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WainwrightAL #5: Your Projects.

WainwrightAL #5: Your Projects.

Sometimes it’s good to take a step back from your own project and change the scenery! This is why I thought it’d be fun to see what others are working on. You guys are rocking this!


@andrea_nham with a really nice blue, green, grey and yellow thing happening. Bonus points for having a matching pouch!


@ayragon has loads of big blocks underway. There’s something nice about being able to see more of the prints at play in the larger format.


Speaking of prints…@bekimmerly is making good use of some fun prints. I like how she’s positioned the trees so nicely inside the shapes. Way to work the prints!


@blueskycrafter just made it to a layout stage, and I know she must be satisfied to see everything all together. Even though it’s not my project, I’m feeling super satisfied for her–it’s looking great!


@brakmack1997 is really working the 2-color combo. I love how visually enticing it is to use just 2 fabrics. It’s such a fun play with the shapes.


@court9702 is using lots of dots and stripes. It’s wonderful! I love how something like this can be completely timeless.


Using all solids results in a totally different look. @nies_co_creations is using just the right mix of blues, it’s lovely to look at.

As for me, I’ll give you a good flashback to my first version.

Carolyn Friedlander . Wainwright Quilt

I stared at this thing SO much. Not only while cutting out each block, but also after each appliquéd row, I’d stand back and assess how it was looking. I might move one block here, another one there…maybe I’d swap out an appliqué or background each time… I love this way of working. You can see some of my extra pieces toward the bottom. I kept plenty of options open.


+ Taking a step back can be great. It allows you some space to think of other things, which often brings a freshness back to your project.

+ Swap out your needle! It’s pretty amazing how you start to wear them down. Now that you’ve been sewing along, I’m sure you’re starting to pick up on the subtleties of everything you’re working with. Freshen that needle, and you’ll be amazed how much it will freshen your stitches.

+ You all gave me some watching recs, and here’s one that I’ve recently enjoyed. If you like houses in amazing locations, I just watched The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes on Netflix. Each episode is grouped by location–mountain, coast, etc, and they span locations all over the world. I like how beautiful the homes and locations are, as well as how they talk about building challenges, design advantages, and other stuff. Plus, one of the hosts is an architect and he does some pretty fun sketches on site to highlight aspects of the projects. It’s definitely a beautiful watch!

If you’re just now joining in and looking for a copy of the pattern, here’s a link to the digital version in my shop.

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WainwrightAL #4: Appliqué Progress.

WainwrightAL #4: Appliqué Progress.

Now that I’ve been spending a little bit of time with my blocks basting and appliquéing them, I’m finding myself thinking about all kinds of project variations. Do you do this too?

There’s something about thinking about and discovering new ideas when working on a project, which is probably why I like sewing so much. It gets my mind going.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

This week specifically, I’ve been thinking about grouping my blocks and fabrics more tonally. Instead of having a lot of contrast within each block, I kind of like the idea of keeping things fairly similar. I reorganized my pairings to do this a bit.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Nothing is set in stone yet, but I am leaning towards making a pair of pillow shams at the end of this, and I kind of think it would be cool if they were split up by color. Maybe one has the darker blocks and the other has the lighter ones? OR, I could arrange them another way. For now, it’s fun to continue making blocks and dreaming about all the ways to put them together.

Have your projects been giving you ideas?


Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

+ Now that I’ve started appliquéing, I thought of another tip to share. You’ll notice in the pic above that I’ve basted all the way around the block. I like doing this because it allows you to baste continuously, and it holds the appliqué fabric to the background so nicely. You don’t actually need to appliqué those outer edges, but I like leaving the basting threads in place because they can hold all of your layers together until you end up sewing your blocks together.

+ Get cozy! Don’t be uncomfortable when doing handwork. I’m always positioning myself in the right chair, with the right foot stool, pillow, etc. so that I’m comfortable when I’m working. It’s never good to feel achy and sore! Make sure to get up and stretch out, move around often. I easily get locked into my project, so I have to remind myself to do this. Having plenty of tea/your favorite beverage on hand can force this. 🙂

+ Sidle up with friends or a good show/movie. Since I’m currently in between having a good show to watch, I’d love to hear some tips from you on something good to watch!

+ Inner points can be tricky, but they do get better with practice! In WainwrightAL #2, the last tip speaks to this. You can always head back over to check it out.

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WainwrightAL #3: Basting Progress.

WainwrightAL #3: Basting Progress.

While away from home, I’ve been basting away on my Wainwright–yay for portability!

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

The cool thing about it being basted is that it’s ready to go anywhere.

Last week I mentioned my palette for this QAL project, but here’s a better look. I’m using mostly greys and darker fabrics. I have added in some Kona solids, but I also have fabric from my botanics, euclid and gleaned collections as well as a print from Erin Dollar’s Arroyo collection. As I go, I might decide to add and/or subtract. That’s the beauty of it–you can see how things are looking and make adjustments as needed.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

A note about cutting and arranging your pieces and templates. As noted in the pattern and in Week 1, the fabric ratio to keep in mind is that 1 square of appliqué fabric can yield 2 blocks. This means you’ll want to set aside 2 background blocks for each set of appliqué shapes that you cut. Personally, I find it helpful to grab 2 background fabrics when I grab 1 appliqué fabric to take to the ironing board to fold and press at the same time. This way I know I’m keeping my ratio in check. Of course, if I decide a background isn’t working, I may prep an extra or two later, but in general, I think this is a good way to start.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

If you take a look at the cutting template, there are 3 (solid) cutting lines, and (dashed) lines to show how to align the template to your block. Make sure to align along folds and raw edges as noted. Once you cut the appliqué (your top shape) along the cutting lines, you will have 3 sections (that nest) to place onto your backgrounds. Take note that the small circular corner pieces don’t need to be used. They’re tiny.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

The great thing about this stage is that you can really see how things will shape up. I like to cut things up and lay them out as I go so I can see how my fabric choices and shape mixing is working out. We have an 1/8″ seam allowance, so just keep in mind that there will be a little more space around your shapes as you stitch them down. For example, the black appliqué in the above photo (bottom, left) is actually 2 shapes with a cut line separating them–although it looks like one right now. The shapes match up before being stitched, but a gap between them will appear after each side is appliquéd. You can see this a bit better in my first version (below). The first few rows have already been appliquéd, and so you can see that gap appearing between the neighboring shapes.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Work in the way that feels good to you! For me, I like cutting and laying things out so I have a good idea, but if you prefer to cut and arrange in smaller sections, by all means do it! This is the beauty of appliqué, you can see how something is coming along before even sewing it together. You can see that I haven’t pinned anything down yet. Since I’m auditioning different shapes and fabric combinations, I keep things loose. Once I decide I like a combination, I pin them down with the appliqué pins, and then do my basting.

Wainwright QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

If you want to join in and need a copy of the pattern, you can find it here.

Otherwise, you are all posting some beautiful starts!


+ Sometimes using a longer needle works well for basting. Because of basting not needing to be a super-short stitch, the longer needle can help you stitch along more quickly and easily.

+ Machine baste or hand baste? Both work, but I’m personally more of a fan of hand basting for a few reasons. One, it’s portable. Two, once you get comfortable doing it, I find it to be faster and much easier than navigating tricky shapes on the machine. Three, it’s more gentle on the fabric. If you are machine basting, make sure to use a fresh (sharp) needle. Four, hand basting is way easier to remove than machine basting.

+ Using a fun basting thread is just that–fun! I pretty much always use my Aurifil 1104 for basting–except for when my fabrics match 1104–which happens! I do love that color.

+ Basting stitches are temporary, so you do not need to knot them. Leave thread tails loose and on the top side of your work. This way you know exactly where they are when you’re doing your appliqué stitches later.

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