Tag Archives | gift sewing

Meet Lusk.

Meet Lusk, a new pattern for some (mini) quilts.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

I love mini quilts. There’s so much you can do with them! They make great gifts, are perfect for swaps and I’m not sure there’s any easier way to decorate your space. Plus, I love how the smaller format allows you to get really creative without too much commitment and pressure–OR it can help you get more comfortable with a technique. Don’t get me wrong, big projects can be great too, but there’s something special about a project that can get your creative juices flowing, make you feel good about a finish and leave you inspired for whatever comes next.

Polk Lust Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

I find that I come up with new ideas all the time while I’m sewing. In this way, making minis is such a creative kickstarter for me. Because of this, I’ve been wanting to make some mini quilt patterns for a while now, and Lusk is just the beginning. With this one, I’ve been thinking about how some of my existing designs can be reconsidered on a smaller scale, and how it might be fun to reimagine sets of shapes mixed and matched up in new ways.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

You might recognize some familiar bits from some of my other patterns. Lusk takes ideas from Sessoms and Tangelo, plays with the scale of both and adapts them in ways that they can work together. I love this because even though they are two different designs, bringing them together means there are many new ideas to play with.

I outline 3 specific versions in the pattern, but the units work really well together, and if you wanted to come up with more, you totally could! The first (A, above) is a mix of all blocks included in the pattern. The second (B, below) uses just the third block option in the pattern.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The third version (C, below) uses just the first 2 blocks in the pattern. Depending on what you’re going for, you can dress these guys up in all kinds of ways.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

These minis were a great place for me to start when I first got my hands on my newest fabric collection, Polk. Working on a smaller scale allowed me to see how certain fabrics might work together, and it definitely inspired many of the fabric combinations in my subsequent projects.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

Lusk means you can explore a lot in a small amount of time and with not too many supplies. I’ve since whipped up a few more, and I’ll be sharing them in the coming weeks.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

You can ask for Lusk at your local quilt store, or you can also find the digital version available here.

Lusk Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

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Quick Thread Catcher Tutorial.

quick thread catcher tutorial . carolyn friedlander

Yesterday I mentioned that I liked traveling with a little thread catcher, and so today I’m posting a quick thread catcher tutorial. This is based on one given to me by the sweet owners of the Janie Lou quilt shop in St Louis, Missouri. What I really like about it is that it folds up nice and flat, which makes it easy to bring with me anywhere. Plus, it’s silly how quick and easy it is to put together. I’ll be making many more of these for my sewing buds…

Materials:

+ Exterior Fabric – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

+ Lining Fabric – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

+ (optional) Interfacing – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ applied to Exterior.

Fabric/Interfacing Note: Neither of the thread catchers shown in this tutorial are interfaced. The one that I was given (above) has a sturdier canvas on the exterior. It’s nice. The one (outlined below) in this tutorial is made from un-interfaced quilting cotton for both the exterior and lining. I was mostly curious to see how it would turn out, and it’s surprisingly structured! I’m very pleased with it and will totally do it this way again. But of course, if you like interfacing, you can always incorporate it into your project.

All seam allowances are 1/4″. While I’m using my serger in this tutorial, you can just as well use your sewing machine. All raw edges will be enclosed, except where noted below.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Fold in half (RIGHT sides TOGETHER) so that short edges are aligned. In the photo below, my short sides are at the top, and the fold is on the bottom. Do this and the following for both the exterior and lining panels.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Pin (if desired) and stitch along the sides.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Create a boxed corner by pinching side seam to bottom fold on each side.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Mark a line 1 3/4″ from pointed edge. Stitch along this line.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Turn exterior (RIGHT side OUT).

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Place lining inside exterior, aligning side seams. Pin in place (if desired). Tip: Alternate the direction of the side seams when you match them up. This will make things less-bulky.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Stitch along top edge. A serger will finish this edge as you stitch, but if you’re using a sewing machine, you can use a zigzag stitch to finish it. Or, if you want to bind it, you can totally do that too, but since the top is folded, it isn’t super critical.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Fold the top down a couple of times, and you’re good to go!

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

I hope you enjoy yours as much as I’ve enjoyed mine!

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Dec 21, 2018 UPDATE – In my newsletter I outlined how to make a mini thread catcher, and so I thought I’d update the directions here as well. If you’d like to make a little mini, follow directions above but cut your Exterior and Lining fabrics to 4 1/2″ x 12″. Mark your boxed corner 1″ from point. There you have it!

Mini and Regular Thread Catcher . Carolyn Friedlander

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WainwrightAL #2: Tool Updates and Travel.

WainwrightAL #2: Tool Updates and Travel.

appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

We’re moving along with week two! I’m seeing some great starts from many of you on instagram, and I’m moving along (quite literally) at QuiltCon in Pasadena. Since this is a traveling week for me and because handwork is super portable, I thought it’d be fun to put a slight travel twist on things. In addition to going over some of my favorite appliqué supplies, I’ll be making note of some of my favorite travel-friendly tips as well!

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated my appliqué tools-of-the-trade post, and really, not much has changed. Those are all still my favorite things, but I do have some updates to add in to the mix.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

First, clover clips! With many of my appliqué designs being folded and cut multiple layers at a time, these little clips are super handy for holding everything together. There’s even a new set with a thinner profile, which is just perfect.

I also have an update with the thread conditioner. I’ve always liked it, but I’ve recently decided that it makes a bigger difference than I was maybe willing to admit. Full disclosure, I’d mostly gotten lazy and wasn’t using it as much in recent years. I always would have it with me, and I’d use it occasionally, but I’d generally just fallen out of the habit of using it. It’s an extra step–not a hard step, at all–but definitely a step that is easy to skip when you’re wanting to cruise through a project. When I was making my first Wainwright, I was having issues and decided to give it a try. Immediately I noticed a huge difference. It’s not that I didn’t notice a difference before, but I think that because I basically made Wainwright in a straight-shot marathon, it was much more noticeable how much of a difference it made. It makes it glide through the fabric much more easily. Without it, the thread feels like it’s dragging, not in a super obvious way, but definitely in an obvious way if you’re really in tune to the process.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

Another big update is thread! Since my last appliqué supply post, some magical thread things have happened. Aurifil released their 80wt cotton thread, and it is my FAVORITE thread to use for hand appliqué. I still use their 50wt cotton to baste, but 80wt is the only thing I use for the appliqué itself.

wainwright quilt appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

And, I’m delighted to have my own appliqué thread set which I put together to cover pretty much all of the major colors you’ll need–or that was my goal anyway. (And I have some in the shop now too.)

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

One more new discovery that isn’t pictured is my new Daylight Slimline light. I’ll have to take some good pics once I get my handwork set-up back in order. I started seeing these lights at QuiltCon last year, and I was very intrigued. Unlike most of the sewing lights, they look really sleek. Plus they offer a wide bar of light that you can adjust in all kinds of ways. Eventually, I picked one up, and it sat in the box while I was making my first Wainwright. About halfway in, I realized that I wasn’t seeing things well, and so I opened the box and was immediately kicking myself for not having done so sooner. It is a game changer. It perfectly lit up my project and was easy to orient so that there were no shadows on my work–which was the issue I’d been having with my other lights. Now, I’m a massive convert. It’s worth the investment.

appliqué supplies . carolyn friedlander

To recap, you can read this post about my favorite appliqué supplies here while keeping in mind the updates mentioned above.

+ Thread for project (such as Aurifil Cotton 50wt for basting and Aurifil Cotton 80wt for appliqué)

+ Appliqué needles (such as Clover Gold Eye Appliqué Needles No. 10)

+ Appliqué pins (such as Clover Appliqué Size 12)

+ Large fabric scissors (such as Kai 7230 9″ tailoring shears, or these other favorites)

+ Small fabric scissors (such as Kai N5100 4″ scissors)

+ Removable marking tool (such as Pilot Frixion pen–always test on fabric before using)

+ Seam gauge (such as Dritz Measuring Gauge)

+ Iron

+ Heavy paper or template plastic (for copying template)

+ Thread Conditioner (such as Thread Heaven or beeswax)

Optional supplies: Thimble (I like the adhesive leather pads), needle threader

Finally, here’s a look at the fabrics that I’ve pulled…

carolyn friedlander wainwright quilt along

I’m wanting to go grey…so we’ll see! I think I’ll probably add in some solids too. Maybe.

carolyn friedlander wainwright quilt along

Tips:

+ Fabric tip – Solids vs Prints in appliqué: In general, solids hide less and prints hide more. If you’re new to appliqué, using a print–even a subtle one–can be a little more forgiving than a solid. Of course, if you’re most excited about solids and you’re a newbie, don’t let me stop you!

+ I always travel with my Nest Egg tote, the very first one I made in fact. It’s still going strong, and I really like how I can zip it up and throw it into my backpack. While on the plane, I take it out, and open it up on my tray table and work away.

nest egg tote and supplies . carolyn friedlander

+ Also handy when traveling is a fold-up thread catcher. The one I use was a gift, but I put together a quick tutorial for you that will be coming out tomorrow. Stay tuned…

nest egg tote and supplies . carolyn friedlander

+ The Aurifil smaller spools are my preferred travel-handwork thread, and the smaller version of the Petal Pouch by Noodlehead fits them perfectly.

Carolyn Friedlander Aurifil 80wt Thread Appliqué

+ This tip skips ahead a little bit, but I know that many of you have already started your appliquéing, and so I hope it will be helpful. Inner points in appliqué can be tricky to turn when you’re just starting out. This is easily the step/shape I demonstrate most in workshops, and while it is helpful to see it in action, it’s also a case of practice really being the key to making it easier. I promise! This is also why I like designs like this, because they can give you great practice in tackling such shapes. After doing several of these, you’ll no doubt see improvement. It is helpful to see this step in action, and so I’ll highlight my Appliqué Quilt Top class on Creative Bug–which you can find here. This block has many tricky inner points, which makes it a great one to watch for seeing how to do it. Hope that helps!

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