Community Sampler Week #11

Community Sampler Week #11


Can you believe it, we're on week #11 of our Community Sampler sew along? My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and can't wait to see your block.

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There are eleven blocks in our quilt, block setting, and optional borders and each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. Then, work your way through the first Community Sampler post to the present.

Many of the patchwork units (like Quick-Corner, Flying Geese, Half-Square Triangle, and Square-in-Square units) used in this year's sampler have already been oversized to allow for trimming and squaring of units before assembling your block. Please cut your pieces EXACTLY as given in each of the PDF instructions because bumping up the size of the pieces from the measurements give will not bring great results in some cases. Take advantage of my in-blog tutorials for each of the different quilting techniques used in our sampler.

Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your blocks will measure 12-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Let's start sewing the last full block in our sampler--New Four-Patch. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.


This week's block consists of Half-Square Triangle units and Four-Patch units. To review how to make Half-Square Triangle (HST) units , take a look at the linked HST post.

Accuracy is always our goal so make sure all cut pieces are true to size as you work and maintain an accurate 1/4" seam allowance when sewing and the pieces will go together beautifully.

If you're wanting to use directional prints for the HST units you may want to check out my tutorial for controlling directional prints that was first posted during the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along. 

Strip Sets

Four-Patch units are pretty straight forward but we have a lot of them in the New Four-Patch block and I thought today's lesson could be about making Strip Sets. Strip Sets are strips cut to size and sewn together into a long strip that's then cut into sections for quicker unit construction.


In my New Four-Patch block I made all my Four-Patch units the same. If you'd like to try making Strip Sets for your block but want more variety to the units, simply cut shorter strips and mix up the fabrics used in the strips.


To begin making my Four-Patch units I started with one 2'' x 42'' strip of fabrics D and E as shown on our PDF instruction for this block. Again, if you want more variety then maybe cut strips from fat quarters to measure 2'' x 21''. 

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Sew the strips right sides together lengthwise using an accurate 1/4'' seam allowance, using a short stitch length. NOTE: that if your fabric is thick, you use a thick thread, or aren't sewing with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, these factors will effe ct the accuracy of your Strip Set and you'll come up short once they're sewn together. 

Once strips have been sewn together lengthwise, press to set the seam before turning to help give the sharpest seam when pressed open to the darker fabric. You can also press the seams open if this gives you the flattest strip set. Measure your Strip Set to make sure it's measuring 3-1/2'' wide. 

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Trim and square off the leading edge of the Strip Set, removing any selvage edges. 

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Subcut the Strip Set into 2'' wide sections as shown above. Make a total of sixteen sections.

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Noting placement, sew two sections together to make a Four-Patch unit. Make a total of eight Four-Patch units. 


My Community Sampler is made entirely of Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements solids. If you'd like to know the colors I'm using I've been including the sku names and numbers in almost every post and I've kept fairly true to my original fabric pull and concept. That early mood board work really paid off!


Other Quilty News

If you hadn't already caught it, I was a guest on the Modern Sewciety Podcast hosted by the lovely Stephanie Kendron.

Stephanie and I talk all about the making of my Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book from Landauer Publishing. You may remember the beautiful quilt Stephanie made for my book blog tour

It was so much fun talking with Stephanie about being a textile designer and photography! You really need to add podcast listening to your sewing sessions because it's like having a quilting party right there with you as you sew! 

A big thanks to Stephanie for having me back on her show. xoxoxo

Signature Fabrics


It's that time of year again and Quilt Market is right around the corner. I won't be attending the Portland show this spring but that won't stop me from promoting my new Signature fabrics collection from Art Gallery Fabrics from here at home!

I've so many sewing projects planned and a new sewing room/photography studio in which to show them off in! Life has been crazy busy lately and I'm making stuff faster than I can share. I promise there will be more about my new collection soon and if you want a daily dose of what's happen, follow me on Instagram @sharonhollanddesigns as it's quicker to post there on a daily routine then create new blog post. 

Be sure to stop over at Maureen's blog to see her lovely Community Sampler blocks being made from her Art Gallery Fabrics Love Story collection. Also be watching her feeds for news about her Autumn Vibes collection that will also be part of the spring AGF collections. 


Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work!

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 this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!



Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living Blog Tour Recap Part 2

Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living Blog Tour Recap Part 2

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The Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book blog tour has felt like a big Christmas present and for 16 days I was surprised by a new and beautiful gift! This tour was so special I had to break up the recap into parts. Part 1 was shared last week and today I will finish the review with Part 2.

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Monday 12/4  Heidi Staples - Fabric Mutt

Tuesday 12/5  Amy Friend - During Quiet Time

Wednesday 12/6  Maureen Cracknell - Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Thursday 12/7  Amber Johnson - Gigi's Thimble

Friday 12/8  Karen O'Connor - Lady K Quilts Designs

Saturday 12/9  Kori Turner-Goodhart - Olive Grace Studios

Sunday 12/10  Silvia Sutters - A Stranger View

Monday 12/11  Sarah Maxwell - Designs by Sarah J

Tuesday 12/12  Jessica Swift - Jessica Swift

Wednesday 12/13  Lisa Ruble - Love to Color My World

Thursday 12/14  Cindy Wiens - Live a Colorfullife

Friday 12/15  Eleri Kerian - Sew and Tell Project

Saturday 12/16  Anjeanette Klinder - Anjeanette K

Sunday 12/17  Stephanie Kendron - Modern Sewciety

Monday 12/18  Christopher Thompson - The Tattooed Quilter

Tuesday 12/19  Susan Playsted - Hopewood Home

Pillow top and photo by Jessica Swift 

Pillow top and photo by Jessica Swift 

The second half of the Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book blog tour starts off on Tuesday, December 12th with Jessica Swift of Jessica Swift. Jessica is the newest designer for Art Gallery Fabrics and launched her Tallinn fabrics this fall in Houston. She is a beginning quilter and really the ideal type of sewer to tell you about her experience with using my book. I think her project choice to make a pillow from the Pixel quilt was not only a good selection for a beginner to make but also a great way to show off scraps left-over from Jessica's new collection. I love the machine quilting she did on her pillow top as well. See the finished pillow on Jessica's blog. 

Quilt and photo by Lisa Ruble 

Quilt and photo by Lisa Ruble 

Wednesday, December 13th my dear friend and former colleague Lisa Ruble of Love to Color My World blogged about her scaled down version of the Midsommar quilt. I love the graphic clean lines of this quilt and especially think Lisa's teal, grey, and pop of coral are stunning. I enjoyed reading Lisa's blog post because she takes us through her process of fabric/color selection for her quilt and how the book pushed her a little out of her comfort zone with mixing the different greys. The result is stunning and the baby that will receive this quilt will have a modern looking quilt that will stand the test of time. 

Quilt and photo by Cindy Wiens 

Quilt and photo by Cindy Wiens 

Thursday, December 14th the talented Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorfullife shared her tour make with us. This quilt may seem ordinary but in fact it's a very special quilt. The fabrics Cindy used are her father's repurposed shirts. Cindy chose the Comfort quilt pattern and opted not to include the small triangle corners to the blocks. The utility of this quilt shines through from the "Workday Blues" shirtings and the repurposing of materials into a quilt Cindy can now wrap herself in like a big hug. Read more about this quilt on her blog post and see the clever pillow Cindy made from leftover squares.

Quilt and photo by Eleri Kerian

Quilt and photo by Eleri Kerian

Friday, December 15th was the day Eleri Kerian of Sew and Tell Project posted about her stunning Night and Day quilt. Eleri is a garment sewer that is new to quilting. She really just picked patchwork up during the Sewcial Bee Sampler virtual sew along earlier this year. Eleri not only made and finished a quilt for the tour but she made a California King-size quilt! She wowed the socks off all of us and you need to visit her blog to read (and see) more about this magnificent quilt. 

Quilt and photo by Anjeanette Klinder

Quilt and photo by Anjeanette Klinder

Saturday, December 16th Anjeanette Klinder of Anjeanette K dazzled everyone with this baby quilt made with one block of the Sunday Paper quilt. This bold quilt block makes the perfect size for a baby quilt because just one block from my quilt pattern is 36" square! Anjeanette is an extremely talented quilter and her blog is a must for you to visit. Read more about her beautiful little quilt on the tour post. 

Quilt and photo by Stephanie Kendron

Quilt and photo by Stephanie Kendron

Sunday, December 17th brought us this breathtaking quilt by Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety. A lucky baby boy is going to receive this Goose Chase quilt and what a stunning quilt of blue, white, and a touch of sunny yellow. Stephanie had fun with the large center half-square triangles and made this a thoroughly modern-utility make. I'm really in love with this quilt! Read more about it's story on Stephanie's blog, enter for a chance to win a copy of my book (ends December 29th), and be sure to catch some podcasts while you're there too!

Pillows and photo by Christopher Thompson

Pillows and photo by Christopher Thompson

Monday, December 18th was the day that Christopher Thompson of The Tattooed Quilter shared his festive pillows with us. My talented friend, Christopher used the Tracery quilt pattern from my book and extended out the block to make it an 18-inch finished pillow. Christopher is a textile designer for Riley Blake and I love the Riley Blake red, green, and black prints he chose created a graphic-cool holiday look. You have to visit his blog to read more and see all sort of sewing inspiration!

Quilt and photo by Susan Playsted

Quilt and photo by Susan Playsted

Last but not least is Susan Playsted of Hopewood Home on Tuesday, December 19th, the final day of the tour. Although Susan does not have a blog, she is on Instagram. Susan's post is very significant because she also played a role in how my book looks.

When I was unexpectedly handed back my book to finish with 3 weeks until the printer deadline and I was in a panic to get images of my quilts. I didn't even have the quilts in my possession at that time and was wracking my brain how I could get it all done in time. I've been following Susan's Hopewood Home feed on Instagram for years and adore (more like lust) over her home and images she posts. I had the bright idea to contact Susan, tell her my situation, and ask her to kindly allow me use of her photos as inset images in the book--to which she said "Yes"! Since flying to Australia was out of the question, my thought was to use her images from her beautifully decorated home as fill to further enhance the lifestyle feeling I wanted in my book. I was right, the integration of her comfortable rooms and on-trend decor filled in seamlessly with my photos of the quilts and instructions. 

Excerpt from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book 

Excerpt from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book 

Here's just one example: I had seen a post of Susan's laundry room on her IG feed and knew I wanted to use it in my book. Originally the window was without a shade and since this book is about fabric I asked if Susan could tack up a temporary "shade" for the photo. We didn't talk about colors or fabric, I left that up to her keen discretion. The result was amazing! This section on Fabric and Quilt Care is spread opposite the last page of the Comfort (baby quilt) project and the colors are superb together.

Quilt and Photo by Susan Playstead

Quilt and Photo by Susan Playstead

The quilt Susan made for the blog tour is a marvelous, non-scrappy Roman Stripe quilt. Roman Strip is the free quilt pattern you can download from Landauer that I designed the accompany the book. Everyone of the quilts and projects made for this tour shows how versatile the patterns in my book can be!

Roman Stripe quilt and photo by Sharon Holland

Roman Stripe quilt and photo by Sharon Holland

It brings me incredible joy to see all these projects made and inspired by book. I have added a STORE page to this blog and have a limited number of copies of my book left to sell. By purchasing the book directly from me you can also have your copy signed and dedicated, if you desire. Otherwise you can purchase the book on Amazon (affiliate link), from the publisher (Landauer), your local quilt shop, or other book stores-everywhere.

A big thanks goes out to all the talented designers/bloggers that made this tour so incredible. I hope you had as much fun as I did! Wishing all of you the merriest of Christmas' or other seasonal holiday you celebrate--they're all an opportunity to gather family and friends around. May you also have all the best in 2018. 

Quilt and photo by Sharon Holland

Quilt and photo by Sharon Holland