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Gather Round Place Mats by Sharon Holland

When experimenting with website templates and designs for Thread & Pen a few months ago, I knew I wanted a certain look. Something clean and simple so photos and projects popped off the page, but not so clean and simple that the site felt sterile. I eventually chose the template I did because I liked the scrolling main page, the fonts, and, perhaps most of all, the curved corners of Featured Image photos. It seems like such a small thing, but to me, that one element softened and feminized the entire site. And I wasn’t necessarily aiming for soft and feminine—until I saw those pretty corners. They just felt right!

I also wasn’t necessarily planning for the blog to have a border, as I thought white might frame posts and photos best. But just out of curiosity, I played around a bit. Thinking it might be nice to add a little personality and texture, I took pictures of some of my favorite fabrics and uploaded them to the site. And just as I was instantly struck by those pretty curved corners, I was instantly smitten by one fabric border in particular: Bountiful Arborescent Seasons by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics.

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With no particular project in mind, I’d bought two yards of this canvas a few months earlier, simply because I had to have it. I absolutely loved the colorful stamped leaves against the neutral pink background. The look was soft and feminine, but also earthy and natural. It felt very me, and so eventually, very Thread & Pen.

Not surprisingly, many of Sharon’s designs strike me the same way, and just as people have spirit animals, I now consider her my spirit fabric/pattern artist! Her new Bountiful cotton collection is on my holiday wish list, as is her new book, Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living. And when she recently shared a wonderful free pattern to celebrate these releases, I just had to give it a try.

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These Gather Round place mats are so adorable, I still can’t believe the pattern’s free! Just one of many things for which to be grateful this holiday season. 🙂

Since Bountiful’s on my wish list, I chose two Art Gallery floral fabrics already in my stash (Fusions Boho Cottagely Posy and Spices Fusion Blossom), and built around them. And because I plan to use these for fall entertaining, I opted for warm navy and gold accent fabrics.

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I love how neutral dishes let the fabric and design shine, but I was also excited when I realized these prints were perfect for another longtime personal favorite: Fiesta dinnerware!

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With so many potential color combos, the table-setting possibilities are truly endless. And still, they’re only going to grow; I’ve finished two place mats so far and plan to make two more with the same fabrics. After that, I’ll be experimenting with other prints and styles to use year-round!

Many, many thanks to Sharon Holland for the wonderful pattern and creative inspiration!

To learn more about Sharon, and to check out her other incredible fabric and pattern designs, visit her HERE.

And be sure to check out the highlights from her Bountiful blog tour. So many talented sewists participated in this event, which celebrated Sharon’s new fabric line, and you’re bound to find many must-make projects for your list. I know I did!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Sewing!

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