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Project Ideas for a Long Weekend

With it being labor day here in the US, I thought I’d share some project ideas for a long weekend. Although I’m not sure what a long weekend actually means in the times of COVID. Aren’t the weeks and ends blurring together? Oh well. I’m going with it!

Appliqué Projects

Sewing is relaxing, and there’s nothing more relaxing to me than an appliqué project be it big or small. In fact, having a variety of appliqué projects at the ready is always my goal. To start the list, here’s something I cut out recently. It is two new blocks for my Scrappy Everglade Quilt (from my Everglade pattern). My rule has been to go one block at a time, but I got carried away and prepped two. I can’t help it. My fabric approach is to use some of my fabrics (Collection CF here) + Liberty of London.

scrappy everglade quilt blocks . carolyn friedlander

If your weekend energy is best suited for a relaxing project that you can settle in with and not fuss over too much–this is it. After picking your appliqué and background fabrics, you’re good to go.

For an appliqué project with more in terms of composing colors and shapes, Clay is a good option. Sometimes I want to feel like I’m painting with fabric, and this one is like that. I love simmering over the composition of a project for a few days, which is easy to do here.

clay mini quilt . carolyn friedlander

You could go small or big with this one, it all depends on what kind of a dive you’re ready to do.

clay throw quilt . carolyn friedlander

Pieced Projects

When you’re more in the mood to sit down at the machine, here are a couple of projects to consider.

First up is a mini quilt. They are creatively satisfying and not a huge commitment. Still a favorite is this Envelopes quilt from several years ago (here’s the blog post). The envelope liners are all fussy cut, which made for a satisfying deep dive into my stash. (Heads up on that, if you’re like me, you’ll make a huge mess in the process, but it’s really worth it!)

Fussy Cut Envelopes quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

For a larger project at the sewing machine, one that I’ve been thinking about lately is my Spools pattern. Since my friend Lee (of May Chappell) started this BIG Spools quilt, I’ve been wanting to make a bigger version myself. There is definitely a pile of 5″ squares in my studio reserved for this, which includes a charm pack of Rashida Coleman Hale’s Speckled prints. I know that I always say this, but there’s nothing better than sewing through a big stack of colors.

spools quilt . carolyn friedlander

Gift Sewing and No-Sew Projects

For anyone not in the mood for making a quilt, there are many other options. Lately I’m especially excited about projects that spruce up my surroundings or can be good to give to a friend. Here are a couple of projects that fall in these categories.

Cloth napkins are very easy, and they are something I use daily. If you’re looking to refresh something you use in your daily life or you want to put something together for a friend to spruce up their daily life, here’s an idea.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Another favorite for me in the sewing-for-home department is custom dishtowels. You can get creative with embroidery and other embellishments, or you could just use a special fabric. Either option would be well utilized in a project like this.

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

Other projects on my mind by some of my favorite designers are a new bag (maybe this one by Noodlehead), some pouches (these or these by Aneela Hoey), and maybe even this handy wallet (by Megan Callahan) for the MQG.

How’s that? Does this give you some project ideas for a long weekend? Or is it overwhelming (since at least I just reminded myself of many things that I want to make)? Let me know, and I’d love to know some of your favorites too!

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Clay Quilt Pattern

With everything going on in the world today, I have to admit that it is hard not to acknowledge that. My goal continues to be to make this space one that is full of creative comfort and inspiration, as well as inclusion. That said, I’m excited to finally share with you my new Clay quilt pattern. I’ve been finding a lot of comfort in projects like this lately, and I hope you do too!

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Clay is one of those projects ready for your own creative touch, which can take (literal) shape in all kinds of ways. Here’s just one of them.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

If taking shape means creating a celebration of color–yes! It’s perfect for little bits of many different things that you may have been collecting. Or, if you want to focus on fewer colors while exploring the shapes and how they interact, then yes to that too!

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Shape

The motifs and design is one that I’ve had rattling around for years. (I have proof of that, stay tuned.) It’s a simple idea, and I feel like the simple ideas can always say so much. Having looked at these shapes for so long, I like how there are so many different things to see. Sometimes the shapes feel like plants, sometimes they might be rocks and other times I just like how they seem to communicate with each other. They are round-ish, kind of pointy, big to small and even better–in my opinion–when layered. This scattering of shapes is playful and engaging not only in looking at the finished project, but when you cut and lay them out as well.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Color

There is a lot of color in this project. I used ALL of the current and incoming Collection CF prints, working from the charm pack. To give the range a bit more cohesion, you may notice a bit of a color gradation from the center out. (The size of the shapes graduate this way too, big to small.) Maybe the color gradation looks intimidating, but it’s really not that crazy to plan out. I just lined up my charm squares into a colorful order that I liked before cutting and laying out my project.

collection CF charm squares

Fabric

In addition to Collection CF for the appliqué pieces (cut shapes), I used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Lingerie for the background. I LOVE this fabric so much. The linen creates a good, sturdy texture for the prints to stand out and shine. Plus, I love how the linen quilts up. It’s just cozy and wonderful.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

I used a bright yellow thread for the hand quilting, which you might remember a peek of awhile back.

sashiko big stitch supplies

I’ve been able to add a few spools to the shop if you’d like to add some to a project of your own. In fact, I’ve been adding lots of my favorite things to the shop over the last little while, if you’d like to check it out. (I’ll share more about all of it soon.)

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

Clay Quilt Pattern

The pattern includes several different size options with a coloring chart for each, as well as tips on color and composition. It’s a great beginner-friendly appliqué project as the (10) template shapes are a good size and feature gentle curves and points. If you’re super new to the technique, you can always start with the mini size option if you don’t want to feel too overwhelmed. Or, if a larger size is really speaking to you, then go for it! As another good hack, you can use more or less appliqué pieces in your project.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

I have another sample that I finally finished up and will share with you soon, as well as more about the newest supplies in the shop…and my favorite needle-turn appliqué supplies.

Pattern: Clay quilt pattern, throw size.

Fabric: Collection CF plus Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Lingerie.

clay quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

+ Guide to Needle Turn Appliqué supplies

+ Thread Tips and Tricks

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Meet Spools, my new quilt pattern.

Meet Spools, my new quilt pattern and tribute to an iconic sewing essential.

Spools Quilt . carolyn friedlander

Spools is very literally a celebration of sewing, with all kinds of color, fabric and print possibilities.

Spools Quilt . carolyn friedlander

Fabric and Color

In terms of fabric, there are many ways you can get creative with this project. It works easily with 5″ squares. If you’re scared of putting together color on your own, take advantage of a beautiful pack that’s already been arranged for you. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, cull together your own mix. This is definitely one of those projects where you can pack a lot of variety into a single project, a.k.a. one of my favorite types of projects. Is there anything better than sewing through a gorgeous stack of color?

In my quilt, I worked from both of the newest charm packs for Collection CF. After opening them up, I commingled them into a pleasing array. Spools feature a Main fabric and an Accent fabric, and if you’re working from 5″ squares, each one will yield 1 spool Main or 2 spool Accents. The picture below shows how I mapped mine out. (Of course, I forgot to snap a picture until midway through my second row, but hopefully you get the idea.)

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

In the photo above, each row of squares represents a row of Spools, with the Main squares sticking out the top and the Accent squares folded in half and laying across the bottom. I might have swapped a couple out by the end, but this was a helpful way for me to figure out a game plan for moving forward.

Piecing

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

The blocks themselves are all conventionally pieced with 1/4″ seams. You have 1 diagonal seam to sew and the rest is literally straight forward. Plus I have some bonus cutting techniques so that diagonal piece lines up easily for you. Sound good?

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

The Spools sew up fairly quickly, and I love seeing the fabric combinations come together.

spool quilt making . carolyn friedlander

Picking a Background

After deciding on your Spool fabrics, the other major consideration is your background. It plays a prominent role in the quilt and will help show off your Spool fabrics. On mine I used Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun in Delft. I LOVE this fabric and color. After auditioning many different options, I liked how this one made everything pop. Before starting anything, I pulled several possibilities and kept them nearby. Once the spools were partially sewn, I laid them right on top of the background to decide if it would be the one. Yep, this one will do!

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

What is nice about using Essex (a linen/cotton blend) is the texture and visual contrast it adds when used alongside quilting cotton. I also love how the linen blends together at the seams while also giving the project good weight and structure.

Spools and Grove quilts . carolyn friedlander

Size

The pattern features 2 size options; Wall and Mini. The Wall size is what I have here. It is 40″ x 42″ and features 49 spools. The Mini size is 19 1/2″ x 20″ and features 9 spools. Of course you can always change the size by using more or less blocks, but I thought these 2 sizes were especially useful whether you want something colorful for your own space or you are swapping minis with a friend.

Spools Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Spools Quilt Pattern

Fabric: Collection CF for the Spools, Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun in Delft for the background

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