Tag Archives | essex

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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My Arlo quilt pattern.

Now that my Instead fabric collection is shipping to stores, I thought I’d take a little time to share more with you about my Arlo quilt pattern. This project was hard to keep under wraps at the time, because I was so delighted at each stage to see it come together.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I’d been wanting to play around with the classic hexagon for awhile, and this project is the result of that.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I always say this, but it’s so true–my favorite patterns are the ones where you can do a million things with them. Rather than having a design that only works in a few ways, I love it when a design lends itself to changes in fabric, color, block orientation, and/or the quilting. It’s always amazing and exciting to me when you can totally change up the look, although this gets me into trouble because I end up making multiple versions of many of my projects. I can’t help it!

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Arlo is definitely a design that can take on some different looks. In this first version, I used all of my newest Instead fabrics and the coordinating solids. The coordinating solids are a super-textured mix of Essex linen, yarn-dyed linen and even a metallic linen. I thought this rich mix of texture compliments the dark palette of the collection in a really good way.

Instead Fabric and Solid Coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

The pattern works well with fat quarters, which is what I used here. First, I organized my stack of fabrics in to a pleasing order. I knew I wanted some color organization to this project, and to start it off with some clarity would help me achieve those results. Then I cut the shapes from each of the fabrics and stacked them up. (PS, I discovered that this shoe bin from Target holds the cut shapes nicely!)

After everything was cut, I started sewing the shapes together by pulling from the stack. Again, I knew that working this way would help me achieve some of the color order that I wanted. I also knew that once I had my hexagons sewn together it would be easy at that stage to nail down the layout.

The layout was SO much fun! (Does anyone else look forward to laying out the blocks for the first time? I think it’s such a treat.) I used all of the different block options but oriented them to slant in a similar way across the quilt. I think that the repetition of the colors through different shapes plays in an interesting way across the quilt.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

After getting a layout that worked for me, I finished sewing the top together, and then I used big stitch hand quilting to finish it off. I like how the texture of the quilting threads and of the hand quilting give it a really nice feel.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I like seeing the colors of the threads pop, and I like the contrast in the fabrics. The printed pieces from the collection next to the textured linens keep it interesting. I always think about how the quilt will lay on your lap, and this one especially gives you many different things to notice and see each time you settle in with it.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This pattern can be sewn together in several ways depending on your preference. For this one, I chose to machine piece the top and then to hand quilt it. You could also hand piece the blocks OR English paper piece (EPP) them as well. Instructions for each option are outlined in the pattern, and there’s a printable EPP page so you can work from your preferred template papers.

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

All templates for the blocks are included in the pattern, but I also have 2 acrylic template sets to offer as well. One set includes a 1/4″ seam allowance and the other set includes a 3/8″ seam allowance. Choose your preference based on what you’re most comfortable with. Since I was machine sewing mine, I used the 1/4″ seam allowance, but maybe you like hand piecing and you’re comfortable with 3/8″–you can use that too.

arlo quilt acrylic templates . carolyn friedlander

Each template is made from sturdy acrylic and features printed lines and drilled holes so you can cut and mark from them at the same time. (Stay tuned for another post that I have planned on how I like to use the templates.)

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

There we have it–my new Arlo Quilt pattern.

I’ve mentioned the possibility of doing an Arlo Quilt Along, but I’m curious–what do you think? I was hoping I’d be able to squeeze it in this August/September, but I’m going to have to push it back a little farther. Would you be game? What would you like to see during this quilt along? Leave any feedback in a comment below or in an email to me – info(at)carolynfriedlander(dot)com. I always appreciate hearing from you!

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Arlo Quilt Pattern

Acrylic Template(s): 1/4″ Seam Allowance Set, 3/8″ Seam Allowance Set

Fabrics: Instead and Instead coordinating solids (Note: I’ve been seeing many stores receiving these fabrics recently. If you’re looking for some options, I find google to be the easiest way to do that. Here’s a google search that I did. I hope that’s helpful!)

Arlo Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

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Circles Quilt In Harriot Fabric.

One of the first things I made for the release was this Circles Quilt in Harriot fabric.

Circles Quilt In Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

I couldn’t wait to cut up those scallops! They turn into such interesting shapes as both the appliqué and the background. (The green ones above kind of start to look like hair and little faces.)

Circles Quilt In Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

Circles was the very first appliqué pattern in the Slow Sewing Studio. I liked this one being the first because of it being a great starting point for someone new to the technique. The efficiency of shape and process (each cut set of shapes becomes both the circle and the background) make it really approachable. Plus, the versatility of the block makes it fun to explore in all types of colors and fabrics. If you’re looking to try appliqué, it’s a perfect starting point, and if you’re familiar with the technique, it’s still fun too. Plus, the blocks are pretty big. When you have one finished–it’s definitely something to work with!

Circles Quilt In Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

This quilt is all big-stitch hand quilted with colorful threads. I love bringing that extra texture and color into the project. Plus, the vertical lines on some of the prints are helpful quilting guides.

Circles Quilt In Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

I hadn’t made a Circles quilt in awhile, and I’m so glad that I found an excuse to make this one.

Circles Quilt In Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

pattern: Circles

fabric(s): Harriot, Essex, Essex Yarn Dyed, Kona Cotton

Circles Quilt In Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

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