New Patterns Released

A new year holds great promise. It's like having a clean slate and in my case a clean sewing room because I needed to tidy it up for holiday company :) Before I got too deep into sewing and designing I thought it would be a good idea to publish some beautiful quilt projects I made for magazines. These quilts are now out of the magazine contract period ready for me to publish as stand-alone PDF patterns you can purchase. You can view all my patterns on Craftsy.

Four New Patterns Added

Kilim is one of my all-time favorite quilt designs. I patterned this quilt after an image of a kilim rug. The rug inspiration was taken further by how I placed the cream background prints and let them flow from one type of print into another like how yarn is woven on a loom making subtle changes in color. Another way I pushed the concept of a rug was to use a mitered facing binding on this quilt--much like how a rug is finished on the back. This optional way to finish this project gives the quilt a clean front and uninterrupted quilt design.

Kilim by Sharon Holland featuring Sketchbook fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

Kilim by Sharon Holland featuring Sketchbook fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

I love how you can use a ton of different fabrics with this quilt. Most of the prints are from my Sketchbook fabrics collection with the addition of Gossamer fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

Here's a look at the finished quilt back with a mitered facing binding. The instructions for this quilt are written so you can do this facing binding technique or regular double-fold binding from the same 2-1/4'' cut strips. 

My Sketchbook fabric collection is a playful explosion of flowers and drawings. The Bloomescent quilt is a celebration of blooms created with large Drunkard's Path blocks. Even though this is labeled as an intermediate pattern, don't be intimidated by the curved piecing. The 6'' Drunkard's Path square is a gentle curve to piece and easy to learn how to stitch.

Bloomescent by Sharon Holland featuring Sketchbook fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

Bloomescent by Sharon Holland featuring Sketchbook fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

My third new pattern release is a foundation paper-pieced table runner called Sea Breeze. This project was my last make for my Coastline fabrics fall 2015 Quilt Market booth. I had only a handful of scraps to work with and this Palm Leaf block couldn't have been more perfect for the theme of the collection and my materials available. 

Sea Breeze by Sharon Holland featuring Coastline fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

Sea Breeze by Sharon Holland featuring Coastline fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

The Sea Breeze table runner pattern is rated as an advanced pattern and utilizes foundation paper-piecing techniques to achieve the perfect points on the Palm Leaf blocks. Step-by-step instructions for how to paper-piece are included in the PDF pattern. A small project like this is a great time to try paper-piecing since you only need to make 12 blocks!

Last but not least is Beach Glass, a modern quilt design made from a repeating geometric pattern. I've rated this as an intermediate only because of the placement of the squares and half-square triangles. The making of blocks is straightforward and definitely a beginner level--just follow the quilt diagram closely for placement and orientation to achieve the repeat pattern effect. 

Beach Glass by Sharon Holland featuring Gossamer fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

Beach Glass by Sharon Holland featuring Gossamer fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics

Stitched in cool blues, seafoam green, and sandy brown this calming color palette was made using my Gossamer fabrics and Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics. Simple half-square triangles and squares are used to create the repeating design of this quilt. Randomly spaced, straight line quilting gives the feeling of rippling water. 

Visit my Craftsy pattern page to purchase these or any of my other PDF patterns. Be sure to tag me #sharonhollanddesigns when you post pictures of your completed makes so I can see your lovely projects! Happy sewing xxxx

Garden Path Pillow

Often I have many projects in the works. Ones I make to share, patterns I have for sale, projects for a booth display, and designs slated for a magazine. It's the magazine features that kill me because I have to keep them a secret until they are published. It's alway exciting when an issue comes out with my project in it so I can finally share it with you! 

The April/May 2016 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts is now on the newsstands and features my Garden Path pillow.

This modern pillow design is made using my Sketchbook fabrics and Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements. Perfect for adding a fresh new look to your home (or patio) the Garden Path pillow will be a fun addition to your home. 

The staff at McCall's liked this pillow design so much they put together a free Garden Path Baby Quilt for you. Find the free pattern here.

Free Garden Path baby quilt from McCall's Quick Quilts

Free Garden Path baby quilt from McCall's Quick Quilts

What a cute idea, right?!? This makes a perfect, uni-sex baby quilt and has nice open space to show off some pretty quilting. 

I am affiliated with FW Media Craft of Quilting and you may be interested to find kits for several of the projects I have had featured in McCall's and other FW Media magazines like Calliope featured in Modern Patchwork Winter 2016 issue which is also made from Sketchbook fabrics and Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements and blenders. 

Quilt Kits, Fabrics, Patterns and More from Craft of Quilting

Past Present and Future

Past

Most of us are saying the same thing "Where did the year go?" The nice thing about a blog is I have a diary of sorts to show what I've accomplished throughout the year. "Time flies when you're having fun" couldn't be more true as I look back on the posts I've made this year. Now, I know why the 2015 fly by so fast!

Present

Modern Patchwork is a wonderful publication that's consistently loaded with beautiful quilt and patchwork projects. The Winter 2016 issue of Modern Patchwork hits the newsstands 12/22/15 and features my Calliope quilt made from Sketchbook fabrics and Pure Element fabrics both from Art Gallery Fabrics. Peek into the issue here and see some of the amazing projects! Check out the gorgeous quilts by Catherine Redford, Pat Bravo, and AGF Studio that also use Art Gallery Fabrics prints, solids, and blenders. 

   Calliope by Sharon Holland made with Sketchbook fabrics   

 

Calliope by Sharon Holland made with Sketchbook fabrics

 

   Winter 2016 Modern Patchwork   

 

Winter 2016 Modern Patchwork

 

Future

I'm not one to publicly declare my goals and have been only mildly successful completely any New Year's resolutions. I think I always aim too high and because of that have conditioned myself to be satisfied with reaching a fraction of the original goal. Even a fraction of the resolution is still more than I was doing before!

Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl is hostlng a 2016 Quilting/Blogging Planning and Giveaway posting on her blog. Yvonne outlines her goals as a quilter and blogger and has a very realistic plan for reaching short term and long term goals for her personal and professional crafting life. Other bloggers will be linking up to the hop to share their goals and planning strategies for the new year. I highly suggest you check out this post and her site. She's a phenomenal quilt designer with wonderful tutorials and exciting quilts and style. 

To encourage your planning for 2016, Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter and Yvonne from Quilting Jet Girl have teamed up to offer an exciting giveaway for the planning blog. Both bloggers have designed and published planner calendars. See Quiltling Jet Girl blog post for more details on how to enter the giveaway for these fun planners!

   The Quilter's Planner by Stephanie Palmer at Late Night Quilter

 

The Quilter's Planner by Stephanie Palmer at Late Night Quilter

   2016 Weekly Photo Calendar by Yvonne Fuchs at Quilting Jet Girl

 

2016 Weekly Photo Calendar by Yvonne Fuchs at Quilting Jet Girl

So, what are my goals, dreams, and plans for 2016? I know better than to make a specific list for myself. I am never at loss for things to do and my normal mode is to create and make every day as productive as I can. By default, I will have a productive year. But, how do I make that push to do more or add new goals?

Do Less to Do More

I do have goals and ideas flitting around in my head and aspirations of 2016 being a year of new heights for my career. My true joy is in designing--surface design, to be specific. If I cannot find the time to add more into my busy day then I will need to cut out what's less important and focus on what has the most impact for my efforts. 

Cutting out unnecessary commitments and ineffective distractions will leave me more time to work on developing new directions for my crafts and career. My intentions are to rekindle my arts and design background and merge my surface design style with original artwork. My goal is to start a side business of limited edition products created by hand to showcase my pattern design. There, I said it outloud. Now, there's a lot to do between writing it here and it becoming a reality--but it's a start!

Don't worry, I still plan to design new textiles. My spring collection is in the works (and fabulous, BTW), I have new quilt designs to come, and much will remain the same as you have come to love about my style as a designer. The time to reach a little further has come and I am ready to stretch myself and grow in 2016. What are your goals and dreams?

Labor Day Weekend

Are you having a fun Labor Day Weekend? Maybe you are using the extra time off to work on some projects around the house or yard? Maybe getting in some extra sewing time? I can check off the boxes on all those activities! 

Now, I know I rarely blog about my family because I do try to keep my personal and business lives separated but this post is dedicated to my future granddaughter. It will probably be the closest thing I will do posting an image of her. Personally, I don't like to have my children's images posted online unless they are adults and give permission.

Sunday we spent the day with my daughter, her hubby, and the in-laws because my daughter Anna was having a baby shower thrown for her by her sweet friends. Here's my lovely daughter and husband and VERY round tummy bump.

In preparation for the baby shower last week I had been 1. learning how to use my new serger sewing machine and 2. Making some adorable baby gowns for the baby using knits from my Gossamer and Sketchbook collections.

 
 
 

I couldn't be happier with how the baby gowns turned out! I used two different online blogs for sourcing this pattern (see next paragraph) and came up with a hybrid baby gown from the information and patterns given in the different tutorials. I always loved the little hand covers on baby gowns so I included those on each of the gowns I made. Also I only had white rib knit for the hems and used the serger stitching on the rib knit strip edges as decoration and went with a single fold binding instead of a folded edge. I also added a little crochet lace to the green sleeper to add a little extra cuteness.

To find this free baby hat pattern visit Zaaberry. For the baby sleeper I used these two resources: This Mama Makes Stuff Rockin Baby Gown and Stitched Together.


Now, my first week learning how to use the serger wasn't all sunshine and lollipops. I didn't see one of my pins and ran over it--breaking my upper knife :( so need a replacement knife. But, even with that,  I do like owning and using one and it is definitely the way to go when sewing with knits. The seams are smooth and ripple free. I haven't sewn any woven fabrics with it yet but I figure after starting with knits anything after that will be a piece-of-cake!

Before making the baby gowns, I started with an easy project. Here's what I had made for myself on my maiden voyage into serger sewing. This Syrah skirt by Baste and Gather. This skirt was super easy and a great piece to start learning on. I made it using the Wire Flowers Foil print from my Gossamer fabrics. I could live in the skirt and have already worn it twice since last week. Need to make more!

Quilt Market in Houston is just around the corner (Oct 24-26) and I will need to be proficient on my new machine for sewing samples using my third fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabric. This is a great time for me to play around and learn.

Learning new stuff can be frustrating, exciting, unnerving, but always rewarding because you have pushed yourself. Just think, last year at this time I was learning and practicing on my then new mid-arm quilting machine and now I can knock out a quilt in a day sometimes (but usually two days). I never thought that would happen--especially at first during that frustration period!