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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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Grove Mini Quilts

How do you feel about mini quilts? I love them. There’s something extra special and satisfying about making a mini, which is why I decided to add in a (literal) little bonus when giving my Grove pattern a refresh. With a new mini tree block included in the pattern, now you can make Grove Mini Quilts. Personally, I’ve already made two.

Mini Grove quilts . carolyn friedlander

There are many good things about a smaller format. Creatively, it’s a great way to try out a new color combination, print pairing or layout. There’s less pressure in terms of the time and material commitment. I find they always perk up a space without requiring a lot of space, and they make a thoughtful gift. If you aren’t into turning it into a quilt, you could always sew the smaller blocks into a bag, pillow, pincushion or other accessory too.

The new mini block conveniently required a new sample, which started off with a colorful dive into my scrap pile. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been finding comfort in color lately.

As I made the blocks, I threw them up on my wall, and I moved them around as I went. I find that I constantly simmer on layout while making blocks, and I really like that about the process. It’s very interactive.

Of course I ended up making more blocks than I needed, and so I divided them into two different quilts. They could have been sewn into one, but I liked the balance of having these two.

Mini Grove quilt . carolyn friedlander

Grove Mini Quilt #1

The blocks are made from a pretty wide mix of colors from spice to tangerine to mint and yellow, but I think the sashing really helps cement the color statement. It was a big decision, but I loved this gingham and the color tone the best.

After deciding on the sashing, I was a little indecisive about going bold or blendy with the binding, so I did a little bit of both! The black piece is leftover binding from my TP quilt, and I love how it adds an accent. This is definitely a case of being enticed by something lying around that I hadn’t put away yet. (Don’t need to worry about putting it away now!)

Mini Grove quilt . carolyn friedlander

I quilted all over with matchstick lines in the vertical direction. With there being all of the different colors and fabrics, I wanted the quilting to unify and add a dense texture.

Mini Grove quilt . carolyn friedlander

Grove Mini Quilt #2

The blue one is pretty cute–if I do say so. There’s no sashing, it’s just 4 blocks sewn together with a border, pretty simple.

Mini Grove quilt in blue . carolyn friedlander

I tried to do something a little different with the quilting on this one, but still similar in the sense that it is an even, overall, dense-ish texture. This time it’s a rectangular grid, and I used an electric blue thread. That detail is subtle but fun.

Mini Grove quilt in blue . carolyn friedlander
Mini Grove quilt in blue . carolyn friedlander

You’ll find the new mini block included in the new grove pattern, as well as the specifics on the layout (sashing, border, etc) for the first version shown above.

Take this in whatever direction you’re feeling!

Pattern: Grove Quilt

Fabric: Mostly mine, plus a Robert Kaufman Crawford Gingham

Mini Grove quilts . carolyn friedlander

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Hunt QAL Month #2 Check In.

Hunt QAL Month #2 Check In.

I really won’t say this every month, but seriously, it’s already been a month?!

This month has been a fun and a productive month for my QAL project. Not only do I love July. I love that it is right in the middle of the summer, that it marks the end of the first half of the year, and that it can sometimes mean a bit of summer travel. This July has been all of those things, including a fun, travel adventure, I spent an entire week across the country in Sisters, Oregon for the Quilter’s Affair. It was wonderful, and I was able to get quite a bit of my Hunt project underway on those long flights.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

At this point, I have 1 block totally finished, 1 block halfway finished, and 3 blocks fully basted. My goal for the next month is to prep and baste 2 more blocks and to fully finish 2 1/2 more blocks so that I have 4 blocks fully finished. Yeah!

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

I’m not totally sure about including the Harriot striped fabric–I’m still not sure on the color being exactly what I’m going for, but I’ll keep going with it. I’ve pretty much decided that I really like the blue Friedlander Lawn that’s in there. It’s been enjoyable seeing how that fabric appliqués up with these shapes. I’m also really really happy to be using the green and some other prints from my upcoming new Collection CF fabrics. (Blog post to come soon!) There’s one green in the collection that is perfect for what I’m going for, and there are also several good background options that I’m happy to be working in there.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

In other Hunt news, my trip out to Sisters was very relevant. Not only did I teach a class using my Hunt pattern, but I also had a couple of my Hunt quilts hanging in the shows. Here are some pics from class and then from the show.

Hunt Quilt class . carolyn friedlander

These are different student blocks from our show and tell at the end of class. I always love how great the blocks from different people look together. I feel like it can give you ideas for things you wouldn’t otherwise think of. (Other blocks are from my Alturas and Park patterns.)

In the big quilt show on Saturday, my Hunt Harriot Quilt was hanging as part of the quilts from QuiltCon exhibit.

Hunt Harriot . carolyn friedlander

Hunt Tangerine hung in a special show with my quilts on Sunday.

Hunt Tangerine . carolyn friedlander

So many Hunt happenings this month!

If you’re following along for watching/listening recommendations, here you go. Some recent watchable recs are Minding The Gap, Instant Hotel (on Netflix) and the Weekly (from the NY Times). As for listening, I might have binge-listened the entire Man in the Window podcast while working on my Hunt on airplanes, etc this month. It sucked me right in!

I hope this month has treated you well! If you have some good recs or monthly highlights, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or to reach out.

Happy Hunting.

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