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Spring Quilt Market 2015 in Minneapolis.

Big thanks to everyone who participated in the webinar last night. It was a new experience for me talking to the computer without really knowing who was listening and watching from the other side. After reading your comments on Instagram, I’m thrilled to know that it resonated with many of you, and I can’t wait to see where handwork takes you in the future!

But now, to Quilt Market. It was my first time in Minneapolis, and the city was a lot of what I expected–good food, friendly people, plenty to see and do (if not at the convention center). Luckily, it wasn’t too crazy cold, but it was a change of temperature from the 90s that I’m used to in Florida. One major (personal) highlight was the sauna in my hotel–that’s how I like to do a trade show! A friend and I made the sauna an early morning ritual each day before the show, which made a massive difference in taking the edge off of what is an otherwise exhausting event. I do love a sauna.

Overall it was a good Market. I didn’t get out to see everything and everyone as much as I would have liked, but that’s kind of the way it is. I always say that folks following the show from Instagram see more of the show than those of us who are actually there. Or at least those of us spending most of our time in our booths.

Here’s the convention center at the beginning of setup. It was an interesting building with three very large domes. I’m not sure what happens up there, but they sure have plenty of ladders and walkways to cover them.

Spring Quilt Market 2015 before set up

The first day of set up was a little slow for me because of some errands, but there was plenty of focus on the second day as I tried to pull it all together.

spring quilt market set up_carolyn friedlander

The booth strategy was a fairly simple one. I liked the ideas of layers and layers (of fabric…ideas…projects…), which I articulated by way of lots of fabric, plenty of quilt blocks and some of my drawings and sketches.

Carolyn Friedlander Spring Quilt Market booth 2015_blue wall

I knew that I wanted to get people stitching in the booth, so before setup I did some local junk foraging and found some goodies.

stitching in the booth at Quilt Market 2015_carolyn friedlander

I didn’t know if people would be in to sitting down and stitching, but they totally were. I know that it was a welcome reprieve from the hustle of the show floor. Plus, it was a great chance for me to catch up with them, making it a win-win.

stitching in the booth 2015_3_carolyn friedlander

Even Ken Kaufman took a turn working the needle.

stitching in the booth 2015_carolyn friedlander

My booth neighbor, Valori Wells, had some really beautiful samples including many that she’d overprinted.

Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman

It was a delight to welcome 3 new designers to the Robert Kaufman family–Elizabeth Hartman, Angela Walters and McKenna Ryan (whose booth I sadly did not get a picture of–but it was lovely and won an award!)

Here’s Elizabeth’s booth showcasing her brand-new fabric line, Rhoda Ruth.

Elizabeth Hartman for Robert Kaufman

This was Angela’s booth, which featured her new line, Drawn.

Angela Walters for Robert Kaufman

Darlene’s booth was lovely as always, with plenty of great details.

Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman

I’m obsessed with this sewing machine.

Little vintage sewing machine

Darlene was even stitching away on some of my blocks during the show. I was totally flattered.

Darlene Zimmerman stitching away

Julia from the Kaufman team kept everything in order at the pre-cuts booth. Plus, she rocked amazingly-handmade garments everyday of the show–including this beautiful Doe dress.

Julia handling the Robert Kaufman precuts

I never take enough pictures, but one of my favorite parts of the Robert Kaufman booth was the sewing studio where they had tons of garments, quilts and other projects made out of their apparel fabrics. It was inspiring to scope through it all and plan out some future projects. Also in that section was a Social Tote, which I did manage to get a photo of.

Social Tote in Robert Kaufman fabric at Quilt Market 2015

Elsewhere on the show floor…

Jen Kingwell’s work always blows me away.

Jen Kingwell at Quilt Market 2015

I loved seeing some Nest Egg totes in the Dear Stella booth.

Nest Egg Totes at the Dear Stella booth

I scouted some Nani Iro dresses that I’d like to make.

Nani Iro dresses at Quilt Market 2015

Angela and I traded talents. She taught me to longarm, and I taught her to handstitch.

Angela Walters teaching me to quilt_Carolyn Friedlander

Then Elizabeth, Angela, Valori and I took a group shot with our beastly blow-ups after it was all over.

Robert Kaufman designers with big heads

Kinda freaky, huh?

But fun too.

 

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New Site, New Shop.

Well, welcome!

There’s been a lot happening behind the scenes recently, and now you can see the results of some of that. The site has a new look, and on the back-end it’s entirely new. This means that it should not only run faster, but we’ve also tried to make things easier to find and more available for you.

And, the biggest news is that I now have a shop. (See 2nd menu item above and left.) In it, you will find a selection (that will grow) of my patterns available as PDF downloads. To start, we have Shirts, Outhouse, Social tote, Nest Egg tote, and Catenary.

Shirts Quilt Pattern snapshot_Carolyn FriedlanderOuthouse Quilt Pattern snap shot_Carolyn Friedlander

Social Tote Pattern snapshot_Carolyn Friedlander

Nest Egg Tote Pattern snapshot_Carolyn Friedlander

Catenary Quilt Pattern snapshot_Carolyn Friedlander

My book, Savor Each Stitch, is also available in the shop–it’s not for download, but is the physical, real deal that you will receive in your mailbox.

Savor Each Stitch book_Carolyn Friedlander

The addition of a shop and doing downloadables has been a long time coming, and it doesn’t arrive without some bittersweet feelings about it on my end. On the one hand, I love downloadable products. My own hard drive is chock full of PDFs that I’ve eagerly purchased from designers. They are a handy means to great projects that I’ve enjoyed making. As someone who doesn’t live close to a quilt shop, I can appreciate the convenience, and as someone who is often struck with moments of creative compulsion, I can appreciate the instant gratification of what just a few clicks can do for you.

Having said all of that, there still isn’t a replacement for having a beautiful pattern in hand or finding that pattern in the environment of a well-curated and thoughtful local quilt shop. The support of the independent retailers and distributors who carry my products over the last few years has helped me grow my business immeasurably, and so it’s important for me to recognize their role in this system not only as a designer, but as a consumer as well. Just like cruising blogs or instagram for project ideas, some of the best independent shops deliver us the same creative inspiration by doing their own homework to source the best patterns and supplies for us to see and use. For this reason, you’ll still find a directory of such shops, and I encourage you to support them as well.

In my book, I talk about how bringing ourselves into our projects makes them different, and quilt shops work in the same way. Each shop owner makes buying decisions based on any number of factors that they deem important. Because of that, you never know what you’ll find when you step into a new place. Or, you also end up seeing familiar things in a totally new context that makes you think about them in a new way, which I totally love. In traveling so much, I’m lucky to get to see so many of these amazing places, which is such a treat. (A dangerous treat, but still a treat…)

carolyn friedlander fabric at Superbuzzy

Colorful fabric bundles at Superbuzzy

 

cat fabric at Bunnys in Austin

Just a taste of the cat fabric at Bunny’s in Austin

 

Cabin blouse at Fancy Tiger Crafts

Inspiration is everywhere at Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver

 

Classes at Fancy Tiger Crafts

Class offerings at Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver

 

So, it’s with much happiness that I launch my new shop–I hope that it will be a great resource for you! I can’t wait to see what you make.

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Nest Egg tote meets Alturas.

alturas nest egg_1_carolyn friedlander

 

I made this for a friend…

 

alturas nest egg_2_carolyn friedlander

 

 

alturas nest egg_4_carolyn friedlander

 

…using my new nest egg tote pattern and a block from my alturas quilt.

The fabrics are a mix of things that I pulled on the fly. There’s some doe, botanics, and architextures, as well as Robert Kaufman Essex and Chambray, Kona Pickle, and a mysterious blue sewing print from my stash. The decorative elastic that I used was a perfect (and lucky) match. I stocked up on a few colors when I found them at The Common Thread in Austin this past summer, and I’m glad that I did. This color came in super handy. When I used it here, I folded it in half and topstitched it together for a more streamlined look.

 

alturas nest egg_5_carolyn friedlander

 

alturas nest egg_6_carolyn friedlander

 

alturas nest egg_7_carolyn friedlander

 

In keeping with all things round, I thought it’d be a fun touch to throw a doe roll-up in there along with some other sewing-related goodies.

 

alturas nest egg_9_carolyn friedlander

 

alturas nest egg_8_carolyn friedlander

 

 

 

#nesteggtote

#alturasquilt

#savoreachstitch

 

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