Tag Archives | gift sewing

Eads Quilt Along #3: Other Project Sizes and Ideas.

Eads Quilt Along #3: Other Project Sizes and Ideas.

Project sizes seems pretty obvious, but hang with me for just a minute while I explain why I think this is a worthwhile talking point for the week. When I was thinking about my own Eads project for this quilt along, I immediately started thinking about end goals for the quilt. Do you do that?

Obviously, a quilt to cozy up with for myself would be awesome. I know that I’ve already made one, but in reality it’s not one that will be in my hands very often. Many of my quilts are traveling with me while I teach or traveling on their own to shops, which means I’m rarely able to truly claim them as my own. That is not a complaint, it’s just a reality. Option #1 would be to hang on to this guy, which is a good option.

But I also thought of another option, which would be to shoot for making roughly the same number of blocks, and instead of making 1 quilt with them, make a few smaller projects. Out of 120 blocks, you could make like 3 baby quilts and a wall hanging. There are some babies that I want to make quilts for…and there’s a wall hanging that I’d like to make for a friend…so in theory I could kill a few birds with just one stone.

There’s also the possibility that you’re really getting into the process of pulling and picking fabrics. Yeah, I’m in this boat too. For that reason, I appreciated Carissa (@treadletothemetal) making note of it. (This is such a fun pull!)


In this case, you could definitely consider multiple outlets for all the beautiful blocks that you’ll make. Or, you can also just make a MASSIVE quilt. That’d be cool too.

Last, there’s the idea that the creative direction that your blocks are taking are leading you down a variety of different paths. While I’m all about finding ways to connect those paths, I’m also not opposed to letting them be their own thing. By rethinking final project size and intention, you can give yourself the freedom to continue exploring without feeling like you’re wasting energy or sending yourself toward a dead-end. Just remember that there are a variety of end points for you to pursue. I think that the better goal is to stay creatively engaged in your project. The details can be worked out later.

Here’s where I’m at this week.

There’s something satisfyingly linear about this project. It’s almost like a tag team of fabric, where starting with one initiates a path to explore.

Eads QAL 3 . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m finding the lavender path to be an area of interest.

Eads QAL 3 . Carolyn Friedlander

To be redundant on a point from last week, wardrobe choices worked their way into this batch of blocks as well.

Kalle Shirt Dress in Arroyo fabric

There’s more Arroyo (from Erin Dollar) that I want to add, but first I need to save some for a dress that I also want to make. It got cut out first, which ensures enough for both projects.

What goes well with warm lavender? Well, mustard and peach, of course!

Eads QAL 3 . Carolyn Friedlander

The mustard is from my recent friedlander collection, and the peach is the shade originally in my architextures collection. Fabric is so much fun. I hope you’re thinking so too.

Eads QAL 3 . Carolyn Friedlander


+ Use the paper! Write notes to yourself about what goes where if you need a reminder.

+ Have you found yourself at a dead-end? While I have been working relatively linearly so far, I’m all for aborting ship if an idea starts to feel stale. Shake things up if you’re feeling that it’s time!

+ Pick the fabric for your next block before calling it a day. This will make it much easier to get in the groove when you have time to sew again.

How’s your week going?

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Fabric napkins for the win.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabric napkins for the win. Are you a cloth-napkin user? I am and have been since college. In fact, I’ve been using the same cloth napkins since college, which means my cloth napkins are quite old. So old, that every time I find myself folding and putting them away I’m thinking–I should really make some new napkins… It’s always been one of those “some day” tasks, but finally, I’ve made myself some new fabric napkins, and it basically took no time at all.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

This is hardly even a weekend project. For me it was a I-need-a-break/distraction-to-feel-productive-for-maybe-an-hour kind of project. And boy are they.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Even though the colors look curated, they are the result of pulling fabric in order off my shelf, which I guess is curated…and in color order, but still. It was an easy effort. I grabbed and cut fabrics until I felt done grabbing and cutting, which apparently was 9 pieces.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

To back up a bit, the idea came after seeing these from Purl. For anyone wanting to follow a tutorial, you can totally follow that one, it’s good. On mine, I simplified the steps a bit and changed the overall size.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I first made a snip at 19″ with scissors and then ripped the full width of fabric, which means that my fabric was 19″ x width-of-fabric (44″ish in this case). Ripping the fabric ensures you’re following the grain of the fabric, which does make a difference when you’re planning for frayed edges. (Plus, ripping fabric is a surprisingly fun task.)

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I then threw those 19″ strips (ripped on 1 side) into the washing machine and dryer before ripping them into 18″ squares, by making a snip at 18″ and ripping each side, basing all subsequent sides on the first ripped side.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

After getting all of the squares made, I frayed the edges, but unlike the tutorial, I didn’t do an overall stitch around the sides. I figure the fraying will be fine. After you fray some edges, you start to see how unlikely more of it will be from becoming more un-frayed. Or, if it does become crazy in the future, I can always add some stitching. No prob.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Of course, some stitching could be a lovely decorative element if using a contrasting thread or interesting stitch. It all depends on the look you’re going for! In my case, it was a no-muss, no-fuss situation. I like the looseness.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I know that some people have some concerns with fabric napkins. First, to address the wrinkle issue, these napkins haven’t been ironed at all. I took them straight from the dryer, ripped to size and then just hand smoothed them before this photo shoot. Not bad, huh?

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

And this was just the first wash, they’ll get softer and softer with each wash. If you’re into ironing or have some guests to impress, you could certainly give them a good press before setting them out. Otherwise, I find them to be totally acceptable straight from the dryer.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Another question about fabric napkins has to do with stains. This is a good question since you will be using them around food. There are a few ways you could look at it. First, if you’re really concerned about stains, you could just pick out really dark and/or busy fabrics that could easily camo some stains. Second, I haven’t noticed too many stains that really stick in my experience with cloth napkins, and I’ve been a cloth napkin user for almost 15 years. Third, if you do happen to get a pesky and unrelenting stain, just make a new one! This is a low-commitment project that only gets better and more exciting with new fabric.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabrics included are from my collections, friedlander, architextures and doe.

Yay for fabric napkins!

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T-Shirt patterns for everyone else.

I recently posted some of my favorite t-shirt patterns for women, but here are some t-shirt patterns for everyone else. When I was looking for patterns to use with blake, I found there to be a TON of women’s patterns, quite a bit of stuff for kids and not so much for men. I guess that isn’t too surprising, but that makes it all the more worthwhile to share my findings!

For men, we’ve got Eugene by Seamwork, a classic henley-style t-shirt.

Seamwork Eugene in Blake knit

Seamwork Eugene in Blake knit

The men’s Metro T-shirt by Liesl + Co is a great, classic t-shirt.

Men's Metro T-Shirt in Blake Knit

Men's Metro T-Shirt in Blake Knit

There’s also Paxson by Seamwork, which is a raglan-style t-shirt for men, but it’s currently under construction and not available. It’ll be nice when it is available, because a basic raglan pattern for men is hard to find. I’ve looked…

For kids, there are so many good ones. Here are some of my favorites.

The Field Trip Raglan by Oliver + S, is a great raglan option for boys–with a pocket.

Field Trip Raglan t-shirt in Blake Knit

Field Trip Raglan t-shirt in Blake KnitThe School Bus t-shirt by Oliver + S is a great basic t-shirt pattern for boys.

I added contrasting cuffs and a pocket to this one. The pocket was quite the highlight for my nephew. Not pictured, but within minutes of putting it on, he was delighted to discover that he could fit his entire hand in the pocket. Score!

Schoolbus T-Shirt in Blake Knit

Another kid’s t-shirt that I haven’t tried, but would like to try is the Flashback Skinny Tee by Made By Rae. It’s really cute, and I like the wider cuffs.

Flashback Skinny Tee

The Modern Layette Set by Green Bee Patterns has some good knit options. I’ve been wanting to try this out, especially after seeing this set that Anna Graham sewed up.

Modern Layette Set by Green Bee Patterns

The Lunch Box Tee by Oliver + S is one that I’m hoping to whip up this week since my niece is coming to visit.

Lunch Box Tee

I think a striped version of the short-sleeve length would be very cute in some blake. (And the culottes might need to be made too–so cute!)

Lunch Box Tee

I really enjoyed the feedback and comments that I received after my last t-shirt post. You guys pointed me towards some good stuff to check out, including the Sewaholic’s Renfrew Top, Hey June’s Lane Raglan and Love Notions’s Laundry Day Tee (available in sizes XS-XXXL).

What other knit patterns are you a fan of?


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