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.

Yo-Yo Pillow

Yo-Yo Pillow

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The final installment in my pillow series is this fun Yo-Yo Pillow. Yo-yos and pillows made from yo-yos are nothing new but it's something I've not seen done for awhile and there may be lots of new sewers out there that don't know how to make them.

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Yo-yos are hand stitched from circles of fabric. I used a 6'' diameter circle to make mine but you can use whatever size you'd like. The smaller the starting circle, the smaller your finished yo-yo will be. They shrink considerably once stitched up and my finished yo-yos measured around 2-1/2'' across.

Yo-Yo Pillow

Materials needed to make an 18'' square finished pillow

  • For front foundation and backing: Two 18-1/2'' squares for 1/4'' seams Lapped Zipper Back or two 19'' squares for 1/2'' seams Hidden Zipper back
  • For yo-yos: Sixty-four 6'' diameter fabric circles
  • One 14'' invisible zipper
  • Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Zipper foot attachment
  • Needle and thread
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Marking tool and ruler
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Knot the end of a length of thread. Hiding starting knot on the wrong side of the fabric, turn circle edge 1/4'' under to wrong side while hand basting a running stitch 1/8'' from edge. Leave thread in needle and do not knot end when basting stitch reaches the starting knot. 

Pull loose thread end to gather, forming a yo-yo. The gathered edge will be pulled to the center. 

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Flatten the yo-yo, centering the gathered closure. Secure thread with a double knot and hide thread inside the yo-yo. Make a total of 64.

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There's a few ways you can connect your yo-yos for a pillow top. One way would be to stitch the yo-yos together with tiny stitches along the edges at four points like a compass then attach the connected circles to the pillow top. 

Another way would be to blanket stitch the yo-yos to the pillow foundation (leaving the appropriate 1/4''-1/2'' seam allowance around the edges of the foundation for pillow assembly.

I chose a middle road and "X" stitched my yo-yos directly to the foundation at four points. 

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Since I only had an 18-1/2'' square piece of Art Gallery Fabrics Apricot Sunrise Smooth Denim I needed to take care not to stitch my yo-yos in the 1/4'' seam allowance area. I used the 1/4'' mark on my Omnigrid ruler as a guide. 

Since my yo-yos aren't perfectly sized and I wasn't sure if the amount made would fit my pillow foundation I wanted to have all the yo-yos in place before I started sewing. To keep my yo-yos in place without pinning, I put a dab of Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue on the back of each yo-yo and worked from the outside edges of the foundation in toward the center.

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Once all in place and working on a flat surface, I hand stitched the yo-yos to the foundation with 3-ply strands of Aurifloss embroidery thread. Tip: Leave the side of the yo-yo nearest the foundation raw edge unstitched until after pillow is assembled. By leaving these sides free, the edge yo-yos can be folded in toward the center of the pillow durning assembly and stay free of the seam allowance area.

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Stitch at four points and secure on back with double knots. 

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Assemble the pillow using either my Lapped Zipper Back or Hidden Zipper tutorials.

I finished my pillow with a lapped zipper back in Signature fabrics Extempore Gala canvas.

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After the pillow has been assembled, go back and finish hand stitching the edge yo-yos to the pillow. Insert an 18'' square pillow form.

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Hand stitching yo-yos is a great take along pastime and perfect for lazy summer days of relaxing, mindless sewing on the go or just sitting at home. 

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I hope you enjoyed these pillow projects. I've still more projects to post here before the Signature Look Book is published so come back and visit real soon for more summer sewing ideas. 

Ruching Rose Pillow

Ruching Rose Pillow

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It seems that texture is the latest thing in home decor. If you step into any home department in your favorite store there's beautiful pillows with loads of character. I know I want to buy them all but after awhile that gets pretty pricey. Why not make your own decorator pillows at a fraction of the cost!

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As I was coming up with project ideas to show off my new Art Gallery Fabrics Signature fabrics collection I wanted to off course show off the prints but also show you new ways to use fabric. 

Art Gallery Fabrics produces some of the finest quality quilting cotton and garment fabrics on the market. Their knit material is buttery soft and of thick weight that it can be used in more than just garment sewing. 

My Signature collection has three knit prints and for the Ruching Rose pillow I used two of them. Extempore Fest is the large floral background and Lacey Cosmos is used for the ruched flower. 

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Make a Ruching Rose Pillow

You can customize the size of your pillow by adding 1" to the finished dimensions of your pillow form. Example: If you want a 20" square finished pillow, cut two 21" squares for front foundation and backing.

Note: The material list is based on a 16'' finished pillow.

Materials

  • 16" pillow form
  • 1/2 yard knit for background
  • 1/4 yard knit for rose cut into (4) 2'' x Width of Fabric strips for rose
  • Needle and matching thread
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • (1) 12'' - 14'' invisible zipper
  • Zigzag and zipper foot attachments
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Join the (4) 2'' -wide strips into one long strip. Pace ends right sides together at right angles and stitch on the diagonal as shown. Trim seam allowance to 1/4''. Trim dog ears. Press seams open to reduce bulk.

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Fold the long strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press to crease. Unfold and then refold the raw edges wrong sides together toward the center. Press. 

Knot the end of a long length of matching thread. Hand sew a basting stitch in a zigzag design down the length of the long strip, loosely gathering the strip as you sew for ruching. 

Tip: Use binding clips to hold the folded fabric while you stitch. If you reach the end of the thread but need to continue ruching, gather the strip as desired before knotting off the thread on the raw edge side of the strip. Continue with a new length of thread in the same manner. 

Note: For my pillow I only used about 3-1/2 strips out of the 4 strips. If you're making a larger pillow the 4 strips will make a larger rose.

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Fold a 17'' square of fabric into quarters to find the center of the square. Press to crease. Cut a 12'' length of Dritz Wonder Tape. Turn one short end of the ruching strip under 1/4''.

Adhere the tape to the raw edge seam side of the ruching strip, holding the turned end in place under the tape. Remove paper backing.

Starting at the creased intersection, adhere the ruching strip to the pillow front, spiraling it around the center to form a rose. Tip: I let the previous row of petals slightly overlap the subsequent rows to give more of a 3-D effect to the flower. 

Note: Working on a flat surface, rotate the strip around the center while keeping the raw edge seam side down and the ruching flat and evenly spaced. Add more 12'' lengths of tape as needed to continue making the rose. 

Turn the end of the ruching under, tapering the end under the proceeding spiral to finish the rose. 

Starting on the outside ending point, sew down the rose with a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to secure it to the pillow front. Spiral around as you sew, ending in the center of the rose.

See my Hidden Zipper tutorial for finishing your pillow with an invisible zipper. 

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