Tag Archives | aerial grove quilt

cf Mini QAL #5: Gradation.

cf Mini QAL #5: Gradation.

How was last week?

Here’s what I made.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This week, my focus was on Davie. With last week’s challenge being about all colors, I tried not to over think my fabric and color choices, which is easy to do when anything is an option. Instead I went with my gut as I started looking through fabric. I pulled several different things, and laid them out loosely focusing on groupings of 4 since the Davie blocks require that many fabrics for each of the block sections.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Even though my goal was to make 4 blocks, I didn’t pick all 4 groupings at the beginning–although you totally could. Instead, I made the first block with the first 4 fabrics that I liked, which was the bright yellow house with a brown roof in the middle. My subsequent block selections grew from there based on how I was seeing each block shape up.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Also, I’ve been wanting to play a bit with mixing up the background sections in this block, and so I inserted a little accent of something here and there in pretty much all of the blocks. I think it’s kind of fun!

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This was a really fun week, and I’m actually looking to build from it in moving forward with the next challenge.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Our next challenge focuses on Gradation. Gradations can be lots of fun to put together and incredibly impactful. Here are some examples to consider.

Savor Each Stitch_Aerial Grove_Carolyn Friedlander

The Aerial Grove project from my book is a good one for employing a gradation. I love projects with little bits of a lot of different things, and this one captures that idea and uses gradation to organize those colors for maximum impact. Above is the version in the book, and below is a version using only Kona solids.

Aerial Grove quilt_1_Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve made so many versions of this project mostly because I love picking out the colors and figuring out how to arrange them.

Ebb is similar in that it also is a great way to show many different colors and how they can transition in fun ways.

ebb quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

This recent version of Sessoms also creates a gradation from all of the fabrics in Gleaned.

Sessoms Throw Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

And here’s a new one that you haven’t seen yet. How about this Lusk mini that I also made in Gleaned?

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

I had a mini-charm pack of Gleaned that I decided to turn it into a mini. I paired the fabrics in the collection with Olive Essex Yarn Dyed. To make the gradation, I simply worked the blocks in order from the mini-charm pack. That’s a tip–if you have trouble arranging your fabrics, try working from a precut, because they’re usually arranged in a pleasing gradation of some sort.

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

Creating a gradation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create a rainbow from red to purple. You can also think of a gradation as a way to tell a story, from light to dark, from blue to yellow–from anything you want! Here’s one more example that I crowdsourced from @bastingbeauty. It’s just too pretty not to share. I love the creativity of not only the design but of also the fabric use and way it transitions! It also gives you a bit of a transparency effect too.


This week, have fun figuring out a gradation–in whatever way you’d like!

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander


+ Not good with creating a gradation? Buy a precut and use it in order. OR, stalk a precut that you find attractive and take notes on which colors are being used and which order they are being used in. You can do it.

+ Gradations do not have to be a full spectrum and in rainbow order. If the standard isn’t speaking to you, come up with your own color story and define your own limits.

+ On a technical note, I’m sure you’ve noticed that these little seams can be get a little bulky. This is why I usually try pressing them flat in order to even out the bulk as much as possible. While first working on Davie, I realized that using a seam roller to open out the seam first, made it much easier to iron open and achieve a good press. I’m glad to see some of you noticing this handy trick too!

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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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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Scrappy Collection and Liberty Aerial Grove Quilts.

Something about the New Year has had a positive influence on getting some WIPs back into rotation. My Scrappy Collection and Liberty Aerial Grove quilts are two of my favorites. Both of these are totally personal projects, meaning they have no deadline and no intended purpose other than for my own pure enjoyment.

Scrappy Collection Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

First up is my scrappy collection quilt that I started shortly after this most recent Spring Market in May 2015. (See blog posts here and here.) As predicted in the last post, it had to go into hibernation while I worked on the carkai and fall pattern release. But as soon as all of that and some end-of-year madness was over, my scrappy collection quilt was one of the very first personal projects that I pulled back out. In fact, this is what my New Year’s Day in the studio looked like.

scrappy collection quilt borders. carolyn friedlander

It was a fun day of pull-everything-out-and-throw-it-on-the-floor to decide what to use for borders and what to use for backing. I decided to add enough borders to make it bed sized. To do that, I used more printed fabric from my stash as well as a print from carkai to surround the assembled blocks.

As for the back, I initially hoped my new Widescreen fabrics would be in. The light blue seemed like it’d be perfect for the back. But alas, they weren’t and I didn’t want to wait. With personal projects, it is best to strike when the iron is hot, because you never know what will be needing your attention later. What I ended up with felt pretty exciting. I scrapped it up with some carkai, some doe and a big piece of Kona highlight.

Scrappy Collection Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

While making my first Collection quilt, I initially felt the urge to hand quilt it…entirely. Unfortunately timing didn’t allow for that, so it became a hybrid of hand and machine quilting, which I was happy with in the end. With this one, I’ve always figured that I’d hand quilt it, but now that I’ve started, I can’t stop thinking about throwing in some machine work too. We’ll see. I’m open to basing all decisions on what feels right as I go.

Scrappy Collection Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Scrappy Collection Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up is my Liberty Aerial Grove. Also a favorite, and also one that’s been sitting on the shelf. (See previous updates here, here, here and here.)

Liberty Aerial Grove quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This one was started over a year ago. It’s one of the projects in Savor Each Stitch, and something I teach fairly often. In fact, I totally got the idea for this version after one of my students brought Liberty to work on in class. I LOVED the idea, because it seemed like an amazing way to use these beautiful fabrics. Liberty can be an indulgence to partake of at the fabric store, which is why a project that uses small amounts of it can be smart and economical. Plus, the many beautiful small-scale prints work so well in a project like this. Depending on what you decide to do with the background or layout, you will show them right off.

Liberty Aerial Grove quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

My backgrounds are a textured mix of chambrays, Essex linen, railroad denims and my printed quilting cottons (architextures, doe). I like how the rich blues set off the pretty prints.

Liberty Aerial Grove quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Originally, I was just going to do as many rows as the project in the book has, but after collecting bits I ended up with enough to make a couple of extra rows. There are 6 rows photographed here, but I just finished appliquéing a 7th. While I wouldn’t be upset about cutting out fabrics for an 8th row, I think it’s time to call this guy done and move on to the borders to finish up the top.

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New Widescreen Colors

Good news, there are three new Widescreen colors. Widescreen is one of my extra-wide fabrics with Robert Kaufman. At 108″-wide, they make backing a quilt super easy.

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

First up is a warm plummy-purple. I’m looking forward to pairing it with plenty of orange and peach and cream.

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

Then there’s a slightly saturated, sky-ish blue. It will go with everything…reds, greens, darker blues, golds…

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

And finally a green. I’ve really been wanting a green. It’s a slightly sophisticated grassy-green that I’m thinking will suit lighter blues, navies and denims, plus mints and other greens.

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

As soon as they arrived last week, I started auditioning them with my liberty aerial grove–a WIP that is recently back in the rotation.

liberty aerial grove . carolyn friedlander

liberty aerial grove . carolyn friedlander

liberty aerial grove . carolyn friedlander

Not sure which one I’ll pick, because I kind of like them all…and for different reasons. Guess, it’ll depend on what mood I’m in when I am ready to baste.

Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

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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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Post QuiltCon update.

Somehow it’s March…

Is anyone else with me in wondering where February went? (And I guess January too, for that matter.)


I’m back and mostly recovered from QuiltCon. It was so much fun…but also a pretty full schedule for me. I kind of did what they tell you not to do, which is to over schedule yourself so that you have no time to actually take it in. In fact, as I look through my photos from the event, I realize that I hardly took any…oops!


But honestly, it was really great getting to work with so many amazing students, and it was probably safer not to have too much time to wander the vendor hall…that place was dangerous!


Here are some of the things I did manage to capture.


Day 1: My Austin Houses class.


Austin Houses at QuiltCon_1_carolyn friedlander


Austin Houses at QuiltCon_2_carolyn friedlander


Day 2: My Emphasis class from Savor Each Stitch.


Emphasis at QuiltCon_1_carolyn friedlander


Emphasis at QuiltCon_2_carolyn friedlander


Not sure what happened to either of my night classes…or what happened on Day 3, but on Day 4 was my Aerial Grove class (also from Savor Each Stitch), and my students pretty much rocked it.


Aerial Grove at QuiltCon 2015_Carolyn Friedlander


I also ran into my friend, Kim. I always love seeing her and her stuff.


Kim Eichler Messmer at QuiltCon 2015


Plus, we matched.


Kim Eichler Messmer and Carolyn Friedlander at QuiltCon 2015


My new collaboration with Patchwork Threads also launched at QuiltCon. I’m so excited about these shirts! Stay tuned for a proper blog post soon.


Savor It_patchwork threads_carolyn friedlander_quiltcon


Otherwise, I think I’ll continue to troll the #QuiltCon hashtag to see what else happened at the show. If you were there (in person or via social media stalking) what was your favorite part?





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Summer Makes: Aerial Grove in a multitude of Kona cottons.

Continuing with what I’ve been making this summer, next up is another version of Aerial Grove–a project that’s in my new book and one that I keep coming back to.


Aerial Grove quilt in Kona Cotton_Carolyn Friedlander


I tend to enjoy projects that embrace a “more is more” type of attitude, and this one is no exception to that. I designed it to be an outlet for a variety of little bits–each appliqué starts with just a 2 1/2″ square–so it’s quite perfect for including many of your favorite fabrics. When I heard about the new Kona cotton colors being released this summer, I was eager to celebrate that by making this project again with a magnificent multitude of Konas. I believe there are about 86 different Konas in here…


Aerial Grove quilt_1_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_2_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_3_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_4_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_5_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove quilt_6_Carolyn Friedlander


While I do (happily) quilt my own quilts, one of these days I would like to pass off a top for someone else to quilt. Being a fan of creative collaboration, I am constantly interested in seeing how my work can play off of someone else’s. Originally, I thought that this would be a great opportunity for that–since I’ve already made and quilted a few versions myself–but instead, I couldn’t stop thinking about how to quilt it as I cut and pieced the top.


Aerial Grove quilt_quilting_Carolyn Friedlander


I’ve been really into mixing big hand stitching with machine free motion quilting, and so I knew I wanted to mix the two to add some detail to the project. The handwork would add a new layer of texture and color, while the machine strategy was a curiosity in my head about mixing grid work and scale to unify certain areas while distinguishing others.


Aerial Grove quilt_big stitch quilting_Carolyn Friedlander


Today, this quilt and many others are heading off to Portland, Oregon. They’ll be on display at the lovely Modern Domestic from Sept 5 until about Oct 4. If you are in the area, you can stop by and check them out as well as all of the other wonderful goodies that Modern Domestic has to offer.


Aerial Grove quilt_7_Carolyn Friedlander


Also, I am plotting away on yet another version of Aerial Grove, but this time in Liberty. Full disclaimer: One of my amazing students at Purl had the idea to create a version in Liberty, and I loved it so much that I decided I needed to get on top of a similar version myself. (Oh the excuses to accumulate and hoard more fabric…hehe.)


aerial grove quilt_liberty swatches_carolyn friedlander




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QuiltCon 2015 classes.

I can’t believe that it’s almost time to register for QuiltCon. It’s pretty crazy how fast time has flown since the last one, and in many ways I hope it continues to fly, because I’m ready for round 2. The first QuiltCon was truly a special and inspiring event, and I’m flattered and excited to be teaching at this next one. Plus, Austin is an amazing place and well-suited host city for us fun-loving creatives. Since registration is fast approaching, I thought I’d do a quick summary of what I’ll be teaching, and I hope to see you there!


+ Houses . Thursday, February 19 . 9am-5pm 


local quilt_carolyn friedlander


Designing my Local quilt was a lot of fun, and since it’s release I’ve been asked many times how to design your own (house) block. Well, this class is a take off from that. I’ll be designing a special Austin/QuiltCon house block that we’ll make in class (so you’ll learn to paper piece), but I’ll also walk you through the block-design process.


Since I’ll be teaching with the Austin MQG in August, I’m looking forward to doing some local recon for this special project ahead of time. I want this project to be a commemorative, Austin-themed block for the class, and I’ll be documenting the entire process so that you can see exactly how I did it. Then I’ll make sure to work with everyone in the class on building their own.

And hey, if you sign up for this class, maybe you’ll want to bring a picture of your house or a special house in your life, and I’ll give you some pointers on turning it into your own special quilt.


+ Emphasis . Friday, February 19 . 9am-5pm 


Emphasis quilt_stripe_carolyn friedlander

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



Emphasis is series of projects as well as a major design tool that I talk about in my new book, Savor Each Stitch. The basic idea with emphasis (the projects and design tool) is that you can do so much just by careful decisions in how you use your block. This is something that I love about quilt making. We’ll be breaking down the idea of a quilt block to explore how block strategy and manipulation can give you so much to work with, and how we can use it to impact our final designs.


As for the project itself, you’ll also learn to paper piece, and we’ll talk a lot about fabric and quilting strategy as well.



+ Architecture, Quilts + Us . Saturday, February 21 . 4pm-4:45pm



architecture, quilts and us_carolyn friedlander_quiltcon2015



Alright, so this is a lecture, and I’m not gonna lie that giving my first formal lecture in a large hall scares me just a little bit. But, I am pretty excited and passionate about my topic. So there’s that. Plus, I’ve had this talk on my mind for quite a while now, and I’ve got some time between now and then to get lots of practice in.


So, Architecture and Quilts…


For me, I see a direct correlation between the two, but I know that may not be super obvious to most people. This is surely why I get asked so often if I miss architecture or when I plan to go back to it. The answer to both of those questions is that I don’t feel like I ever left it, OR, maybe more true, is that I feel like what I am doing now is a more fitting continuation of what I enjoyed most about architecture that I didn’t necessarily get while working in the field.


But, why does this matter? Or, why should a room full of quilters care about what I think about architecture and quilting? Well for one, I know that I am not alone, and I know this because I meet tons of architects, engineers, and other folks with design backgrounds through quilting all the time. So much so, that it’s not really surprising to me anymore, and the reasons why this is true is relevant to all of us. There are some really strong parallels between architecture and quilting that we can look at and use to make all of us better quilters.


Another focus of the talk will be on modernity (a relevant topic to highlight and discuss at the Modern Quilt Guild’s flagship event). I think that there are some interesting connections to be made between modernity in architecture and modernity in quilting that I am excited to explore.


So anyways, that’s kind of what’s on the docket for this talk. I promise to also provide some beautiful slides, to talk directly from my own experience, and to provide a look at quilting through a slightly different lens, which is something I always think can be a helpful thing to do.


+ Aerial Grove . Sunday, February 22 . 9am-5pm



Aerial Grove quilt_Carolyn Friedlander


Aerial Grove is another project from my new book, and color is a huge part of this project. I know for a fact that color is a main attraction for us quilters, and I also think that how we use it can be really powerful. In class, we’ll focus not only on working with color but also on developing your own color stories and how working with prints and pattern can play into the mix. Technique-wise, you’ll learn my favorite way of needle-turn appliqué (it’s fun and easy!).


I really want this class to be hands on and fun, with lots of attention paid to helping you find your own unique sense of working with color.


So that’s the list of what we can work on together. I tried to put a lot of time and attention into my offerings at QuiltCon, because I do think it is such a special event. I know that everyone involved has to set aside lots of time, money, and energy to attend, and I definitely want it be mindful of that to make it a worthwhile and fun experience for all.


You can find the full QuiltCon schedule to download here.


Here are the important QuiltCon registration dates:

+ June 24, 2014: Registration open for all MQG members 11am EST/8am PDT

+ July 1, 2014: Registration open to non members


They’ve also put together this helpful video for how to register. You can find it here.


I hope to see you there!





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NYC adventures.

I just got back from NYC and it was a blast.


First up, was BEA for a book signing. That was an experience, for sure.


BEA nyc


It was great to see Lucky Spool’s first 2 titles (mine and their Essential Guide) represented at the show in Taunton’s booth.


lucky spool books at BEA


I found my way to City Quilter–which is a beautiful shop! How about the great company my pattern Tangelo had in being next to Jen Kingwell? Score.


carolyn friedlander and jen kingwell quilt patterns at city quilter


On the last day in town, I had my class and book signing at Purl Soho–also a lovely shop and my students were excellent.


carolyn friedlander_savor each stitch signing at purl soho


purl soho


aerial grove class at purl soho_carolyn friedlander


aerial grove class at purl soho_2_carolyn friedlander


There was even a wall of Botanics in our classroom…


aerial grove class at purl soho_2_carolyn friedlander


I was very impressed with the bundles at Purl…especially these with Botanics…nicely done!


carolyn friedlander botanics bundle at purl soho


fabric bundles at purl soho


Otherwise my trip included visiting with dear friends, eating lots of very tasty food, plenty of walking/subway riding/googlemapping, and even some archiventuring during a trip to the High Line. Fun seeing you Mr Gehry and Mr Nouvel.


gehry and nouvelle in NYC_carolyn friedlander archiventuring


Good times. Thanks so much for everyone who was a part of it!




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