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patterns by carolyn friedlander

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


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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