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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 this month. 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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