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Start With A Finish: a Finish!

Start With A Finish: a Finish!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I have been completely delighted to see people joining in on my Start With A Finish (informal) Quilt Along. I was wanting to do this QAL for a while, but questioned myself many times. It was very easy for me to make excuses not to do it. The end of the year is a time that passes in a blink and is never lacking in stuff to do and to be done. This year was no different, but through seeing your enthusiasm and support, I am excited to have buttoned up a project that wouldn’t have been tackled otherwise–my Start With A Finish: a finish!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

It may not be a project for everyone, but it’s exactly the quilt I most wanted to make. My goal was to bring together projects, leftover blocks, and whatever else from the year into one quilt top. It would have been fun to make separate minis with the pieces from the cf mini QAL, but my dream was to put them all together into something that I could curl up with on the couch. I love projects like this that give you something new to look at depending on how they’re resting on your lap. Plus, it just seemed like a lovely way to commemorate the year (and to clean out the WIP pile)!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Projects like this can also be a great creative exercise, which I love to partake in at the end of the year. With there being so many different things, you have to figure out a way to bring them together. And I love the feeling of putting something to use and getting it done.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

One little surprise that I’d planned all along was including the text “twenty eighteen” into the quilt. This text is part of a new Alphabet pattern that I’ve been working on and will be releasing this month. Since this quilt represents many things I made in 2018, I thought it would be a nice little detail to work into the project.

twenty eighteen . carolyn friedlander

I used fabric from Harriot for the background and then some bright yellows from Carkai and Gleaned. There’s a subtlety and spunk to it that I really like.

twenty eighteen . carolyn friedlander

I liked figuring out how the different parts of this project could work together. It was definitely not a thing that I planned from the beginning, and in fact, I made big changes as I went. I’d lay things out, sew some together and maybe spin them around as I explored looking at it in different ways.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I originally thought I’d arrange my little Davie houses by color, but in the end I preferred them this way and with a little border around them giving them some space.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

One of my favorite discoveries was how some leftover Lott blocks from early testing could create a very interesting border. Now I really want to make a whole quilt like this!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

There was another final flip that’s worth noting. The final seam (before adding the top and bottom border) is the vertical one in the center. All along I had the right portion flipped 180 degrees. When it was time to sew the large sections together, I flipped it around to see how it would look and loved the way it brought those warm oranges to the bottom. There was also a good matchup of Polk in the center that really worked. The other way looked nice too, but taking advantage of this pleasant surprise was hard to pass up.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The finished top will be a cozy throw for me. It is 57″x74″ and features many of my fabrics, plus several others, and my patterns of Lusk, Davie, Lott, Babson and Wainwright. Many sections were made during the cf mini QAL and even the WainwrightAL, so you can check back to those for closer shots and ideas.

If you had a finish or if you just followed along for fun–thank you!

Happy New Year. I can’t wait to see what we finish in 2019.

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Start With A Finish (informal) QAL

We’re almost a week out from the New Year, and so I’m thinking it might be a good time for a Start With A Finish (informal) QAL.

start with a finish . carolyn friedlander

Is there a project you want to finish before 2019 gets here? I’ve had this one project that I’d really like to wrap up before the end of the year, and I thought it’d be fun to plan a little something special (or give myself a deadline) to do just that. And what a better way to hold myself accountable than to a) tell you about it, and b) invite you to do the same! Let’s do this. And if nothing else, it’s an excuse to sew.

Here are the details. Feel free to do the same or adjust to your situation. I know that this last week of the year can be a full one, as well as a time when you just want to relax, hang out with friends and family and not do anything. I’m in that boat too! But I also want to sew, because that is a good way for me to relax. This is why I’d like to keep this QAL super informal, but really fun and supportive. I’d love to have you join in whether you’re sewing along or watching and cheering along in spirit.

Time frame: December 26-31, 2018.
Project : That’s up to you! I have one project in mind, see below. It’s a project that is in bits and pieces, and my goal is to get a top sewn together. Anything past that would be a bonus.
How To Participate : I’ll post daily updates on Instagram using #startwithafinishQAL . Feel free to use the same hashtag so we can find and cheer each other along.

As for my project, I have my minis from the Mini QAL earlier this year, and I’d really like to sew them together into a quilt top. That’s going to be my focus, and I can’t wait to see something shape up!

If you’re celebrating Christmas tomorrow, I hope it’s Merry!

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Hunt Bolero Vest and Harriot Archer Buttonup

Hunt Bolero Vest . Carolyn Friedlander

My Hunt Bolero Vest and Harriot Archer Buttonup are some new favorites for sure.

Hunt Bolero Vest . Carolyn Friedlander

We’ll start with the bolero vest. The pattern is in Casual Sweet Clothes by Noriko Sasahara. It’s a Japanese sewing pattern book that has been translated into English.

Bolero Vest in Casual Sweet Clothes Book

I LOVE the trim detail on the version in the book, but after looking and not finding anything good I decided to take matters into my own hands. Sometimes not having the right option forces you to creatively discover a new one!

Insert the idea to appliqué some shapes from my Hunt pattern onto the back. I love how these shapes work together. This Bolero is such a good canvas.

After deciding on my color palette, the next decision was to figure out the shape placement. The great thing about appliqué is that you can move shapes around very easily to see what you like before making the final attachment. I cut out my shapes first and auditioned them in a few different spots before deciding on this one. I like the way they echo the neckline while breaking up the proportions in a nice way on the back. Plus, you’re able to get a good feel for the overall appliqué motif.

Hunt Bolero Vest . Carolyn Friedlander

What’s also fun about appliquéing a project like this is that there is less of it than you’d need on a full project. It can move along fairly quickly, while providing a nice impact. I did appliqué them by hand, but you could totally add them via the machine and/or something fusible.

Hunt Bolero Vest . Carolyn Friedlander

The vest isn’t lined, which made me pay closer attention to having clean-ish starts and stops, because I knew you’d be able to see them on the inside. Of course, if you didn’t want to concern yourself with this, it would be very easy to line this vest so you wouldn’t have to!

Hunt Bolero Vest . Carolyn Friedlander

I got a little fancy (and fussy) with my facings. I managed to get a bit of the scallop from the fabric in there, and I also spiced things up with some neon serger thread.

Hunt Bolero Vest . Carolyn Friedlander

+ Tool Tip – remember this handy seam wheel set I mentioned in the Hunt Harriot post? The 3/8″ wheel made adding in the seam allowance to the Bolero pattern a complete breeze. While this book is translated into English, the pattern pieces do not include any seam allowances. You’ll want to add them in yourself.

Hunt Bolero Vest . Carolyn Friedlander

As for the buttonup, I used the Grainline Archer with the Popover variation, which I LOVE. It’s such a great pattern.

The yarn dye that I chose from Harriot is super soft and the perfect weight for a buttonup. It is a dream to wear, and I love how versatile the color and pattern will be for mixing/matching/layering with other stuff in my closet. (Plus, I got a little fun with my yoke…)

Harriot Archer Buttonup . Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve made this pattern many times and cannot recommend it enough. It’s a fun sew and an easy wear. I pretty much made it as the pattern is written, but decided at the last-minute to omit the top part of the collar. When I got to that step, I realized I’d not done that before, and so I left the stand as it is. I really like it!

Also, I had some fun with my buttons…

Harriot Archer Buttonup . Carolyn Friedlander

Making a buttonup can highlight your button stash–bountiful or lacking. In this case, I discovered that while I have been doing a good job of stockpiling buttonup options, my black department is lacking. I’ll keep that in mind in the future, but luckily I had these fun gingham buttons to use.

There we go!

patterns: Bolero Vest, Casual Sweet Clothes by Noriko Sasahara, Hunt Appliqué Pattern (appliqué on vest) by me, and Archer Buttonup with Popover Variation by Grainline.

template: Hunt quilt template (1/8″ seam allowance)

fabric(s): all from Harriot

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