Tag Archives | cf collab

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss.

I have some fun news–I’m very happy to announce a collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss!

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

To start, I never imagined how exciting thread conditioner could be. For the last several years, I’ve used Thread Heaven–a silicone based thread conditioner, which–for the record–is very nice. If you’re using Thread Heaven and you’re happy with it, that’s totally great.

But as many of you might know, the owners of Thread Heaven have retired, and they decided not to sell their special recipe. A pot of Thread Heaven is one of those supplies that I feel like takes decades to run out of, and so I wasn’t initially concerned about running out. But as an increasing number of students began to express panic over the situation and then ask me about alternatives, it seemed reasonable to keep my eyes open for other options.

It was somewhat serendipitous when Jenn of Sew Fine Thread Gloss reached out to me about her Thread Conditioner. In general I’m very hesitant to take samples of products that I haven’t tried before. There’s nothing worse than having to judge a product when there’s even a speck of obligation, and that was definitely not going to be the case here.

Harriot Hand Sewing . Carolyn Friedlander

With Jenn’s product, I was really curious to try it. She sent me a few of her scents, and at first, I wasn’t sure why I’d want my project to have a smell to it (which by the way, they don’t)…but, I’ve since changed my mind on that, which I’ll get back to in a minute.

To be very honest, the first time using it felt a little weird. After using a silicone-based conditioner for so long, the beeswax felt clunky and full of drag. It even made a different sound going through the fabric. (I know, I’m a total nerd and do too much handwork that I’m breaking down the sound of it.) Determined to give it a fair shake, I kept going and it quickly started to change my mind. I was doing this super-lame thing of alternating Thread Heaven and Sew Fine each time I changed thread, and before too long I realized that I was preferring the Sew Fine.

There’s a heartiness to it that seems to result in fewer knots than with the Thread Heaven. While I was starting to prefer that, I was also learning to adjust my preferences a bit. When using Thread Heaven, I would usually thread my needle first and then use a Quilter’s Knot before applying the conditioner. With Sew Fine, I switch it up. I wax my thread first, then thread my needle before making a knot by way of a Garment Knot instead. Of course, this is what I find to work well for me, but feel free to try different things to get the mix that works best for you!

Harriot Hand Sewing . Carolyn Friedlander

As for the scents, I quickly started to love them. Jenn formulates everything to a respectable strength that is gentle, fun and not overpowering. I’m pretty sensitive to smell, and so I appreciate her formulation.

Harriot Hand Sewing . Carolyn Friedlander

In addition to the smell being quite pleasant, I discovered that there was something motivating about changing the scent as you move along with your project. I’ve done a lot of handwork projects over the last 10 months, and it has totally amazed me how refreshing it can be to swap out the scent on a project as you go. Like when I was working on Hunt, appliquéing through the various colors kept it visually engaging, but the scent changes that I made along the way added a whole new sensory to the experience. Even now, I have a real debate with myself everytime I pull out some handwork, because I need to decide what scent mood I want to be in while working on the project.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

All of this is very nerdy, but if you’re like me, it’s these little details that make sewing such a captivating experience.

In addition to all of that, Sew Fine Thread Gloss is made with locally sourced beeswax that has NOT been chemically processed. It is handmade in small batches just outside Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The light amber color is attributed to this wax being very natural and only one step away from the hive, with absolutely no bleaching or other additives. The beeswax is filtered just once to separate it from the honey and from any leftover hive particles–which I just love.

Plus, the woman behind Sew Fine, Jenn McMillan cares deeply about her product and has been a total delight to work with.

On the collaboration! Together, Jenn and I came up with 3 new scents–each of which is a little different, but all of which are clean smelling and enjoyable to use.

First up is Sencha.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

To say that I’m a green tea fan is kind of an understatement. (I’m drinking green tea as I write this!) My strong love for it made scents related to it top of my mind.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

The Sencha blend has a green tea focus, but it also has hints (to me) of gardenia or even orange blossoms. (This is probably why I’m so drawn to it!) The result is super fresh and very verdant.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

I should add that it’s quite hard to describe a scent. After having friends and family smell many samples over the last few months, I know that we each seem to connect with smell in our own ways. It’s very interesting.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

The labels were also really fun. Jenn had the idea of throwing some of my fabric designs on there, which I just love. Plus, it was fun to think about which prints might go well with which scents.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up is Citrus & Sage. It’s pretty dreamy and very bright smelling.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

I’d say that the citrus-ness comes forward first, but then there’s a very mild herbaceous-ness that grounds it a bit. This one might be the one that seems to have piqued the interests most of my friends and family who have been sniffing all of my samples.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

The third scent in our collaboration is Tea Flower, which I know…another tea-related scent, but I couldn’t help myself. It’s so good and quite different from Sencha.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

This guy is a crisp and complex blend featuring a fresh aroma of green tea with long-lasting sweet and citrusy middle notes. In comparing Tea Flower and Sencha, Tea Flower (to me) has more of a sweet, floral quality, whereas Sencha is more verdant and almost grassy.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

I’d say that all of the scents have a nice cleanness feel to them. Jenn does such a good job formulating the scents so they do not overpower. I find the level of scent to be just right.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

While all 3 of these new, collaborative scents are in the shop (individually and as a set), I also thought it would be nice to offer up Jenn’s Natural gloss. I have grown to love using scented thread conditioner, but I also completely understand that that may not be the case for everyone or for every project. Natural has no additional fragrances added, and the familiar scent of beeswax and honey is delicate and modest.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

SO, you can nab some of this in my shop too!

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

Yay, yay!

On a shipping note, if you buy 3 or more tins (or the set) I’m offering a little bonus of free domestic shipping and discounted international shipping.

It was so much fun working with Jenn on this project. It’s honestly my favorite conditioner to use, and I find that it makes such a big difference. My hope is that you will enjoy using it too.

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

Oh, and while putting together this post, I realized how much I like nerding out over thread. (Ok, maybe not new news…) And so I’ve created a follow-up post for tomorrow with some thread tips and tricks for you. Stay tuned!

Collaboration with Sew Fine Thread Gloss . Carolyn Friedlander

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Wildabon Market Tote.

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

Sometimes (/most of the time) I get stuck on an idea that I can’t wait to see through. This Wildabon Market Tote is one of them.

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

Wildabon has been such a fun project in every way, and I’ve been eager to appliqué it on to just about everything. Here’s my Wildabon Market Tote, aka a mashup of Anna Graham’s Market Tote (from her book, Handmade Style) and the designs from my Wildabon pattern with Leah Duncan.

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

With so many designs in the pattern, I like that you can pull one motif out and play with it on its own whether it’s in a bag like this or a pillow sham or anything smaller. Plus, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by appliqué or taking on something large, this is a great place to start. And, if you’re worrying about handwork and durability, don’t. I’ve been appliquéing on to bags for a while now, and I haven’t had any issues yet. Even if you are a new appliqué-er, quilting over your handwork–just like I did here–adds another layer insurance.

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

This was my first time sewing with leather handles, and I have to say that I’m pretty into them after this adventure. I picked these up from Noodlehead’s shop, and they couldn’t have been any easier to work with. Plus, they are so pretty! I love how they kick the project up a notch. Installation wasn’t as scary as I imagined it could be. I used (my new) teflon foot, which made it super easy, as well as polyester thread as it was recommended in the pattern. Next time, I think I’ll be ready to give rivets a try.

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

It’s always fun mixing fabrics, and you’ll notice euclid on the outside (which is great, because of its heftiness) with lots of friedlander and friedlander lawn on the inside. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to appliqué with fabrics thick and thin, plus the options for mixing prints…yes, this is how I like to do it!

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

It was fun getting that print situated on my inside pocket. I love a project where you can play around with your prints.

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

When I was positioning the appliqué motif, I also thought about where I’d put the handle, how the side piece would be cut and how it’d wear. I like that the design spills from the top and spreads itself across the side.

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

By the way, this bag can hold a lot! Here it is loaded up with my scrappy collection quilt, which–by the way–I’ve been hand quilting on and off, more off than on lately. But it’s coming together!

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

patterns : Wildabon from me and Market Tote from Handmade Style by Anna Graham

fabrics : Euclid, Friedlander and Friedlander Lawn

zipper : from Zipit

leather handles : from Noodlehead

Wildabon Market Tote . Carolyn Friedlander

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Wildabon Quilt with Leah Duncan.

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Want to know one of the most fun things I did in 2016? Easy. It’d have to be my new Wildabon quilt–a collaboration with Leah Duncan. Everything about it was such a delight. To start, I’m a massive Leah Duncan fan. She has a beautiful and distinct style that is all her own. I’ve loved sewing with her fabrics, collecting her goods and just following her work and business as she continues to put out really lovely things. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s a kind and thoughtful person too. (Win win win).

Willow Tanks . Carolyn Friedlander

It all started while sewing with some of Leah’s fabric one weekend. The Willow tank on the right is made with fabric from Leah’s Lore collection with Cloud9. (The fabric on the left is some Nani Iro in case you’re wondering.) While sewing along, I started to wonder what it would be like to appliqué some of those shapes, and I kind of became a little obsessed with the idea. Next, I reached out to Leah to see if she was interested in working together, and she was. Hoo-rah!

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

From working with Leah and her designs in the beginning, to making this project a reality, Wildabon was satisfying from all angles. In terms of the appliqué itself, the 7 different design motifs, all of which range in terms of skill level, shape and size, are really fun to tackle on any sized project. If you’ve appliquéd before (or not), there is enough variety of shape to keep you entertained and challenged.

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

In terms of fabric and composition, I’ll happily reuse the word satisfying here too, because it fits. While I’m not at all opposed to projects with limited uses of fabric and color–they can be a great challenge–I also love a project where you can use it all.

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This is a project where you can build out as big of a fabric and color palette as you like–or it works with a small one too–and you can mix and match the shapes in as many ways as you can think of. Think of this project as one where you can play with fabric and shape all day…which I happily did. Or, if you’ve just got a few minutes at the end of each day, you can totally spend those minutes composing, cutting and playing with this on your design wall until you get it to where you want it. (I really like that idea…and might need to do that…)

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Friedlander Lawn coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to use my new lawns–all of them–plus the coordinating lawn solids. This is a good project for using little bits of many things, and I wanted to be able to see all of my fabrics in one place and in a loose color order that would be as engaging to compose and it would be to see in finished form.

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Lawn is one of my favorite things to appliqué with (see two of my Hesperides projects here and here), especially when there is a lot of shape variation and precision. The fineness of the lawn makes creating that edge distinction and combination of shape much easier, plus it’s just so darn soft to sew with.

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

You’ll notice that the background fabric is not a lawn, instead it is a piece from Euclid. I love appliquéing with linen too, and here, it makes the perfect backing. The sturdiness of the linen/cotton blend makes it a very supportive backing, and the natural color allows both light and dark fabrics to pop.

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

So yeah. That’s my Wildabon quilt. If you like color, fabric and shape, then there’s a good chance you can have some fun with this one too. Since I had such a good time making this one, it’s no surprise that I’ve made more Wildabon things, but you’ll have to stay tuned for those in future posts.

Wildabon Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Huge thanks to Leah for working with me on this project!

Friedlander Lawn coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m excited to see what you all do with it too.

Pattern : Wildabon

Fabrics : Friedlander Lawn and coordinating Cambridge solids (which are Lipstick, Peach, Gold, Smoke, Aqua, Charcoal, Blue, Lagoon) for the appliqué, Euclid for the backing, Friedlander for the binding

(BTW, I’m seeing some lovely kits popping up in lots of places like herehere, here, here, and here–for any Aussies)

Friedlander Lawn precuts . Carolyn Friedlander

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