilt on the fly (after I already had the material) meant I had to do some creative piecing to my pieces to finish the quilt top and back to get the amount of material I needed for the larger size.

I can't tell you how many times I have had to piece scraps of fabric together to get a usable patchwork size. Honestly, this practice does not bother me one bit and makes me feel a kinship to past quilt makers that needed to do the very same out of necessity. Even though I knew the pieced sections were there, I had a hard time finding them to take this photograph. No one will even notice if you are hard pressed to do the same! I also needed to piece my backing to get my added width and find I like a pieced backing way better than not. This not only added interest but also economy and I used every last scrap of fabric for this project. 

Fun backing huh? Makes for a nice optional look to the quilt. And yes, you may have noticed the signature on the painting above the sofa. I painted that (a few years back) , it's the Chicago skyline at night and painted for the same son who will receive this quilt for his birthday.

Get the free Blithe quilt pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop and see where the design takes you. Kimberly has a great YouTube video of how to use Triangles on a Roll for making half-square triangles, how to assemble the blocks, and quilt. 

But wait, there's more!

This blog is now sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop and we are teaming up to bring you a chance to win an Art Gallery Fabrics fat quarter bundle giveaway every month! Yes, a bundle of fabulous AGF fabrics every month. 

The beautifully curated By the Lake is a sublime collection of 15 Art Gallery Fabrics prints pulled together by Pat Bravo. A $42.98 value, includes coordinating prints from your favorite AGF designers like Pat Bravo, Katarina Roccella, Bonnie Christine, AGF Studio, and (me) Sharon Holland. 

To Enter:

Giveaway begins Monday, March 7, 2016 and will end on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 4 p.m. EST. 

  • Leave a comment on this blog post anytime between 3/7/16 and 4 p.m. EST 3/14/16 to be entered into drawing

The winner will be randomly drawn and notified via email so be sure to use a valid email address. If I cannot reach the winner within 24 hours I will select an alternate winner. 

Happy sewing!

Canvas Floor Cloth

Now that the holiday decorations are put away and you're getting your house back in order, it's time to start thinking about ways to refresh your space and not spend a ton of money.

Today's trends include touches of interesting trims and layers to give a multi-cultural, world- traveled look to your home. 

   Canvas floor cloth by Sharon Holland (Photo courtesy of Art Gallery Fabrics)

 

Canvas floor cloth by Sharon Holland (Photo courtesy of Art Gallery Fabrics)

Art Gallery Fabric now carries gorgeous printed home-dec-weight canvas. My newest collection Coastline comes with this coordinating canvas print called "Sand Bar Lagoon". Heavy weight but soft and drapey, this canvas is great for clothing, purses, and home decor. 

When making samples for my Quilt Market booth last October, I decided the best what to show off my canvas sample was in a rug. This Floor Cloth was a quick project and I love the way it turned out! I got to incorporate vintage trims and fringe for a more interesting, bohemian vibe. 

web Floor Cloth.jpg

There was such great interest in how I made this Floor Cloth that I now have the free PDF instructions prepared for this project. What better time than now to give it a try! Find the downloadable pattern on my Free Patterns page. 

Happy sewing!

Sketchbook Blog Tour Day 5

Today is the last day of the Sketchbook Blog Tour and Alexis Wright is posting today from My Sweet Sunshine Studio. Alexis has sewn the Rose dress from Violette Field Threads and I am in love with how it turned out! She used the cotton Tiny Dancer Midnight and Doodlie Meander prints. Doesn't her daughter look amazing? I love this cut on her--how perfect!

   Photo courtesy of Alexis Wright of My Sweet Sunshine Studio

 

Photo courtesy of Alexis Wright of My Sweet Sunshine Studio

See the My Sweet Sunshine Studio blog post to learn more about Alexis and this outfit. Thanks so much Alexis for being such a BIG part of the tour. I am looking forward to seeing you again at fall Quilt Market. 

   Photo courtesy of Alexis Wright

 

Photo courtesy of Alexis Wright

Yesterday Jessica Stewart from Snickerdoodle Stew posted on the Sketchbook Blog Tour. If you missed out on any of the days or want to see the full list of bloggers, click here. Tomorrow I will post a full recap of the tour along with announcing the winner of the 10 yards of Sketchbook fabrics. Yup, that's right, you still have time to enter the drawing for the free fabric. Sign in to instagram and REPOST any of the Sketchbook blog tour images. Use the hashtag #SketchbookTourGiveaway in your repost and you're entered into the drawing! Drawing ends Saturday August, 22nd at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

To wrap up my series on sewing with French seams I have one more project for you. This one doesn't use French seams but I feel fits the series because the construction method creates clean finishes to the edges without the use of hems (on the body of the bag). I took the common folded Market Bag construction and added a self-lined feature to the construction for a new twist on an old favorite.

These are super fun to make! Download the free Market Bag PDF pattern from my Free Patterns page for the full instructions on how to make a bag.

SELF-LINED MARKET BAG

Large bags like these are great for for taking with you to the store or Farmer's Market. They would also make a great, reusable alternative to paper gift bags or gift wrap! Show off fun prints and make several to use and give.

Sketchbook Blog Tour Day 4

Only today and tomorrow left on the Sketchbook Blog Tour. Have you entered the giveaway for 10 yards of Sketchbook fabrics yet? Drawing ends Saturday August 22nd at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

To be entered into the drawing for 20 - half-yard cuts of Art Gallery Fabrics Sketchbook fabrics you will want to follow the tour on Instagram and repost a picture of your favorite project. Include the hashtag #SketchbookTourGiveaway in your repost and your name is in the drawing!

Snickerdoodle Stew

   Photo courtesy of Snickerdoodle Stew

 

Photo courtesy of Snickerdoodle Stew

Jessica Stewart from Snickerdoodle Stew is our talented day 4 blog tour blogger. Jessica made this sweet dress for her daughter using the Tiny Dancer Fall, Woodblock Berry, Ink Outburst Fresco and Delineament Sepia cotton prints. The leggings were made from Air Brush Flight knit. I just love seeing this fresh face and this pretty Izzy & Ivy Designs Brooklyn's Boho dress. Don't you just love this combination?!! See Jessica's blog for more pictures of her beautiful daughter in this outfit. I love your work--thanks for being part of the tour Jessica! 

   Photo courtesy of Snickerdoodle Stew

 

Photo courtesy of Snickerdoodle Stew

Yesterday the oh-sew-talented Elizabeth Whitehurst from Cotton Belle Boutique posted about the sweet dress she made her beautiful daughter and tomorrow the tour will end with Alexis Wright from My Sweet Sunshine Studio. Seriously, I can't wait for my (soon-to-come) granddaughter to be big enough to make clothes for--all these children's outfits are so darn cute!

Dress Up Your Closet

A change in season usually means a time to go through closets and dresser drawers and re-organize your wardrobe. Have you ever thought to give a little attention to how those hangers look as well? Cloth hanger covers not only dress up and unify mismatched hangers but add some padding to help reduce shoulder creases and create a non-slip grip for blouses that tend to slip off regular hangers. You can even color code for the different seasons! 

You will find the full instructions and pattern for Cover Up on my Free Patterns page. This easy-to-sew pattern uses French seam construction and you can make a bunch of covers in a snap! No hems to turn and no raw edges or loose threads to get on your clothing. The pattern is customizable so you can quickly draft a freezer paper template for any size hanger. The freezer paper template can be used over and over again.

I will see you back here tomorrow with the final day blog tour pictures and another French seam construction tutorial and project. Are you excited to start some sewing? What are you going to make first?