Happy Friday, Friends & Visitors! For those of you who are new here, my name is Karen aka Lady K. Today is my turn on Sharon Holland’s book blog tour and I couldn’t be more excited! Sharon and I have been Instagram friends for a couple of years now, and we finally met in person at this past fall’s Quilt Market in Houston. Though we were meeting for the first time IRL (in real life), we already felt like old friends and hugged each other as if we were long lost friends. Sharon is sweet, intelligent, adorable, a prolific fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, and now a published book author. She’s not new to the world of publishing, having been the Assistant Editor for Quilt-It…Today & Sew It…Today magazines when it was still in circulation a few years ago. This time though, she is at the helm of things and the results are nothing short of exquisite. Utility-Style Quilts For Everyday Living is one of the best quilt books to land in my hands in a very long time. It’s a beautiful book full of quilt patterns for the novice and advanced quilter alike. The designs are both unique and familiar, and although a majority of the patterns make up a generous sized quilt, the patterns can be easily adjusted to shrink or enlarge the designs to suit all needs.
I had a very difficult time deciding which pattern to choose, and after narrowing it down to two, I finally chose the “Night & Day” quilt pattern. It’s a clever play on a classic Log Cabin quilt, and having never made an entire log cabin block quilt, I was excited to get started. Sharon’s original pattern design makes an 87″ square quilt, but I was going to be quilting this myself and my shoulders and back can only handle up to a certain size on my Janome Skyline S5. I looked at the quilt layout on page 41 of the book and decided to make 25 of the 49 blocks to make a 62.5″ square quilt instead. Although that’s still a bit large for me when maneuvering a quilt on a home machine for quilting, it really is a great size and still allows for the unique and modern layout that Sharon designed.
Next up was fabric selection. I pulled all the Art Gallery Fabric that I own from my stash and proceeded in putting low and mid volume fabrics for backgrounds in one pile, and bright medium and dark fabrics into another pile. I wanted each block to showcase one bright med-dark fabric, but I was going to use a limited variety of low-mid volume background fabrics to limit the scrappy look. Following Sharon’s direction, I paired my fabrics and once I had my final combination, I started cutting out the pieces for each block.
This was such a fun quilt to make, and following Sharon’s pattern was so easy. Each block came together fairly quickly and I love how the repetition was comforting but made different with each block because of the fabrics I chose. Once I was done making all twenty-five blocks for my particular quilt, I then placed all of them up on my design wall and played with layout possibilities. I decided to keep the background fabrics the main decision maker in this task, making sure to start with the lightest background fabrics in the top left corner of the quilt and then gradating down towards the bottom right corner, going from mid to darker low volume choices. This allowed the bright fabrics to really make a bold statement and stand out more, creating Sharon’s obvious log cabin design that is still a bit different from the traditional layout we have all become so familiar with. The result is beautiful, fun, and allows for your eye to rest comfortably instead of moving from spot to spot looking for a pattern.
A quilter I am not, but I’m also not afraid to quilt up a quilt myself on my home machine. I was on Pinterest last week, looking for quilting inspiration for my quilt, when I came across vintage quilting designs that were quilted within each block and not all over. I thought that would be a nice way to quilt this particular quilt, allowing me to focus on one block at a time and not worrying about getting from one edge of the quilt to the other at once. This did make for a lot of starting and stopping and thread locking, but it was made more interesting because I used a variety of thread colors across the quilt. I used my beloved Aurifil Thread in 50 weight, and the following colors: in the bobbin 2245 Red Orange, and on top 2021 Natural White, 6729 Tangerine Dream, 2312 Ermine. 2135 Yellow, 2835 Medium Mint, and 2325 Linen. The result is a fun variety of thread colors both complimenting and contrasting with the different fabrics, but completely blending in on the back.
Hubby and I took the quilt on a little field trip to nearby Everett, WA this week in hopes that I could get some good full-quilt photos. His idea of an overlook spot didn’t disappoint and the weather was glorious too. I have one of the best quilt holders in the world at my fingertips and I know how lucky I am. He’s patient, takes direction perfectly, and makes it fun every time.
(Photo by Sharon Holland)
I hope you’re inspired to get a copy of Sharon Holland’s new book for yourself! If you’re feeling lucky, feel free to leave a comment by next Friday, December 15th at midnight Pacific, telling me what your favorite thread color is to quilt with, and I’ll pick a winner to receive a of Sharon’s book, Utility-Style Quilts For Everyday Living. I’ll select a winner at random on Saturday, December 16th (US RESIDENTS ONLY) and Landauer Publishing will send you your winning copy.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll continue to follow along and visit the other makers on this fun celebration of an exceptional quilt book. Next up is Kori Turner-Goodhart of Olive Grace Studios tomorrow, Saturday December 9. Below you’ll find the list of talented makers and their links and dates.
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 Gigi’s Thimble
Friday 12/8 ME! – 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
Sharon and her publisher Landauer Publishing are offering a FREE quilt pattern accompaniment called ROMAN STRIPE QUILT, and it can be found HERE. Happy Quilting! (Photos by Sharon Holland)
Thanks for visiting & Happy Holidays!
(All photos, except the two credited to Sharon Holland, were taken by me.)