Scrappy Collection and Liberty Aerial Grove Quilts.

Something about the New Year has had a positive influence on getting some WIPs back into rotation. My Scrappy Collection and Liberty Aerial Grove quilts are two of my favorites. Both of these are totally personal projects, meaning they have no deadline and no intended purpose other than for my own pure enjoyment.

Scrappy Collection Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

First up is my scrappy collection quilt that I started shortly after this most recent Spring Market in May 2015. (See blog posts here and here.) As predicted in the last post, it had to go into hibernation while I worked on the carkai and fall pattern release. But as soon as all of that and some end-of-year madness was over, my scrappy collection quilt was one of the very first personal projects that I pulled back out. In fact, this is what my New Year’s Day in the studio looked like.

scrappy collection quilt borders. carolyn friedlander

It was a fun day of pull-everything-out-and-throw-it-on-the-floor to decide what to use for borders and what to use for backing. I decided to add enough borders to make it bed sized. To do that, I used more printed fabric from my stash as well as a print from carkai to surround the assembled blocks.

As for the back, I initially hoped my new Widescreen fabrics would be in. The light blue seemed like it’d be perfect for the back. But alas, they weren’t and I didn’t want to wait. With personal projects, it is best to strike when the iron is hot, because you never know what will be needing your attention later. What I ended up with felt pretty exciting. I scrapped it up with some carkai, some doe and a big piece of Kona highlight.

Scrappy Collection Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

While making my first Collection quilt, I initially felt the urge to hand quilt it…entirely. Unfortunately timing didn’t allow for that, so it became a hybrid of hand and machine quilting, which I was happy with in the end. With this one, I’ve always figured that I’d hand quilt it, but now that I’ve started, I can’t stop thinking about throwing in some machine work too. We’ll see. I’m open to basing all decisions on what feels right as I go.

Scrappy Collection Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Scrappy Collection Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up is my Liberty Aerial Grove. Also a favorite, and also one that’s been sitting on the shelf. (See previous updates here, here, here and here.)

Liberty Aerial Grove quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This one was started over a year ago. It’s one of the projects in Savor Each Stitch, and something I teach fairly often. In fact, I totally got the idea for this version after one of my students brought Liberty to work on in class. I LOVED the idea, because it seemed like an amazing way to use these beautiful fabrics. Liberty can be an indulgence to partake of at the fabric store, which is why a project that uses small amounts of it can be smart and economical. Plus, the many beautiful small-scale prints work so well in a project like this. Depending on what you decide to do with the background or layout, you will show them right off.

Liberty Aerial Grove quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

My backgrounds are a textured mix of chambrays, Essex linen, railroad denims and my printed quilting cottons (architextures, doe). I like how the rich blues set off the pretty prints.

Liberty Aerial Grove quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Originally, I was just going to do as many rows as the project in the book has, but after collecting bits I ended up with enough to make a couple of extra rows. There are 6 rows photographed here, but I just finished appliquéing a 7th. While I wouldn’t be upset about cutting out fabrics for an 8th row, I think it’s time to call this guy done and move on to the borders to finish up the top.

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New Widescreen Colors

Good news, there are three new Widescreen colors. Widescreen is one of my extra-wide fabrics with Robert Kaufman. At 108″-wide, they make backing a quilt super easy.

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

First up is a warm plummy-purple. I’m looking forward to pairing it with plenty of orange and peach and cream.

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

Then there’s a slightly saturated, sky-ish blue. It will go with everything…reds, greens, darker blues, golds…

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

And finally a green. I’ve really been wanting a green. It’s a slightly sophisticated grassy-green that I’m thinking will suit lighter blues, navies and denims, plus mints and other greens.

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

As soon as they arrived last week, I started auditioning them with my liberty aerial grove–a WIP that is recently back in the rotation.

liberty aerial grove . carolyn friedlander

liberty aerial grove . carolyn friedlander

liberty aerial grove . carolyn friedlander

Not sure which one I’ll pick, because I kind of like them all…and for different reasons. Guess, it’ll depend on what mood I’m in when I am ready to baste.

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

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Carkai Poufs for the Kids.

Furniture or projectile? I think that’s part of the fun of the pouf. Or at least, that’s the way I saw it Christmas morning as my 5-year-old nephew launched his new pouf across the room before going in for a very excited landing on it himself. The Carkai poufs that I made for him, his 2-year-old brother (my other nephew) and their 1-year-old cousin (my niece) were a hit (ha!) to say the least.

carkai floor poufs . carolyn friedlander

A pouf for each was a great excuse to share my new fabric (plus a couple of pieces from my previous lines) with them, make something handmade for the holidays, and gift something they’d actually use and love. Plus, as far as projects go, this was relatively quick and easy.

carkai floor poufs . carolyn friedlander

After getting the idea, I spent about 5 mins hunting for a tutorial or pattern on pinterest. There are so. many. This is the one that I decided to go with. It’s the general shape I wanted with easy piecing, but I also decided to add a handle after seeing that a few times on pinterest.

carkai floor poufs . carolyn friedlander

Big warning on the tutorial, I made several changes to it because of durability, size and just to make it work out.

#1. The tutorial suggests pressing seams open. I did not do this. An open seam is the weakest seam option, and when the object you’re making will stress those seams, pressing to one side and top stitching makes more sense.

carkai floor poufs . carolyn friedlander

#2. Sew the pieces together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. This reduces the overall size, increases the seam allowance, and makes the piecing work out better than the recommended 1/4″ seam allowance. For the first one that I made (the blue one), I followed the instructions and used the 1/4″ seam allowances and my pieces did not match up correctly. This is why I had to add the circles in the center to close things up. Not terrible, just not necessary if you sew a larger seam.

carkai floor poufs . carolyn friedlander

#3. After making the first one at full-scale, I reduced the length of the straight section on the pattern piece to about 9″ between the triangular bits. This made for a much better size.

carkai floor poufs . carolyn friedlander

Also, if you’re planning to make these, you’ll need filling and may want to plan ahead…which I didn’t. I had some shredded foam on hand that halfway filled the first one, and then I had to figure out how to fill the rest of them. While the shredded foam has a nice weight to it, it was a big mess and not super easy to use, so I wanted to explore other options to finish up. This is what I’ll use in the future and what I would have used if Amazon hadn’t been out of stock when I needed it. What I ended up doing was buying a big beanbag chair at my local big box store. It seemed to be filled with the same stuff that you can buy on Amazon and was enough to finish up the first pouf that was already partially full as well as the other two. Win.

carkai floor poufs . carolyn friedlander

Another bonus of gifting a pouf is that they require impressively large boxes to wrap them in (again, plan ahead and start saving big boxes). This added allure and excitement to the experience.

carkai floor poufs . carolyn friedlander

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