Tag Archives | essex linen

Eads Quilt Along #6: Crowdsourced.

Eads Quilt Along #6: Crowdsourced.

You guys are making some awesome stuff, which is why I think it’s a fitting time to take a look at some of it now that we’re at the halfway mark.

@erushman has a super fun mix of colors and prints happening. It’s a great progression of color and value.

@erushman . eads quilt


@stephanie.hill75’s colors are working in a fun way. The 2-block units give it an engaging order that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

@stephanie.hill75 . eads quilt


@curlycquilter’s consistent use of a light-colored fabric in each block emphasizes the shapes within the block and the beautiful color palette that she is working with.

@curlycquilter . eads quilt


It’s been such a treat seeing each new addition for @bellylaugher, because of the color-themed styling in each photograph. Just lovely!

@bellylaugher . eads quilt


@annuin is making beautiful progress on hers and also taking some lovely shots with different backgrounds. It’s always interesting seeing blocks in a different context. Plus, it looks like this project might be using the kit. I’m eager to see it come together! I think that this project especially can take on different looks even using the same fabrics.

@annuin . eads quilt


@treadletothemetal has been rocking some beautiful fabric pairings. It’s been fun seeing her snippets and super satisfying to see how they all come together!

@treadletothemetal . eads quilt


This all-solids version by @thenextstitch is such a good one to take a look at. Using all solids can achieve a wonderful definition of shape, as well as a respectful attention and emphasis on color. This palette is especially intriguing to me, because of how the colors are mixed and matched in different ways making some of the same shades look very different depending on who they are paired with. Such a fun color study!

@thenextstitch . eads quilt


@houseonhillroad mentioned this being a Laura Ashley theme, which it totally is! It can be a tricky thing to be so evocative with your palette, but this one accomplishes that, and I can’t wait to see more.

@houseonhillroad . eads quilt


@procrasticraft’s blocks also have a cohesive look to them as she’s using liberty + something light, which is just right.

@procrasticraft . eads quilt

As for me, it’s been a crazy week. I’ve gotten into this bad/good habit of Eads sewing early Thursday mornings. The truth is that I’ve been in the midst of massive secret sewing, which has made it too easy to put off working on my Eads. I knew this would happen when I originally started thinking about this Quilt Along, but that’s also kind of why I decided to do it. For a long time I’ve wanted to get into a rhythm of fabric play once a week, and I knew sewing along with you guys would be the perfect excuse to do it. It’s easy to get swept up in tasks, and so a dedicated break to play is important–especially in times of pressure and deadlines.

Eads QAL 6 . Carolyn Friedlander

Thanks to you guys inspiring me to stay on track, my time Eads-sewing this week resulted in loosening me up a little bit. I finally got my hands on some Homesprun (newish Essex linen/cotton product from Robert Kaufman), and no surprise–it’s a fast favorite. It turns out that it goes with everything and adds a ton of tasty texture. My favorite combo of the day is some homespun with some carkai.

Eads QAL 6 . Carolyn Friedlander

Sewing is fun.

Eads QAL 6 . Carolyn Friedlander


+ See what your friends are up to. Sometimes a look at other projects will help you think of yours in new ways–and they don’t need to be working on the same project! Any change of scenery can be a great thing.

+ Change your rotary cutter blade. If you’re like me, it’s a safe bet that it’s time.

Eads QAL 6 . Carolyn Friedlander

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Eads Quilt Along #2: Fabric Thoughts and Strategy.

Eads Quilt Along #2: Fabric Thoughts and Strategy.

First, I just have to say that this is really fun. So much of the time, I’m working on something in advance, and I can’t talk about it. But with this quilt along, I’m able to be a little more in step with you and share in the process.

Plus, it’s been incredibly fun watching you start your own projects and hearing your thoughts about fabric and moving forward. Some of you have more specific plans and some of you are taking things as they come. There is a lot on both sides resonating with me–which is inspiring–and I hope you’re enjoying that connection as well. You guys are awesome, and your work is shaping up in such wonderful ways!

Eads quilt blocks to start . Carolyn Friedlander

First up is a project flashback to my original Eads. This is the first block shot that I could find, so it’s more than 10 blocks, but I think it’s a good mood setter for this week. I’d like to point out the hot mess that is my sewing room. There are piles and piles of fabric on the floor, all of which are the options that I pondered for this version. While mess, stress and deadlines all loomed in the making of the original, it was still incredibly fun to make and figure out.

With my new project, things are different. There’s not really a deadline (other than this QAL…which might be one reason why I wanted to do it…ha!), and in terms of fabric, it’s a little bit of a blank slate there too.

Has anyone had issues getting started?

I did. In fact, while I find the beginning of any project to be exciting, the blankness of it can also feel overwhelming, especially once you start digging in and plotting out the specifics.

To start, the newest collection from UPPERCASE had me intrigued since I was lucky enough to come home with a bundle of it after Quilt Market. Top of mind is always a great place to start.

UPPERCASE volume 2 fabrics

I broke apart the bundle and started to play around with the colors and how they work together. Then I hit my own stash and started grabbing other things that were calling my name.

In the photo below, you can see how I first had the UPPERCASE bundle organized at the top, then below I started to mix pieces from that collection with the fabrics that I was pulling. At this point, I was also starting to figure out the relationships between the pieces.

Eads QAL fabric pull . Carolyn Friedlander

Some of the green pieces were really speaking to me. In fact, these larger-scale florals were hitting on an idea of scale play that I wanted to explore after making my first Eads.

Eads QAL fabric pull . Carolyn Friedlander

There’s not a ton of deliberateness that needs to happen at this stage. It’s mostly a step for seeing how different fabrics might work together.

Eads QAL fabric pull . Carolyn Friedlander

Eads QAL fabric pull . Carolyn Friedlander

If you saw my instagram post from the weekend, you know that what actually started to shape up looks nothing like this pile. So, here’s the plot twist.

At this point, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In fact, that’s kind of what was starting to happen to me. While I easily could have started off with some of the greens, there was starting to be too many possibilities, and I was over thinking it waaay too much.

So, what did I do? Well, this is where I like to embrace coincidence and intuition. There was actually another pile calling my name, and it was the recent leftovers from making 2 shirts.

kalle dress shirts . Carolyn Friedlander

This is a lesson in how it’s ok to let the fabrics pick you. I’d made these 2 Kalle shirts–the top in a print from Architextures and the bottom in a Liberty of London print. The scraps from both were sitting around looking so cute and enticing together that I figured they’d make a cool block. Off I went.

Eads QAL 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

Sometimes it’s easier to start with something that’s already been started, or with something that isn’t so clean and pristine, because there’s much less pressure associated with it.

Eads QAL week 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

That’s what I did. And heads up, working from scraps is great, but it is definitely speedier working from the strips as outlined in the directions. I’m not complaining, but instead giving a heads up to any of you going this route. On the plus side, it does clean up the scrap pile!

After starting with these guys, I was able to get my creative juices flowing so that I could start thinking about the next fabrics to pull into the mix.

Eads QAL 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up was some Arroyo, a new collection by Erin Dollar printed on Robert Kaufman’s Essex. (I love this collection!) I’ll note that I had just made a shower curtain out of this print…are you sensing a theme?

Eads QAL 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

And then I got brave enough to bust into some very treasured pieces that I picked up from Amitié while I was in Australia this past fall, along with a couple of pieces from carkai.

Eads QAL 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

So here’s where I’ll end this post with 10 blocks. I’m excited to be exploring some scale stuff–an area of initial intrigue–and I’m using some treasured fabrics in many of my favorite colors.

Eads QAL week 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

What’s also awesome about this, is that I’m now seeing a way to connect back to the greens and other fabrics in my initial pull. Playing the intuition card is usually a good one. Even though I decided to change course, I figured that I’d be able to work my way back. I just needed a creative warm up to overcome the overwhelm.

Eads QAL week 2 . Carolyn Friedlander

Here are my tips for the week:

+ Overcome the overwhelm by just getting started! Grab the first 2 fabrics within eyesight, and I’ll bet they’ll help you over the hump. Also, trust your instincts.

+ When printing out your templates, select the “collate” option in the printer dialog so that A and B blocks alternate. This way you’re working evenly through your stack.

+ I noticed some folks wondering about fabric storage and organization for this project online this week. Create a box/tray/other designated vessel to house your blocks and fabrics for this project. (This route is a little more tidy than my floor method…see first pic.) Here’s a pic of a box that I’ve designated for my fabrics for this project. As for the blocks, they’re stored away nicely on my design wall.

Eads QAL fabrics

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Eads Quilt Pattern and Quilt Along.

My Eads quilt pattern is one of my newbies. I showed it at Quilt Market in St Louis, and I’m excited to share it with you here now. It’s a lot of fun, but I’m also biased, because I don’t make things that aren’t fun.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I’d been wanting to do a big, graphic, paper-pieced project for a while now, and this spring presented a great opportunity. Eads is a project where lots of fabric and color can play together in new and interesting ways–my favorite type of project.

Eads quilt fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

After nailing down the design, I pulled fabric from many places–friedlander, friedlander lawn, euclid, kona cotton, essex linen… I wanted a big mix of prints, solids and textures to play with and to use to highlight the design in a variety of ways.

(By the way, Robert Kaufman put together a little kit, which you could ask your local shop about. Otherwise, all of the fabrics are also listed here.)

Eads quilt fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

The design works with fat quarters, which makes the fabric gathering pretty easy. After that, the instructions work from strips which then makes it easy to start mapping out your blocks.

Eads quilt fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

I love this way of working–first gathering a bunch of inspiring pieces, breaking them down into smaller chunks, and then having the ability to react along the way as you work through the project. I find this to be a massively engaging, creative process and big reason why projects like this are so much fun. Grab your fabric, start making some blocks, throw them up on the design wall, assess, make more blocks and continue to grow your composition.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

In the end, my project doesn’t follow a perfect color gradation–although that could be a lovely path to take! But instead, I liked finding new and different relationships between the colors and shapes as I worked. By just shuffling around some fabric, I discovered new color friendships and new ways to expose or conceal the motif itself. So much fun.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m often asked about overcoming creative blocks, and this project is a perfect example of how I keep myself creatively charged. My wheels were turning so much while making this guy, that I couldn’t help but think about other ways to explore the project, things to do with fabric and other things to make in general. I find that creative satisfaction in one place can overflow into many others.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I had such a good time making this project, that I couldn’t help but think about other versions to make while I was making it–always a good sign in my book. Because of that, I thought it’d be fun to do a little quilt along this summer. You interested in joining me?

Eads quilt along . Carolyn Friedlander

The plan is to keep it mostly informal, but I do have a structure in mind that I’ll at least be holding myself to. To make this size, which is a good-sized throw, there are 120 blocks, which at 12 weeks (3 months) is 10 blocks a week. I think that 10 blocks will be a perfect amount of creative cardio to schedule in each week. There are also 48 fabrics in this version, which breaks down to 4 fabrics/week if you want to set goals for that too. Personally, I’m not sure I’ll partake in that way…but it’s a helpful number to consider.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The quilt along will start next week, June 15. Expect weekly blog posts, including the first next week to kick things off. You can also follow along on my Instagram for weekly visuals, as well as in my newsletter (see “subscribe to the newsletter” at the top right corner on this site) for recaps and updates.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

And for you, please join in! I’ll be checking in on anyone else’s makings by scouring the #eadsQAL hashtag on instagram. Since there are so many ways for this project to pan out, it’ll be fun to see where your projects take you. My bet is that we’ll all start to inspire each other, and it’ll be quite merry.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Plus, I’ve got some prizes planned. To be eligible to win, you’ll need to be posting to the hashtag on IG. Sound good?

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

To start, you’ll need a copy of the pattern. Hard copies are starting to appear in shops (like Hawthorne, Fabric Bubb, Etsy Studio, Jones & Vandermeer, I Love Fabric, etc), and the PDF version is available here too. Then start thinking about fabric…fat quarters are perfect.

Eads Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Oh, and make sure to keep your scraps! I’ve got plans for those, but it’s a surprise to be uncovered towards the end, so stay tuned.

Eads quilt fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Looking forward to sewing with you!

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