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patterns by carolyn friedlander

Spools quilt in CF Grid Group

New project to share! I hadn’t made a new Spools quilt since the first one, and with new fabrics coming out, it was the perfect excuse to do it. Here’s a look at my Spools quilt made up in the CF Grid Group fabrics.

Photo by Alexis Wharem

The Fabric and Color Strategy

In the first version, I used 5″ squares, and with this one I worked from a fat quarter bundle of the newest fabrics plus yardage for the background. I’m really excited about the background–it’s Kona Sheen in Mossy Gold. It is mostly a neutral, but when paired with the greyscale fabrics it brings in some color and warmth. Plus, the shine on the fabric is so much fun to play with.

If you aren’t familiar with Kona Sheen, it’s a solid color base with a metallic layer printed across the top. The reverse side has no shine, and so I intentionally flipped some of my pieces over as little bits of accent. I think that it’s a fun detail!

Making Spools

If you haven’t made the Spools pattern yet, it comes together quickly and is really satisfying in terms of the way the prints and pieces come together. After each Spools block emerges, I couldn’t help but let out a little–it’s so cute!

This project is conventionally pieced, and great for any beginner.

Quilting Spools

Like in the previous version, I did some straight-line, machine quilting, but a little less of it than in my first version. Any time I’m quilting a grid, I do large, even lines across the entire project first before dividing sections any further. After my first broad strokes with this one, I really liked the loose-ness of it and decided then that it was where I wanted it to be.

CF Grid Group is my newest fabric collection and part of my Collection CF basics line. It should start shipping to stores in September, but you can ask your local quilt shop to get it on order now.

Pattern: Spools Quilt in the Wall size

Fabric: CF Grid Group plus Kona Sheen in Mossy Gold

Photo by Alexis Wharem

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Aerial Update And A New Version In My CF Grid Group Fabrics

I’ve been wanting to make a new Aerial quilt for quite some time. It was one of my early patterns, and one I’ve been eager to get back to. Here is my Aerial update.

aerial quilt . carolyn friedlander
photo by Alexis Wharem

The Design

The design is inspired by an imaginary view from above. It’s a fairly simple idea with loads of horizontal sections divided by diagonal slices and blocks of differing sizes.

aerial quilt . carolyn friedlander

Technique and Fabric

The project is made using foundation paper piecing, which makes everything super easy and clean. You can work from 2 1/2″ strips. Bring on the scraps, yardage or whatever you have! I worked from the roll up of my newest CF Grid Group and a special Kona Cotton roll up that I put together to coordinate with it. To me this is a great example of how grayscale doesn’t necessarily mean lacking in color. Don’t you think?

CF Grid Group and Kona cotton fabrics for Aerial Update quilt . carolyn friedlander

Working With Other Substrates

Aerial works really well with solids and textural prints. It’s also great for working in other substrates, which was a big focus for me in my first version. Sewing onto the paper foundation stabilizes a variety of fabrics, making it easy by limiting stretch, drape or any other imbalance between the fabrics you are using. If you are new to foundation paper piecing and/or working with a variety of substrates, this is a great way to go.

Tip: Pre-wash and dry all fabrics when doing this to equalize any differences that might occur when laundering in the future.

The Aerial Update

I’ve updated the pattern to include the new sample. I made some tweaks to the blocks, and I changed out some of the project sizes so that the pattern includes four different size options; Throw, Runner, Wall and Baby. The pattern has six different blocks and coloring pages to map out your own version.

aerial quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Planning

In planning this project, I don’t tend to make an overall plan, instead I start with the fabrics and then I think about groupings of three fabrics for each block. I find that this helps break down many choices into something more manageable. Plus, it gives cohesion to each block and the quilt as a whole, while also making the sewing experience entertaining as I tried coming up with new three-fabric combinations for each block.

aerial quilt . carolyn friedlander

There’s an optional “Block Yardage” listing in the fabric requirements that you can use to add cohesion or to provide extra wiggle room if you are new to paper piecing.

Project Details

Pattern: Aerial Quilt Pattern

Fabric(s): CF Grid Group and Kona Coordinates

Bonus: Aerial was also a design I used in my couch! Here’s part 1 and part 2.

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Clay Kept Quilt

With my Kept fabrics now hitting stores, I’m excited to share more about my Clay Kept quilt.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Deciding on a Technique

I’ve made a couple of Clay quilts already–the throw-sized version that is on the pattern cover, and the mini wall hanging that is the project that started it all. I made both quilts using needle-turn appliqué by hand, one of my favorite techniques. It’s relaxing and you get to feel and enjoy each fabric and color as you go, which can be magical.

clay quilt mini . carolyn friedlander

With this new version I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of doing a by-hand approach, I decided to go with raw-edge, fusible appliqué. There is no one way that you have to do appliqué just like there’s no one way that you have to make a quilt. You can do what you want and how you want it.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

With raw-edge, fusible appliqué there are different things to consider. For me, I’d need to make sure to have a fusible product on hand that I felt comfortable using. (I used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2, which in general is fine.) I’m not always happy with the stiff-ness or bulk that using a fusible can add to the final project, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing when what I’m making is a wall hanging–my project plan here. For this reason and others, it’s a really good idea to do a few tests with all of the materials you plan to use.

The other thing I wanted to think about is how I would finish it. While some of the fusible products say you don’t have to stitch down your fused pieces, I do like the idea of securing my work so everything stays in place over time. I’m making a wall hanging, and I don’t anticipate washing it often (or ever), but I want it to look polished.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The quilting is a great place to think about this. Since it needs to be quilted anyway, why not use quilting to further secure and enhance all of the pieces? For these reasons I knew I’d want to do some matchstick (or close-together and dense) quilting.

Picking a Palette

After deciding on technique, I needed to pick my palette. I LOVE picking a palette! It is especially exciting on a project like this where you’re arranging the pieces in place and it can feel like a painting or an exciting adventure in composition.

Clay Kept Quilt fabrics . Carolyn Friedlander

What I usually do is to go with my gut. I knew I wanted this blue print from the new collection for the background. It looks like a bathroom tile or a wallpaper to me. I like that it gives the background a little bit of texture, but it can also be a great support for whatever colors and prints I want to add on top.

Sometimes it is helpful to get your background fabric nailed down first. Then you have something to audition the appliqué choices. Or the reverse could also be true if you had a great selection of fabrics for the appliqués. Then it’s just a matter of swapping out background options until you find the one that works best.

Clay Kept Quilt fabrics . Carolyn Friedlander

My appliqué fabrics are a mix of prints from Kept and their coordinating solids in a range of various shades and colors.

The Clay Kept Quilt

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I really enjoyed laying everything out. After preparing my background, I laid it on the floor. (A design wall would be great too!) Next I cut out my pieces and arranged them onto the background, moving things around as I wished and as I added more pieces. If there is something I like, like certain shapes or colors grouped together, I might do more of it, and if there is something I don’t like, I try to do less of it. This constant back and forth of asking myself what I’m liking and not liking is not just helpful, but it makes the project more engaging and fun.

After I’m happy with the layout, I fused the pieces to the background, basted the quilt and got to quilting.

Here’s a great tip from Jacquie Gering when you are using a fusible product. In one of her lectures, I learned to use eyeglass cleaner to clean your needle frequently when quilting a project with fusible. A big drawback of using any fusible is how it can gum up your needle. I’ve found that this trick really helps! I’d clean my needle after a couple of passes on the quilt, which took extra time, but saved in frustration in the end.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The binding is this bright Orangeade Kona solid. When making a wall hanging, sometimes I love how a good, contrasting binding can act as a frame. This one is bright and cheerful.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern and Fabric Details

Pattern: Clay Quilt Pattern, Wall Size

Fabric(s): Kept and the coordinating solids (Kona, Essex Speckle)

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Meet my new CF Grid Group fabric!

I have some fun news that I can finally share. Meet my new CF Grid Group fabric collection!

CF Grid Group fabric collection . carolyn friedlander

On Grids

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but I LOVE grids. There’s something wonderful about clean lines and repetition, and grids epitomize that. Plus, once you get a good grid on some fabric, it’s really fun to cut it up and sew it into a project!

projects made using CF Grid Group fabrics . carolyn friedlander

Grids can add a nice structure to piecing as well as some delightful contrast to curvy shapes and appliqué.

collection CF grid group fabric projects . carolyn friedlander

CF Grid Group Fabrics

This is my Grid Group, which is part of my basics line–Collection CF. What I’ve done is take some of my favorite grid-like motifs from past collections and reimagined them in a new way and with a specific color theme–in grayscale.

collection CF grid group fabrics . carolyn friedlander

On Grayscale and Color

When I’m teaching a color class, one of my favorite points to make is how you can exaggerate the variety and nuance in a fabric pull when you reduce your palette down to a very narrow range. Doing this has a magical way of emphasizing variation in a beautiful way. It makes it fun to see more color in whatever you are working with.

This is exactly what I was thinking when I put this collection together. Even though this is a grayscale palette, together these 12 pieces feel really colorful to me, and they come to life in projects.

collection CF grid group fabrics . carolyn friedlander

Project Peek

And, I have some new projects, including a new appliqué project that I am just over-the-moon excited about. It’s called Bow, and it’s (maybe obviously) based on a Rainbow. I know I’ve dropped the ball a bit on my pattern releases recently, but I promise, this (and others I’ve been working on) will be real, and we’ll be able to sew together with them soon.

CF Bow quilt in CF Grid Group fabrics . carolyn friedlander

As for the new fabrics, you can ask your local quilt shop to get their order in now. The collection starts shipping in September.

Watch This

I put together a little video introducing you to the new group…along with more of a look at the projects on my YouTube channel here, and I’ll be sharing more about it all in posts to come.

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Ray Quilt Along #6: Put A Label On It!

Ray Quilt Along #6: Put A Label On It!

Ray Quilt Along label . carolyn friedlander

Hey, it’s a bonus! Now that the quilt is done, don’t forget to put a label on it!

Labels can be simple or fancy–that’s up to you. It’s always a good idea to mark your accomplishment with your name, when you made it and anything else worth noting.

ray quilt along label . carolyn friedlander

For me, it’s a pretty simple process. In addition to my name and date, I like to add the quilt name, batting used (since I tend to change this up from time to time) and bonus of where it was made. If it’s a gift or if there is more of a story, that can be good information to include as well.

As for how to include it, you can go simple or more involved. Even though I got fancy on this one, I usually go super simple and just use a permanent marker to note the details. On this one, I got a bit more fancy and marked it all via embroidery.

ray quilt along label . carolyn friedlander

And while I’m here, I’ll share a few more snippets of the back. I love how the back turned out. I used some favorites from my stash.

ray quilt along . carolyn friedlander

As well as this leftover block from my Spools quilt (pattern here).

ray quilt along . carolyn friedlander

The quilting goes in the same direction, and I love how the lines go in different directions when it’s all folded up. It’s a small detail, but I love it when there are new ways to look at a project depending on how you are using it or not.

ray quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Don’t forget your label!

ray quilt along . carolyn friedlander

To catch up on all of the Ray Quilt Along posts, head over here.

ray quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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Ray Quilt Along #5: Bind and Finish.

Ray Quilt Along #5: Bind and Finish.

Ray Quilt Along #5: Bind And Finish . Carolyn Friedlander

Can you believe it? We’ve made it all the way to the end! My quilt is all quilted, and it’s time to bind and finish it.

Here’s the video.

What do you think? I know that many of you have been pushing yourselves whether it’s in your fabric and color choices, the way you’re quilting your quilt, or whatever else has been striking you lately. As we wrap up our quilts, what have you learned or been most excited about?

Ray Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

For me, this project has just been a bright spot in a not-always-bright year. I chose a palette that brought me joy every time I looked at it, and the resulting quilt does just that. There’s also something special about finishing the project as the year is ending and the new year begins. This year has brought challenges and surprises, and we’ve all done our best to find our way through it.

Thanks so much for sharing in this Quilt Along with me. Your projects have been a joy to see, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

Happy New Year to you.

Ray Quilt Along . Carolyn Friedlander

Share what you are working on using the #cfRAYqal on Instagram. I love seeing it.

Supplies:

+ Scissors, Seam Roller, CF Handy Guide, Marking Tool, Hand Sewing Needles, Leather Thimble Pads, Yuzu Thread Gloss, Wonder Clips, Pincushion, Aurifil Thread, Thread Catcher

Ray Quilt Along #5: Bind And Finish (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #4: Baste And Quilt (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #3: Sew It Together (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #2: Cut It Out (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #1: Make A Plan (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Pattern

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Ray Quilt Along #4: Baste and Quilt.

Ray Quilt Along #4: Baste and Quilt.

Basting my Ray Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Who’s ready to baste and quilt? I have to say that it always feels like a big milestone to get a project basted and ready to quilt. Since I’ll be hand quilting this one, that means I can get the Netflix and couch ready!

Here’s the video.

Because of all that we’re covering this week, this video is longer than the others. As with all of my videos, you can make use of the “Chapters” in the description to jump around to any sections you wish to revisit.

I share some thoughts about batting in the video, and if you’d like to use what I’m using I put together a listing for it in my shop.

quilters dream batting . carolyn friedlander

What’s your favorite way to baste your project? Do you use your cutting table like I do? And how are you thinking you’ll quilt your project? I’d love to know what you are thinking about.

quilting my Ray quilt . carolyn friedlander

The Quilt Along will be taking a break for the next 2 weeks. I’ll see you back here on December 31, 2020 with the final part of the project! Your homework for the next couple of weeks is to get your quilt basted and quilted.

You can do this! Share what you are working on using the #cfRAYqal on Instagram. I love seeing it.

Supplies:

+ quilt top, batting, backing fabric, Flatter, clamps, safety pins, scissors (small and large), hand quilting supplies, thread (see suppliers below)

Thread Suppliers:

+ Cosmo Sashiko Thread in my shop

+ Snuggly Monkey

+ Brooklyn Haberdashery

+ Upcycle Stitches

+ A Verb For Keeping Warm

Ray Quilt Along #4: Baste And Quilt (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #3: Sew It Together (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #2: Cut It Out (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #1: Make A Plan (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Pattern

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Ray Quilt Along #3: Sew It Together.

Ray Quilt Along #3: Sew It Together.

Ray Quilt Along #3: Sew It Together

With everything cut out, let’s sew it together! This part always feels like I’m cleaning, because I’m taking a bunch of pieces off the floor and turning them into a single quilt top. So satisfying!

Here’s the video.

A fully-sewn-together quilt top is pretty satisfying, right?

Ray Quilt Along quilt top . carolyn friedlander
Ray Quilt Along quilt top . carolyn friedlander
Ray Quilt Along quilt top . carolyn friedlander

I may not be the best quilt holder, but you get the point. It’s bright and exuberant just like I wanted. Basting and quilting will be coming next!

Your homework for this week is to get your quilt top sewn together too. You can do this! Share what you are working on using the #cfRAYqal on Instagram. I love seeing it.

Supplies:

+ Cut pieces from Ray #2, sewing pins, seam roller, 1/4″ foot/Magnetic Seam Guide and/or Washi Tape, CF Handy Guide, sewing machine, iron, ironing board, wool pressing mat

Ray Quilt Along #3: Sew It Together (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #2: Cut It Out (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #1: Make A Plan (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Pattern

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Ray Quilt Along #2: Cut It Out.

Ray Quilt Along #2: Cut It Out.

This week, let’s cut everything out! Grab your fabrics and cutting guide, and let’s have some fun.

Here’s the video.

How about that? I’m pretty excited about where mine ended up, and I can’t wait to sew it together in the next video.

Ray Quilt Along 2: Cut It Out . Carolyn Friedlander

Your homework until next time is to get all of your fabrics cut out! And don’t forget to share what you are working on using the #cfRAYqal on Instagram. I’d love to see it.

Supplies:

+ Fabric, Cutting Mat, Rotary Cutter, Rulers (I’m using 8 1/2″ x 24
and 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″), Marking Tools, Iron, Ironing Board, Sewing Machine, Thread, 1/4″ foot/Magnetic Seam Guide and/or Washi Tape, Seam Roller, CF Handy Guide

Note: My Long Leaf templates and pattern are coming to the shop soon!

Ray Quilt Along #2: Cut It Out (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #1: Make A Plan (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Pattern

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Ray Quilt Along #1: Make A Plan.

Ray Quilt Along #1: Make A Plan.

This week, let’s make a plan! Let’s hone in on our inspiration and then think about how to turn it into a project.

Here’s the video.

What do you think? Do you have some things in mind? Let me know what you’re thinking, and I can’t wait to see what you start putting together!

ray quilt along, yellow fabrics

Don’t forget to share what you are working on using the #cfRAYqal on Instagram. Have fun!

Links:

Ray Quilt Along #1: Make A Plan (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Pattern

Ray Quilt Inspiration (on Pinterest)

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Ray Quilt Along: Announcement and Schedule.

Ray Quilt Along: Announcement and Schedule.

Are you ready for a quilt along?

This year has been a wild ride to say the least, and I can’t think of a better reason to come together to finish it out in a creative way. (Side note: If a Quilt Along is too much for you right now, that is 100% OK. I understand and invite you to bookmark the content to come. You can revisit it when you are ready.)

Ray Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander
ray quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Here is what you need to know:

WHO:

You and me!

WHAT:

Quilt Along with my new Ray pattern (download the pattern here), which I’m choosing for a few reasons.

  1. The pattern is free. I’m grateful for your support and happy to share this design with you.
  2. Ray sews up fairly quickly and easily. While you can spend as much time on this project as you’d like to spend, I don’t want time to be the limiting factor.
  3. It’s a versatile project, and I can’t wait to see where you take it! The fact that I worked my way through 3 versions so quickly should tell you that a) a lot can happen in a short period of time, and b) this project is creatively addictive. Each version inspired new ideas for the next, and I’d be lying if part of my motivation for this Quilt Along isn’t that I have another idea in mind…

WHERE:

You can stay tuned right here on the blog. I’ll make sure to post weekly content here, but you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel since that’s where I’ll be posting the videos.

Also – make sure to post your own projects on Instagram using the hashtag #cfRAYqal so we can all see it!

WHEN:

Here’s the schedule. Like I said, the project itself can be cut and sewn together quickly, but I’m building in plenty of time so you can separate it out.

+ Nov. 20: Announcement

+ Nov. 27: Make A Plan

+ Dec. 4: Cut It Out

+ Dec. 11: Sew It Together

+ Dec. 17: Baste + Quilt

+ Dec. 31: Bind + Finish

WHY:

After a stressful and challenging year, let’s end on a good note. Also, I love and appreciate you.

Ray Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

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Meet, Kept–my newest fabric collection.

Meet kept–my newest fabric collection for Robert Kaufman.

kept fabric . carolyn friedlander

I have a new fabric collection, and it is called Kept. This is a small, 12-piece group that has a mellow feel and the ability to go with the flow.

kept fabric . carolyn friedlander

The designs themselves are inspired by collections of things that I have kept. These are things like shapes found in studio stuff, patterns I come across in my daily life and design ideas that roll around in my head. The mix of textures and shape goes from hand drawn and linear to bold and geometric.

kept fabric and kept coordinates . carolyn friedlander

As is usual with a new collection comes a brand-new group of coordinates to go along with it. I love bringing in coordinates that can broaden the character and expand on the possibilities of any collection. These can go alongside Kept or inspire a starting point all their own.

kept fabric and coordinates . carolyn friedlander

I’ve made a variety of projects using my Kept collection and the coordinates to celebrate just some of the creative possibilities. I don’t know about you, but while spending so much time at home during a challenging year I’ve found great comfort in sewing and all of the levels of creativity that it offers. From embracing color, to working with different fabrics, to indulging in projects big and small, practical and comforting–sewing is a very good thing for us to embrace right now.

kept fabric projects . carolyn friedlander

I’ll be sharing more about each of the projects in the coming weeks. If you’d like to see an overview of all of them now, check out this new video that I put together. And let me know what you think!

I made most of the projects above with the big exception of the AMAZING quilted coat and tote. They were made by Brittney Frey (using the Sapporo Coat pattern and Sylvie Tote pattern), and they are just dreamy.

kept fabric projects . carolyn friedlander

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