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Start With A Finish: a Finish!

Start With A Finish: a Finish!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I have been completely delighted to see people joining in on my Start With A Finish (informal) Quilt Along. I was wanting to do this QAL for a while, but questioned myself many times. It was very easy for me to make excuses not to do it. The end of the year is a time that passes in a blink and is never lacking in stuff to do and to be done. This year was no different, but through seeing your enthusiasm and support, I am excited to have buttoned up a project that wouldn’t have been tackled otherwise–my Start With A Finish: a finish!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

It may not be a project for everyone, but it’s exactly the quilt I most wanted to make. My goal was to bring together projects, leftover blocks, and whatever else from the year into one quilt top. It would have been fun to make separate minis with the pieces from the cf mini QAL, but my dream was to put them all together into something that I could curl up with on the couch. I love projects like this that give you something new to look at depending on how they’re resting on your lap. Plus, it just seemed like a lovely way to commemorate the year (and to clean out the WIP pile)!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Projects like this can also be a great creative exercise, which I love to partake in at the end of the year. With there being so many different things, you have to figure out a way to bring them together. And I love the feeling of putting something to use and getting it done.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

One little surprise that I’d planned all along was including the text “twenty eighteen” into the quilt. This text is part of a new Alphabet pattern that I’ve been working on and will be releasing this month. Since this quilt represents many things I made in 2018, I thought it would be a nice little detail to work into the project.

twenty eighteen . carolyn friedlander

I used fabric from Harriot for the background and then some bright yellows from Carkai and Gleaned. There’s a subtlety and spunk to it that I really like.

twenty eighteen . carolyn friedlander

I liked figuring out how the different parts of this project could work together. It was definitely not a thing that I planned from the beginning, and in fact, I made big changes as I went. I’d lay things out, sew some together and maybe spin them around as I explored looking at it in different ways.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I originally thought I’d arrange my little Davie houses by color, but in the end I preferred them this way and with a little border around them giving them some space.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

One of my favorite discoveries was how some leftover Lott blocks from early testing could create a very interesting border. Now I really want to make a whole quilt like this!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

There was another final flip that’s worth noting. The final seam (before adding the top and bottom border) is the vertical one in the center. All along I had the right portion flipped 180 degrees. When it was time to sew the large sections together, I flipped it around to see how it would look and loved the way it brought those warm oranges to the bottom. There was also a good matchup of Polk in the center that really worked. The other way looked nice too, but taking advantage of this pleasant surprise was hard to pass up.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The finished top will be a cozy throw for me. It is 57″x74″ and features many of my fabrics, plus several others, and my patterns of Lusk, Davie, Lott, Babson and Wainwright. Many sections were made during the cf mini QAL and even the WainwrightAL, so you can check back to those for closer shots and ideas.

If you had a finish or if you just followed along for fun–thank you!

Happy New Year. I can’t wait to see what we finish in 2019.

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cf Mini QAL #8: Wild (or Mild)!

cf Mini QAL #8: Wild (or Mild)!

I can’t believe that we’re already to week #8! How’d that happen? I hope you’ve enjoyed this QAL as much as I have. Before we get on to the final challenge, here’s where I took the challenge from last week.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Using my Babson pattern, I print-mixed it up! I started with the Forage print by Anna Graham and some of my black prints from Gleaned and Carkai. Then I gradually worked in the gingham and some Polk.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

I like how the prints bring a softness to the Babson design, and how the darkest and lightest colors help pack some punch.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Ready for the final challenge?

This last challenge is Wild (or Mild)! When thinking Wild, I think of something crazy, loud and/or dominate. Have you ever embraced a print or fabric/color combination that kind of screams at you? This final challenge is all about finding a way to harness that energy so that it can power your mini. Here are just a couple of Wild examples. (From top to bottom, Cowboy Circle Lattice from Savor Each Stitch, my Doe Couch and Eads)

Cowboy Circle Lattice_Carolyn Friedlander

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

Cutting up the Doe couch quilt_Carolyn Friedlander

Eads Quilt Along . Carolyn Friedlander

Wild doesn’t have to mean any one thing. It can be bold in the fabric choices, strong in the colors or impactful in the way the blocks are working together.

You’ll also notice that there’s an (or Mild) alternative for you this week. Maybe Wild isn’t your thing, or maybe it already is? Going totally Mild can be just as much of a challenge. How far can you take a whisper but still make it engaging? (From top to bottom, Eads QAL blocks, Facing East from Savor Each Stitch, @indigobird_designs Eads)

Eads QAL 7 . Carolyn Friedlander

Facing East . Carolyn Friedlander

indigobird_designs

Reaching the right level of softness is all about striking another sort of balance, and it can be just as good of a challenge.

With 2 big things to think about in the projects ahead, here’s a hint at where I’m taking mine.

Babson works perfectly with a charm pack, and ever since picking this one up (of the latest London Calling) I’ve been eager to use it. Now is the time!

London Calling Charm Pack

There’s such a diverse mix of prints in this pack, plus the smaller prints will be fun to pair with a bunch of other things. Keeping the Wild theme in mind, here’s some of what I’ve pulled to go with it.

cf Mini Quilt Along #8 . Carolyn Friedlander

I think that the vibrancy of the Nani Iro piece (bottom left) can help pack a punch, while the larger scale of the Japanese print (top left) can bring a taste of calm along with some good colors. That’s the plan! I’ll be adding in more as I go and as it shapes up. The trick with going Wild (or Mild) is the decision of how Wild (or Mild) to go. Like everything else, it’s about finding the right balance.

You can do it!

cf Mini Quilt Along #8 . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Let loose a bit and see what you can put together!

+ Think about all that we’ve learned over the last 8 weeks. When going wild (or mild), everything can come into play–contrast, how your colors and prints are working for you and the stories you decide to let them tell.

+ Not sure of what to put together? If you’re scratching your head you can always start with fabrics from all of your challenges thus far. This can be a fun and challenging way to get many things to jive together.

Come back next week for the final wrap up and a special giveaway. Thanks so much for following along!

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #7: Making Friends, Mixing Genres.

cf Mini QAL #7: Making Friends, Mixing Genres.

The fussy-cut/directional challenge from last week made me want to play with directional fabrics and a lot of stripes.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Originally, I’d planned a toned-down palette with plenty of paleness but also a punch of acid lime. In the end, I went even softer than that and didn’t use any acid lime. The punchier bits are from deeper browns and greys.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

The directional theme I was going for was to have vertical stripes in most of the sets.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

When you’re going fussy, you draw the line on how fussy you want to me. For me, I wasn’t necessarily drawn to complete perfection in all ways, but like in the block above, I wanted the roof stripes to be perfectly vertical and relative to each other. It was a complete surprise and accident when they almost line up at the seam on the left. Yay for accidents!

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I like this group of four and went ahead and sewed them together. I’m still tossing around the idea of sewing all of my minis into one bigger quilt, but there’s something about these guys that I might end up leaving them on their own. They’re just so cute together.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

This next challenge is another one that I hope you’ll have a lot of fun with. It’s all about making friends and mixing genres. What does that mean?

There are many different genres and styles of fabric out there. We have solids, basics, batiks, various reproductions, modern, contemporary, etc, as well as loads of designer prints that have their own look as well. Sticking to one category or designer can make things easy as they can easily work together without too much thinking. But sometimes it’s fun to mix it up, and that’s what the challenge this week is all about!

Like all of the previous challenges, this too can mean a lot of things, but to get you started I’ll show you in an example of my own, and walk you through a mixed-genre fabric pull.

Like any fabric pull, it’s good to start with something that speaks to you. Anna Graham’s latest collection, Forage, for Robert Kaufman is such a fun one and where I wanted to start.

 

I grabbed one of the floral prints from the collection and added a couple of pieces from my scrap bin–a bright tangerine (from Botanics) and a grey (from Architextures). While these colors do coordinate nicely with colors already in the print, they also pack a little more punch and take it in a slightly new direction. This is a good start and an easy way to stretch what’s already there.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn FriedlanderTo do something different, you don’t necessarily need to find the most different thing for the sake of being different. Instead you can think of colors that aren’t already used and can bring a new spirit to it.

 

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn FriedlanderAcid lime! It didn’t make it in last week, but it might be great in this next group. I’ve also added a pink gingham that plays well too.

Since I like where that’s going, the next step is to explore building it out a bit more. I’ve added more yellows, another grey and the tangerine from earlier.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

What’s important–to me at least–is laying them out and grouping them in ways as I pull. This makes it so easy to see how everything is shaping up and how it might work together.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

If you feel like you’ve gone too far–or want to zoom in on something nice you’re seeing, you can always pull back. I could decide to take the tangerine bits out and focus more on the yellows and wasabis.

Or, you can clear it away and start again with another idea–for the sake of another push.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

I just LOVE these guys together. The print mix is really enticing and there’s something good about the coloring too.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

As before, you can start figuring out how to build the idea out more–not forgetting about things you may have already used.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

And a little more…

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

And already I have a lot of options! I may have too many, which means I definitely need to start sewing before I feel too overwhelmed and can’t make a decision. This is such an important step–get sewing!

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ What makes good friends? Connect your own dots between genres through similar colors, values or whatever make sense to you.

+ Scrap-pile sewing can be an excellent way to source some surprise combinations. Many of my favorite pairings have been the result of accidental findings. For a challenge like this, I love hitting my scrap bin for ideas.

+ Take pictures along the way. You can often work in good ideas from early in the pull later in your project–or into another project. It’s good to have these ideas on hand.

+ Have fun with the pull, but don’t let it stop you from sewing! Give yourself a time limit and get going.

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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