Tag Archives | charm cuts

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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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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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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