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Clay Mini quilt.

Despite this Clay mini quilt being my most recent Clay finish, it was actually the quilt where it all began.

Clay mini quilt . carolyn friedlander

It all started with a mini charm pack from a Quilt Market years ago. The pack included 2 1/2″ squares from my Doe collection as well as some Kona solids, Essex linen and other good stuff. It was at that time that I came up with these shapes and scattered them on to a gingham background. I loved how the gentle shapes could suggest different motifs while being perfect for layering. Plus the pops of color and overall variety sucked me right in.

I left the background large in order to give me options later. I didn’t know if I’d want to add more pieces or what size it ultimately should be. All of it sat pinned in place for years until recently. There have been so many times that I wanted to get back to it, and I’m glad that I now had the chance.

Clay mini quilt . carolyn friedlander

After appliquéing the pieces down, I had to decide what size to make the project. I seriously considered leaving the background piece large, because I like how appliqué doesn’t necessarily have to be used all over. In the end, I made it a mini, which I’m just as excited about.

Clay mini quilt . carolyn friedlander

The quilting was super fun. I used a gold/yellow Sashiko thread in a hand-quilted, diagonal grid. I wanted something bright and cheerful to complement the colorful pieces already there.

Clay mini quilt . carolyn friedlander

All of these years later, I still love these colors and shapes.

Pattern: Clay quilt pattern, mini size.

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Carolina Gingham, Doe Favorites mini charm pack (from the archives)

Hand Quilting: Upcycled Sashiko thread (#26) with Olympus needles

Clay mini quilt . carolyn friedlander

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Hunt QAL #12 Check In.

Hunt QAL #12 Check In.

Month #12, we did it! It’s been a year of Hunt, and I appreciate you following along and joining in. At the start, I really just thought I’d make a quilt top by this point, but to my delight I have an almost half-quilted quilt! Yay!

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Backing + Basting

To back up a bit, it’s been an eventful month–or it’s at least felt that way. Looking back on the calendar, I see that it hasn’t happened fast, but instead it’s been steady bits here and there that have added up. In my mind I know this to be true, but it’s easy to forget and so this is an encouraging reminder.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Having finished the quilt top middle of last month, I pulled backing options before the start of May. They sat in my studio taunting me until the 17th when I could spend an afternoon sewing them all together.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander
hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

After my backing was ready, I couldn’t wait to get it basted so I could start quilting it. The anticipation was killing me, and I used that energy to seize on some progress.

It’s worth noting that I had batting ready. Normally, I get to the basting step, and I’m like “oh, batting…” (hand to face emoji.) Glad there wasn’t anything slowing me down here.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

My quilting dream for this quilt was to big stitch hand quilt with contrasting sashiko threads. I’ve loved big stitch for years, and I’ve recently been exploring (and loving) using sashiko threads. It felt like the perfect thing for this project, and it’s been on my mind for months.

Supplies

hunt quilt along quilting supplies

Here’s a look at my current supply situation. Dark green thread (from here or here), my trusty Kai scissors, Olympus needles (although I have a heap of others to try, I’m just in such a groove with this one), a thimble situation I’m pleased with (more below), and light and dark marking tools. Yes, I’m marking.

hunt quilt along quilting supplies

On a completely superficial note, the thimble situation since my last tool discussion was driving me a little crazy. I LOVE the Clover flexible thimbles, but the pink/purple combo was driving me bonkers. It’s completely ridiculous, I know, but I couldn’t handle it. Looking for other options, I tried these, and love combining one for my index finger, with the Clover blue version on my thumb and then my usual thimble on my middle finger. Joy sparked.

Quilting

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

The quilting is coming along–like everything else–in bits and pieces that are adding up. It’s the most relaxing way to unwind at night and stitch away on a few rows. I’m doing straight lines, 3″ apart in different directions. If I get tired of going one way, I change it up. This suits my mood, and I think it suits the quilt. I also like that it’s a totally different approach than my previous versions (here and here).

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Any time I add hand quilting to my projects, I do it before any machine quilting. This flow works better for me, but it also means that I often think about machine quilting while I’m doing the hand quilting. I’ve had it in mind this whole time as a possibility, and I’ll see how I’m feeling about adding it–or not–when I get there. Today, I’m happy leaving it all hand quilted. It’s just so soft and homey.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Thinking ahead

I’ll continue chugging along, and hopefully I’ll get it quilted by the end of next month. I can’t even believe that I’m halfway through already. The binding is not a settled issue, but I’ll continue to ponder that while stitching away.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for following along! How did you feel about this informal, year-long format? I hope that it felt like we were moving along together, and that the check ins provided some accountability without too much stress.

I know it helped me immensely. There’s no way I would have gotten this far or been able to keep myself on track otherwise. I eventually finish things, but it’s the extracurricular projects like this that so easily get pushed to the back burner without some means of accountability. All along I’ve been thinking about how nice it was to have monthly goals for this project, and I’m planning to continue to set a date each month to check in on my progress as this finishes up and with what I pick to work out next.

Pattern: Hunt quilt pattern

Fabrics: Mostly mine from many of my collections. Backing fabric is also mine plus Liberty of London, some sparkly linen and a Robert Kaufman gingham.

See all of the Hunt Quilt Along posts in the summary here!

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Meet Spools, my new quilt pattern.

Meet Spools, my new quilt pattern and tribute to an iconic sewing essential.

Spools Quilt . carolyn friedlander

Spools is very literally a celebration of sewing, with all kinds of color, fabric and print possibilities.

Spools Quilt . carolyn friedlander

Fabric and Color

In terms of fabric, there are many ways you can get creative with this project. It works easily with 5″ squares. If you’re scared of putting together color on your own, take advantage of a beautiful pack that’s already been arranged for you. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, cull together your own mix. This is definitely one of those projects where you can pack a lot of variety into a single project, a.k.a. one of my favorite types of projects. Is there anything better than sewing through a gorgeous stack of color?

In my quilt, I worked from both of the newest charm packs for Collection CF. After opening them up, I commingled them into a pleasing array. Spools feature a Main fabric and an Accent fabric, and if you’re working from 5″ squares, each one will yield 1 spool Main or 2 spool Accents. The picture below shows how I mapped mine out. (Of course, I forgot to snap a picture until midway through my second row, but hopefully you get the idea.)

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

In the photo above, each row of squares represents a row of Spools, with the Main squares sticking out the top and the Accent squares folded in half and laying across the bottom. I might have swapped a couple out by the end, but this was a helpful way for me to figure out a game plan for moving forward.

Piecing

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

The blocks themselves are all conventionally pieced with 1/4″ seams. You have 1 diagonal seam to sew and the rest is literally straight forward. Plus I have some bonus cutting techniques so that diagonal piece lines up easily for you. Sound good?

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

The Spools sew up fairly quickly, and I love seeing the fabric combinations come together.

spool quilt making . carolyn friedlander

Picking a Background

After deciding on your Spool fabrics, the other major consideration is your background. It plays a prominent role in the quilt and will help show off your Spool fabrics. On mine I used Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun in Delft. I LOVE this fabric and color. After auditioning many different options, I liked how this one made everything pop. Before starting anything, I pulled several possibilities and kept them nearby. Once the spools were partially sewn, I laid them right on top of the background to decide if it would be the one. Yep, this one will do!

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

What is nice about using Essex (a linen/cotton blend) is the texture and visual contrast it adds when used alongside quilting cotton. I also love how the linen blends together at the seams while also giving the project good weight and structure.

Spools and Grove quilts . carolyn friedlander

Size

The pattern features 2 size options; Wall and Mini. The Wall size is what I have here. It is 40″ x 42″ and features 49 spools. The Mini size is 19 1/2″ x 20″ and features 9 spools. Of course you can always change the size by using more or less blocks, but I thought these 2 sizes were especially useful whether you want something colorful for your own space or you are swapping minis with a friend.

Spools Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Spools Quilt Pattern

Fabric: Collection CF for the Spools, Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun in Delft for the background

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