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patterns by carolyn friedlander

Grove Mini Quilts

How do you feel about mini quilts? I love them. There’s something extra special and satisfying about making a mini, which is why I decided to add in a (literal) little bonus when giving my Grove pattern a refresh. With a new mini tree block included in the pattern, now you can make Grove Mini Quilts. Personally, I’ve already made two.

Mini Grove quilts . carolyn friedlander

There are many good things about a smaller format. Creatively, it’s a great way to try out a new color combination, print pairing or layout. There’s less pressure in terms of the time and material commitment. I find they always perk up a space without requiring a lot of space, and they make a thoughtful gift. If you aren’t into turning it into a quilt, you could always sew the smaller blocks into a bag, pillow, pincushion or other accessory too.

The new mini block conveniently required a new sample, which started off with a colorful dive into my scrap pile. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been finding comfort in color lately.

As I made the blocks, I threw them up on my wall, and I moved them around as I went. I find that I constantly simmer on layout while making blocks, and I really like that about the process. It’s very interactive.

Of course I ended up making more blocks than I needed, and so I divided them into two different quilts. They could have been sewn into one, but I liked the balance of having these two.

Mini Grove quilt . carolyn friedlander

Grove Mini Quilt #1

The blocks are made from a pretty wide mix of colors from spice to tangerine to mint and yellow, but I think the sashing really helps cement the color statement. It was a big decision, but I loved this gingham and the color tone the best.

After deciding on the sashing, I was a little indecisive about going bold or blendy with the binding, so I did a little bit of both! The black piece is leftover binding from my TP quilt, and I love how it adds an accent. This is definitely a case of being enticed by something lying around that I hadn’t put away yet. (Don’t need to worry about putting it away now!)

Mini Grove quilt . carolyn friedlander

I quilted all over with matchstick lines in the vertical direction. With there being all of the different colors and fabrics, I wanted the quilting to unify and add a dense texture.

Mini Grove quilt . carolyn friedlander

Grove Mini Quilt #2

The blue one is pretty cute–if I do say so. There’s no sashing, it’s just 4 blocks sewn together with a border, pretty simple.

Mini Grove quilt in blue . carolyn friedlander

I tried to do something a little different with the quilting on this one, but still similar in the sense that it is an even, overall, dense-ish texture. This time it’s a rectangular grid, and I used an electric blue thread. That detail is subtle but fun.

Mini Grove quilt in blue . carolyn friedlander
Mini Grove quilt in blue . carolyn friedlander

You’ll find the new mini block included in the new grove pattern, as well as the specifics on the layout (sashing, border, etc) for the first version shown above.

Take this in whatever direction you’re feeling!

Pattern: Grove Quilt

Fabric: Mostly mine, plus a Robert Kaufman Crawford Gingham

Mini Grove quilts . carolyn friedlander

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Grove Quilt in Collection CF

My Grove Quilt Pattern was one of my very first patterns that I launched back in 2011. It’s a design I still stand by, and I’m so happy to have a new version to show you. Here is my new Grove Quilt in Collection CF.

Grove Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The Design

Having spent most of my life surrounded by orange groves, I find there to be something really beautiful about their long rows and reaching branches. This design celebrates that with angular shapes that can be softened or highlighted with the color and fabrics you choose. Over the years, it’s been fun to see how these shapes play out in solids, prints and all kinds of colors.

the grove quilt 2020 . carolyn friedlander

With new fabrics coming out in Collection CF, I knew this would be a perfect project to show them off. Some of the prints are more bold, and some are softer and read more like a solid. This print mix plays with the shapes in an interesting way.

collection CF fabric . carolyn friedlander

Fabric Selection

First I explored going with more of a uniform color palette, mixing the new pieces with some of the previous pieces in the collection. This one is heavy on the cool shades, and although I didn’t ultimately go with it, I think it would be very lovely!

fabric planning . carolyn friedlander

The way I’m auditioning the fabrics in the pic, the top two pieces would each be a tree, and the fabrics underneath would be the background for those trees. There are 12 blocks in the project. Of course you could mix it up and have different background fabrics too.

Ultimately I decided that I liked how the newest pieces worked together on their own, and this project would be a good way to show that off. The 15 new colors offer a good mix of lights and darks.

collection CF fabric 2020 . carolyn friedlander

I used 6 of the 15 pieces for backgrounds, which means each is used in 2 blocks. Then I used the rest of the fabrics to make the trees, with 3 of them being used for 2 blocks and the rest for 1 each.

the grove quilt 2020 . carolyn friedlander

As for the sashing, I waited until I had all of my blocks made before deciding on that. Do you like picking this stuff out at the beginning, or do you tend to wait? I think I’m more often a wait-er. Sometimes I’ll have something in mind, but I pretty much always wait to auditione the different options with the actual blocks.

With the sashing I chose, I like how it adds some serious visual texture while still allowing the trees to pop. You could imagine how a darker choice would frame the blocks–just depends on the look you are going for!

the grove quilt 2020 . carolyn friedlander

Going with a dark border gives the quilt a nice frame. I really debated going with a something light and subtle, which I think could have worked nicely too. That would have been a totally different outcome.

Quilting

The quilting is straight-ish lines via free motion quilting. I outlined all of the trees first, and then I quilted in some repeated lines in the background. From the back you can really see it on the dark backing fabric. I like how this gives you an echo of the design on the back.

the grove quilt 2020 . carolyn friedlander
the grove quilt 2020 . carolyn friedlander

The Pattern

The pattern has been fully updated, and now it also includes a bonus mini tree block. I have a couple of new quilts using the mini block, and I’ll be sharing them here soon.

In terms of skill, it’s intermediate foundation paper piecing with plenty of guidance. On this pattern I have a full cheat sheet for you on the sizes of fabric to cut for each section of the block. If you’re new and want the guidance, it’s there for you. Or if you’re a confident paper piecer–do as you wish!

Pattern: Grove Quilt Pattern

Fabric: Collection CF, new 2020 colors

collection CF fabric quilts . carolyn friedlander

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Unpaused, still listening.

Over the last week, I’ve taken a pause in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The discussion we are having around social injustices here in the US is important and overdue. During this time I took a deliberate break in posting here and on social media. I wanted to give space to Black voices needing to be heard, and I made an effort to listen, educate and reflect more deeply on these important issues. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do both as a person and as a small business to effect the positive change that I want to see, and I’m working on it.

One change moving forward is that 100% of digital and 25% of wholesale proceeds from the sale of my Sunrise quilt pattern will be donated to causes fighting for social justice. I plan to support several causes over time, but first up will be the Social Justice Sewing Academy.

In thinking about what I could do, I kept coming back to this pattern. To me it’s always represented ideas of hope, as that is what a new day brings.

photo by Alexis Wharem

Creatively, it’s a design that can liberating in terms of color and expression. You can use yardage, scraps or whatever you have on hand in many colors or just a few. I’ve made many versions over the years, and each one has brought me creative joy.

I love how through a sewing project, we can not only support others through the donation, but we can support our creative selves as well–an important thing during challenging times.

Moving forward I will continue to listen, educate and support causes aiding in these efforts, and I’ll also use this platform to speak out and to share resources with you. I’m still exploring ways to give back on more of a local level. I have ideas, but I’ll just have to keep you posted on that.

Get the Sunrise pattern

Here are some resources that I shared in my newsletter last week that I hope might be helpful.

+ On Systemic Racism

+ Why Black lives (need to) matter

+ Resources on Anti-Racism

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