cf Mini QAL #5: Gradation.

cf Mini QAL #5: Gradation.

How was last week?

Here’s what I made.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This week, my focus was on Davie. With last week’s challenge being about all colors, I tried not to over think my fabric and color choices, which is easy to do when anything is an option. Instead I went with my gut as I started looking through fabric. I pulled several different things, and laid them out loosely focusing on groupings of 4 since the Davie blocks require that many fabrics for each of the block sections.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Even though my goal was to make 4 blocks, I didn’t pick all 4 groupings at the beginning–although you totally could. Instead, I made the first block with the first 4 fabrics that I liked, which was the bright yellow house with a brown roof in the middle. My subsequent block selections grew from there based on how I was seeing each block shape up.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Also, I’ve been wanting to play a bit with mixing up the background sections in this block, and so I inserted a little accent of something here and there in pretty much all of the blocks. I think it’s kind of fun!

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This was a really fun week, and I’m actually looking to build from it in moving forward with the next challenge.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Our next challenge focuses on Gradation. Gradations can be lots of fun to put together and incredibly impactful. Here are some examples to consider.

Savor Each Stitch_Aerial Grove_Carolyn Friedlander

The Aerial Grove project from my book is a good one for employing a gradation. I love projects with little bits of a lot of different things, and this one captures that idea and uses gradation to organize those colors for maximum impact. Above is the version in the book, and below is a version using only Kona solids.

Aerial Grove quilt_1_Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve made so many versions of this project mostly because I love picking out the colors and figuring out how to arrange them.

Ebb is similar in that it also is a great way to show many different colors and how they can transition in fun ways.

ebb quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

This recent version of Sessoms also creates a gradation from all of the fabrics in Gleaned.

Sessoms Throw Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

And here’s a new one that you haven’t seen yet. How about this Lusk mini that I also made in Gleaned?

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

I had a mini-charm pack of Gleaned that I decided to turn it into a mini. I paired the fabrics in the collection with Olive Essex Yarn Dyed. To make the gradation, I simply worked the blocks in order from the mini-charm pack. That’s a tip–if you have trouble arranging your fabrics, try working from a precut, because they’re usually arranged in a pleasing gradation of some sort.

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

Creating a gradation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create a rainbow from red to purple. You can also think of a gradation as a way to tell a story, from light to dark, from blue to yellow–from anything you want! Here’s one more example that I crowdsourced from @bastingbeauty. It’s just too pretty not to share. I love the creativity of not only the design but of also the fabric use and way it transitions! It also gives you a bit of a transparency effect too.

@bastingbeauty

This week, have fun figuring out a gradation–in whatever way you’d like!

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Not good with creating a gradation? Buy a precut and use it in order. OR, stalk a precut that you find attractive and take notes on which colors are being used and which order they are being used in. You can do it.

+ Gradations do not have to be a full spectrum and in rainbow order. If the standard isn’t speaking to you, come up with your own color story and define your own limits.

+ On a technical note, I’m sure you’ve noticed that these little seams can be get a little bulky. This is why I usually try pressing them flat in order to even out the bulk as much as possible. While first working on Davie, I realized that using a seam roller to open out the seam first, made it much easier to iron open and achieve a good press. I’m glad to see some of you noticing this handy trick too!

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #4: Many Colors.

cf Mini QAL #4: Many Colors.

Before we get on with the new challenge, here’s an update on where I finished things from last week.

cf Mini Quilt Along #4 . Carolyn Friedlander

A good portion of these blocks were leftovers from an abandoned sample when developing the pattern (Lusk). I stumbled upon them recently and realized the Quilt Along would be the perfect excuse to finish them up. Don’t you love getting back to something that was previously lost in limbo? So satisfying.

cf Mini Quilt Along #4 . Carolyn Friedlander

I had a sketch with an idea of where to go, but I ended up sewing together what I had and adding in a few new ones. I liked the serendipity of it, and I definitely enjoy the surprises in what’s possible to accent with this design. How’d the challenge work out for you?

Maybe you’re starting to notice that there’s a bit of a progression with these challenges. We’ve gone from 1 color to 2 colors to using an accent. I know that picking out fabrics and planning projects can be scary, and so I’ve wanted this Quilt Along to allow you to focus on one thing at a time in order to grow some confidence with each of the projects.

This week the challenge is Many Colors, which–like the previous challenges–can be taken in many ways. Mainly, I want you to try breaking a little further outside of your box and grab a few things that you may not have thought to put together. In a challenge like this, all the things we’ve been practicing so far can come in to play. Where can you use like colors to create harmony? How can the value of your choices define (or soften!) your shapes? What are areas/shapes/colors that you’d like to highlight or accent? These are all great things to think about when working on this week’s challenge.

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

As an example to get you started, I have a previously-unshared project to unearth. This was the first version of Lusk (version A) that I ever made. It uses a mixture of gleaned, the newest architextures coordinates and Kona cotton solids–in many different colors.

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Like many of my projects, I started with a pairing that I was most excited about. After sewing those blocks up, I moved on to another set that I liked and continued the process of grabbing fabrics, sewing them into blocks and throwing them up on the design wall. I love this way of working, and it definitely gets more fun, exciting and comfortable with practice.

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

What do you think? Are you ready to take on many colors? I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

#cfminiQAL #letsmakemanyminis

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Variety is the spice of life! When using lots of things, pay close attention to contrast within each block and overall. I think that it’s fine for some areas to be fuzzy and/or more pronounced. Just make sure to balance it to your own liking.

+ Go with your gut and start grabbing fabrics that are speaking to you. As you grab, lay them out in a way that you can see all of them as you go. Start moving them around and thinking about pairs, groupings and/or general locations of colors that are appealing to you. The trick is that you don’t need to have the whole thing planned out at the onset. You just need a starting point and some options. You can reflect on your choices and how it’s shaping up as you go.

+ Don’t force yourself to use colors you don’t like. I never see a point in that–go with what you’re in to! I think that color growth can naturally stem from comfort and practice.

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #3: Using An Accent.

cf Mini QAL #3: Using An Accent.

How did last week go for you? Did you like the two-tone challenge? I really did. In fact, I kind of like the idea of my project from the week being a jumping off point for a larger quilt.

cf Mini Quilt Along #2 . Carolyn Friedlander

While I was sewing, I realized how fun it would be to treat this mini as one block for a larger project. Can you imagine making more of these in different fabric combinations and then sewing them all together? I really like the idea.

On to the next challenge. Are you ready? This week is all about accents!

Using an accent can be an impactful way to make a statement or to see something in a new way. It can surprise your senses and break expectations. I’ll start with some examples, because it’s a tool that can be utilized in many different ways big and small.

In my original Babson quilt there are many areas of accent, which is a big reason why this pattern can be so much fun to sew.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Depending on how you pair your fabrics within each block, you can highlight–or accent–the variety of shapes in different ways. In mine, I sometimes worked with fabric pairings that were similar in order to create more subtle shape interaction, but I also worked with the opposite–implementing wildly different pairings in order to highlight the shapes at play not only within a block but also in a series of neighboring blocks. You can look at this example as a way of playing with accent without a ton of planning.

+ As a tip, if you’re working this way using a design wall (or the floor, etc) will be a great tool for seeing how your accents are shaping up.

Eads would be another example to check out that uses a similar approach.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

That way of working can be liberating–or overwhelming–depending on how you like to work. There’s no need to stress if that isn’t your thing. Using an accent can also work in ways that are more deliberate. The Emphasis project from my book is a great example of that.

emphasis quilt and sewn stationery_carolyn friedlander

This project uses the exact same block design and the exact same fabrics across 3 samples that are made to look different based on how they are worked. In order to do this, I carefully mapped out each version so that different areas of the design were brought to life and highlighted in each variation. I loved exploring the various possibilities of what to accent.

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

But maybe your first thoughts of using an accent weren’t expressed in either of these examples? I think this third set of examples is maybe the more common ways to think about an accent.

First up is a crowdsourced example from @thirteenquilts.

@thirteenquilts

Brandy is making Babson for the Quilt Along, and those pops of red are very effective accent. Maybe while you’re working you want to spice it up with an accent fabric/color of your choice.

Another example is from when I was developing the Lusk pattern. One of my unfinished samples was based on an idea of using an accent to highlight new shapes in the B version. Similarly here, I have a bright color to pop and a sketch to explore the idea.

cf Mini Quilt Along #3 . Carolyn Friedlander

What do you think? Ready to start using an accent?

Tips:

+ An accent can come from a fabric choice, your fabric placement and/or the quilting itself. Feel free to think about how to incorporate an accent at any/all levels.

+ Sketch it out! Use the coloring pages included in the pattern to figure out what you want to highlight.

+ Sometimes an accent can spice up your project as well as your attitude. Bored of a current combo? Spice it up and stay entertained!

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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