Tag Archives | carolyn friedlander patterns

My Arlo quilt pattern.

Now that my Instead fabric collection is shipping to stores, I thought I’d take a little time to share more with you about my Arlo quilt pattern. This project was hard to keep under wraps at the time, because I was so delighted at each stage to see it come together.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I’d been wanting to play around with the classic hexagon for awhile, and this project is the result of that.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I always say this, but it’s so true–my favorite patterns are the ones where you can do a million things with them. Rather than having a design that only works in a few ways, I love it when a design lends itself to changes in fabric, color, block orientation, and/or the quilting. It’s always amazing and exciting to me when you can totally change up the look, although this gets me into trouble because I end up making multiple versions of many of my projects. I can’t help it!

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Arlo is definitely a design that can take on some different looks. In this first version, I used all of my newest Instead fabrics and the coordinating solids. The coordinating solids are a super-textured mix of Essex linen, yarn-dyed linen and even a metallic linen. I thought this rich mix of texture compliments the dark palette of the collection in a really good way.

Instead Fabric and Solid Coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

The pattern works well with fat quarters, which is what I used here. First, I organized my stack of fabrics in to a pleasing order. I knew I wanted some color organization to this project, and to start it off with some clarity would help me achieve those results. Then I cut the shapes from each of the fabrics and stacked them up. (PS, I discovered that this shoe bin from Target holds the cut shapes nicely!)

After everything was cut, I started sewing the shapes together by pulling from the stack. Again, I knew that working this way would help me achieve some of the color order that I wanted. I also knew that once I had my hexagons sewn together it would be easy at that stage to nail down the layout.

The layout was SO much fun! (Does anyone else look forward to laying out the blocks for the first time? I think it’s such a treat.) I used all of the different block options but oriented them to slant in a similar way across the quilt. I think that the repetition of the colors through different shapes plays in an interesting way across the quilt.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

After getting a layout that worked for me, I finished sewing the top together, and then I used big stitch hand quilting to finish it off. I like how the texture of the quilting threads and of the hand quilting give it a really nice feel.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I like seeing the colors of the threads pop, and I like the contrast in the fabrics. The printed pieces from the collection next to the textured linens keep it interesting. I always think about how the quilt will lay on your lap, and this one especially gives you many different things to notice and see each time you settle in with it.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This pattern can be sewn together in several ways depending on your preference. For this one, I chose to machine piece the top and then to hand quilt it. You could also hand piece the blocks OR English paper piece (EPP) them as well. Instructions for each option are outlined in the pattern, and there’s a printable EPP page so you can work from your preferred template papers.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

All templates for the blocks are included in the pattern, but I also have 2 acrylic template sets to offer as well. One set includes a 1/4″ seam allowance and the other set includes a 3/8″ seam allowance. Choose your preference based on what you’re most comfortable with. Since I was machine sewing mine, I used the 1/4″ seam allowance, but maybe you like hand piecing and you’re comfortable with 3/8″–you can use that too.

arlo quilt acrylic templates . carolyn friedlander

Each template is made from sturdy acrylic and features printed lines and drilled holes so you can cut and mark from them at the same time. (Stay tuned for another post that I have planned on how I like to use the templates.)

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

There we have it–my new Arlo Quilt pattern.

I’ve mentioned the possibility of doing an Arlo Quilt Along, but I’m curious–what do you think? I was hoping I’d be able to squeeze it in this August/September, but I’m going to have to push it back a little farther. Would you be game? What would you like to see during this quilt along? Leave any feedback in a comment below or in an email to me – info(at)carolynfriedlander(dot)com. I always appreciate hearing from you!

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Arlo Quilt Pattern

Acrylic Template(s): 1/4″ Seam Allowance Set, 3/8″ Seam Allowance Set

Fabrics: Instead and Instead coordinating solids (Note: I’ve been seeing many stores receiving these fabrics recently. If you’re looking for some options, I find google to be the easiest way to do that. Here’s a google search that I did. I hope that’s helpful!)

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

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cf Hearts quilt pattern.

My new cf Hearts pattern is finally here!

cf hearts . carolyn friedlander

I love simple shapes, and the heart is lovely one to take on.

cf hearts . carolyn friedlander

While thinking about projects to make to show off my new (old) fabrics, I kept coming back to the idea of using this simple shape. There are many things I love about this fabric collection, but one of the biggest things is how it feels like I’m sewing with old friends. There’s a comfort and excitement with each piece, and I loved the idea of capturing the pieces with an endearing symbol.

cf hearts . carolyn friedlander

On the creative side, I liked how this project can showcase many colors and fabrics. You can play with color and texture in many ways. (I already have more hearts projects planned!)

On the technical side, the appliqué shapes are really fun to sew. You have gentle outside curves, a single point and an outside corner that make it anything but boring to work on. This shape is beginner-friendly, but the creative possibilities can make it exciting no matter who wants to make it.

cf hearts . carolyn friedlander

The downloadable PDF version is now available here, and the printed version will be hitting shops in a few weeks. (If your local shop is interested in purchasing copies, just let me know, and I’ll get them connected to those details.)

collection CF . carolyn friedlander

There are 3 project sizes included in the pattern, it’s charm-pack friendly (which is what this version is made from) and I have been dreaming up so many ways to work out this project. I think that 1 heart would make a great label on the back of a quilt, or I’ve been thinking about how fun it would be to make a signature quilt made from Hearts…or I’ve even thought about putting some hearts onto a tote bag…OH, and bigger projects with more hearts? I’ve been thinking about that too.

cf hearts . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: Hearts by me

Fabric(s): Collection CF (coming in November 2019) for appliqué, border and binding, Kona Seafoam for the background

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Hunt QAL Month #1 Check In.

Hunt QAL Month #1 Check In.

I have two questions for you. (1) How has it already been 1 month, and (2) how are things going with you and your project?

For me, this month developed in ways I didn’t totally anticipate. I’d made a plan, but when putting it into action, I realized I wanted to make a few adjustments, which is fine. Instead of working in strict groups of 4 blocks, I decided that I wanted to get a better idea for the fabrics for all of the blocks at the onset, so I’ve spent most of my time refining my color and fabric plan.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

My dream all along has been to make a green and white project, and it wasn’t until I was driving around town that I noticed what I was going for was right in front of me. This isn’t a great picture, in fact it’s a grab from google…but this building was my aha moment.

Florida's Natural . Lake Wales, Florida

And then I really started to notice things.

green and white inspiration

After seeing the color schemes in real life, I decided it would be fun and helpful to create a moodboard on Pinterest for this project. I don’t always do this, actually I never do this, but it seemed like a helpful way to go and a fun thing to indulge myself in. You can see my full moodboard here.

Hunt QAL mood board . carolyn friedlander

I’m really excited to keep going with this. I feel like getting the color and mood right can be tricky, but once you get it, it’s smooth and exciting sailing. I’ve pulled and cut fabrics for many of my blocks, but I’ll show these for now.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I know, there’s blue up there. I promise, I really am heading in the green direction, but once I looked at that fabric (from friedlander lawn), I just had to have it in there. I can’t wait to turn those pieces under and see how the fabric plays out.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Are you enjoying using the planner? Normally I’m terrible at remembering things, but since I’ve been noting stuff in my planner, my list of shareables is at the ready.

In watching/listening news, the Price Is Right documentary on Netflix was great, and Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us (also on Netflix) was a tough, but really compelling and well done. In terms of Podcasts, I’ve been listening to This Land, and the trailer to Man In The Window was a good enough tease that I’m ready for the new episodes when they start coming out.

Have you found anything good?

Happy Hunting friends.

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Hunt Quilt Along: A Closer Look At Fabric.

Hunt Quilt Along: A Closer Look At Fabric.

This week I want to take a closer look at fabric. I have some tips to share, and I also want to let you in on what I’m thinking about for my own project.

Obviously fabric is a big component of any quilt project. You not only have the color and print to figure out, but you also get to consider the type of fabric itself, whether it’s cotton, linen or anything else.

In general, I consider quilting cotton to be the most beginner-friendly fabric to work with. It’s very stable, and it’s not too thick and not too thin for quilting. (It’s called quilting cotton for a reason.)

gleaned coordinating solids . carolyn friedlander

Quilting cotton is also great, because it comes in many different colors, prints and solid choices. You can’t go wrong, and it’s definitely a fabric that I would highly recommend to anyone, and especially to anyone new to the game.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

gleaned fabric collection . Carolyn Friedlander

Of course there are plenty of other types of fabrics as well. Some other popular quilting choices are made from linen and linen blends (like Robert Kaufman Essex, a stable linen/cotton blend that is a little meatier than regular quilting cotton and full of texture), and there are plenty of yarn dyed wovens (like Harriot Yarn Dyes, shot cottons, etc).

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Harriot Yarn Dye . Carolyn Friedlander

Something to consider when selecting fabrics outside of quilting cotton are the different properties of the fabric itself. You want to consider the stability of it–is it slippery or drapey, OR stiff and sturdy? Also, is it thick or thin? Does it have a tendancy to fray? Most anything can work, but depending on its qualities you might decide to make some adjustments.

Some adjustments might be to –

+ Cut your background to be larger so you can get a clean trim before sewing blocks together if your fabric tends to fray or if you know you tend to handle your blocks a bit more. I cut my background squares about an inch larger on my Hunt Harriot Quilt. It was a new fabric, and I wasn’t sure how it would behave. Giving myself extra ensured I could get a super-clean trim before sewing the blocks together. (Tip: In this case, I like marking the edges of where I’ll trim my actual block. I prefer to thread baste, but you can mark it anyway you prefer.)

Here’s a look at some thread basting in action. I’ve marked my seam allowance at the bottom. (In general, I prefer marking the seam allowance on these blocks this way. It’s totally a personal preference and not mandatory.)

hunt tester-3-carolyn friedlander-web

+ Adjust your basting stitch a smidge if your fabric is really thick or really thin. (Tip: With a thin fabric you may baste with slightly less of a seam allowance, and with thicker fabric you might baste with a smidge more of a seam allowance.)

+ Prewash your fabrics if you’re worried with them at all. It never hurts! Plus, I feel like a prewash can reduce some of the fraying.

+ Use your thicker fabrics as a background and thinner fabrics as your appliqué. A thicker fabric on the back gives you more stability. (Although I’ll admit that you can make exceptions if you’re really feeling a combination that goes against these rules. Just make sure your lighter background fabric maintains its shape as the heavier fabric is being manipulated on top. You don’t want this to distort your background.)

Now let’s talk a little bit about some design direction for your project. The beautiful thing about appliqué is how you can quickly get a sense of what your project will look like. Simply cut out the shape and lay it on your background! If you don’t like it, try something else.

Hunt Appliqué planning . carolyn friedlander

That’s exactly what I did when I was planning my Hunt Harriot Quilt. I started cutting out the shapes and laying them on the ground–although you could also start laying them on different background fabric options at this point too. This allowed me to figure out how I wanted the colors, fussy-cut scallops and other motifs to come together. Or you can work on a block-to-block basis. It was really fun to see the idea shape up!

Hunt Quilt Along Fabric Pull . Carolyn Friedlander

I am planning to make something during this quilt along. I selfishly chose this format, because I knew it would give me a great opportunity to make another version. I’d love to have a quilt for my bed, and after a lot of thinking about colors and fabrics to use, I think that I’ve decided to head in a green and white direction. There are SO many ways to take this project, and it is so easy to feel indecisive about it, but what’s helped decide things for me is thinking about 1) what type/size I want to end up with, and 2) where I want to put it. I think a green/white-ish version for my bedroom would be just the right thing.

I’ll use a mix of whites and creams for the backgrounds.

Hunt Quilt Along Fabric Pull . Carolyn Friedlander

And I’m thinking a mix of greens in some dark-ish shades like this could be nice. Although I’m not sure how scrappy/not scrappy I want each block to be. Looks like I’ll be doing some auditioning!

Hunt Quilt Along Fabric Pull . Carolyn Friedlander

That’s where I’m at, but I’d love to know where you’re at too. Feel free to comment below.

Resources:

+ Here’s a link to some of my favorite Thread Tips and Tricks.

+ I’ve set up a Hunt Quilt Along Board on Pinterest for inspiration. Head over here to check it out.

Hunt Quilt Along . Carolyn Friedlander

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cf Mini Quilt Along.

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Are you ready for another quilt along? I’m very excited to announce our next (online) sewing adventure–the cf Mini Quilt Along–which will be an 8-week endeavor starting July 19. I’ve been really excited about this, because I think it’ll be a great opportunity to explore creativity in many bits of mini’s, and I’d love for you to join in.

Polk Lust Quilts . Carolyn FriedlanderEach week, I’ll have a creative challenge planned. Feel free to use these thoughts to inspire your mini composition for that week. I think it’ll be fun.

In terms of patterns, I’ll be working from all three of my newest patterns (Lusk, Davie and Babson). Each of them have mini options built into the format–making it easy, but the themes each week can be explored through any or all of them if you choose.

I love making minis, because they often jumpstart my creative juices. By giving goals and thoughts each week, I’m hoping to inspire some sewing excitement for all of us.

You in?

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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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Meet Davie.

Meet Davie, my newest house pattern.

Davie Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

See the resemblance?

I don’t know why I love this house so much, but I do. It’s just so cute. Plus, when we’re talking about house quilts, they are such a favorite, and this one makes a good one. With Davie, I love this size block in particular. It’s big enough to have fun with fabric, but small enough to where you get to make several of them.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

The design works with fat quarter cuts (18″ x 22″), and so fabric selection couldn’t be easier. I started with each of the (8) pieces from my Polk collection, and then added these 4 guys into the mix.

Davie Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

I liked how the crispness of the white, the warmth of the peach, and the brightness of the blues rounded out the colors with the other pieces.

Davie Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

I worked the colors in a specific order so that you get this neat stacking of shapes. The house in one block becomes the background in the block below it, making the whole thing really fun to look at. Of course, you totally don’t have to do that. You can mix up the fabrics however you please (just see the next version below)!

Polk Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

But then I wanted to make another sample. These houses are a little addictive…

Davie Fabric Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

For the next one, I was drawn toward pinks and peaches–in prints, checks and solids.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

For this one, I worked with the other size included in the pattern which uses 6 fat quarters, and will give you a smaller wall hanging–or 2 mini quilts. The nerd in me loves the idea of 2 minis, because you can keep one for yourself and give the other one away. Or, better yet, you and a friend can each make a pair and then trade 1 of each. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

With this set, I totally mixed up all of my pairings. While the first version had a specific rhythm to how the fabrics rotated their positions, in this one, I tried to mix it up as much as possible. (First is far left, pair is far right.)

Mini Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

After Quilt Market, I taught Davie at Superbuzzy in Ventura, CA. Here’s a look at some of the class blocks. Great, right? Gives you some ideas on where else to take it…

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Davie has been shipping to stores now, so make sure to ask for it, or you can also find the digital version available in my shop here.

First version fabric(s): Polk, plus Architextures (AFR-13503-239), Gleaned (AFR-17292-1), Kona Waterfall, Kona Paris Blue

Pink/peach version fabric(s): Polk (AFR-17841-380, AFR-17842-391), Carolina Gingham (P-16368-107), Kona Orangeade, Kona Cantaloupe, Essex Classic Wovens (SRK-17585-63)

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

 

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Meet Lusk.

Meet Lusk, a new pattern for some (mini) quilts.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

I love mini quilts. There’s so much you can do with them! They make great gifts, are perfect for swaps and I’m not sure there’s any easier way to decorate your space. Plus, I love how the smaller format allows you to get really creative without too much commitment and pressure–OR it can help you get more comfortable with a technique. Don’t get me wrong, big projects can be great too, but there’s something special about a project that can get your creative juices flowing, make you feel good about a finish and leave you inspired for whatever comes next.

Polk Lust Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

I find that I come up with new ideas all the time while I’m sewing. In this way, making minis is such a creative kickstarter for me. Because of this, I’ve been wanting to make some mini quilt patterns for a while now, and Lusk is just the beginning. With this one, I’ve been thinking about how some of my existing designs can be reconsidered on a smaller scale, and how it might be fun to reimagine sets of shapes mixed and matched up in new ways.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

You might recognize some familiar bits from some of my other patterns. Lusk takes ideas from Sessoms and Tangelo, plays with the scale of both and adapts them in ways that they can work together. I love this because even though they are two different designs, bringing them together means there are many new ideas to play with.

I outline 3 specific versions in the pattern, but the units work really well together, and if you wanted to come up with more, you totally could! The first (A, above) is a mix of all blocks included in the pattern. The second (B, below) uses just the third block option in the pattern.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The third version (C, below) uses just the first 2 blocks in the pattern. Depending on what you’re going for, you can dress these guys up in all kinds of ways.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

These minis were a great place for me to start when I first got my hands on my newest fabric collection, Polk. Working on a smaller scale allowed me to see how certain fabrics might work together, and it definitely inspired many of the fabric combinations in my subsequent projects.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

Lusk means you can explore a lot in a small amount of time and with not too many supplies. I’ve since whipped up a few more, and I’ll be sharing them in the coming weeks.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

You can ask for Lusk at your local quilt store, or you can also find the digital version available here.

Lusk Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

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WainwrightAL #6: Finish.

WainwrightAL #6: Finish.

Somehow we’ve made our way to the end–or at least to the end for now.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I often have mixed feelings at the end of a project. There’s always a part of me that is excited to reach a milestone and to see it finished. And then there can also be the side of me that’s kind of sad to be done with something that has been enjoyable to work on. With my first Wainwright, I definitely felt this mix. I was excited when I had all of my blocks appliquéd and sewn together. I love seeing it for the first time after the basting stitches are gone and after a good press. It always looks so clean!

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

With Wainwright, there was also a little sad part of me, because I had enjoyed working on it so much. Each row brought new colors and different combinations of shapes and fabrics. I loved having an excuse to work on these fun little blocks. Luckily, this is the perfect excuse for more projects, and in this case I was excited to start the quilting.

Originally, I thought I would start off with some big-stitch hand quilting across the entire thing. Then I’d machine stitch on top to add even more texture. I tend to like the softness and color of big stitch, and then the texture and intensity of the machine quilting. But, after finishing the hand quilting, I loved the feel of it as it was.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Plus, the color effect is pretty nice–although not easy to see in the photographs. I big stitched along all of the diagonals using different colors of thread that generally related to the colors in the blocks. I liked having a loose transition of color across the quilt with the fabrics, and doing the same with the quilting threads adds another layer to that transition.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I tried out a new batting with this quilt. Quilters Dream has 4 different loft options in cotton, and this uses their heaviest (“supreme”). I’ve tried it on a few projects since this one, and I’ll admit that it’s maybe not my favorite, but in the case of this quilt, there is something nice about it after being hand quilted. It’s weighty but still soft.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Now, let’s go back to my project for this QAL. Here’s where I’m at.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn FriedlanderWhen I initially thought about my QAL project, I knew that I wanted to try something a little bit different. I wanted to push myself a little in terms of the palette. I don’t typically work with a super dark, tone-on-tone palette, and I was curious to see how something like that could work out.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

In doing this, it’s been a great exploration in texture, which I’m always a fan of. Handwork is the perfect way to feel out different types of fabrics, and that’s very much the case here. I have linen, sateen, quilting cotton and poplin. While it may not photograph spectacularly, in person you can see how the light plays differently on each of the fabrics. I can’t wait to get them all appliquéd, because I think the quilting will be really fun and can highlight the differences even more.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

While my initial fabric pull included blacks and a range of greys, I’m now thinking I’ll separate the darkest from the lightest into separate final projects. For awhile I thought I’d make a pair of pillow shams, but now I’m thinking that I’ll do a pillow sham with the darkest stuff, and then a wall hanging–or something larger with the lighter stuff.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

While cutting out the latest few blocks, I found myself wanting to make more and more pairings of the lighter guys.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

And so, I think that’s what I’ll do!

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

For me this QAL was a great excuse to start another handwork project (like I ever need an excuse for that, ha!), to work with a new palette that I was curious about, to give myself a little something to relax with at the end of the day, AND to work along with you while doing it. If you followed along with the Eads QAL, you will have noticed that my goals were a bit different. For Eads, I had a goal to have a quilt top finished by the end of 12 weeks–and I’m SO glad that I did. That was a wonderful goal for that project, but in this case, I didn’t feel the same goal was necessary.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Having said that, I do like having goals and re-assessing progress where necessary. And so, I think that now that I have a better idea of what I want this project to shape up to be, and since we’re at a great point of assessment, I’m marking my calendar for a month from now to check back in with you on where I’m at with this guy. Goals are good, and I don’t want this guy to get lost.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Appliqué is actually really strong. I’ve appliquéd plenty of tote bags and other items that get used and abused, and I am happy to report that my appliqués have remained in place! Of course, if you’re new to the technique and feeling unsure about the strength, you can always take it into consideration when planning your quilting. Feel free to quilt over any areas that cause concern, and you’ll be good to go!

+ Maybe you took on more of a project than you wanted? This isn’t a bad thing, in fact I think it’s great to be excited about a project. There’s nothing wrong with making changes down the road if you decide that a smaller project is better. I personally love making smaller things like pillow shams and tote bags because you really use them. In my case, I think I’m going the opposite way–having initially thought pillow shams, and now thinking that maybe a little something larger could be good. Either way, do what feels best for you!

+ I talked about how I wanted to use this project to push myself a bit. Sometimes I really like a challenge, but it’s always a balance. When I teach, I sometimes see people feeling like they have to push themselves, because they feel like it needs to be hard in order to learn. It totally doesn’t! I’m definitely a fan of doing whatever works for you and whatever feels right. If you’re feeling good in your comfort zone, go for it, or if you’re feeling good about giving yourself a nudge, go for that too!

I really appreciate you following along whether in spirit or in actuality! Seeing projects popping up in my feed makes me so excited and eager to sew.

carolyn friedlander project bag

As a thank you, I want to do a giveaway. I recently made up some project bags–with a Wainwright theme–that I sold at QuiltCon. I secretly saved a few, including 1 to giveaway at the end of this QAL. The rest will go up for sale in my shop on Tuesday at 10am EST.

To enter the giveaway, share with me your thoughts on this QAL or a thought on a recent project that you’ve been excited about by leaving a comment here before Monday, March 26 at 10am EST.

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WainwrightAL #5: Your Projects.

WainwrightAL #5: Your Projects.

Sometimes it’s good to take a step back from your own project and change the scenery! This is why I thought it’d be fun to see what others are working on. You guys are rocking this!

@andrea_nham

@andrea_nham with a really nice blue, green, grey and yellow thing happening. Bonus points for having a matching pouch!

@ayragon

@ayragon has loads of big blocks underway. There’s something nice about being able to see more of the prints at play in the larger format.

@bkimmerly

Speaking of prints…@bekimmerly is making good use of some fun prints. I like how she’s positioned the trees so nicely inside the shapes. Way to work the prints!

@blueskycrafter

@blueskycrafter just made it to a layout stage, and I know she must be satisfied to see everything all together. Even though it’s not my project, I’m feeling super satisfied for her–it’s looking great!

@brakmack1997

@brakmack1997 is really working the 2-color combo. I love how visually enticing it is to use just 2 fabrics. It’s such a fun play with the shapes.

@court9702

@court9702 is using lots of dots and stripes. It’s wonderful! I love how something like this can be completely timeless.

@nies_co_creations

Using all solids results in a totally different look. @nies_co_creations is using just the right mix of blues, it’s lovely to look at.

As for me, I’ll give you a good flashback to my first version.

Carolyn Friedlander . Wainwright Quilt

I stared at this thing SO much. Not only while cutting out each block, but also after each appliquéd row, I’d stand back and assess how it was looking. I might move one block here, another one there…maybe I’d swap out an appliqué or background each time… I love this way of working. You can see some of my extra pieces toward the bottom. I kept plenty of options open.

Tips:

+ Taking a step back can be great. It allows you some space to think of other things, which often brings a freshness back to your project.

+ Swap out your needle! It’s pretty amazing how you start to wear them down. Now that you’ve been sewing along, I’m sure you’re starting to pick up on the subtleties of everything you’re working with. Freshen that needle, and you’ll be amazed how much it will freshen your stitches.

+ You all gave me some watching recs, and here’s one that I’ve recently enjoyed. If you like houses in amazing locations, I just watched The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes on Netflix. Each episode is grouped by location–mountain, coast, etc, and they span locations all over the world. I like how beautiful the homes and locations are, as well as how they talk about building challenges, design advantages, and other stuff. Plus, one of the hosts is an architect and he does some pretty fun sketches on site to highlight aspects of the projects. It’s definitely a beautiful watch!

If you’re just now joining in and looking for a copy of the pattern, here’s a link to the digital version in my shop.

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WainwrightAL #4: Appliqué Progress.

WainwrightAL #4: Appliqué Progress.

Now that I’ve been spending a little bit of time with my blocks basting and appliquéing them, I’m finding myself thinking about all kinds of project variations. Do you do this too?

There’s something about thinking about and discovering new ideas when working on a project, which is probably why I like sewing so much. It gets my mind going.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

This week specifically, I’ve been thinking about grouping my blocks and fabrics more tonally. Instead of having a lot of contrast within each block, I kind of like the idea of keeping things fairly similar. I reorganized my pairings to do this a bit.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Nothing is set in stone yet, but I am leaning towards making a pair of pillow shams at the end of this, and I kind of think it would be cool if they were split up by color. Maybe one has the darker blocks and the other has the lighter ones? OR, I could arrange them another way. For now, it’s fun to continue making blocks and dreaming about all the ways to put them together.

Have your projects been giving you ideas?

Tips:

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

+ Now that I’ve started appliquéing, I thought of another tip to share. You’ll notice in the pic above that I’ve basted all the way around the block. I like doing this because it allows you to baste continuously, and it holds the appliqué fabric to the background so nicely. You don’t actually need to appliqué those outer edges, but I like leaving the basting threads in place because they can hold all of your layers together until you end up sewing your blocks together.

+ Get cozy! Don’t be uncomfortable when doing handwork. I’m always positioning myself in the right chair, with the right foot stool, pillow, etc. so that I’m comfortable when I’m working. It’s never good to feel achy and sore! Make sure to get up and stretch out, move around often. I easily get locked into my project, so I have to remind myself to do this. Having plenty of tea/your favorite beverage on hand can force this. 🙂

+ Sidle up with friends or a good show/movie. Since I’m currently in between having a good show to watch, I’d love to hear some tips from you on something good to watch!

+ Inner points can be tricky, but they do get better with practice! In WainwrightAL #2, the last tip speaks to this. You can always head back over to check it out.

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WainwrightAL #3: Basting Progress.

WainwrightAL #3: Basting Progress.

While away from home, I’ve been basting away on my Wainwright–yay for portability!

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

The cool thing about it being basted is that it’s ready to go anywhere.

Last week I mentioned my palette for this QAL project, but here’s a better look. I’m using mostly greys and darker fabrics. I have added in some Kona solids, but I also have fabric from my botanics, euclid and gleaned collections as well as a print from Erin Dollar’s Arroyo collection. As I go, I might decide to add and/or subtract. That’s the beauty of it–you can see how things are looking and make adjustments as needed.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

A note about cutting and arranging your pieces and templates. As noted in the pattern and in Week 1, the fabric ratio to keep in mind is that 1 square of appliqué fabric can yield 2 blocks. This means you’ll want to set aside 2 background blocks for each set of appliqué shapes that you cut. Personally, I find it helpful to grab 2 background fabrics when I grab 1 appliqué fabric to take to the ironing board to fold and press at the same time. This way I know I’m keeping my ratio in check. Of course, if I decide a background isn’t working, I may prep an extra or two later, but in general, I think this is a good way to start.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

If you take a look at the cutting template, there are 3 (solid) cutting lines, and (dashed) lines to show how to align the template to your block. Make sure to align along folds and raw edges as noted. Once you cut the appliqué (your top shape) along the cutting lines, you will have 3 sections (that nest) to place onto your backgrounds. Take note that the small circular corner pieces don’t need to be used. They’re tiny.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

The great thing about this stage is that you can really see how things will shape up. I like to cut things up and lay them out as I go so I can see how my fabric choices and shape mixing is working out. We have an 1/8″ seam allowance, so just keep in mind that there will be a little more space around your shapes as you stitch them down. For example, the black appliqué in the above photo (bottom, left) is actually 2 shapes with a cut line separating them–although it looks like one right now. The shapes match up before being stitched, but a gap between them will appear after each side is appliquéd. You can see this a bit better in my first version (below). The first few rows have already been appliquéd, and so you can see that gap appearing between the neighboring shapes.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Work in the way that feels good to you! For me, I like cutting and laying things out so I have a good idea, but if you prefer to cut and arrange in smaller sections, by all means do it! This is the beauty of appliqué, you can see how something is coming along before even sewing it together. You can see that I haven’t pinned anything down yet. Since I’m auditioning different shapes and fabric combinations, I keep things loose. Once I decide I like a combination, I pin them down with the appliqué pins, and then do my basting.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

If you want to join in and need a copy of the pattern, you can find it here.

Otherwise, you are all posting some beautiful starts!

Tips:

+ Sometimes using a longer needle works well for basting. Because of basting not needing to be a super-short stitch, the longer needle can help you stitch along more quickly and easily.

+ Machine baste or hand baste? Both work, but I’m personally more of a fan of hand basting for a few reasons. One, it’s portable. Two, once you get comfortable doing it, I find it to be faster and much easier than navigating tricky shapes on the machine. Three, it’s more gentle on the fabric. If you are machine basting, make sure to use a fresh (sharp) needle. Four, hand basting is way easier to remove than machine basting.

+ Using a fun basting thread is just that–fun! I pretty much always use my Aurifil 1104 for basting–except for when my fabrics match 1104–which happens! I do love that color.

+ Basting stitches are temporary, so you do not need to knot them. Leave thread tails loose and on the top side of your work. This way you know exactly where they are when you’re doing your appliqué stitches later.

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