Tag Archives | big stitch quilting

Ray Quilt Along #4: Baste and Quilt.

Ray Quilt Along #4: Baste and Quilt.

Basting my Ray Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Who’s ready to baste and quilt? I have to say that it always feels like a big milestone to get a project basted and ready to quilt. Since I’ll be hand quilting this one, that means I can get the Netflix and couch ready!

Here’s the video.

Because of all that we’re covering this week, this video is longer than the others. As with all of my videos, you can make use of the “Chapters” in the description to jump around to any sections you wish to revisit.

I share some thoughts about batting in the video, and if you’d like to use what I’m using I put together a listing for it in my shop.

quilters dream batting . carolyn friedlander

What’s your favorite way to baste your project? Do you use your cutting table like I do? And how are you thinking you’ll quilt your project? I’d love to know what you are thinking about.

quilting my Ray quilt . carolyn friedlander

The Quilt Along will be taking a break for the next 2 weeks. I’ll see you back here on December 31, 2020 with the final part of the project! Your homework for the next couple of weeks is to get your quilt basted and quilted.

You can do this! Share what you are working on using the #cfRAYqal on Instagram. I love seeing it.

Supplies:

+ quilt top, batting, backing fabric, Flatter, clamps, safety pins, scissors (small and large), hand quilting supplies, thread (see suppliers below)

Thread Suppliers:

+ Cosmo Sashiko Thread in my shop

+ Snuggly Monkey

+ Brooklyn Haberdashery

+ Upcycle Stitches

+ A Verb For Keeping Warm

Ray Quilt Along #4: Baste And Quilt (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #3: Sew It Together (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #2: Cut It Out (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Along #1: Make A Plan (video on YouTube)

Ray Quilt Pattern

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Colorful Quilts for my Niece

This summer I made a couple of colorful quilts for my niece. It was a treat for both of us.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

To start, I picked up a couple of adorable mini charm packs from Bunny’s at QuiltCon back in February. (That feels like a million years ago!) Together the packs make up a full rainbow of color, and I knew at the time they’d be perfect for her–and me. I love all of the cute Japanese prints and the range of color feels so happy too.

colorful fabric squares

Quilt Tops

To me, one mini quilt wasn’t enough, and so I made matching quilts–a big one for her and the mini for her dolls. I made the mini first from the 2 mini charm packs from Bunny’s with 2 1/2″ squares added in from my stash (my 2 1/2″ square stash!). It’s a simple, checkerboard layout with the stash pieces going between the Japanese prints. The lighter colors set them off nicely.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

For the big quilt, I wanted a similar-but-larger match, and so I sized up by using 5″ squares. Unfortunately I didn’t have a perfect rainbow pre-cut pack to work with, but I created my own by diving into my stash. I sought out colorful prints with clever motifs that I hoped she’d enjoy discovering and perusing over time. There’s nothing better than an i-spy quilt, and I definitely had a great time revisiting all of these lovely fabrics.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Like in the mini version, I alternated in with some of my own lighter prints–mostly repurposed from my scrap piles.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Sewing

There’s nothing better than sewing through a stack of color, plus it was fun seeing all of the great prints as I sewed. I pressed all of the seams open, with a seam wheel first, and then with the iron. I think this makes things much easier.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Quilting!

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Hand quilting has been my personal vacation/spa treatment/zen in recent months. I’ve really been loving it. For these quilts I wanted to hand quilt them to make them super soft, but also to use a colorful array of thick threads to stand out.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

I changed my thread colors often to mimic the color changes across the quilt. The effect is really nice.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

I didn’t mark these quilts, and so the lines are more freeform. I stitched from corner to corner, with some definite wobble here and there, but I like the personal touch.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Label

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

As I mentioned recently, I’ve been trying to be better with adding labels to my quilts. It was pretty easy to do here, because I had an extra square from the big quilt. I re-purposed it for the label, and then made a matching mini for the other quilt.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

My niece loves her quilts, which of course makes me very happy.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: None–just 5″ squares for the big quilt, 2 1/2″ squares for the little quilt.

Fabrics: Mini quilt is made from 2 mini charm packs from Bunnys (I don’t see a listing, but you can probably ask via email) plus my own fabric. Larger quilt is made from my stash with fabrics by Melody Miller, Alexia Abegg, Rifle, Aneela Hoey, UPPERCASE, Denyse Schmidt, Jeni Baker, Charley Harper, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Lizzy House, Ed Emberley, Leah Duncan, Robert Kaufman, and several others.

Hand Quilting: Here’s a link to my favorite tools.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

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Hunt QAL #14 ALL DONE!

Hunt QAL #14. ALL DONE! My Hunt Quilt Along quilt is done, photographed and on my bed–a quilty miracle for sure.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Binding

With the binding, I was unsure of which direction to go for pretty much the entire time. After much auditioning, here is what I came up with.

hunt quilt along binding . carolyn friedlander

An easy rule of thumb when you can’t decide on one binding is to go with all of them! This meant three fabrics in my case. I love that this satisfies all urges, and I think a scrappy binding suits many quilts nicely, especially this one. These choices are from Collection CF, Jetty and a Robert Kaufman gingham that might look black in the photo but is actually dark green. I love any gingham or grid in a binding, and the metallic adds just the right amount of sparkle.

scrappy binding in collection CF, Jetty and gingham

Hand Quilting

I don’t know what my favorite part about this quilt is, but the hand quilting is definitely up there. For a bed quilt it is massively cozy, and from a design standpoint I like how the high contrast thread stands out when you look at it.

big stitch hand quilting

The overall rows of straight lines in different directions is a pleasing contrast to the circular motifs.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Scrappy Backing

The backing is super scrappy, which you can see better in this post. Just like choosing multiple fabrics for the binding, scrappy backings are just as appealing. The snippet below is another Robert Kaufman gingham. It’s really soft, which is a great backing quality.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

I’ve always considered this a two-sided quilt. I should get some shots of the other side too, but I’ll leave that for another day.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

The fabrics for the blocks are scrappy, but the quilting thread is consistent throughout. I think this ties things together nicely.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

The hand quilting makes it soft and cozy, and I’m really happy to have it finished.

Quilt Label!

Oh, one more thing! There’s a label! I’ve been way better lately at making and attaching labels to my quilts. I make a label (this one is definitely fancier than the usual ones I make) when making or attaching the binding. This way it’s ready to add after hand-stitching the binding. My labels include my name, the project name, project dates, contact info (if the quilt will be traveling), and the type of batting used. I’ve been all over the place with batting lately, and this helps me keep track.

hunt quilt along quilt label . carolyn friedlander

Finished and in use!

I actually slept under it for the first time last night, and it was all kinds of special.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: Hunt Quilt (templates here, here and here)

Fabrics: Mostly mine from many collections including Jetty, Collection CF, Botanics, Instead, Gleaned, Friedlander

Quilting Thread: Sashiko thread from Upcycle Stitches

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

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Scrappy CF Coasters

One set wasn’t enough, so here are some more scrappy CF coasters that I made recently.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Actually, I guess that I have a lot of these in the works. They can be made from a charm pack, and so I grabbed a stack of 5″ squares from Collection CF and started pairing the fabrics together in different ways and in different sets. The first grouping was this one, and here is another grouping in pinks, peaches and lilacs. If I let myself really dream a bit, I think it’d be lovely to make an entire set of these big stitch coasters in all of the colors.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Binding Selection

One thing that is a little different about this set from the first is that I used different binding fabrics on each of the coasters. There’s no right or wrong in deciding this, it’s all a matter of taste and what you are feeling. In a scrappy set like this, I think the variety is fun, and I love seeing how all of the different fabrics play out in the bias trim.

scrappy bias binding in collection CF
scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Selecting Thread Colors

I quilted each coaster with a different color thread. This adds even more character and color to each coaster and to the set as a whole. The quilting becomes more engaging, because you can think about and explore using different colors as you go–an entertaining way to quilt, if you ask me.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander
scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

This is a great project to grow (or start growing) your big stitch quilting skills. I also think it’s a great way to explore different ways to pair fabrics and explore color. Plus, it’s something that you can use around the house or gift to a friend.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander
scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Binding Tips

If you haven’t seen it already, I have a new video that I posted on making the binding and how to attach it to the coasters. You can head over here to check it out.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Project Details

Fabric: Collection CF

Tutorials: Big Stitch Coaster Tutorial (here), Binding for Quilted Coasters video (here)

My favorite Hand Quilting tools.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

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Big Stitch Coasters in Collection CF

With the newest fabrics in Collection CF arriving in stores, I thought I’d share with you these new Big Stitch Coasters that I made in Collection CF.

The coasters are made using this free tutorial that I put together a few years back. (I’ve now given it a fresh update!) I use these coasters all the time, and they’re a fun thing to give away to friends.

big stitch coasters tutorial-stitch layers . carolyn friedlander

Small projects are perfect for trying out new techniques. If you’re wanting to give big stitch quilting a try, this is a great way to start. The commitment is small, and the possibilities are endless. Of course you could machine quilt them if handwork isn’t your thing, but I love the added color and texture of the big stitches.

It’s also a small and speedy project that can update something you use around the house, which I am all for. Or maybe you could send some to a friend to let them know you’re thinking of them. Both are worthwhile motives in my mind right now.

I made a point to update my favorite hand-quilting supplies, if you’re new to the game and want to find out more.

There are a couple more versions, but I’ll share them in a future post. Have fun!

Project Info

Tutorial: (Free) Big Stitch Coaster Tutorial

Fabric: Collection CF

Shop Supplies: Thread, Scissors, Needles, Marking Tools

+ Learn more about Hand Quilting Tools.

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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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New Supplies in the Shop.

I have some new supplies in the shop, and I thought I’d pop in to share a bit more about them.

CF Handy Guide . carolyn friedlander

CF Handy Guide

First up is a brand-new little tool I’ve been working on. I’m calling it the CF Handy Guide, because it’s just that–handy. It’s my take on the classic seam gauge, but with the quilter specifically in mind.

CF Handy Guide . carolyn friedlander

There’s something nice about a measuring tool that can fit in the palm of your hand, and this one is kept compact for that reason. Use it when checking in on the 1/4″ basting step in my appliqué patterns or to measure anything starting at 1/8″ and up.

The angled side at the bottom features a 120 degree angle–or that of a hexagon. If you’re piecing hexagons (or my hexagon project Arlo) and want to mark your points, it’s there at 1/4″ and 3/8″. The Arlo templates have these references as well, but here’s just another way to use it. You could use those reference lines to mark out a seamline too.

There are holes for marking corners 1/8″ to 1″. The little tabs that go out from the sides are great for marking seam allowances, etc, and the running measurement at the top is good for longer dimensions too.

It’s made of a rigid, clear plastic with a hang hole that you can thread a ribbon through or hang on its own. I’ve been meaning to thread one through a necklace to wear when sewing away, plus I think it’d be cute. Anyway, it’s handy! Let me know what you think. You can find it in the shop here.

Other New Supplies in the Shop

These other supplies are my go-tos. I don’t know about you, but with the reshuffle in the world over the last 6 months some things have been a bit harder to come by. Plus, I know that it’s often the small stuff like random needles, thread and other notions that can be a) hard to source, and b) hard to source all in one place. Here I wanted to make available my favorite things so you can get what you may need without any trouble.

That said, I recently updated my Needle Turn Appliqué tools list, which you can check out here.

Pins, Needles and Clips

My favorite Clover appliqué pins are now in the shop. They are insanely handy.

Clover Appliqué Pins

The needles (also by Clover) that I love are now in the shop. These are my go-tos for appliqué, sewing binding and any other general hand sewing.

Clover Gold Eye Appliqué Needles

My favorite thimbles for hand appliqué and hand sewing (not hand quilting) are in the shop here. They are adhesive leather pads that can be reused again and again and again. I keep one stuck on a tin of thread gloss or my scissor case so it’s there when I need it. One pad lasts a surprisingly long time. If you are someone who feels like thimbles are clumsy or cumbersome, this one is easy to forget you are wearing. I have walked away from projects still wearing it many times.

Colonial Thimble Pad

I’ve added the small Clover clips that I use when cutting out any appliqués that require folding. The small size and strong grip allow for the perfect mix of doing the job while not getting in the way.

Clover Mini Wonder Clips

Marking Tools

In stock are my three favorites in this category as well; Frixion Red, Navy and the Gelly Roll in White. Big disclaimer on this and on all marking tools–always test your marking tools. That said, I use these to mark shapes that will be a) cut out and b) usually marked on the wrong side of the fabric. I am much less concerned about the removability and whether or not the marks will come back in these scenarios. The white pen is not removable, but given the situation I described above, that doesn’t matter to me. What is more important is how easily it marks on fabric and how clearly it shows up on the dark fabrics.

Also, the Frixion pens are the clicker style. That is totally my preference. If I’m going to pick something to offer to you, it’s going to be exactly the thing I want to use. Caps can be annoying, right?

Pilot Frixion Clicker Navy

Hand Quilting

The right tools make a big difference–especially when it comes to handwork. This is why I’m forever trying new things, plus I’m a total nerd on this kind of stuff. New needles that I have been LOVING lately are the Olympus Sashiko needles, which are available in a 2 pack or 4 pack. I started with the 2 pack, and I most often use the shorter needle, but the longer one is great too. (These are the needles I’ve been hand quilting my Hunt QAL project as well as Clay.)

Olympus Sashiko Needle 2 pack

I still love the Colonial Big Stitch Needle pack, and so it’s available here. It’s just a good mix of sizes with a big eye to accommodate the larger threads.

Colonial Big Stitch Quilting Needle Pack

Unfortunately I’m already out of the bright yellow thread that I used in Clay, but I plan to get more in later this month. I’ll keep you posted on that.

I hope these new shop additions make sewing a little easier and more comfortable for you. Feel free to reach out and let me know what you think!

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Clay Quilt Pattern

With everything going on in the world today, I have to admit that it is hard not to acknowledge that. My goal continues to be to make this space one that is full of creative comfort and inspiration, as well as inclusion. That said, I’m excited to finally share with you my new Clay quilt pattern. I’ve been finding a lot of comfort in projects like this lately, and I hope you do too!

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Clay is one of those projects ready for your own creative touch, which can take (literal) shape in all kinds of ways. Here’s just one of them.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

If taking shape means creating a celebration of color–yes! It’s perfect for little bits of many different things that you may have been collecting. Or, if you want to focus on fewer colors while exploring the shapes and how they interact, then yes to that too!

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Shape

The motifs and design is one that I’ve had rattling around for years. (I have proof of that, stay tuned.) It’s a simple idea, and I feel like the simple ideas can always say so much. Having looked at these shapes for so long, I like how there are so many different things to see. Sometimes the shapes feel like plants, sometimes they might be rocks and other times I just like how they seem to communicate with each other. They are round-ish, kind of pointy, big to small and even better–in my opinion–when layered. This scattering of shapes is playful and engaging not only in looking at the finished project, but when you cut and lay them out as well.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Color

There is a lot of color in this project. I used ALL of the current and incoming Collection CF prints, working from the charm pack. To give the range a bit more cohesion, you may notice a bit of a color gradation from the center out. (The size of the shapes graduate this way too, big to small.) Maybe the color gradation looks intimidating, but it’s really not that crazy to plan out. I just lined up my charm squares into a colorful order that I liked before cutting and laying out my project.

collection CF charm squares

Fabric

In addition to Collection CF for the appliqué pieces (cut shapes), I used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Lingerie for the background. I LOVE this fabric so much. The linen creates a good, sturdy texture for the prints to stand out and shine. Plus, I love how the linen quilts up. It’s just cozy and wonderful.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

I used a bright yellow thread for the hand quilting, which you might remember a peek of awhile back.

sashiko big stitch supplies

I’ve been able to add a few spools to the shop if you’d like to add some to a project of your own. In fact, I’ve been adding lots of my favorite things to the shop over the last little while, if you’d like to check it out. (I’ll share more about all of it soon.)

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Clay Quilt Pattern

The pattern includes several different size options with a coloring chart for each, as well as tips on color and composition. It’s a great beginner-friendly appliqué project as the (10) template shapes are a good size and feature gentle curves and points. If you’re super new to the technique, you can always start with the mini size option if you don’t want to feel too overwhelmed. Or, if a larger size is really speaking to you, then go for it! As another good hack, you can use more or less appliqué pieces in your project.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

I have another sample that I finally finished up and will share with you soon, as well as more about the newest supplies in the shop…and my favorite needle-turn appliqué supplies.

Pattern: Clay quilt pattern, throw size.

Fabric: Collection CF plus Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Lingerie.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

+ Guide to Needle Turn Appliqué supplies

+ Thread Tips and Tricks

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Hunt QAL #13 Check In

Hunt QAL #13 Check In.

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

Yes, the Hunt QAL is officially over, but I thought I’d continue to check in with you on my quilt until I have it finished, which I don’t think will be too much longer!

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

The hand quilting continues, and I just love doing it. It is so relaxing pushing the needle through the different fabrics and colors. I’m loving using the sashiko threads and just following the marked lines.

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

I’d say that I am 3/4 of the way along. I’ve basically moved from the bottom to the top, so there’s just a little bit left to go. The binding decision is sort of looming at this point.

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

The texture and softness from the hand quilting is really enticing, and I’m loving the darker thread color. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m eager to see how it will look on the bed.

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

I’m also working my way through this skein of thread. It started out much more full. Part of me hopes I’ll run out so I can switch to another color randomly at the end, but I’m thinking this might be just the right amount to see things through to the end.

Pattern: Hunt Quilt (templates here, here and here)

Fabrics: Mostly mine from many collections including Jetty, Collection CF, Botanics, Instead, Gleaned, Friedlander

Quilting Thread: Sashiko thread from Upcycle Stitches

Hunt QAL 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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Quilting with Sashiko Thread and trying out other new things.

At QuiltCon, I picked up a few new things to try. Whether it was the options as they were presented or my mood, there was clearly a theme to what I bought. I grabbed up many different Sashiko threads to use in my hand quilting.

sashiko thread

To back up a smidge, Riane Elise planted the quilting-with-Sashiko-thread seed after recently reading her book. Her quilting is stunning, and I love how much the contrasting stitches add to a project. To start, I grabbed up some of her recommendations; this sashiko thread, Tulip needles and Bohin marking tools. (I am a sucker for trying new marking tools. It is always a challenge to find a good one!)

After doing some quilting, I’m happy to share a report on the experience.

Threads: Yes! Sashiko threads are glorious to quilt with. They come in an endless array of enticing shades that are a flat color instead of something more glossy like perle cotton. My spool of lemon yellow was first to go, and I immediately ordered more. (That is color #12 if you’re wondering.)

Needles: I have to admit, the Tulip Sashiko needles were a bust for me. I like the length and how they glide through the layers so easily, but the heads break off consistently for me. I’ve done a fair share of big stitch quilting with other needles, and I’ve never had this problem. I’ve since ordered more brands to try, and I’m eager to see how they do!

Thimbles: The Clover Protect And Grip thimble has been my hand-quilting favorite for years. The new thing I tried this time are their Flexible Thimbles that help grip the needle as you move it between the layers. Whereas the Protect And Grip is worn on your middle finger that is pushing the needle along, these grippers can be worn on your index finger and thumb to pull the needle through the fabric. I’ve actually had these sitting around for years, but I hadn’t tried them yet. They are GREAT, and I don’t know why it took me so long to give them a go.

Figuring out the most comfortable size on the Flexible Thimbles wasn’t super obvious to me. Luckily I have all of their sizes (S, M, L), and I swapped in and out of different sizes as I went. After a few hours of stitching, I seem to have it sorted out.

Marking Tool: Bohin Extra-Fine Pencil in chalk and grey leads are surprisingly discrete. I’ll continue experimenting with these. (Always test before using on your own project. No marking tool is perfect.)

Not new, but in use and much enjoyed: Sew Fine Thread Gloss, Kai scissors, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (pre-washed, very dreamy), Quilters Dream Blend batting and Collection CF backing.

Here are some places to find Sashiko threads, needles and supplies.

Riane Elise (her book describes how to work from a skein of thread too!)

Superbuzzy

Snuggly Monkey

Bunny’s Designs

Red Thread Studio

Brooklyn Haberdashery

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WainwrightAL #2: Tool Updates and Travel.

WainwrightAL #2: Tool Updates and Travel.

appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

We’re moving along with week two! I’m seeing some great starts from many of you on instagram, and I’m moving along (quite literally) at QuiltCon in Pasadena. Since this is a traveling week for me and because handwork is super portable, I thought it’d be fun to put a slight travel twist on things. In addition to going over some of my favorite appliqué supplies, I’ll be making note of some of my favorite travel-friendly tips as well!

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated my appliqué tools-of-the-trade post, and really, not much has changed. Those are all still my favorite things, but I do have some updates to add in to the mix.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

First, clover clips! With many of my appliqué designs being folded and cut multiple layers at a time, these little clips are super handy for holding everything together. There’s even a new set with a thinner profile, which is just perfect.

I also have an update with the thread conditioner. I’ve always liked it, but I’ve recently decided that it makes a bigger difference than I was maybe willing to admit. Full disclosure, I’d mostly gotten lazy and wasn’t using it as much in recent years. I always would have it with me, and I’d use it occasionally, but I’d generally just fallen out of the habit of using it. It’s an extra step–not a hard step, at all–but definitely a step that is easy to skip when you’re wanting to cruise through a project. When I was making my first Wainwright, I was having issues and decided to give it a try. Immediately I noticed a huge difference. It’s not that I didn’t notice a difference before, but I think that because I basically made Wainwright in a straight-shot marathon, it was much more noticeable how much of a difference it made. It makes it glide through the fabric much more easily. Without it, the thread feels like it’s dragging, not in a super obvious way, but definitely in an obvious way if you’re really in tune to the process.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

Another big update is thread! Since my last appliqué supply post, some magical thread things have happened. Aurifil released their 80wt cotton thread, and it is my FAVORITE thread to use for hand appliqué. I still use their 50wt cotton to baste, but 80wt is the only thing I use for the appliqué itself.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

And, I’m delighted to have my own appliqué thread set which I put together to cover pretty much all of the major colors you’ll need–or that was my goal anyway. (And I have some in the shop now too.)

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

One more new discovery that isn’t pictured is my new Daylight Slimline light. I’ll have to take some good pics once I get my handwork set-up back in order. I started seeing these lights at QuiltCon last year, and I was very intrigued. Unlike most of the sewing lights, they look really sleek. Plus they offer a wide bar of light that you can adjust in all kinds of ways. Eventually, I picked one up, and it sat in the box while I was making my first Wainwright. About halfway in, I realized that I wasn’t seeing things well, and so I opened the box and was immediately kicking myself for not having done so sooner. It is a game changer. It perfectly lit up my project and was easy to orient so that there were no shadows on my work–which was the issue I’d been having with my other lights. Now, I’m a massive convert. It’s worth the investment.

appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

To recap, you can read this post about my favorite appliqué supplies here while keeping in mind the updates mentioned above.

+ Thread for project (such as Aurifil Cotton 50wt for basting and Aurifil Cotton 80wt for appliqué)

+ Appliqué needles (such as Clover Gold Eye Appliqué Needles No. 10)

+ Appliqué pins (such as Clover Appliqué Size 12)

+ Large fabric scissors (such as Kai 7230 9″ tailoring shears, or these other favorites)

+ Small fabric scissors (such as Kai N5100 4″ scissors)

+ Removable marking tool (such as Pilot Frixion pen–always test on fabric before using)

+ Seam gauge (such as Dritz Measuring Gauge)

+ Iron

+ Heavy paper or template plastic (for copying template)

+ Thread Conditioner (such as Thread Heaven or beeswax)

Optional supplies: Thimble (I like the adhesive leather pads), needle threader

Finally, here’s a look at the fabrics that I’ve pulled…

carolyn friedlander wainwright quilt along

I’m wanting to go grey…so we’ll see! I think I’ll probably add in some solids too. Maybe.

carolyn friedlander wainwright quilt along

Tips:

+ Fabric tip – Solids vs Prints in appliqué: In general, solids hide less and prints hide more. If you’re new to appliqué, using a print–even a subtle one–can be a little more forgiving than a solid. Of course, if you’re most excited about solids and you’re a newbie, don’t let me stop you!

+ I always travel with my Nest Egg tote, the very first one I made in fact. It’s still going strong, and I really like how I can zip it up and throw it into my backpack. While on the plane, I take it out, and open it up on my tray table and work away.

nest egg tote and supplies . carolyn friedlander

+ Also handy when traveling is a fold-up thread catcher. The one I use was a gift, but I put together a quick tutorial for you that will be coming out tomorrow. Stay tuned…

nest egg tote and supplies . carolyn friedlander

+ The Aurifil smaller spools are my preferred travel-handwork thread, and the smaller version of the Petal Pouch by Noodlehead fits them perfectly.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

+ This tip skips ahead a little bit, but I know that many of you have already started your appliquéing, and so I hope it will be helpful. Inner points in appliqué can be tricky to turn when you’re just starting out. This is easily the step/shape I demonstrate most in workshops, and while it is helpful to see it in action, it’s also a case of practice really being the key to making it easier. I promise! This is also why I like designs like this, because they can give you great practice in tackling such shapes. After doing several of these, you’ll no doubt see improvement. It is helpful to see this step in action, and so I’ll highlight my Appliqué Quilt Top class on Creative Bug–which you can find here. This block has many tricky inner points, which makes it a great one to watch for seeing how to do it. Hope that helps!

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