New Quilt Pattern: Ebb.

A colorful array of stacked crescents is where my Ebb quilt began.

Ebb quilt . Carolyn Friedlander . Carkai fabric

I’m ALWAYS a fan of projects where you can use little bits of a lot of different things. (E.g. this ongoing Arcs project, any of my Aerial Groves–here’s one, and another one, and another…) Why put a limit on the fabric when you don’t have to?

Ebb is all about that, coupled with a simple crescent shape. I kept thinking of these somewhat classic shapes sliding and layering in rows on top of each other like beads in an abacus or the way that coins slide down a coin roller.

It’s name–Ebb–seemed to fit in well with this idea while also capturing other aspects of projects (and maybe life too). There’s something about working on a project like this where it’s not only about the finished product, but also about the experience of making it. There’s the transition through the technical stages and planning, plus the visual and tactile tour of the colors and fabrics. To me this is a very entertaining way to work.

A project like this is also an important way for me to familiarize myself with a new fabric line. Getting to focus so much on each piece always makes me think of where the design originated, things I want to make with it and other pieces to pair it with. (And probably why my dream to-make list is forever growing!)

Carolyn Friedlander Ebb quilt . quilting

Color is obviously another big aspect of this project. I wanted there to be a color story, but didn’t feel the need for it to be the most predictable or obvious one. As I cut out the pieces, I laid them down, mixing and moving things around as the number of shapes grew. For me this is a fun way to work–not having a definite endpoint in mind, but leaving an openness to figuring it out as it goes. In doing this, I realized certain (and sometimes surprising) combinations that I really liked–for example the very black pieces next to the pickle-y green and wasabi sections. That’s so yummy to me.

The background was chosen after auditioning many. It’s mostly Kona Meringue with a side bit of one of the white on white prints from Carkai. All of the other pieces are from Carkai along with the new Doe and Architextures crosshatch coordinates. (Which are all included in the Carkai charm pack, and what you can work from for this project).

Here’s a snippet of one of my Quilt Market booth walls which celebrated the color range of the line. You can see Ebb holding its own in a way that’s different from Everglade (to the left) and Envelopes (below).

carolyn friedlander . ebb, envelopes and everglade quilts . carkai fabric

Ebb is also hitting shops now as well as available here.



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New Quilt Pattern: Envelopes.

My new patterns seem to be on an E theme…

Envelopes, Ebb and Everglade–these are the new guys.


First up is Envelopes.

I’m a paper person and a letter person, which is exactly why it’s about time I made a move on an envelope-themed project. (In fact, here’s a fun trip down memory lane…)

Small Envelopes Quilt_Carolyn Friedlander

Cards, letters and envelopes are great for many reasons. The paper, the colors and the graphics can make them visually enticing, and then the message, thought and gesture can reach out to us on a personal level as well. Plus, the physicality of them makes such a distinct impact when so many things in our lives are digital.

As a quilt, the simple envelope shape can take on just as much as well. Change up the fabric, change up the color, change up the quilting–or even add embroidery or something that you fussy cut (both of which are included in the directions)–the end result is whatever message you are compelled to convey.

Envelopes quilt initial_Carolyn Friedlander

I created 2 block sizes for this project, so you can go mini or big. Above is the mini. It’s a fun and satisfying sew, especially when you’re playing with many different fabric combinations…which is exactly what I did. I made it a big mixing and matching game with all the new fabrics in Carkai. (Background fabric is Interweave Chambray in Denim.) Plus, the smaller block is perfect for adding a set of initials…which I eagerly added.

The big envelope block is a great size for a larger message (or fun fabric). In this version (also with Carkai), I made a signature quilt with the ladies in my local quilt group. (By the way, that’s the larger-scale print from Carkai in the background. When cut up and sewn, it just becomes a nice texture. You can also take note of how I used the special selvage from another of the designs from Carkai for the border in both projects. It’s fun.)

Envelopes quilt big signature . carolyn friedlander

I’ve always loved a signature quilt, and now that I’ve made one, I love them even more.  I had each gal in the group sign a block that I then embroidered on top of. Spending so much time with each of their signatures got me thinking a lot about signatures. They are so personal and unique to each person–each one really is like a portrait. Some were so polished and refined that I realized how sloppy my own handwriting has gotten, and so I’ve been on a little bit of a side mission to write more, especially in cursive. (You know what they say about practice…)

Carolyn Friedlander . Signature Envelopes quilt

So here’s Envelopes. I had so much fun making the cover samples, that I even whipped out a mini as a gift for a friend.

Fussy Cut Envelopes quilt_Carolyn Friedlander

I pulled as many fussy-cuttable fabrics from my stash along with many of my orange, red and blue fabrics (which I was surprised by how many I have! A good problem to have.), and in an afternoon I had the top all made up. It was one of those things where you just keep sewing, because you want to see how it’s going to turn out.

Fussy Cut Envelopes_detail_Carolyn Friedlander

You should be seeing this pattern popping up in your local and online shops now, and the PDF version is in my shop.



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Fabric collection #4: carkai.

Introducing carkai…

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

Bones are beautiful. At least I think so anyway, and that’s where this story started.

When I submitted the line, I simply titled the submission “collection #4” because, well, this is my 4th collection (which is totally nuts!), and I kind of wanted the artwork to speak for itself. While the shapes and lines emerged from a specific source of inspiration, to me they became something else while I was drawing them. I loved this and wanted that same opportunity to be open to the viewer as well.

When I was in Los Angeles back in January, it was a treat to be able to review this collection in person with everyone at Robert Kaufman. It was still “collection #4” at that time, and my favorite part was hearing everyone’s reactions and interpretations of the drawings. (On a side note, this really isn’t very different than birthing fabric, patterns and books, because whoever picks any of them up makes use of them in their own way–which is a wonderful and exciting thing to see and be a part of.)

But collections need names, and in actuality this one has had one for the few years that it’s been in my mind. Carkai is a totally made up word–it’s a bit playful–it speaks to my (sometimes) dumb sense of humor–and it just seemed to fit. My hope is that when you look and (hopefully) enjoy the line, you’ll be able to draw your own connections to it. While these drawings started in one place for me, I hope they can connect to you and become your own in how you use them.

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

On a more technical side, there’s a lot at play in this line which has made it such a joy to work with over the last few weeks while I’ve been sewing away. There’s a big (sorry for the pun!) play on scale–something that I felt was right with this collection, and something that you’ll be seeing and hearing more about as I start to share new projects.

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

There’s also an enticing play on color–which honestly, how could there ever not be a play on color, right? I love color–I know that you love color, and I can’t imagine not using color to uniquely convey the story of a collection. I’ll be sharing more specifically about the colors of the range as well when the projects start rolling around, but for now, I think I can say that there’s some pretty-ness here, there are some favorites here, and there is plenty of life expressed through the palette.

carkai fabric . carolyn friedlander

It’s been super fun, and I can’t say how much I appreciate all of your support. I’m eager to share more with you in the coming weeks, and then to see what you do…

Let’s sew.

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