Archive | fabric

Polk Pouches and Bags.

Bag making can be really fun and very practical. Here are some Polk pouches and bags that I made using the new fabric.

Polk Fabric Projects . Carolyn Friedlander

Noodlehead makes some of my favorite bag and pouch patterns, and I’ve made several of them out of Polk.

First up are some pencil pouches, which are from a free tutorial of hers. These guys are great and not just for pencils. I’ve used mine for toiletries, hand sewing and several other things.

Polk Pencil Pouches

Polk Pencil Pouches

What’s fun is that you can come up with different fabric combinations for the outside panels.

Polk Pencil Pouches

Polk Pencil Pouches

Polk Pencil Pouches

Polk Pencil Pouches

Pattern: Pencil Pouch Tutorial by Noodlehead

Fabric(s): Polk, Architextures and Essex Yarn Dyed in Aqua

Polk Pencil Pouches

Next up are some Petal Pouches (pattern by Noodlehead).

Polk Petal Pouches

There are 2 sizes included in the pattern–small and large. I’ve made both. I use the smaller size to hold ear buds, chargers and other travel essentials. The bigger one holds more, and I’ve even used mine as a clutch when attending an event.

Polk Petal Pouches

Polk Petal Pouches

It’s such an attractive shape, and if you’re worried about sewing curves–don’t be! This one is pretty gentle.

Polk Petal Pouches

Polk Petal Pouches

Polk Petal Pouches

Pattern: Petal Pouch by Noodlehead

Fabric(s): Polk, Gleaned and Essex Classic Wovens

Polk Petal Pouches

I finally made a Traverse bag (pattern also by Noodlehead).

Polk Traverse Bag

I love this bag so much, and it’s been on my to-sew list forever. Since making it (like immediately upon making it) I’ve been carrying it around daily, and it’s been perfect. The pattern includes 2 size options, and this is the smallest size.

Polk Traverse Bag

I love the small size because it means I’m not overloading myself and carrying more than what I need. I find that this size holds all of the essentials.

Polk Traverse Bag

Also handy, I used one of Anna’s hardware kits. It included the zippers, d-rings, slider, cording and little leather accents. I love that she has these available in her shop.

Polk Traverse Bag

Pattern: Traverse Bag by Noodlehead

Fabric(s): Polk and Essex Classic Wovens, hardware kit from Noodlehead

Polk Traverse Bag

It’s worth mentioning that I also recently updated my wallet situation. I’m now using Noodlehead’s minimalist wallet (the smaller size), and it works perfectly with the Traverse. If you’ve ever wanted to make a wallet, this one is a fun and smart sew. I love how easily it comes together.

Polk Minimalist Wallet

Pattern: Minimalist Wallet by Noodlehead

Fabric(s): Polk and Liberty

Last up is not from Noodlehead, but instead from Grainline. It’s the Dopp kit from the Portside Travel Set. Someone made me one of these, and I use it ALL the time. It’s such a perfect size for many things, but I’m often using it to tote around sewing supplies like my rotary cutter, scissors and other stuff.

Polk Portside Dopp Kit

Plus, the flat, zippered pocket on the front (there’s a flap hiding the zipper) is perfect for holding your seam gauge and other flat stuff.

Polk Portside Dopp Kit

Polk Portside Dopp Kit

Polk Portside Dopp Kit

Pattern: Dopp kit from the Portside Travel Set by Grainline

Fabric(s): Polk, Architextures and Essex Classic Wovens

Polk Portside Dopp Kit

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Meet Polk, my newest fabric collection.

Meet Polk, my newest fabric collection.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Polk is an 8-piece collection printed on Robert Kaufman’s Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun–a substrate that I’ve loved ever since they first released it. Homespun, like their regular Essex, is a cotton/linen blend, but what I really like about it is the woven grid created by how the light and dark yarns are woven to create it. It’s really lovely!

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

It’s also a super useful fabric. Like regular Essex, Homespun is a dream to work with–for quilts, clothes, accessories. It can stand up to a massive number of tasks and desired sewing projects. The utility coupled with the rich texture and look made it a no brainer that I wanted to pitch some design ideas for a collection using it.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn FriedlanderPolk is just that. The designs themselves take some of the ideas from Gleaned a step further. I found that I wasn’t quite done playing with those shapes, plus I like the idea of there being a continuation since one of my favorite things to do with linen collections is to mix them with printed cotton collections–it’s so much fun and the results can be beautiful.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Another neat thing about this collection is that I was able to create some new base colors for the Homespun range. Previously, they offered some great neutrals, and so it was no question that I wanted to add an exciting orange (thanks Orangeade!), a vibrant blue (Paris Blue) and a beautiful brown (Roasted Pecan). These three additions, mixed with some of the great existing neutral shades make up the base fabrics for this collection.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Polk Petal Pouch

Polk West Water Tunic

Polk Adeline Dress

The artwork on top is printed in an array of colors to complement and add interest to the base color. The deep blue print has a really interesting effect that comes across kind of like a starry night sky. While I keep looking at that one in new ways depending on the project, all of them have a little something different to offer as well. It’s been fun figuring out projects and fabric combinations to explore those different things.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Of course, I have some new projects coming down the pipeline…and I’m ready to share a couple peeks of 2 of them here, plus an old favorite revisited.

First up is Davie, a new house project with a fun twist on how to use your fabrics. It’s fat-quarter friendly, and I was especially drawn to creating a design where you can get progressive with your fabric choices and the way they transition. Plus, houses are really fun.

Polk Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up is Lusk–the first of a new group of mini quilt patterns. I cannot get enough of making minis.

Polk Lust Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

Each one take shapes and motifs from some of my previous patterns or new ones, and reimagined them in new ways, at new sizes and in new relationships on a smaller scale. Minis can be the perfect way to explore ideas, they make great gifts and they are also some of my favorite things to dress up a wall.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Third is a Park quilt in Polk. (And kind of a tongue twister!)

This one actually started out as a new set of pillow shams (like what is shown on the pattern cover), but before too long, I found myself with too many block pairings that I wanted to try, and so a larger quilt was born!

Polk Park Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

(By the way, my Park pattern is newly available in PDF form on my site. You can grab a copy here.)

And then I was also eager to sew up some other things too. (Of course!) Like I mentioned, this collection is well suited for all types of projects–not just quilts.

Polk Fabric Projects . Carolyn Friedlander

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

I’ll be sharing more about all of the projects above in upcoming posts, but for now some of the patterns/tutorials include (from top left): West Water Tunic by Squam, Portside Dopp Kit by Grainline, Petal Pouch by Noodlehead, Pencil Pouch Tutorial by Noodlehead, Adeline Dress by Style Arc.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

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WainwrightAL #6: Finish.

WainwrightAL #6: Finish.

Somehow we’ve made our way to the end–or at least to the end for now.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I often have mixed feelings at the end of a project. There’s always a part of me that is excited to reach a milestone and to see it finished. And then there can also be the side of me that’s kind of sad to be done with something that has been enjoyable to work on. With my first Wainwright, I definitely felt this mix. I was excited when I had all of my blocks appliquéd and sewn together. I love seeing it for the first time after the basting stitches are gone and after a good press. It always looks so clean!

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

With Wainwright, there was also a little sad part of me, because I had enjoyed working on it so much. Each row brought new colors and different combinations of shapes and fabrics. I loved having an excuse to work on these fun little blocks. Luckily, this is the perfect excuse for more projects, and in this case I was excited to start the quilting.

Originally, I thought I would start off with some big-stitch hand quilting across the entire thing. Then I’d machine stitch on top to add even more texture. I tend to like the softness and color of big stitch, and then the texture and intensity of the machine quilting. But, after finishing the hand quilting, I loved the feel of it as it was.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Plus, the color effect is pretty nice–although not easy to see in the photographs. I big stitched along all of the diagonals using different colors of thread that generally related to the colors in the blocks. I liked having a loose transition of color across the quilt with the fabrics, and doing the same with the quilting threads adds another layer to that transition.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I tried out a new batting with this quilt. Quilters Dream has 4 different loft options in cotton, and this uses their heaviest (“supreme”). I’ve tried it on a few projects since this one, and I’ll admit that it’s maybe not my favorite, but in the case of this quilt, there is something nice about it after being hand quilted. It’s weighty but still soft.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Now, let’s go back to my project for this QAL. Here’s where I’m at.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn FriedlanderWhen I initially thought about my QAL project, I knew that I wanted to try something a little bit different. I wanted to push myself a little in terms of the palette. I don’t typically work with a super dark, tone-on-tone palette, and I was curious to see how something like that could work out.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

In doing this, it’s been a great exploration in texture, which I’m always a fan of. Handwork is the perfect way to feel out different types of fabrics, and that’s very much the case here. I have linen, sateen, quilting cotton and poplin. While it may not photograph spectacularly, in person you can see how the light plays differently on each of the fabrics. I can’t wait to get them all appliquéd, because I think the quilting will be really fun and can highlight the differences even more.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

While my initial fabric pull included blacks and a range of greys, I’m now thinking I’ll separate the darkest from the lightest into separate final projects. For awhile I thought I’d make a pair of pillow shams, but now I’m thinking that I’ll do a pillow sham with the darkest stuff, and then a wall hanging–or something larger with the lighter stuff.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

While cutting out the latest few blocks, I found myself wanting to make more and more pairings of the lighter guys.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

And so, I think that’s what I’ll do!

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

For me this QAL was a great excuse to start another handwork project (like I ever need an excuse for that, ha!), to work with a new palette that I was curious about, to give myself a little something to relax with at the end of the day, AND to work along with you while doing it. If you followed along with the Eads QAL, you will have noticed that my goals were a bit different. For Eads, I had a goal to have a quilt top finished by the end of 12 weeks–and I’m SO glad that I did. That was a wonderful goal for that project, but in this case, I didn’t feel the same goal was necessary.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Having said that, I do like having goals and re-assessing progress where necessary. And so, I think that now that I have a better idea of what I want this project to shape up to be, and since we’re at a great point of assessment, I’m marking my calendar for a month from now to check back in with you on where I’m at with this guy. Goals are good, and I don’t want this guy to get lost.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Appliqué is actually really strong. I’ve appliquéd plenty of tote bags and other items that get used and abused, and I am happy to report that my appliqués have remained in place! Of course, if you’re new to the technique and feeling unsure about the strength, you can always take it into consideration when planning your quilting. Feel free to quilt over any areas that cause concern, and you’ll be good to go!

+ Maybe you took on more of a project than you wanted? This isn’t a bad thing, in fact I think it’s great to be excited about a project. There’s nothing wrong with making changes down the road if you decide that a smaller project is better. I personally love making smaller things like pillow shams and tote bags because you really use them. In my case, I think I’m going the opposite way–having initially thought pillow shams, and now thinking that maybe a little something larger could be good. Either way, do what feels best for you!

+ I talked about how I wanted to use this project to push myself a bit. Sometimes I really like a challenge, but it’s always a balance. When I teach, I sometimes see people feeling like they have to push themselves, because they feel like it needs to be hard in order to learn. It totally doesn’t! I’m definitely a fan of doing whatever works for you and whatever feels right. If you’re feeling good in your comfort zone, go for it, or if you’re feeling good about giving yourself a nudge, go for that too!

I really appreciate you following along whether in spirit or in actuality! Seeing projects popping up in my feed makes me so excited and eager to sew.

carolyn friedlander project bag

As a thank you, I want to do a giveaway. I recently made up some project bags–with a Wainwright theme–that I sold at QuiltCon. I secretly saved a few, including 1 to giveaway at the end of this QAL. The rest will go up for sale in my shop on Tuesday at 10am EST.

To enter the giveaway, share with me your thoughts on this QAL or a thought on a recent project that you’ve been excited about by leaving a comment here before Monday, March 26 at 10am EST.

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