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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.

@bastingbeauty

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

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ 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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cf Mini QAL #3: Using An Accent.

cf Mini QAL #3: Using An Accent.

How did last week go for you? Did you like the two-tone challenge? I really did. In fact, I kind of like the idea of my project from the week being a jumping off point for a larger quilt.

cf Mini Quilt Along #2 . Carolyn Friedlander

While I was sewing, I realized how fun it would be to treat this mini as one block for a larger project. Can you imagine making more of these in different fabric combinations and then sewing them all together? I really like the idea.

On to the next challenge. Are you ready? This week is all about accents!

Using an accent can be an impactful way to make a statement or to see something in a new way. It can surprise your senses and break expectations. I’ll start with some examples, because it’s a tool that can be utilized in many different ways big and small.

In my original Babson quilt there are many areas of accent, which is a big reason why this pattern can be so much fun to sew.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Depending on how you pair your fabrics within each block, you can highlight–or accent–the variety of shapes in different ways. In mine, I sometimes worked with fabric pairings that were similar in order to create more subtle shape interaction, but I also worked with the opposite–implementing wildly different pairings in order to highlight the shapes at play not only within a block but also in a series of neighboring blocks. You can look at this example as a way of playing with accent without a ton of planning.

+ As a tip, if you’re working this way using a design wall (or the floor, etc) will be a great tool for seeing how your accents are shaping up.

Eads would be another example to check out that uses a similar approach.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

That way of working can be liberating–or overwhelming–depending on how you like to work. There’s no need to stress if that isn’t your thing. Using an accent can also work in ways that are more deliberate. The Emphasis project from my book is a great example of that.

emphasis quilt and sewn stationery_carolyn friedlander

This project uses the exact same block design and the exact same fabrics across 3 samples that are made to look different based on how they are worked. In order to do this, I carefully mapped out each version so that different areas of the design were brought to life and highlighted in each variation. I loved exploring the various possibilities of what to accent.

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

Savor Each Stitch . Carolyn Friedlander

But maybe your first thoughts of using an accent weren’t expressed in either of these examples? I think this third set of examples is maybe the more common ways to think about an accent.

First up is a crowdsourced example from @thirteenquilts.

@thirteenquilts

Brandy is making Babson for the Quilt Along, and those pops of red are very effective accent. Maybe while you’re working you want to spice it up with an accent fabric/color of your choice.

Another example is from when I was developing the Lusk pattern. One of my unfinished samples was based on an idea of using an accent to highlight new shapes in the B version. Similarly here, I have a bright color to pop and a sketch to explore the idea.

cf Mini Quilt Along #3 . Carolyn Friedlander

What do you think? Ready to start using an accent?

Tips:

+ An accent can come from a fabric choice, your fabric placement and/or the quilting itself. Feel free to think about how to incorporate an accent at any/all levels.

+ Sketch it out! Use the coloring pages included in the pattern to figure out what you want to highlight.

+ Sometimes an accent can spice up your project as well as your attitude. Bored of a current combo? Spice it up and stay entertained!

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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Meet Babson.

Last up of the newbies is Babson, a very graphic and fun-to-sew project.

Babson Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

This quilt is kind of like Eads in that it’s super mix and matchable, works with a bunch of different fabrics, can be made without a ton of planning and has a huge amount of possible outcomes. It’s about fabrics, shapes and colors playing together in all kinds of ways.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Unlike Eads (which works with fat quarters), Babson starts with 5″ squares. I find that when you have an easy increment to start with, it’s much easier to grab a pile of stuff you’re interested in (or just a few things) and get to sewing. What’s better than that?

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

On the pattern-design side, there’s also a big part of me that loves the challenge of figuring out possibilities for 5″-square packs. They can be so enticing, and I have many stacked around in the studio. This project can work well with them.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

In this first version, maybe you’ll notice how my blocks are broken down into quadrants, each having its own coloring. One quadrant uses one 5″-square pack, plus 4 fat quarters. (Or you can also just use fat quarters for the whole thing.) I liked this formula because it makes it a much easier undertaking. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by a heap of blocks and fabric, you can work on it in sections, as well as flavor each section a little bit differently.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I used the same 5″-square pack of Polk for each quadrant, but in each group I added 4 different coordinates, so they each look a little bit different. Here’s what I added.

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Bottom left – Kona Roasted Pecan, Essex Yarn (Dyed Berry), Architextures (Sorbet, Orangeade)

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Top left – Architextures (Desert Green), Kona Parchment, Essex Classic Wovens (Natural), Essex Yarn Dyed (Chambray)

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Top right – Kona Paris Blue, Architextures (Acid Lime), Essex Yarn Dyed (Pickle), Essex Classic Wovens (Chambray)

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Bottom right – Kona Sea Glass, Essex Classic Wovens (Natural), Architextures (White), Essex Homespun (Chambray)

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

In the end, I like the cohesion of the whole thing, and then I also like noticing the differences of the sections once you start looking closer. It was entertaining to sew, because each section presented new colors and possibilities.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The next version started with this Melon Kona charm pack. I’m not normally a pink person, but the mix of oranges and peaches pack a nice punch, and I was totally enamored.

Melon Babson swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Instead of making the larger throw size as before, I wanted to make a wall hanging, which is basically just a 1/4 of what’s required for the throw. After much debate, my additions to the Melon charm pack for this version were 2 pieces from Polk (AFR-17841-380, AFR-17841-14), plus Kona Orangeade and Kona Lingerie.

Melon Babson swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

These additions add brightness, texture and little bit of print.

Melon Babson swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

The blocks in this design are super versatile, and I tried to push them in a different direction than in the first version. Here I gathered all of the same-direction shapes at the top, and the other-direction shapes at the bottom. As much as possible, I used the orangey-brights to create the L’s, but then shifted it a bit as you get to the bottom.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Now that I’ve made two, I still have ideas for a few more. Plus, I have some other charm packs lying around that I think will be fun.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

That’s Babson! I can’t wait to see what you make. You can ask about it at your local quilt store, or you can also find the digital version available here.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

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