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cf Mini QAL #8: Wild (or Mild)!

cf Mini QAL #8: Wild (or Mild)!

I can’t believe that we’re already to week #8! How’d that happen? I hope you’ve enjoyed this QAL as much as I have. Before we get on to the final challenge, here’s where I took the challenge from last week.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Using my Babson pattern, I print-mixed it up! I started with the Forage print by Anna Graham and some of my black prints from Gleaned and Carkai. Then I gradually worked in the gingham and some Polk.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

I like how the prints bring a softness to the Babson design, and how the darkest and lightest colors help pack some punch.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Ready for the final challenge?

This last challenge is Wild (or Mild)! When thinking Wild, I think of something crazy, loud and/or dominate. Have you ever embraced a print or fabric/color combination that kind of screams at you? This final challenge is all about finding a way to harness that energy so that it can power your mini. Here are just a couple of Wild examples. (From top to bottom, Cowboy Circle Lattice from Savor Each Stitch, my Doe Couch and Eads)

Cowboy Circle Lattice_Carolyn Friedlander

Photography © Alexis Wharem, Greenprint Photography reprinted by permission by Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

Cutting up the Doe couch quilt_Carolyn Friedlander

Eads Quilt Along . Carolyn Friedlander

Wild doesn’t have to mean any one thing. It can be bold in the fabric choices, strong in the colors or impactful in the way the blocks are working together.

You’ll also notice that there’s an (or Mild) alternative for you this week. Maybe Wild isn’t your thing, or maybe it already is? Going totally Mild can be just as much of a challenge. How far can you take a whisper but still make it engaging? (From top to bottom, Eads QAL blocks, Facing East from Savor Each Stitch, @indigobird_designs Eads)

Eads QAL 7 . Carolyn Friedlander

Facing East . Carolyn Friedlander

indigobird_designs

Reaching the right level of softness is all about striking another sort of balance, and it can be just as good of a challenge.

With 2 big things to think about in the projects ahead, here’s a hint at where I’m taking mine.

Babson works perfectly with a charm pack, and ever since picking this one up (of the latest London Calling) I’ve been eager to use it. Now is the time!

London Calling Charm Pack

There’s such a diverse mix of prints in this pack, plus the smaller prints will be fun to pair with a bunch of other things. Keeping the Wild theme in mind, here’s some of what I’ve pulled to go with it.

cf Mini Quilt Along #8 . Carolyn Friedlander

I think that the vibrancy of the Nani Iro piece (bottom left) can help pack a punch, while the larger scale of the Japanese print (top left) can bring a taste of calm along with some good colors. That’s the plan! I’ll be adding in more as I go and as it shapes up. The trick with going Wild (or Mild) is the decision of how Wild (or Mild) to go. Like everything else, it’s about finding the right balance.

You can do it!

cf Mini Quilt Along #8 . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Let loose a bit and see what you can put together!

+ Think about all that we’ve learned over the last 8 weeks. When going wild (or mild), everything can come into play–contrast, how your colors and prints are working for you and the stories you decide to let them tell.

+ Not sure of what to put together? If you’re scratching your head you can always start with fabrics from all of your challenges thus far. This can be a fun and challenging way to get many things to jive together.

Come back next week for the final wrap up and a special giveaway. Thanks so much for following along!

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #7: Making Friends, Mixing Genres.

cf Mini QAL #7: Making Friends, Mixing Genres.

The fussy-cut/directional challenge from last week made me want to play with directional fabrics and a lot of stripes.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Originally, I’d planned a toned-down palette with plenty of paleness but also a punch of acid lime. In the end, I went even softer than that and didn’t use any acid lime. The punchier bits are from deeper browns and greys.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

The directional theme I was going for was to have vertical stripes in most of the sets.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

When you’re going fussy, you draw the line on how fussy you want to me. For me, I wasn’t necessarily drawn to complete perfection in all ways, but like in the block above, I wanted the roof stripes to be perfectly vertical and relative to each other. It was a complete surprise and accident when they almost line up at the seam on the left. Yay for accidents!

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I like this group of four and went ahead and sewed them together. I’m still tossing around the idea of sewing all of my minis into one bigger quilt, but there’s something about these guys that I might end up leaving them on their own. They’re just so cute together.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

This next challenge is another one that I hope you’ll have a lot of fun with. It’s all about making friends and mixing genres. What does that mean?

There are many different genres and styles of fabric out there. We have solids, basics, batiks, various reproductions, modern, contemporary, etc, as well as loads of designer prints that have their own look as well. Sticking to one category or designer can make things easy as they can easily work together without too much thinking. But sometimes it’s fun to mix it up, and that’s what the challenge this week is all about!

Like all of the previous challenges, this too can mean a lot of things, but to get you started I’ll show you in an example of my own, and walk you through a mixed-genre fabric pull.

Like any fabric pull, it’s good to start with something that speaks to you. Anna Graham’s latest collection, Forage, for Robert Kaufman is such a fun one and where I wanted to start.

 

I grabbed one of the floral prints from the collection and added a couple of pieces from my scrap bin–a bright tangerine (from Botanics) and a grey (from Architextures). While these colors do coordinate nicely with colors already in the print, they also pack a little more punch and take it in a slightly new direction. This is a good start and an easy way to stretch what’s already there.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn FriedlanderTo do something different, you don’t necessarily need to find the most different thing for the sake of being different. Instead you can think of colors that aren’t already used and can bring a new spirit to it.

 

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn FriedlanderAcid lime! It didn’t make it in last week, but it might be great in this next group. I’ve also added a pink gingham that plays well too.

Since I like where that’s going, the next step is to explore building it out a bit more. I’ve added more yellows, another grey and the tangerine from earlier.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

What’s important–to me at least–is laying them out and grouping them in ways as I pull. This makes it so easy to see how everything is shaping up and how it might work together.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

If you feel like you’ve gone too far–or want to zoom in on something nice you’re seeing, you can always pull back. I could decide to take the tangerine bits out and focus more on the yellows and wasabis.

Or, you can clear it away and start again with another idea–for the sake of another push.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

I just LOVE these guys together. The print mix is really enticing and there’s something good about the coloring too.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

As before, you can start figuring out how to build the idea out more–not forgetting about things you may have already used.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

And a little more…

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

And already I have a lot of options! I may have too many, which means I definitely need to start sewing before I feel too overwhelmed and can’t make a decision. This is such an important step–get sewing!

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ What makes good friends? Connect your own dots between genres through similar colors, values or whatever make sense to you.

+ Scrap-pile sewing can be an excellent way to source some surprise combinations. Many of my favorite pairings have been the result of accidental findings. For a challenge like this, I love hitting my scrap bin for ideas.

+ Take pictures along the way. You can often work in good ideas from early in the pull later in your project–or into another project. It’s good to have these ideas on hand.

+ Have fun with the pull, but don’t let it stop you from sewing! Give yourself a time limit and get going.

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #6: Fussy and/or Directional Placement.

cf Mini QAL #6: Fussy and/or Directional Placement.

Did you have fun creating a gradation?

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I created a few more blocks to add to my Davie pile from last week, and I like how a gradation adds a bit of harmony and composure to the group.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

As for the colors, I expanded on some that I started last week and went with my gut on what to put together next. I made sure to lay out each block as I worked to see how it was shaping up.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

On to the next challenge, are you ready?

This week, we’re going to explore getting fussy and/or directional with your placement.

Local Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

What’s fussy and what’s directional placement? I think of fussy as any way you get picky with your fabric placement. Maybe it’s putting a cute cat into a certain position on your block, or maybe it’s making sure that something lines up just the way you want it. Directionality comes into play with directional prints–think stripes, checks and any motifs that are best read in one way or have an up/down/side to them. In this case, you may decide that you want the direction of the fabric to be reflected in a specific way in the final project.

Getting a little (or a lot) fussy is all a matter of preference and skill to some degree–so don’t stress! If you’re new to it, a good trick is to know the good places to start and how to grow your skills from there. Also keep in mind that like most anything, it gets better with practice and as you start recognizing opportunities.

Fussy Cut Envelopes_detail_Carolyn Friedlander

When paper piecing, the first piece on the template is always the easiest place to get intentional, and my Envelopes project (especially the version above) is a great example to start with. The inside liner is the first piece, and you can see how I’ve added special motifs to each one. Because this is the first piece, you’re able to place your fabric however you want.

austin house for nichole

Another relatively easy place to consider fabric placement is in your border. In my Austin House (above) you can see that I cut my border fabric strips lengthwise for the vertical piece and widthwise for the horizontal piece so the dots on the fabric are running in the quilt as they do on the fabric. Matched up or not, keeping a directional fabric directional in your borders is relatively easy and always a fun place to start.

((Tip: If you’re working on Lusk version C, the side panels would be a great place to play with this idea! Simply cut them together and they’ll match up wonderfully.))

To take directionality up another notch, take a look at this other version of Austin and how I kept the gingham background fabric going up/down. This may look totally normal, but without paying attention to the directional placement of the fabric the gingham would be going a many different directions.

Austin House 3_detail_carolyn friedlander

I like this example because it shows how directional placement can unite areas seamlessly. Of course this kind of means that the hard work you put into it isn’t noticeable. But to me, it’s not only entertaining to get things like this to work out when you’re sewing, but it’s also a fun detail to have working for you in the end.

Here’s another example in the same vein.

Outhouse Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Of course you could probably take it a bit further and match up the top background a bit better, and if we’re getting super picky, my bottom stripes are a hair off, but you get the point. This single block from my Outhouse pattern gives you all kinds of opportunity to play with your fabric.

((Tip: An easy first attempt for this block could be to get something fussy in the door. That’s the first section on that part of the block, and a wonderful place to slip in a little critter or something else fun.))

You ready? I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Tips:

+ I find that using a light box is helpful when paper piecing in general and especially when getting fussy with your fabrics. I like using the Daylight Wafer 1 with a clear cutting mat on top.

+ Being fussy and/or attentive to directional fabrics can be approached in a range from hard-core to more subtle. Pick your pleasure, and don’t get too stressed about it. I always find it entertaining to see if I can get things to match up or positioned in a specific way. When it works, yay! When it doesn’t work, no biggie. You took a risk, and I’ll bet you were able to learn something that you can apply to your next attempt.

+ Further reading: The Fussy Cut Sampler by Nichole Ramirez and Elisabeth Woo (Hardy). This book doesn’t get into paper piecing and fussy cutting specifically, but it is certainly an excellent resource for fussy cutting tips in general and inspiration.

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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