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Hunt QAL #11 Check In.

Hunt QAL #11 Check In.

Month #11?! I mean, I say that with some shock on the one hand, but then on the other hand I feel like the last couple of months could very well have been years. Either way, this has always been a sanity project, but especially so in the last month.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Ta-da! It’s a quilt top! I am really really excited with how this turned out. (So excited that I did a small update earlier this month.) For some reason I added 3 of the borders April 5th, and then it sat another week and a half before I was able to finish up and add the last (top) border. Slow and steady…

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

The white works well around the sides and bottom, but I wanted something a little more special for the top. Piecing together some scraps and new things gives it some interest while also giving it a little bit of color. I was most excited about the warmth added from one of the new Collection CF pieces in the top left corner. As soon as I auditioned it, I knew it was just what it needed.

collection CF fabric . carolyn friedlander

The backing is coming along. I’m going scrappy and did manage to pull out some pieces this week. Next will be to iron them out and piece it all together. This is a totally lame admission, but ironing these fabrics will be satisfying.

scrappy quilt back

I like the overall tone of these picks, the variety of prints and the little bits that pop.

scrappy quilt back

Yay for progress! Hopefully I’ll get these pressed and sewn together soon. Then I can baste and get going on the quilting. I’m still thinking I’ll big-stitch, hand-quilt with sashiko threads. I’ve been accumulating threads and needles, so I am ready.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Technical side note and PSA: Hanging a quilt top to photograph made me very nervous. Unintentional fabric stretch is something I nerd out on and always try to avoid. This being a queen-sized beast with some weight to it, I tried to be as careful as I could not to stretch any of the borders during this process. Being careful in this way helps with basting and quilting it later.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: Hunt Quilt Pattern

Fabrics: A mix from many of my collections including Collection CF, Jetty, Instead, Harriot, Gleaned, Botanics, Polk, Euclid, Architextures

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04/14/20 Scrappy Everglade Update

Ready for a little color? I haven’t worked on my scrappy Everglade blocks in forever, and I have missed it.

After finishing the appliqué for Hunt, this has always been the project I wanted to come back to. It’s colorful, carefree and the blocks take just the right amount of time to keep it interesting.

It’s been several years since I started this project, and there’s never been a deadline or purpose other than to enjoy each block, color and fabric combination at the time. Appliqué is addictive. There is an instant gratification of seeing your block once you cut it out. It’s such a low commitment to some serious visual pleasure. With this project, I didn’t want to get too carried away with any one step, and so I decided I’d work 1 block at a time and let the reward for finishing 1 block be picking out the next one.

This is my newest pick. The piece from Collection CF was sitting on my cutting table just wanting to be made in to a block. I took it to my Liberty pile and liked this pairing the best–although there were many many good options.

It’s funny seeing them all together, because I have not had an overall color plan other than not to use too much white. Being a block-by-block selection process, it’s been more a diary of the fabrics that are speaking to me at the time, which is interesting to see all other. Sometimes it’s a new acquisition or sometimes it’s something from another project or on the cutting table that I am inspired to try. There are no real rules.

I’m not surprised to see so many warm colors, but I am a little surprised by how many purple-y pinks I have in there. There’s also no green somehow, which needs to be addressed! There are several good bright yellows, pickle and wasabi. I love that and want to see even more.

I now have 26 blocks finished–yay! And I’m ready to pick out the next one.

pattern: Everglade, I’m making the small blocks

fabric(s): I think all of my collections are represented, plus Liberty of London

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04/10/20 What I’ve been Making

I always have my hands in several projects at a time, but lately I’ve been really hopping around. Do you do that? I thought it might be fun to share a little bit of what I’ve been making.

Hunt

We aren’t due for a Hunt QAL update yet, but here’s one anyway. With the appliqué done and the blocks sewn together, all I need are some borders to make it the size I want it to be. In this case, it’ll go on my bed, which is where I laid it out to figure exactly what needs to be added and what might look good.

If my bed weren’t already cream, I might be more tempted to go totally wild with scrappy/shiny/fun prints for the sides. However, I’ve decided to keep the borders mostly light/white to give it a little contrast. The fun prints will go on the back in all kinds of scrappy glory. In my mind, this will be a two-sided quilt. (Although, aren’t they all?)

Border tip: I always pin my borders before sewing them, with the border on the bottom and the blocks on the top. This way works for me.

Making more masks.

I’ve been making masks, with the first couple of batches going to healthcare workers as well as to a local nursing home. For those I used this May Chappell tutorial, which is fantastic. The size fits a wide range, including anyone needing to wear a cloth mask over their medical-grade mask.

The newest batch of masks is for me and for some friends. I thought I’d try a different style to change things up. These are the CraftPassion masks (tutorial here), and I used t-shirt yarn (tutorial here, although I just cut 3/4″ strips from jersey scraps that I already had). The t-shirt yarn is pretty genius. It’s soft, easy and accessible if you have jersey scraps or old t-shirts lying around. I’m a big fan.

Have you seen the jokes about using bras as masks? It’s gotten me giggling, but in all seriousness, after sewing this style of mask (and having sewn bras), I’ll tell you that there are some real similarities!

Picking the colors and fabrics are just as fun as picking them out for a quilt or a garment. Although thinking about prints and colors to wear on your face is a new consideration. I can’t say that I have any concrete conclusions to draw on that…

Just for reference, I have a couple of May Chappell style masks on the left and the CraftPassion masks on the right.

Handwork.

Handwork. I have to have it, especially now. Do you? With Hunt being done, it’s been weird not having an easy go-to for winding down in the evening. To be honest, I was hoping to get Hunt finished and basted so that hand quilting could fill the evening handwork needs, but it’s been a couple of weeks, and I can’t help myself. I need it. My scrappy Everglade blocks (using my pattern here) are exactly what I knew I’d be coming back to after Hunt. I am excited.

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Alder Shirts in Jetty

In an effort to keep things upbeat and to continue sharing projects and inspiration, here’s a look at some recent favorites. An important garment go-to is the Grainline Alder. I love the Alder, because it is easy to wear and it works beautifully in quilting cotton. (Lawn is also a fantastic choice.) Usually garments get made last before a fabric release or quilting event, and so I tend to stick to something that I know will work. Here are two Alder shirts in Jetty.

I have to admit that this print is one I’ve used a LOT of from the collection. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I chose it to become a shirt. As a top, I like that it makes a crisp, white shirt, but with a bright and fun twist. The pale lemon color and the delicate-ness of the artwork makes me happy.

The second Alder top is made using the same design from Jetty but in a different colorway. Blue is a major comfort color for me. It goes with anything.

I guess I’m fairly predictable in what I make and wear. These tops are go-tos for me year round. Mix in a sweater when it’s cool or a pair of shorts when it’s warm. Easy does it.

Also, here’s a tip. When you’re crunched for time, but still want to wear the shirt, leave the armhole finishing for last and throw on a cardigan. I totally pulled this classy move at Quilt Market last October. Haha!

Pattern: Alder Shirtdress by Grainline (I chop off the length and made them tops.)

Fabric: Jetty

Want to see some other Alders? Obviously I can’t stop making this pattern. If you can believe it, there are still a few others that I don’t seem to have photos of.

In carkai (above and below)

Friedlander Lawn Alder Shirtdress . Carolyn Friedlander

In Friedlander Lawn

In a cute Japanese cat fabric

In a funky swatch fabric from Spoonflower

In lawn fabric by Liesl Gibson

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Jetty Crescent Tote

Jetty Crescent Tote

Noodlehead’s Crescent Tote has been on my list since I first saw it in an issue of Making magazine. Like all of Anna’s designs, I loved the sophisticated shape and thoughtful details. Plus, it looked like something I would enjoy using. It’s not too big, but it’s big enough to hold a few things when you need to. A Jetty Crescent Tote was just what I wanted.

To start, I wanted to use one of the special prints in Jetty. These designs feature one color running along one side of the fabric and another color running along the other side. I love these prints, because they’re like a two-for-one. You have so many options on how you can use them.

jetty fabric . carolyn friedlander

Any of the colors could work great, and I decided to go with the green. I’ve been in such a green mood lately! I used the dark green side of the print for most of the exterior, and then the lighter side for the lining. (1-1/2 yards of the print is all you need.)

As a bonus detail, I cut the exterior pocket pieces with a bit of the lining side included and in the opposite direction. The direction of the grid is rotated, and you get that fun, grey band in the center. This adds a nice detail with hardly any extra effort.

Since this is quilting-weight cotton fabric, I used a little extra interfacing than was recommended. In addition to the fusible fleece on the exterior pieces, I also interfaced them with SF 101 before adhering the fleece. I interfaced everything else as suggested in the pattern, and I think it worked out great. The bag stands up nicely and holds its own.

The pockets on this bag are just what you need. There’s a smaller zipper pocket inside and another zipper pocket on the outside. If you like to carry your bag on your left shoulder, I’d recommend reversing the exterior pocket. After a shoulder injury on my right side earlier this year, I’ve been trying to do more with my left, including how I carry bags. I made this bag as designed, and so the next time I make it, I’ll probably swap the front pocket to the other side.

Pattern: Crescent Tote by Noodlehead

Fabric: Jetty (1-1/2 yards of this print is all you need for the exterior and lining)

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Hunt QAL #9 Check In.

Hunt QAL #9 Check In.

I have 1 block to go! Although if you’ve been following along, in the last update I was sort of hoping to have this one done by this check in. Oh well! It’s been a crazy month, which I anticipated, and overall I am very pleased with my progress. There are 3 months left to finish this block, get the top sewn together and possibly get it quilted.

hunt QAL #9, carolyn friedlander

I did manage to get this final block basted and partially appliquéd; some progress for sure!

This month included a trip out to Austin last week for QuiltCon. I taught a Hunt workshop, and I thought it’d be fun to share some of the class photos here. Hope you enjoy! My students always make me see things in new ways and give me ideas for things to explore.

(Here’s where you can find a copy of the Hunt pattern or templates, and you can catch up on the full QAL here.)

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Sewing Lotts

Lately I have been sewing Lotts lots. (I totally named the pattern so I could do that–ha!)

This has mostly been because I am teaching a Lott workshop at QuiltCon in a couple of weeks. I’m definitely using the workshop as an excuse to sample up a new layout that I’ve always wanted to do.

Plus, I love the excuse workshops give to try out new fabric and color combinations. Often, I am eager to mix my newest fabrics with my other collections.

I mostly worked on these last weekend and here and there some this week. Each batch has given me new ideas for the next.

When to stop? I’m not sure. I keep thinking about turning this into something larger…

Pattern: These are all made from my Lott quilt patterns.

Fabric(s): Jetty, Collection CF, Instead, Harriot

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Hunt QAL #8 Check In.

Hunt QAL #8 Check In.

With a bonus week since the last check in, the holiday downtime and a motivated eye on the finish line, it’s been a productive few weeks.

I have every block in play–yay! Seeing the end gave me a boost of motivation, and so I pushed a little harder this weekend to wrap up on a couple of extra blocks. I now have 15 blocks fully finished and 1 block remaining to be basted and appliquéd.

I’ve saved this blue block in the corner for last. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go so boldly blue with my original plan being more about green.

My layout is mostly grouped by color. With there being darker greens, lighter greens and shades from navy to hunter green to sage, I like how this approach can organize everything and tell a story. I’ve laid out the blocks a few times now, and each time I feel like I’ve done it a little bit differently. There are so many good options, but I’m calling this good and will sew it together without second guessing anything.

As for the blue, I love it. It gives a pop, and that print is one of my favorites from Collection CF. The color came out so vibrant, which makes me happy. This one is staying.

Another new and exciting combo that I discovered this month is this one.

hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

How has your month been? Have you been finding yourself adapting the vision as you move along too?

(Here’s where you can find a copy of the Hunt pattern or templates, and you can catch up on the full QAL here.)

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A couple of Quilt As You Go Pouches.

I recently made a couple of Quilt As You Go Pouches by Svetlana Sotak from her book That Handmade Touch.

The pattern caught my eye for it’s cute shape and ability to make use of scraps. I’m such a scrap saver, and I love a project that makes good use of them. It feels like I’m cleaning up my sewing space and making something at the same time…because I am!

This is a great scrap project, because it can make use of any scraps big or small. Both pouches are made from some Jetty and Collection CF leftovers that I have in a basket from some other projects.

I generally tried to color each pouch a little differently, because I was making them as gifts for two friends.

For the quilt-as-you-go part, you make up two panels; one for the front and one for the back. I love seeing how the little details that you worked in to each panel get sewn up into the pouch.

This was my first time making one of Svetlana’s patterns, although I’ve admired them for years. It came together really easily, and I don’t think these will be my last!

Pattern: Quilt As You Go Zipper Pouch by Svetlana Sotak in That Handmade Touch

Fabric(s): Jetty and Collection CF

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Shoji Cardigan and experiments in natural dyeing.

It’s not too often that I finish a knitting project, and so it’s a celebration when I do. This Shoji cardigan (pattern by Norah Gaughan) is a project that I started back in December 2016, and I finally finished it a few weeks ago. Yay!

I loved the project as soon as I saw it in a Brooklyn Tweed collection a while back. Living in Florida can make knitting challenging at times, because it’s never cold enough to warrant a ton of knitted stuff. What I liked about this design was that it looked like a cozy blanket that you could layer over whatever else you’re wearing. This seemed appropriate for how I tend to dress in the winter here. Plus I was intrigued by the shape and construction. It’s knitted as a long rectangle that gets sewn together and added a collar.

The yarn I used underwent quite a transformation after being fully knitted and dipped into a natural dye bath of cutch with my friend, and expert dyer, Kim Eichler-Messmer. Below are some of Kim’s very helpful samples dyed from a variety of things. They aren’t a promise for what will happen, but good approximations of what all can happen. My Shoji, a swatch and extra yarn pre-dyed are there at the bottom. It’s very different, right?

Natural Dye samples with Kim Eichler-Messmer

The yarn was a fun color to start with, but even though I alternated skeins every row the color variation was too much over the course of the entire project. It looked super patchy, and I wasn’t totally convinced by the shade of pink. As it was, I didn’t think I’d ever wear it outside of my house. I figured it was worth a shot to see what could happen with a little experimenting.

The color came out more gorgeous than I could have ever imagined! That’s it on the left. (We tried some other dye baths as well.) For some reason I figured the only fate for this sweater would be to become navy or black. Brown was not something I’d even thought of as possible, but after seeing her samples, I knew that’s what I wanted to try. I figured it could be a good fit.

The sweater fared the dying process surprisingly well. I know that it probably grew a bit, which is fine–it is still cozy. I ended up tightening up some of the seaming that was loosened during the process, but otherwise not much else needed to happen.

Now that I’m officially done with my Shoji, I can a) wear it(!), and b) get back to work on another knitting project that I started over a year ago. The front and back are done, and I’m working on the sleeves.

pattern: Shoji by Norah Gaughan

yarn: Tosh DK in Pink Clay Optic, overdyed with cutch (and the critical help of expert Kim Eichler-Messmer)

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Trays and Pincushions in Jetty and Collection CF.

I can’t stop thinking about all of the sewn gifts I want to make this holiday season. Are you thinking about that too? If you are looking for ideas for quick favorites, here are some trays and pincushions in Jetty and Collection CF.

I always use Quilt Market as an excuse to make small, sewn things for the booth. Baskets, trays, and pincushions are always easy to set on the table to hold stuff. This time I made 3 trays using Noodlehead’s Tiny Treasures Tray tutorial, some pincushions and a couple of mini thread catchers.

The Treasures Tray is such a great project that comes together quickly, shows off some fabric and is super useful once they are done. I always find about a million uses for these around the house and in the sewing room.

treasure tray and crew pincushions

Anna finishes her trays with leather handles, which is definitely a good-looking finish. I was surprised by how easy the leather handles and rivets were last time I made these, but sadly I didn’t have any leather scraps on hand this time. Rummaging around for an alternative, I decided to give webbing a shot. I like the look of the webbing, but I quickly discovered that it can be a little trickier than the leather. Mainly, webbing can be thicker, and so getting the rivets in place was a test in patience and persistence. I’m guessing that they make thicker rivets to solve that, but I made these work.

PSA: if you use webbing, it’s a good idea to hit the ends with Fray Check to prevent fraying.

treasure tray

Inside the basket are a couple of pincushions from my Crew pattern. They are G and H if you’re wondering.

crew pincushions G and H in Jetty fabric

On the black one I made sure to include some of the selvage so you’d get that fun white stripe on the side. The yellow one also makes use of the selvage design on the fabric.

It is a good thing that all of these projects are speedy, because it’s hard to make just one. I can’t remember exactly, but basically all of these came together in the same day.

treasure trays in jetty fabric

Leading up to Quilt Market I couldn’t stop picking out pairs of fabric for possible Rye projects, which made the fabric pull for these super easy. They may not have made it into a Rye, but I found a use for them here.

sewing trays and mini thread catchers
sewing trays with sewing stuff
sewing tray with sewing stuff

The little thread catchers are the mini version from my free tutorial here. I LOVE traveling with this tiny size, and they come together in a flash. At the show they held my business cards nicely as well as the thread clippings from my demos.

sewing tray and mini thread catchers
sewing tray and mini thread catchers

Tray Pattern: Noodlehead’s Tiny Treasures Basket & Tray

Pincushions: Crew Pincushion pattern by me

Thread Catchers: Mini Thread Catcher tutorial by me

Fabric: Jetty and Collection CF

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Hunt QAL #6 Check In.

Hunt QAL #6 Check In.

We’re halfway there! I cannot believe it, and I’m happy (and surprised) with my progress and hope that you are making good progress too.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

My goals this month were fairly loose. I only finished appliquéing 1 block over the last month, and I have the appliqué on another one underway.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

To tally things up at this 6-month point, I have 9 blocks fully completed, 1 block being appliquéd, 3 fully basted blocks and several background panels cut out and ready to get set up. I need to figure out the appliqué fabrics for the final blocks, which I’m sure I’ll map out all together. It’s easier for me to work in that way, and I hope to do that before the next check in.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I did have one strategic revelation this month. If you’ve taken a class from me, you know that I love thinking about strategic sewing. I tend to plan out how I baste and appliqué each block so that it’s an efficient use of thread, steps and time. If it makes sense, I start/stop in certain areas, I may leave basting thread to be continuous between nearby sections or I may make use of other tactics. They are small things that over the course of a project can make a difference. Of course whatever works if it gets you to the finish line, but this stuff is fun for me to think about while I’m working through a project.

With every Hunt I’ve made, I’ve appliquéd each piece separately. This is such an obvious approach, that it’s taken me this long to realize that there is an alternative. Working individually isn’t only logical, but it is definitely the way to go if there are a bunch of different colors and you need to change thread for each of them. I can’t think of another way to do it in that case. However, when all of the pieces are the same color, like I have here, it’s different. I realized that I could work multiple shapes continuously instead of stopping to cut and reset a new length of thread at each shape.

If you take a look at the block below, the shapes on the left are only appliquéd at the top. This is because I am working continuously along the tops, easily flowing from shape to shape. I am making my thread jumps from the back, which are not seen from the front. (Note: to do this knot at the back of each shape without cutting the thread, jump to the next shape, knot on the back to secure and pull the thread to the front. Don’t cut the thread, don’t reset.)

This makes for a more continuous flow and importantly, you can now use a full length of thread before stopping, recutting and resetting up. I discovered this on this block, because I needed to use a gray thread on the gray tops and the green thread at the bottom. It seemed silly to stop and start at each little top, and so I worked them continuously in this way. It seemed to go faster because I could use each strand of thread longer, and so I knew I wanted to try it for the other pieces. I think it helps, and I’m continuing to try it out. Let me know what you think, if you’re into the nerdy details!

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

Aside from that revelation, it was fun to finish this block and to see the way the print works in this context.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

I’ve been storing my blocks in a flat stack on a dresser, but I do pull them out monthly to take a pic. It’s nice to see the finished stack getting larger.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve decided that over the next 3 months, I’d like to try to get all of my blocks finished, and I’ve updated my calendar to reflect that. This way I can spend the final 3 months assembling my quilt top, quilting and binding this project. That’s the plan anyway! It helps to verbalize it, right?

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

pattern: Hunt quilt

fabrics: (so many!) jetty, collection CF, instead, harriot, gleaned, euclid, friedlander lawn

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