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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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cf Mini QAL: Conclusion. (+ giveaway)

cf Mini QAL: Conclusion. (+ giveaway)

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

We’ve made it! It’s been a full (and fun) 8 weeks of mini quilt making. How do you feel now that we’re to the end?

As for me, I’m pretty stoked about making quilts, and I hope that’s the case for you too. Like I said in the beginning, making minis is always a great way to explore ideas and churn up some creativity. I hope the challenges each week helped you feel more confident and encouraged to try something new and/or see things in a slightly new way.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

The challenge this week proved that point to be true for me. I went Wild with my mix of prints, colors and types of fabrics, and in the end I was having a hard time making myself stop.

It all started with a charm pack that I liked.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

To which I added other things that I liked.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

And then I got to sewing.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

This first batch of Babson blocks is wild both in terms of color and print, and I just loved it. It made me excited to keep going.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Something I love about these blocks is how I was able to incorporate fabrics that I’ve accumulated both recently and not super recently in my travels. Do you get a sense of satisfaction when you’re finally able to work in something you’ve been holding on to? I definitely do.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

I especially love the edge of grey that resulted in some of the last blocks I sewed (below, right), and I’d love to explore this idea more.

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

My favorite thing about a project is when it encourages you to keep going. This one does that for me, and so I’m really tempted to keep making blocks and sew up something larger–maybe a throw.

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Doing a little bit of math, there are 224 blocks in the throw size of my Babson pattern. I have 56 this week, plus the 25 from last week that I think would be fun to add to this group. This leaves 143 to go, which breaks down to about 12/week for 12 weeks.

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

I don’t know if I’ll totally hold myself to this number, but it is helpful to calculate how it could shake out. I’m never good about finishing things if I don’t give myself a deadline.

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabrics from this week’s wild fest included London Calling 8, Nani Iro, Arroyo by Erin Dollar, Woodland Clearing by Liesl Gibson, UPPERCASE by Janine Vangool, Suzuko Koseki, as well as Friedlander, Friedlander Lawn, Architextures, Gleaned and Polk from me.

Thanks for following along! As promised last week, I’d like to do a celebratory giveaway this week. Up for grabs is a charm pack of Polk, plus a stack of more 5″ squares of fabrics that were used in the original Babson and a pair of my favorite Kai snips. And if you don’t already have a copy of the Babson pattern, I’ll throw that in too!

Polk and Kai Giveaway . Carolyn Friedlander

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me something about your cf Mini QAL experience. I’ll randomly select a winner Tuesday September 18 at 11am EDT.

Polk and Kai Giveaway . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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