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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!


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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. 

Community Sampler Week #1

Community Sampler Week #1

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Today is the official start of the Community Sampler! My dear friend and Art Gallery Fabrics designer sister Maureen Cracknell and I will be co-hosting this 16-week sew along. You may remember the Sewcial Bee Sampler event we hosted last year? You can still access all the PDFs. tips, and tutorial blog posts from last years block-of-the-week sew along. Begin your adventure with the first post, Start of Something Sewcial. Many of the tips and techniques we used in the 2017 sampler will be used again for this years new sampler plus there will be some new skills to add to your growing quilt repertoire.

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Your first PDF download will be the Introduction packet. In it you'll get an overview of what to expect over the next 16 weeks (that period includes this week), a full material list, and coloring book pages so you can start planning your quilt. You'll also be getting your first look at the quilt layout. Today's post will focus on how I chose my color palette for my sampler quilt. Hopefully you'll get inspired and it will help you when you gather your supplies for next week's block release. 

Download the free Introduction PDF from my Sew Along page. To keep the Instruction download a small file size and your printing to a minimum I have left the pretty cover page off of the Introduction PDF. If you'd like to include and print out our cover, click on the image below and then you can add it to your PDF. 

Fabric Selection

Pure Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics

Pure Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics

Today's post will talk about how to get started pulling your fabrics for your sampler. With so many beautiful fabric options available it's hard to know where to begin. In the Introduction PDF I suggest you focus on pulling 5 light fabrics, 5 medium fabrics, and 5 dark fabrics to make up your total yardage needed for blocks. You can adjust and sculpt the selection as you begin sewing blocks but it's good to have a basic understanding of what fabric you'll be using from the start. Here's my process for this year's sampler quilt...

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This year I gave myself the challenge to work in only solids for my sampler quilt. Now, that may not sound like much of a challenge to some of you but don't forget, I'm a pattern designer and it's my passion to work with prints! I've only made 3 other quilts--EVER--that were all solids. That's 3 out of hundreds so this is a challenge for me. But, disclaimer here, once my new fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics shows up around April-May of this year, you better believe I'll be making a second quilt! I am anxious to start sewing with my new collection and it will be fun for me to make a print version of this quilt, too.

Sometimes it's hard to know where to begin when choosing fabrics for a quilt. So, to get over that hump of what colors to use, I turned to Pinterest for help. You can follow me there at ShareDesigns where I've started a Community Sampler board. For my solids inspiration, I used the beautiful images found on Pinterest to help me pick a color story. Here's the mood board I put together for color selection.

Collage by Sharon Holland of images pulled from Pinterest

Collage by Sharon Holland of images pulled from Pinterest

I tried not to over think things but also wanted to be receptive to incorporate new colors I wouldn't normally use. I just chose a palette that spoke to me and gave me enough colors to play with in a quilt without being overwhelming. Really, my color palette in the mood board appears rather limited but instead of selecting a ton of different colors I decided to gain variety and unity by expanding each color further with shades and tints of that color. Luckily, Art Gallery Fabrics has a wide range of gorgeous solids to choose from. I picked the core colors then added in tints and shades to build this 16-color fabric pull. Here's the result: Blush pink, peach, coral, copper, chocolate, kelly green, mint, jade, denim, navy, teal, honey, white, off-white, and cream. All these glorious solids are Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements (which feels like percale, btw) and below are the sku numbers of the exact palette I will be using. 

Pure Elements solids from Art Gallery Fabrics

Pure Elements solids from Art Gallery Fabrics

Even if you're not using solids but going with prints or a mix of prints and solids it can be overwhelming where to begin. Starting with a fabric collection takes all the guess work out of it for you. The designer has already done the heavy lifting and coordinated the colors, scale of prints, visual textures of busy and blender prints, light and dark fabrics, and put it all together in one beautiful range. Supplement with solids, if necessary, and let the main focus print with the most colors clue you in to what colors to add in. Many fabric collections come in two or more color ways for an emphasis on a warm or cool side of the color wheel. We each have a preference to warm or cool colors and this just helps to narrow down and get to the heart of what speaks to you. 

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Maureen and I would love to see your fabric pulls and selection process. After reading this blog post, pop over to Maureen's post and see her mood board and fabric pulls for her sampler quilt. If you're on Instagram and use the hashtag #CommunitySampler when posting your sampler photos the entire Community Sampler community can see your work and inspiration. Did you know you can now follow hashtags on Instagram??? Yes, it's a fabulous new tool for not missing a single thing of what you want to connect with on IG. Every time you post to our #CommunitySampler hashtag pool (and have a public account) you're automatically entered into the weekly drawings and every post compounds--furthering your chances to win. This Friday I'll post details about the first giveaway--so start posting away! Don't have anything to post yet? Don't worry. Grab the "I'm a Community Sampler Maker" button below and post that to your IG account. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag!

A Word About Copyright

I want to take this time to remind everyone about copyrights and what copyright infringements to avoid. I apologize up front for all the Do's and Don'ts in the following paragraphs. Unfortunately it's a necessary evil to remind everyone to respect the work of others. 

All the graphics, illustrations, photography, instructions, tutorials, logos, etc. posted on this blog and in the PDF downloads are copyrighted materials and are for your personal use only. That means they are not to be distributed in any way whatsoever without written permission by (me) Sharon Holland. Kitting and fabric bundles are allowed but direct your patrons to my website to download the PDFs. Classes are not allowed. Do not post the PDFs on your blog or distribute them. Instead, direct your readers to this site to download the PDFs where they will find the added supportive tips and tutorials from my blog posts. This is a free sew along provided by myself and Maureen Cracknell and our only compensation for the time and money we have put into hosting this event comes from readers finding our blogs. Please remember to give proper credit and direct links when blogging about the sew along. 

If you display your finished quilt in a show or competition, please credit "Sharon Holland" for the quilt design as well as reference the Community Sampler. Of course, the blocks you make are your creation and feel free to post about those--just mention the source and tag Maureen and I. Again, personal use only and not to be used for profit.

The PDFs and posts for this sew along will remain up on my site long after this event ends and all the copyright rules will apply. Thank you for being considerate and respectful of copyrights.

Community Sampler Sponsors

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and also on Instagram. Maureen will be hosting the giveaway from her blog this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time. Until Friday, happy fabric sourcing!