A Creative Life

A Creative Life

September Bouquet by Sharon Holland

September Bouquet by Sharon Holland

Believe me, I'm fully aware of how lucky I am! My sister always said I'm charmed and I think she is right.

My husband is a wonderful, kind, and giving man who not only makes me laugh everyday but has worked hard to provide for the family which allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom when our kids where growing up. He's always accommodated me in my pursuit of arts and crafts and supported all my dreams along with putting up with crazy photoshoots, sourcing excursions, and taking over the house as my workspace. 

Yellow Rose study by Sharon Holland

Yellow Rose study by Sharon Holland

My recent time spent reconnecting with painting has me first, wanting to thank everyone for the out pouring of wonderful comments and support and second wanting to encourage you to pursue your dreams and goals as well.

You have to know by now that I'm a natural-born enabler, right? Well, I like to think of it more like a cheerleader for the arts whether it's for sewing/quilting, photography, crafting, or fine arts. 

Fox by Sharon Holland

Fox by Sharon Holland

With kids back to school and summer drawing to a close, it's time to start thinking about following some of your dreams.

Even though I have a background in art from my college days long ago, I still wasn't up to date with modern technology. If I hadn't of taken the plunge and gone back to school at age 45 I may not being doing all the wonderfully amazing creative things I'm able to do today.

Luckily, there's now an easier way to learn at your own pace and right from home. It's called Skillshare. I'm a such a big fan of Skillshare that I'm now a Skillshare ambassador!

Monarch on Coneflower by Sharon Holland

Monarch on Coneflower by Sharon Holland

Skillshare is an amazing platform that lets you watch unlimited videos at your own pace the on every subject imaginable. Maybe you're interested in starting watercolors or learning how to draw? There's hundreds of phenomenal teachers from all over the globe are on Skillshare and ready to teach you what you want to learn. 

Want to be a better photographer? Yup, they have all sorts of levels from beginning photography to advanced. The courses are not just art related either, you can learn about how to improve your Instagram feed, be a better business owner, gardener, start calligraphy, learn the newest technology (like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for example), and improve your lifestyle, health, and fitness. 

Summer Lace by Sharon Holland

Summer Lace by Sharon Holland

Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start. When I wanted to start painting again I felt incredibly rusty but Skillshare helped me gain the confidence I needed to put pigment to paper again. 

So, if you're intrigued or still on the fence about what Skillshare could do for you, here's a sweet incentive for you to give it a try for 2 free months! Use coupon code: igamb1169.

Yes, no obligations other than signup for your free 2 months and start learning something new--today!

Here's just a few of my favorite teachers on Skillshare:

Leah Goren - Skillshare

Leah Goren - Skillshare


Bonnie Christine - Skillshare

Bonnie Christine - Skillshare


Katya Rozz - Skillshare

Katya Rozz - Skillshare


Robert Joyner - Skillshare

Robert Joyner - Skillshare

There's no end to what you can accomplish and each Skillshare class is broken down into bite-size segments and class projects you can share with the class and get feedback from the teacher. You work at your own pace, access the classes at anytime, and rewatch as needed. 

So, what do you say? You have nothing to loose and everything to gain!!!!

Happy learning from your creative cheerleader,

Sharon

Signature Bucket Bag

Signature Bucket Bag

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This month my sixth fabric collection, Signature for Art Gallery Fabrics hits the shops. I couldn't be more excited to share this collection with you in the form of new, free projects!

As the industry gathers in Portland, Oregon this weekend for the Spring Quilt Market, I'm staying home and opted out of displaying my new collection at the show. My decision not to go stemmed from several reasons. One, my second grandchild arrived in April and I took a break from work to go lend a hand. That put me way behind in my normal market prep sewing but I wouldn't have missed being present for the birth for the world! 

Two, I decided, in advance that if I stayed home I would finally remodel my sewing/guest room in my house and turn it into a proper studio space so I could stage different photography scenes for my projects. I was actually able to remodel my room and buy some new props for less than it would have cost me to go to the show and now I can bring you more and better displays here from home. 

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This is just a tiny peek into the first of several Signature Looks. Over the next few weeks I will be posting new, free projects and a closer look into each set up. As always, be sure to watch my feed and Stories on Instagram for even more, day-to-day posts.

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You first saw my Kantha-Style Bucket Bag when I took part in Jessica Swifts Tallinn blog tour last month. I just didn't have the time then to write up the pattern for it then, and thank you for being patient till I could get it prepared. 

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There were so many asking for this pattern after I posted about it I decided to remake it in my new Signature fabrics, get the pattern written, and include it in the Signature LookBook coming out next month. 

You'll find the free PDF download for my Bucket Bag on the Free Patterns page of this blog. 

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Bag details include hand-quilted stitching with Aurifloss embroidery thread on the exterior of the bag, eight roomy interior pockets, and fun embellishments like Extra-Large Eyelets and Swivel Hook, and Tassel Cap from Dritz

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For the interior of the bag I used Art Gallery Fabrics Smooth Denim (DEN-S-2007) in Nectarine Sunrise and Lateral Bud Profusion (SGN-68710) for the pockets. 

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For the exterior of my bag I use (from the opening to bottom) Extempore Fancy (SGN-58700), Traveler Raindrops (SGN-58705), Lateral Bud Profusion (SGN-68710), and Small World Sprightly (SGN-68713).

For a quick tutorial on how to make a tassel using the Dritz Tassel Cap kit, take a look back at the Tallinn blog tour post.

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There are 20 prints in the Signature collection and comes in two color ways. Between the two color ways there are 14 different prints because in some cases the print only has one coloring. That's what makes this collection so deep and interesting. I'm still making discoveries as I sew! Above is the Foliar color way and below is the Atmospheric color way.

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Shops are just getting their stock of Signature in and I've begun adding a few online shop listings to my Fabrics page. Some have already sold out in the first week so keep checking back as they restock and more shops list their new inventory.

Guest On American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast

Guest on American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast

Graphic courtesy of American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast

Graphic courtesy of American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast

It's always a big honor when Pat Sloan of American Patchwork and Quilting asks if you want to be on her radio podcast - um, of course, YEESSSS!!!!!

I love talking with Pat, she's so knowledgeable about this industry and genuinely a wonderful person. This is my second time on her show--I could talk with her all day long!. Listen to my first live podcast interview on episode #336 which aired April 10, 2017 where Pat and I talk about fabric design and style of quilts. 

The new episode #373 will air March 19, 2018 sometime after 4 pm Eastern on Patchwork and Quilting Radio.

Or on Pat Sloan's website under Radio Shows.

Episodes can also be heard at the All People Quilt magazine's website.

Photo by Sharon Holland

Photo by Sharon Holland

In new episode #373 interview, Pat and I talk about my Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book for Landauer Publishing and what it means to create a utility-style quilt as well as the behind the scenes makings that went into the book and it's photography.

Bobbin quilt from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

Bobbin quilt from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

There's so much that goes into a craft book. Of course, first and foremost is a concept for the book then comes the making of the projects and writing of the manuscript. For me it snowballed into even more...

Goose Chase from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

Goose Chase from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

I soon found myself behind the camera shooting the type of life-style photos I wanted depicted in my book. Really, the behind the camera is a happy place for me in my multi-passionate career--I just wish I had a bit more time then was given to meet the 2-week press deadline.

I found surprising and creative solutions for capturing the look I wanted for this book and thank goodness for my wonderful friends that let me trash their homes to get that perfect shot! Hear more on that behind the photos on the podcast interview with Pat.

Star Crossed from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

Star Crossed from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living quilt book. Photo by Sharon Holland.

I like to give each quilt a personality before I even begin and by doing so, it also helped me streamline how the quilt was to be photographed. Star Crossed has a tween-girl storyline for me and was a fun quilt to style. Pat and I talk more about my process behind selecting which fabrics to use in my quilts and how I came up with the different utility quilt looks for my book.

Fabric stack photo by Sharon Holland

Fabric stack photo by Sharon Holland

When you listen to the podcast interview, I tell Pat my concept behind this book and how I want to encourgage quilters to find their voice and make beautiful quilts that give you permission to use them everyday and love them to pieces. 

This book is geared toward the beginner but a seasoned quilter will love the quick-make quilt projects and the freedom to explore design. Basically, this book is an excuse to go through your fabric stash and have fun sewing!

I had a ton of fun digging into my stash of fabrics for my 12 quilt projects in my book. Many of the fabrics used are vintage gems I've been holding onto for a long time and I'm so happy they are now in quilts that I can use and enjoy rather than the fabrics being stashed away in a closet.  

See what others are sewing using the patterns in my book by searching the hashtag #UtilityStyleQuiltsforEverydayLiving on Instagram! 

 

 

Cover Quilt

Cover Quilt

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Yup, that's my quilt in the large photo with the chair on the cover of Quilts and More magazine! Not only is my quilt on the cover of this issue but I have two quilts in this Quilts and More Winter 2018 magazine. 

Both of the quilts are made using my Bountiful fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics and both are super easy to make. 

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

The cover quilt is a mix of simple foundation paper-piecing (FPP) and traditional patchwork. I had originally called this quilt Barnstorm because the diagonal FPP sections made me think of barnwood panels. The radiating design has so much energy and makes for a graphic quilt. In the magazine this project has been renamed (editors do that) to: Bursting with Energy.

Photo and quilt by Sharon Holland

Photo and quilt by Sharon Holland

The second quilt in this same issue is also made using Bountiful fabrics with the addition of Art Gallery Fabrics natural linen and Shannon fabrics faux rabbit minky. This projects is technically not a quilt but a throw because it has no batting and is tied instead of quilted. The drape on this piece is absolutely amazing and the faux rabbit makes it so luxurious and a high end designer piece. 

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

I made both these quilts for Spring Quilt Market to display in my Bountiful booth. I was thrilled when the All People Quilt editor snatched them up for their publications. It's so hard having to wait to share my makes and it feels like all my work since spring is now coming out at once. 

This was a purely for fun project and something completely different than I've ever done before. I wanted to showcase my hide print from Bountiful but interject texture and Farmhouse-style into the project. The answer was the faux fur and pompom ties!

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Photo by Sharon Holland

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Photo by Sharon Holland

This project has it all and could actually be one to get the kids involved in. Truth be told, I'm not sure how well this project would launder. But I do suggest using tapestry wool for the pompom as it's very hard wearing and I would launder by hand if needed. But who cares, right? This is such an amazing tactile throw blanket and talk about wow power--you just have to make one!

I was so thrilled that Meredith Corporation (All People Quilt publisher) bought all my pompom step out photos for this project. I had so much fun making, writing, and photographing this one and then to have the validation of being paid for the photography is a big deal for this gal. So, when you see the article, take note of my name there in the photo credits :)

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I'm heading off to Houston tomorrow to attend Quilt Market. There I'll be having a trunk show of quilts from my book at a Schoolhouse session 1:55-2:25 on Friday and three book signings:

Saturday - 11:00 - 11:45 in the Hobb's Batting booth #347

Saturday - 3:00 -3:30 in the Landauer Publishing booth #2040

Sunday - 10:00 - 10:30 in the Brewer booth #734

I hope you'll stop by and say hi if you're planning on attending.

The All People Quilt booth with have both of my quilts on display so I will snap some pics and show you those on my Market Review post when I get back. Otherwise, be watching my Instagram feed @sharonhollanddesigns for postings while I'm at Market. 

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Looking ahead: Starting November 1st I will be hosting the Bountiful Holiday Blog Tour and have lined up some super talented Makers that will be bringing you fast, fun, and fabulous sewing projects for the holidays, gift giving ideas, and home decor sewing. Plus I will have a Harvest colorway fat quarter bundle giveaway at the end of the tour courtesy of the Fat Quarter Shop. 

Stop back soon, there's so much more to share with you!