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Quilting with Sashiko Thread and trying out other new things.

At QuiltCon, I picked up a few new things to try. Whether it was the options as they were presented or my mood, there was clearly a theme to what I bought. I grabbed up many different Sashiko threads to use in my hand quilting.

sashiko thread

To back up a smidge, Riane Elise planted the quilting-with-Sashiko-thread seed after recently reading her book. Her quilting is stunning, and I love how much the contrasting stitches add to a project. To start, I grabbed up some of her recommendations; this sashiko thread, Tulip needles and Bohin marking tools. (I am a sucker for trying new marking tools. It is always a challenge to find a good one!)

After doing some quilting, I’m happy to share a report on the experience.

Threads: Yes! Sashiko threads are glorious to quilt with. They come in an endless array of enticing shades that are a flat color instead of something more glossy like perle cotton. My spool of lemon yellow was first to go, and I immediately ordered more. (That is color #12 if you’re wondering.)

Needles: I have to admit, the Tulip Sashiko needles were a bust for me. I like the length and how they glide through the layers so easily, but the heads break off consistently for me. I’ve done a fair share of big stitch quilting with other needles, and I’ve never had this problem. I’ve since ordered more brands to try, and I’m eager to see how they do!

Thimbles: The Clover Protect And Grip thimble has been my hand-quilting favorite for years. The new thing I tried this time are their Flexible Thimbles that help grip the needle as you move it between the layers. Whereas the Protect And Grip is worn on your middle finger that is pushing the needle along, these grippers can be worn on your index finger and thumb to pull the needle through the fabric. I’ve actually had these sitting around for years, but I hadn’t tried them yet. They are GREAT, and I don’t know why it took me so long to give them a go.

Figuring out the most comfortable size on the Flexible Thimbles wasn’t super obvious to me. Luckily I have all of their sizes (S, M, L), and I swapped in and out of different sizes as I went. After a few hours of stitching, I seem to have it sorted out.

Marking Tool: Bohin Extra-Fine Pencil in chalk and grey leads are surprisingly discrete. I’ll continue experimenting with these. (Always test before using on your own project. No marking tool is perfect.)

Not new, but in use and much enjoyed: Sew Fine Thread Gloss, Kai scissors, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (pre-washed, very dreamy), Quilters Dream Blend batting and Collection CF backing.

Here are some places to find Sashiko threads, needles and supplies.

Riane Elise (her book describes how to work from a skein of thread too!)


Snuggly Monkey

Bunny’s Designs

Red Thread Studio

Brooklyn Haberdashery

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Making Fauna and a giveaway.

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

I have another project in the latest issue of Making Magazine, by Madder. The theme for this issue is Fauna, which is pretty fun.

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

My project explores a fairly simple idea–embroidered fish. But there’s all kinds of fun detailing and fabric possibilities to make it an enticing project to really get into.

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

I mixed a bunch of blue fabrics from many of my collections–Euclid, Friedlander, Botanics and Doe, plus some metallic Essex to add a little bit of sparkle before embroidering some hand-drawn fish on top. I hand quilted it to add even more texture and color.

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

Scales Wall hanging . Carolyn Friedlander

Like the first issue, the second issue of Making is a beautiful book with loads of great projects and inspiration. Carrie from Madder was generous and sent me an extra copy to giveaway. To enter, leave a comment below about what you’re thankful for this week, and I’ll select a winner at random by November 27 December 4.

Making Fauna

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

I finished this guy. Finally. And it was fun. Here’s a look at my Aerial Grove in Liberty and chambray that I started a little while ago (107 weeks according to Instagram) … with status updates here, here, here, here and most recently here. Wow. Lots of updates. But I guess that’s what happens when you can take your time with something. That last shot was taken when I finally decided to finish it up, and for good reason, because I was going to give it away.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

This pattern is a project from my book and one that I’ve now made several times. This version is full of Liberty prints and lots of chambrays and denims.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

One bonus of not finishing this sooner is that I was able to incorporate some euclid.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

This quilt is such a play on texture, both in the fabrics and the quilting. Liberty lawn is so fine and soft, which makes it seem almost delicate. And the chambrays and denims have a heavier look and feel, but they’re also soft and very textured. I wanted the quilting to enhance that softness and create even more texture. Plus, since I used big stitch, there’s an added layer of color in the quilting too.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

I even threw in a leftover Hesperides block. The colors, fabrics and shapes worked, and it wasn’t otherwise being used.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

This version is the first that I’ve made with a darker background. (Seen next to my Kona version.)

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

On the back, I went with this lighter blue Widescreen. I like that it adds color, and you’re also able to see the quilting.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern : Aerial Grove from Savor Each Stitch

Fabrics : Liberty for the appliqués, denims and chambrays (from Robert Kaufman), euclid, swiss dot chambray, leftover nani iro for the backgrounds, Widescreen for backing.

Aerial Grove in Liberty and Chambray . Carolyn Friedlander

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Facing East Quilt in Euclid.

Here’s a new Facing East Quilt in Euclid.

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

Even though my new fabric collection Euclid is printed on Essex (and I’ve been making tons of garments and accessories with it), you can still use it (very easily) in quilts…and along with quilting cottons.

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

I was very eager to sew up several quilts with the collection, including this version of Facing East in Euclid. This one mixes Euclid with Carkai, as well as some Kona Highlight.

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

The palette that I had in mind was black, grey and natural with just the right amount of pop from some gold and bright yellow. The vision made for a very fun and challenging (in the best way) quilt to compile.

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

The pattern is from my book, Savor Each Stitch, and it uses both paper piecing and applique techniques. I’ve made this project several times now, and they’ve all been quite different. In this one, it’s scrappy, with the central circles all being the same–a surprising decision to me since I’d been thinking I’d go scrappy with them too. It wasn’t until I was auditioning various circle options that I decided uniformity was the way to go. This happens with me all of the time. I’ll get something in my head about how I’ll finish it, and then when I’m there, I reassess the options and am excited by a new path to take.

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

The quilting is super simple. I did some tying with yarn and then a very big, machine-stitched grid. I really like the added texture of the ties and the softness of the minimal quilting. Plus, the wool batting emphasizes all of it.

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

On the back is some Doe Wide in black and white. I like that the black connects with the top, while the bright whiteness of it provides a fresh contrast.

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

Aside from taking this guy to trunk shows with me, it’ll be nice to keep it at home for a bit. It’s adding a mixture of brightness and softness to wherever I decide to leave it.

Facing East Quilt in Euclid . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern : Facing East from Savor Each Stitch

Fabric : Euclid, Carkai, Kona Highlight and Doe Wide (for the back)

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Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Style + a Giveaway.

Being a fan of Lotta Jansdotter’s work, I’m thrilled to participate in the blog tour for her new book, Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Style.

Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style

The book itself is a kind of style journal divided by season and taking place not only around Lotta’s life in New York, but also along her travels over the course of a year to Nashville, India and her homeland of Sweden. A very personal feel is gained through the glimpses shared of the people in her life, her sketch-book layouts and the use of her own handwriting and drawings throughout.

Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style

The patterns are mostly garment-related, but there are also a few bags and some cute accessories. To bring these ideas to light, Lotta enlisted the help of the massively capable and very talented Alexia Abegg.

What I really like about the patterns is that they are basic–in the classic sense, massively versatile, fast(!) and quite inspiring after seeing them represented in so many ways and on so many different people in the book. It’s also nice to see quilting cotton being used often and working well for many them.

A treat for me was when Lotta invited me to make a project–the patchwork scarf–to be used in the book. (That’s me below, second from the left!)

Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style

The scarf project is one of those projects that makes you look at fabric (and your stash) differently. Because of the construction, it works best with two-sided fabrics, meaning I perused my stash in a way that I hadn’t before. Usually, I’m just thinking about one side of the fabric, but this project encouraged me to think about how both sides could be used and viewed. I used many wovens, some lawn, and a little piece of hand-dyed architextures that I’d been holding on to.

Now that I’ve had the book in hand for a couple of weeks, I’ve already made a couple of things from it. First up, are my new Lotta pants (or Owyn, officially) in Lotta fabric. (Paired with my silk Mercer and new Wembley cardigan in this knit.)

Lotta Pants

I’d originally planned to make a top with the Lotta fabric, but while tracing the pattern pieces, I became enamored and curious with the pants and decided to give them a try. I didn’t make too many alterations other than shortening them a few inches (a very typical alteration for me being a shorty), as well as pulling in the leg width just a smidge.

Here they are again but styled with one of my favorite Lindens and a button-up…

lotta pants and linden sweatshirt

lotta pants and linden sweatshirt

And because I [got distracted by Owyn and] neglected my initial plans to make the Kiomi Top, I gave it a shot with a print from carkai. I LOVE this top. And the fact that I haven’t made more (yet) is reaffirming that I still have some willpower, because I’ve wanted to…and have been thinking about it…but just need to finish up some other things (holiday gifts) first…

kiomi top in carkai_carolyn friedlander

kiomi top in carkai_carolyn friedlander

(Yes, it’s still warm in Florida.)

It was a no brainer to pair Kiomi with my new Lucky Strike shorts (pattern is Simplicity 3850) and Wembley cardigan (again. I really am wearing this cardigan with everything…). I didn’t make any alterations to the top, except for using the more narrow width that’s supposed to be for the maxi-dress version. I figured the slightly slimmer silhouette would suit me a little better, and it ended up being perfect.

I enjoyed thinking about and making these projects, and I know they’ll both get a lot of wear. Lotta’s Everyday Style is a fun book that I don’t plan to put down anytime soon. In addition to more Kiomi tops, I’d like to try one of the jackets next.

Thank you for stopping by on the tour! Make sure to check out the other participants.

Dec 1 – Lotta

Dec 2 – STC Craft

Dec 3 – Windham 

Dec 4 –  Noodlehead

Dec 7 – Modern Handcraft

Dec 8 – Sew Scatterbrained

Dec 9 – Crimson Tate

Dec 11 – Groovy Baby & Mama

Dec 14 – City Stitching with Christine Haynes

Dec 15 – Craft Sanity

Dec 16 – Aesthetic Nest

Dec 17 – Sew Mama Sew

Dec 18 – Lish Dorset

Dec 19 – Fancy Tiger Crafts

Dec 21 – Generation Q

Dec 22 – Carolyn Friedlander (me!)

Dec 23 – Crafty Planner

+ AND now, the giveaway–One lucky person will win a copy of the book, some Lotta fabric from Windham, Lotta temporary tattoos and Lotta washi tape. To enter, simply leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about whatever project/fabric/book you’ve been excited about. A winner will be chosen Thursday, Dec 24 at 9am EST.

kiomi top in carkai_carolyn friedlander

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Handmade Style: Makeup Travel Case.

I really needed one of these.

handmade style_makeup travel case_7_carolyn friedlander

My toiletries-schelpping-when-traveling situation hasn’t been very pretty lately. Or very functional, to be honest. I was basically doing the throw-everything-into-plastic-bags…then the throw-all-those-plastic-bags-into-a-canvas-tote thing…which I then would add a few more things to before shoving it all into a suitcase. It always seemed ridiculous…and bulky…and not super organized or efficient, which when traveling are key goals to shoot for.

Enter the Makeup Travel Case in Anna Graham’s new book, Handmade Style.

handmade style_makeup travel case_8_carolyn friedlander

First, I need to say that Anna’s book is amazing. (But that’s no surprise if you are familiar with her work.) If you don’t have this book yet, you’ll need to get it. It’s a book that I was really really (really REALLY) looking forward to, and it didn’t let me down. It’s been a book that I’ve poured over and over many times, admiring the sheer beauty (well done Anna and Holly on the photography!), while also endlessly planning what to make next. There are so many projects (23 to be exact), and basically all of them are things you’ll actually want to take on and use/gift/admire/hoard.

Handmade Style by Anna Graham

It’s a good one.

So this isn’t my first project from the book–I’ll have to post about the first project that I made soon–but it’s one that I felt I could justify moving to the top of the sewing list, because I wanted to put it to use.

The finished project is really perfect in terms of size, shape and what I needed for the task at hand. It fits just about everything I need, and it looks super cute (if I do say so myself) to boot. I always love projects with opportunities to play with fabric, trims, hardware and general detailing, and this project doesn’t let you down at all.

handmade style_makeup travel case_1_carolyn friedlander

To make a classy/structured/well-detailed bag such as this, does require a few extra steps, supplies and endurance, but the result is worth it. I pretty much made mine as written in Anna’s instructions, with only a few substitutions which were total personal preferences.

Instead of batting for the exterior panels, I used Soft and Stable, and then on the inside, rather than finishing the seams with a twill tape by machine, I elected to cover the seams with pre-made bias tape which I (patiently) hand stitched in place.

polka dot bias tape_carolyn friedlander

The inside pockets are super handy and help organize the space well, while also proving perfect for playing with fabric.

handmade style_makeup travel case_3_carolyn friedlander

handmade style_makeup travel case_2_carolyn friedlander

I couldn’t find cording in my stash (still not sure where I put that…) to make my own piping, but I really wanted to customize that aspect and make my own. Putting the brakes on the project to run to the store to purchase some wasn’t a desirable option, so I made do with some baker’s twine that I had on hand.

Luckily it worked out well! (Note: I probably wouldn’t recommend improv-ing your piping base if you are planning to wash your project. Since this was going in to a bag that isn’t likely to get washed, I figured it was a totally fine move to make.)

impromptu piping_carolyn friedlander

I always love the extra touches Anna adds to her projects, like the leather tabs on her zipper pulls, so I got creative with my own. On the outside zipper pulls, I used tabs sewn from the polka dot binding that I used on the inside–finished with a decorative stitch–and then for the inside zipper, I made a small tassel with a wad of embroidery floss.

handmade style_makeup travel case_4_carolyn friedlander

Project Details:

Pattern: Makeup Travel Case by Anna Graham in Handmade Style

Fabric: (I used many, which was part of the fun!)

+ Stamped by Ellen Luckett Baker (exterior)

+ Doe and Doewide by me (piping, trim, hinge and lining)

+ Atelier Cats by Lecien (zippered lining pocket)

+ Daily News by Suzuko Koseki (gathered lining pocket)

+ Polka dot bias tape from Daiso

+ Purse zipper from ByAnnie (this was my first time using one of their zippers, and I loved it!)


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QuiltCon West.

Hi hi!

Well tomorrow (June 25, 10am EST) registration opens for QuiltCon West. Because of that, I thought I’d share the three classes that I’ll be teaching. It should be fun!

+ 632 Facing East . Thursday, Feb. 18, 9am-5pm

Combine appliqué, paper piecing and color theory with this strip-friendly project from my book. I will walk you through the techniques involved as well as how to create your own color story with this bold and versatile project.

Facing East Quilt_Carolyn Friedlander_Savor Each Stitch

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


+ 820 Home Machine Quilting . Friday, Feb 19, 9am-5pm

Learn the basics for how to quilt on your home machine. I will start by discussing general strategy before leading into the specifics of free motion quilting and what to do with the walking foot. Come to this class ready to explore and experiment.

quilting Totem quilt_carolyn friedlander


+ 110 Catenary Quilt . Saturday, Feb. 20, 9am-5pm

Learn to love handwork with my architecture-inspired project, Catenary. It’s a great project for picking up and refining your needle-turn appliqué skills. We’ll also discuss how decisions in fabric selection and block placement can impact the look of the design and flavor of your project.

catenary quilt_quilt market_carolyn friedlander

And also, you can stay up-to-date on all of my other events here.

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You Inspire Me to Quilt…Dinosaurs.

This was a really fun project.

dino patch_1_carolyn friedlander

When Cheryl approached me about participating in her next book, I didn’t hesitate too much, because I was intrigued by the premise, which was to find someone to inspire you to make a quilt. My choice was easy–my 3-year-old (at the time, now 4 or “almost 5” when asked) nephew, Jacob.

Jake sews with me fairly often, and I knew it would be a creative challenge for me to be totally open to whatever his request would be. Coaching him into an answer wouldn’t have been interesting or a challenge, so there was no letting him in on the secret until we had our skype interview with Cheryl. At that point I asked Jacob what type of quilt he’d like me to make for him and without hesitation he said that he wanted a dinosaur quilt. Actually, I think he said Tyrannosaurus Rex, which seemed a little specific, but I was just glad he didn’t say something like the Green Lantern, which he’d ask me to draw a week prior to the interview. I had no clue who the Green Lantern was (still don’t really know now…), but my green stick figure wasn’t cutting it for him. Dinosaurs, we could handle.

So, we started off drawing and painting a couple of dinosaurs. It was a team effort.

drawing dinosaurs with Jacob_Carolyn Friedlander

Then I let him pick some fabric–orange and blue were speaking to him–which, whew! They speak to me too.

dino patch_fabrics_carolyn friedlander

It made me pretty happy that he was this eager for some Botanics

picking fabric with Jacob_Carolyn Friedlander

He helped me sew one of the blocks, but his attention span was wearing thin, so I took it from there.

But he (quite literally) jumped back in when it came time for the layout. (Or, quilt hopscotch?)

dino patch_block layout_carolyn friedlander

What I ended up doing was to take the couple of paintings and drawings that we created and use them as a starting point for some raw-edge appliqué. Originally, I had the idea that it would be a big dinosaur, single-motif kind of thing, but when we started drawing, I loved the idea of it becoming a collage of drawings–almost like a refrigerator gallery of blocks with plenty of personality, texture and color. (Not too different from my nephew or most kids…)

dino patch_4_carolyn friedlander

That entire process is outlined in Cheryl’s new book (found here), and this pattern would be very easy to adapt to any other motif. In fact, I would love to see other kids’ refrigerator drawings turned into some quilts.

Dino Patch quilt process_Carolyn Friedlander


You Inspire Me To Quilt_Cheryl Arkison

The downside to making a project for Jacob that would be in a book was that I knew it’d be tied up in the publishing process for at least a year before I could give it to him. I could only hope that he’d still be liking dinosaurs when I’d get it back.

I finally got the quilt back just before Quilt Market this year, and I decided to wait until after the show to give it to him. So last week I did. Jake was pretty excited about it, but mostly impressed that the quilt, he and I were in a book. (“How’d you do that?!” he asked.) The person who surprisingly showed more enthusiasm for the quilt by dancing on it before I could even fully unfold it, was Jake’s now 16-month-old brother, who was only an infant at the time of the first interview for the project. I guess I’ll be making one for him next…

dino patch_3_carolyn friedlander


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New Site, New Shop.

Well, welcome!

There’s been a lot happening behind the scenes recently, and now you can see the results of some of that. The site has a new look, and on the back-end it’s entirely new. This means that it should not only run faster, but we’ve also tried to make things easier to find and more available for you.

And, the biggest news is that I now have a shop. (See 2nd menu item above and left.) In it, you will find a selection (that will grow) of my patterns available as PDF downloads. To start, we have Shirts, Outhouse, Social tote, Nest Egg tote, and Catenary.

Shirts Quilt Pattern snapshot_Carolyn FriedlanderOuthouse Quilt Pattern snap shot_Carolyn Friedlander

Social Tote Pattern snapshot_Carolyn Friedlander

Nest Egg Tote Pattern snapshot_Carolyn Friedlander

Catenary Quilt Pattern snapshot_Carolyn Friedlander

My book, Savor Each Stitch, is also available in the shop–it’s not for download, but is the physical, real deal that you will receive in your mailbox.

Savor Each Stitch book_Carolyn Friedlander

The addition of a shop and doing downloadables has been a long time coming, and it doesn’t arrive without some bittersweet feelings about it on my end. On the one hand, I love downloadable products. My own hard drive is chock full of PDFs that I’ve eagerly purchased from designers. They are a handy means to great projects that I’ve enjoyed making. As someone who doesn’t live close to a quilt shop, I can appreciate the convenience, and as someone who is often struck with moments of creative compulsion, I can appreciate the instant gratification of what just a few clicks can do for you.

Having said all of that, there still isn’t a replacement for having a beautiful pattern in hand or finding that pattern in the environment of a well-curated and thoughtful local quilt shop. The support of the independent retailers and distributors who carry my products over the last few years has helped me grow my business immeasurably, and so it’s important for me to recognize their role in this system not only as a designer, but as a consumer as well. Just like cruising blogs or instagram for project ideas, some of the best independent shops deliver us the same creative inspiration by doing their own homework to source the best patterns and supplies for us to see and use. For this reason, you’ll still find a directory of such shops, and I encourage you to support them as well.

In my book, I talk about how bringing ourselves into our projects makes them different, and quilt shops work in the same way. Each shop owner makes buying decisions based on any number of factors that they deem important. Because of that, you never know what you’ll find when you step into a new place. Or, you also end up seeing familiar things in a totally new context that makes you think about them in a new way, which I totally love. In traveling so much, I’m lucky to get to see so many of these amazing places, which is such a treat. (A dangerous treat, but still a treat…)

carolyn friedlander fabric at Superbuzzy

Colorful fabric bundles at Superbuzzy


cat fabric at Bunnys in Austin

Just a taste of the cat fabric at Bunny’s in Austin


Cabin blouse at Fancy Tiger Crafts

Inspiration is everywhere at Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver


Classes at Fancy Tiger Crafts

Class offerings at Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver


So, it’s with much happiness that I launch my new shop–I hope that it will be a great resource for you! I can’t wait to see what you make.

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Recent workshops in Colorado and Virginia.

Update on the teaching front: I’ve had some really great students. Here are pics from some of my recent workshops.

+ Aerial Grove (from Savor Each Stitch) with the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild.


Aerial Grove workshop_1_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove workshop_2_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove workshop_3_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove workshop_4_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove workshop_5_Carolyn Friedlander




+ Bulls-Eye (from Savor Each Stitch) at Cotton Candy Sewing Shop in Loveland, Colorado.


Bulls-Eye workshop_2_Carolyn Friedlander


Bulls-Eye workshop_3_Carolyn Friedlander


Bulls-Eye workshop_4_Carolyn Friedlander




+ Facing East (from Savor Each Stitch) with the Vienna Quilt Guild in Vienna, Virginia.


Facing East workshop_Carolyn Friedlander


Facing East workshop_2_Carolyn Friedlander




Probably my favorite thing about teaching is seeing how each student brings their own personality into their project. Working with each student allows me to see my quilts in so many different ways, that each time I leave with many ideas and much inspiration.





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Collaboration with Patchwork Threads.


Carolyn Friedlander and Patchwork Threads colaboration_2


I’ve been really excited about my collaboration with Patchwork Threads, which was just announced at QuiltCon. I’ve always admired their work, and I really enjoy seeing everyone sporting their shirts. So, after some discussion and many sketches, we arrived at two new designs.


First, savor it.


Carolyn Friedlander and Patchwork Threads colaboration_savor_3


There’s a bit of a reference to my book, but more than that, it’s intended to speak to what’s become a mantra for me (and I think many others) these days. It doesn’t matter what we choose to do, what matters is that we are thoughtful and enjoy doing it. It’s a good reminder, and one that we can apply to many things.


For that reason, I wanted the message to be a bit bold, but there’s also a little textural pizzazz…


Carolyn Friedlander and Patchwork Threads colaboration_savor_5


I really like how the color came out. It’s a white graphic on a deep blue, organic v-neck. I’ve already imagined many outfits with this one…


The other shirt is a sketch taken from a new little houses design that debuted at QuiltCon. I only did a limited release of the pattern in Austin, but you can stay tuned for it to be released for real in my pattern line this spring.


Carolyn Friedlander and Patchwork Threads colaboration_house_2


This shirt features a hip little house with plenty of grids and hand-drawn realness. The graphic is a warm and wonderful flame-orange color on a natural, organic crew-neck tee.


Carolyn Friedlander and Patchwork Threads colaboration_house_4


Plus, it’s signed…making it super personal.


Carolyn Friedlander and Patchwork Threads colaboration_house_3


Thank you so much, Patchwork Threads for a fun collaboration!


Carolyn Friedlander and Patchwork Threads colaboration_1


Both shirts are already available (here and here), and I can’t wait to see how you guys wear them!


Carolyn Friedlander and Patchwork Threads colaboration_3






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Natalie Barnes Blog Tour + a giveaway

To be honest, I’m not totally sure when I met Natalie Barnes, but it was sometime within the last few years at Quilt Market. Natalie has such an easy-going and sincere personality that it’s very easy to feel like you’ve known her forever. So when she asked me to participate in her blog tour for her new book, A Modern Twist: Create Quilts with a Colorful Spin, I happily agreed. This is Natalie’s first book, and it’s an honor to have been asked to celebrate that with her. As part of the tour, Natalie invited us to pick a category from her book (color, contrast or composition) to talk about, and I happily chose COLOR.

Color is so fun.
kona cotton color play_carolyn friedlander
I play with it often with my fabric…
carolyn friedlander fabric
And also in my quilts…
focal and stripes quilts_carolyn friedlander
We play with it in my classes.
Aerial Grove at Road to California_carolyn friedlander
And so, I eagerly picked that.
True to Natalie’s own personality, she explores working with color in her book with comfort, sincerity, and enthusiasm. I like that the guidance she offers her readers is constructive but not intimidating.
A Modern Twist_Natalie Barnes

photo by Brent Kane

The quote that she chose to introduce her color section is perfect. It’s from Henri Matisse–“A thimble of red is redder than a bucketful.” This is a thoughtful way to get you thinking about not only the color itself but how you use it. I really liked how Natalie interprets that quote and source of inspiration in this project.
A Modern Twist_2_Natalie Barnes

photo by Brent Kane

Her other projects explore color in the same, fun and approachable way as well. (Plus you can drool over the stunning quilting by Angela Walters…who also wrote a fantastic introduction in the book.)
A Modern Twist_3_Natalie Barnes

photo by Brent Kane

A Modern Twist_4_Natalie Barnes

photo by Brent Kane

Congratulations to Natalie on your lovely new book!
Visit these other folks participating in the tour.
02 March – Victoria Findlay Wolfe + CONTRAST
Victoria Findlay Wolfe
03 March – Teri Lucas + COLOR
Generation Q Magazine
04 March – Julie Herman + COMPOSITION
Jaybird Quilts
05 March – Jenny Wilding Cardon + COLOR
06 March – Rose Hughes + COLOR
Rose Hughes
07 March – Amy Smart  + CONTRAST
Amy Smart
08 March – Carolyn Friedlander + COLOR
Carolyn Friedlander
09 March – Latifah Saafir + COMPOSITION
Latifah Saafir Studios
Leave a comment to be entered to win either a signed hard copy of her book (if you are in the US) or an ebook (if you are International). A winner will be randomly selected on March 15, 2015.

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