Tag Archives | gift sewing

Colorful Quilts for my Niece

This summer I made a couple of colorful quilts for my niece. It was a treat for both of us.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

To start, I picked up a couple of adorable mini charm packs from Bunny’s at QuiltCon back in February. (That feels like a million years ago!) Together the packs make up a full rainbow of color, and I knew at the time they’d be perfect for her–and me. I love all of the cute Japanese prints and the range of color feels so happy too.

colorful fabric squares

Quilt Tops

To me, one mini quilt wasn’t enough, and so I made matching quilts–a big one for her and the mini for her dolls. I made the mini first from the 2 mini charm packs from Bunny’s with 2 1/2″ squares added in from my stash (my 2 1/2″ square stash!). It’s a simple, checkerboard layout with the stash pieces going between the Japanese prints. The lighter colors set them off nicely.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

For the big quilt, I wanted a similar-but-larger match, and so I sized up by using 5″ squares. Unfortunately I didn’t have a perfect rainbow pre-cut pack to work with, but I created my own by diving into my stash. I sought out colorful prints with clever motifs that I hoped she’d enjoy discovering and perusing over time. There’s nothing better than an i-spy quilt, and I definitely had a great time revisiting all of these lovely fabrics.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Like in the mini version, I alternated in with some of my own lighter prints–mostly repurposed from my scrap piles.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Sewing

There’s nothing better than sewing through a stack of color, plus it was fun seeing all of the great prints as I sewed. I pressed all of the seams open, with a seam wheel first, and then with the iron. I think this makes things much easier.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Quilting!

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Hand quilting has been my personal vacation/spa treatment/zen in recent months. I’ve really been loving it. For these quilts I wanted to hand quilt them to make them super soft, but also to use a colorful array of thick threads to stand out.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

I changed my thread colors often to mimic the color changes across the quilt. The effect is really nice.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander
Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

I didn’t mark these quilts, and so the lines are more freeform. I stitched from corner to corner, with some definite wobble here and there, but I like the personal touch.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Label

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

As I mentioned recently, I’ve been trying to be better with adding labels to my quilts. It was pretty easy to do here, because I had an extra square from the big quilt. I re-purposed it for the label, and then made a matching mini for the other quilt.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

My niece loves her quilts, which of course makes me very happy.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: None–just 5″ squares for the big quilt, 2 1/2″ squares for the little quilt.

Fabrics: Mini quilt is made from 2 mini charm packs from Bunnys (I don’t see a listing, but you can probably ask via email) plus my own fabric. Larger quilt is made from my stash with fabrics by Melody Miller, Alexia Abegg, Rifle, Aneela Hoey, UPPERCASE, Denyse Schmidt, Jeni Baker, Charley Harper, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Lizzy House, Ed Emberley, Leah Duncan, Robert Kaufman, and several others.

Hand Quilting: Here’s a link to my favorite tools.

Colorful Quilts for my niece . carolyn friedlander

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Scrappy CF Coasters

One set wasn’t enough, so here are some more scrappy CF coasters that I made recently.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Actually, I guess that I have a lot of these in the works. They can be made from a charm pack, and so I grabbed a stack of 5″ squares from Collection CF and started pairing the fabrics together in different ways and in different sets. The first grouping was this one, and here is another grouping in pinks, peaches and lilacs. If I let myself really dream a bit, I think it’d be lovely to make an entire set of these big stitch coasters in all of the colors.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Binding Selection

One thing that is a little different about this set from the first is that I used different binding fabrics on each of the coasters. There’s no right or wrong in deciding this, it’s all a matter of taste and what you are feeling. In a scrappy set like this, I think the variety is fun, and I love seeing how all of the different fabrics play out in the bias trim.

scrappy bias binding in collection CF
scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Selecting Thread Colors

I quilted each coaster with a different color thread. This adds even more character and color to each coaster and to the set as a whole. The quilting becomes more engaging, because you can think about and explore using different colors as you go–an entertaining way to quilt, if you ask me.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander
scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

This is a great project to grow (or start growing) your big stitch quilting skills. I also think it’s a great way to explore different ways to pair fabrics and explore color. Plus, it’s something that you can use around the house or gift to a friend.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander
scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Binding Tips

If you haven’t seen it already, I have a new video that I posted on making the binding and how to attach it to the coasters. You can head over here to check it out.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

Project Details

Fabric: Collection CF

Tutorials: Big Stitch Coaster Tutorial (here), Binding for Quilted Coasters video (here)

My favorite Hand Quilting tools.

scrappy CF coasters . carolyn friedlander

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Big Stitch Coasters in Collection CF

With the newest fabrics in Collection CF arriving in stores, I thought I’d share with you these new Big Stitch Coasters that I made in Collection CF.

The coasters are made using this free tutorial that I put together a few years back. (I’ve now given it a fresh update!) I use these coasters all the time, and they’re a fun thing to give away to friends.

big stitch coasters tutorial-stitch layers . carolyn friedlander

Small projects are perfect for trying out new techniques. If you’re wanting to give big stitch quilting a try, this is a great way to start. The commitment is small, and the possibilities are endless. Of course you could machine quilt them if handwork isn’t your thing, but I love the added color and texture of the big stitches.

It’s also a small and speedy project that can update something you use around the house, which I am all for. Or maybe you could send some to a friend to let them know you’re thinking of them. Both are worthwhile motives in my mind right now.

I made a point to update my favorite hand-quilting supplies, if you’re new to the game and want to find out more.

There are a couple more versions, but I’ll share them in a future post. Have fun!

Project Info

Tutorial: (Free) Big Stitch Coaster Tutorial

Fabric: Collection CF

Shop Supplies: Thread, Scissors, Needles, Marking Tools

+ Learn more about Hand Quilting Tools.

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