Soakbox Challenge

Soak invited me to participate in their nail art challenge, which I eagerly accepted. I’ve gotten to know the founder, Jacqueline, and some of her fine team now that they are on the Quilt Market circuit. They are always a lot of fun and have been creating some pretty interesting and useful products since coming onto the scene several years ago.


Jacqueline from Soak

Jacqueline from Soak hanging out with my Post quilt and rocking some polish at the last Quilt Market.


I’m not normally a nail polish person, but they’ve found a way to make nail art fun and enticing to folks even like me. Specifically, they’ve got a special group geared towards us quilters with beautifully curated sets by popular designers like Denyse Schmidt and Lizzy House. For this particular challenge, I knew that I wanted to focus on Lizzy’s set. Like all of the other collections, this set has an enticing range of colors, but what makes it different and even more special is the pen/brush applicator that comes with it.


Lizzy House Soak Box set



You can use the pen to get pretty artistic, and so that was quickly the jumping off point for my design. I wanted to work with a crosshatch–one of my favorite motifs–and one that I’ve used many times in my own fabric designs. (Heads up, the background fabric that I’m using here is one of the new colors that we are releasing this coming Quilt Market! Also, I’m no hand model, so hang in here with me. These are a real set of hands that get used and abused daily by copious amounts of sewing and handling sharp objects.)


Here’s how you do it.

1. Start laying down some diagonals. (Tip: Don’t worry if your lines aren’t super straight. Just add more of them and keep your inconsistencies relatively consistent. No one will notice.)


nail crosshatch_carolyn friedlander_1


2. Get some diagonals going in the other direction. (See, mine aren’t perfect. This is what we call, Character. And it can be a good thing if you just embrace it.)


nail crosshatch_carolyn friedlander_2


3. Continue on with your other nails. (Tip: You can change things up by playing with scale.)


nail crosshatch_carolyn friedlander_3



Note: My left hand was fun and easy to do since I’m right-handed, but I know that adding any level of artistry to my right hand using my left could result in some less-than-desired results. My tip for that would be to:

a) Get a friend involved. You guys can help each other out.

b) Not worry about it! I think I’m ok with my left and right hands not matching–that could be a style-full statement in and of itself. Why not do something fun and exciting on the left while rocking a great solid on your right? As is a theme with me, matching is overrated, and I think this situation works for that.

c) Embrace their differences, because really, it’s just nails, and it’s probably not that noticeable that your lines are straighter/clearer/more even on one hand than the other. Again, keep the inconsistencies consistent within each hand, and it’ll look deliberate.


4. After you’ve got all of your nails done, apply a layer of topcoat. (Tip: Wait until the white is dry. I was a little too eager to apply my topcoat and so some of my lines blurred a bit. Lesson learned! Patience is still a virtue.)


nail crosshatch_carolyn friedlander_4


+ To kick it up another notch, here are a couple of other ideas:

1. I was really feeling just the white for this first round, but you could totally start with any color in the background and build your motif on top. That’d be quite lovely.

2. You could also play with your grid direction as well as adding color after laying down your grid work.


nail crosshatch grid alternate with color_carolyn friedlander


Thanks, Soak! This made for a fun and creative project, and I’m kind of thinking that I want to work this design at Quilt Market…

Introducing Doe.


Finally, I can share some pics from my newest line, Doe.


doe fabric stack_carolyn friedlander for robert kaufman


I keep thinking of Doe as a bit of a mash-up…


doe fabric collection snippet_1_carolyn friedlander for robert kaufman


For one, it represents my love of print mixing.

Matching is totally overrated.



doe fabric collection snippet_2_carolyn friedlander for robert kaufman


And two–which is also what I might like most about it–is that it speaks to the idea of finding beauty and character in things that are raw and sometimes imperfect.

Perfection is also overrated.



doe fabric collection snippet_3_carolyn friedlander for robert kaufman



The designs are a big mix of things that have worked their way into my life and mind over the last year and a half, including, but not limited to the following: my quilt pattern work, the (new) old digs that I’ve landed in and will be forever dreaming up projects for, having watched a few too many reruns of Saved By The Bell while hand sewing (yes, I’ll admit it…), and my forever love of grids, clean lines, and structure against the reality of what is hand drawn.



doe fabric collection swatches_2_carolyn friedlander for robert kaufman



More so than with my previous lines, this one started with a strong sense of color, which the name–Doe (in my mind)–seemed to speak to. I was completely allured by a palette that was natural and earthy with lots of creams, white on white, caramels, and browns. Doe seemed to express that while also being simple, clean and totally unfussy.



doe fabric selvege_carolyn friedlander for robert kaufman


Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more about the line, and for lots of new projects…




Talking about QuiltCon on Modern Sewciety.


alturas quilt blocks_carolyn friedlander


Hey, so I did a pretty bad job of announcing this, but I’ve got a couple more classes that were just added for QuiltCon. I’m teaching my Alturas project (pictured above) on Friday, Feb 20 from 6pm-9pm, and I’m doing a big stitch hand quilting (see below) class on Saturday, Feb 21 from 6pm-9pm. I’m pretty excited about both because they are handwork classes in the evening, which is totally my preferred time to slow sew. Of course since it’s QuiltCon, and since we’ll be in Austin with so many other awesome quilty friends, I’m not sure how effective any attempts at winding down might be since I’m sure we’ll all be pretty amped up from all of the QuiltCon excitement. Both classes will be appropriately paced for folks who have or haven’t tried either technique before. They will be loads of fun.


big stitch hand quilting_carolyn friedlander


Stephanie had Cheryl Arkison and me on her Modern Sewciety podcast to chat about QuiltCon. You can head over here to listen to what we chatted about.


Modern Sewciety episode 42


Summer Makes: Aerial Grove in a multitude of Kona cottons.

Continuing with what I’ve been making this summer, next up is another version of Aerial Grove–a project that’s in my new book and one that I keep coming back to.


Aerial Grove quilt in Kona Cotton_Carolyn Friedlander


I tend to enjoy projects that embrace a “more is more” type of attitude, and this one is no exception to that. I designed it to be an outlet for a variety of little bits–each appliqué starts with just a 2 1/2″ square–so it’s quite perfect for including many of your favorite fabrics. When I heard about the new Kona cotton colors being released this summer, I was eager to celebrate that by making this project again with a magnificent multitude of Konas. I believe there are about 86 different Konas in here…


Aerial Grove quilt_1_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_2_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_3_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_4_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_5_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_6_Carolyn Friedlander


While I do (happily) quilt my own quilts, one of these days I would like to pass off a top for someone else to quilt. Being a fan of creative collaboration, I am constantly interested in seeing how my work can play off of someone else’s. Originally, I thought that this would be a great opportunity for that–since I’ve already made and quilted a few versions myself–but instead, I couldn’t stop thinking about how to quilt it as I cut and pieced the top.


Aerial Grove quilt_quilting_Carolyn Friedlander


I’ve been really into mixing big hand stitching with machine free motion quilting, and so I knew I wanted to mix the two to add some detail to the project. The handwork would add a new layer of texture and color, while the machine strategy was a curiosity in my head about mixing grid work and scale to unify certain areas while distinguishing others.


Aerial Grove quilt_big stitch quilting_Carolyn Friedlander


Today, this quilt and many others are heading off to Portland, Oregon. They’ll be on display at the lovely Modern Domestic from Sept 5 until about Oct 4. If you are in the area, you can stop by and check them out as well as all of the other wonderful goodies that Modern Domestic has to offer.


Aerial Grove quilt_7_Carolyn Friedlander


Also, I am plotting away on yet another version of Aerial Grove, but this time in Liberty. Full disclaimer: One of my amazing students at Purl had the idea to create a version in Liberty, and I loved it so much that I decided I needed to get on top of a similar version myself. (Oh the excuses to accumulate and hoard more fabric…hehe.)


aerial grove quilt_liberty swatches_carolyn friedlander




Summer Makes: Totem quilt.

totem quilt_soft and scrappy_2_carolyn friedlander


This is also something that I’ve gotten into this summer–another Totem (one of my new patterns this past spring). The fabrics that I am using are a soft and happy mixture of things–some architextures, botanics, gingham, dear stella, blueberry park, lotta, essex…and whatever else I have on hand.


totem quilt_soft and scrappy_1_carolyn friedlander


totem quilt_soft and scrappy_5_carolyn friedlander


totem quilt_soft and scrappy_4_carolyn friedlander


totem quilt_soft and scrappy_3_carolyn friedlander


I started this while I was up in Vermont earlier this summer and have a few more blocks to complete before I add the borders, which I haven’t decided on yet, but I might be leaning towards some Essex…



The Nest Egg tote.

Introducing the Nest Egg–my newest pattern and contribution to the Road Trip Pattern Club.


Nest Egg tote_3_Carolyn Friedlander_web


Nest Egg tote_4_Carolyn Friedlander_web



I had a lot of fun putting this project together! It all started with a desire for a cross-body-style bag that could be used not only for a purse, but also for carrying some sewing necessities. (I’m planning to make at least one for each purpose!)


Nest Egg tote_2_Carolyn Friedlander_web


I liked the idea of a super round shape that could open up flat, so there’s a zipper that runs around the entire side and then a hinge at the bottom to hold it all together.


Nest Egg tote_6_Carolyn Friedlander_web


Inside, I played around with a couple different ways to hold some things. On one side are some elastic bands, and then on the other are two big pockets.


Nest Egg tote_8_Carolyn Friedlander_web


It’s very canteen-esque, which I like, but I couldn’t seem to work that aspect into the name. So I went with calling it the Nest Egg, the name of a local road and a name that I just kind of liked for this project.


Fabrics used were some Botanics on the outside, inside pocket and hinge. I also used two of my favorite new Konas in the lining (Pickle–it’s amazing!) and Limestone on the strap and handle.

Other fabric variations are definitely planned and in the works.


It’s been a lot of fun being a part of this pattern club!


Happy sewing!


RTPC1-4 Collage


Nest Egg tote_1_Carolyn Friedlander_web

Slow Sewing on Sew Mama Sew.


13_big stitch coasters_baste and big stitch_carolyn friedlander


I’m absolutely thrilled to be helping kick off a new series on slow sewing over at Sew Mama Sew. You can find the post here. I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts on why I slow sew, and it was super fun putting together a tutorial for these fun, big-stitch coasters.


8_big stitch coasters_finished coasters_carolyn friedlander


Head on over, check it out, and let me know what you think.

Why do you slow sew?



Summer Makes: City Gym Shorts.

Warning: These are addictive.


city gym shorts_botanics white_carolyn friedlander


So much so, that I couldn’t stop at just one pair.


city gym shorts_botanics white and blue_carolyn friedlander


And the only reason that I’ve stopped at two (for now…) is because I need to be working on other things. But I’m sure I’ll make more at some point soon.


The is pattern is called the City Gym Shorts, which is a free pattern from the Purl Bee. (And a super cool side note about the tutorial is that they use an Architextures print in the example. Sweet!)


I (quickly) decided to make the first pair a few weeks ago when I saw them come up on Purl’s instagram feed. I’d been really wanting to jump on the cute-crafty-sporty-shorts bandwagon, and so these popped along at just the right time. The pattern is great because they hardly use any fabric at all (both of mine whipped up easily from my stash), and they go together quickly and easily. Plus, they fit great and are quite flattering on top of being super comfy to wear.


The fabrics that I used were both from Botanics (on the fronts), and I used a Robert Kaufman double cotton on the first pair with a voile trim, and then a stripe from my stash on the second pair with some of Robert Kaufman’s lovely cotton lawn as the trim.


I have many other fabrics in mind, and ready, for future pairs.



Road Trip teaser.

My travel schedule has been super fun but definitely nuts lately–I just got back from Austin last night and I’m heading back out to North Carolina this week! I do plan to catch up on sharing some of that as well as what I’ve been making recently. But for today, I’m going to start with a little teaser for the project that I’ve been working on as part of the Road Trip Pattern Club. Mine’s up next, and I’m really excited about it.


Road Trip pattern teaser_1_Carolyn Friedlander


If you are in the club the pattern will officially release a week from today, and if you want to join you can still sign up until Sept 15.


More soon!

Road Trip Pattern Club update.

Have you been keeping up with the Road Trip Pattern Club? I’ve been pretty excited about the projects. Here’s what’s happened so far.


#1 Betz White’s road tripper duffel




#2 Patty Young’s kimono wrap




#3 the most recently released pattern from Carla Hegeman Crim




There are two more patterns still to come–including mine–and you definitely can still join.