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. 

Color Master Designer's Palette Bundles

Color Master Designer’s Palette Bundles

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There’s so many reasons why I love designing fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics and the NEW Color Master Designer’s Palette bundles are another exciting addition to that long list of AGF awesomeness!

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You’re probably familiar with the Color Master boxes and bundles by color where prints by the different Art Gallery Fabrics designers are curated to build your stash by color, well…

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The new Color Master Designer’s Palette bundles are color palettes curated by designer! It’s like getting a Sharon Holland 10-piece sampler bundle of perfectly coordinating prints from across my different AGF fabric lines all in a pretty bundle or box of fat quarters or half yard pieces of fabric! Both the fat quarter and 1/2 yard bundles contain the same ten beautiful prints.

Learn more about the AGF designers and these new curated bundles HERE on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog.

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I was so excited about these Designer’s Palette bundles that I immediately began work designing a free quilt pattern specifically made for use with the ten prints in my Sharon Holland #1 edition. Yes, there’ll be new Designer’s Palette bundle editions in the future!

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I’m swooning over the gorgeous color palette AGF has put together with prints from my Signature, Coastline, and Sketchbook fabric collections. This is definitely my color palette!

Feathered Nest Quilt

If you know anything about me and my quilt patterns by now, you know I like to make scrap quilts but I also like to be very efficient with cutting and fabric requirements.

The Feathered Nest quilt is a 58-inch square throw quilt that uses every bit of a Sharon Holland Designer’s Palette #1 fat quarter bundle. See PDF download for full materials list.

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With the addition of three Pure Elements solids to the 10-piece fat quarter bundle I’ve come up with easy cutting instructions for a no-fail quilt design. The prints are a beautiful mix of just the right amount of light and dark, large and small scale prints, as well as visual texture. I even used the left-over scraps for a fun, scrappy binding.

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This quilt is beginner-friendly, fun, fast, and rewarding to make! You could easily make this over a weekend. Even though this is a throw-size quilt, I love how it looks on top of a double bed.

I used Hobb’s Tuscany Polyester batting for the first time when making this quilt and OMG, I’m in love!!!! I’ve been so impressed with all the Hobb’s battings I’ve tried so far but honestly wasn’t sure I’d like the synthetic batting until I took it out of the wrapper. It’s the most luxurious poly batting I’ve ever handled and quilted like a dream! The high loft was just perfect for this quilt and gives it an eiderdown-look to the quilt—especially as a bed topper like in this photo.

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Maybe it’s the recent cold snap that made me want something extra warm and snuggly but I’m thrilled with my choice of batting on this project. The wonderful bonus of Hobb’s Tuscany Polyester batting is that one, it doesn’t shrink and two, it can be quilted up to 4” apart which was exactly perfect for the minimal machine quilting I used when following the diagonal lines of the half-square triangles. Easy peasy and oh, so snuggly!

More and more shops will be adding these bundle/boxes to their listings but at the time of writing this blog post I’ve found the following fabric shops carrying the Sharon Holland Designer’s Palette bundles:

Dinkydoo Fabrics

Threaded Lines

Fat Quarter Shop

Red Thread Studio

Needle and Foot

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Download the free Feathered Nest quilt pattern HERE.

If you’re a shop that carries my bundles and would like to use this quilt pattern for a shop sample, please direct your customers to this blog to download a copy of the pattern for use with their Sharon Holland Designer’s Palette fabrics. Additionally, if you’re a shop that carries my bundles and you didn’t see your shop listed above please contact me so I can add you to the Fabrics page on my site.

Happy sewing,

Sharon