Tag Archives | color

Clay Kept Quilt

With my Kept fabrics now hitting stores, I’m excited to share more about my Clay Kept quilt.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Deciding on a Technique

I’ve made a couple of Clay quilts already–the throw-sized version that is on the pattern cover, and the mini wall hanging that is the project that started it all. I made both quilts using needle-turn appliqué by hand, one of my favorite techniques. It’s relaxing and you get to feel and enjoy each fabric and color as you go, which can be magical.

clay quilt mini . carolyn friedlander

With this new version I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of doing a by-hand approach, I decided to go with raw-edge, fusible appliqué. There is no one way that you have to do appliqué just like there’s no one way that you have to make a quilt. You can do what you want and how you want it.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

With raw-edge, fusible appliqué there are different things to consider. For me, I’d need to make sure to have a fusible product on hand that I felt comfortable using. (I used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2, which in general is fine.) I’m not always happy with the stiff-ness or bulk that using a fusible can add to the final project, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing when what I’m making is a wall hanging–my project plan here. For this reason and others, it’s a really good idea to do a few tests with all of the materials you plan to use.

The other thing I wanted to think about is how I would finish it. While some of the fusible products say you don’t have to stitch down your fused pieces, I do like the idea of securing my work so everything stays in place over time. I’m making a wall hanging, and I don’t anticipate washing it often (or ever), but I want it to look polished.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The quilting is a great place to think about this. Since it needs to be quilted anyway, why not use quilting to further secure and enhance all of the pieces? For these reasons I knew I’d want to do some matchstick (or close-together and dense) quilting.

Picking a Palette

After deciding on technique, I needed to pick my palette. I LOVE picking a palette! It is especially exciting on a project like this where you’re arranging the pieces in place and it can feel like a painting or an exciting adventure in composition.

Clay Kept Quilt fabrics . Carolyn Friedlander

What I usually do is to go with my gut. I knew I wanted this blue print from the new collection for the background. It looks like a bathroom tile or a wallpaper to me. I like that it gives the background a little bit of texture, but it can also be a great support for whatever colors and prints I want to add on top.

Sometimes it is helpful to get your background fabric nailed down first. Then you have something to audition the appliqué choices. Or the reverse could also be true if you had a great selection of fabrics for the appliqués. Then it’s just a matter of swapping out background options until you find the one that works best.

Clay Kept Quilt fabrics . Carolyn Friedlander

My appliqué fabrics are a mix of prints from Kept and their coordinating solids in a range of various shades and colors.

The Clay Kept Quilt

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I really enjoyed laying everything out. After preparing my background, I laid it on the floor. (A design wall would be great too!) Next I cut out my pieces and arranged them onto the background, moving things around as I wished and as I added more pieces. If there is something I like, like certain shapes or colors grouped together, I might do more of it, and if there is something I don’t like, I try to do less of it. This constant back and forth of asking myself what I’m liking and not liking is not just helpful, but it makes the project more engaging and fun.

After I’m happy with the layout, I fused the pieces to the background, basted the quilt and got to quilting.

Here’s a great tip from Jacquie Gering when you are using a fusible product. In one of her lectures, I learned to use eyeglass cleaner to clean your needle frequently when quilting a project with fusible. A big drawback of using any fusible is how it can gum up your needle. I’ve found that this trick really helps! I’d clean my needle after a couple of passes on the quilt, which took extra time, but saved in frustration in the end.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The binding is this bright Orangeade Kona solid. When making a wall hanging, sometimes I love how a good, contrasting binding can act as a frame. This one is bright and cheerful.

Clay Kept Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern and Fabric Details

Pattern: Clay Quilt Pattern, Wall Size

Fabric(s): Kept and the coordinating solids (Kona, Essex Speckle)

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Meet my new CF Grid Group fabric!

I have some fun news that I can finally share. Meet my new CF Grid Group fabric collection!

CF Grid Group fabric collection . carolyn friedlander

On Grids

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but I LOVE grids. There’s something wonderful about clean lines and repetition, and grids epitomize that. Plus, once you get a good grid on some fabric, it’s really fun to cut it up and sew it into a project!

projects made using CF Grid Group fabrics . carolyn friedlander

Grids can add a nice structure to piecing as well as some delightful contrast to curvy shapes and appliqué.

collection CF grid group fabric projects . carolyn friedlander

CF Grid Group Fabrics

This is my Grid Group, which is part of my basics line–Collection CF. What I’ve done is take some of my favorite grid-like motifs from past collections and reimagined them in a new way and with a specific color theme–in grayscale.

collection CF grid group fabrics . carolyn friedlander

On Grayscale and Color

When I’m teaching a color class, one of my favorite points to make is how you can exaggerate the variety and nuance in a fabric pull when you reduce your palette down to a very narrow range. Doing this has a magical way of emphasizing variation in a beautiful way. It makes it fun to see more color in whatever you are working with.

This is exactly what I was thinking when I put this collection together. Even though this is a grayscale palette, together these 12 pieces feel really colorful to me, and they come to life in projects.

collection CF grid group fabrics . carolyn friedlander

Project Peek

And, I have some new projects, including a new appliqué project that I am just over-the-moon excited about. It’s called Bow, and it’s (maybe obviously) based on a Rainbow. I know I’ve dropped the ball a bit on my pattern releases recently, but I promise, this (and others I’ve been working on) will be real, and we’ll be able to sew together with them soon.

CF Bow quilt in CF Grid Group fabrics . carolyn friedlander

As for the new fabrics, you can ask your local quilt shop to get their order in now. The collection starts shipping in September.

Watch This

I put together a little video introducing you to the new group…along with more of a look at the projects on my YouTube channel here, and I’ll be sharing more about it all in posts to come.

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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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