Quilting Florida and packing for a SewDown.

savor each stitch_facing east_carolyn friedlander


I’m getting the final pieces together for my (very soon) exhibit at Bok Tower–it opens Saturday–and will include a few images (like the one above) from my upcoming book.

 quilting florida_carolyn friedlander

After posting this pic while gathering quilts, I got pretty excited to see some local folks showing interest in the show. So, I’d really like to plan a day for whoever is available and interested to meet up. I was thinking that we can check out the show and then wander around the gardens…chat…maybe bring some handwork or something to sit and work on in a shady spot…anyone with me? The show runs until June 4th, and I’ll throw out 2 potential dates. If you are interested, comment on your preference and we’ll go with the one that seems to suit most people. How about April 26th or May 24th? Both are Saturdays.



Anyways, here are some more sneaks from my book that will be on display at the Bok show…


savor each stitch_sneak preview_carolyn friedlander_lucky spool


Otherwise, I need to get to packing. SewDown Nashville is finally here, and I’m leaving tomorrow. Can’t wait to teach and to enjoy some good, quality time at the sewing machine with new and old friends. If you aren’t able to make it, I’m sure the IG feeds (mine included) will be blowing up with activity.


end of the year adventures.

quilting_carolyn friedlander

It’s been a busy few months for me, and these last few weeks especially have disappeared completely. There has been a lot going on.


Since getting back from Houston at the end of October, I’ve been pretty much consumed by two big things, finishing up work on a book and buying a house–both of which still sound completely crazy to me and are kind of terrifying. The book has been in the works for a while, and only now am I finally starting to feel like I’m over the big hump in the process. Having made it this far, it’s exciting to start seeing the vision coming together, and I am really looking forward to sharing it in the coming year.


Buying a house has been the other beast in my life that I’ve finally wrapped up on within the last few weeks. It’s been (and will continue to be) a learning experience to say the least, especially when the house is approaching her 91st birthday in 2014. Being an avid fan of old stuff and character, she is very full of both.


quilt block wood floor

Merriest wishes at the end of 2013, and here’s to 2014 being just as special.

taking in the scenery.

Where I live in Florida is pretty much at the center of the peninsular part of the state. Florida can be interesting place in that each part can be quite a bit different from the next. Over the last few days, I’ve enjoyed making brief stints to both coasts and have found lots of scenic inspiration.


The first adventure was to the gulf coast to visit my sister (the landscape architect) who was in the area for a conference. I tagged along with her and a bunch of other landscape architects to an event at the new Dali museum. The event featured talks by both the architect and landscape architect of the project, which was a treat. I really dig hearing about creative work and real projects from the people behind them. Plus, it took me back to my former architectural life.

I love me some cast concrete. Just yummy.


dali museum, st petersburg, florida

green wall


dali museum, st petersburg, florida


rock at dali museum

A couple of days later, I joined the rest of my family on the other coast and found totally different flavors. So lush.


leafy greens

And back at home, these guys are kind of blowing my mind.

monkey puzzle seed pod

monkey puzzle

recent Bok visit.

It was beautiful–as always–to visit Bok Tower yesterday afternoon. It’s certainly one of our local luxuries, and they make great efforts to preserve and showcase much of what makes this area so special and unique. Officially, I was there touring their gallery space. I’m honored and excited to have an exhibit on the schedule next year, and it was helpful to check that out. But I also took some time afterwards to take in the gardens a bit. I found lots of inspiring stuff and mentally made the note to visit more often.

bok tower gardens




fern path


pinewood entry


edward bok

aerial workshop this week.

And the samples are finally done.

deep breath.


warm aerial architextures_carolyn friedlander


warm aerial architextures detail_carolyn friedlander



There are two other colorways to this gang.

Meet Mr. Cool.


cool aerial architextures_carolyn friedlander


cool aerial architextures detail_carolyn friedlander


And Mr. Grayscale.


grayscale aerial architextures_carolyn friedlander


grayscale aerial architextures detail_carolyn friedlander


Together, they are a group of samples for my workshop (this Thursday!) at the Original Sewing Expo in Lakeland, Florida. (I’m not sure, but there might be a couple spots left.) We’re going to be putting together my Aerial pattern with some architextures.

Everything’s all kitted up and ready to go.


I found myself really enjoying getting these guys together. I’d designed the pattern long before I had my own fabric to sew with, and it was a fun treat to see how it all played out.





shipping central.

architextures quilt stack_carolyn friedlander

My packing tape got a serious workout today. I just sent lots of my babies into the world for some fun things that are coming up.


boxes to ship


First on the agenda is QuiltCon. Oh man. I know everyone is excited about that. And I am too. That’s where most of these quilts are going. A couple of them are hanging in the show itself, and then most of the others will be hanging out in some of the vendor booths. If you are going to be at the show, I’ve got my schedule and some of that info here. And for anyone who isn’t able to make it, I’ll be posting-a-plenty on here as well as on instagram and facebook so you can keep in touch.


Next up, is a special open house at one of my local shops, Heartfelt Quilting and Sewing in Lakeland, Florida on March 5.


carolyn friedlander_heartfelt sewing event poster


They should have their Architextures shipment by then, and I’ll be bringing as many of my quilts as I’ve got on hand. It’ll be good.


Hope to see you soon!


local shop love. (+ a giveaway)


Supporting local and independent business is massively important to me, not only because I work as an independent designer myself, but also because it’s what I grew up with.


thread spools carolyn friedlander

(I love the needle rack from Friedlander’s that now holds my thread)


My grandfather immigrated to the US from Lithuania and opened his first store in Lake Wales, Florida sometime in the 1920s. He sold all kinds of stuff: clothes, fabric, housewares, toys. By the time I was born, my grandfather had already passed away and my dad and aunts were carrying the torch. Many of my earliest memories are of spending time in the store wrapping presents, pricing stuff, or helping people find what they were looking for.


friedlander's scissors

(another relic from the Friedlander archive that I use often and even at the last show)


In a lot of ways,  it was a totally different way of doing business back then. Shelves were stocked with actual needs and quality products, merchants had an active relationship with their customer, and solid customer service came naturally and without anyone having to tell you to do it.


While my family’s stores no longer exist, I LOVE that I can still find the same values and practices that I grew up with in the local quilt shops that I frequent. I love how each shop emits its own flavor–a product of the many hands and hearts that create and nurture them. They build community and offer us the chance to connect with each other over the things that mean so much to us. Plus, I love not knowing what fun thing I’ll find from one quilt shop to the next!


And they just sell better stuff, which is a total testament to the industry itself and how much it supports the little guys.


Visit Your Local Shop Day is on January 24, 2013 and right around the corner. I’m very happy to support it, and I’m also gonna do a giveaway in its honor. (See below for details.)

Here’s my official promo for the campaign, the short and sweet version.


Carolyn-Friedlander_Local Quilt Shop Day

And then I’ll give a shout-out to some of my favorite local shops and their nearby complements–I know I like some nourishment after a little fabric shopping. They’ve all supported me, and I’m very happy to support them.


Heartfelt Quilting and Sewing . Winter Haven, Florida

This shop is filled with the sweetest staff ever, and they have totally nurtured me from having no skills at all, to the fully obsessed quilter that I am today. Make sure to check out my open house on March 5 at their Lakeland store.

… Andy’s Igloo. The sign says “best ice cream for 62 years.” Let’s just say they know what they are doing.

Fabric Warehouse . Lakeland, Florida

Another great shop with lots of fun fabrics, and I think they might have been the first shop to pick up my patterns! In March, I’m teaching a class through them at the Sewing Expo for my Aerial quilt.

…Pelican’s shaved ice in Auburndale.  Perfectly positioned on my route home.

Inspire Quilting and Sewing . Plant City, Florida

These guys are super new, but have already established themselves as one of my favorite quilt shops. The light-filled shop is full of great samples and beautiful fabrics. Located in an unfamiliar town to me, I’m excited to get to know it more in the future.

…There’s a candy shop and tea room across the street, and then a fabulously home-grown and rustic cafe around the corner. um, hello.

The Dragonfly Quilt Shop . Vero Beach, Florida

This shop is about and hour and a half away, but I love getting over there when I’ve got the chance. It’s just a few miles from the beach and full of that warm, beachy vibe.

…Snowballs. the BEST shaved ice. Just down the street. You’re welcome.

(Sometimes I’m not sure which is more robust–my sweet tooth or my “fabric” tooth…)

Of course there are tons of other great shops out there, these are just some of my nearest and dearest. For more ideas in your area, peruse my shop listings, and also fill me in on some of your favorites by leaving a comment.

All comments made by Thursday Jan 24 at 11am (EST) are eligible for the giveaway. You’ll have to stay tuned for the prize…it’s a surprise! But it’s good. Don’t worry.

Happy Weekend!

And check out these other folks on the Local Quilt Shop Day tour!

- Abby Glassenberg (While She Naps)

- Alissa Haight Carlton (Handmade By Alissa)

- Allison Harris (Cluck Cluck Sew)

- Cara Wilson (Cara Quilts)

- Cheryl Arkison (Dining Room Empire)

- Christina Lane (The Sometimes Crafter)

- Debbie Grifka (Esch House Quilts)

- Diane Gilleland (CraftyPod)

- Pam Harris (Gingerbread Snowflakes)

- Jane Davidson (Quilt Jane)

- Jen Carlton-Bailly (Betty Crocker Ass)

- Krista Hennebury (Poppyprint)

- Laurie Wisbrun (Scarlet Fig)

- Michelle Freedman (Design Camp)

- Monica Solorio-Snow (Happy Zombie)

- Pat Sloan (Create with Pat Sloan)

- Penny Layman (Sew Take A Hike)

- Rachael Gander (Imagine Gnats)

- Rae Hoekstra (Made By Rae)

- Rita Hodge (Red Pepper Quilts)

- Victoria Gertenbach (The Silly BooDilly)

Small Business Saturday.

Aerial quilt, carolyn friedlander

I do love local.

And of all the promotional holidays we have going on right now, this is one that I’m happy to partake of.

My mom, sister, and I will be venturing off to our local, independent kitchen shop, which is always a great time.  And I think we’ll also be able to catch the Lake Wales Farmers’ Market, which means a visit to my favorite–the Guacamole Guy.


Here are some other great places to shop.


Happy Small Business Saturday!