Hello, dear readers! Thank you for joining me on my stop on the book tour celebrating “Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living” by Sharon Holland. It is an honor to be included in this line-up of makers with quilting experience ranging from beginner (like yours truly!) to the very experienced such as Cindy Wiens who shared her quilt yesterday at Live a Colorful Life. You can see the entire line-up of bloggers in Sharon’s kick-off post or visit the schedule I include at the bottom of the page. Hint: Read all the way to the end to find out how to WIN your OWN COPY!
I have been looking forward to publishing this post since I met Sharon Holland in person at Quilt Market and I received a copy of her beautiful debut quilt book: “Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living.” You can also purchase the SIGNED book from Sharon’s blog right here. My own signed copy means a lot to me since Sharon has been instrumental over this past year in inspiring my own passion to quilt. If you want to start piecing your own utility-style quilt today, Sharon has a free pattern available for you! You can download Roman Stripe, a perfect pattern for 2.5″ strips.
When I met Sharon in Houston she invited me to be on this tour. I tried to play it cool but I’m pretty sure I just gushed out a, “Yes, I worship you” or something like that. I spent much of my two flights home reading the tips and tricks for quilting and perusing the patterns. I also had a suitcase FULL of fabric in the overhead bin that I was eager to cut into.
After a few days’ deliberation, I decided that the “Night & Day” pattern was perfect for the Art Gallery fabrics I desired to use. The pattern is written to finish the quilt at 87″ x 87″ and even though I am a beginner I decided I wanted a special quilt for my husband and I to enjoy in our master bedroom.
Sharon encourages makers to reach into their stashes and “experiment with color, print, and block orientation, and embrace the quirkiness that comes from working with scrap and stash materials.” I carried this thought in my creative heart through my entire planning, cutting, piecing, and final layout of my quilt.
Because my extended interest in quilting has only come about in the past 18 months, I actually do not have a very deep quilting cotton stash. I decided nearly immediately that my quilt top would be made entirely from Art Gallery Fabrics both from my scrap bin and from the four half-yard bundles I picked up in Houston.
I chose to feature Indie Folk Fabrics by Pat Bravo Design as the main collection for my quilt. I had picked up half-yard cuts of the entire collection at Quilt Market. Since “Night & Day” requires a decent mix of light and dark prints to create the striking layout. I pulled a few lighter prints from Soulful fabrics by Maureen Cracknell that I also purchased in half-yard bundles at Quilt Market.
One of Sharon’s helpful tips in the book is to take a black & white photo of your fabric pull to ensure enough contrast for your quilt. I initially cut just one test block to make sure I enjoyed the process of piecing this log cabin block, and to check my test block for accuracy. As a new quilter, I always do this to make sure that my blocks are accurate – I would rather catch a mistake on one block than on 49 of them! After my test block, I quickly cut my remaining yardage. Since I had 1/2 yard bundles, I did not have enough yardage of my “light” prints to complete the quilt as written. At several points throughout the book Sharon tells us to abandon the idea of perfection and reach into our stashes for beautiful, one-of-a-kind quilts. I also reached a bit into Katie’s scrap bin, too, since I was set on including this Indie Boheme print that I did not have quite enough of to complete a block!
After I completed several blocks, I laid out my blocks a few times to ruminate on which prints I should pull from my Art Gallery scraps and yardage. Ultimately, while Indie Folk is the feature of this quilt, I also used prints from Pure Elements, AGF Studio Capsules Lower Volume, AGF Studio Le Vintage Chic, Tapestry, and Indie Boheme fabrics. For some of the prints, I only had enough scrap fabric to make one block – this was a benefit and not a detriment to the quilt. Many times throughout the whole process I would catch a glimpse of one block and remember the particular dress I made for a lookbook or appreciate a memory about working with the fabric previously.
If you want to learn to quilt or enjoy a fresh take on quilting projects, you will want to add (affiliate) “Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living” to your bookshelf. There were a few points in the project where I had a general quilting question – I found all the information I needed within the pages of this book without being overwhelmed. Everything from color value, to properly cutting your fabric, to binding my quilt. While I did not quilt my top myself due to its size, I have applied the machine quilting tips I learned to other projects as I prepare for Christmas giving in my home.
Because the quilt finishes at 87″ x 87″ I wanted some extra width to it to serve as a coverlet on our California king bed. I wanted to celebrate the asymmetry of Sharon’s design as well as feature one of my favorite prints so I did break the rules and ordered yardage from Hawthorne Threads . I then added a modern asymmetrical border to bring my quilt to 98″ x 98.” This allowed me to back my quilt with 108″ wideback fabric.
I brought my quilt top to Quilter’s Eden to be long-armed with a modern poppy pantograph. I was able to see my quilt get set-up on the machine and learn more about that process as well! I chose wool batting for extra warmth since it can be quite chilly here in the winter. I also enjoyed working with Amy from Quilter’s Eden who showed me thread options and spacing/repeat options to get the look I wanted with my quilt.
I spent a few nights binding my quilt by hand after I got it back. I can’t even sum up the internal wow that climbed up my throat when I finally unfolded my finished quilt onto our bed. Just two years ago if you asked me if I was a quilter I would say, “No, I just sew.” I can’t believe I’ve now made a quilt large enough for our bed! 2018 will surely feature more finished projects from Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living for me here at Sew and Tell Project.
Thank you for coming by and taking a peek at my finished quilt. I hope you are inspired to reach into your stashes and make something that brings you as much joy as this project has brought me.
Do you feel lucky? Head on over to my Instagram feed and enter the giveaway to win your own copy of the book from Landauer Publishing! (Contest open to U.S. Residents Only).
Don’t forget to visit all the other makers on the tour! I can’t wait to see what Anjeannette shares with us tomorrow!
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
I have been loving getting to sew little girl outfits after sewing for 4 boys…