Tag Archives | homespun

Meet Spools, my new quilt pattern.

Meet Spools, my new quilt pattern and tribute to an iconic sewing essential.

Spools Quilt . carolyn friedlander

Spools is very literally a celebration of sewing, with all kinds of color, fabric and print possibilities.

Spools Quilt . carolyn friedlander

Fabric and Color

In terms of fabric, there are many ways you can get creative with this project. It works easily with 5″ squares. If you’re scared of putting together color on your own, take advantage of a beautiful pack that’s already been arranged for you. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, cull together your own mix. This is definitely one of those projects where you can pack a lot of variety into a single project, a.k.a. one of my favorite types of projects. Is there anything better than sewing through a gorgeous stack of color?

In my quilt, I worked from both of the newest charm packs for Collection CF. After opening them up, I commingled them into a pleasing array. Spools feature a Main fabric and an Accent fabric, and if you’re working from 5″ squares, each one will yield 1 spool Main or 2 spool Accents. The picture below shows how I mapped mine out. (Of course, I forgot to snap a picture until midway through my second row, but hopefully you get the idea.)

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

In the photo above, each row of squares represents a row of Spools, with the Main squares sticking out the top and the Accent squares folded in half and laying across the bottom. I might have swapped a couple out by the end, but this was a helpful way for me to figure out a game plan for moving forward.

Piecing

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

The blocks themselves are all conventionally pieced with 1/4″ seams. You have 1 diagonal seam to sew and the rest is literally straight forward. Plus I have some bonus cutting techniques so that diagonal piece lines up easily for you. Sound good?

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

The Spools sew up fairly quickly, and I love seeing the fabric combinations come together.

spool quilt making . carolyn friedlander

Picking a Background

After deciding on your Spool fabrics, the other major consideration is your background. It plays a prominent role in the quilt and will help show off your Spool fabrics. On mine I used Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun in Delft. I LOVE this fabric and color. After auditioning many different options, I liked how this one made everything pop. Before starting anything, I pulled several possibilities and kept them nearby. Once the spools were partially sewn, I laid them right on top of the background to decide if it would be the one. Yep, this one will do!

Spools quilt sewing . carolyn friedlander

What is nice about using Essex (a linen/cotton blend) is the texture and visual contrast it adds when used alongside quilting cotton. I also love how the linen blends together at the seams while also giving the project good weight and structure.

Spools and Grove quilts . carolyn friedlander

Size

The pattern features 2 size options; Wall and Mini. The Wall size is what I have here. It is 40″ x 42″ and features 49 spools. The Mini size is 19 1/2″ x 20″ and features 9 spools. Of course you can always change the size by using more or less blocks, but I thought these 2 sizes were especially useful whether you want something colorful for your own space or you are swapping minis with a friend.

Spools Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Spools Quilt Pattern

Fabric: Collection CF for the Spools, Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun in Delft for the background

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A Batch Of Thread Catchers.

I did manage to crank out a batch of thread catchers for some of my local sewing buds. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, and our holiday get together gave me the perfect excuse to do it.

thread catchers . carolyn friedlander

Even with a lot going on, I was very glad to steal away a few hours to make a little something for each of them. And, most of the fabrics were leftovers from other recent projects that were sitting in piles needing to get sorted, so it was kind of like tidying the studio a bit too!

thread catchers . carolyn friedlander

I used this tutorial to make a regular and a mini for each person. I’ve updated the tutorial to include both sizes. (Scroll down to the bottom of the tutorial for the adjustments to make the mini.) Personally, I like having both size options, because sometimes you need more and sometimes you need less. They each satisfy two different needs.

thread catchers . carolyn friedlander

I probably could have made myself a couple more while I was at it, because I didn’t seem to have one handy a few times this week when I could have used one. Does anyone else end up with makeshift thread piles or is it just me?

Next time…

thread catchers . carolyn friedlander

These guys are pretty speedy, and I really liked pairing up the different fabric combinations. In the end I let everyone pick their own. It was fun to see who picked what–many lined up as I thought they might and others surprised me a bit.

thread catchers . carolyn friedlander

Lots of thread catchers!

thread catchers . carolyn friedlander

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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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