Eads Quilt Along #2: Fabric Thoughts and Strategy.

Eads Quilt Along #2: Fabric Thoughts and Strategy.

First, I just have to say that this is really fun. So much of the time, I’m working on something in advance, and I can’t talk about it. But with this quilt along, I’m able to be a little more in step with you and share in the process.

Plus, it’s been incredibly fun watching you start your own projects and hearing your thoughts about fabric and moving forward. Some of you have more specific plans and some of you are taking things as they come. There is a lot on both sides resonating with me–which is inspiring–and I hope you’re enjoying that connection as well. You guys are awesome, and your work is shaping up in such wonderful ways!

Eads quilt blocks to start . Carolyn Friedlander

First up is a project flashback to my original Eads. This is the first block shot that I could find, so it’s more than 10 blocks, but I think it’s a good mood setter for this week. I’d like to point out the hot mess that is my sewing room. There are piles and piles of fabric on the floor, all of which are the options that I pondered for this version. While mess, stress and deadlines all loomed in the making of the original, it was still incredibly fun to make and figure out.

With my new project, things are different. There’s not really a deadline (other than this QAL…which might be one reason why I wanted to do it…ha!), and in terms of fabric, it’s a little bit of a blank slate there too.

Has anyone had issues getting started?

I did. In fact, while I find the beginning of any project to be exciting, the blankness of it can also feel overwhelming, especially once you start digging in and plotting out the specifics.

To start, the newest collection from UPPERCASE had me intrigued since I was lucky enough to come home with a bundle of it after Quilt Market. Top of mind is always a great place to start.

UPPERCASE volume 2 fabrics

I broke apart the bundle and started to play around with the colors and how they work together. Then I hit my own stash and started grabbing other things that were calling my name.

In the photo below, you can see how I first had the UPPERCASE bundle organized at the top, then below I started to mix pieces from that collection with the fabrics that I was pulling. At this point, I was also starting to figure out the relationships between the pieces.

Eads QAL fabric pull . Carolyn Friedlander

Some of the green pieces were really speaking to me. In fact, these larger-scale florals were hitting on an idea of scale play that I wanted to explore after making my first Eads.

Eads QAL fabric pull . Carolyn Friedlander

There’s not a ton of deliberateness that needs to happen at this stage. It’s mostly a step for seeing how different fabrics might work together.

Eads QAL fabric pull . Carolyn Friedlander

Eads QAL fabric pull . Carolyn Friedlander

If you saw my instagram post from the weekend, you know that what actually started to shape up looks nothing like this pile. So, here’s the plot twist.

At this point, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In fact, that’s kind of what was starting to happen to me. While I easily could have started off with some of the greens, there was starting to be too many possibilities, and I was over thinking it waaay too much.

So, what did I do? Well, this is where I like to embrace coincidence and intuition. There was actually another pile calling my name, and it was the recent leftovers from making 2 shirts.

kalle dress shirts . Carolyn Friedlander

This is a lesson in how it’s ok to let the fabrics pick you. I’d made these 2 Kalle shirts–the top in a print from Architextures and the bottom in a Liberty of London print. The scraps from both were sitting around looking so cute and enticing together that I figured they’d make a cool block. Off I went.

Eads QAL 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

Sometimes it’s easier to start with something that’s already been started, or with something that isn’t so clean and pristine, because there’s much less pressure associated with it.

Eads QAL week 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

That’s what I did. And heads up, working from scraps is great, but it is definitely speedier working from the strips as outlined in the directions. I’m not complaining, but instead giving a heads up to any of you going this route. On the plus side, it does clean up the scrap pile!

After starting with these guys, I was able to get my creative juices flowing so that I could start thinking about the next fabrics to pull into the mix.

Eads QAL 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up was some Arroyo, a new collection by Erin Dollar printed on Robert Kaufman’s Essex. (I love this collection!) I’ll note that I had just made a shower curtain out of this print…are you sensing a theme?

Eads QAL 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

And then I got brave enough to bust into some very treasured pieces that I picked up from Amitié while I was in Australia this past fall, along with a couple of pieces from carkai.

Eads QAL 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

So here’s where I’ll end this post with 10 blocks. I’m excited to be exploring some scale stuff–an area of initial intrigue–and I’m using some treasured fabrics in many of my favorite colors.

Eads QAL week 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

What’s also awesome about this, is that I’m now seeing a way to connect back to the greens and other fabrics in my initial pull. Playing the intuition card is usually a good one. Even though I decided to change course, I figured that I’d be able to work my way back. I just needed a creative warm up to overcome the overwhelm.

Eads QAL week 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

Here are my tips for the week:

+ Overcome the overwhelm by just getting started! Grab the first 2 fabrics within eyesight, and I’ll bet they’ll help you over the hump. Also, trust your instincts.

+ When printing out your templates, select the “collate” option in the printer dialog so that A and B blocks alternate. This way you’re working evenly through your stack.

+ I noticed some folks wondering about fabric storage and organization for this project online this week. Create a box/tray/other designated vessel to house your blocks and fabrics for this project. (This route is a little more tidy than my floor method…see first pic.) Here’s a pic of a box that I’ve designated for my fabrics for this project. As for the blocks, they’re stored away nicely on my design wall.

Eads QAL fabrics

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15 Responses to Eads Quilt Along #2: Fabric Thoughts and Strategy.

  1. Kat Scott June 22, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Love watching your process…. and your colors!

    • carolyn friedlander June 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

      Thanks so much!

  2. Kim Johnson June 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

    I love how you put things together!

    • carolyn friedlander June 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

      Thanks, Kim!!

  3. Carissa June 22, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

    Great insight into how you work! Thanks for this inspiring write-up! I look forward to the weekly glimpse in on your quilt-in-progress. 🙂

  4. Caroline Mounier-Vehier June 22, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

    tres Joli!!

  5. erin June 26, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    i just know i am not going to be able to resist much longer!

  6. Barbara June 29, 2017 at 7:57 pm #

    Please tell me, is that box fabric-covered? Can u tell me the fabric & how out did it, I LOVE the box😊

    • carolyn friedlander June 30, 2017 at 11:14 am #

      It’s great, right? I can’t take credit at all, there’s someone at Robert Kaufman who makes these for the shows. This one is covered in my Blake fabric. From what I can tell, it’s just a regular cardboard box, minus the 2 inner flaps and carefully covered in fabric. I think they must use some kind of glue to adhere the fabric. There are also 2 grommets installed at the top to attach the cords to tie the box.

  7. Jean June 29, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

    I love reading about your works! It’s going to be a gorgeous EADS!

    • carolyn friedlander June 30, 2017 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks so much, Jean!

  8. Patty July 5, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    Inspiring to read your work in progress on this quilt. Curious what is in the spray bottle? Given the little roller, I’m imagining it is water to help seams lay flat? I am making a ferris wheel hexi mini with Carkai as I’ve been struggling with finding the right pattern to rightfully showcase the fabric in its full glory in a larger quilt. I love what you are doing with it here. Thank you Carolyn!

  9. Patty July 5, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

    I found the answer to my question o the spray bottle and roller deeper in your blog…thank you! Love your set up!

    • carolyn friedlander July 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

      Great! Thanks, Patty!

  10. Judy Sturm October 22, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

    I love these Eads blocks. Unfortunately I found your blog too late to participate. Is there a pattern I can get so I can work on this alone?

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