That Handmade Touch Book Hop

That Handmade Touch Book Hop

That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

I’ve been following the work of Svetlana Sotak for years now and am in love with her clean, practical, handmade aesthetic. When I heard she had a new book out I was excited to get my hands on a copy and be part of her book blog hop! Follow along on the hop via her Instagram feed at: @sotakhandmade

Soft Storage Bucket from That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

Soft Storage Bucket from That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

The book is called That Handmade Touch and is a Lucky Spool publication. It was so hard to pick just one project to make because honestly, I want to sew everything in this book but I needed to leave projects for the other blog hop makers to sew so I decided to sew the Soft Storage Bucket because:

  1. It’s so darn cool

  2. I can always use more pretty storage baskets

  3. I’ve always wanted to work with leather handles and try adding rivets

That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

That Handmade Touch by Svetlana Sotak

Never having added rivets to a project before was the only part of this project that made me nervous. Sewing up the bag was a snap and the instructions and illustrations were easy to follow. I think it took all of a half hour to make the bag and another 4 days to get the nerve to add the rivets!

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Turns out, it was really no big deal to use the pre-cut leather and rivets—look for the affiliate product links at end of post. For the fabrics, I used the Sand Bar canvas from my Art Gallery Fabrics Coastline collection on the exterior of the bag and AGF Crosshatched Textured Denim for the lining.

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This bag is just the perfect size and there’s so many uses for a bucket bag like this; toys, throw blankets, craft supplies, shopping, and the list goes on. I also like the fun option of rolling the top edge down to reveal the interior print or having it up for a taller bucket bag or easy-carry tote.

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Don’t you just love the antique gold rivets with the leather!!!??? The leather adds the perfect accent for the coastal-look of this bag. I plan to make more of these to use as gifts for the upcoming holiday season—their roomy enough to fill with fun items and useful beyond just being the wrapping.

Asheville and Outfits

Asheville and Outfits

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This August marked my husband and my 35th wedding anniversary. I suggested we take a long weekend and visit Biltmore Estates in Asheville, NC.

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This blog post is going to be uncomfortable for me because I’m not used to being the subject of so many pictures but I’ve no choice if I want to show you the pretty garments I made from my prints. Hopefully the stunning location will distract a bit—hehe.

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I’ve been wanting to make myself some rayon dress for ages now but never seem to find the time or the perfect dress pattern—I’m super picky about what style of garments I like and what looks good on my frame.

Simplicity patterns

Simplicity patterns

I found these two patterns online and loved the simple, yet interesting cut of the dress. For the two dresses I wore and modeled at Biltmore I used the Simplicity 8231 pattern by Sew House Seven in the two sleeve options of the knee-length cuts. On the Sew House Seven website, this dress is called the Mississippi Avenue Dress and Top and doesn’t have the cap-sleeve option.

Sew House Seven Simplicity 8231 pattern

Sew House Seven Simplicity 8231 pattern

My first make I went with the sleeveless version in my Flower Keeper - Everlasting rayon for Art Gallery Fabrics. When I designed this print I envisioned it to be made into dresses and I just had to make one for myself! I realize now that the photo of the dress above was taken before I added the shoulder ties to you can look for that fun detail in the following photos.

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Maybe August isn’t the most spectacular month for the gardens at Biltmore but they were no less beautiful. The walled garden was my favorite—I could’ve spent all day there.

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I felt absolutely transported as we visited the garden first thing in the morning and had it practically to ourselves. I tried to imagine how the Vanderbilt family would have relaxed and enjoyed these grounds everyday as a matter of their everyday life.

Walled Garden Biltmore Estates

Walled Garden Biltmore Estates

Here’s just a few photos because I don’t want to ruin your experience if you go and if I shared all my shots this post would never have an end!

Walled Garden Biltmore Estates

Walled Garden Biltmore Estates

Conservatory Biltmore Estates

Conservatory Biltmore Estates

Sew House Seven Simplicity 8231 pattern

Sew House Seven Simplicity 8231 pattern

The cap-sleeve version is made from my Tiny Dancer - Bachelorette Fusion rayon that has a champaign-gold metallic ink on the seed puffs. The smokey teal-green is a great color for any time of the year.

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A rayon dress was so comfy to wear in the North Carolina in August!

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For this make I hacked in side pockets which I absolutely love! My daughter liked this dress so much she requested one just like it and I stitched one for her (with pockets, of course) as soon as we got back home.

Biltmore Estates

Biltmore Estates

So, enough about me in the pictures, whew! I have just a few more photos of the house I’d like to share and then a knit dress make done after our trip that I’ve not had a chance to photograph me wearing yet because I’ve gotten busy painting and using photos from our trip as subjects. I am planning a Part 2 post in a couple weeks to talk about my personal painting challenge and finding inspiration.

Winter Garden inside Biltmore Estates

Winter Garden inside Biltmore Estates

Right off the main foyer of Biltmore is the glass domed conservatory called the Winter Garden and is in my top picks of favorite rooms in the house. But, that list would be a long one because there’s so many beautiful rooms!

Oak Sitting Room at Biltmore Estates

Oak Sitting Room at Biltmore Estates

I believe this is Mrs. Vanderbilts family sitting room. Even though this is a grand home, each room felt intimate and inviting.

Gun Room at Biltmore Estates

Gun Room at Biltmore Estates

Room after room was exquisite and I particularly loved the colors used throughout the house. It is all very much to my tastes, especially when the furnishings were less formal like here in the Gun Room.

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I highly recommend you get the audio tour when you purchase tickets to view the house. It allows you to listen at your own pace as you do a self guided tour of the rooms. There’s an incredible amount to see and learn about the house and family!

Rooftop of Biltmore Estate

Rooftop of Biltmore Estate

As well as the house tour we also took the Rooftop tour. This was an experience and we learned so much about the architecture of Biltmore as well as witnessed amazing scenes like these photos I took from the roof.

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Yup, you bet I petted the gargoyles!

Grounds at Biltmore Estate

Grounds at Biltmore Estate

We had a wonderful trip and when normally it’s hard to get back to reality after an experience like that, I was instead energized and ready to get creative and hit the ground running as soon as we got home.

Simplicity New Look N6626 pattern

Simplicity New Look N6626 pattern

I hadn’t time to finish my knit dress before we left so once back I got right to work making a dress for my daughter from Tiny Dancer rayon and then the New Look 6626 knit dress from Art Gallery Fabrics Cherished Wishes - Everlasting for myself. There’s enough material left over I plan to make my granddaughter a dress too.

I hope you enjoyed this tiny, tiny tour of Biltmore—there’s so much more than what I’ve shown here including the winery, shops, more gardens, and beautiful grounds designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted who also designed a little park called Central Park in NY. I hope I’ve inspired you to do some garment sewing for yourself or skip the garment sewing and maybe some traveling! I’ve been very pleased with these patterns and feel both were great beginner-level dresses that look, feel, and fit great.

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Finishing

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Finishing

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It’s the final week of the Hold Tight Petite Sew Along and today’s post will cover assembling the blocks in a Quilt As You Go (QAYG) quilt sandwich or assembling the top and making a traditional quilt sandwich, quilting, hand quilting and binding.

As Blair Stocker’s Wise Craft Ruby Ruler™ Ambassador series August Ruby Ambassador (Read my interview by Blair—here) I thought what better way than collaborate with Blair on the Petite Sew Along and use her rulers to help navigate color and value in a fun quilt project.

Here’s what we’ve accomplished in three weeks:

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Blair’s ruby-hued artist’s viewfinder tools the Ruby Ruler™ and Ruby Minder™ where invaluable tools in the first week’s study on Color and Value. I blogged about how, as a designer, I go about selecting colors for my fabric collections or a color story for a quilt and how I used the Ruby Minder™ to check my selections of Art Gallery Fabric Pure Solids. If you missed the first week, read more here. Plus you’ll find additional color theory materials covered on Week #1 and Week #2 of the original Hold Tight sew along as well as in the skill-building demonstration videos. Find these helpful videos on my Sew Along page which are available for viewing any time.

To catch up on what happened during week 2, read my Cutting & Piecing blog post here. Use templates to cut out shapes and sew curves with ease. Find out how with my videos for Week #2, #3 Part 1, and #3 Part 2 on the Sew Along page.

During the Hold Tight Petite sew along, Blair Stocker will be following up my Wednesday morning blog posts with a Facebook Live session. This workshop-like experience with Blair on Facebook is a huge bonus along with connecting with more than 1,500 other quilter’s via Blairs private Facebook group! Blair will host live sessions to support my sew along blog posts and share with you her expertise. Note: Blair’s FB group is free to join by answering three questions when requesting to be added to the group. If you can’t join in the live sessions—no problem—the videos are available for replay and ready to view when you are!

Hold Tight Petite quilt by Sharon Holland

Hold Tight Petite quilt by Sharon Holland

This sew along is free to join—no sign up forms—just follow along and have fun. You’ll will need, however, the Hold Tight quit pattern. If you don't have my Hold Tight quilt pattern already, you'll want to purchase the Hold Tight PDF pattern from my Shop page. The Hold Tight pattern now includes two sizes—the original over-sized throw and the new petite crib-size quilt. The material lists, cutting requirements, coloring sheet, and full-size templates are part of the fully illustrated PDF pattern. These sew along blog posts serve to supplement the PDF but don't provide the detailed pattern information that you'll find in the PDF available for purchase. If you’ve purchased the original PDF prior to August 5, 2019 and didn’t receive a special newsletter email from this blog sharing the link to the Petite Add-On download, see my SEW ALONG page to get your copy of the bonus size. You’ll find the Add-On download that contains the crib-size material list, cutting guide, and coloring sheet. Note: You’ll still need the original Hold Tight pattern for quilt details. The current PDF in my shop has been updated with both quilt sizes so patterns purchased after August 5, 2019 include both quilt sizes—no add-on necessary.

WEEK #3 - QAYG and Finishing

I like options, don’t you? I also like to be able to quilt my own quilts. The original large throw-size Hold Tight quilt and the new Petite crib-size quilts are both nice size quilts for trying machine quilting on your sewing machine as well as adding some decorative hand quilting for the balloon strings.

Hold Tight quilt throw-size by Sharon Holland

Hold Tight quilt throw-size by Sharon Holland

For tips on how to machine quilt a traditional quilt sandwich (quilt top, batting, and backing sandwich), like the quilts from my first Sew Along (above), see Hold Tight Sew Along Week #4 blog post.

For those wanting to try Quilt As You Go (QAYG) keep reading as I walk you through how I finished my Petite Hold Tight quilt.

QAYG

Hold Tight Petite by Sharon Holland

Hold Tight Petite by Sharon Holland

My QAYG finishing method is a hybrid of QAYG and traditional quilting to secure block rows to a batting and backing sandwich. Once the horizontal rows have been stitched down to the batting/backing in a QAYG row assembly, the finishing of the quilt is more traditional with the addition of machine or hand stitching.

The quilting on my Petite crib quilt is minimal. The quilting stitches are about 4’’ apart and I could get away with this because I used Hobbs Tuscany Premium Polyester Batting for my batting. The beautiful loft of Hobbs Tuscany Polyester adds to the puffy balloon look and makes for a snuggly-warm quilt and doesn’t shrink.

Securing Horizontal Rows in QAYG

Once all the block are made and squared up see Week 2, sew the blocks into horizontal rows. This is the same for either size quilt.

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Cut and piece backing according to the pattern directions and for the size quilt you’ve selected. I selected Paper Flowers Aurora from my Tapestry collection for Art Gallery Fabrics as the print for my backing. Cut batting to size indicated on pattern. Hand or spray baste batting to backing to prepare for QAYG assembly. See Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt Finishing post for spray basting batting to backing.

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Just as if you were assembling a quilt top, place the first two rows to be stitched right sides together, seams nested and edges matched. Pin at seams.

You can start from the bottom and working your way up, like I did (see above illustration) or begin from the top of the quilt and work down—the results will be the same. Center the pinned rows onto the batting/backing near the bottom if working up or at the top if working down. Pin row assembly to backing/batting. Stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance through all layers, removing pins as you sew.

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Carefully press the top row open and pin the flipped row down to hold flat. I like to roll the quilt batting/backing for easier handling.

Hold Tight Petite QAYG Assembly

Hold Tight Petite QAYG Assembly

Continue adding additional rows in the same manner. Press rows open as you go and continually check that the quilt top is flat and the backing is smooth with each row addition. Remove basting stitches if you hand basted the batting/backing layers.

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After all the horizontal rows have been added, machine or hand baste around the outside edge of the quilt with an 1/8’’ seam allowance to secure the outside block edges. Note: Leave the excess batting/backing until all the quilting is finished.

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At this point you have the top secured to the batting and backing but will need to add more quilting. You’ve basically better-than-basted your top to the batting and backing. Quilt as desired or you can go minimal like I did and machine or hand quilt in the ditch along the vertical seams. I hand quilted my vertical seams with 40 wt. cotton thread so it wouldn’t be very noticeable. You can just see some stitches if you look at the orange balloon in the above photo. You’ve now secured all the blocks down in a grid.

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For the rest of the quilt I selected four DMC Perle cotton threads and hand stitched 1/4’’ from the seam lines to echo the balloon shapes. I love how Blair’s Ruby Minder™ ruler also doubles as a thread minder!

To determine where my balloon strings should go and to avoid having to put marks on my quilt to get the straight guide lines, I used tape to mask out my lines. Watch how to hand quilt using floss and how to use tape as a guide, here.

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Once all the quilting is completed, add binding according to the pattern’s instructions. Trim batting and backing to edge of binding. Turn binding to the back of the quilt and hand or machine stitch to finish.

Hold Tight Petite by Sharon Holland

Hold Tight Petite by Sharon Holland

I hope you’ve enjoyed this petite quilt along and a further chance to play with with fun pattern, learn more about working with color and value, and sewing with curves. The Hold Tight Petite quilt is the perfect crib-size quilt and I love the puffy batting for it’s warmth and drape. My grandson needs a second quilt that he can drag around and snuggle with and he’ll be getting this one when I see him next month.

I’m excited to see Blair’s finished quilt and would love to see yours too! If you’re on Instagram, tag me @sharonhollanddesigns and Blair @blairs use the #holdtightquilt or #holdtightsewalong hashtag so we can follow your progress. If you’re sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics be sure to tag #artgalleryfabrics too! Don’t forget that you can join Blair’s Facebook group and meet others working on this quilt along with value and color insights from Blair’s expert knowledge of the subject.

Thanks for sewing with us!

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Cutting and Piecing

Hold Tight Petite Sew Along - Cutting and Piecing

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Welcome back to Week #2 of the Hold Tight Petite sew along. As part of Blair Stocker’s Wise Craft Ruby Ruler™ Ambassador series and being August’s Ruby Ambassador (Read my interview by Blair—here), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for Blair and I to collaborate on a project and explore the world of color through fabrics.

August Ruby Ambassador - Sharon Holland

August Ruby Ambassador - Sharon Holland

Blair’s ruby-hued artist’s viewfinder tools the Ruby Ruler™ and Ruby Minder™ where invaluable tools in last week’s study on Color and Value. I blogged about how, as a designer, I go about selecting colors for my fabric collections or a color story for a quilt and how I used the Ruby Minder™ to check my selections. If you missed the first week, read more here. Plus you’ll find additional color theory materials covered on Week #1 and Week #2 of the original Hold Tight sew along as well as in the skill-building demonstration videos. Find these helpful videos on my Sew Along page which are available for viewing any time.

Ruby Minder™ by Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade

Ruby Minder™ by Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade

For more Color and Value study, Blair has a wonderful online class, Make Modern Scrap Quilts Using Color Value which is an evergreen class—you buy its and it’s yours forever, there are no "sessions". Read more about this class on Wise Craft Handmade.

Plus, for this Hold Tight Petite sew along, Blair Stocker will be following up my Wednesday morning blog posts with a Facebook Live session at 11 am Pacific on Wednesday, August 14 cutting pieces with templates and curved rulers as well as sewing curves. This workshop-like experience with Blair on Facebook is a huge bonus along with connecting with more than 1,500 other quilter’s via Blairs private Facebook group! Blair will host live sessions to support my sew along blog posts and share with you her expertise. Note: Blair’s FB group is free to join by answering three questions when requesting to be added to the group. If you can’t join in the live sessions—no problem—the videos are available for replay and ready to view when you are!

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This sew along is free to join—no sign up forms—just follow along and have fun. You’ll will need, however, the Hold Tight quit pattern. If you don't have my Hold Tight quilt pattern already, you'll want to purchase the Hold Tight PDF pattern from my Shop page. The Hold Tight pattern now includes two sizes—the original over-sized throw and the new petite crib-size quilt. The material lists, cutting requirements, coloring sheet, and full-size templates are part of the fully illustrated PDF pattern. These sew along blog posts serve to supplement the PDF but don't provide the detailed pattern information that you'll find in the PDF available for purchase. If you’ve purchased the original PDF prior to August 5, 2019 and didn’t receive a special newsletter email from this blog sharing the link to the Petite Add-On download, see my SEW ALONG page to get your copy of the bonus size. You’ll find the Add-On download that contains the crib-size material list, cutting guide, and coloring sheet. Note: You’ll still need the original Hold Tight pattern for quilt details. The current PDF in my shop has been updated with both quilt sizes so patterns purchased after August 5, 2019 include both quilt sizes—no add-on necessary.

Week #2 - Cutting and Piecing

Even though I’ve labeled this pattern an intermediate skill level quilt pattern, I firmly believe that even a confident beginner can tackle curved patchwork with ease because you’ve completed the following:

  1. You’ve printed out the PDF instructions and templates to 100% scale (with borders) onto US letter size paper and because you’ve cut your fabrics true to size (see Hold Tight Sew Along Week #2 post).

  2. You’re sewing with an accurate seam allowance. As with any patchwork sewing its imperative to stitch with an accurate 1/4” seam allowance. Take a moment to read the Seam Allowance section on my Perfect Patchwork tutorial.

I’ve prepared bonus video tutorials and you’ll find the Hold Tight Sew Along Week #3 parts 1 and 2 are extremely helpful for pinning, sewing, press, and squaring up your blocks. Find all the Hold Tight Sew Along videos on my Sew Along page.

This week’s blog post is going to be an easy one for me to compose compared to last week’s epic Color and Value post because the information about Cutting and Piecing hasn’t changed from my first sew along. Instead of copying and pasting all that information to this post, I’ll refer you to Week #2 and Week #3 of the first sew along. So, go ahead, take a look at that information and then come back to this post for some additional tips, pretty photos, and information about this week’s giveaway!

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Learning Live

The beauty of an event like this being co-hosted is you get to experience different perspectives, sewing tricks, and in the case of Blair’s Live Facebook sessions, a new way of viewing information. This week, Blair will be cutting and piecing her blocks and carrying on what I started in my video demonstrations. This is your chance to ask Blair questions and maybe gain a few new tricks to sewing with curved patchwork.

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Sew On

As I briefly talked about last week when looking ahead, I’ll be covering Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) as a quilt assembly option in the next post for Week #3. If you’re interested in trying the QAYG finishing method, regardless of what quilt size you’re stitching, resist the urge to start sewing all the blocks together to form the balloon shapes and quilt top. A background square and the A/B block, and B/B/C blocks like you see in the above photo are ALL considered blocks. For this week, concentrate on sewing the blocks and only go so far as to sew the blocks together into horizontal rows. Alternate seam pressing directions on your rows so the rows will nest together when assembling. Example: Even rows press all the seams to the right and odd rows, press all the seams to the left.

Next week on the third and final sew along post I’ll blog about QAYG assembly, hand quilting, and finishing your quilt. If you’re wanting to finish your quilt as a traditional top with batting and backing sandwich to be quilted, you can work ahead. Find tutorials and tips on the Finishing post and videos created during the first sew along. It’s always nice to have options and work at your own pace!

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I’m excited to see what colors Blair selected for her quilt and would love to see your inspiration for your color story, fabric pull, and progress as you sew along. If you’re on Instagram, tag me @sharonhollanddesigns and Blair @blairs use the #holdtightquilt hashtag so we can follow your progress. If you’re sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics be sure to tag #artgalleryfabrics too!

There’s also a wonderful resource of inspiration and a look at all the Hold Tight quilt posted to Instagram if you search the #holdtightquilt and #holdtightsewalong hashtags! If you’re on Pinterest, I have a Hold Tight Sew Along board—you can find and follow me at ShareDesigns (Sharon Holland Designs).

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WEEK #2 GIVEAWAY

Our Art Gallery Fabrics sponsor will be giving away an amazing prize of a quilt kit! The kit will include: The Hold Tight PDF pattern (which can be substituted with a different pattern in my SHOP if you already have purchased), fabric to make a Hold Tight Petite quilt top just like the one I created for this sew along, binding, and your choice of any AGF print for the backing!

Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids

Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids

This giveaway and the giveaway rules and details will be announced on Instagram Thursday morning around 9 am eastern. The giveaway will be held on my Instagram account @sharonhollanddesigns and you’ll be prompted for how to enter on that post. Be sure you’re following myself and Blair @blairs and Art Gallery Fabrics @artgalleryfabrics so you don’t miss a thing!

Happy sewing,

Sharon