SewDown Nashville!

Here’s a little bit of what went down at the SewDown.


Robert Kaufman made sure there were mini charms with some of my favorite fabrics waiting for each student.


Robert Kaufman mini charms

After getting registered, the whole gang made a trip out to Anna Maria Horner’s home and studio. It was gorgeous–no surprise! Her family also entertained us with some wonderful live music.

Anna Maria Horner's home_SewDown

We paid a visit to a brand-new shop in Nashville called The Fabric Studio. It was lovely.

The Fabric Studio_Nashville

There was even a Botanics sighting…

Botanics at the Fabric Studio

Then there were the classes…

SewDown Nashville_classes

It was a truly fantastic group of students, and we worked on my Aerial quilt project.

Architextures Aerial at SewDown

Yellow and Blue Aerial_SewDown Nashville

Oakshot Aerial_SewDown

Lotta Aerial_SewDown

Botanics Aerial_SewDown

Aerial quilt blocks_SewDown

The Sew Modern crowd was well represented.

Sew Modern at SewDown

as were so many other fun friends…

Aerial sewing at SewDown

Lectures by Elizabeth Dackson, Alexia Abegg, and Maddie Kertay were also very memorable. Here’s Alexia and her Marcelle’s Medallion…so stunning.

Alexia Abegg_SewDown


I had such a blast. Everyone was full of enthusiasm, so talented, and just tons of fun to be around. Thanks so much to the MQG for hosting such a fabulous event, and big thanks for everyone who came out. You guys are all great.


For anyone who missed it, mark your calendars for QuiltCon 2015. You won’t want to miss it.

Did I mention that I will be teaching and lecturing…?


I’ll also be teaching loads more the rest of the year, including at SewOK, Camp Stitchalot, and many others. Check out my events page for more details.


Hopefully I’ll see you soon!


Sometimes you just need to sew.

And that’s exactly what I did.


mini sunrise making_carolyn friedlander


This week (and these last few weeks) have been a little on the heavy side, so some reconnecting with my sewing machine was very much in order. I gravitated toward making these little mini Sunrise blocks, because it’s such a great project for using up scraps. Totally in the mood to dive right in, I didn’t even grab for anything specific, but instead tried to work with what was sitting on the cutting table from some recent projects.


mini sunrise blocks_carolyn friedlander


What have you guys been sewing on?


Modern Sewciety and an extra hour.

First, it was such a pleasure being on Modern Sewciety this week. You can find the Podcast here. carolyn podccast art

Stephanie was easy to chat with, and I really hope to get a chance to catch up with her one of these days since she’s a Florida girl as well.


While we were chatting she asked what I work on when I’ve got an extra hour, which got me thinking. What I realized is that some of my favorite projects are those that I can slip into extra pockets of time. That point was well proven this weekend when I had a couple extra hours and found myself making up some Shirts.


shirts quilt blocks_carolyn friedlander

This pattern lends itself well to that, and I’ve made it very easy to do so. I keep a box specifically for these guys with extra templates and fabric ready to go. Whenever I’ve got some extra time, all I have to do is pull it out and start sewing. Many times a little bit of this does a whole lot of good.

shirts quilt box_carolyn friedlander


Other “extra hour” projects include…


+ Any slow sewing and definitely endless amounts of Alturas blocks


+ the Single Girl


+ Green Tea and Sweet Beans


green tea and sweet beans_carolyn friedlander





+ Candy Coated


candy coated_carolyn friedlander


+ And then there are always future projects to plan for when the mood strikes…


project planning_carolyn friedlander

This pile sat on my floor for an embarrassing long time while I was finishing up the projects for my book. The pull is now taking shape as another extra hour project from one of the patterns in my new book. Maybe it’s strange, but this was the first thing I wanted to dive into after finishing all the book projects.

That’s probably a good thing.


What’s your favorite project for filling pockets of time?


blue shirt quilt block_carolyn friedlander


booth pics and new stuff.

Finally, some pics from Market.

But first, I’ve got some new stuff.

+ Two new patterns, Focal (a new paper piecing project, on left) and Botanics (new to my Slow Sewing Studio, on right and in the chairs).


carolyn friedlander new patterns botanics and focal


+ New fabric, Botanics, Botanics Kona coordinates, and Widecreen (more pics to come soon).


+ Also in my booth was a new way of seeing all of my stuff. In every other booth that I’ve had, I’ve displayed my pattern line in basically the same way. I’ll hang each pattern on the wall somehow, usually in a row and usually with clothespins. The system is easy, simple and effective, but personally, I was getting a little bored with it. Plus each new pattern ends up taking more and more space. So I got the idea to do one block from each of my patterns using Botanics and their coordinating Kona solids. (An excuse for more sewing…) And then I also got the bright idea to create a color gradient to unite what could otherwise potentially become visual vomit.


carolyn friedlander pattern remix in botanics and kona


No big deal, right?

Well, easy was maybe not the best word to describe the process. It was fun for sure, but also a bit of a challenge to get all of the fabrics, blocks, colors and placement to work out. I started with a colored pencil drawing to map out generally what needed to happen. Then over the course of at least a week, I laid out each block and used scraps to carefully mark how each block should shape up. And now that it’s done, I’ve got grand plans to make a big quilt with it. Ah. I can enjoy it forever.


color matching_carolyn friedlander


wall sketch_carolyn friedlander


botanics spectrum scrap pile_carolyn friedlander


block planning_carolyn friedlander

And last, I thought it’d be fun to throw up some pics of the booth coming together. Set-up is always a bit chaotic with all the boxes everywhere, freight filling up the aisles and then the wild fork-lift drivers…I’m surprised no one gets hurt. Then there are sometimes surprises, too. This year I was right next to a wall, which made building a wall next to it an impetus for creative thinking. But we managed and nothing fell down before the end of the show.

Good times.

First load.

carolyn friedlander houston 2013 booth set up 1

Walls are up. (Let’s hope they stay that way.)

carolyn friedlander houston 2013 booth set up 2

Botanics and Focal starting to find their places.

carolyn friedlander houston 2013 booth set up 3

Quilts everywhere.

carolyn friedlander houston 2013 booth set up 4

All done.

carolyn friedlander fall quilt market booth 2013

recording from yesterday.

In case you missed it and are interested, you can find the recording from yesterday’s radio show with Pat Sloan here. It was definitely an honor to be invited on there to chat! Hope you enjoy it.


Now it’s back to some block building with my mom. It’s officially all hands on deck, as we’re about 2 weeks out from the show. We should be able to get this guy all pieced before the end of the day–that’s the goal anyway.


block building_carolyn friedlander



I always like to cram in as many samples as possible, and I am grateful for any extra help. Hence the makeshift Botanics cheat sheet for reference.



charity auction for blocks, botanics, and other good stuff.

stack of Local quilt blocks_carolyn friedlander

A couple of weeks ago, I was digging around for some stuff in this huge pile of quilts. It’s sometimes a surprise to see what’s in there. One of the things was this stack of blocks from my Local quilt in various stages of completion. These blocks date back to the very early planning stages of the project. I was still working out the construction details and which fabrics I wanted to use where. All of which is quite evident if you flip any of them over.


local scratch_carolyn friedlander


I posted a pic of my findings on Instagram and received a suggestion to auction the blocks for charity. I LOVED this idea. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to sew them together into a quilt top myself, but the truth is that I don’t know when I’ll be able to get around to it, and I love the idea of putting them to use now, especially if it’s for a good cause.


There are so many deserving charities out there to support, but one in particular came to mind right away. Several, several years ago back when I used to sit behind a desk more than I do now, I was a pretty devoted runner. I still love to run, but I keep it really casual these days. Back then, I was rather goal-oriented with my running and ended up running a few marathons. One of them, I ran with the organization Team in Training. It’s a group that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. They do wonderful work, and I had a fantastic experience.


Now, a really good friend of mine, Lindsay, is training to run the Chicago marathon (her first marathon, by the way!) with Team in Training. I’m so proud and excited for her for committing to such a huge undertaking. I know that it’s not easy. Training for and running a marathon is no small task, and then adding in some serious fund-raising in support of a great cause makes it a pretty big endeavor. There’s nothing easy about any of it. Back when I was training and fundraising, Lindsay was a huge support for me. We were both living in St Louis at the time, and one of the ways they suggest that you fundraise is to stand outside the stadium of whatever game season it is (Busch Stadium and baseball in my case) with beads to support the team and jars to collect donations. Let me say that that is a tough thing to do–especially for someone like me who is generally somewhat shy. But Lindsay volunteered to work the stadium streets of St. Louis with me to raise money for cancer research, and I really appreciated every minute of it.


Unfortunately these days we don’t live in the same place, so I can’t return the favor and go work the jar-holding with her, but I realized that I can see if I can use what I have to help support her cause. I loved the idea of donating my blocks as a way to raise funds for charity, and I’m very happy to let her and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society be the recipients.


silent auction goods_carolyn friedlander


Here’s what I’ve got–and I’m sure I’ll throw in some other goodies when the time comes to mail it off.

+ Local grab bag of blocks (4 houses, 1 partial house and a tree)

+ a full Local pattern (so you can either finish what I started or start your own)

+ some other patterns (Social, Backbone, Stripes)

+ a charm pack from my upcoming fabric line, Botanics (this is totally not out yet, hitting stores late November!)

+ a mini-charm pack from Architextures

+ pick a pattern, and I’ll be happy to throw it in there too


botanics and architextures_carolyn friedlander


If anyone is interested, I’m hoping this could work silent auction-style. Just leave a comment for how much you’d like to donate, and the highest donation will win the goods. To read more about the organization or about my friend Lindsay, you can visit (or donate to) her page directly here. The auction ends noon (EST) this Friday, October 4.


Sincere thanks for your support in any way.


local house block_carolyn friedlander


spoonflower social.

spoonflower social tote_carolyn friedlander


It was a no-brainer when the folks at Spoonflower asked if I wanted to make a social tote out of their fabrics. Well, almost a no-brainer. My one fear was getting totally lost in all the creatively unique designs in their marketplace–that part would be no easy decision! But I managed to whittle down a long list of favorites and am so pleased with how it turned out. My wonderful Mom ended up putting it together and did an awesome job! Thanks, Mom!


spoonflower social tote_carolyn friedlander


Here are links to the fabrics I ended up using.


Exterior (which I had printed on the cotton/linen–so nice!)



And Noodlehead is doing a giveaway over at her blog, so if you haven’t already I think there’s still time to enter.





park sham brown_carolyn friedlander


Meet Park.

Another newbie to my Slow Sewing Studio group.


park shams_carolyn friedlander


The design is inspired by a cast-iron gate on Park Avenue in my town.


park shams quilting_carolyn friedlander


park cording_carolyn friedlander


park shams_carolyn friedlander_slow sewing studio


Could also be a quilt.


park ledger quilt_carolyn friedlander_1000px



In fact, this has also been my practice piece for the big stitch that I’ve been doing. I need to re-photo to update.



And I’ve also made a tote, which I’ll be sharing in a tutorial soon.


park tote side_carolyn friedlander_667px


stay tuned.







finding a social: update.

social tote in green architextures_carolyn friedlander

Hope you had a wonderful 4th!


I thought I’d share my architextures version of the social tote.


If you haven’t already seen it, make sure to check out Anna’s recent post on developing the social. Again, she is so amazingly talented and was such a blast to work with.


Thanks so much for all the interest in the pattern! I’ve really enjoyed opening my inbox each time to your kind words. And I’m sorry that some of you are having trouble finding it, but thanks for your incredible patience! With it being a new pattern it sometimes takes a little bit of time to find its way into the shops. While shops are awaiting their stock, I’m happy to get the pattern to you. Just send me a note, and we’ll get you set up. ( info [at] carolynfriedlander [dot] com )


This might be a good time for me to ask–would you want the option to buy the pattern directly from my website? How do you feel about having a downloadable option?

Because I’m curious, and I value your thoughts.