Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Cutting and Piecing

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Cutting and Piecing

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Welcome back to Week #2 of the Hold Tight Petite sew along. As part of Blair Stocker’s Wise Craft Ruby Ruler™ Ambassador series and being August’s Ruby Ambassador (Read my interview by Blair—here), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for Blair and I to collaborate on a project and explore the world of color through fabrics.

August Ruby Ambassador - Sharon Holland

August Ruby Ambassador - Sharon Holland

Blair’s ruby-hued artist’s viewfinder tools the Ruby Ruler™ and Ruby Minder™ where invaluable tools in last week’s study on Color and Value. I blogged about how, as a designer, I go about selecting colors for my fabric collections or a color story for a quilt and how I used the Ruby Minder™ to check my selections. If you missed the first week, read more here. Plus you’ll find additional color theory materials covered on Week #1 and Week #2 of the original Hold Tight sew along as well as in the skill-building demonstration videos. Find these helpful videos on my Sew Along page which are available for viewing any time.

Ruby Minder™ by Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade

Ruby Minder™ by Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade

For more Color and Value study, Blair has a wonderful online class, Make Modern Scrap Quilts Using Color Value which is an evergreen class—you buy its and it’s yours forever, there are no "sessions". Read more about this class on Wise Craft Handmade.

Plus, for this Hold Tight Petite sew along, Blair Stocker will be following up my Wednesday morning blog posts with a Facebook Live session at 11 am Pacific on Wednesday, August 14 cutting pieces with templates and curved rulers as well as sewing curves. This workshop-like experience with Blair on Facebook is a huge bonus along with connecting with more than 1,500 other quilter’s via Blairs private Facebook group! Blair will host live sessions to support my sew along blog posts and share with you her expertise. Note: Blair’s FB group is free to join by answering three questions when requesting to be added to the group. If you can’t join in the live sessions—no problem—the videos are available for replay and ready to view when you are!

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This sew along is free to join—no sign up forms—just follow along and have fun. You’ll will need, however, the Hold Tight quit pattern. If you don't have my Hold Tight quilt pattern already, you'll want to purchase the Hold Tight PDF pattern from my Shop page. The Hold Tight pattern now includes two sizes—the original over-sized throw and the new petite crib-size quilt. The material lists, cutting requirements, coloring sheet, and full-size templates are part of the fully illustrated PDF pattern. These sew along blog posts serve to supplement the PDF but don't provide the detailed pattern information that you'll find in the PDF available for purchase. If you’ve purchased the original PDF prior to August 5, 2019 and didn’t receive a special newsletter email from this blog sharing the link to the Petite Add-On download, see my SEW ALONG page to get your copy of the bonus size. You’ll find the Add-On download that contains the crib-size material list, cutting guide, and coloring sheet. Note: You’ll still need the original Hold Tight pattern for quilt details. The current PDF in my shop has been updated with both quilt sizes so patterns purchased after August 5, 2019 include both quilt sizes—no add-on necessary.

Week #2 - Cutting and Piecing

Even though I’ve labeled this pattern an intermediate skill level quilt pattern, I firmly believe that even a confident beginner can tackle curved patchwork with ease because you’ve completed the following:

  1. You’ve printed out the PDF instructions and templates to 100% scale (with borders) onto US letter size paper and because you’ve cut your fabrics true to size (see Hold Tight Sew Along Week #2 post).

  2. You’re sewing with an accurate seam allowance. As with any patchwork sewing its imperative to stitch with an accurate 1/4” seam allowance. Take a moment to read the Seam Allowance section on my Perfect Patchwork tutorial.

I’ve prepared bonus video tutorials and you’ll find the Hold Tight Sew Along Week #3 parts 1 and 2 are extremely helpful for pinning, sewing, press, and squaring up your blocks. Find all the Hold Tight Sew Along videos on my Sew Along page.

This week’s blog post is going to be an easy one for me to compose compared to last week’s epic Color and Value post because the information about Cutting and Piecing hasn’t changed from my first sew along. Instead of copying and pasting all that information to this post, I’ll refer you to Week #2 and Week #3 of the first sew along. So, go ahead, take a look at that information and then come back to this post for some additional tips, pretty photos, and information about this week’s giveaway!

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Learning Live

The beauty of an event like this being co-hosted is you get to experience different perspectives, sewing tricks, and in the case of Blair’s Live Facebook sessions, a new way of viewing information. This week, Blair will be cutting and piecing her blocks and carrying on what I started in my video demonstrations. This is your chance to ask Blair questions and maybe gain a few new tricks to sewing with curved patchwork.

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Sew On

As I briefly talked about last week when looking ahead, I’ll be covering Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) as a quilt assembly option in the next post for Week #3. If you’re interested in trying the QAYG finishing method, regardless of what quilt size you’re stitching, resist the urge to start sewing all the blocks together to form the balloon shapes and quilt top. A background square and the A/B block, and B/B/C blocks like you see in the above photo are ALL considered blocks. For this week, concentrate on sewing the blocks and only go so far as to sew the blocks together into horizontal rows. Alternate seam pressing directions on your rows so the rows will nest together when assembling. Example: Even rows press all the seams to the right and odd rows, press all the seams to the left.

Next week on the third and final sew along post I’ll blog about QAYG assembly, hand quilting, and finishing your quilt. If you’re wanting to finish your quilt as a traditional top with batting and backing sandwich to be quilted, you can work ahead. Find tutorials and tips on the Finishing post and videos created during the first sew along. It’s always nice to have options and work at your own pace!

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I’m excited to see what colors Blair selected for her quilt and would love to see your inspiration for your color story, fabric pull, and progress as you sew along. If you’re on Instagram, tag me @sharonhollanddesigns and Blair @blairs use the #holdtightquilt hashtag so we can follow your progress. If you’re sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics be sure to tag #artgalleryfabrics too!

There’s also a wonderful resource of inspiration and a look at all the Hold Tight quilt posted to Instagram if you search the #holdtightquilt and #holdtightsewalong hashtags! If you’re on Pinterest, I have a Hold Tight Sew Along board—you can find and follow me at ShareDesigns (Sharon Holland Designs).

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WEEK #2 GIVEAWAY

Our Art Gallery Fabrics sponsor will be giving away an amazing prize of a quilt kit! The kit will include: The Hold Tight PDF pattern (which can be substituted with a different pattern in my SHOP if you already have purchased), fabric to make a Hold Tight Petite quilt top just like the one I created for this sew along, binding, and your choice of any AGF print for the backing!

Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids

Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids

This giveaway and the giveaway rules and details will be announced on Instagram Thursday morning around 9 am eastern. The giveaway will be held on my Instagram account @sharonhollanddesigns and you’ll be prompted for how to enter on that post. Be sure you’re following myself and Blair @blairs and Art Gallery Fabrics @artgalleryfabrics so you don’t miss a thing!

Happy sewing,

Sharon

Hold Tight Sew Along Week #3

Hold Tight Sew Along Week #3

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Welcome to Week #3 of the Hold Tight Sew Along where I'll be 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 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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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. 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.

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.

Hold Tight Piecing.jpg

Even though I’ve labeled this pattern an intermediate skill level quilt pattern, I firmly believe that even a confident beginner can tackle curved patchwork with ease because you’ve completed the following:

  1. You’ve printed out the PDF instructions and templates to 100% scale (not borderless) onto US letter size paper and because you’ve cut your fabrics true to size (see Hold Tight Sew Along Week #2 post).

  2. You’re sewing with an accurate seam allowance. As with any patchwork sewing its imperative to stitch with an accurate 1/4” seam allowance. Take a moment to read the Seam Allowance section on my Perfect Patchwork tutorial.

I’ve prepared bonus videos for this week’s tutorial and you’ll find the Hold Tight Sew Along Week #3 parts 1 and 2 are extremely helpful for pinning, sewing, press, and squaring up your blocks. Find all the Hold Tight Sew Along videos on my Sew Along page.

Sewing Curves

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First image: To begin, find the center of an A and B shape and finger press a crease. With the largest A shape on the bottom (right side up), pin midpoints with the smaller B shape, right side down, on top.

Second image: Align a short, squared end of the B shape to the corner (straight) edge of the A shape and pin. Repeat on the other side.

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Place the pinned pieces over your knee or a pressing form to help the curved pieces align. Place additional pins at equal distances so the curved edges match.

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Using an accurate 1/4” seam allowance, stitch with a short (2.4-2.6) stitch length. Slowly sew the seam along the curve with the sewing machine needle in the down position. By having the needle lowered into the fabric when the machine is stopped this allows the presser foot to be raised and holds the fabric in place without loosing the needle position.

Remove pins as you sew. Avoid pulling or pushing the pieces to be sewn so as not to stretch the bias curved edges. Continue to check that the raw edges are matched and lift presser foot to reduce any bulk in fabric before lowering and continuing to stitch.

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Once two pieces have been sewn together, finger press the seam open. Press block in an up and down motion (not side to side) to avoid distorting the block.

Note: For this quilt I recommend pressing the seams open because it will be easier to assemble the quilt top and avoid bulky seams.

If you’re piecing a B/B/C block where three shapes are sewn to make a block, press the first seam open before proceeding to stitching the second seam. Once a block(s) are pieced, proceed to Squaring the Blocks.

Squaring the Blocks

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Use the Block Trimming Template found in the PDF and make a plastic template. Transfer all markings onto the plastic. See Week #2 blog post. I’ve added in some extra wiggle room into the Hold Tight blocks and they’ll need to be trimmed exactly to size for quilt assembly. Tip: Use rolled Washi tape to hold the plastic template in place while cutting. This also allows the template to easily be rotated when trimming a different side.

First image: For an A/B, align the square edge of the Block Trimming Template to the right angles of the A shape (lower left) as this piece will have the least amount of distortion from sewing.

Use the curve marking of the Block Trimming Template to match template with the curved seam on the block.

Second image: Before trimming the block to size, take a moment and make sure the seam allowance area of the Block Trimming Template is covering fabric on all sides and that the curve(s) of the template and block match and seam allowances are true. Trim sides as necessary to square the block.

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When trimming a B/B/C block, use both curve markings on the Block Trimming Template (see second image where the curved markings have been highlighted in black). Align template to block curves and double check that seam allowance is correct on all sides before trimming.

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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!

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY SPONSOR IS FROM Hobbs Batting

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I’m so excited for this week’s giveaway. Our friends at Hobbs Batting are offering batting prizes for two winners. We’re holding a giveaway here on the blog (see entry details below) and another winner drawn from the #holdtightsewalong Instagram hashtag pool.

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The lucky winners will be able to select three, throw-size batts of their choice from the following fine quality Hobb’s Tuscany brand battings. I personally love the Hobb’s Tuscany batting collection and found it to be the best batting for handling, drape, stitch definition, and quality.

Tuscany Poly

Tuscany Unbleached Cotton

Tuscany Bleached Cotton

Tuscany SUPREME Cotton

Tuscany Cotton/Wool

Tuscany Wool

Tuscany Silk


Giveaway now Closed. Congratulations to Margaret Swan!

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 Hobbs batting on one of their social media platforms *  Blog  *  Instagram  *  Facebook  *  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). 

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 Hold Tight Sew Along on YOUR instagram, facebook, tweet, pin, blog post, etc... (separate comment - fourth entry). 

That’s FOUR possible entries! Enter now through Monday, April 8th! The winner will be picked at random around 4 pm Eastern. I will post the name of the winner on this post once they've been notified and responded to my email.

Don't forget the giveaway for this week is also held on Instagram for an additional chance to win and will be randomly drawn on Monday. The winner is 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 and don’t forget to tag me too! 

Signature Bedroom

Signature Bedroom

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Today I'll be taking a closer look at the Signature fabrics Soho bedroom I put together for a photo shoot to show off my new Signature fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. This room was another mock-room setting I put together in my studio and I had so much fun sewing and decorating for this scene. See the Signature Baby Room posts Part 1 and Part 2.

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For this mock-room to make sense, it had to tell a story. I wanted something fun and flirty, just like the fabric collection so I came up with the idea to create a Soho loft bedroom from a 20-something girl who loves sewing, flowers, vintage finds, and a little bit of bling. 

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I didn't want a fussy bed frame so I put the mattress and box spring directly onto the rug-layered floor and stood two same-size, narrow boxes on end. You can't see the boxes because they're covered with a wood boards that made a temporary bench of sorts that I could use as my headboard/shelf. This created the perfect look for my bed and kept everything low and modern. 

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The quilt on the bed is called Tracery Rose and is an adaptation of the Tracery quilt pattern from my Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book (Landauer 2017). I wanted layers of fabrics with texture and vintage charm as well as doable DIY projects that my creative girl would want to make for her room. 

Find a tutorial for the fun Fabric Fringe Wallhanging on one of my earlier posts as well as instructions for the Improv Boho Pillow tutorial. These are both great projects to get the kids involved in sewing something for their room.

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Crafty touches include vintage pompoms, my grandmother's Singer sewing machine on the desk, knitting yarn in the Bucket Bag tote (another free pattern on this site), Art Roll Up caddy for knitting needles or other art supplies (see Free Patterns page), thrifting treasures of vintage jewelry and furniture, and of course florals to bring the garden inside.

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Pile on the layers and let the photo tell a story! I can just image my younger self busy working on crafts in my room and rearranging and decorating my space with pretty things.

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This photo of the basket with yarn and fabric is one of my favorite shots because of all the yummy textures, layers, and colors. I had the last minute idea to throw a piece of faux fur on the chair seat and that added a bit of glam to the look plus more texture and interest!

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This petite desk's was something I picked up at a garage sale almost 20 years ago! I painted it gold after I bought it and it's normal spot is as a nightstand by my bed. Because I wanted to bring in different metal elements into my Soho bedroom like gold, copper, and silver I thought it would make the cutest sewing table for this scene. The sewing machine was my grandmother's and it still works like a dream. I have it as a backup machine and don't sew with it much but it's comforting to know it's here with me when I need it. 

The chair is another garage sale find and it has a big hole in the caned seat. I've hidden the hole with a piece of faux fur to repeat the look on the other side of the room. 

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Although I am obsessed with so many of my sewing makes for the two mock-up rooms, the project that's gotten the most wear is my Signature Extempore Rayon kimono. This garment was an easy make for a non-garment sewer like me and AGF rayon is the perfect fabric for a flowie cover up like this. I used Simplicity pattern 1108 and chose the cropped cut because I'm only 5'2'' and it's a good proportion for my frame. 

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I hope you enjoyed this look into some of the photos that went into the Signature Look Book and my styled photo shoot. Are you getting lots of inspiration? What would you sew with these prints--quilts, clothes, or something else?

Chenille Pillow with Hidden Zipper

Chenille Pillow with Hidden Zipper

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Making your own decorator pillows has never been this easy! 

Here's what you'll need:

  • Pillow form of choice
  • Two pieces of fabric cut 1'' larger than pillow form. Example: If using a 14" square pillow form then cut (2) 15" squares.
  • One Invisible Zipper approximately 4" shorter than side of pillow zipper will be placed on. Example: If making a 14" square finished pillow, select a 9''-10'' -length zipper.
  • Chenille-It Blooming Bias or similar chenille bias product and matching thread
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Zipper foot attachment
  • Seam ripper
  • Marking tool
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My Chenille pillow was made using the Traveler Raindrops print from my new Signature fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics. This print was perfect for this decorative finish because of the lines of the print could be used as a guide for chenille placement. 

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Chenille bias tape comes in rolls and is a loosely woven cotton cut on the bias. 

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Mark your fabric, if necessary to give yourself sewing guides. In my case, I could use the lines of my Traveler print and get right to sewing. 

Following the manufacturer's instructions, stitch the chenille bias tape to the fabric foundation using a short stitch length. Sew down the center of the strip with a straight stitch. 

Add as many rows as desired.

Assemble the pillow before blooming the chenille with water.

Hidden Zipper

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On a flat surface, place the pillow front and back right sides together with edges matched. If there's a definite top and bottom to your pillow place the bottom of the pillow closest to you, as shown in illustration. 

Center the zipper on the edge that will be the bottom of the pillow. Mark the fabric at the points where the zipper begins and end.

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Remove zipper and stitch bottom edge using a 1/2" seam allowance from the outside edge to the marked line on each end. Backstitch to reinforce.

Using a basting stitch length, sew the space between the marks with a 1/2'' seam allowance. Do not backstitch. Press seam open. 

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On the wrong side, place the zipper wrong side up centered directly over the seam and between the marks. Pin in place or I like to use Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape to hold the zipper in place without the need for pins. 

If using Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape, cut two lengths of tape as long as the zipper. Stick a length of tape to the right side of the zipper on each side, keeping the tape away from the zipper teeth. Peel off backing tape and stick the right side of the zipper to the fabric as shown above.

Reset stitch length to regular length. Switch to the zipper foot attachment for your machine and stitch zipper in place around all sides. Note: Stitch with needle in the down position and pivot around corners, sewing just past the metal ends of the zipper. 

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Turn to right side of the pillow and remove the basting stitches using a seam ripper. Open zipper. 

Fold front and backing on the zipper seam with right sides together and edges matching. Pin. Change presser foot to regular foot. Using a 1/2'' seam allowance, stitch three sides together. 

Turn right side out through zipper opening. Tip: Do not clip the corners. By leaving the corners unclipped the bulk helps to fill out the corners of the pillow. Carefully poke out corners.

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Following the chenille manufacturer's instructions, wash or wet bias to bloom. Dry completely before inserting pillow form. Tip: If washing creates gaps in the chenille, simply cut a slightly longer piece of chenille bias tape longer than the gap and stitch in place using the pillow opening. Wet and fluff to blend into original chenille. 

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This pillow was so much fun to make and looks comfy cozy in my Signature baby room setting. Be watching for more looks from this baby room in the upcoming Signature Look Book next week. 

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