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Eads Quilt Along #6: Crowdsourced.

Eads Quilt Along #6: Crowdsourced.

You guys are making some awesome stuff, which is why I think it’s a fitting time to take a look at some of it now that we’re at the halfway mark.

@erushman has a super fun mix of colors and prints happening. It’s a great progression of color and value.

@erushman . eads quilt


@stephanie.hill75’s colors are working in a fun way. The 2-block units give it an engaging order that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

@stephanie.hill75 . eads quilt


@curlycquilter’s consistent use of a light-colored fabric in each block emphasizes the shapes within the block and the beautiful color palette that she is working with.

@curlycquilter . eads quilt


It’s been such a treat seeing each new addition for @bellylaugher, because of the color-themed styling in each photograph. Just lovely!

@bellylaugher . eads quilt


@annuin is making beautiful progress on hers and also taking some lovely shots with different backgrounds. It’s always interesting seeing blocks in a different context. Plus, it looks like this project might be using the kit. I’m eager to see it come together! I think that this project especially can take on different looks even using the same fabrics.

@annuin . eads quilt


@treadletothemetal has been rocking some beautiful fabric pairings. It’s been fun seeing her snippets and super satisfying to see how they all come together!

@treadletothemetal . eads quilt


This all-solids version by @thenextstitch is such a good one to take a look at. Using all solids can achieve a wonderful definition of shape, as well as a respectful attention and emphasis on color. This palette is especially intriguing to me, because of how the colors are mixed and matched in different ways making some of the same shades look very different depending on who they are paired with. Such a fun color study!

@thenextstitch . eads quilt


@houseonhillroad mentioned this being a Laura Ashley theme, which it totally is! It can be a tricky thing to be so evocative with your palette, but this one accomplishes that, and I can’t wait to see more.

@houseonhillroad . eads quilt


@procrasticraft’s blocks also have a cohesive look to them as she’s using liberty + something light, which is just right.

@procrasticraft . eads quilt

As for me, it’s been a crazy week. I’ve gotten into this bad/good habit of Eads sewing early Thursday mornings. The truth is that I’ve been in the midst of massive secret sewing, which has made it too easy to put off working on my Eads. I knew this would happen when I originally started thinking about this Quilt Along, but that’s also kind of why I decided to do it. For a long time I’ve wanted to get into a rhythm of fabric play once a week, and I knew sewing along with you guys would be the perfect excuse to do it. It’s easy to get swept up in tasks, and so a dedicated break to play is important–especially in times of pressure and deadlines.

Eads QAL 6 . Carolyn Friedlander

Thanks to you guys inspiring me to stay on track, my time Eads-sewing this week resulted in loosening me up a little bit. I finally got my hands on some Homesprun (newish Essex linen/cotton product from Robert Kaufman), and no surprise–it’s a fast favorite. It turns out that it goes with everything and adds a ton of tasty texture. My favorite combo of the day is some homespun with some carkai.

Eads QAL 6 . Carolyn Friedlander

Sewing is fun.

Eads QAL 6 . Carolyn Friedlander


+ See what your friends are up to. Sometimes a look at other projects will help you think of yours in new ways–and they don’t need to be working on the same project! Any change of scenery can be a great thing.

+ Change your rotary cutter blade. If you’re like me, it’s a safe bet that it’s time.

Eads QAL 6 . Carolyn Friedlander

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Eads Quilt Along #5: Using A Design Wall.

Eads Quilt Along #5: Using A Design Wall.

After being away last week at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, I was pleasantly reminded of a big benefit of using a design wall–it can be pretty! Coming back and being confronted by my blocks was a lovely, visual welcome. In fact, seeing them waiting for me made me eager to sew.

Many of you may have been traveling last week with the holiday–was anyone else eager to see their project when they got back? Maybe you noticed a freshness to it after spending time away?

Eads Quilt Design Wall . Carolyn Friedladnder

Design walls are great, and I believe that they should be used in whatever way works best for you and in a way that complements the way that you work. I realize that saying that sounds pretty obvious, but I’ll bet that it will also feel liberating to hear me tell you to use a design wall however you want. Do it.

As an example, I’ll show you how I used mine for the Eads quilt on the cover.

Based on the beauties you are all posting on Instagram, I’m noticing that some of you work linearly, some of you jump around and some of you work in other ways. It’s all good! Do what feels most natural. For me, you’ll notice that I started in one area, and then built around it in ways that made sense as it grew. I was open to some changes along the way, and I didn’t get trapped in any of the positions being totally set.

On the technical side, there are some things to consider when using a design wall. First, is the design wall itself–check out the first QAL post for specs on mine. Second, is what to do when you outgrow your design wall, because unless your design wall is infinite in size, you are likely to outgrow it at some point.

Eads Quilt Along . Carolyn Friedlander

In my video, you’ll see that I outgrew mine and had to start improvising. Of course you could totally work in sections, but I wanted to see how everything was working together. Because my design wall was set up against a wall of fabric, I was able to pin blocks around the design wall. Then, it still got bigger, and so I moved it to the floor.

Eads QAL 5 . Carolyn Friedlander

While on the floor, I was able to move everything around as I wanted. I waited to move it here until I was ready to actually sew the blocks together.

Eads QAL 5 . Carolyn Friedlander

There’s that. What do you think?

As for my ongoing project, this week I’m outgrowing my design wall again and using tape to hold things in place. Whatever works! (Also, my sewing space is getting CRAZY. There is a lot happening in and outside of this photo…)

Eads QAL 5 . Carolyn Friedlander

In terms of colors and fabric, it was fun pulling in more greens–especially some from the new UPPERCASE collection that have been inspiring from the beginning.

Eads QAL 5 . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m still mixing lots of my stuff with other stuff. At this point it’s feeling a little wild and crazy, but that’s kind of the fun of it too.

Eads QAL 5 . Carolyn Friedlander

From the angle, you can see the pins that I’m using to hold blocks to the foam core. They’re the thin, cheap kind that seem to come in an endless supply.

Eads QAL 5 . Carolyn Friedlander


+ Leave the paper on your blocks. This keeps them flat and clean.

+ Use thin (cheap) pins to hold the blocks to the wall. Thin pins are effective at holding while not being visually distracting. Where pinning isn’t doable (i.e. for blocks outside of foam core, use painter’s tape to stick to the wall).

+ While a design wall can be visually inspiring or welcoming, don’t hesitate to put it away if your project is ever causing stress! Sometimes a few days of not looking at it can bring on new and exciting ideas.

Eads QAL 5 . Carolyn Friedlander

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Fabric napkins for the win.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabric napkins for the win. Are you a cloth-napkin user? I am and have been since college. In fact, I’ve been using the same cloth napkins since college, which means my cloth napkins are quite old. So old, that every time I find myself folding and putting them away I’m thinking–I should really make some new napkins… It’s always been one of those “some day” tasks, but finally, I’ve made myself some new fabric napkins, and it basically took no time at all.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

This is hardly even a weekend project. For me it was a I-need-a-break/distraction-to-feel-productive-for-maybe-an-hour kind of project. And boy are they.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Even though the colors look curated, they are the result of pulling fabric in order off my shelf, which I guess is curated…and in color order, but still. It was an easy effort. I grabbed and cut fabrics until I felt done grabbing and cutting, which apparently was 9 pieces.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

To back up a bit, the idea came after seeing these from Purl. For anyone wanting to follow a tutorial, you can totally follow that one, it’s good. On mine, I simplified the steps a bit and changed the overall size.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I first made a snip at 19″ with scissors and then ripped the full width of fabric, which means that my fabric was 19″ x width-of-fabric (44″ish in this case). Ripping the fabric ensures you’re following the grain of the fabric, which does make a difference when you’re planning for frayed edges. (Plus, ripping fabric is a surprisingly fun task.)

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I then threw those 19″ strips (ripped on 1 side) into the washing machine and dryer before ripping them into 18″ squares, by making a snip at 18″ and ripping each side, basing all subsequent sides on the first ripped side.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

After getting all of the squares made, I frayed the edges, but unlike the tutorial, I didn’t do an overall stitch around the sides. I figure the fraying will be fine. After you fray some edges, you start to see how unlikely more of it will be from becoming more un-frayed. Or, if it does become crazy in the future, I can always add some stitching. No prob.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Of course, some stitching could be a lovely decorative element if using a contrasting thread or interesting stitch. It all depends on the look you’re going for! In my case, it was a no-muss, no-fuss situation. I like the looseness.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I know that some people have some concerns with fabric napkins. First, to address the wrinkle issue, these napkins haven’t been ironed at all. I took them straight from the dryer, ripped to size and then just hand smoothed them before this photo shoot. Not bad, huh?

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

And this was just the first wash, they’ll get softer and softer with each wash. If you’re into ironing or have some guests to impress, you could certainly give them a good press before setting them out. Otherwise, I find them to be totally acceptable straight from the dryer.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Another question about fabric napkins has to do with stains. This is a good question since you will be using them around food. There are a few ways you could look at it. First, if you’re really concerned about stains, you could just pick out really dark and/or busy fabrics that could easily camo some stains. Second, I haven’t noticed too many stains that really stick in my experience with cloth napkins, and I’ve been a cloth napkin user for almost 15 years. Third, if you do happen to get a pesky and unrelenting stain, just make a new one! This is a low-commitment project that only gets better and more exciting with new fabric.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabrics included are from my collections, friedlander, architextures and doe.

Yay for fabric napkins!

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