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Hunt QAL #11 Check In.

Hunt QAL #11 Check In.

Month #11?! I mean, I say that with some shock on the one hand, but then on the other hand I feel like the last couple of months could very well have been years. Either way, this has always been a sanity project, but especially so in the last month.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Ta-da! It’s a quilt top! I am really really excited with how this turned out. (So excited that I did a small update earlier this month.) For some reason I added 3 of the borders April 5th, and then it sat another week and a half before I was able to finish up and add the last (top) border. Slow and steady…

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

The white works well around the sides and bottom, but I wanted something a little more special for the top. Piecing together some scraps and new things gives it some interest while also giving it a little bit of color. I was most excited about the warmth added from one of the new Collection CF pieces in the top left corner. As soon as I auditioned it, I knew it was just what it needed.

collection CF fabric . carolyn friedlander

The backing is coming along. I’m going scrappy and did manage to pull out some pieces this week. Next will be to iron them out and piece it all together. This is a totally lame admission, but ironing these fabrics will be satisfying.

scrappy quilt back

I like the overall tone of these picks, the variety of prints and the little bits that pop.

scrappy quilt back

Yay for progress! Hopefully I’ll get these pressed and sewn together soon. Then I can baste and get going on the quilting. I’m still thinking I’ll big-stitch, hand-quilt with sashiko threads. I’ve been accumulating threads and needles, so I am ready.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Technical side note and PSA: Hanging a quilt top to photograph made me very nervous. Unintentional fabric stretch is something I nerd out on and always try to avoid. This being a queen-sized beast with some weight to it, I tried to be as careful as I could not to stretch any of the borders during this process. Being careful in this way helps with basting and quilting it later.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: Hunt Quilt Pattern

Fabrics: A mix from many of my collections including Collection CF, Jetty, Instead, Harriot, Gleaned, Botanics, Polk, Euclid, Architextures

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Hunt QAL #10 Check In.

Hunt QAL #9 Check In.

My blocks are sewn together! Yay!

This is an exciting step seeing it all come together. Since I’ve already decided that I want to put this quilt on my bed, I’m planning to add some borders around the edges to make it the right size. I’m thinking I’ll use lighter fabrics, I may or may not scrap-ify them…or I may do something totally different. We’ll see once I actually audition some options.

I need to figure out my backing, no clue what I’m feeling like for that, but I did order some batting yesterday. Generally, I’m not wow’d by batting options lately, and so I’ve been fairly inconsistent in what I’m using. For this quilt I’ll use Quilter’s Dream Poly in their lowest loft. I’m kind of liking their poly lately, and I think the thinner option is what I’m wanting for this one. With some weightier fabrics in the mix, I feel like the thinner batting could offer a nice balance. Plus, I know it will be a delight to hand quilt.

Some tips on sewing the blocks together!

You can definitely sew them together by machine, although I’ve ended up sewing this one and all of my other Hunts together by hand. I like a slow finish on a longer-term project, and since it isn’t a ton of seams, I don’t find it to be a huge deal. Plus, it can make lining everything up a little easier, especially the seams that share the neighboring appliqués. To do this, you’ll need to draw the 1/4″ seam allowance on the back of the blocks. Then you just follow the line to sew together!

By next check in, I’d like to have my top finished and the quilt basted. Fingers crossed!

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Hunt QAL #8 Check In.

Hunt QAL #8 Check In.

With a bonus week since the last check in, the holiday downtime and a motivated eye on the finish line, it’s been a productive few weeks.

I have every block in play–yay! Seeing the end gave me a boost of motivation, and so I pushed a little harder this weekend to wrap up on a couple of extra blocks. I now have 15 blocks fully finished and 1 block remaining to be basted and appliquéd.

I’ve saved this blue block in the corner for last. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go so boldly blue with my original plan being more about green.

My layout is mostly grouped by color. With there being darker greens, lighter greens and shades from navy to hunter green to sage, I like how this approach can organize everything and tell a story. I’ve laid out the blocks a few times now, and each time I feel like I’ve done it a little bit differently. There are so many good options, but I’m calling this good and will sew it together without second guessing anything.

As for the blue, I love it. It gives a pop, and that print is one of my favorites from Collection CF. The color came out so vibrant, which makes me happy. This one is staying.

Another new and exciting combo that I discovered this month is this one.

hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

How has your month been? Have you been finding yourself adapting the vision as you move along too?

(Here’s where you can find a copy of the Hunt pattern or templates, and you can catch up on the full QAL here.)

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Hunt QAL #6 Check In.

Hunt QAL #6 Check In.

We’re halfway there! I cannot believe it, and I’m happy (and surprised) with my progress and hope that you are making good progress too.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

My goals this month were fairly loose. I only finished appliquéing 1 block over the last month, and I have the appliqué on another one underway.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

To tally things up at this 6-month point, I have 9 blocks fully completed, 1 block being appliquéd, 3 fully basted blocks and several background panels cut out and ready to get set up. I need to figure out the appliqué fabrics for the final blocks, which I’m sure I’ll map out all together. It’s easier for me to work in that way, and I hope to do that before the next check in.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I did have one strategic revelation this month. If you’ve taken a class from me, you know that I love thinking about strategic sewing. I tend to plan out how I baste and appliqué each block so that it’s an efficient use of thread, steps and time. If it makes sense, I start/stop in certain areas, I may leave basting thread to be continuous between nearby sections or I may make use of other tactics. They are small things that over the course of a project can make a difference. Of course whatever works if it gets you to the finish line, but this stuff is fun for me to think about while I’m working through a project.

With every Hunt I’ve made, I’ve appliquéd each piece separately. This is such an obvious approach, that it’s taken me this long to realize that there is an alternative. Working individually isn’t only logical, but it is definitely the way to go if there are a bunch of different colors and you need to change thread for each of them. I can’t think of another way to do it in that case. However, when all of the pieces are the same color, like I have here, it’s different. I realized that I could work multiple shapes continuously instead of stopping to cut and reset a new length of thread at each shape.

If you take a look at the block below, the shapes on the left are only appliquéd at the top. This is because I am working continuously along the tops, easily flowing from shape to shape. I am making my thread jumps from the back, which are not seen from the front. (Note: to do this knot at the back of each shape without cutting the thread, jump to the next shape, knot on the back to secure and pull the thread to the front. Don’t cut the thread, don’t reset.)

This makes for a more continuous flow and importantly, you can now use a full length of thread before stopping, recutting and resetting up. I discovered this on this block, because I needed to use a gray thread on the gray tops and the green thread at the bottom. It seemed silly to stop and start at each little top, and so I worked them continuously in this way. It seemed to go faster because I could use each strand of thread longer, and so I knew I wanted to try it for the other pieces. I think it helps, and I’m continuing to try it out. Let me know what you think, if you’re into the nerdy details!

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

Aside from that revelation, it was fun to finish this block and to see the way the print works in this context.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

I’ve been storing my blocks in a flat stack on a dresser, but I do pull them out monthly to take a pic. It’s nice to see the finished stack getting larger.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve decided that over the next 3 months, I’d like to try to get all of my blocks finished, and I’ve updated my calendar to reflect that. This way I can spend the final 3 months assembling my quilt top, quilting and binding this project. That’s the plan anyway! It helps to verbalize it, right?

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

pattern: Hunt quilt

fabrics: (so many!) jetty, collection CF, instead, harriot, gleaned, euclid, friedlander lawn

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Hunt QAL Month #3 Check In.

Hunt QAL . Month 3 . Carolyn Friedlander

Hunt QAL Month #3 Check In–here we go!

Hunt QAL . Month 3 . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m on track with my goals this month–yay! I’ve finished 1/4 of the overall blocks, and I also have a couple of others basted and ready to go for the next 1/4. This month I added prints from Gleaned and Instead, which I’m pretty happy about. In fact, I’m planning to add more from Instead in my next batch too. I was worried about it being too dark, but once I auditioned it, I liked where it was going.

Hunt QAL . Month 3 . Carolyn Friedlander

A big realization this month had to do with layout. I found my blocks in a way on the floor that gave me the idea to make alternating rows of waves. I’m pretty intrigued and will keep the option in mind moving forward. Kind of fun, huh?

Hunt QAL . Month 3 . Carolyn Friedlander

Other than that, I’ve enjoyed steadily working on these blocks. They’ve provided some calm (usually before bed) amidst other deadlines and things going on.

Good watchables this month: Somm (on Amazon Prime) about 4 men training for the Master Sommelier exam and Diagnosis (on Netflix) about crowdsourcing help for mysterious medical conditions.

I hope the month has treated you well!

Hunt QAL . Month 3 . Carolyn Friedlander

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Sunrise Pillow Shams

I made some Sunrise Pillow shams for some friends.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

Something keeps me coming back to the mini blocks of this project. There are 2 different mini sizes included with the pattern, and I love making both of them. In this project, I used the smallest of them (or block C in the pattern).

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

One nice thing about mini blocks is that they are extremely scrap friendly. I like putting scraps to use–it feels efficient and also productive, like you’re cleaning too by getting rid of a pile. Plus it’s always magical when surprising fabric combinations find their way to each other, which I feel happens more often when you’re working from a pile of scraps.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

These shams were a gift for some friends that were getting married. I liked the symbolism of new beginnings with the block, and I liked incorporating many of my fabrics as well as little bits of Liberty fabrics since one of the recipients loves Liberty too. As for the color palette, I wanted something neutral but also with some life. When I make a gift for someone, I try to hone in on colors that the recipient loves, as well make something that is somewhat versatile. A neutral palette can be great for that.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

After piecing the blocks, I sewed them together and added a border to create the right size for the shams that I was going for. I believe these are on 18″ pillow forms.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

Then I did some straight-line quilting, added some piping, and finished them with an envelope-style back for slipping the shams on and off.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

Usually when I’m working on something scrappy, I’ll wait until all of my blocks are pieced before deciding on a border. Here a print from Polk was just what I wanted to finish them off, and a print from Friedlander worked well on the back.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

There we have it–a set of shams for some friends!

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabric(s): Mostly mine from many collections and some Liberty of London too

Pattern: Sunrise Quilt (I used the bonus Mini block C.)

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Start With A Finish: a Finish!

Start With A Finish: a Finish!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I have been completely delighted to see people joining in on my Start With A Finish (informal) Quilt Along. I was wanting to do this QAL for a while, but questioned myself many times. It was very easy for me to make excuses not to do it. The end of the year is a time that passes in a blink and is never lacking in stuff to do and to be done. This year was no different, but through seeing your enthusiasm and support, I am excited to have buttoned up a project that wouldn’t have been tackled otherwise–my Start With A Finish: a finish!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

It may not be a project for everyone, but it’s exactly the quilt I most wanted to make. My goal was to bring together projects, leftover blocks, and whatever else from the year into one quilt top. It would have been fun to make separate minis with the pieces from the cf mini QAL, but my dream was to put them all together into something that I could curl up with on the couch. I love projects like this that give you something new to look at depending on how they’re resting on your lap. Plus, it just seemed like a lovely way to commemorate the year (and to clean out the WIP pile)!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Projects like this can also be a great creative exercise, which I love to partake in at the end of the year. With there being so many different things, you have to figure out a way to bring them together. And I love the feeling of putting something to use and getting it done.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

One little surprise that I’d planned all along was including the text “twenty eighteen” into the quilt. This text is part of a new Alphabet pattern that I’ve been working on and will be releasing soon. (2020 update, I am so sorry, my Alphabet project hit some delays, but I’m hoping to finally bring it to you soon! For real this time.) Since this quilt represents many things I made in 2018, I thought it would be a nice little detail to work into the project.

twenty eighteen . carolyn friedlander

I used fabric from Harriot for the background and then some bright yellows from Carkai and Gleaned. There’s a subtlety and spunk to it that I really like.

twenty eighteen . carolyn friedlander

I liked figuring out how the different parts of this project could work together. It was definitely not a thing that I planned from the beginning, and in fact, I made big changes as I went. I’d lay things out, sew some together and maybe spin them around as I explored looking at it in different ways.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I originally thought I’d arrange my little Davie houses by color, but in the end I preferred them this way and with a little border around them giving them some space.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

One of my favorite discoveries was how some leftover Lott blocks from early testing could create a very interesting border. Now I really want to make a whole quilt like this!

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

There was another final flip that’s worth noting. The final seam (before adding the top and bottom border) is the vertical one in the center. All along I had the right portion flipped 180 degrees. When it was time to sew the large sections together, I flipped it around to see how it would look and loved the way it brought those warm oranges to the bottom. There was also a good matchup of Polk in the center that really worked. The other way looked nice too, but taking advantage of this pleasant surprise was hard to pass up.

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The finished top will be a cozy throw for me. It is 57″x74″ and features many of my fabrics, plus several others, and my patterns of Lusk, Davie, Lott, Babson and Wainwright. Many sections were made during the cf mini QAL and even the WainwrightAL, so you can check back to those for closer shots and ideas.

If you had a finish or if you just followed along for fun–thank you!

Happy New Year. I can’t wait to see what we finish in 2019.

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cf Mini QAL: Conclusion. (+ giveaway)

cf Mini QAL: Conclusion. (+ giveaway)

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

We’ve made it! It’s been a full (and fun) 8 weeks of mini quilt making. How do you feel now that we’re to the end?

As for me, I’m pretty stoked about making quilts, and I hope that’s the case for you too. Like I said in the beginning, making minis is always a great way to explore ideas and churn up some creativity. I hope the challenges each week helped you feel more confident and encouraged to try something new and/or see things in a slightly new way.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

The challenge this week proved that point to be true for me. I went Wild with my mix of prints, colors and types of fabrics, and in the end I was having a hard time making myself stop.

It all started with a charm pack that I liked.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

To which I added other things that I liked.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

And then I got to sewing.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

This first batch of Babson blocks is wild both in terms of color and print, and I just loved it. It made me excited to keep going.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Something I love about these blocks is how I was able to incorporate fabrics that I’ve accumulated both recently and not super recently in my travels. Do you get a sense of satisfaction when you’re finally able to work in something you’ve been holding on to? I definitely do.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

I especially love the edge of grey that resulted in some of the last blocks I sewed (below, right), and I’d love to explore this idea more.

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

My favorite thing about a project is when it encourages you to keep going. This one does that for me, and so I’m really tempted to keep making blocks and sew up something larger–maybe a throw.

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Doing a little bit of math, there are 224 blocks in the throw size of my Babson pattern. I have 56 this week, plus the 25 from last week that I think would be fun to add to this group. This leaves 143 to go, which breaks down to about 12/week for 12 weeks.

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

I don’t know if I’ll totally hold myself to this number, but it is helpful to calculate how it could shake out. I’m never good about finishing things if I don’t give myself a deadline.

cf mini QAL 8 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabrics from this week’s wild fest included London Calling 8, Nani Iro, Arroyo by Erin Dollar, Woodland Clearing by Liesl Gibson, UPPERCASE by Janine Vangool, Suzuko Koseki, as well as Friedlander, Friedlander Lawn, Architextures, Gleaned and Polk from me.

Thanks for following along! As promised last week, I’d like to do a celebratory giveaway this week. Up for grabs is a charm pack of Polk, plus a stack of more 5″ squares of fabrics that were used in the original Babson and a pair of my favorite Kai snips. And if you don’t already have a copy of the Babson pattern, I’ll throw that in too!

Polk and Kai Giveaway . Carolyn Friedlander

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me something about your cf Mini QAL experience. I’ll randomly select a winner Tuesday September 18 at 11am EDT.

Polk and Kai Giveaway . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #8: Wild (or Mild)!

cf Mini QAL #8: Wild (or Mild)!

I can’t believe that we’re already to week #8! How’d that happen? I hope you’ve enjoyed this QAL as much as I have. Before we get on to the final challenge, here’s where I took the challenge from last week.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Using my Babson pattern, I print-mixed it up! I started with the Forage print by Anna Graham and some of my black prints from Gleaned and Carkai. Then I gradually worked in the gingham and some Polk.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

I like how the prints bring a softness to the Babson design, and how the darkest and lightest colors help pack some punch.

cf mini QAL 7 . Babson . Carolyn Friedlander

Ready for the final challenge?

This last challenge is Wild (or Mild)! When thinking Wild, I think of something crazy, loud and/or dominate. Have you ever embraced a print or fabric/color combination that kind of screams at you? This final challenge is all about finding a way to harness that energy so that it can power your mini. Here are just a couple of Wild examples. (From top to bottom, Cowboy Circle Lattice from Savor Each Stitch, my Doe Couch and Eads)

Cowboy Circle Lattice_Carolyn Friedlander

Photography © Alexis Wharem, Greenprint Photography reprinted by permission by Lucky Spool Media, LLC.

Cutting up the Doe couch quilt_Carolyn Friedlander

Eads Quilt Along . Carolyn Friedlander

Wild doesn’t have to mean any one thing. It can be bold in the fabric choices, strong in the colors or impactful in the way the blocks are working together.

You’ll also notice that there’s an (or Mild) alternative for you this week. Maybe Wild isn’t your thing, or maybe it already is? Going totally Mild can be just as much of a challenge. How far can you take a whisper but still make it engaging? (From top to bottom, Eads QAL blocks, Facing East from Savor Each Stitch, @indigobird_designs Eads)

Eads QAL 7 . Carolyn Friedlander

Facing East . Carolyn Friedlander

indigobird_designs

Reaching the right level of softness is all about striking another sort of balance, and it can be just as good of a challenge.

With 2 big things to think about in the projects ahead, here’s a hint at where I’m taking mine.

Babson works perfectly with a charm pack, and ever since picking this one up (of the latest London Calling) I’ve been eager to use it. Now is the time!

London Calling Charm Pack

There’s such a diverse mix of prints in this pack, plus the smaller prints will be fun to pair with a bunch of other things. Keeping the Wild theme in mind, here’s some of what I’ve pulled to go with it.

cf Mini Quilt Along #8 . Carolyn Friedlander

I think that the vibrancy of the Nani Iro piece (bottom left) can help pack a punch, while the larger scale of the Japanese print (top left) can bring a taste of calm along with some good colors. That’s the plan! I’ll be adding in more as I go and as it shapes up. The trick with going Wild (or Mild) is the decision of how Wild (or Mild) to go. Like everything else, it’s about finding the right balance.

You can do it!

cf Mini Quilt Along #8 . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Let loose a bit and see what you can put together!

+ Think about all that we’ve learned over the last 8 weeks. When going wild (or mild), everything can come into play–contrast, how your colors and prints are working for you and the stories you decide to let them tell.

+ Not sure of what to put together? If you’re scratching your head you can always start with fabrics from all of your challenges thus far. This can be a fun and challenging way to get many things to jive together.

Come back next week for the final wrap up and a special giveaway. Thanks so much for following along!

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #7: Making Friends, Mixing Genres.

cf Mini QAL #7: Making Friends, Mixing Genres.

The fussy-cut/directional challenge from last week made me want to play with directional fabrics and a lot of stripes.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

Originally, I’d planned a toned-down palette with plenty of paleness but also a punch of acid lime. In the end, I went even softer than that and didn’t use any acid lime. The punchier bits are from deeper browns and greys.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

The directional theme I was going for was to have vertical stripes in most of the sets.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

When you’re going fussy, you draw the line on how fussy you want to me. For me, I wasn’t necessarily drawn to complete perfection in all ways, but like in the block above, I wanted the roof stripes to be perfectly vertical and relative to each other. It was a complete surprise and accident when they almost line up at the seam on the left. Yay for accidents!

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I like this group of four and went ahead and sewed them together. I’m still tossing around the idea of sewing all of my minis into one bigger quilt, but there’s something about these guys that I might end up leaving them on their own. They’re just so cute together.

Directional Davie . cf mini QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

This next challenge is another one that I hope you’ll have a lot of fun with. It’s all about making friends and mixing genres. What does that mean?

There are many different genres and styles of fabric out there. We have solids, basics, batiks, various reproductions, modern, contemporary, etc, as well as loads of designer prints that have their own look as well. Sticking to one category or designer can make things easy as they can easily work together without too much thinking. But sometimes it’s fun to mix it up, and that’s what the challenge this week is all about!

Like all of the previous challenges, this too can mean a lot of things, but to get you started I’ll show you in an example of my own, and walk you through a mixed-genre fabric pull.

Like any fabric pull, it’s good to start with something that speaks to you. Anna Graham’s latest collection, Forage, for Robert Kaufman is such a fun one and where I wanted to start.

 

I grabbed one of the floral prints from the collection and added a couple of pieces from my scrap bin–a bright tangerine (from Botanics) and a grey (from Architextures). While these colors do coordinate nicely with colors already in the print, they also pack a little more punch and take it in a slightly new direction. This is a good start and an easy way to stretch what’s already there.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn FriedlanderTo do something different, you don’t necessarily need to find the most different thing for the sake of being different. Instead you can think of colors that aren’t already used and can bring a new spirit to it.

 

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn FriedlanderAcid lime! It didn’t make it in last week, but it might be great in this next group. I’ve also added a pink gingham that plays well too.

Since I like where that’s going, the next step is to explore building it out a bit more. I’ve added more yellows, another grey and the tangerine from earlier.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

What’s important–to me at least–is laying them out and grouping them in ways as I pull. This makes it so easy to see how everything is shaping up and how it might work together.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

If you feel like you’ve gone too far–or want to zoom in on something nice you’re seeing, you can always pull back. I could decide to take the tangerine bits out and focus more on the yellows and wasabis.

Or, you can clear it away and start again with another idea–for the sake of another push.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

I just LOVE these guys together. The print mix is really enticing and there’s something good about the coloring too.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

As before, you can start figuring out how to build the idea out more–not forgetting about things you may have already used.

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

And a little more…

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

And already I have a lot of options! I may have too many, which means I definitely need to start sewing before I feel too overwhelmed and can’t make a decision. This is such an important step–get sewing!

cf Mini Quilt Along #7 . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ What makes good friends? Connect your own dots between genres through similar colors, values or whatever make sense to you.

+ Scrap-pile sewing can be an excellent way to source some surprise combinations. Many of my favorite pairings have been the result of accidental findings. For a challenge like this, I love hitting my scrap bin for ideas.

+ Take pictures along the way. You can often work in good ideas from early in the pull later in your project–or into another project. It’s good to have these ideas on hand.

+ Have fun with the pull, but don’t let it stop you from sewing! Give yourself a time limit and get going.

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #5: Gradation.

cf Mini QAL #5: Gradation.

How was last week?

Here’s what I made.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This week, my focus was on Davie. With last week’s challenge being about all colors, I tried not to over think my fabric and color choices, which is easy to do when anything is an option. Instead I went with my gut as I started looking through fabric. I pulled several different things, and laid them out loosely focusing on groupings of 4 since the Davie blocks require that many fabrics for each of the block sections.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Even though my goal was to make 4 blocks, I didn’t pick all 4 groupings at the beginning–although you totally could. Instead, I made the first block with the first 4 fabrics that I liked, which was the bright yellow house with a brown roof in the middle. My subsequent block selections grew from there based on how I was seeing each block shape up.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Also, I’ve been wanting to play a bit with mixing up the background sections in this block, and so I inserted a little accent of something here and there in pretty much all of the blocks. I think it’s kind of fun!

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This was a really fun week, and I’m actually looking to build from it in moving forward with the next challenge.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Our next challenge focuses on Gradation. Gradations can be lots of fun to put together and incredibly impactful. Here are some examples to consider.

Savor Each Stitch_Aerial Grove_Carolyn Friedlander

The Aerial Grove project from my book is a good one for employing a gradation. I love projects with little bits of a lot of different things, and this one captures that idea and uses gradation to organize those colors for maximum impact. Above is the version in the book, and below is a version using only Kona solids.

Aerial Grove quilt_1_Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve made so many versions of this project mostly because I love picking out the colors and figuring out how to arrange them.

Ebb is similar in that it also is a great way to show many different colors and how they can transition in fun ways.

ebb quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

This recent version of Sessoms also creates a gradation from all of the fabrics in Gleaned.

Sessoms Throw Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

And here’s a new one that you haven’t seen yet. How about this Lusk mini that I also made in Gleaned?

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

I had a mini-charm pack of Gleaned that I decided to turn it into a mini. I paired the fabrics in the collection with Olive Essex Yarn Dyed. To make the gradation, I simply worked the blocks in order from the mini-charm pack. That’s a tip–if you have trouble arranging your fabrics, try working from a precut, because they’re usually arranged in a pleasing gradation of some sort.

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

Creating a gradation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create a rainbow from red to purple. You can also think of a gradation as a way to tell a story, from light to dark, from blue to yellow–from anything you want! Here’s one more example that I crowdsourced from @bastingbeauty. It’s just too pretty not to share. I love the creativity of not only the design but of also the fabric use and way it transitions! It also gives you a bit of a transparency effect too.

@bastingbeauty

This week, have fun figuring out a gradation–in whatever way you’d like!

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Not good with creating a gradation? Buy a precut and use it in order. OR, stalk a precut that you find attractive and take notes on which colors are being used and which order they are being used in. You can do it.

+ Gradations do not have to be a full spectrum and in rainbow order. If the standard isn’t speaking to you, come up with your own color story and define your own limits.

+ On a technical note, I’m sure you’ve noticed that these little seams can be get a little bulky. This is why I usually try pressing them flat in order to even out the bulk as much as possible. While first working on Davie, I realized that using a seam roller to open out the seam first, made it much easier to iron open and achieve a good press. I’m glad to see some of you noticing this handy trick too!

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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cf Mini QAL #4: Many Colors.

cf Mini QAL #4: Many Colors.

Before we get on with the new challenge, here’s an update on where I finished things from last week.

cf Mini Quilt Along #4 . Carolyn Friedlander

A good portion of these blocks were leftovers from an abandoned sample when developing the pattern (Lusk). I stumbled upon them recently and realized the Quilt Along would be the perfect excuse to finish them up. Don’t you love getting back to something that was previously lost in limbo? So satisfying.

cf Mini Quilt Along #4 . Carolyn Friedlander

I had a sketch with an idea of where to go, but I ended up sewing together what I had and adding in a few new ones. I liked the serendipity of it, and I definitely enjoy the surprises in what’s possible to accent with this design. How’d the challenge work out for you?

Maybe you’re starting to notice that there’s a bit of a progression with these challenges. We’ve gone from 1 color to 2 colors to using an accent. I know that picking out fabrics and planning projects can be scary, and so I’ve wanted this Quilt Along to allow you to focus on one thing at a time in order to grow some confidence with each of the projects.

This week the challenge is Many Colors, which–like the previous challenges–can be taken in many ways. Mainly, I want you to try breaking a little further outside of your box and grab a few things that you may not have thought to put together. In a challenge like this, all the things we’ve been practicing so far can come in to play. Where can you use like colors to create harmony? How can the value of your choices define (or soften!) your shapes? What are areas/shapes/colors that you’d like to highlight or accent? These are all great things to think about when working on this week’s challenge.

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

As an example to get you started, I have a previously-unshared project to unearth. This was the first version of Lusk (version A) that I ever made. It uses a mixture of gleaned, the newest architextures coordinates and Kona cotton solids–in many different colors.

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Like many of my projects, I started with a pairing that I was most excited about. After sewing those blocks up, I moved on to another set that I liked and continued the process of grabbing fabrics, sewing them into blocks and throwing them up on the design wall. I love this way of working, and it definitely gets more fun, exciting and comfortable with practice.

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

What do you think? Are you ready to take on many colors? I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

#cfminiQAL #letsmakemanyminis

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Variety is the spice of life! When using lots of things, pay close attention to contrast within each block and overall. I think that it’s fine for some areas to be fuzzy and/or more pronounced. Just make sure to balance it to your own liking.

+ Go with your gut and start grabbing fabrics that are speaking to you. As you grab, lay them out in a way that you can see all of them as you go. Start moving them around and thinking about pairs, groupings and/or general locations of colors that are appealing to you. The trick is that you don’t need to have the whole thing planned out at the onset. You just need a starting point and some options. You can reflect on your choices and how it’s shaping up as you go.

+ Don’t force yourself to use colors you don’t like. I never see a point in that–go with what you’re in to! I think that color growth can naturally stem from comfort and practice.

Lusk A in Gleaned Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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