Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living Blog Tour Recap Part 1

Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living Blog Tour Recap Part 1

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We're slightly past the halfway mark on this incredible tour for my new book, Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living. It fills my heart with joy to see how these talented designer/bloggers have taken my book and ran with creativity in their makes. 

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Many of the bloggers are offering a chance to win a copy of my book from Landauer Publishing so if you want to get your hands on one before Christmas, check out each of their blog posts to see if the giveaway is still open and continue following along on the second part of the tour for even more beautiful makes and giveaway opportunities! I must note that the book giveaways are limited to US address only--sorry international friends.

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

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Blog Tour Recap Part 1

Photo and pillow by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Photo and pillow by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Monday, December 4th was the official start of the tour. My sweet friend, Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt lead us off. Heidi has a distinctive style to the type of prints she works with (and designs!). Her fabric choices are reminiscent of feedsack prints intermixed with playful graphics and always cheery in colors. They fit Heidi's bubbly personality to a T. For the book blog tour Heidi scaled down my Cabin quilt and made a quilted pillow top that is delightfully fun and beautiful! You must put Fabric Mutt on your blog visit list and find all sorts of exciting projects and tutorials. 


Photo and pillow by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time

Photo and pillow by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time

Tuesday, December 5th we stopped at Amy Friend's blog During Quiet Time and saw how Amy took one block from my Tracery quilt pattern and turn it into a stunning pillow. Both of the first two post in this tour prove you don't have to make a full quilt to make something useful and beautiful for your home (or gifts) as Amy plans to give her pillow make as a Christmas present. The nature inspired prints and soothing palette make this pillow a standout. I do love the Tapestry fabrics prints I designed for Art Gallery Fabrics included in the mix!

There's still a few days left on the book giveaway on Amy's blog plus you'll always find wonderful quilting and sewing inspiration on her beautiful site. 


Photo by Sharon Holland. Fabrics by Maureen Cracknell of Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Photo by Sharon Holland. Fabrics by Maureen Cracknell of Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Wednesday, December 6th belonged to my dear friend and Art Gallery Fabrics designer sister Maureen Cracknell or Maureen Cracknell Handmade. My friendship with Maureen has grown so much this year as we co-hosted the Sewcial Bee Sampler together during the first half of the year. We're kindred spirits and hardly a day goes by now that we aren't texting each other and bouncing ideas off one another. It's amazing to have someone you trust completely and know they have your back. We also have so much fun together--it's a wonder we get any work done at all! Maureen's blog post is another of our collaborations. At Fall Quilt Market in Houston, Maureen debuted her next Art Gallery Fabrics collection called Flower Child. I was at the show to debut my book and had time to sew a quilt for Maureen. Maureen's blog post shows the Goose Chase quilt remake in her new fabrics mixed with AGF Pure Elements and Prisma fabric. The quilt is stunning and just shows how different a design can look simply by switching up the fabrics and colors. I did a wavy, diagonal machine quilting that was easy and forgiving with it's organic quirkiness. Look for more about this quilt when AGF publishes the Lookbook for Maureen's new fabrics. 


Photo and quilt by Amber Johnson of Gigi's Thimble

Photo and quilt by Amber Johnson of Gigi's Thimble

Thursday, December 7th Amber Johnson of Gigi's Thimble wowed us all with her version of the Cabin quilt from my book. This quilt pattern has to be my favorite from the book (shhh, don't tell the other quilts). It is such a simple quilt to make but is so satisfying and a great throw size. The graphic quality of Amber's quilt in the rustic shades of the season look right at home in her farmhouse-style home. I just want to curl up on that sofa and snuggle under her quilt--especially since she used Minky to back her quilt! This was my first opportunity to work with Amber in a blog tour and you must agree we want to see more from her in the future! In the meanwhile, you can visit her blog and see more of what Amber has made.


Photo and quilt by Karen O'Connor of Lady K Quilts Designs

Photo and quilt by Karen O'Connor of Lady K Quilts Designs

Friday, December 8th the blog tour continued with Karen O'Connor of Lady K Quilts Designs. Karen is not only the nicest person you'll ever meet, she can sign like you wouldn't believe! Be sure to visit her on her to see more of her quilt and get links to her Instagram feed to listen to her Christmas carols. Seriously, that girl needs to make a record album! Okay, back to Karen's quilt make for my book tour...she stitched this stunning remake of the Night and Day quilt from my book and instead of making it queen-size like the pattern called for Karen simply reduced the number of blocks in her quilt and made a size she felt comfortable quilting on her domestic sewing machine. Absolutely stunning and I of course, love all the AGF prints she used in this make. This quilt is as lively and full of energy as Karen is and it was so much fun having her part of this tour!


Photo and runner by Kori Turner-Goodhart of Olive Graces Studios

Photo and runner by Kori Turner-Goodhart of Olive Graces Studios

Saturday, December 9th we were treated to this table runner by Kori Turner-Goodhart of Olive Grace Studios. Kori and I go way back but this is the first time we've aligned the stars and moons to work together. It was so much fun seeing what Kori would choose to make from my book and I adore her version of my Viewpoint table runner. Kori used the cheery print Petally Sweet from my Gossamer fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics as the focal print on the runner. You know I love these colors but what I also love is that this runner fits Kori's sweet, feminine, and graceful style. Her blog or better yet, shop is a must visit to see more of what Kori has to offer in quilt design patterns.


Photo and quilt by Silvia Sutters of A Stranger View

Photo and quilt by Silvia Sutters of A Stranger View

Sunday, December 10th I cannot deny it, I wish I'd have made this quilt the way Silvia Sutters of A Stranger View has done! Silvia chose the Cabin quilt and an analogous color palette of cool teal with a tiny hint of coral. Both the quilt pattern and the colors are hands down my favorites and pair those with a stunning photography setting and you've got my heart--forever! Silvia and I "met" via the internet and her wonderful personality and talent shine through in everything she does. I've been lucky to have her and several of my blog tours now and she's a powerhouse of talent. If you're not already following this incredible lady, you must! See more of this beautiful quilt on Silvia's blog post for the tour. 

 


Photo and quilt top by Sarah Maxwell of Designs by Sarah J.

Photo and quilt top by Sarah Maxwell of Designs by Sarah J.

Monday, December 11th we had the pleasure of visiting Sarah Maxwell of the Designs by Sarah J blog. Sarah cleverly scaled down the Midsommar quilt pattern from my book to make a baby quilt sized project. She incorporated prints from her own fabric lines along with Alison Glass fabrics to create this gorgeous and graphic top. Sarah is a soon-to-be author with Landauer Publishing and an avid designer and quilter. It was fun having Sarah as part of this tour and she has a giveaway of my book open until December 19th so hurry over and enter to win!


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Be sure to continue following along as the rest of the tour unfolds amazing remakes, tutorials, and insights into my new book Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living. You can purchase this book from my newly set up STORE on this website AND get a signed copy (copies are limited)! Or, you can order through Amazon (affiliate link), purchase directly from Landauer Publishing, or from your local quilt shop to name just a few resources. 

Magazine Back Story & Back Issues

Magazine Back Story & Back Issues

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You may be aware of the fact that I was the assistant editor for the Quilt-it...today and Sew-it...today magazines published by Valu-Publishing from December 2012 through September 2014. What you may not be aware of is that not only was I the assistant editor but I also designed the magazine from the ground up because these were a brand new titles for the publisher, did 90% of the photography, laid out the magazine to get to press, worked with the copy editor, and designed the covers. But, my job didn't stop there, I was also the liaison with contributing designers and rewrote and illustrated the various projects to fit our format, shipped back the projects, and designed dozens of quilts and sewing patterns for the magazines as well! 

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Our small staff turned out a magazine every 4 weeks. In total, 12 Quilt-it...today and 11 Sew-it...today magazines went to press. There were 3 issues that never made it to press because the publisher went bankrupt in August of 2014. 

THE BACK STORY

Before I was approached to take on the role of assistant editor in the summer of 2012 I had been designing fabrics for Paintbrush Studios (Fabri-Quilt). I was well qualified for the challenge of magazine work but had never put my newly acquired skills to the test. A few years before, at age 45 I'd gone back to school to learn Desktop Publishing and Digital Print and earned a certification is both those studies. I was originally hired on to design the magazine and lay out the pages. Well, my one role quickly became more and albeit extremely stressful, I was able to do it all. There was of course a learning curve but on the job training is the quickest way to learn.

I've never talked publicly about those magazine days and my website went practically dead during that duration. My recent experience with my book brought back all the thrills and stress of those days, making me think it's time to share a bit of that part of my life with you. 

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My dear friend and editor on both titles was Deborah Hearn. You may remember her as the editor of Quilt magazines and other titles by the now defunct Harris Publications. Deb had such a clear vision for these magazines and I owe much of who I am as a quilt designer, photographer, and pattern writer to her desire to create projects for the beginning sewist and still make them fun and exciting for more advanced sewers. I swear my book Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living is photographed with Deb's voice in my ear. Those photography days were my favorite as we were on the phone all day long! 

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In the spring of 2014 I'd hit the burn out phase. My only daughter was getting married in July and I was nearing a nervous breakdown! I made up my mind that I wanted to get back to the slower paced life of a textile designer (it's not really, but in comparison to what I was doing on staff for the magazines it's night and day difference). At spring Quilt Market that year I took a portfolio of designs to show Pat Bravo of Art Gallery Fabrics. I had only one fabric company I wished to design for and that was AGF. My thought was if I don't get picked up by AGF I was going to give up on being a textile designer for good and continue work in publishing and if I did get picked up by AGF I was going to quit as an assistant editor. Well, I was blown away and so excited that Pat liked my work and signed me on the spot! 

So, since I couldn't leave everyone in a lurch and just quit I agreed to stay on until the middle of August of 2014 and train people to replace me on the magazine. So, that summer was really the lowest I've ever been emotionally and mentally and I really think I was having a breakdown--I cannot even describe the amount of stress. So, while I was still putting out magazines I had to train four people to replace me in my one job. And when I say train, I mean teach them how to use Illustrator, format the issues, and fill all my other rolls. There was a wedding, of which my daughter did a lot of the work but it was still a logistics issue at the very least, and I had a fabric line to design for the fall show! Unreal when I think about it all now how I even made it through all that.

Funny thing is, I did make it through all of it and 2 weeks before my quit date the publisher went bankrupt! ARGH!!!!! Well, the experience made me stronger, smarter, but probably not wiser. I wouldn't trade those years for anything and I learned so much.

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THE BACK ISSUES

I have limited back issues of the no-longer in print Quilti-it...today and Sew-it...today magazines originally distributed November 2012 through October 2014 by Valu-Publishing. Since I've just added a STORE onto this website I thought I'd use this new feature to sell off my extra issues. There are limited numbers of each issue available and these will only be offered for sale until January 5, 2018.

The projects are beautifully photographed, easy to follow with clear instructions and full illustrations. Geared toward the beginning quilter/sewer but great for all level of stitchers. Each issue is filled to the brim with delightful quilting and sewing projects, tips, lessons, and special features. Only 10 pages of ads per issue and 58 pages of content. Because I was the assistant editor for this title I also created many projects for these magazines under my name or my nom de plume Norah Seels (at least one project per issue). Since that time I've republished many of my patterns as stand alone PDF patterns priced at $8 each. Now you can see what a great value these magazines really are!

Magazines are sold individually at below newsstand price as well as an additional listing of one complete set--sold as a set. See the individual listings. For every 4 individual issues you purchase you will receive a free surprise fat quarter from one of my Art Gallery Fabrics collections as a thank you. Receive 8 surprise thank you fat quarters with the purchase of the complete set.

Shipping to US addresses only

See the individual listings for photos of issue contents. The images posted show a majority of the projects in each magazine but not all are represented with photo thumbnails. Each issue is packed with quilting/sewing projects. See cover image and Table of Contents for total count. 

The magazines have been stored in a dry, light-free, and smoke-free environment. Issues are like new but may show some slight shelf wear.

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So, now's your chance to get your hands on these amazing magazines. Don't delay, issues are limited and I'm only listing these in my STORE until January 5th, 2018.

Happy sewing,

Sharon

Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living Blog Tour

Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living Blog Tour

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You can imagine my excitement when my first quilt book Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living (Landauer 2017) became a reality this October and I could hold a printed copy in my hand. Well, I'm even more elated about the upcoming blog tour! Starting Monday, December 4th with the talented Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt and running each day until the 19th are 16 creative bloggers to tell you all about my book. 

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

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To kick off the tour I'd like to share a free quilt project with you that I designed to go along with the book. Roman Stripe is super fun to make and a great scrap quilt. You can use jelly roll strips or cut your own 2-1/2" wide strips - the more the merrier with this one!

Roman Stripe by Sharon Holland

Roman Stripe by Sharon Holland

Roman Stripe by Sharon Holland

Roman Stripe by Sharon Holland

The premise of my book is to make quilts to be used. Don't stress about stitching museum showpieces or quilts you're afraid to let anyone touch--make quilts to be part of your everyday life. Experiment with colors and prints. Feel free to create what sings to your heart and forget about color theories (of which I do go over in the book as a basic understanding of color theory).

Make what you love and love what you make. 
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Even though this book is only 80 pages, I've managed to pack it full of everything you'll need to make 12 easy-to-piece quilts from start to finish. This is a great resource for a beginning quilter or even seasoned quilters that want fun new projects. I go over fabric selection, cutting of fabric, patchwork basics, utility-style quilting, and finishing of the quilt. The quilt projects are based in traditional patchwork but all have a fresh-modern look--perfect for today's home. 

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CORRECTION NOTICE

It pains me deeply that I already have a correction in my book but that's what happens when you have different people to depend on and many hands on a project. This beautiful quilt called Goose Chase has some changes to the material list and cutting instructions on it's first page. Use this link to Landauer Publishings Correction page and download the changes. I know this stuff happens but that gives me no comfort and am sorry for any headaches it may cause you.

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My lovely daughter and dashing son-in-law were my models for this photo. The beauty shot photo of this quilt in the book has a different version and includes my granddaughter in the scene who at that time was less than a year old.

I like to pack meaning in everything I do and this book almost feels like a family album in a way. My friends and family all played a big role in making this possible. Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living is as much a lifestyle book as it is a quilting book. I wanted a cover that could rival any home decor magazine and purposely started the reader outside in front of a house. SIDE NOTE: And no, it's not my house but I like to say it should've been my house. We looked at that home when it was fresh on the market when we were finding a place to live in Ohio. Unfortunately it was priced well beyond our comfort zone and we had to find something else. I love that it's the cover for my book and that curved roof line is divine!

From the exterior of a home I lead you through a home beginning on the porch and into the front entry. Every room of this collective home represents how people live today. We end the projects with Goose Chase out in the backyard for a sweet, impromptu picnic. The life-style inset photos were taken by Susan Playsted of Hopewell Home and Susan can tell you more about how that all came about on her blog tour day. Let's just say social media is truly social and it was an amazing collaboration!

Tracery by Sharon Holland

Tracery by Sharon Holland

I'm happy to announce that this website now has a STORE! My first and only item in my shop right now is my book. I have limited quantities to sell and although you could get the book through Amazon (affiliate link) and potentially pay no shipping costs you can only get it signed through my site so hopefully that offsets the extra expense of paying shipping :) Please note that I'm only shipping to US residents at this time. As I get more comfortable with having a store and add more items to my shop then I will open shipping up to more global locations in the future. 

With every good blog tour also comes good giveaways, right? Each of the Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living Blog Tour bloggers has the opportunity to give away one of my books to a lucky follower. I'm leaving it up to the blogger to run their own giveaway, so visit each of their posts to see what project(s) they've created from my book and if they're offering a book giveaway. Since the winning books will be shipped directly to the lucky winning entry via Landauer Publishing I'm sorry to say they will not be signed copies. 

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This giveaway is now closed

Congratulations to Jessica Rampelburg!

Follow along on the book blog tour for more chances to win a copy of Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living. 

 


 

Best Laid Plans

Best Laid Plans

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The end of the calendar year is approaching and it's impossible not to start thinking ahead about the next year. I'm already mapping out the bigger events that will happen in 2018, like when my second grandchild is due, vacations, Quilt Markets, and when fabric collections need to be finalized. 

Daylily quilt photo by Kitty Wilkins courtesty of the Quilter's Planner

Daylily quilt photo by Kitty Wilkins courtesty of the Quilter's Planner

Not only will I be keeping all my appointments, career goals and project deadlines, as well as organizing my day to day thoughts in the 2018 Quilter's Planner calendar (affiliate link), I also have a quilt in next years book!

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The 2018 Quilter's Planner comes with a separate magazine with beautifully illustrated and written patterns for all the projects in the calendar. Alison Glass designed organizational stickers for the Planner, a monthly sampler quilt, and there's so much more...

Courstesy of The Quilter's Planner

Courstesy of The Quilter's Planner

Besides all that is listed above, the gals at Quilter's Planner have thought of everything! Here's a link for instructions on how to make a customized cover for your planner and other printable to keep you organized for special events. 

Photo courtesty of the Quilter's Planner

Photo courtesty of the Quilter's Planner

I'm excited to start filling the pages of my Quilter's Planner and do away with my old system of scraps of paper with cryptic notes, lists, and ideas scattered all over my house! I also want to make a cover for it and love the added zipper for pens and pencils!

photo courtesty of the Quilter's Planner

photo courtesty of the Quilter's Planner

So, join the fun and make 2018 your best year yet!