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.

CS Layered Sharon.jpg

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''. 

Strip Set 1.jpg

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. 

Strip Set 2.jpg

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

Strip Set 3.jpg

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

Strip Set 4.jpg

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!



Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #4

Hello, it's Wednes-yay and that means it's block release day! Are you starting to feel more confident about sewing half-square triangles? Block #4 is called Crow's Nest and has only 4 HSTs as well as introduces piecing of strips.

My partner in crime, co-host, and good friend Maureen Cracknell and I have been so impressed by all the blocks being made--you makers are amazing! Because of your enthusiasm and beautiful block postings, new Sewcial Bee Sampler makers are joining us everyday! We'd like to welcome our new friends. If you're new to the SBS sew along or haven't already read some of my helpful posts with tips and tutorials, please refer back to these posts: SBS ExtrasPerfect PatchworkSewcial Bee Sampler Block #1Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #2, and Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #3.

Download the free PDF pattern for the Crow's Nest block on my Sew Along page

Crow's Nest Block

Be sure to cut all pieces accurately and square. Use a true 1/4" seam allowance when piecing your patchwork. Refer to the step-by-step Half-Square Triangles tutorial from the Block #2 post for making the HSTs for this block.  

1. When sewing the strips together for the Crow's Nest block keep in mind there are two seams in the strip set unit. I say this because if your seam allowances are off, that's two times the problems. I like to press my seams open on strip set units so they lay nice and flat.

2. After the three strips have been sewn together, the unit should measure exactly 3-1/2" square. Likewise, the HST units will also measure 3-1/2" square. Press seams open on HST units and trim dog ears to reduce bulk. When joining the rows, I press the seams of the rows to one side, rather than pressing open. By pressing the seams to one side it allows me to lock the nested seams in place when pinning to sew. Once the Crow's Nest block is pieced, I press open the row seams. The block before adding frames should now measure 9-1/2" square. 

Be sure to visit Maureen's blog and see her beautiful block. She was much bolder than I and used several different prints from her Art Gallery Fabrics fabric lines. I decided to keep things simple and only use two prints from my new Bountiful fabrics line for Art Gallery Fabrics. The leaf print, called Arborescent is one of my favorite prints from the collection and I wanted to see more of it! 

Lorraine Isaac from @quilting_nanny on Instagram left a tip in my comments that she uses small pants hangers to hang her blocks so they don't get messed up before getting into a quilt. What a great idea and fun way to photograph a block too!

My little tip and money saver is to use the flannel side of an inexpensive vinyl tablecloth as a design wall. Since I don't rent or have any plans of putting my house on the market, I have simply used flat thumb tacks pushed directly into the drywall on a bare wall in my sewing room. The tablecloth is not heavy and thumbtacks are all that's needed to hold the tablecloth flat against the wall. 

Do you like my sewing basket? I've had that every since I was a kid and red was my favorite color back then. Now, I'm more of a peachy-pink lover but I'll never get rid of that basket! Here's a look at all four of my SBS block in my Bountiful fabrics sampler quilt. I have two quilts going and the second sampler is being made from a curated group of 20 prints pulled from my first four Art Gallery Fabrics lines (Gossamer, Sketchbook, Coastline, and Tapestry) plus the two newly recolored designs (original to Gossamer) found in the new AGF Fusion collections. More about that second quilt on Friday--I didn't get block #4 made yet! 

Also, don't forget that Friday is Giveaway Friday and this week Maureen will be hosting the giveaway on her blog. We've got a great giveaway planned from the Fat Quarter Shop I know you'll not want to miss!

Aurifil      Circa 15      The Intrepid Thread      Fat Quarter Shop      Omnigrid      Llama Fabrics      Color Girl     Lady Belle Fabric      Needle in a Fabric Stash      Dritz      Knotted Thread    NeedleandFoot      Stash Builder Box

Happy sewing, I look forward to seeing your Sewcial Bee Sampler blocks!