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cf Mini QAL #3: Using An Accent.

cf Mini QAL #3: Using An Accent.

How did last week go for you? Did you like the two-tone challenge? I really did. In fact, I kind of like the idea of my project from the week being a jumping off point for a larger quilt.

cf Mini Quilt Along #2 . Carolyn Friedlander

While I was sewing, I realized how fun it would be to treat this mini as one block for a larger project. Can you imagine making more of these in different fabric combinations and then sewing them all together? I really like the idea.

On to the next challenge. Are you ready? This week is all about accents!

Using an accent can be an impactful way to make a statement or to see something in a new way. It can surprise your senses and break expectations. I’ll start with some examples, because it’s a tool that can be utilized in many different ways big and small.

In my original Babson quilt there are many areas of accent, which is a big reason why this pattern can be so much fun to sew.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Depending on how you pair your fabrics within each block, you can highlight–or accent–the variety of shapes in different ways. In mine, I sometimes worked with fabric pairings that were similar in order to create more subtle shape interaction, but I also worked with the opposite–implementing wildly different pairings in order to highlight the shapes at play not only within a block but also in a series of neighboring blocks. You can look at this example as a way of playing with accent without a ton of planning.

+ As a tip, if you’re working this way using a design wall (or the floor, etc) will be a great tool for seeing how your accents are shaping up.

Eads would be another example to check out that uses a similar approach.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

That way of working can be liberating–or overwhelming–depending on how you like to work. There’s no need to stress if that isn’t your thing. Using an accent can also work in ways that are more deliberate. The Emphasis project from my book is a great example of that.

emphasis quilt and sewn stationery_carolyn friedlander

This project uses the exact same block design and the exact same fabrics across 3 samples that are made to look different based on how they are worked. In order to do this, I carefully mapped out each version so that different areas of the design were brought to life and highlighted in each variation. I loved exploring the various possibilities of what to accent.

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

But maybe your first thoughts of using an accent weren’t expressed in either of these examples? I think this third set of examples is maybe the more common ways to think about an accent.

First up is a crowdsourced example from @thirteenquilts.

@thirteenquilts

Brandy is making Babson for the Quilt Along, and those pops of red are very effective accent. Maybe while you’re working you want to spice it up with an accent fabric/color of your choice.

Another example is from when I was developing the Lusk pattern. One of my unfinished samples was based on an idea of using an accent to highlight new shapes in the B version. Similarly here, I have a bright color to pop and a sketch to explore the idea.

cf Mini Quilt Along #3 . Carolyn Friedlander

What do you think? Ready to start using an accent?

Tips:

+ An accent can come from a fabric choice, your fabric placement and/or the quilting itself. Feel free to think about how to incorporate an accent at any/all levels.

+ Sketch it out! Use the coloring pages included in the pattern to figure out what you want to highlight.

+ Sometimes an accent can spice up your project as well as your attitude. Bored of a current combo? Spice it up and stay entertained!

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #2: Two-Tone.

cf Mini QAL #2: Two-Tone.

Before we move on to the next challenge, how about a look at where I ended up with the Monochromatic challenge?

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

It all started with the similar pairing of blues, and I expanded out from there not going too much darker or too much lighter. I like how the depth of color and unity of blues makes it feel homey and like a broken-in pair of jeans.

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

With last week having a focus on a singular color, it’s fitting that in week #2 we’ll be focusing on two colors. I love a good two-color quilt! There’s something sophisticated and striking about the simplicity. Let’s see some examples.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The B version of Lusk (on the cover) is made up in just two fabrics–the charcoal print in Polk and Black Essex. This quilt could kind of fit into a monochromatic category, OR we could also think of it as a two-tone gem as well. Because of the simplicity in fabric, it has great definition of the overall design.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

There’s also this version of Wainwright that I made using a green print from Gleaned and a pale pink-ish version of my Architextures crosshatch. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Using a print softens the shapes just a little bit while adding some great texture.

Lusk C in Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Here’s another C version of Lusk that I made for Quilt Market. It is super simple and uses the Navy and Brown/Natural prints in Polk. I really like the simplicity of an uncomplicated palette sometimes.

Lusk C in Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Remember this guy? It’s a Pickle Hawaiian quilt from this Denyse Schmidt book that I finished awhile back (you can read the blog post about it here). It’s still a personal favorite, and it too only uses two fabrics. The hardest thing is picking out just two fabrics!

Pickle Hawaiian Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This week, I’m challenging you to pick a couple of fabrics or a couple of colors and make a mini. You can be literal about it, like in the previous examples, OR you could be a little more general about it like I was when I made this mini Envelopes Quilt (from my Envelopes pattern) in orange/red and blue.

envelopes for elisabeth . carolyn friedlander

There is a lot you can do!

As for me, I’ll be starting with some inspiration from you, which is fitting because of how much I’ve been drooling over all that I’ve been seeing you make this last week. You took the challenge in many directions, and I find that to be really inspiring. Are you feeling compelled by some of the examples out there too?

When thinking of this challenge, I knew exactly where I wanted to go with it. @sentient.stitches posted this version a few weeks ago, and I feel in love.

@sentient.stitches

Those two fabrics are really pleasing together, and they’re also two of my favorites that I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a chance to use enough of. I’ll take that as mostly my start, but I’ll adjust it to keep it interesting.

cf mini QAL #2 . Carolyn Friedlander

With anything two-tone, sketching can be a great place to start. I’ll be working from Version C of my Lusk pattern. After picking a couple of fabrics (one from Carkai and one from Gleaned), I can now think about their placement. With the help of some quick sketching I already have two different possible directions spelled out.

cf mini QAL #2 . Carolyn Friedlander

There’s my start, and I’ll show the finish next week.

I can’t wait to see what you make–have fun!

Tips:

+ This week’s challenge is easy to over think. Go with your gut and don’t think twice about it. There are plenty of other fabric possibilities in the weeks to come.

+ You know the step when you have to fold the paper in paper piecing? After working on so many minis, I’ve gotten to where I go ahead and pre-fold all of the future lines when I’m doing my first fold. This way it’s ready to fold back when I get to it. It’s a handy step, because you can batch fold all at once which seems to make things move a bit faster. I know that some folks like perforating the lines with their machine or some kind of wheel beforehand, but just a basic pre-fold works well enough for me.

+ The New York Times featured a great article on knitting recently that I shared in my newsletter along with some takeaway tips. I want to share these tips here with you, because I think they are important to remember, especially for anyone trying out new techniques or pushing themselves with color. The author related these ideas to knitting, but they are perfectly applicable to just about anything else too.

__Start with an appropriate project–nothing that will take too long to finish or be too unforgiving with mistakes. (Mini quilts are perfect for this!)
__Give yourself a deadline so your project doesn’t drag on. (Also, mini quilts…!)
__Cut yourself some slack, and don’t expect perfection when you’re just getting started. It’s OK for some stuff to be bad before it is good.

#cfminiQAL

#letsmakemanyminis

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #1: Monochromatic.

cf Mini QAL #1: Monochromatic.

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

Welcome to the Quilt Along and to Week #1! I’m so glad that you’re tuning in.

I’ve deliberately set this project up so that you can customize it to your own situation, interests and/or goals. My main goal is to encourage you along with creative ideas and challenges that you can use in your compositions each week.

Compositions are the perfect way to think about your work each week. Mini quilts are just little compositions of ideas, and for that reason they’re perfect for exploring your own creativity. Taking on something small is much more manageable and less stressful, freeing you up to have fun and to take risks. That’s a big reason why I love them so much. They don’t take too much time, effort or supplies, but the results can be freeing and inspiring.

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

Each week we’ll have a theme, and the theme this week is a great place to start–monochromatic or using just one color. The colors and patterns in fabric are maybe the biggest reasons we’re sucked into sewing–at least for me, but I also know that picking out what to use and how to use it can be overwhelming. By focusing on just one, we’re removing a little bit of that overwhelm.

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

Using just one color is definitely not boring! There are many options to consider. How dark or light is it? What are the different shades? How about the texture?

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

While pulling fabrics for my own project, I started to notice a growing pile of blue. Without even trying, I had a heap of blue that I knew was the way I wanted to go for this first week. In the picture above, you’ll notice that while gathering fabrics, I’m starting to organize them by color and value. It’s definitely a habit, but it’s also a helpful way for me to assess what I have going on. And coincidentally (/usually this happens), I’m discovering relationships between the fabrics that I want to explore. Like this one.

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

These fabrics (from Euclid and Friedlander Lawn) ended up together, and I became obsessed. They are close in that they are both darkish, but there’s an interesting difference not only in texture but also in shade that I really like. So I sewed up a few blocks to get started.

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

This week I’m working it out using Version A of my Lusk pattern. But with this week and all weeks to follow feel free to work from any of my recent patterns (Lusk, Davie and Babson). Each of them has a mini or wall-sized option that will be perfect for getting you started.

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

My coloring page and templates are printed out, and my design wall is up with my blocks being added as I make them. I always love seeing where something is going and reacting to it as I go. Depending on your own style and way of working you may want more or less specifics spelled out from the onset.

Whatever your way of working might be, grab a color–any color–and get playing with it. I can’t wait to see what you do! Share your projects on Instagram using #cfminiQAL so I can see what you’re up to.

cf Mini Quilt Along #1 . Carolyn Friedlander

Bonus sidenote: Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter, as I’ll not only be recapping the cf Mini QAL there weekly, but I’ll also sometimes include bonus visuals and sources of inspiration. Sign up using the subscription box in the top right corner of the site.

Tips:

+ Pick a favorite color OR a color that you have a lot of (often the same thing…) and go for it! No need to get hung up on this first decision.

+ Pay attention to value contrast (how light/dark it is next to its neighbors) and the shade. Even within one color, you have TONS to play with.

+ Use the design wall (or your floor)! Try not to worry too much about the different variables at play. Dive in to your first few blocks with a few of the fabrics in your stack, and then throw them up on the design wall. What do you think? Pick your next pair based on what you learned/love/don’t love/are excited about after seeing what you just made.

+ And just because you’re working on something small each week, don’t underestimate where this can take you in 8 weeks. Not to skip to the end–but rather to give you something to think about from the onset–you might decide to turn your projects each week into finished mini quilts that can be a beautiful gallery all together on a wall, OR you could also think of sewing the challenges each week together at the end into a sampler showcasing all of the different ideas that we’re about to explore together. I say this not to say you need to do one or the other, but instead to offer up an idea at the onset that I have been considering myself. There’s no need to decide right now, but if a bug in your ear is helpful, there it is.

+ New to paper piecing? You can check out my paper piecing projects on Creative Bug. There I’ll walk you right through the process.

 

#cfminiQAL

#letsmakemanyminis

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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