Tag Archives | color

My Instead Collection.

Finally, I can share with you something that I’ve been thinking about and working on for more than the past year.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m so happy to share with you my Instead collection.

Instead started as an alternative way of thinking for me.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

A fabric collection has many places where it can start. It can start with the design or a sense of shapes and patterns. It can also start with an overall concept of ideas to explore, OR in the case of Instead it all started with a sense of color that took hold and inspired me to take action.

Sometime before the Wainwright QAL last year, I became really interested in dark and moody color palettes. Light and bright is great, but I realized that I’d never really done a project where my range reached to the deep and dark ends of the spectrum. An obsession with the idea continued to grow after realizing my own need for the fabric to take me there.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Enter the dark seeds of this collection. I wanted to explore the depths of a rich, dark color palette, and I wanted to find a new mood.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Instead is a 15 piece collection on quilting cotton. It has been such a treat for me to be able to create designs for several different substrates (linen, yarn dyed, knit jersey, etc), but with Instead I’ve been excited to get back to the quilting cotton. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about patchwork! (That said, now that the release and a few quilts are behind me, I’ve been dreaming up a few garments and other things to make with this collection…)

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

The collection is designed to work well with other things–especially all of my previous collections (I’m eager to start mixing it in!), but it’s also designed to work well on its own – like in the case of the new version of my Sunrise pattern.

Instead Sunrise Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This has been one of my favorite patterns over time–it’s great for beginners, and it can take on so many different looks depending on the fabric. Like the collection, this version gives an alternative voice to the project.

The collection can also be mixed in different ways and with others, like in my new Arlo quilt. (I have been so excited about this project–more on Arlo soon!)

Arlo Instead Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Arlo was made from the entire Instead collection, plus a special set of coordinating solids that I put together.

Instead Fabric and Solid Coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

I always love putting together a set of coordinates, because it lets you think about how the collection can start speaking to other things. In this case, I liked the idea of adding loads of texture with a variety of linens. I don’t usually look to coordinates to repeat something that already exists, but instead I’m looking for ways to complement and expand the opportunities of all of it.

Instead Fabric and Solid Coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

So there we have it–my newest collection, Instead. I hope it can inspire you just as much as it has inspired me.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

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Bartow Quilt Finally Finished.

This quilt top has been sitting around in the studio since 2014. But good news, this Bartow quilt is finally finished!

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Back in 2014 Robert Kaufman released a new batch of Kona solids, and my Bartow design became a pattern that I created for that release. (Free pattern here, and notes on the first version here.) I’m pretty sure that this version was my first version, or at least it was where I got inspiration for the design.

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

At a Quilt Market around that time I saw a charm pack featuring a custom palette of Konas by Elizabeth Hartman. Elizabeth does a great job putting together colors, and I really liked this set and how they were arranged.

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I wanted to have little slivers of all of the great colors transitioning in the same way that her charm pack was arranged across the quilt. Maybe it looks tricky, but it was pretty simple. I kept her colors in order and sewed them up by following the Bartow pattern. On my other Bartow quilt I kept the borders the same color as the background, but here I opted for colorful ones with a little bit of print mixed in. I think the borders here are mostly Flame Kona.

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The top has been finished since 2014 and was sitting on a shelf in the studio. I dug it out and sent it off to Gina Pina to quilt. She quilted it up with a 1″ grid, and I just LOVE it.

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

As for the binding, I had it in my mind to use a piece from Friedlander Lawn, but as I was sewing it together I realized I had a scrap of Polk binding that would be perfect to mix in as well.

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

On the back is one of my Friedlander Wide prints. This colorway has been one of my favorites from that collection. It adds just the right pop to the back.

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Feels good to have it finished!

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Bartow (free pattern from me via Robert Kaufman)

Bartow Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #6: Fussy and/or Directional Placement.

cf Mini QAL #6: Fussy and/or Directional Placement.

Did you have fun creating a gradation?

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I created a few more blocks to add to my Davie pile from last week, and I like how a gradation adds a bit of harmony and composure to the group.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

As for the colors, I expanded on some that I started last week and went with my gut on what to put together next. I made sure to lay out each block as I worked to see how it was shaping up.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

On to the next challenge, are you ready?

This week, we’re going to explore getting fussy and/or directional with your placement.

Local Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

What’s fussy and what’s directional placement? I think of fussy as any way you get picky with your fabric placement. Maybe it’s putting a cute cat into a certain position on your block, or maybe it’s making sure that something lines up just the way you want it. Directionality comes into play with directional prints–think stripes, checks and any motifs that are best read in one way or have an up/down/side to them. In this case, you may decide that you want the direction of the fabric to be reflected in a specific way in the final project.

Getting a little (or a lot) fussy is all a matter of preference and skill to some degree–so don’t stress! If you’re new to it, a good trick is to know the good places to start and how to grow your skills from there. Also keep in mind that like most anything, it gets better with practice and as you start recognizing opportunities.

Fussy Cut Envelopes_detail_Carolyn Friedlander

When paper piecing, the first piece on the template is always the easiest place to get intentional, and my Envelopes project (especially the version above) is a great example to start with. The inside liner is the first piece, and you can see how I’ve added special motifs to each one. Because this is the first piece, you’re able to place your fabric however you want.

austin house for nichole

Another relatively easy place to consider fabric placement is in your border. In my Austin House (above) you can see that I cut my border fabric strips lengthwise for the vertical piece and widthwise for the horizontal piece so the dots on the fabric are running in the quilt as they do on the fabric. Matched up or not, keeping a directional fabric directional in your borders is relatively easy and always a fun place to start.

((Tip: If you’re working on Lusk version C, the side panels would be a great place to play with this idea! Simply cut them together and they’ll match up wonderfully.))

To take directionality up another notch, take a look at this other version of Austin and how I kept the gingham background fabric going up/down. This may look totally normal, but without paying attention to the directional placement of the fabric the gingham would be going a many different directions.

Austin House 3_detail_carolyn friedlander

I like this example because it shows how directional placement can unite areas seamlessly. Of course this kind of means that the hard work you put into it isn’t noticeable. But to me, it’s not only entertaining to get things like this to work out when you’re sewing, but it’s also a fun detail to have working for you in the end.

Here’s another example in the same vein.

Outhouse Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Of course you could probably take it a bit further and match up the top background a bit better, and if we’re getting super picky, my bottom stripes are a hair off, but you get the point. This single block from my Outhouse pattern gives you all kinds of opportunity to play with your fabric.

((Tip: An easy first attempt for this block could be to get something fussy in the door. That’s the first section on that part of the block, and a wonderful place to slip in a little critter or something else fun.))

You ready? I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


+ I find that using a light box is helpful when paper piecing in general and especially when getting fussy with your fabrics. I like using the Daylight Wafer 1 with a clear cutting mat on top.

+ Being fussy and/or attentive to directional fabrics can be approached in a range from hard-core to more subtle. Pick your pleasure, and don’t get too stressed about it. I always find it entertaining to see if I can get things to match up or positioned in a specific way. When it works, yay! When it doesn’t work, no biggie. You took a risk, and I’ll bet you were able to learn something that you can apply to your next attempt.

+ Further reading: The Fussy Cut Sampler by Nichole Ramirez and Elisabeth Woo (Hardy). This book doesn’t get into paper piecing and fussy cutting specifically, but it is certainly an excellent resource for fussy cutting tips in general and inspiration.

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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